The Pharmacy HIT Collaborative launched the Pharmacist eCare Plan to help improve communication between pharmacists and physicians. The plan uses the pharmacist's current clinical documentation system to communicate clinical data, with the document written in HL7 language and format, and can be read by EHRs.
Texas-based physician group UMC Physicians has notified more than 18,000 patients about a data breach involving an employee's email account that was hacked March 15. The incident may have compromised patients' protected health information, including names, medical record numbers, health insurance information, diagnoses, dates of service, phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.
Fortified Health Security's 2018 Mid-Year Horizon Report showed a more than 1,000% increase in the number of individuals whose information was compromised by data breaches at health plans in the first five months of this year. A total of 24 breaches that affected 884,360 individuals were reported by health plans during the period, up from 15 breaches that affected 70,166 people during the same period last year, while business associates reported 12 breaches that affected 100,602 individuals, compared with seven breaches that affected 71,462 people in 2017.
The University of North Carolina Health Care system at Chapel Hill will integrate its Epic EHR system with the state's prescription drug monitoring program in an effort to help curb the opioid epidemic. "Access on the same screen where we order medications removes the previous barriers to accessing the controlled substance database at the point of care," said Vinay Reddy, a family medicine physician at UNC Health Care.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will provide a total of $24 million in funding to Cue Health and Diassess for the development of a mobile health device that would allow consumers to test for influenza at home and seek treatment with a health care provider via telemedicine. "Empowering people to answer the basic question, 'Do I have the flu?' without leaving home could have a profound effect on controlling and treating influenza, whether it's seasonal or a widespread pandemic," BARDA Director Rick Wright said.
CHIME expressed support for the CMS' proposed Quality Payment Program rule for 2019, which seeks to curb administrative burden, promote EHR interoperability and remove process-based measures in reporting requirements. "We also applaud the discussion of expanded telehealth reimbursement, something that has been a priority for CIOs, and we commend efforts to incent use of [prescription drug monitoring programs] as we seek ways to leverage technology in our ongoing efforts to combat the nation's opioid crisis," CHIME Public Policy Steering Committee Chair Liz Johnson said.
Forty-five percent of CIOs reported security as the top IT spending priority in June, compared with 42% in December, with the rate of those who intend to increase security spending rising to 10.4% from 10.1% during the same period, according to a Goldman Sachs report. The report also showed that CIOs plan to boost the current 18% average share of workloads on public clouds to 34% by the end of next year.
The World Telehealth Initiative has begun, and the nonprofit humanitarian group's goal is to expand medical training and widen access to health care services across the world by providing telehealth services and equipment to underserved areas. "Rather than providing episodic support relying on traditional modes of transportation, WTI will enable sustained support by leveraging telehealth to bring clinical expertise to the regions it assists," says Yulun Wang, chairman of the initiative and founder, chairman and chief innovation officer of InTouch Health.
Using encryption technologies and an end-to-end cybersecurity strategy is critical for mitigating data breach threats, writes Nick Jovanovic of Thales eSecurity Federal. Although there is no "silver bullet" for breach mitigation, encryption combined with cybersecurity training, updated policies and technologies can bolster the security of sensitive data, Jovanovic writes.
Researchers in India created a computer-assisted cognitive remediation application that assigns training tasks to patients with schizophrenia who have cognitive deficits to help improve their motor skills. The app, which is available offline and still has to be released online, is being used by 18 patients on tablets at Disability Assessment Rehabilitation and Triage.