Monday, July 24, 2017

The challenge of patient matching



Steven Posnack serves as director of the Office of Standards and Technology. In this role, Mr. Posnack advises the national coordinator, leads the ONC Health IT Certification Program, and directs ONC’s standards and technology investments through the ONC Tech Lab, which organizes its work into four focus areas: pilots, standards coordination, testing and utilities, and innovation. He led the creation of the Interoperability Standards Advisory, the redesign of ONC’s Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL), created the Interoperability Proving Ground, and developed the C-CDA Scorecard. In June, Mr. Posnack’s office issued a Patient Matching Algorithm Challenge. PARCA eNews spoke with him about patient matching and challenges of ensuring accurate identification of all parts of a patient record. 

Study of patient matching attributes shows big drop for SSN


PARCA eNews – July 13, 2017 – First and last name, date of birth, gender and address continue to be widely available for patient matching over time, however, use of Social Security Number availability fell from 83.3 percent in 2005 to 50.44 percent in 2014, according to new patient matching research.

The study in the journal Applied Clinical Informatics, led by Adam Culbertson, HIMSS innovator in residence, compiled a list of 36 demographic elements that stakeholders had previously identified as essential patient demographic attributes that should be collected for the purpose of linking patient records. They then analyzed a data sample between 2005-2014 from 9 health care systems in geographically distinct sites around the country to see how much patient demographics varied over time and across clinical sites.

HSS cuts may eliminate ONC's offices of Privacy and interoperability


PARCA eNews – July 18, 2017 – The ONC may need to eliminate the Office of Care Transformation, Office of Chief Privacy Officer, and Office of Clinical Quality if the administration’s proposed budget for HHS is passed, which could slash the ONC’s funding from $60 million to $38 million, according to reports in HIPAA Journal and Politico.

While the House Appropriations Committee sidestepped the administration’s original overall HHS funding cuts, it kept the 37 percent cut to ONC and ONC National Coordinator Don Rucker, M.D. told HIPAA Journal that the office (of Chief Privacy Officer) will be closed out in fiscal year 2018.

OCR updates guidance for HIPAA organizations’ use of cloud computing services


PARCA eNews – July 3, 2017 – The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued updated guidance for HIPAA-covered organizations regarding the use of cloud computing and file sharing tools such as Sharepoint and DropBox and others.

Questions about whether and how organizations can take advantage of these tools while maintaining HIPAA privacy and security compliance. Lumping them into the term of cloud services providers (CSPs) the OCR’s guidance answers 11 questions ranging from "Can a HIPAA covered organization use CSPs to questions about security, privacy and breach notification.

Know a woman who has influenced your or other’s career?


Why not nominate her to the HIMSS Most Influential Women Awards? 

The HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards, recognizes influential women at all stages of their career progressions.  The Awards celebrate those females harnessing the power of IT to transform health and healthcare, is unique among power lists and award programs; it’s inclusive of all women of influence, no matter where they may be in the health IT field.

Nominations Now Open
Make someone's day and nominate them for the HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards by Monday, August 28, 2017 11:59 p.m. CT.

Click here to submit nomination

ONC to hold forum on interoperability


PARCA eNews – July 15, 2017 – ONC is hosting a two-day, in-person only forum focusing on the technical aspects of interoperability. The Aug. 15-16: "Beyond Boundaries: ONC’s 2017 Technical Interoperability Forum" will focus on how ONC, its federal partners, the health care industry, and the technology sector can come together to shape the technical aspects of interoperability.

The free forum will take place at at the Washington Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC. If you lead, develop, and implement health IT systems or standards, this event is for you. Registration details will be available July 21.

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 9:15am - 5:30pm ET & Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 9:00am - 1:00pm ET. Click for more information.

Netherlands-based AI company moves toward lung cancer prediction


PARCA eNews – July 1, 2017 – Amsterdam-based Aidence expects its first CE marking for the European market in the third quarter of this year, according to a press release.
The company, which is developing AI technology for imaging diagnostics, recently raised 2.25 million from a group of investors that includes HenQ, Health Innovations, Northzone,  and physicians from the Hague-based Haaglanden hospital group.

