News & Updates

A recent study found that nearly 80% of veterans are willing to share their personal health records with someone outside of their health system. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, included surveys from 18,000 patients enrolled in the Veterans Affairs’ electronic record system called MyHealtheVet.

Johns Hopkins announced it will partner with Lockheed Martin to create an updated, more efficient ICU, according to The Baltimore Sun. The hospital’s Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality wants to create a single system in which all of its ICU machines communicate with each other. Lockheed is known for its defense business, but it has provided health information technology services to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services.

About 2.2 million patients worldwide use a home monitoring service based on equipment with integrated connectivity, according to a report from Berg Insight. The analyst firm reports business intelligence to the telecom industry. It predicted that the number of home monitoring systems will reach 4.9 million connections globally by the end of 2016.

EchoBase announced the debut of its new mobile interface for clinical systems now protected by Gazzang, a company the facilitates secure cloud data storage. EchoBase provides access to patient medical records from tablets and smartphones, and Gazzang provides transparent data encryption for Linux, MySQL and other open source applications and services without requiring changes to the existing database or application code.

Eighteen Philadelphia hospitals achieved a combined 7% decrease in hospital readmission rates, according to a report by The Health Care Improvement Foundation. The progress is being attributed to their participation in the PAVE project which emphasizes the use of electronic health records and related health information technology tools. The 7% reduction represents more than 400 patients who avoided being rehospitalized and more than $3.8 million in savings on unnecessary health care spending in one quarter.

Health care organizations’ use of mobile devices is putting patient data at risk as more employees use the devices to collect, store and transmit person health information, according to a study from the Ponemon Institute, a research firm that advises organizations on data security and privacy. Eighty-one percent of survey respondents said their employees are using mobile devices for work, but 49 percent said their organizations aren’t doing anything to protect the transmitted information.

Two physician groups successfully used the Greater Houston Health Information Exchange (GHHIE) to exchange clinical messages via the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)’s Direct Project Protocol service. The GHHIE is allows for information exchange among healthcare providers in the Greater Houston area, a 14-county region. The GHHIE will begin offering services to participating healthcare providers this month.

Many health insurers say cost and time constraints will be a large burden as they update their IT infrastructure over the next few years, according to a recent poll. The poll comes from HealthEdge, a developer of management software for the health insurers, and it found that 35% of respondents said cost is their top concern with implementing the changes. Also, only 22% of insurers said they were prepared to support ICD-10, which insurers will need to switch to by October 2013.

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