The National Institute of Standards and Technology has drafted a guide to help health IT teams secure mobile devices used in health care. The guidance discusses the most serious risks to patient data and strategies for dealing with security attacks, and it calls for balancing security with ease of use for health care teams.
The percentage of people who used health technologies to view, save and send health data rose to 22% in the last year, up from 13% in 2013, according to a Deloitte Center for Health Solutions report. The report also found 16% of people surveyed used the Internet to learn about the cost of needed care, up from 11%.
Fitness trackers and health apps are not based on good science and could cause harm, researchers told the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting. Johns Hopkins University professor Greg Hager said without trials or scientific evidence it cannot be known whether apps are having their intended effect, and University of Pittsburgh professor John Jakicic said people should be careful about relying solely on the devices.
More than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur across all industries daily, with health care being a major target, but only nine organizations reported such incidents to the HHS Office for Civil Rights last year, according to the Justice Department. James Scott of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology notes that the reasons behind health care organizations' failure to report data breaches include the fear of liability and economic impact, negative publicity and disruption of business operations due to investigations.
A total of 312 data breaches have been recorded across all industries, including health care, this year through Tuesday, according to an Identity Theft Resource Center report. The health care sector accounted for 25.3% of all data breaches, with more than 740,000 records exposed, the most among all sectors, according to the report.
Six in 10 US hospitals had the technology to allow enabled patients to download and transmit their health data last year, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. Patient engagement capability was greatest at medium and large hospitals.
Wearable devices that help female consumers manage their health and offer a bit of style are becoming a popular segment for tech companies. Bellabeat, a maker of wearable health-tracking pendants, and Omsignal, a wearable brand that puts women first, are just two of the companies looking to take wearable tech beyond the "boys' club" and just counting steps to a more holistic approach to monitoring women's health.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said Thursday that his committee will advocate delaying the implementation of stage 3 of the meaningful use program. As it currently stands, stage 3 would be enforced by the CMS beginning in 2017. Provider groups including the American Medical Association have been seeking a delay, and Alexander says that in spite of a possible delay, his committee supports full implementation of EHR adoption.
A study to be discussed at the 2015 conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology showed that health care-acquired infection reporting is time-consuming and is hindering providers from effectively protecting patients from HAIs. After analyzing the laboratory test reports at Somerville, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, researchers found that more than five hours daily were spent by infection preventionists to prepare their HAI reports. Researchers suggested that hospitals pay more attention to staff members' adherence to infection prevention practices instead of focusing on completing HAI reports.
The FDA is asking that biological and pharmaceutical submissions use the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes standard to ensure that clinical research data standards are in line with U.S. health IT programs. The agency supports LOINC code adoption because clinical laboratories are using it and it will make data easier to be filed, understood and analyzed by clinicians. It is also recommending the codes because the Study Data Tabulation Model, which is the standard used for sharing laboratory test results in studies, supports LOINC code exchange.
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