Tag Archives: EHR

90% of Americans use digital health tools, survey shows

Author:  Aug. 29, 2018

Dive Brief:
Consumers continue to embrace digital health tools, with 90% of respondents in a new Rock Health survey using at least one last year, up from 80% in 2016.
photo of person with a smart watch, smart phone and health apps for article, 90% of Americans use digital health tools, survey showsThe greatest adoption is occurring around online health information (79% vs. 72%) and online provider reviews (58% vs. 51%). A slower uptick was seen in mobile tracking (24% vs. 22%), while wearables held steady at 24% and live video televisits slipped three percentage points to 19%.
But while 77% of people prefer in-person doctor visits to telehealth, most who used video visits were satisfied with the experience. Among those who paid for their virtual encounter, 91% said they were satisfied. That number dropped to 62% when someone else paid.

Dive Insight:
Likewise, while not everyone is jumping at the idea of wearables, those who use them report progress meeting personal health goals. The chief reasons people use wearables are to track physical activity, lose weight, improve sleep and manage stress.

The tools for doing so are proliferating, with mobile operating systems and various apps offering to track the information. Fitibit has been upping the ante, and recently launched a product line update that includes detection of blood oxygen levels, goal-based exercise modes and a sleep tracking beta.


UCSF to Use Dignity Health Digital Platform to Increase Health Access

Partnership Puts Information in the Hands of Patients to Transform their Health Care Journeys

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a state-of-the-art digital engagement platform that will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

The platform, which ultimately aims to serve as a model for health systems nationwide, will be hosted by Dignity Health. The two health care organizations will leverage technological expertise and cloud-based infrastructure that Dignity Health has developed for its 40 hospitals. As one of the nation’s top-ranked academic medical centers, UCSF Health will contribute its extensive knowledge of the patient experience in specialty care.

The two health care organizations will develop a trusted path of digital access across the patient journey using the proprietary cloud-based platform of Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems.

“Our collaboration with Dignity Health will empower patients and their families with digital health care and connectivity, while simplifying the provider experience,” said Shelby Decosta, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for UCSF Health. “Together, with Dignity Health, we are opening new pathways for health care organizations to create a superior experience for their own patients and ultimately, for patients nationwide.”

In the first phase of the digital collaboration, UCSF is redesigning the user experience of its web and mobile properties and leveraging Dignity Health’s technical expertise to re-envision how the medical center delivers information to patients. The personalized, mobile-responsive infrastructure is supported by rich analytics and machine learning. In later phases, UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation and Dignity Health will map out the multiple pathways that patients follow in moving from primary and secondary care to more acute care services, to create a robust digital system that connects patients and providers, while providing patients with the information they need throughout the process.

Continue reading UCSF to Use Dignity Health Digital Platform to Increase Health Access

Is Apple’s iMessage HIPAA Compliant?

[Editors note: HIPAA compliance used to be almost the exclusive concern of medical practices and healthcare professional, but the more we digitally zing medical records and patient information around, the more we leave ourselves open to HIPAA violations and their associated fines.]

iMessage text balloon for atricle, Is iMessage HIPAA compliant?iMessage is a go-to technology for Apple users in the medical field because it so easily integrates into pre-existing office infrastructure. Using iMessage for office communication can facilitate quick conversations among office staff–but when it comes to sending and receiving patient data, the question of whether or not iMessage is HIPAA compliant needs to be taken into account.

Some third party apps and Apple Watch health monitoring functions are built to be HIPAA compliant.  However, Apple has yet to address HIPAA compliance on its own iMessage platform. Third party HIPAA compliant messaging and data storage apps have become increasingly popular with iPhone and Mac users in the health care field, but Apple’s iMessage messaging service remains insecure and non-compliant.

HIPAA privacy and security regulation mandates that data transmission of protected health information must be fully secure. Protected health information (PHI) is any demographic information that can be used to identify a patient, including name, address, date of birth, social security number, or full facial photographs, among others.

iMessage uses end-to-end encryption, which means that only the sender and intended recipient can view the contents of each message. But what makes iMessage different than other HIPAA compliant messaging services, is that it keeps a cached version of each iMessage sent on its servers. These cached messages can be accessed either by warrant or by a potential hacker in the event of a data breach.

Although critics in the healthcare IT industry have spoken out against Apple’s practice in this regard, the company has yet to announce a change to this policy. Sending PHI over iMessage remains a breach of HIPAA regulation–putting your practice at risk of a data breach and accompanying HIPAA fine.


Technology Helps Improve Quality of Care

Every step of the healthcare process is aimed at providing the absolute best quality of care to the patients as possible. In addition to making it easier for doctors to collaborate and get important information about their clients to assist in their treatment, technology is also helping give patients greater autonomy at hospitals and clinics in the country. Digital medical records and touchscreen devices are now allowing doctors to quickly pull up charts and see imaging results in greater detail so that if patients need to see multiple doctors in a facility no information is lost in transit. For patients that are hospitalized for any period of time, infotainment terminals can be used as a computer, television, phone and nurse call button all in one. By taking a look at the following infographic, you can see how far technology has advanced in the medical field and ways that it will help shape the next developments in the industry.

Infographic that shows healthcare technology

Mobile Makes Its Mark on Healthcare Professionals

Providers turn to mobile devices when in search of information

Thanks in no small part to a federal government mandate, electronic health records (EHRs) are now commonly used by US healthcare providers. While these caregivers have initially managed EHRs on PCs, mobile healthcare software company Epocrates found that mobile devices are quickly being incorporated into their work behavior.A May 2013 survey of US healthcare practitioners found that 86% of them had used a smartphone for professional purposes in 2013, up from 78% the previous year. Just over half had used a tablet in 2012, and just under half had relied on a mix of PCs, smartphones and tablets.

