HIT groups praise passage of MEDTECH Act by Senate Committee

The MEDTECH Act was one of seven bills passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee this week to further medical innovation.

Homer Chin: Vendor support for OpenNotes a 'necessary but insufficient condition' [Q&A]

The OpenNotes project, which aims to better engage patients by allowing them real-time access to their doctor's clinical notes, continues to evolve and expand. Such expansion, however, has not always been easy, and many efforts remain works in progress, according to Homer Chin, a physician champion for the Northwest OpenNotes Consortium and former associate medical director for medical informatics at Kaiser Permanente Northwest.

Inappropriate use of 'notes' field in e-prescribing can cause patient harm

Doctors' use of the free-text "Notes" field in e-prescriptions to communicate additional prescription-related information to pharmacists can create confusion and even patient harm, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

OIG: HHS shows improvement on security program, but needs to do more

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made improvements last year in compliance with the Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA), but needs to do more, according to a report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Cyberattacks increase in sophistication, breaches go 'unchecked,' survey finds

Cyberattacks throughout all industries are growing more sophisticated and the number of breaches at organizations "continues to go unchecked," according to a survey of cybersecurity managers and practitioners.

University of Cincinnati uses 'device-agnostic' telestroke program to connect docs to ER

Through a telestroke and image exchange platform, the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center is connecting doctors in the emergency room to physicians at other hospitals.

CommonWell's Jitin Asnaani: There's no excuse for providers not getting data

Since its inception in the spring of 2013, the ComonWell Health Alliance, which enables data exchange for vendor members at healthcare organizations nationwide, has grown to more than 40 members, including founding members Cerner, Allscripts, athenahealth, McKesson, Greenway Health, Evident and Sunquest. While Executive Director Jitin Asnaani is optimistic for the potential of future growth, he's also realistic about the alliance's expectations going forward.

Verily looks to create 'Google of human systems biology'

Verily, Google's life sciences arm, is looking to create a library that uses machine-learning technology to help medical professionals search for medical information.

Feedback loops on patient health data key to engagement

Feedback loops connecting patients and their doctors are key to engaging and helping consumers, according to an article at NEJM Catalyst.

Proposed framework focuses on electronic healthcare predictive analytic applications

A proposed framework focusing on development and application of electronic healthcare predictive analytic applications has been published this month in eGEMs (Generating Evidence & Methods to improve patient outcomes).

E-consults improve communication between clinicians, specialists

When it comes to improving access to specialty care, especially for underserved populations, e-consultations are a viable solution, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.

21st Century Oncology Holdings victim of hack

An organization that operates cancer centers across the U.S. was the victim of a cyberattack last year, it recently announced.

Elderly black, Latino patients less likely to use health organization's online portal

Patients who are over the age of 69 and black or Latino are less likely to use a health organization's online patient portal, and organizations that serve elderly populations should be aware of such disparities, according to a recent study.

Hospital IT security hiring about balancing academic, operational experience

Finding security pros with the right mix of knowledge and skills remains one of the top challenges for healthcare chief information officers, according to Curt Kwak, CIO of Washington-based Proliance Surgeons, which operates 100 sites.

Niam Yaraghi: Wall of Shame paints 'victims and culprits with the same brush'

The security breach "Wall of Shame," created by the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, needs an overhaul, according to Niam Yaraghi, a fellow in the Brookings Institution's Center for Technology Innovation.

CIO Deborah Gash: Quality data reporting in the age of value-based reimbursement [Q&A]

LAS VEGAS -- Sweeping changes to how Medicare will pay for physician services has organizations reevaluating their quality data reporting tactics. In an interview at this week's HIMSS meeting, CIO Deborah Gash explains how her organization is helping its physicians, both employed and affiliated, keep up with evolving requirements.

NQF issues guidance on measurement of HIT patient-safety efforts

The National Quality Forum has issued a new report on health IT safety and how it should be measured.

HIMSS16: Cybersecurity success hinges on strength of CISO-CMIO relationship

A hospital's success in cybersecurity is only as good as the relationship between its chief information security officer and its chief medical information officer, according to Hospital Corporation of America CISO Paul Connelly.

Habit, health perception among top factors in patient portal adoption

With patient adoption of portals to access their medical records still low, Portuguese researchers used a technology-acceptance model to look at factors affecting adoption, according to a study published at Journal of Medical Internet Research.

VA touts interoperability progress in congressional testimony

The Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Department of Defense are moving forward on electronic health record sharing, despite previous setbacks, according to testimony from VA officials this week to Congress.