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February 14, 2013
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News for professionals interested in health care information technology

  Top Story 
  • WEDI unveils new membership program for U.S., state agencies
    All federal and state agencies, together with their associated departments, are now eligible to join the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange under its newly launched free membership program. "The free government agency membership will provide greater opportunities for the states to benefit from industry best practices and will offer them a greater voice in helping to shape the future of health IT policy," said WEDI President and CEO Devin Jopp. Healthcare IT News (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Technology Trends 
  • Changes to expect in the health care industry
    Changes are coming to the health care industry as the system focuses more on prevention rather than treatment. Wellness programs and incentives, transparency and new technology such as telemedicine are expected to change the way the industry works and lower health care costs. Author and expert David Houle said, "What's demanded and expected in the rest of the American economy is now coming to health care. There will be price competition, price transparency and accountability." Fox Business (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • IOM: Tracking system needed to curb sales of fake drugs
    The Institute of Medicine has called for a national drug-tracking system following an FDA warning on counterfeit Avastin. Such a system might utilize barcodes or electronic tags to confirm the authenticity of a medication and the ingredients used during its production, an expert said. FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg lauded the report. CBS News/The Associated Press (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Records compromised in data breaches down by 77% in 2012
    The number of patient records involved in data breaches decreased by 77% last year, according to a study by Redspin. However, large data breaches were up by 21.5%, and Redspin warned providers not to be complacent about securing patient data, since the number of people affected is still high. Healthcare IT News (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Data thefts spark patient lawsuit against health system, hospital
    A class-action lawsuit was filed by 12 patients against North Shore University Hospital and North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System over data thefts from 2010 to 2012 that compromised patient information including Social Security numbers, birth dates and medical histories. The patients allege the providers didn't tell hundreds of affected individuals that their information had been stolen by members of an identity theft ring, even as the perpetrators used the information for transactions such as opening credit lines and bank accounts as they went around the country. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  EHRs and MU 
  • Wellness effort making New Ulm, Minn., residents healthier
    Halfway through a 10-year "Heart of New Ulm" project to improve the Minnesota town's cardiovascular health, data show lower rates of high blood pressure and cholesterol, a stable obesity rate and a small drop in weight across the population. The project has broad community support, and data is tracked using EMRs at New Ulm Medical Center, where more than 90% of the town's 13,000 residents receive medical care. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (2/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fitbit enhances data sharing capability of activity tracking devices
    Fitbit has upgraded its activity monitoring devices, including Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip, to allow them to wirelessly sync with Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphones, which use Bluetooth 4.0. Syncing of data, which will take less than a minute, will enable users to share health and wellness-related data such as the number of stairs climbed, calories burned and steps taken. (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Advancing Care With IT 
  • Using AI models may boost patient outcomes, curb costs
    The use of artificial intelligence algorithms in health care resulted in significantly better patient outcomes at a lower cost, researchers at Indiana University found. "The framework here easily outperforms the current treatment-as-usual, case-rate/fee-for-service models of health care," said researcher Casey C. Bennett. Computerworld (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study finds HIEs place little focus on workforce needs
    A study by AHIMA and HIMSS finds health information exchanges put a great emphasis on governance but little focus on staffing demands. Of the 35 HIE groups surveyed, 86% had 25 people or fewer on staff, and only 9% had a staff of at least 51 people. "Deployment and effective use of information technology is complex, challenging work requiring skilled staff," HIMSS official Carla Smith said. Healthcare Informatics online (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  WEDI News 
  • WEDI Omnibus Virtual Event – This Friday, Feb. 15!
    It's not too late to register for this week's FREE WEDI Virtual Event, "The Omnibus is Here! Survival Guide for the New Privacy & Security Regulations," on Friday, Feb. 15, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. The online event offers detailed sessions delivered by industry experts that address the revisions to the privacy and security rules, including enforcement and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). Sessions include:
    • Level Setting - The Omnibus
    • Uses and Disclosures, and
    • Breach and Risk Assessment.
    View the agenda and list of speakers on the event information page. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Mistakes are part of the dues that one pays for a full life."
--Sophia Loren,
Italian actress

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