Documenting clinical notes in EHRs at the point of care has improved the accessibility and legibility of clinical notes, but it has also increased health care provider burden, researchers reported in Pediatrics. Requiring that certain EHR fields contain information increases note length and decreases accuracy and effectiveness, and researchers say EHRs can be improved with better graphical presentation of numerical data and the capability for customizing patient summaries for different provider types and care settings.
CHIME joined five major health care organizations in establishing Patient ID Now, an advocacy group whose goal is to establish a national patient identifier program and enhance patient matching by encouraging lawmakers to repeal a portion of a law that blocks HHS and the House of Representatives from working together to develop a national system. "CHIME has called for removing the funding ban for many years; the pandemic only amplifies the need for a safe, efficient and accurate strategy for matching patients to their health care records," CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell said.
Health information of patients covered by the Central California Alliance for Health might have been compromised in an email breach. The Medicaid managed care plan for three California counties is notifying members but says information does not appear to have been accessed or misused.
An online dashboard created by the Pennsylvania Department of Health compiles weekly coronavirus testing statistics and shows county-by-county trends in confirmed cases, positive tests, hospitalization rates and the number of patients on ventilators. The dashboard functions as an early warning system enabling public health officials to take preventive action, said Health Secretary Rachel Levine.
Health information might be more helpful to Hispanic adults if it is tailored for ethnic subgroups and age groups, researchers reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Moreover, "we must also support community spaces, public health programs and social policies that can help people benefit from the information," said lead author Marlene Camacho-Rivera.
The NIH allocated $75 million during the next five years to increase the diversity of participants in the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network. Four clinical sites will aim to recruit 10,000 patients, with 35% of them from diverse populations, and six additional "enhanced diversity clinical sites" will seek about 15,000 patients, of which at least 75% will come from underrepresented populations, according to an NIH announcement.
A national advocacy group co-founded by AHIMA called Patient ID Now has set up a website describing the quality and safety benefits a national patient identification system would bring. AHIMA CEO Wylecia Wiggs Harris said it is "inspiring" to see health care organizations work together for change.
Hospitals that have linked their EHR systems to their state's prescription drug monitoring programs are less likely than those with separate PDMPs and EHRs to have high opioid prescribing rates, researchers reported in JAMA Network Open. Researchers found that prescribers at hospitals in counties with high opioid prescribing rates were less likely to have the capability to check PDMP data from within EHRs than those in counties with lower opioid prescribing rates.
An Erie, Pa., man says he was happy to cooperate with contact tracers when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 because he didn't want to put anyone else at risk, but Erie County contact tracers say not everyone has the same attitude. Public health officials say cooperating with contact tracers can help slow the spread of the disease and enable businesses to stay open, and people who will lose income if quarantined can get financial assistance through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Independent and chain pharmacies could play a key role in getting the nation's coronavirus testing capacity to the level needed to curb the pandemic, writes KPMG's Lawrence Kocot. He recommends expanding the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program, established after Hurricane Katrina, to expand COVID-19 testing and make use of real-time pharmacy claims processing systems to quickly adjudicate claims, provide services and automate data collection.
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