IBM Watson Health is forming research partnerships with Brigham and Women's Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center using artificial intelligence to improve EHR usability to bolster precision medicine, patient safety and health care equity.
InterSystems and SAS are working with the North Carolina Department of Information Technology to improve data-sharing capabilities of the state's health information exchange, NC HealthConnex. More than 150 different EHR systems are in use in the state, and NC HealthConnex allows the exchange of treatment summaries, medication lists, lab results, diagnoses and other data.
The ONC proposed requiring developers participating in its Health IT Certification Program to meet HL7's Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources Release 2 standards, while allowing developers to comply with more recent versions of standards and implementation specifications approved by the National Coordinator.
HIMSS polled 269 health IT leaders in the US and found that security, cybersecurity and privacy are the top concerns among hospital IT leaders, followed by improving quality outcomes; clinician engagement and clinical informatics; process improvement, workflow and change management; and care coordination and culture of care. Researchers also found that the expanding role of information security leaders on hospital IT leadership teams could create internal tensions.
Combining analytics with customized healthcare models will lead to a new performance-based payment model that could reduce healthcare costs, according to this piece. Healthcare data is expected to grow 35 percent annually, driven in part by increased EHR capabilities.
Physician practices should be careful when agreeing to fix wages or not hire employees from competitors, writes Peter J. Levitas, a partner at Arnold & Porter law firm. "Federal antitrust agencies have been actively investigating and prosecuting firms that enter into illegal wage-fixing and no-poach agreements, including in the health care industry," he writes.
Purchasing computer equipment may be cheaper at a big-box store but poses a greater security risk, writes John Nye, senior director of cybersecurity research and communications at CynergisTek. Investing in equipment from a business-class or enterprise-class supplier can save physician practices from problems in the future.
In comments related to possible HIPAA rule changes as requested by the HHS and the Office for Civil Rights, CHIME and other health organizations recommended that organizations be sheltered from HIPAA enforcement actions in the event of a health data breach provided that they are in compliance with certain data security best practices. CHIME also shared other groups' views that HHS' rules under 42 CFR Part 2 should be more closely aligned with HIPAA privacy regulations to make information exchange less complex.
An independent data safety monitory board looked at a post-marketing study of Pfizer's rheumatoid arthritis treatment Xeljanz and observed that patients on a twice-daily, 10 mg dose had higher rates of pulmonary embolism and death than a comparison group taking a 5 mg dose twice a day. Pfizer says it is taking steps to transition patients taking the 10 mg dose to a 5 mg dose.
The amount of methylation in ribosomal DNA accurately reflects biological age in dogs, flies and people, researchers reported in Genome Research. This biological clock also shows how activities such as periodic fasting affect biological age and could serve as a marker to gauge individual age and response to lifestyle and environmental variables in humans and other species, the researchers wrote.
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