Survey shows 65% of organizations have reported security incidents


PARCA eNews – July 12, 2017 – Netwrix Corporation, a security and privacy auditing provider has published its market research study looking at IT risks aimed at the current status of security and privacy concerns of IT managers and officers.

With the 2017 IT Risks Report, Netwrix analyzed how organizations are working to combat various IT risks based on a survey of IT pros concerning the IT risks they deal with on a daily basis. They looked at processes and resources they have in place to address those risks, and how prepared they are for today’s cyber threats. Key findings presented in the report include:

SIIM 2017, well attended, looks at future role of AI in clinical data



PARCA eNews – June 17, 2017 – The SIIM 2017 (Society of Imaging Informatics in Medicine) wrapped up June 3 at the David Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA. PARCA founder and board member Herman Osterwijk says it was well attended and attracted more exhibitors than last year. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Is cloud-based medical imaging archiving the future of PACS?


Ed Marshall, CPO,
Ambra Health
Ed Marshall is chief product officer at Ambra Health, a provider of healthcare cloud services. Before Ambra, Ed held roles as senior vice president and general manager of the Services Industry business unit at NetSuite, as well as vice president of sales and marketing for OpenAir, which was acquired by NetSuite. A seasoned speaker, Ed has presented at industry events such as the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, the annual Technology Services World (TSW) conference, and the CFO Leadership Council.

First digital pathology system gets FDA go-ahead


PARCA eNews – April 12, 2017 – Phillips IntelliSite Pathology Solution (PIPS) announced today it has been given FDA approval to market its first whole slide imaging system ushering in the era of digital pathology.

The FDA evaluated data from a clinical study of approximately 2,000 surgical pathology cases using tissue from multiple parts of the body (anatomic sites). Results of the study found that clinical interpretations (diagnoses) made based on the PIPS images were comparable to those made using glass slides.

HHS Office of Civil Rights Guidance on HIPAA specific to WannaCry

PARCA eNews – May 22, 2017 – Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights issued breach notification guidance on it’s website in the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attack last week.

As outlined in its guidance available on its website, OCR presumes a breach in the case of ransomware attack.

Lucky is back with new ransomware attacks


PARCA eNews – April 21, 2017 – Phishing security company PhishMe is reporting that the Locky ransomware that staged many of the ransomware attacks in 2016 has re-emerged with a PDF twist.

On their blog, the anti-phishing firm is reporting that the methods used to deliver the Locky payload are significantly different that the previous version. The new version uses the Dridex malware in conjunction with a PDF document that breaks from the expectations for how IT security and potential victims about how this threat looks.

Homeland Security alert warns of emerging malware campaigns


PARCA eNews – April 27, 2017 – The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) has become aware of an emerging sophisticated campaign, occurring since at least May 2016, that uses multiple malware implants. Initial victims have been identified in several sectors, including Information Technology, Energy, Healthcare and Public Health, Communications, and Critical Manufacturing.

A win in Congress for patient data matching


Copyright: robeo / 123RF 
PARCA eNews – May 9, 2017 – Congress unexpectedly gave a big boost to proponents of developing a national patient identifier system that would accurately link patients to their health information.

Less than a month after a coalition of providers, payers, and Health IT companies joined forces to ask Congress in a jointly signed letter to clarify its 1999 ban on universal patient identification, the group was pleasantly surprised by the FY 2017 Omnibus bill. The bill included language from the letter allowing HHS through the ONC and CMS to provide technical assistance to private-sector led initiatives to develop a coordinated national strategy that will promote accurate identification of patients and their health information.

The rapid response to their letter was so unexpected that the group had already made plans to repeat the request for the FY18 Labor-HHS spending bill, however, Congress seems to have agreed to the request by industry, putting the changes in place less than a month after the letter was submitted.


4 Initiatives aim to advance interoperability in 2017


Providing timely, seamless patient information across the spectrum of the US healthcare system is key to improving patient care. While progress has been made, additional efforts are needed to continue the progress. 

