The Defense Health Agency's procurement officers are required to use the General Services Administration's governmentwide acquisition contracts and schedules for "previously unsolicited and follow-on contracts/task orders" for all of its health care systems and IT needs, according to a memo signed by DHA Component Acquisition Executive Michael O'Bar. The memo says the use of tools other than the GSA's suite of vehicles "must be thoroughly documented in the acquisition strategy and clearly supported by market research."
A HealthMine survey showed that only 22% of 500 insured consumers who use digital health tools are accessing EHRs to assist with medical decisions, while 29% of that group say they are not getting much benefit from using these tools. The survey also found that 15% of consumers using EHRs had difficulty understanding the information, and 44% said they can't see everything that their doctor sees.
A Canada Health Infoway study found that 57% of EMR-enabled clinics said using EMRs helped improve the quality of health care for cancer patients. Findings showed that EMRs also reduced adverse events, enhanced clinic efficiency, improved connectivity between health care providers and patients, and reduced patient waiting times from consultation to first treatment.
Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, have introduced the Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act, aimed at studying how to expand New Mexico's Project ECHO health IT initiative into a nationwide telehealth model. The bill would require HHS to work with the Health Resources & Services Administration to analyze the model's impact on patient care and would ask HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to submit a report to Congress on how the program could be integrated into current grant proposals and funding streams.
Legislation that would create the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer at HHS and designate the CISO as the main authority on the agency's information security was introduced by Reps. Bill Long, R-Mo., and Doris Matsui, D-Calif., after a House Energy and Commerce Committee investigation found "serious structural flaws" in HHS information security protocols. The legislation "incentivizes best security practices and encourages organizational efficiencies as our federal agencies continue to confront the modern threat environment," Matsui said.
CHIME has sent a letter to the FDA calling for the agency to collaborate with the ONC, health care providers and medical device manufacturers to develop interoperability standards, improve the definition of interoperability and improve transparency for medical devices. CHIME also recommended that the FDA and ONC approve application program interface functionality in electronic data interfaces and establish risk management principles for manufacturers.
Safeguarding and securing cyberspace is critical as we increase our reliance on technology. Effective cybersecurity is crucial as threats and cyberattacks continue to rise and more advanced technology is deployed. The forum is designed for CIOs and information security executives who are working to ensure their organizations' valued data assets and technology are protected before a cyberattack occurs. The forum explores cybersecurity challenges, cybersecurity strategies, the latest trends, health care-focused solutions and lessons from the field. There are six more forums slated for 2016 across the country. Learn more.
There was an average of more than 4,000 ransomware attacks daily since Jan. 1, an increase of 300% from last year, according to Symantec Security Response's Internet Security Threat Report. Symantec said the increase began after Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid $17,000 to hackers in a ransomware attack in February.
The American Dental Association announced that it accidentally sent USB thumb drives, possibly infected with malware, that contained its 2016 manual of CDT dental procedure codes to its members nationwide. The association immediately informed members about the potential problem after learning that a "small percentage" of those drives contained malware.
London-based Your.MD launched OneStop Health, an AI-powered digital health service that allows mobile users to look for the safest and most appropriate health products and service providers worldwide. The service, available on Facebook Messenger and WeChat, also includes an online clinic, an online psychotherapy platform, remote consultations with doctors, an integrated well-being app and Samsung S Health and Allianz Global Assistance, a telemedicine service.
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