A Black Book survey revealed that IT services are being outsourced by almost 81% of hospitals with fewer than 300 beds and nearly 73% of providers with more than 300 beds to control costs and meet the requirements of federal programs such as EHR meaningful use. Overall, 90% of outsourcing hospitals surveyed reported a return on investment during the third quarter, and almost 83% said the relationships they have developed with their vendors have surpassed their expectations.
CareKinesis' EireneRxCS system has been approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration to be used in e-prescribing of controlled substances. The company developed the platform to help its clients manage the treatments given to high-risk patient populations by establishing a real-time connection between nurses and doctors and CareKinesis' clinical pharmacists.
A partnership was formed between Holland Orthopaedic & Arthritic Centre and SeamlessMD to develop a free mobile application to assist patients before and after undergoing joint replacements. MyHip&Knee works by helping patients monitor their pain levels, symptoms and range of motion in the joint before surgery. Exercise videos and other educational resources are sent to patients after surgery to help them recover at home.
Cardiologist and physiologist Lior Gepstein of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology used light and algae DNA to make a rat's heart beat. Optogenetics, already in use in neurology, controls cells using light, and Gepstein's application could make existing pacemakers obsolete. Gepstein's team added algal DNA to a rat's heart muscles so the cells produced a light-responsive protein. When stimulated by a light pulse, the cells caused a heart contraction that followed the normal electrical pathway, causing the entire muscle to contract.
Functional vocal cord tissue has been successfully grown by University of Wisconsin researchers, according to a report in Science Translational Medicine. The team grew vocal cord tissue using a growth scaffold and tissue from four patients and one cadaver. Using larynges from canine cadavers, the team confirmed the engineered vocal cords could make sound and vibrated like the real thing when air was passed through them. Studies in mice showed the tissue is unlikely to be rejected by the human immune system, and the work lays the foundation for treatment of human vocal disorders.
The NIH announced its 50 remaining research chimpanzees, available for studies during a public health emergency, will join the rest of the country's research chimpanzees in retirement, but some experts worry the move is shortsighted in the face of emerging zoonotic disease threats. "Is that ultimately in the public health interest?" said FBR President Frankie Trull, noting that Ebola vaccine development for wild apes also would be hindered by the chimps' retirement. NIH Director Francis Collins said research on other non-human primate species is still essential.
Medical Detection Dogs in the UK is testing dogs' ability to detect markers of cancer in human urine samples. The study exposes dogs to one sample from a cancer patient and samples from seven controls, including one from a matched-age patient who had signs of cancer but no malignancy. Dr. Sheryl Gabram of Emory University said translating dogs' ability to detect cancer to clinical use is difficult, but she sees the area of research as "promising."
Studies in mice and monkey models suggest a novel compound known as M4 muscarinic receptor positive allosteric modulator may reduce the uncontrolled movements associated with levodopa, a drug used to treat Parkinson's disease. The compound interacts with a brain cell receptor that plays a role in side effects from the drug, and it shows promise for mitigating a serious lifestyle issue for patients.
Dallas-based Walnut Hill Medical Center has reached Stage 6 in the HIMSS Analytics' EMR Adoption Model, making it one of 1,440 hospitals across the country that have reached that stage.
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