Four initiatives have been announced in the past few weeks that aim to continue the progress toward interoperability. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

International recognition of PARCA certification adds value


Independent RIS/PACS 
Consultant and Trainer
Clive Daniell is a qualified electrical engineer with more than 30 years of experience in the medical imaging field. He started his career with Siemens Medical where he trained as a CT, MRI and X-ray technician. In 1996 Clive shifted his focus to PACS, RIS and Information Management systems. He was responsible for the implementation of the first digital department in South Africa at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Pretoria.

In 2006 Clive started his own consulting company to offer an independent view on PACS and RIS in Africa. Clive has also been involved in many training initiatives, including organizing the 1st and 2nd African PACS, RIS Edu-conferences held in Cape Town and Johannesburg in 2009 and 2012 respectively. Clive is the founder of In2pacs and the In2pacs Academy. In a recent post on LinkedIn, Daniell explained why he chose to pursue the PARCA certification. PARCA eNews talked with him about that decision to get his perspective of the value of PARCA and certification for PACS administrators and other healthcare IT professionals.

New certification recognizes growing importance of DICOM


Image used by permission DICOM committee
PARCA eNews – April 1, 2017 – The PACS Administrators Registry and Certification Association (PARCA) has announced a new certification for PACS and IT professionals. 

The new DICOM certification will replace the Certified PACS Interface Analyst (CPIA) certification and will more specifically focus the course material and the exam on DICOM, the international standard for Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine.

Charles Willis, PhD, DABR, president of PARCA said it was time to add a certification focused on DICOM.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Study finds HIE improves efficiency, lowers cost and improves outcomes


PARCA eNews – Feb. 18, 2017 – Following implementation of the New York HIE (health information exchange), quality of care improved along with operational efficiency, resulting in considerable cost savings and improved patient outcomes, according to a study published in the Feb. 10, 2017 issue of SSRN, the journal of the Social Science Research Network.

One of the first studies of the effects of HIEs, the study examined almost 86,000 emergency department encounters over a period of 19 months between July 1, 2012 and January 31, 2014 at four emergency departments linked to the HealthLinkNY Health Information Exchange.

WEDI white paper offers tips on reducing health IT risks



PARCA eNews – March 20, 2017 – The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), announced the development of an industry white paper, entitled The Rampant Growth of Cybercrime in Healthcare.”

The paper explores common vulnerabilities that are typically exploited by cybercriminals in today’s healthcare environment, as well as best practices organizations can implement to mitigate these vulnerabilities.

HiMSS17 education session recordings available online


Photo courtesy of HiMSS 17
PARCA eNews – Feb. 28, 2017 – If you missed HiMSS17, held in Orlando, Feb. 19-23, 2017, or were unable to attend some sessions you can now catch recordings of more than 200 of the sessions online.

Starting April 1, HIMSS will offer session recordings to allow the health IT industry to recap or experience the conference education for the first time. 

Will interoperability and PACS minimize the role of radiologists in patient care?


J. Van Goethem  led the panel discussion
PARCA eNews – March 10, 2017 – That’s the question a panel of radiologists led by Dr. J. Van Goethem addressed in one of the sessions at the ECR 17 (European College of Radiologists) meeting held in Vienna March 1-5. 

With the advent of PACS most clinicians have gained direct and immediate access to radiology images. Many clinicians have at least the basic knowledge and capacities to interpret radiology studies and some clinicians are even highly skilled in interpreting studies in their specific field of expertise.

Health IT Playbook Updates


The ONC Health IT Playbook has been updated to include the newly revised guides and training modules.

