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9/29/2020

Health care providers at many or all of Universal Health Services' 250-plus US hospitals and clinics reverted to paper charting after "an IT security issue" brought down the health system's computer networks over the weekend. The issue "looks and smells like ransomware," according to someone with knowledge of the company's response, and Ryuk ransomware is suspected.

9/29/2020

The HHS Office of Inspector General is likely to scrutinize coding, billing and reporting linked to COVID-19 testing, and health care facilities should review instances of COVID-19 as principal diagnosis, report all signs and symptoms for any comorbidities and sequelae, and ensure coding is correct when sepsis is present in COVID-19 admissions, writes Laudine Markovchick, director of coding, data quality and education with Pena4. She suggests auditing a sample of cases, updating and sharing guidelines in coding compliance programs, and ensuring staff is educated on potential pitfalls.

9/29/2020

Health officials in the UK say a COVID-19 contact tracing app has been updated to accept test results from Public Health England labs, the National Health Service or an Office for National Statistics survey. "A minority of people, such as hospital patients, who were unable to log their positive result can now request a code when contacted by NHS Test and Trace to input on their app," a spokesman for the health agency said.

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Reuters
9/29/2020

Only about 11% of people who sought care based on an abnormal pulse detected by an Apple Watch were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, suggesting a high false-positive rate that can cause anxiety and unneeded care, researchers from the Mayo Clinic reported in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Some patients appear to have been using the feature "in a manner inconsistent with FDA guidance," and "[s]tricter access controls are encouraged to ensure real-world use conforms with FDA guidance," the researchers wrote.

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MobiHealthNews
9/29/2020

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Robert Redfield have expressed concern that a new coronavirus task force adviser, neuroradiologist Scott Atlas, might be presenting misleading information to President Donald Trump. The benefits of wearing protective face coverings, children's susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and how to safely reopen schools are among the points of disagreement.

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CNBC, CNN
9/29/2020

An analysis of data from a multiple sclerosis patient registry found that Black MS patients with COVID-19 are more likely than their white peers with the disease to die, be admitted to an intensive care unit or be hospitalized, even after controlling for other risk factors. Black MS patients in the study were more likely than white patients to have hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, chronic lung disease, obesity or diabetes, "[underscoring] the importance of exercising vigilance and prompt supportive interventions when managing Black individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infection," said neurologist Benjamin Segal, who was not involved in the study.

9/29/2020

Alphabet revived its defunct Google Health division in 2018 and brought in David Feinberg from Geisinger Health to run it, but how the unit fits into Alphabet's plans and how it will make money remain unknown. Insiders report "sibling rivalry" between Google Health and Alphabet's life sciences spinout, Verily, and the public remains skeptical of Google's motives.

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Business Insider
9/29/2020

Six health care CIOs talk about the stressors in their jobs and the strategies they use to combat stress and manage their workloads amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote workforce issues, COVID-19 statistic reporting and setting up telehealth services are some of the leading stressors, but burnout can be avoided by delegating tasks, having clear, regular and succinct communications with key stakeholders, and improving time management.

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Healthcare IT News
9/28/2020

Telehealth can be a valuable component of health care, including cancer care, but virtual consults cannot replace in-person visits in many cases, and technology glitches can frustrate patients as well as health care providers, writes nurse David Jennings. The same level of professionalism is expected of health care providers for either type of visit, cameras should be positioned to minimize noise and distractions, and eye contact with the patient should be maintained, writes Jennings, who was skeptical of telehealth at first but now uses it frequently.

9/28/2020

A consensus statement published in Nature Medicine by an international working group lists 14 items that biomedical researchers should regularly include when reporting on clinical trials with an artificial intelligence or machine learning component. The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials -- Artificial Intelligence extension statement says reports should thoroughly explain the version of the algorithm, intended use and users, inclusion and exclusion criteria, integration into trial settings, users' expertise and how AI contributed to decisions.

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Regulatory Focus