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Making Sense of Meaningful Use


Medical Experts Emphasize Role of Health IT in Patient Safety

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:11

During a hearing yesterday of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, medical experts said health IT tools, such as data tracking and patient monitoring tools, are key to reducing patient harm. The hearing was inspired by a recent report that found as many as 400,000 instances of patient deaths each year are associated with medical errors. Healthcare IT News et al.

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Majority of Mass. Health Groups Use an EHR System, Study Finds

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 13:00

A new study from the Massachusetts eHealth Institute finds that nearly 80% of health care groups in the state use an electronic health record system, including 96% of primary care providers. Most of the groups that do not currently use an EHR system said they plan to adopt one within the next two years. Healthcare IT News et al.

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Study: Automated Screening Improves Clinical Trial Patient Matching

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:35

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association finds that compared with a manual process, automated eligibility screening to match patients with clinical trials reduces workload and increases overall efficiency. FierceEMR, JAMIA.

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Duke Medicine Initiative Integrates EHR, Geographic Data

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 12:16

Duke Medicine is working on an initiative to integrate its electronic health records data with a geographic information system to study and predict population health trends. The automated system aggregates near-exact geographical information in real-time. Health Data Management.

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Health IT Business News Roundup for the Week of July 18, 2014

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 07:57

CMS has awarded a contract worth a total of $7 billion to 15 companies and academic organizations to develop and test research and payment and service delivery models. Apple and IBM are partnering to develop and market business apps for Apple’s iPhones and iPads using IBM’s data and analytics systems.

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NIH Moving Forward With Big Data Initiative, Officials Say

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 13:11

An article written by NIH officials outlines the agency’s Big Data to Knowledge initiative, which aims to maximize the value of increasingly complex and large biomedical data sets. The initiative’s early efforts include calling on industry stakeholders to conduct short-term trials to find the best practices for indexing existing datasets. Health IT Analytics et al.

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Health IT Funding Doubled in Q2 2014, Reaching $1.8B, Report Finds

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 13:00

A Mercom Capital Group report finds that investments in the health IT industry doubled between the first and second quarters of 2014. The industry raised $1.8 billion in Q2, marking its first billion-dollar fiscal quarter. Healthcare IT News.

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CMS Posts HealthCare.gov Bid; Maryland To Fix Exchange Glitches

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:53

The federal government has posted a notice to hire an IT vendor to oversee HealthCare.gov after its contract with Accenture expires. Meanwhile, Maryland officials say they will resolve glitches in the technology they have adopted from Connecticut’s state exchange prior to launch. National Journal, McClatchy/Government Technology.

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Survey: 80% of Physicians Use EHRs, Many Favor VA’s System

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:45

A new Medscape survey of 18,500 physicians names doctors’ top electronic health record vendors across several performance areas. The survey shows 80% of respondents use an EHR system and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ VA-CPRS system received the highest score. EHR Intelligence, Medscape Medical News.

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CDC Tests Tablet-Based Disease Detection System at World Cup

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Thu, 07/17/2014 - 12:16

CDC teamed up with Brazilian Ministry of Health officials to test a tablet-based disease detection system designed to identify potential outbreaks during the World Cup. The tablet uses CDC’s Epi Info software, which allows epidemiologists deployed in the field to collect and stream various data to a cloud computer storage in real time. GCN, CDC’s “Our Global Voices.”

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Secure Messaging Associated With More In-Office Visits, Study Finds

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:50

A new study finds that a 10% increase in patients with diabetes’ use of secure messaging to communicate with their physicians was associated with a slight increase in-person office visits. The authors note that the findings dispel the theory that alternative forms of communication could replace in-office visits. FierceHealthIT, Medscape.

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Use of Personal Health Data by Third Parties Poses Privacy Concerns

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:38

A new report by the California HealthCare Foundation finds that third parties can legally access and analyze some personal health data without individuals’ knowledge or consent. Such practices could present privacy concerns because of firms’ profit-focused intentions, HIPAA restrictions and the potential re-identification of de-identified data. Healthcare IT News et al.

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Report: Infection Surveillance, Lab Outreach Tools Poised for Growth

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:35

A new HIMSS Analytics report identifies infection surveillance systems, laboratory outreach services and patient acuity applications as IT tools poised for market growth among hospitals. The report states that such tools will be of value to hospitals as they seek to improve care quality. FierceHealthIT et al.

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Google, Novartis Partner To Develop ‘Smart’ Contact Lens Technology

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:22

Yesterday, Google agreed to license its “smart” lens technology to Novartis to develop contact and intraocular lenses that use embedded sensors and electronics to help consumers monitor their glucose levels or repair their eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. Wall Street Journal et al.

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OIG: 14 States Failed To Submit Anti-Fraud Information to Database

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:21

An HHS Office of Inspector General report finds that 14 states failed to submit the required Medicaid beneficiary data to a national database under the Medicaid Interstate Match program. The database looks for duplicate Social Security numbers that could indicate benefits claims were filed in multiple states. Washington Times.

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Poll: More Than 75% of Patients Want To Use Digital Health Services

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:13

A new survey by McKinsey finds that more than 75% of patients want to use digital health services, but the technology’s low quality and failure to meet patients’ needs often hinders adoption. Analysts also found that mobile health technology is “not the single critical factor” driving digital health services. MobiHealthNews, McKinsey blog post.

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EHR Group Urges CMS, ONC To Release Final Meaningful Use Rule

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:13

The HIMSS EHR Association in a letter sent last week urged the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and CMS to quickly release a final rule on its proposed changes to the meaningful use program. The group also urged the agencies to delay the start of Stage 3 until at least 2018. Healthcare IT News, EHRA letter. 

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VA Officials Differ on Success of Backlog Claims Reduction at Hearing

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:07

Yesterday, lawmakers on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee heard testimony from federal officials about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ backlog of disability claims. While VA Undersecretary for Benefits Allison Hickey touted reductions in the agency’s processing times for claims, VA Assistant Inspector General Linda Halliday said she did not trust the agency’s statistics. Washington Post et al.

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Lawmakers, Groups Urge CMS To Change EHR Hardship Rules

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 13:02

A group of 89 House lawmakers and the College of American Pathologists are urging CMS to tweak the meaningful use program to avoid payment cuts for pathologists. Meanwhile, the American College of Cardiology is seeking to extend the hardship exemption deadline for Stage 2 of the program. The Hill, CQ HealthBeat.

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ONC Data Show Significant Growth in Physician E-Prescribing Rates

Making Sense of Meaningful Use - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 12:57

New data from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT show that two federal incentive programs have led to significant growth in electronic prescribing. According to the data, the percentage of U.S. doctors who e-prescribe has increased from 7% in 2008 to 70% this year. FierceHealthIT et al.

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