A phishing scam compromised the email account of an employee at the Community Memorial Health System in Ventura, Calif., on June 22, potentially exposing the personal information of 959 patients, including their names, medical record numbers, and, in some cases, Social Security numbers. A forensic consultant said it is not likely that the information was accessed, but the hospital will offer identity protection and credit-monitoring services to affected individuals.
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There will be new types of cyberattacks against medical devices such as insulin pumps, which could be shut down by hackers if a ransom is not paid, said Michael Daniel, president of the Cyber Threat Alliance, at the Healthcare Security Forum. Daniel also warned about trends toward greater collateral damage involving hospitals, along with data corruption, which is a "more difficult problem to solve because getting back to ground truth is incredibly difficult."
The "Get it. Check it. Use it." campaign launched last week by HHS' Office for Civil Rights stresses the importance of HIPAA and giving patients the right to access and acquire copies of their health data. The three pillars of the campaign focus on requesting copies of health information, reviewing it for accuracy and using it to improve patient-doctor communications.
Data on people who purchased insurance via Affordable Care Act exchanges were not compromised in an Equifax breach involving the personal data of 143 million people, said a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services. Equifax has a $329 million contract to verify incomes and other information of people seeking coverage through the marketplaces.
A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine and conducted by the American Medical Association and the University of Wisconsin found that primary care physicians spent almost six hours of their typical 11.4-hour workday on data entry and other EHR system tasks. The AMA suggested improving EHR usability by focusing on priorities such as promoting team-based care and care coordination, facilitating mobile and digital patient engagement, and reducing cognitive workload.
In a collaboration that aims to predict a patient's cancer risk and detect diseases earlier, Ambry Genetics' tests and genomic data will be integrated into the EHR system of NorthShore University HealthSystem in the Chicago area. NorthShore's system uses an algorithm to scan EHR data to help identify appropriate tests.
Apple will conduct a study in partnership with American Well and researchers from Stanford University to assess the ability of its Apple Watch 3 to detect abnormal heart rhythms and predict heart conditions. The watch now comes with an updated fitness-focused heart rate monitor, which is designed to collect data including abnormal jumps in heart rate while at rest and post-workout recovery heart rate.
Increased use of technology can help reduce the high suicide rate among military veterans through faster and more thorough delivery and tracking of care, writes David LaBorde, a physician and CEO of Iconic Data. He recommends a software-powered platform to track care, identify events and automatically alert a suicide prevention team about non-compliance or other issues.