Health IT News
Top stories summarized by our editors
9/20/2017

A Trend Micro report shows the health care sector is one of the biggest targets of a ransomware campaign that combines the Locky ransomware and the malware variant FakeGlobe to double the payload, affecting users in more than 70 countries, with 7% in the US. The campaign allows hackers to infect victims by sending emails that contain a malicious .zip file and luring victims with fake invoices and a FakeGlobe support page that helps users pay the ransom.

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Healthcare IT News
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Locky ransomware
9/20/2017

Some animal-rights groups lobby to end research that could extend the healthy life spans of dogs, cats and livestock; help birds recover from disasters; and protect great apes, elephants and other endangered species, writes Foundation for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey. "Discouraging studies condemns animals to unnecessary suffering and death from preventable illnesses," Bailey writes. "Real animal lovers should be proud to support animal research."

9/20/2017

Organizations should consider training more of their IT personnel on using threat intelligence data to help handle the ongoing rise in cybersecurity threats, writes Sue Poremba. "IT staff are the ones already working with the infrastructure and have a better understanding of the organization's mission than other employees, and many already do frontline cybersecurity defense or mitigation as part of their regular duties," she writes.

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IT Business Edge
9/20/2017

Researchers found that patients with suspected obstructive sleep apnea who were assigned to continuous positive airway pressure therapy telemonitoring with automated patient feedback had higher 90-day adherence rates for CPAP average daily use than those in usual care and telemedicine-based education groups. The findings in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that clinic attendance for OSA evaluation rose with telemedicine-based education.

9/20/2017

Blaming EHR and health IT companies for interoperability problems and accusing them of profiting from owning patient protected health information is "inflammatory and inaccurate," the EHR Association Executive Committee said in response to a Health Affairs Blog post written by former ONC Chief Privacy Officer Lucia Savage. The group also stated that charging a fee for data integration, additional data collection and customization does not represent information blocking.

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EHR Intelligence
9/20/2017

Public outreach and education by institutions and companies with a stake in animal research varies from serious engagement to no outreach at all, despite a multitude of campaigns against scientific research, writes Allyson Bennett. Institutions and agencies that fail to defend animal research and researchers jeopardize not only the science and scientists, but also the public, which stands to lose in the absence of scientific discoveries that benefit society, other animals and the environment, Bennett writes.

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Speaking of Research
9/20/2017

Draft FDA guidance recommends best practices for animal studies used to evaluate certain organ preservation devices, including experiment setup, transportability and contamination control, and the public comment period on the document is open. The agency suggests that researchers contact the agency during the presubmission phase to obtain feedback on methods for proposed animal studies.

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Regulatory Focus
9/19/2017

Officials at Augusta University Medical Center and Augusta University in Georgia announced that a phishing attack has potentially compromised the information of a limited number of patients. According to an investigation that ended July 18, hackers accessed two employees' email accounts between April 20 and 21 that contained patients' names, medical information, prescription details, medical record numbers, Social Security numbers and other personal data.

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Healthcare IT News
9/19/2017

A study in the journal Hepatology showed that Michigan Medicine increased its hepatitis C virus screening rates among baby boomers from 7.6% to 72% a year after implementing a prompt in its EHR system. Researchers found that the prompt also referred 100% of newly diagnosed patients to specialty care, and 67% were prescribed treatment.

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baby boomers, HCV
9/19/2017

Researchers from Health Catalyst found that 19% of more than 1,100 health care professionals surveyed rated the return on investment for EHRs as terrible, compared with 42% who rated it as poor and 1% who rated ROI as superb. Twenty-nine percent of respondents rated ROI for EHRs as mediocre, while 9% rated it as positive, the findings showed.