Cybersecurity insurance agency Beazley analyzed about 2,500 data breaches in the US and several other countries in 2017 and found that health care was the top industry hit by ransomware, accounting for 45% of the total number of cyberattacks, followed by finance and professional services at 12% each. Meanwhile, health care accounted for 28% of W-2 email phishing scams in 2017, putting it again at the top of the list of industries affected by such incidents.
Randy McCleese, CIO at Methodist Hospital in Kentucky and recipient of the 2017 John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Year award from CHIME and HIMSS, said he focused on providing stability to his organization when he assumed the leadership role and wants to work to address caregivers' needs in providing patient care. He also says Methodist is encouraging increased involvement from physician group management to identify possible changes to improve the physical environment of patient flow.
CHIME and other health IT organizations expressed concern over the ONC's Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement draft's aggressive timeline, implementation details and alignment with other provisions under the 21st Century Cures Act. CHIME called for another comment period before the agreement is finalized, which ONC officials already dismissed, as well as careful selection of recognized coordinating entity members who will operate the framework.
Health care organizations can be successful in implementing systemwide telemedicine by being aware of the benefits of telehealth, allowing the IT department to spearhead the review of potential vendors, and encouraging the involvement of clinical, IT and business teams, writes Avizia co-founder and CEO Mike Baird. They should also conduct regular meetings between vendors and IT teams to address user issues early on, as well as establish success criteria and clear metrics to monitor improvement, Baird writes.
CHIME sent a letter to Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., recommending support for the CDC's mobile app-supported guidelines and e-prescribing for controlled substances under the Merit-Based Incentive System, better data interoperability and improved EHR integration with prescription drug monitoring programs to address the opioid crisis. CHIME also urged allowing federal regulators to determine standards for improving patient identification to boost data sharing between Medicare, Medicaid and PDMPs.
Ctenocephalides felis, or the domestic cat flea, may be developing resistance to commonly used insecticides, but until now, progress on a vaccine has been limited. Researchers recently used transcriptomics and proteomics data from C. felis to identify protective recombinant antigens, developed a subcutaneous vaccine and reported in Parasites & Vectors that the antigens could be used alone or in combination in vaccines to control cat fleas.
The ONC has recognized the National Committee for Quality Assurance eMeasure testing laboratory as an authorized testing lab, allowing it to test health IT products for the agency's Health IT Certification Program. NCQA's testing method for electronic clinical quality measures was approved as an alternative to the ONC's current testing procedure.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that the adoption of EHR systems did not reduce administrative costs, which may be attributed to differing price schedules and contracts between hospitals, health plans and payers. The study, which looked at billing at a North Carolina academic health care system, indicates that "significant investments in certified health information technology have not reduced high billing costs in the United States," researchers wrote.
If adopted, Washington state's Substitute Senate Bill 5411/HB 1473 would limit the use of telehealth eye care technologies while requiring costlier and unneeded examinations, the Federal Trade Commission wrote in a letter to Republican state Rep. Paul Graves. The bill would prevent the state's ophthalmologists and optometrists from dispensing prescriptions for glasses or contact lenses without first performing an eye exam in person, which the FTC says would unfairly limit access to eye care services.
Anthropology professor Trudy Turner's study of monkeys began with population genetics studies that led to a larger study of simian immunodeficiency virus, which is similar to HIV but does not cause similarly devastating symptoms. Researchers have build a substantial biobank, and the international study might lead to insights about HIV as well as other diseases that affect human and nonhuman primates.
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