Interoperability in EHR systems allows health care organizations to provide more efficient patient care. Health IT leaders can work toward this at the purchasing stage by committing to developing an IT system with organizationwide interoperability and creating an IT procurement strategy that supports organizational goals and drives interoperability, according to a report from the National Academy of Medicine.
The Department of Veterans Affairs created 18 EHR councils, conducted a review of its initial operating capability care sites and gave three task orders to Cerner as part of its EHR implementation project, John Windom, executive director of the Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization, said at a hearing Wednesday. Seventy percent of the capabilities shared by the VA's Cerner EHR system and Department of Defense's MHS GENESIS EHR system have been completed by Cerner, and the remaining 30% "are capabilities VA requires to meet the unique needs of veterans," Windom said.
Scientists used stem cells to make a lifelike human atrium model that beats, expresses genes and responds to drugs, and it could be used for testing experimental treatments for atrial fibrillation. The scientists started developing the model over two decades ago using embryonic chicken heart cells and applied the technique to rat and mouse cells before using human cells, and they have tested patches for damaged hearts in rats and guinea pigs. The patches are now being tested in pigs, with human testing on the horizon.
Ninety percent of more than 600 providers polled by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives have implemented off-site data backup systems, while 78% and 77% have implemented off-site redundant data centers and storage virtualization, respectively, according to CHIME's 2018 HealthCare's Most Wired survey. Rounding out the list of backup and data-repository processes implemented at health care organizations were cloud services for clinical and nonclinical systems, infrastructure-as-a-service and data-as-a-service.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said he will reauthorize research involving a small number of dogs that could lead to treatments for spinal cord injuries. Prior canine research led to the invention of the cardiac pacemaker and a treatment for cardiac arrhythmias, Wilkie said. "I love canines," Wilkie said. "But we have an opportunity to change the lives of men and women who have been terribly hurt. And until somebody tells me that that research does not help in that outcome, then I'll continue."
A technique that turns dead mice rigid and transparent has allowed scientists to study cell and organ interactions, revealing clues about how brain injuries affect the nervous and immune systems. Scientists soaked mouse carcasses in solvents to dissolve fats and pigments, then injected fluorescent nanoscale antibodies found in llamas, alpacas and camels to trace connections.
Black Book polled more than 3,000 hospital-owned or employed physician practice organizations in the US and found that 36% want customized integrated EHR, practice management and revenue cycle management systems. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said EHR and current practice management systems that are not integrated hinder the implementation of improved alternative reimbursement and payment methodologies.
HealthTech4Medicaid is a new nonprofit group that includes about 40 health technology company CEOs who want to speed technology innovation to improve care for Medicaid recipients. The group represents more than $1 billion in venture capital, and its goals include increasing access to care, improving quality and decreasing costs.
Officials at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., discovered Sept. 12 that a former employee accessed the medical records of 1,216 patients without authorization between Nov. 3, 2016, and Oct. 23, 2017. The incident compromised patients' diagnoses, medical record numbers, demographic information, prescription lists and other medical information, such as dates when they received care and the services received.
Preliminary data from HHS show the number of breaches in the health care sector through the end of October rose 2.7% over last year to 306. Hacking and IT incidents were cited as the most common cause of breaches last month, with a year-over-year increase of 77%.