cybersecurity,Information Security at MEDITECH,Protected Health Information

Cybersecurity: 5 ways to keep your EHR data as safe as your patients

The hacking business has hit retail establishments, financial institutions, and now, more than ever, healthcare. It can get overwhelming when you see headlines of healthcare organizations getting attacked with ransomware, malware, viruses, loss of patient records, and all sorts of cybersecurity breaches.

The potential solutions and vendor options to protect your organization can cost a lot of money and can be overwhelmingly technical. What can you do? While it’s not possible to have absolutely perfect cybersecurity, here are 5 simple ways that can help you keep patient data safe.

1. Keep calm and assess the risk.

Don’t overreact. Doing an internal risk assessment is an essential step in looking at the likelihood and impact of potential threats. Identify what your organization has that’s valuable, vulnerable, and exposed. Make a list and then look at what probability or likelihood each has to an attack. If something were to happen, assess what financial, social, and economic impact it may have. For each risk area you identify, determine if you will mitigate (buy a control), transfer (buy cyber insurance for the gap), avoid (remove the vulnerability), or accept (perhaps it’s not cost effective to prevent).

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Applications,clinical trials,Sensors,Validic,wearables

4 key digital health technologies that are transforming clinical trials

Marc_Sebes_Headshot (2) (2)

Marc Sebes, Vice President of Product, Validic

For clinical trials, the road to results is often long and tedious – not to mention costly and resource intensive. Four digital health technologies are now poised to enhance and streamline the clinical trial process. Whether enabling more comprehensive monitoring, increasing the frequency of data collection, or growing the pool of potential participants, digital tools can help researchers reduce costs while improving efficiency and outcomes.

Wearable fitness devices

“Wearables” are small electronic devices that are light enough to be worn or carried. Through sophisticated technology (multi-axis accelerometers), they monitor things like steps, active minutes, heart rate, sleep and so on. In the near future, they will also provide measures and insights for stress levels and blood pressure.

There are two types of wearables found in clinical trials – consumer-grade and clinical-grade. Consumer-grade are the devices with which most people are familiar – Fitbit and Apple Watch, for example. They are relatively inexpensive and easy for people to use, so they tend to fit seamlessly into participants’ daily lives. That said, the data they generate is not yet considered clinically valid, and thus can only be used in an exploratory fashion during a clinical trial.

Conversely, researchers can employ specialized clinical-grade wearables, commonly known as actigraphs, to gather primary and secondary data. Although these devices resemble their consumer-grade counterparts, they have gone through the FDA 510(k) pathway and yielded validated data. As such, regulators consider them to be reliable enough to support safety and/or efficacy claims.

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ECM,Enterprise content management,Hyland,steering committee

The abundance of data: Content management best practices

Cathy Pic

Cathy Fuhrman, EMEA Healthcare Industry Manager, Hyland, creator of OnBase

The healthcare industry is inundated with content, whether it be financial, administrative or clinical in nature. The size and amount of content grows every day. With this growth comes the need to manage this content. Whether the organization is an integrated delivery network (IDN) or a single hospital, this is an incredible challenge.

Here are some best practices to help ensure the organization’s content is properly secured and accessible by the appropriate people.

Consistently review your content management practices

The initial deployment of software represents only a portion of the total investment of time and resources. However, it’s critical to continue to review your solution to ensure it is providing the biggest benefit to the organization. Once a solution is deployed, its initial usage should be reviewed at one month, six months, and one year. It is important to provide the departments meaningful reports of adoption while also sharing this information at the enterprise level.

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Acupera,Electronic Health Records,interoperability,iPhone,patient care,population health management command center,workflow

A command center approach to population health management

Imran Qureshi, Chief Technology Officer, Acupera

Imran Qureshi, Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer, Acupera

The iPhone changed the world, shifting power to the hands of consumers, enabling real-time access to information, mobile decision-making and new collaboration paradigms between individuals and businesses. Prior to the iPhone, cell phones had already permeated the lives of consumers, giving them mobile connections to other people and companies, but the iPhone was different; it extended engagements beyond phone calls and text messaging, and provided the world with an application ecosystem that helped them shop, entertain themselves, manage their personal finances and professional affairs – all from their palm. Similar to the way iOS gave consumers a new platform to run myriad useful applications to manage the inner-workings of their lives, population health operating systems are extending convenient, rich functionality to clinicians and health systems in need of care delivery applications and workflow guidance, at the point-of-care. These new operating systems will become the central nervous system for population health management strategies and command centers and will disrupt conventional methods of cooperation and workflow models.

A population health management command center

Given the interoperability challenges faced by health systems today, the concept of a command center, for the purpose of centralizing population health management, is appealing. This command center brings together groups of people who monitor and listen to patients and their health advocates, including clinicians, care coordinators and providers, helping them respond to inquiries, synthesize opinions to determine the best course of action, track patient episodes, patterns and practices and actively work patients through the care ecosystem – all from one platform.

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Clayton Christensen Institute,interoperability,medical devices,UDI,Unique Device Identification System

The jury is still out: FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) System

While other government regulations like ICD-10 and Meaningful Use get all the headlines, as well as all of the positive and negative attention, the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) System seems to be waiting in limbo like a defendant waiting for the jury to come back with it verdict. 

We decided to reach out to Spencer Nam, Senior Research Fellow, Health Care, Clayton Christensen Institute to ask him to share his thoughts about UDI and its future.

Jason Free: What are your thoughts on how the FDA’s UDI project is impacting the medical device industry? Do you believe it is on the right track? If not, what adjustments need to be made?

Spencer Nam2

Spencer Nam, Senior Research Fellow, Health Care, Clayton Christensen Institute

Spencer Nam: Although it is a bit early to tell exactly how the UDI project is impacting the medical device industry, certainly the manufacturers, particularly those manufacturing Class III devices, must be feeling some urgency to address the issue, as the date of the first set of compliances has already passed (September 24, 2014). Based on some of the surveys done by various consulting and independent research institutions, I estimate that only about 30-40 percent of all Class III device manufacturers have met the first compliance date, and the rest of the manufacturers have asked for a one-year extension. I expect a similar compliance rate will apply for the second compliance date (September 24, 2015).

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