ONC Report Confirms Struggles on EHR Interoperability
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has confirmed the struggles of EHR interoperability. Even though standards and services have been established to support information sharing they acknowledge, “practice patterns have not changed to the point that healthcare providers share health information electronically across organization, vendor and geographic boundaries.”
According to the ONC as of June 2014, 75% of eligible professionals and 92% of eligible hospitals have already received federal government subsidies to start the adoption of electronic records.
Although there has been some progress with information sharing it still remains problematic. A consistent problem with information sharing is attempts to share post-acute-care and behavioral health providers, and long-term-care institutions, since those providers were not included in the federal EHR subsidy program.
Source: Modern Healthcare, 10/9/14
Patient Review of Medication Lists can Improve Accuracy of their EHRs
A new study published in eGems (Generating Evidence and Methods to Improve Patient Outcomes) found that patients are eager and willing to review their EHR data and when they provide feedback, EHRs are more accurate.
In the study, patients reviewed and provided feedback on their medication lists before a doctor’s visit. 30% of patients completed online feedback forms and among those, 89% requested changes. The requested changes were reviewed by a pharmacist and corrections were made 68% of the time.
The study shows that provider’s handling of HIPAA’s requirements regarding access and amendments will improve with patient feedback. Not only will the initiative help improve the accuracy of the patients’ medical records but will reveal potential overdosing. Researchers noted that the only way the program would work is if it can fit into the clinicians’ workflow and if both software and human involvement was required.
Source: FierceEMR, 10/6/14
Health Officials Tell Medical Technology Group to ‘Prove It’
During the annual Advanced Medical Technology Association conference in Chicago, medical-device manufacturers were challenged to prove their new technologies superiority and was it worth the cost. AdvaMed promoted an industry-funded white paper based on the responses of officials from nine unnamed health insurance companies about movement toward pay-for-performance and risk-based contracts.
Officials from five of the insurers said in the past three years they have become more selective about approving coverage for new technologies. The other four plan on demanding more evidence before covering products. They all agreed that costs were driving their organizations to explore new reimbursements.
Some health economists countered the white paper stating that the white paper may have overstated the concerns. Insurers agree with the health economist, adding that truly superior innovations would not be overlooked no matter the cost.
The main thing is that it’s not about the lowest price point it’s about proof.
Source: Modern Healthcare, 10/8/14
Fitbit Decides to Ignore Apple’s HealthKit for now, Promises to Think about it in the Future
Despite the rumors FitBit is not joining Apple’s HealthKit… for now. The company has chosen to sit back for now and “watch as it matures, looking for opportunities to improve the Fitbit experience.” Fitbit adds they are working on “other exciting projects which will be valuable to users.” We’ll have to wait to see what projects are in store for the future since no further details have been provided for now.
Despite a difficult start after being disabled following the iOS 8 release due to a bug, it has now been reinstated and many developers are integrating it into their apps.
Source: Digital Trends, 10/9/14
Why Future Mobile Medical Tools will Put Fitness Monitors, Heartbeat Apps to Shame
Innovations to improve health and early diagnosis have been focused on more so now than ever with the rapidly changing market. Many researchers are looking for wearable items to help track everything from breaths to pulse rates or even socks to help keep Alzheimer sufferers safe. mHealth innovations are putting a huge focus on diabetes treatment. There is now a wearable, automated bionic pancreas that outperforms traditional insulin pumps in a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Two other research teams are separately working on independent wearable biometric watch devises that taps changing patterns of scattered light for non-invasive glucose monitoring and pulse tracking.
As for now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first-ever wireless monitoring tool that has been proven to greatly reduce heart failure hospitalizations. The FDA also approved a software algorithm that detects atrial fibrillation on a mobile heart monitor.
Source: FierceMobile Healthcare, 10/4/14
Image of the Week: Laser technology to measure blood sugar has been developed, and will eliminate the need for the skin-prick test
Source: High 50