Physicians from various specialties participating in a survey led by the American Medical Association collectively gave EHRs a failing grade on the System Usability Scale and said EHRs are a source of burnout, researchers reported in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Google's search engine was ranked "A" in a larger survey using the same scale; microwave ovens, automated teller machines and Amazon were ranked "B"; Microsoft Word, DVRs and GPS trackers were ranked "C"; and Microsoft Excel received an "F," though its numerical score was higher than EHRs' score.
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Delta Dental of Arizona initiated an independent investigation into a July phishing attack and has notified subscribers that their personal data might have been compromised. The dental insurer says an employee responded to a phishing attack that gave the attacker access to the employee's email account.
US hospital systems differ in their approach to sharing patients' health information with Google and other technology giants, which might be due to differences in hospitals' and states' privacy standards, but it could also stem from a lack of modern standards in HIPAA, according to health information specialists and ethics experts including Harvard University professor John Halamka. "Regulation is a road map for how to appropriately use data and ensure the data owners, users, and generators all understand the rules of the road," Halamka said.
Apple is funding three large medical research studies involving the company's iPhones, Watches and apps, including a women's health study led by researchers at Harvard University. These "virtual studies" potentially expand access to participation by enabling the collection of data from patients across a broad geographic area, and Apple has acquired its own health and wellness startups and added medical researchers.
Erin Martucci wore virtual reality headsets while giving birth to her two youngest children at Greater Hudson Valley Health System in Middletown, N.Y., and she says the VR technology took her mind off of labor and pain and enabled an easier delivery. "VR, to me, represents potentially one other method for helping manage pain that would be non-pharmacological for women interested in it," said Dr. Melissa Wong, a maternal fetal medicine physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, who led a yearlong study on the use of VR during labor.
Ambulatory surgery centers, physician offices and other health care sites will be subject to appropriate use criteria for advanced diagnostic imaging services beginning Jan. 1. Requirements include consulting an electronic clinical decision support tool before ordering advanced diagnostic imaging for patients covered by Medicare Part B, and the CMS will begin denying claims in 2021 if the CDS tool has not been consulted.
Google is far from the only technology company collecting and storing personal data and protected health information, and the collection of such data is legal as long as patients have signed a common HIPAA form, says Cynthia Burghard, a research director at IDC. "When you go to a health care provider's office as a patient, you sign a HIPAA release form, which allows the institutions to use your data for medical research or improved care management; so there is patient consent there," Burghard says.
Artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly important role in health care by analyzing medical images, easing the exchange of medical expertise, automating laborious tasks and predicting when and how patients get sick, but the technology also comes with risks such as low data integrity, privacy issues and bias, writes W. Nicholson Price II, a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School. The FDA doesn't oversee all health care AI systems, so Price suggests that health systems and professional organizations bolster oversight efforts to ensure system quality.
Deloitte and Amazon Web Services are offering customers the ability to find and use cloud-based third-party health care data. Deloitte is integrating its ConvergeHEALTH Miner with the AWS Data Exchange to create a health care data system for biomedical research, clinical trials, insights into real-world data, population health and reimbursement.
The FDA approved the use of Ultromics' artificial intelligence-based system for analyzing echocardiograms and calculating left ventricular ejection fraction to detect cardiovascular disease. The FDA also approved Hologic's AI-powered breast tomosynthesis system.
In "Are We There Yet?" AHIMA Associate Editor Mary Butler takes a look at the progress being made to support value-based care with health care data. The article examines whether meaningful use and its successor, MACRA, are effectively using data generated by electronic systems to improve patient care and drive down costs. Read the story in the digital edition of the November-December issue of the Journal of AHIMA, available online now.
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