Category Archives: healthcare data security

How Does Healthcare IT Re-Invent Itself Amidst a Serious Skilled Labor Shortage?

Would you be surprised to learn that the US Department of Labor expects jobs for medical records and health information technicians to jump 21 percent from 2010 to 2020? And while that may be a good thing for the general economy, it’s a real nightmare for HIT executives who have no option other than to play the new game –by its evolving set of rules– yet can’t find the players to field a competitive team. Despite the fact that hospitals are spending tens of millions upgrading their IT systems, “there’s nobody to work on them” says Steve Ullman, director of health [...]

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Can Unique Device Identification Improve the Patient Experience?

Healthcare Matters would like to welcome the following guest post from Rob Leibrandt. Rob is the Senior Market Manager at Camcode, makers of UDI Labels for Medical Equipment. Unique Device Identification (UDI) is critically important in the healthcare system. In July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a rule (http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2011-N-0090-0001) that would phase in, by device classes, requirements for medical devices to carry a unique device identifier. The benefits to implementing such a requirement include more accurate reporting and tracking of adverse events, more rapid identification of problems with specific products, better control over product recalls and improved patient [...]

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Healthcare in the Cloud: Forecast Still Hazy

Interest Growing Among Payers and Providers, But Concerns Remain Healthcare Matters would like to thank David McCament for his following guest post. David is a director with ISG: In today’s healthcare environment, relatively immature technology organizations face growing pressure to address mounting business and operational challenges.  As a result, many providers are conflicted between reluctance to enter uncharted technological territory on the one hand, and determination to aggressively pursue new initiatives on the other. This dynamic is particularly evident with regard to cloud-based services, as healthcare providers have been relatively slow to embrace cloud-based services.  While many analysts and observers [...]

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Texting Your Doctor? There’s An App For That

Last year Dr. Michael Nusbaum introduced a mobile application in an effort to make scheduling a medical appointment as easy as sending a Facebook message to a friend, and as safe as sharing your medical information in person at the doctor’s office. The New Jersey-based surgeon said he designed MedXCom ”to bring doctor-patient communication to the twenty-first century” by sharing medical records, prescriptions and treatments on smartphones. The app is one of hundreds that promote health and health care, but it’s one of the first designed to meet the patient privacy standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. With [...]

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AMA and McKesson Team-Up to Improve Molecular Diagnostic Testing

The American Medical Association (AMA) and McKesson have entered into a licensing relationship to offer the industry a more consistent and transparent way to identify and track molecular diagnostic (MDx) tests. Under the agreement, McKesson Z-Code™ Identifiers will be grouped and indexed with corresponding molecular pathology codes in the AMA’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) code set. With identifiers and codes working in tandem to create a comprehensive reference for identifying and tracking MDx tests, the healthcare industry can better understand the growth in this area to support advanced diagnostics innovation. Today, over 3,000 molecular and genetic diagnostics are marketed for clinical use. According to Frost & Sullivan, MDx is the [...]

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Cloud Computing Putting Nursing Informatics Specialization in High Demand

We know that cloud computing has the potential to revolutionize health care administration by allowing providers to access information from a patient’s medical file at anytime from anywhere and that should mean that patients will receive better and more efficient quality care. “Everything in health care today is so dependent on computers and cloud computing is the repository for all of these transactions,” says Suzanne Richins, DHA, MBA, FACHE, RN, chair, health information management and health care administration at American Sentinel University.  “Cloud computing benefits nurses at point of care because no matter where the patient has a diagnostic test, [...]

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PwC’s Top 10 Technology Trends for Business — “Same as it ever was…”

Taken from the Talking Heads song, “Once in a Lifetime,” I found myself thinking and singing the lyric “same as it ever was” while reading this year’s top technology trends. Frankly, there really isn’t much new to it, unless “gamification” strikes you a little more suddenly than it did me. In its 2013 Top 10 Technology Trends for Business report released late yesterday, PwC US revealed its opinions about the most significant trends in technology –the ones that are reshaping strategies, business models, and will drive enterprise investments this year. “Our top trends report shows that a diverse and complex [...]

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HIPPA Covered Entities Get New Directive: “Omnibus” Final Rule Released by HHS

Late yesterday, Health and Human Services (HHS) released the long anticipated “final rule” for HIPPA covered entities. Aptly called the “omnibus” privacy and security rule, it is comprehensive. A quick review: The Privacy Rule provides federal protections for personal health information and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, it is balanced in that it permits the disclosure of personal health information when needed for patient care and other important purposes. The Security Rule specifies a series of administrative, physical, and technical safeguards for covered entities to use to assure the confidentiality, integrity, and [...]