The ONC’s Health IT Playbook is an online resource for health IT professionals that offers help selecting technology, sharing health information securely, aligning health IT with quality measures, and even finding technical support.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Radiologists continue to lead the charge to 3D printing

Dr. Adnan Sheikh is Associate
Professor at the University of
Ottawa, where he is Medical
Director for 3D printing
PARCA eNews – Jan. 30, 2017 – Many surgeons and other specialists have recognized the incredible potential of 3D printing. Using 3D printers, patient data is essentially turned into actionable, physical objects. The applications are numerous ranging from individualized prosthetics, to surgical models for preoperative planning, to anatomical replacement implants. At last year’s American College of Radiology annual meeting, a team of radiologists presented a paper showing how 3D printing could become a new service of the radiology department. At this year’s Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting, 3D printing was one of the hottest topics with several presentations and workshops, culminating in the establishment of the RSNA 3D Special Interest Group. One of the organizers of the 3D printing area at RSNA was Dr. Adnan Sheikh, Medical Director for 3D Printing at the University of Ottawa, one of a handful of institutions that have already established 3D printing services.

DICOM committee looks to extend standards to 3D printing


Many 3D printed medical models
were on display at RSNA 2016
There were more than 40 presentations pertaining to 3D printing at the RNSA 2016 annual meeting held in Chicago last November, among them was a discussion at the DICOM committee meeting attended by PARCA advisory board member Herman Oosterwijk. Among the issues 3D printing presents to the PACS administrators community is a lack of standards for the additional metadata to the print file to allow it to be managed in the PACS.

The risk is that the 3D printing medical imaging standards void will be filled with a variety of work-around solutions that will separate imaging-derived data from the patient’s imaging record. To address this risk, Oosterwijk reports that a DICOM working group has been resurrected to specifically extend and promote the use of DICOM for the creation, storage and management of 3D printing models.

Which PACS administrator certification is best for South Africa?

Clive Daniell, Independent PACS-
RIS consultant
For independent PACS/RIS consultant and In2PACS co-founder Clive Daniell the answer was the PARCA Certified PACS Associates (CPAS) exam, which he chose over other options for several reasons. 

In2PACS is the leading consultancy and training organization in South Africa. In a LinkedIn post, Daniell listed his reasons and what he learned by taking, or "writing" the exam as they apparently say in South Africa.

"In the future I intend writing the other certifications," Daniell concluded. "I have a feeling the level of knowledge and exam will be more intense, but this would be appropriate as an advanced PACS administrator certification."

HHS lights FHIR with interoperable medication lists to consumers


The agency also announced a new challenge to create tools to generate user-friendly “snapshot” of model privacy practices for digital health products

PARCA eNews – Jan. 30, 2017 – The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in December, in partnership with leaders in the private sector, as well as patient and consumer advocates, coordinated a live demonstration of consumer-friendly applications (apps) that import data from some of the largest health information technology (IT) vendors in the country to allow individuals to access a consolidated list of their medications from a variety of sources in one place. 

Lack of timely breach notification costs Presence Health $475,000



First HIPAA enforcement action for slow notification


PARCA eNews – Jan. 30, 2017 – Presence Health has agreed to settle potential violations of the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule by paying $475,000 and implementing a corrective action plan. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), Jan. 9 2017, announced the first Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) settlement based on the untimely reporting of a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI). 

Healthcare data breaches up but number of records breached slashed


PARCA eNews – Jan. 30, 2017 – The total number of healthcare records breached in 2016 were more than 16.5 million was down substantially from the 113 million records breached in 2015, but the 324 breaches of 500 or more records reported by healthcare organizations was higher than in any other year since the Office of Civil Rights started publishing breach summaries in 2009. 

Registration for SIIM 2017 Annual Meeting opens


PARCA eNews – Jan. 30, 2017 – Registration for SIIM 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA, June 1-3, 2017 is now open. SIIM is one of the top conferences for imaging informatics professionals and covers the latest cutting-edge technology for enterprise imaging education.

Robust growth expected in European PACS market


The global market for PACS is expected to continue to grow by 6.2 percent in terms of revenue, according to Persistence Market Research, which published its report online Jan. 18, 2017.

While the North American market will continue dominate with 31 percent of the value share, increasing demand for PACS from hospitals, diagnostic centers and imaging centers in Western Europe, especially in the EU5, is expected to fuel a 6.0 percent compounded annual growth rate projected out to 2026.

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