The CMS awarded $347 million to 16 health care systems, hospital associations and quality improvement organizations to reduce hospital-acquired infections and readmissions of Medicare beneficiaries. Two awardees will also receive up to $5 million over the next three years to support large-scale adoption of alternative payment models.
A Medscape survey found a digital divide between how patients and physicians view the use of technology in medicine, with 80% of patients believing that EHR systems help improve a practice's efficiency, compared with 54% of physicians. The findings also showed that 60% of physicians say patients have a right to view all doctors' notes, compared with 90% of patients.
The medical community is hopeful that federally funded trials will show telemedicine can be a critical tool in the fight against opioid abuse, especially in isolated areas where professional support is limited. A doctor at a clinic participating in a southwest Virginia pilot program said patients are responding favorably to video chats that began in the summer.
Several industries, including health care, are advised to watch out for Mamba, a new strain of ransomware that encrypts an organization's entire hard drives, making Windows and files inaccessible to personnel, tw-Security experts say. Keith Fricke, a partner and principal consultant at the firm, notes that health care organizations can't do anything but pay the ransom, find another computer or use a cellphone to send emails.
HHS and the ONC have awarded a total of $1.5 million to seven health care organizations for the development of standards-based solutions to improve the exchange of health information between providers. The awardees include the Arkansas Office of Health Information Technology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Lantana Consulting Group and The Health Collaborative.
Seventy-eight of 100 health care organizations surveyed by executive search firm Witt/Kieffer said that in addition to planning nursing strategies, a chief nursing informatics officer's responsibilities include the implementation of EHR and clinical IT systems. The CNIO serves as the bridge between an organization's nursing and technology interests by "ensuring user acceptance and the adoption of EHR as well as other emerging technologies," the report stated.
The US government has awarded Carestream a Digital Imaging Network-Picture Archiving and Communication System contract worth up to $150 million to continue providing government facilities with medical image management products and services. The deal, which includes a five-year base contract and a five-year option period, will include Carestream's Vue Motion universal viewer, Vue Beyond management dashboard, MyVue patient portal and Clinical Collaboration Platform.
A Medical Group Management Association survey showed that medical groups must spend more than $32,500 annually per full-time physician in the practice to install, manage and maintain health IT tools, including EHR systems. Practices can minimize reductions in productivity caused by EHR adoption by investing the money and time necessary to maximize the technology's benefits, says MGMA's Rob Tennant.
Studies involving nonhuman primates have yielded vaccines and treatments for polio, mumps, measles, yellow fever, anthrax, hepatitis B, cancer and more, writes FBR President Frankie L. Trull, and now primate research has provided a foundation for human trials of a Zika virus vaccine. Nonhuman primates are irreplaceable in the research setting, and promising science would grind to a halt were researchers banned from working with primate models, Trull writes.
Keck Hospital and Norris Hospital, two of the University of Southern California's facilities, were able to fully restore encrypted data to their servers following a ransomware attack that prevented employees from accessing files. Keck Hospital CEO Rodney Hanners confirmed that the hospital didn't pay a ransom, and while the servers don't store the hospital's EMR system, sensitive data on patients and other individuals were contained in the encrypted folders.
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