Health care organizations should coordinate better care and reduce consumer burden by improving their processes for patient-data access measures, according to the ONC's "Improving the Health Records Request Process for Patients" report. The agency recommends allowing patients to request and receive records through their patient portal or another electronic means; improving usability with e-verification, plain language instructions and status updates; and encouraging patients to use portals by promoting easy services such as online appointment-scheduling.
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Officials from Peachtree Neurological Clinic in Atlanta reported that, while investigating a recent ransomware incident, they discovered a hacker had accessed their electronic health-records system between February 2016 to May 2017. Data that were possibly compromised include patients' names, medical data, health insurance data, prescriptions, addresses, phone numbers, driver's licenses and Social Security numbers.
Managing processes without metrics, being unaware of how key performance indicators translate to processes and failure to develop sensible KPIs based on organizational goals are among the most common errors by health care organizations in using analytics to bolster their operations, said Will Israel of the SSI Group. Health care providers are also likely to have nonobjective comparisons in data visualizations and insufficient granular data to perform root-cause analysis, Israel said.
A survey of primary care physicians and health plan executives found the number who said the health care system has achieved value-based status increased from 25% in 2016 to 29% this year, according to a Quest Diagnostics and Inovalon report. The survey found 53% of health plan executives said physicians had the tools needed to achieve value-based care, compared with 43% of physicians, and researchers said the difference may reflect differing views on electronic health records.
The CMS' proposed Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System rule for 2018 is "poorly designed" and does not "propose relief" from the Meaningful Use Stage 3 reporting requirements, which could "do real damage to patients' access to care," according to the American Hospital Association. "The mandate for all hospitals and critical access hospitals to switch to new EHR functionality and report for a full year is unattainable and is at odds with the meaningful use flexibility proposed for eligible clinicians in the Quality Payment Program proposed rule," wrote AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels.
Using Best Practice Advisory electronic health record alerts led to a fivefold increase in the number of baby boomers screened for hepatitis C in a primary care setting, researchers reported in Hepatology. They said the EHR-based initiative is a low-cost, effective way to improve HCV screening, diagnosis and access to care.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order instructing the Department of Health and Senior Services to set up a statewide prescription-drug monitoring database in partnership with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts and other private-sector entities. The database will be used to spot inappropriate prescribing, dispensing or use of controlled substances, Greitens said.
AliveCor will integrate its artificial intelligence technology with the Mayo Clinic's patented algorithms under a partnership that seeks to create tools for Long QT Syndrome screening and prevention of sudden cardiac death. Under the collaboration, screening techniques and methods will be developed for AliveCor's Kardia Mobile device to facilitate new preventive medicine approaches for patients with LQTS.