The National Institute of Standards and Technology's draft version 1.1 of its Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity was issued Tuesday, clarifying terms, introducing ways to measure cybersecurity methods and giving details on how to manage cyber supply-chain risks. The updated framework is voluntary, flexibly adapted and fully compatible with version 1.0 of the framework.
Cybersecurity in the health care industry "has to be prioritized," outgoing HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell advised Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who was nominated to succeed her. Burwell also stressed the importance of recognizing the threat that hackers bring to health care organizations' systems.
The Department of Veterans Affairs is developing a proof of concept for its Digital Health Platform to demonstrate how disparate data from commercial EHRs, the VA, the military, apps, wearables and devices can be integrated and made available to health care providers in real time. Apervita has been tapped to develop the proof of concept, which aims to demonstrate how care quality, efficiency and flexibility for veterans can be boosted through real-time analytics.
A two-year agreement between the FDA and IBM Watson Health will use blockchain technology to exchange health information from the internet of things, mobile devices and wearables, and data from EMRs, genomics and clinical trials, with an initial focus on data related to oncology. The partnership will also explore new methods to use large volumes of data in the health care and biomedical industries.
Physicians preparing for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act not only need to be knowledgeable of the new rules but also have a thorough understanding of their EHR systems, and EHR vendors should share in this responsibility, says Robert Tennant, the Medical Group Management Association's director of health IT policy. Pat Wise, vice president of health care information systems for HIMSS, urges vendors to help their clients ensure the accuracy of their EHR data and automatic calculations before MACRA implementation.
Mobile EHRs can help maximize physicians' time by giving them the ability to work on the go and helping them keep up with administrative tasks such as prescription refills throughout the day, said MBA HealthGroup director Amelia Coleman. "[Mobile] can really be a vehicle for making a practice more efficient, if you're being smart about the applications you're choosing," Coleman said.
University of California at Los Angeles Health transitioned its blood administration processes to purely electronic bar code scanning from its previous hybrid electronic-paper format, which resulted in significant efficiencies. The initiative included two phases: the bar coding project and an embedded clinical decision support project, which led to an 18% decrease in red blood cell transfusion orders.
Use of a computerized checklist for trauma patients eliminated gender bias in blood clot prevention at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and similar decision support tools might reduce unconscious gender bias in treatment protocols for other conditions, writes Jessica Nordell, who is working on a book about implicit bias. Checklists overcome gender bias by disaggregating decisions into their constituent parts and reducing reliance on human judgment, Nordell writes.