HHS Acting Deputy Secretary Dr. Mary Wakefield announced that the agency will distribute $100 million to 1,304 health centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the three freely associated states and the five US territories to support health IT adoption, health care quality improvements and other efforts to transition to patient-centered practice. The funds will come from the Community Health Center Fund of the Affordable Care Act.
CryptoTrap is TrapX Security's newly released deception technology that helps prevent cyberattacks and protect an organization's valuable data by having ransomware encrypt decoy data. The tool allows health care organizations to detect and manage threats before they affect data and networks.
Studies show that patients want to know when an adverse medical event has occurred, and physicians experience increased anxiety when they have restrictions about what they can discuss. MedStar Health has implemented a standardized program based on guidelines from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that features transparency in discussions with patients and a special "Go Team" of trained coaches, while Johns Hopkins University has been teaching its medical students how to disclose such incidents through role-playing exercises.
Twenty-nine out of 38 countries, including the US, have a more than 75% level of EHR adoption, and most countries reached at least 50%, according to a study in the Journal of the American Informatics Association. Researchers also found that only 12 of 36 countries participating in health information exchange had over 50% HIE, with the US reporting HIE between 50% and 74%.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health's prescription drug monitoring database is scheduled to go online today. Pharmacists have begun submitting information to the database for all controlled substances dispensed, and prescribers will be required to check the database for first-time prescriptions.
The US Patent and Trademark Office is challenging participants in its Cancer Moonshot Challenge to come up with ways to link data from the PTO's new Developer Hub portal to economy- and research grant-related data sets. The goal is to better use intellectual property data and combine it with other data to support cancer research and the development of new treatments, PTO Chief of Staff Vikrum Aiyer and Senior Adviser Thomas Beach wrote in a blog post.
Surgically grafting human neural stem cells near stroke-damaged tissue and infusing the protein 3K3A-APC triggered the formation of working neurons in mice, researchers reported in Nature Medicine. "If the therapy works in humans, it could markedly accelerate the recovery of these patients," said Jim Koenig, a program director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Testing in mice, rats, rabbits and nonhuman primates is an essential step in demonstrating the safety and efficacy of drugs before they are approved for human testing and use. Scientists are working on alternatives, such as organ-on-a-chip technology and microdosing in humans, but experts say viable replacements are years away from reality. "You can have all the data and computer modeling in the world, but it's not the same as being in a complex and complete living animal," said research consultant Malcolm France.
Cancer patients often report experiencing mental fogginess, and a new study in mice confirms that chemotherapy commonly used to treat breast cancer can interfere with cognitive function for months after the end of treatment. Chemotherapy-treated mice had persistently impaired learning and recall, a decline in proliferation of new hippocampal neurons and reduced survival of new neurons, the researchers reported in Behavioural Brain Research.
The HHS Office of Inspector General found four "significant" flaws in the CMS' security controls over its wireless networks after conducting a wireless penetration test on 13 of the agency's data centers and facilities last year. "[E]xploitation could have resulted in unauthorized access to and disclosure of personally identifiable information, as well as disruption of critical operations ... and could have compromised the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of CMS's data and systems," the OIG wrote.
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