According to a study in Neurology, quality of care, quality of life and burden on caregivers were similar for patients with Parkinson's disease who engaged in in-person doctor visits versus those who received virtual visits with a neurologist; however, each virtual visit saved patients an average of nearly 100 miles of driving and more than two hours. Researchers also found that 86% of neurologists and 97% of patients expressed satisfaction with virtual visits, with 55% of patients preferring virtual visits over in-person visits.
The latest Protenus Breach Barometer report revealed that the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights received 36 data breach reports from the health care industry last month, affecting 575,142 patient records in 29 of the incidents. For the first time this year, a vast majority of the breaches were attributed to hacking, affecting more than 516,000 records, followed by just eight incidents caused by insiders, five of which were attributed to insider misconduct.
Dr. Jeffrey Cleveland, a pediatrician at Carolinas HealthCare System, is among a small number of physicians who say that using EHRs made them better doctors, noting that a Cerner EHR installed in 2008 immediately improved his ability to deliver patient care. EHRs allow doctors to code visits quickly and enable them to display patient records on a large screen, making it easier to advise and engage patients, according to Dr. James Legan, an internal medicine physician in Great Falls, Mont.
Physicians using Allscripts EHRs will be able to help their patients connect with clinical trials under a partnership with Elligo Health Research. "Through our partnership with Allscripts, health care providers can identify patients for potential clinical research opportunities directly through their EHR," Elligo Health Research President Chad Moore said, adding that the EHR system will allow patients to gain access to new treatments "from the comfort of their own physician's office."
Health care organizations must consider cybersecurity costs for mobile devices in their IT budget, choose appropriate mobile tools, train employees regularly and ensure all mobile devices remain HIPAA-compliant, writes Elizabeth Snell. She reviews four key considerations for an innovative, secure mobile strategy in health care.
The ONC is holding two stakeholder forums focused on health data exchange, the first of which is likely to occur next month, and intends to release a draft document on the trusted exchange framework and common agreement by the end of this year, says Genevieve Morris, ONC principal deputy national coordinator. Interoperability and the ability to exchange health data are vital as health care providers transition from a fee-for-service to a value-based payment system, Morris said.
Penn Medicine's centralized leadership of its health system and medical school optimized the institution's ability to deploy a common platform and implement precision medicine, says Chief Information Officer Michael Restuccia. The PennOmics database warehouses registry, clinical trial and other data; and caregivers at any Penn Medicine location can get access to data from the PennChart EMR system, which is deployed across inpatient, ambulatory and home care settings, Restuccia notes.
The FDA's Digital Health Innovation Action Plan is a shift in the agency's approach to digital health technologies, emphasizing postmarket instead of premarket review, and oversight by independent, non-government entities, write law professors Nathan Cortez, Nicolas Terry and Glenn Cohen. Questions remain about mechanisms for implementing the plan, how evidence will be generated prior to market introduction and the effectiveness of third-party certification, the professors write.
Many companies have had difficulties with cybersecurity because they have under-resourced the problem and aren't sure how to handle it properly, says Centurylink Chief Security Officer Dave Mahon. Companies must map IT assets against corporate strategies, including business objectives, as a first step to protecting against cyberthreats, Mahon says.
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