The COVID-19 Confirmed Clinic, a telemedicine clinic jointly operated by the University of South Florida health system and Tampa General Hospital, saw about 60 new patients daily soon after opening March 30. As many as 600 patients are now being referred daily to the clinic, which has had to stop accepting referrals from the state health department, and the clinic is seeking more health care providers.
The email accounts of four Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System employees and one contractor were hacked in April, May and June, exposing the protected health information of 786 patients. The California health system said hackers had access to the email accounts for only a matter of hours before they were blocked, and it appears no medical or personal information was seen or copied.
People with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms screened online by a person or a chatbot reacted to the chatbots either no differently or more positively than to the human agents as long as they perceived that the chatbot delivered equivalent quality. Users might be more comfortable disclosing socially embarrassing information to a nonjudgmental chatbot, Indiana University Kelley School of Business researchers wrote in a study published in a medical informatics journal.
An emerging form of phishing attack known as consent phishing is aimed not at stealing passwords but at deceiving the target into granting the attacker permissions to an app that appears harmless but is used to gain access to sensitive data. The tactic, which Microsoft describes in a blog post, exploits the widely used authorization technology OAuth 2.0.
Nonprofit system SSM Health, which has facilities in four Midwestern states, is connecting its EHR networks to the ESO Health Data Exchange to enable emergency medical personnel to obtain patient data electronically. The connection will facilitate hospital communications with EMS agencies that use the system.
A study of EHR data on 327,695 patients with any of eight chronic health conditions and 383,404 problem list entries correlated duplications and incompleteness to disease severity. Researchers also found a link between demographics and rates of completeness and duplications for some of the diseases and said further research is needed on the effects of organizational policies and single EHR user behaviors.
A privacy framework for consumer health data from Manatt Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation aims to close gaps in privacy protections for health data that is generated by wearable devices, apps and websites and is collected by companies not subject to HIPAA regulations. "A failure to advance a new privacy framework will likely result in a complex patchwork of competing state-level regulations that will be difficult, if not impossible, to comply with or enforce ... or worse," researchers wrote.
Job losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could drive a spike in new health insurance enrollments through Affordable Care Act exchanges, and more insurers might enter or re-enter the individual market, according to an Avalere analysis. More than 750,000 people new to the publicly run exchanges have enrolled in a health plan since regular open enrollment periods closed, and more than a million new enrollments could come in the next open window, Avalere says.
Minnesota's health insurance exchange and the state pharmacy board have set up a program for state residents with diabetes who need help paying for insulin. Navigators with Minnesota's health insurance marketplace are available to help residents apply for assistance.
EHR alerts from computerized physician order entry systems and clinical decision support programs are contributing to alert overload and burnout among hospital clinicians, researchers reported in a health informatics journal. Hospital performance improved slightly from 2017 to 2018 on fatal and nuisance order alerts, but researchers say some hospitals still alert too much.
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