Technology can improve hospital operations and health care delivery, but some technologies such as quantum computing, virtual reality and robotic process automation may not be ready to live up to promises of better outcomes, according to Seattle Children's Hospital CIO Zafar Chaudry and Atlantic Health System CIO Sunil Dadlani. Robotic process automation and quantum computing have high implementation costs, and although virtual or augmented reality may have practical applications in medical education or certain surgical procedures, it falls short in other areas such as tactile experiences.
Nearly three-fourths of health system CEOs polled identified digital technology as their primary priority for capital allocation, but many said they don't have robust data for decision-making and some decisions feel rushed, according to Ernst & Young's 2021 Capital Allocation Strategy Survey. Articulating the desired digital experiences for patients, caregivers and health care professionals helps determine technology needs and guide capital allocation, says Mallory Caldwell, US health leader at EY.
Ransomware and malware attacks are becoming more common in the health care sector, and failure to strengthen cybersecurity may open the door to errors and expensive medical malpractice claims, according to Sergio Melgar, executive vice president and chief financial officer at UMass Memorial Health. Hiring a dedicated chief information security officer and recognizing that cybersecurity is a continuous process can protect hospitals from cyberattacks and subsequent lawsuits, Melgar says.
Collecting and coding maternal blood transfusion data could help improve clinical decision support and save lives, but many health institutions have stopped collecting it, writes AHIMA-approved ICD-10-CM/PCS trainer Kristi Pollard, the director of coding quality and education at Haugen Consulting Group. "Utilize clinical documentation improvement programs to ensure that the type of blood product transfused is documented, and identify defaults for other code components based on common practice," Pollard writes.
The North Dakota Department of Health turned off the comments option on its social media accounts to avoid propagating misinformation about COVID-19. Commenters had been discrediting valid guidance and arguing with one another about COVID-19, as well as sudden infant death syndrome and other health conditions, health department spokesperson Marie Moe said.
An ensemble forecast from the CDC predicts daily new COVID-19 case totals will continue to drop by about 20% over the next three weeks. As of Oct. 24, the US seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases had fallen by 57% since Sept. 1, and case rates are decreasing in every US region.
The number of patients at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who saw their test results before their clinician did rose dramatically after the medical center began making results available immediately through its patient portal. The median number of patient-initiated inbox messages within six hours of reviewing a test result nearly doubled after the transition, according to a research letter in JAMA Network Open, suggesting that compliance with data access rules may affect patient well-being and add to clinical workloads.
Ensuring the correlation between organ dysfunction and sepsis is clearly documented can prevent claim denials and improve the likelihood that denials will be reversed, writes Alba Kuqi, an ACDIS Leadership Council member and an AHIMA Foundation Research Network volunteer. Clinical documentation integrity professionals should look for consistent physician documentation establishing evidence for sepsis diagnoses, monitoring and treatment, Kuqi writes.
Nearly every employee at hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies has access to records containing proprietary data, financial information or patient personal health information, according to a report from Varonis. "Enforcing least privilege is a basic step every organization can take to protect data from theft and misuse while ensuring compliance with regulations," the report says.
Alicia Auman, director of patient access at KSB Hospital in Illinois, brought registration staff at outlying clinics under the patient access department's umbrella and helped staff understand how patient registration activities affect access to care and the revenue cycle. Collecting information over the phone during pre-registration reduced check-in times, while automated benefits verification technology raised the initial accuracy rate to 95% and reduced the access denial rate, Auman says.
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