Nearly 60% of respondents to an Updox survey of non-hospital-based health care providers said they use four or more IT products for managing daily functions, and 43% said they want to unify IT platforms and use fewer vendors. Respondents voiced displeasure with costs, poor design, a lack of features and a lack of interoperability.
The Department of Veterans Affairs introduced a central portal called VA Launchpad where veterans and their caregivers can access a variety of apps using a single, secure login. The apps enable veterans to review and share their EHRs, schedule appointments, get prescriptions refilled, communicate with VA health care providers and perform other tasks.
Nebraska's statewide health information exchange is streamlining health care providers' access to patient information through Secure Exchange Solutions' cloud-based platform. Secure access to and the transmission of clinical data will enhance provider workflow and improve care coordination and patient monitoring, Nebraska Health Information Initiative CEO Jaime Bland said in a news release.
Software problems continue to result in medical device recalls, according to Stericycle Expert Solutions, and while cybersecurity is becoming a primary consideration during development of new products, companies with legacy products struggle to implement cybersecurity controls based on more modern technology, says Yarmela Pavlovic, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells. Health systems have begun expecting medical device makers to build in product security and are adding security requirements to purchasing contracts, says Steve Abrahamson, senior director of product security at GE Healthcare.
The number of data breaches in the first half of this year was 54% higher than the same period last year, and the number of records exposed is 30% lower than over the same period of 2017, though that statistic might change in the second half of the year, according to Risk Based Security. The health care services industry is the most strongly affected by data breaches, followed by retail, finance and insurance, public administration, and IT, according to the report.
Accurate patient identification is key to reducing medical errors and improving coordination of care, but the US is one of the only developed nations without a system of unique patient identifiers, writes Lumeon CEO Robbie Hughes. AHIMA and other stakeholders support efforts to establish a universal patient identifier system, and if those efforts are successful, decisions will need to be made regarding standards, management, and patient control and logistical qualifications, Hughes writes.
Engineers, physicians and scientists working with Babylon Health have developed an artificial intelligence system that matches symptoms to possible causes and suggests treatment plans, creates health reports and insights based on lifestyle and family medical history, and pairs the services with a secure app offering round-the-clock access to health care professionals through video or audio conferencing. The company operates in the UK and Rwanda and plans to expand into the US, China and the Middle East.
Highmark Health is expanding its VITAL Innovation program providing clinical data and economic insights to developers of health technologies. The service helps determine whether a product is economically viable and provides feedback from patients and clinicians using the technology.
A virtual reality program reduced pain signals in hospitalized patients, and those with the most severe pain gained the most relief, according to a study published in PLOS One. Patients were given access to 21 virtual experiences during three 10-minute sessions a day over two days, and they experienced greater pain relief than patients who watched guided relaxation programs on TV.
The Missouri Health Connection and the Kansas Health Information Network agreed to share health data to better coordinate care throughout the region. The agreement is intended to improve data exchange among health care providers, insurers and other industry stakeholders and to reduce treatment delays and duplication of care.