Family medicine resident Rose Marie Leslie has been sharing short videos about the dangers of vaping on TikTok, a social media platform popular with adolescents and young adults. Leslie shares side-by-side X-ray images from patients with healthy and vaping-damaged lungs, and although she has received some criticism, Leslie has also fielded requests for more information.
Data from social networks, wearable monitors, smartphones and consumer tracking can bolster efforts to identify and mitigate negative social determinants of health, and cloud computing can be a valuable asset in the endeavor, but the information must be handled as if it is protected health information, says consultant Jane Sarasohn-Kahn. Patients must be informed of how and to what extent their data is protected and used, says AbedGraham founding partner Saif Abed.
Health care organizations continue to use their health IT tools to adapt to changes in the medical sector, and these systems are also using novel resources to boost care delivery in their communities, according to the 2019 CHIME HealthCare's Most Wired Survey. The findings, which included information from more than 16,000 health organizations, indicate "the health care industry is evolving at lightning speed, with many exciting innovations that can truly transform how we deliver care," CHIME President and CEO Russ Branzell said.
Application programming interfaces based on common standards could sync data across EHR systems for care coordination, and regulations proposed by the ONC would encourage the use of APIs built on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, require EHR developers to use API implementation guidelines from the Argonaut Project and mandate that APIs be able to access a wide range of data elements in patient records. "Finalizing these rules would launch a new era for EHRs, one powered by standardized APIs that let patients and health care providers access more data than before, using the same internet-based tools that have fueled innovation in other industries," writes Ben Moscovitch, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts' health information technology initiative.
Google has fully absorbed DeepMind in a move the parent company says will enable international expansion of DeepMind's Streams patient monitoring app. Research projects and contracts with some UK National Health Service hospitals will continue, but others will not.
The use of artificial intelligence by some tech firms to collect digital traces and mine emergent medical data from consumers is a potential violation of anti-discrimination and privacy laws such as the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, writes Mason Marks, M.D., an assistant law professor at Gonzaga University and affiliate fellow at Yale Law School. Mining emergent medical data is unethical and dangerous, and it can be used to exploit people instead of helping them heal, Marks argues.
Hospitals are highly vulnerable to cyberattacks due to their reliance on confidential information and technology, and attacks could pose major threats to their operations and revenues, according to a report from Moody's Investors Service. Small hospitals that lack updated technology and resources are likely to be hit hardest by these attacks, the report said.
Physicians spend about 52 hours a year logging on to electronic medical record systems but virtual scribes can eliminate some of the stress, writes psychiatrist Torie Sepah. For example, virtual scribes -- a real person that communicates via a desktop speaker -- can remind physicians if they forget to include codes in the right areas or finish a note they are working on.
Practices can improve productivity by making sure they are properly coding everything and by billing electronically. They should also review appointments to determine if they are setting aside more time than needed for certain types of appointments, and they should try to determine the reason for any consistent overtime.
Locum tenens physicians can fill in for a physician who is taking a vacation or going on leave, ensuring that patients will continue to get care and the practice doesn't lose revenue, writes Lisa Grabl, president of CompHealth. A locum tenens physician can offer a practice the opportunity to test a new service without making a long-term commitment, Grabl notes.
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