Monday, September 28, 2020

Universal patient identifiers are about patient safety

Photo credit: University of Texas, Austin
Aaron Miri is the chief information officer for Dell Medical School and UT Health Austin. He brings more than a decade of healthcare experience driving growth and innovation, leading both provider and commercial healthcare enterprises and providing thought leadership and close collaboration with state and federal representatives. As CIO, Miri is passionate about humanizing technology by collaborating with clinicians, technology partners and business champions to truly transform healthcare delivery for consumers, patients and providers.

In 2018, Miri was congressionally appointed by Senator Chuck Schumer to the Health and Human Services (HHS), federal Health IT Advisory Committee, established under the 21st Century Cures Act. He was federally appointed by HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell to serve on the HHS Health IT Policy Committee established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Miri is the prior chair of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) National Public Policy Committee and serves as an expert adviser to the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and to other congressional panels engaged in numerous Health IT policy topics. PARCA eNews spoke to Mr. Miri about the challenges of adopting a national universal patient identifier.

Patient ID Now Coalition delivers 3 recommendations to ONC workshop

Courtesy of Patient ID Coalition
PARCA eNews – August 31, 2020 – Two members of the Patient ID Now Coalition made three recommendations on behalf of the Coalition at the August 2020 ONC Working Session on patient identity and matching.

HIMSS Vice President for Government Relations Tom Leary and Meryl Bloomrosen, Senior Director, Federal Affairs for Premier Healthcare Alliance, represented the Patient ID Now Coalition at the session during the Alliances & Coalitions segment.

As part of their observations, the Patient ID Now Coalition made the recommendations following a necessary first step of Congress removing Section 510 of Labor HHS Appropriations, which bans HHS from promulgating a unique patient identifier.

First ransomware attack tied to patient death, negligent homicide charge possible

PARCA eNews – Sept. 18, 2020 – In what is believed to be a first, a ransomware attack has led to a patient death according to reports in HIPAA Journal and Fortune Magazine.

The Sept. 10, 2020 attack crippled the Heinrich Heine University Clinic in Dusseldorf, Germany. The 78-year-old woman patient required immediate emergency treatment for an aneurysm and had to be diverted to another emergency facility 21 miles away. The one-hour delay was noted as contributing the the patient’s death.

CMS announces innovative payment model for radiation oncology

PARCA eNews – Sept. 18, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled a new payment model for cancer patients receiving radiotherapy that allows providers to focus on delivering high-quality treatments.

The new Radiation Oncology model allows for value-based focus by creating a simpler, more predictable payments that incentivize cost-efficient and clinically effective treatments to improve quality and outcomes. Current payment is based on the number of treatments and where patients receive it such as in a hospital outpatient department or a freestanding radiation therapy center, which can lead to more time traveling for treatment with little clinical value, according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

Trend to home PACS for radiology likely to continue

PARCA eNews – Aug. 9, 2020 – Radiologists will be shifting more of their workdays to reading from home or other remote locations after the COVID-19 crisis has passed, according to a new survey.

In an effort to examine effects of COVID-19 on radiology practices, a group of radiologists conducted a survey of nearly 290 practices representing a geographically diverse cross section of institutions. The results were published in mid-May in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

PHI vulnerable to extraction from online presentations

Patient data can be extracted from Images imported
from a PACS into an online PowerPoint 
PARCA eNews – Aug. 28, 2020 – The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), the American College of Radiology (ACR), and the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM), are warning that online medical presentations are at risk of accidental exposure of protected health information (PHI).

In a paper on the ACR website, the group shows how advances in web-crawling and content processing technology is increasingly able to allow large-scale information extraction from previously stored files. The technology allows extraction of medical images contained in PowerPoint presentations and PDF files and recognized alphanumeric character information embedded in those images, including patient information.

KA imaging technology given FDA nod; begins COVID-19 early detection trial

PARCA eNews – September 22, 2020 – The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) awarded 510(k) clearance to Ka Imaging, Inc., Monday for Reveal, its portable, dual-energy X-ray detector that, company officials, said can be used to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The company’s Reveal™ machine enables bone and soft-tissue differentiation without motion artifacts in a single X-ray exposure. In other words, with one shot, the detector simultaneously delivers DR, bone, and tissue images.

Pandemic pushes telehealth to top IT concerns

Credit Office of Connected Care - Veterans Affairs
PARCA eNews – Sept. 18, 2020 – COVID-19 exacerbates technology challenges for healthcare organizations, pushingTelehealth functionality and capacity to the top of the list medical executives face, according to a KLAS survey conducted in September.

The survey found that 8 of 19 executives named solving telehealth problems as their number one problem during the early stages of the pandemic. Since then, nearly all of the executives say they have workable solutions in place, or are implementing one.