Jose Abrams Guzman, CIO and chief technology officer at Servicios de Salud Episcopales in Puerto Rico, said at the HIMSS18 conference that Hurricane Maria prompted his organization to be ready for complete isolation and possible total power and communications loss, and he said a regional patient data repository should be considered in the future. University of Texas Health Science Center professor Jim Langabeer is studying disaster preparations such as communitywide data coordination plans, improved patient-level analytics and regional health information exchange.
Research and marketing firm CyberEdge Group polled almost 1,200 IT security professionals across 17 countries and found that of the 38.7% of organizations that suffered a ransomware attack and paid a ransom demand, only 49.4% were able to recover their data, while 86.9% of those that did not pay a ransom were able to do so. The findings also showed the percentage of organizations that suffered a cyberattack dropped from 79% in 2016 to 77% in 2017, and the number that experienced a ransomware infection declined from 61% in 2016 to 55% in 2017.
Lynn Community Health Center and Partners Healthcare's Partners Connected Health, both in Massachusetts, and the Triad HealthCare Network in Greensboro, N.C., will use a Philips telehealth platform to improve medication adherence among high-risk patients. The health systems will introduce remote patient monitoring programs to evaluate whether a telehealth medication adherence platform can help reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations and improve health outcomes among patients with chronic conditions.
Pediatric EHRs should have linked maternal and birth data and precise recordings of all vital signs and growth parameters; offer age-specific decision support; and monitor incomplete preventive care opportunities, among others, according to a priority list from a multistakeholder work group, published in Pediatrics. "We hope that by focusing the energy of software vendors, EHR purchasers, policymakers and families on the same high-priority list, EHRs will be designed and used more safely and effectively in the care of children," said lead author Dr. Jonathan Wald.
The repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate penalty and other changes to the health care law could cause US health insurance premiums to increase by 35% to 90% from 2019 to 2021, according to a report released by Covered California. All states could see premium hikes, but the South and Midwest are expected to be hit the hardest, and some states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Texas, could see a 90% cumulative increase by 2021.
The CMS rejected Idaho's plan to allow the sale of health insurance plans that do not comply with Affordable Care Act requirements including coverage of essential health benefits and consistent rates for healthy and sick people. In a letter sent to Idaho Insurance Director Dean Cameron and Gov. Butch Otter, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said it is the government's duty to enforce and uphold the ACA, and under Idaho's proposal, the state would be "failing to substantially enforce" the law.
Enrollment in clinical trials for breast cancer treatment at the Mayo Clinic rose 80% after recruiters began using the IBM Watson for Clinical Trial Matching system, researchers reported. The platform also reduced the amount of time needed to screen potential participants and is able to produce a ranked list of trials for which patients may be eligible.
IT analysts and security executives say machine learning and blockchain technology are among the tools IT professionals in the health care sphere are using to thwart hacking and ransomware. Lynne Dunbrack of IDC Health Insights says connected medical devices are among the prime targets for cybercriminals, who increasingly offer their skills as a service.
The Military Health System's rollout of a new EHR system has not been without glitches, due largely to the military's cybersecurity system, but executives from contractors Cerner and Leidos say the problems are only temporary. In addition to scaling up a new EHR system, the military is upgrading telecommunications hardware and consolidating Navy, Army and Air Force medical services under the authority of the Defense Health Agency.
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday urged companies to report data breaches promptly without fear that such information will be shared with other agencies or the public. "At the FBI, we treat victim companies as victims," he said.