Incorporating real-world data in analytics can help health care providers identify therapeutic benefits and risks that aren't stated in evidence-based recommendations, determine more effective practices within a localized region, recognize lifestyle changes that may benefit patients and produce patient-specific treatment options, writes Dr. Ruben Nazario of Zynx Health. "By leveraging insights from all available evidence, physicians are empowered to drive superior clinical outcomes and better population health," Nazario writes.
Health care is the second-largest US industry but the biggest target for hackers, with the industry spending only half as much as others on cybersecurity. This calls for immediate action, writes Bob Ackerman, beginning with speeding up software patching and doing a more thorough job of it.
Chief information security officers should relate cybersecurity to employees and end users on a personal level to increase their understanding of concepts and ensure adherence to best practices, Christiana Care Health System CISO Anahi Santiago said. Cyberthreats continue to rise, so CISOs should also talk to young people about career opportunities in information security to address the talent shortage, Santiago said.
There are nearly 350,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the US, according to the Commerce Department, and experts predict 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs will remain open globally by 2021. People with strong backgrounds in analytics, data science, project management, law, policy or the military could have many of the skills needed to pursue a career in cybersecurity, says DHR International's Pete Metzger.
Boston Children's Hospital was an early user of Amazon Alexa and is testing it in clinical pilot projects, including a surgical checklist, a voice-conducted organ verification process for transplant teams and an ICU application allowing staff to quickly determine which practitioners are assigned to a specific bed. Devin Nadar of the hospital's Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator said 70% of interactions with the ICU pilot produced what the physician wanted.
A HealthMine survey of almost 800 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries found 46% did not know what telehealth and virtual care services were covered by their health plans. The CMS is expanding telehealth payments in Medicare, and HealthMine CEO Bryce Williams said it's the right time for health plans to add telehealth options and educate members about their coverage.
Health insurers in the US could save $7 billion in 18 months by using artificial intelligence to automate some administrative functions, according to an Accenture study. Accenture's Richard Birhanzel said AI would augment and not replace human work.
Alaska health care providers see the Federal Communications Commission as a partner in efforts to increase patient access to telehealth services, because the agency provides subsidies to help pay high internet bills. Subsidy levels hit the maximum cap over the past couple of years as telehealth increased, so the FCC voted to increase funding from $400 million to $571 million.
The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a $300,000 grant to awareness-tracker maker HabitAware to test its device's effectiveness in treating trichotillomania, a disorder linked to impulse-control issues such as hair pulling, nail biting and thumb sucking. HabitAware's wrist-worn device detects micro-gestures that can indicate those behaviors and alerts the user by vibrating.
Seven electronic clinical quality measures were removed from the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program under the CMS' final rule for the 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System because the costs outweighed the benefits of their continued use. Among the eCQMs that were removed include assessed for rehabilitation, hearing screening prior to hospital discharge and stroke education.
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