CNBC reported that Aetna and Apple held private discussions with hospital chief medical information officers from across the US last week about providing free or discounted Apple Watches to Aetna insurance plan members to boost their diet tracking and encourage healthier lifestyles. The Apple Watch is currently available to 50,000 Aetna employees as part of the insurer's corporate wellness program.
We are hearing with increased regularity about the further engagement of consumer-oriented tech-based companies into health care. The report of the Apple partnership with Aetna to give members smartwatches to track wellness is the latest example. The digital health care era is upon us, and strong companies, providers and leaders will take hold of it and disrupt. Or be disrupted.
Skeptics say that the recent health care forays by juggernauts like Amazon, Google, Apple and others is a repeat of earlier attempts by these and similar companies that later walked away finding little success. I disagree. Those experiences were simply the natural evolution of disruption. The difference this time around is the rapid evolution of technology, consumerism and the acute need for higher value. Look for more announcements, adoption and progress. This is an exciting time to serve in leadership as we have an opportunity to take an active role in the digital disruption of health care and help shape the future.
Deloitte surveyed more than 370 professionals working in organizations operating in the medical device/internet of things ecosystem and found that 35.6% experienced a cybersecurity incident in the past year. The greatest cybersecurity challenge, cited by 30% of respondents, was the identification and minimization of potential risks in connected and legacy devices, and other challenges cited included monitoring and handling cybersecurity incidents, incorporating vulnerability management into medical device design, and a lack of collaboration on managing cyberthreats.
A new guidance on strengthening passwords published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests hospital IT personnel allow users to include space characters in their passwords and enable them to choose passwords that are as long as they want, making it easier for them to remember. NIST also recommends creating a blacklist of passwords that employees are prohibited to use, including any that have already been breached, dictionary words or those that are too obvious.
A Chilmark Research report that evaluated the top health IT companies named Cerner the best for its health data analytics-based EHR capabilities and gave Epic the highest marks for market execution, while eClinicalWorks received the lowest ranking in all areas. Researchers also analyzed the relationship between EHRs and health data analytics in the value-based care environment and found that because these companies are familiar with the CMS and private accountable care organizations, they act as an authority and help guide providers on EHR data analytics.
More than 800 ICD-10 code changes that were approved by the CMS and the CDC for fiscal 2017 will be implemented Oct. 1, according to a blog written by Jerris Heaton, marketing coordinator at ChartLogic. These code changes, which include 123 deleted codes, 273 revised codes and 419 added codes, will be in effect through the end of September 2018, according to Heaton.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin found a 6% increase in office visits among providers that have adopted electronic visit programs because many doctors feel the need to see telemedicine patients in person, causing them to spend an additional 45 minutes on those visits. The study, based on health care encounters between 90 providers and more than 140,000 patients over five years, said e-visit programs also reduced the number of new patients seen by providers each month by 15% and did not contribute any "observable improvement in patient health" between users and nonusers.
The Hill has been a busy place this summer, with many potential public policy changes that could affect your hospital or health system's IT programs. CHIME's public policy team updated the CHIME Policy Playbook to keep you informed and help you get involved. The document outlines CHIME's policy priorities and details how members can engage with Congress and key federal agencies. CHIME's D.C. team, Leslie Krigstein and Mari Savickis, is ready to assist if you want to become more active in public policy and advocacy.
The CHIME17 Fall CIO Forum will bring together more than 800 health IT executives from around the globe to discuss current issues and solutions in health care IT and tap into the latest training and tools in the industry. Don't miss keynote speakers Abraham Verghese and Don Tapscott at the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 event in San Antonio, Texas. Other presentations include patient identification, cybersecurity, data analytics, clinical workflow, public policy and cutting-edge innovations that are transforming health care.
The mode in which the inevitable comes to pass is through effort.