Public health departments may benefit from new tool in efforts to fight Zika | Ed Marx comments on using HIT to improve public health | CISO offers insights on how to address current IT security challenges
Researchers at the University of Maryland developed the Public Health Information Technology Maturity Index to help public health departments across the US overcome health IT barriers in their fight against the Zika outbreak. PHIT systems include EHRs, health information exchanges and other ancillary systems, and surveillance systems and other public health reporting data systems, and the index enables public health officials to evaluate their IT capabilities and address shortcomings.
Ed Marx comments on using HIT to improve public health
(Ed Marx, NYC HHC IT leadership team)
I believe public health will become increasingly central to effective national security policy. While our focus has been on naturally occurring outbreaks such as Ebola, West Nile virus and more recently, Zika, public health is central to our ability to keep our country safe from harm.
Having served in public health, I know we have significant work to do. While some organizations are already strong with public health reporting, most are not. Common reasons for deficiencies include the complexity and usability of the software, the inability of software to support certain unique public health reporting needs, as well as the lack of standards for effective data exchange. Sound familiar?
Researchers at the University of Maryland recently developed the Public Health Information Technology (PHIT) Maturity Index. This tool helps organizations better assess their IT capabilities and counter shortcomings. The value of the index will increase with the size of networks using it. Hopefully, there will be widespread adoption.
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Health care IT leaders could bolster their organizations' data security strategy by understanding their information security, risk framework and threats; identifying and prioritizing assets; establishing dashboards and continuous risk management and improvement processes; and balancing IT security with data access, University of Washington Medicine IT Services CISO Cris Ewell said at the Health IT Summit in Seattle. Health care CIOs and CISOs should also cooperate to effectively implement security measures, Ewell said.
Population health starts outside of hospitals. Social, environmental, and behavioral factors determine about 60% of a person's health status. To address these social factors, healthcare programs must integrate a community's non-medical data with clinical insights to yield positive results.
The population health management solutions market in the US is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23.90% between 2015 and 2023 and is forecast to be valued at $45.7 billion by 2023, up from $3.4 billion in 2014, according to a Transparency Market Research study. Meanwhile, a report from Mordor Intelligence showed the value of the global health care analytics market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 26.1% over the next five years, going from its current value of $9.96 billion to $31.75 billion.
Beginning in September, smaller health care organizations in the US will be able to subscribe to HITRUST CyberAid, a cybersecurity solution that will be launched by HITRUST and Children's Health. This solution will provide cyberthreat protection for physician practices with fewer than 75 employees and will help them evaluate and identify new and cost-effective cyberdefense solutions and processes.
Major EHR vendors such as athenahealth, eClinicalWorks, Epic, NextGen and Surescripts, along with health information exchanges such as Coordinated Care Oklahoma and HIETexas, are exchanging data with one another through the Carequality Interoperability Framework, Carequality announced. The framework allows the exchange of health information without the need to negotiate, said Epic's Eric Helsher.
Many EHRs "are designed for billing and not primarily for ease of use by those who provide care," physicians wrote in a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association. EHRs often generate an overload of large data that clinical staff finds burdensome and that creates alert fatigue, and they lack integration with technology that combines, monitors and visualizes information for users, the physicians wrote.
The CMS' proposed rule for bundled payments for cardiac care includes incentives aimed at encouraging post-acute-care providers and suppliers to invest in certified health IT infrastructure and waivers of telehealth and originating site and geographic site requirements. The incentives are an effort to address the lack of suitable technology for such payment approaches.
Hixny, an Albany, N.Y.-based health information exchange, has added Upstate Concierge Medicine as its newest member, marking the first time that a telemedicine provider has connected to the HIE. The participation of the telemedicine provider "adds another source of data that, until recently, our participants didn't have access to," said Hixny CEO Mark McKinney.
CHIME16 will mark a major milestone -- the 25th Fall CIO Forum. Throughout 2016 and leading into the fall forum, CHIME will commemorate 25 years of supporting CIOs and health IT leaders. Members and Foundation firms are encouraged to share their stories and memories and join the celebration. Share your reflections –- a photo, short message or a video. The material may be used on the CHIME website and at the CHIME16 Fall CIO Forum.
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I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear.