Health IT Issues that Deserve a Second Read – August 2015

One of the ways that HITECH Answers is different from other media sites is the sense of community. The thought leaders in our community are good about sharing their thought on the issues of today. We publish at least eleven guest posts a week now, on our three sites. In case you missed some, here are the top ten read and shared guest posts of the month. You can also read previous month’s Top Ten Lists. Thank you for contributing and reading.

Nine Types of Usability Problems with Electronic Health Systems
By Bennett Lauber, Chief Experience Officer, The Usability People
Twitter: @UsabilityPeople

There is no shortage of complaints about the usability of Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs). More and more evidence is emerging regarding the lack of EHR usability. Speaking at the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference & Exhibition, Michael S. Barr, MD, MBA, FACP, of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) warned that: “Satisfaction and usability ratings for certified electronic health records (EHRs) have decreased since 2010 among clinicians across a range of indicators.” Continue reading on…

What Closing the HIPAA Gaps Means for the Future of Healthcare Privacy
By Kirk J Nahra, Partner and Chair of Privacy and Data Security Practice at Wiley Rein, LLP.
Twitter: @KirkJNahrawork

By now, most people have felt the effects of the HIPAA Privacy Rule (from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). HIPAA has set the primary standard for the privacy of healthcare information in the United States since the rule went into effect in 2003. It’s an important rule that creates significant baseline privacy protections for healthcare information across the country. Continue reading on…

James Bond: An Inspiration for Health IT and the Connected Car
By Jonathon Dreyer, Director of Cloud and Mobile Solutions Marketing for Nuance Communications
Twitter: @NuanceInc

Inspiration for innovation can be found everywhere—even in the pages of a book. James Bond’s gadgets and sleek cars have been essential to outsmarting villains and wowing audiences for decades, but this cool technology might not be as far off as you think. I’ll admit it: I’m a James Bond fan. And one of the things I love most is the obligatory scene in every film where Q does a run-down of all the gadgets with which Bond will be outfitted—including the upgrades to his always-impressive car. Continue reading on…

Advancing Precision Medicine by Enabling a Collaborative Informatics Community
By Taha A. Kass-Hout, M.D., M.S., and David Litwack, Ph.D.

FDA plays an integral role in President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which foresees the day when an individual’s medical care will be tailored in part based on their unique characteristics and genetic make-up. Yet while more than 80 million genetic variants have been found in the human genome, we don’t understand the role that most of these variants play in health or disease. Achieving the President’s vision requires working collaboratively to ensure the accuracy of genetic tests in detecting and interpreting genetic variants. We are working towards that goal by developing an informatics community and supporting platform we call precisionFDA. Continue reading on…

Bridging the Gap Between Personal Health Records and EHRs
By Cora Alisuag, RN, MN, MA, CFP, President & CEO, CORAnet Solutions, Inc.

It has only been about two generations since traveling medicine shows were common forums for medical information. Phony research and medical claims were used to back up the sale of all kinds of dubious medicines. Potential patients had no real method to determine what was true or false, let alone know what their real medical issues were. Continue reading on…

A Billion Here..And the New DOD EHR Contract
By William A. Hyman, Professor Emeritus, Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University

Everett Dirkson, the Illinois Senator, did not actually say “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money”, although he did say he wished he had. The billions, or $4.3 billion to be exact, that I have been thinking about is the Department of Defense two year contract with Cerner, Accenture Federal and Leidos to provide an EHR to 8 hospitals in the first year and eventually 55 hospitals and 600 clinics. This is the first phase of a $9 billion 10 year deal. I was comforted to learn that this is a 20% savings compared to the previously estimated $11 billion. The also-rans for this award were Epic and Allscripts, and their respective partners. Continue reading on…

Ignoring HIPAA Law Costly for Hospital
By Mike Semel
Twitter: @SemelConsulting

Once you become aware of a HIPAA data breach it is not a good idea to sweep it under the rug, especially when that is breaking the law and anyone who finds out can report you. Just because they are free and easy doesn’t mean you should use just any Internet file sharing service for storing patient information. Nor should you let former employees store patient data on personally-owned laptops and flash drives. These lessons can all be learned from the most recent HIPAA penalty reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Continue reading on…

Changing the Culture of Healthcare
By Dinesh Sheth, Founder and CEO, Green Circle Health
Twitter: @GreenCircleH

Why is it that patients are slow to take charge of their health records? Some articles suggest that management of health information should be a patient-driven initiative and the points that are used to propagate this idea are not without merit. However, the primary reason is a lack of a collaborative effort among patients and providers. It is the responsibility of healthcare professionals – who bear more accountability than ever – to make a concerted effort to drive this change. And, since the technology is available to support this effort, the first step for providers is to embrace their influential role in educating patients on the importance of managing life-long health and wellness. Continue reading on…

Put Down the Phone, and Other Communication Lessons from Healthcare Professionals
By Terry Edwards, President and CEO, PerfectServe
Twitter: @perfectserveCEO

Nowadays, there are a dozen different ways we can communicate with one another. We can stop by in-person and talk face-to-face, or pick up the phone and chat. We can use Facebook to ‘Like’ life updates, email an interesting article, text to say we’re running late or use Instagram to share a memory. Some of these modes of communication have been around forever, but for others, we’re still continuing to teach each other the rules of the road and associated etiquette. Continue reading on…

ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard has Doctors, Statisticians and Journalists Weighing In
By Sarianne Gruber
Twitter: @subtleimpact

ProPublica, a New York City based non-profit newsroom, focuses on stories as they describe have a “moral force”. Last month, Olga Pierce and Marshall Allen, reporters who cover health care and patient safety issues, released to the public the Surgeon Scorecard. The database is searchable by location and state, by hospital and by surgeon for a selected procedure, which drills down to each surgeon’s performance. Patients considering an elective surgery on any of these eight elective procedures: knee replacement, hip replacement, gallbladder removal (laparoscopic), lumbar spinal fusion posterior column, lumbar spinal fusion anterior column, prostate resection, prostate removal or cervical (neck) spinal fusion, can use this new searchable online database to find out how surgeons and hospitals across the nation perform based on complication rates. Continue reading on…

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