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Big Fines, Small Breaches: HIPPA Turning it Up

I’m part of a conspicuous minority who thinks the huge fines and settlements being paid that are related to HIPPA violations  –not necessarily data breaches– are over the top. It’s one big fine after one small breach, and more often than not, they’re honest mistakes being made by good employees who haven’t been properly trained. Although it’s fair to point out that HIPPA has never been known for draconian practice, it’s also time to recognize that those days appear to be numbered. Most recently, he Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) entered a settlement with [...]

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Omnicell “Wins” Renewal with Partners Health

Omnicell is a well-recognized provider of sophisticated automation technologies supporting medication management. Pyxis remains the market leader in this expanding niche, but with more than 2500 hospital-customers now, Omnicell is coming on strong. Omnicell’s automated hardware/software systems for medication dispensing include solutions that span the continuum –from the point of hospital entry through the central pharmacy, nursing unit, operating room, and patient bedside –-as well as in long-term care sites. Partners HealthCare just announced its decision to continue its relationship with Omnicell. It’s not only welcomed news at Omnicell, but according to spokespeople at Partners, “it is the most recent example [...]

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CEOs Jump on the Social Media Bandwagon

For you supply chain professionals out there who suffer from “collaborative fatigue,” I’ve got some bad news for you. Not only has your CEO discovered that newly defining word, but he/she has fallen for an entirely new context in which to promote it. Yes, technology continues to transform healthcare in many ways, but CEOs surveyed by IBM seemed to have fallen hard for applications that will enable doctors, nurses, payers and patients to be more communicative –and collaborative. IBM recently surveyed about 1,700 CEOs and about 60 of them lead hospitals, insurers and other types of medical practice groups. The [...]

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Oracle’s Ellison was Against it Before He was For It

The topic? What difference does it make? It surely doesn’t seem to matter to Oracle’s enigmatic CEO. If Oracle isn’t in control of the message or leading with the technology, it’s all crap, regardless of what it is, according to Larry Ellison. That is, of course, until Oracle has it. Then, Larry switches from his befuddled mode to industry sage. First, his big bet on Java, then numerous high profile interviews debunking cloud computing and then his personal pox on multi-tenant database architectures (i.e. in a single “container,” discrete memory and operating system processes are securely allocated to each database [...]

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Medical Data Blackmail –A Teaching Moment

A recent hack on a small medical practice provides instructive example of the risks involved with electronic medical records. The Surgeons of Lake County, a medical facility in the northern Illinois suburb of Libertyville, revealed last month that hackers had deeply penetrated its computer network and took control of a server where e-mails and electronic medical records were stored. Unlike the embarrassing and careless mistakes that are typically associated with healthcare data security breaches, this time around the hackers not only targeted this particular physician practice, but they made no attempt to keep their crime a secret. According to Bloomberg [...]

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Big Data Services –File System, DBMS and Analytics Vendors

Big data is being hyped everywhere these days –and for a change, healthcare is looking a lot more like an early adopter than a market laggard. Maybe because social media is considered such a big potential boon for healthcare (?) or is it more about the big new networks of care delivery being formed and the level of analytic “discovery” that is going to need to take place? Of course, the answer is: “All of the above.” Just how big is “big data?” Well, no one has yet proffered a definitive answer, but it’s safe to assume that when scaling [...]

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HPG Recognizes CDW Healthcare For IT Services Excellence

CDW Healthcare, a leading provider of technology solutions for healthcare, today announced that it has again been named a winner of a HealthTrust Vendor Excellence Award. HealthTrust Purchasing Group, L.P. (HPG), supports nearly 1,400 not-for-profit and for-profit acute care facilities, as well as 10,600 ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices and alternate care sites, presents the awards each year. By the way, HealthTrust members select the Excellence Award winners and this is two years in a row for CDW. Working with more than 15,000 healthcare organizations nationwide, CDW Healthcare has customers ranging from small, rural providers to large, integrated delivery networks. [...]

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What’s More Important: Your Privacy or Your Life?

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has collected a cool $7.5 million in administrative fines –levied against hospitals– since the founding of its “safety program” back in 2007. According to CDPH records, that’s 235 penalties assessed against 135 California hospitals over the last several years. In fact, just last week, six Bay Area hospitals were stung again, including the Kaiser Permanente hospitals in San Francisco and South San Francisco, St. Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center, both in San Francisco, Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto and Menlo Park Surgical Hospital. Kaiser San Francisco was slapped with a [...]

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