Why health care leaders must step up to protect patient data | Ed Marx comments on data security in health care | CIOs can leverage data to make company strategy
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December 11, 2014
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Why health care leaders must step up to protect patient data
Health care leaders should lead the way in addressing rising data security threats, CynergisTek CEO Mac McMillan said at a meeting sponsored by CHIME and the Institute for Health Technology Transformation. He cited 12 serious data breaches that occurred this year and the danger posed by foreign entities. McMillan said he is optimistic because policy leaders are taking threats seriously and providers who steal data are being punished. McMillan urged patient care organizations to invest in technology and experienced professionals. Healthcare Informatics online (12/9)
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Ed Marx comments on data security in health care
Ed Marx, SVP and CIO, Texas Health Resources
Ed Marx, SVP and CIO, Texas Health Resources
Data security: We just can't escape the discussion -- and for good reason. We read about security breaches daily, and a high percentage of them are in health care. The penalties are getting steeper and, as Mac McMillian shared, even providers are facing incarceration for their actions. The focus on health care is real and legitimate. We have a deep and wide crevasse to navigate in fulfilling the implicit promise we all have made to our patients: We will protect your most personal data.

I have dealt with many crevasses climbing glaciers and snow-covered peaks. The challenge with crevasses is you don't see them until they are right in front of you, or often, until you step into them. Some organizations have small crevasses that can be easily avoided or negotiated. Others have large crevasses that will take time to address. Awareness is the key, as is resiliency -- the ability to recognize the danger and quickly remediate. What increases the risk tenfold is that most crevasses are often hidden beneath a light layer of snow. Visually, everything appears stable, but once you step forward, your support collapses and your ability to effectively respond is compromised.

We must focus more attention and investment on finding the security crevasses in health care. Even if the trail ahead appears stable and there are tracks to follow, we can no longer assume that the weight of our burdens will not break through the surface. Even the most skilled mountain climbers have met unexpected fates when they took their eyes off the fundamentals.
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For Healthcare IT, It’s All About the ROI
Consumer technology influences the way we interact with information and healthcare solutions must accommodate the way we work. Who wants to push a cart around a 10-acre campus when he or she could carry an iPad instead? More importantly, what patient wants to repeatedly produce his or her insurance information when visiting different departments within the same healthcare organization? Discover what is most important to consider to get the most out of healthcare IT.

Strategy & Leadership
CIOs can leverage data to make company strategy
Chief information officers have an opportunity to take a more strategic role at companies because of the power of data analytics, says Ram Charan. Technical abilities are nice, Charan says, but when dealing with other C-suite executives, "[t]he skill is describing in detail, accurately, the decision-making." The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/CIO Journal blog (12/8)
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10 ways to inspire creativity in your staff.
Fostering creative business practices isn't as hard as it seems and can lead to smart solutions. Use these ten techniques to help inspire and encourage creativity in your staff. Read the article and learn 10 ways to get the creative juices flowing.

Technology Spotlight Sponsored By
Report predicts 4% market growth for global radiology PACS
A MicroMarket Monitor report predicted the global radiology PACS market will see 4% compound annual growth through 2019, with 47.9% of the sector's 2014 sales generated in North America, the largest global radiology market. Some 90% of North American sales were generated by the U.S. AuntMinnie.com (free registration) (12/9)
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HHS awards $36M grant to further advance quality of care
More than $36 million has been awarded by HHS to over 1,000 health care centers in the U.S. The funding, which recognizes efforts to advance patient care, including use of EHRs, will be used to finance further infrastructure, systems and overall patient care improvement. The Hill (12/9)
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How episodes of care help cut costs and improve quality.
Health care costs are unsustainably high and health outcomes are suboptimal. To curb these trends, the incentive and movement toward value-based care is gaining momentum. This paper describes the advanced analytics that can assist health care organizations balance cost reduction and quality improvement through analysis of episodes of care.

Business Tips and Advice
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Management & Operation
Archive to bring all Cleveland Clinic medical images together
The Cleveland Clinic is moving medical images of all types into a searchable, indexed archive that can be accessed via EHRs. The move will improve access to data from 78 units for point-of-care ultrasound and 38 cameras, as well as surgical images, and the archive will even provide a home for patient smartphone images, said the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Cheryl Petersilge. Health Data Management (12/10)
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HL7 launches Argonaut Project to boost FHIR-based application
The Argonaut Project was launched by Health Level Seven International to expand EHR and health data sharing through the use of a Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources-based application programming interface and core data services specification. The initiative has received support from several vendors, including athenahealth, Cerner and Epic, and from providers including the Mayo Clinic and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Health Data Management (12/5)
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Regulatory & Legislative
EHR incentive payments reach $16.6B
The CMS awarded $16.6 billion in electronic health record incentive payments to qualified hospitals and clinicians. An official said 11,478 eligible professionals and 840 hospitals have attested to stage 2 meaningful use as of November. With the release of the report, CHIME said that officials should shorten the attestation period for 2015 as the latest MU data reflected the challenges faced by the industry in meeting stage 2 MU requirements. Clinical Innovation + Technology online (12/9)
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Market Focus
Walgreens taps MDLIVE for telehealth app launch
A partnership was formed between Walgreens and MDLIVE to design and launch a telemedicine mobile application for iOS and Android devices that will allow Walgreens customers to consult with a doctor at any time of the day. The service will initially be available in Michigan and California, but the companies plan to expand it to more states and markets later. Healthcare Informatics online (12/8)
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Using Analytics to Optimize Service Line Performance
The Department of Surgery at the University of Michigan Health System is rolling out a new system of reports and dashboards that integrates all its diverse cost and quality metrics into a single, consistent view of performance. Statistical analytics built into the solution use procedure-specific risk adjustment models. This session, scheduled for noon ET Dec. 16, will highlight the many benefits of this application, and how one organization has reduced costs, improved reporting and minimized the impact to IT resources. Get more information.
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CHIME launches organizations for CTOs and CAOs in health care
CHIME has launched two new organizations to serve the education and professional development needs of health care executives in senior technology and application roles. The Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Technology (AEHIT) and the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Applications (AEHIA) are the first professional organizations representing chief technology officers (CTOs) and chief application officers (CAOs) in the health care setting. For more information on these organizations, visit www.aehit.org and www.aehia.org.
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A painting that is well-composed is half-finished."
-- Pierre Bonnard,
French painter
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