Experts: Drop in health data's price on black market could raise cyberattacks | What HIPAA-covered entities should know about data offshoring | Report weighs analytics for helping HCPs assess device quality
October 13, 2016
News for professionals interested in health care information technology
The health care industry could see an increase in the number of ransomware attacks due to a drop in the price of electronic records on the dark web, from up to $100 last year to $20 to $50 this year, experts warned. "There's been a long trend of identity theft, and that's still going to be a predominant threat as health care files become less profitable over time," said the World Privacy Forum's Pam Dixon.
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HIPAA-covered entities should specify in contracts with vendors their policy regarding the use of offshore resources because business associates are not bound by law to inform their clients when they keep protected health information in an offshore location, said Erin Whaley, a partner at Troutman Sanders. Providers should also ensure that there are policies or procedures in place to protect PHI, know how audits will be conducted and how often, and learn if offshore activities can be ended immediately in the event of a data breach, health care attorneys Allen Briskin and Gerry Hinkley advised.
A report released by the Case for Quality, a partnership between the Medical Device Innovation Consortium and the FDA, discusses whether analytics can be used to assess medical device quality to assist with clinical decision-making. The authors tested the idea using data on defibrillator and knee implants, bringing together data from public and private sources to assess domains such as safety, efficacy and patient experience, and they found the dashboards they generated were helpful, but there were concerns about data bias.
Citing compatibility and technical issues, Pentagon officials have postponed activation of the $4.3 billion MHS GENESIS EHR system until early next year, with the initial rollout planned for a single base. The system will go live in February at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington state, and additional locations will be connected to the system in June.
The National Quality Forum announced the winners of its Innovation Challenge, which sought ideas to improve quality measures within the health care industry. The winners include Charlotta Lindval of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who proposed the use of EHR data in developing quality measures in palliative surgery; Tracy Spinks of MD Anderson Cancer Center, who suggested a new, standardized, streamlined method to implement patient-reported outcome measure sets in EHRs; and S. Mani Marashi of the Henry Ford Health System, who described a pilot program that reported hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism events in real-time using EHR data.
Cleveland Clinic researchers who analyzed four wearable devices reported in JAMA Cardiology that heart rate data provided by the trackers was incorrect from 10% to 20% of the time. Researcher Marc Gillinov said healthy people do not get any benefit from knowing their heart rate on a day-to-day basis.
The Employee Hypertension Program at the University of Pennsylvania Health System uses a cloud-based platform to help workers with uncontrolled high blood pressure get screening, a treatment plan and follow-up that includes a tracking app. Health coach and registered nurse Nicole McHenry sets employees up with the app and then follows them over time to help them lower their blood pressure and achieve goals that are important to them.
Health IT plays a crucial role in the CDC's response to the Zika virus outbreak in the US, said James Daniel, public health coordinator at the ONC Office of Policy. Several HIT-related initiatives are in progress, including integrating Zika order sets with HIT products, communicating with HIT vendors, creating algorithms and standardizing vocabulary sets, according to Daniel.