The informational needs of doctors and other healthcare providers have likely helped to push the adoption of mobile devices—their ability to put a number of resources at practitioners’ fingertips is surely invaluable. Unsurprisingly, doctors with a need for clinical information reported the highest use of multiple devices. Oncologists reported the highest use of all three devices at 59%. Cardiology was not far behind at 54%, followed by primary care physicians (48%), psychiatrists (44%), nurse practitioners (40%) and physician assistants (30%).

Healthcare providers using PCs and tablets were most often using those devices to manage EHRs, take notes or make electronic prescriptions. Smartphone users displayed somewhat different behavior, with searches being the most popular activity for professional purposes.

Emarketer estimates that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries will spend $1.2 billion on digital advertising in 2013, with that figure growing to $1.5 billion by 2017.

Corporate subscribers have access to all eMarketer analyst reports, articles, data and more. Join the thousands of marketers who already benefit from eMarketer’s approach. Learn more.

Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Mobile-Makes-Its-Mark-on-Healthcare-Professionals/1010145#qGg0ueQUh5KeUHyF.99

Privacy and Security of Employees’ Health Data in the Era of Electronic Health Records


Big Data, Little Data, Open Data – a burgeoning interest in data is evident, perhaps nowhere more so than in public health and healthcare. Nationally, several major ‘data revolutions’ are underway, including a transition to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to maintain and share longitudinal patient health data, and the increasing use of data to measure the performance of healthcare and public health programs. Both trends are relevant to Total Worker Health: data are being used in new and innovative ways to measure employee health status and increasingly, occupational health data are being exchanged electronically.

As employers, labor, public health and other stakeholders work together to integrate health protection and health promotion in the workplace, the amount of employee health data being generated, collected and electronically exchanged will only increase. Have you ever wondered what happens to employee wellness data collected by employers or a third party? Are these data treated as ‘confidential?’ Who has access to the data? When an employer has both voluntary wellness and required screening programs for employees, how should the data be maintained to prevent accidental disclosure of the voluntary information? These and other questions emerge when new employee health programs are put in place and/or paper records are replaced by electronic systems. Continue reading Privacy and Security of Employees’ Health Data in the Era of Electronic Health Records

Protecting Patient Data on Mobile Devices: New HHS Guidance

iPod Touch with Red Cross graphic on screen
The 411 for Healthcare Pros

 Medscape Medical News

Marcia Frellick

With patient data increasingly transferred via smartphones, laptops, and tablets, physicians and other healthcare providers are facing increasing challenges in keeping the data safe.

Now there’s help from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which opened an online portal December 12 with tips, fact sheets, posters, and videos to help providers lock down private information.

The initiative, “Mobile Devices: Know the RISKS. Take the STEPS. PROTECT and SECURE Health Information,” is available at on HHS’ HealthIT Web site.

The site includes advice on topics such as:

Encryption: This converts the data so that no one can read it without the decryption key or password. It prevents unauthorized access while the data is in transit — for instance, when accessing an electronic health record system or receiving lab results. Some devices come with built-in encryption. If not, users need to download an app.

• Passwords: Strong passwords need at least 6 characters, a mix of upper and lower case, and at least 1 number and 1 punctuation mark.

• Remote disabling: This allows users to erase data if the device is lost or stolen. You can temporarily delete the data remotely and unlock it if the device is recovered.

• Setting up a firewall: If an authorized user is trying to access your data, a firewall can block the attempt. If your system has a built-in firewall, research your device to enable it.

• Using automatic log-off: Configure a device to log off after a period of time you specify.

• Using public wi-fi: If you’re transmitting data in a coffee shop or airport, use a virtual private network (VPN) or a secure browser (one with https in the Web site address rather than http). Otherwise, people nearby can tap into and even download the data you’re transmitting.

• Verifying app functions: Downloading the wrong mobile app could copy your address book or private data to an unauthorized user without your knowledge. Research the app and read reviews you trust to make sure it performs only the functions you request.

• Hiding your screen: A privacy screen can keep others around you from seeing what you’re seeing.

• Disposing of devices:
 Data must be properly deleted before the device is destroyed or reused.••

Continue reading Protecting Patient Data on Mobile Devices: New HHS Guidance

Health Care Debate and Switch

We thought this was intephoto of a health reform demonstrationsresting perspective on the continuing debate over heath care policies in the U.S. See what you think!

One Way to Reduce Heath Insurance


Suburban Trends

We all know how expensive medical care is today. We try to justify the cost by acknowledging that there have been more advances in medical care in the last 40 years than in the entire history of the study of medicine. We readily admit that there are some medications that can eliminate the need for surgery. But how are we going to continue to pay for this? Is health care a privilege or a right? Is there a limit to how much health care one can expect to receive?

There is a fairly simple solution to save a great deal of money.

To write this article, I read so many acronyms that I had to write up a separate sheet describing all of them. There is a massive cost savings in electronic medical records. This is known as EHR– electronic health records. The vast majority of doctors have not yet adopted the standardized use of electronic health records. This allows doctors, hospitals, rehab facilities, skilled nursing homes and other health care providers to be able to share health information about a patient between each other electronically. As of 2010, the percentage of physicians who have fully functional systems for electronic health records ( EHR) ranged from only 9.7 percent to 27.2 percent.

Dr. Angel Garcia is the CEO of EHR Solutions. He states that, “Tracking medical problems can prevent complications of chronic illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes an can increase overall quality of care. The cost savings of having widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHR) in the U.S. healthcare industry would reduce healthcare costs by more than 30 percent per year. This equates to a staggering savings of more than $720 billion per year! That is actually more than enough savings to insure all 47 million Americans currently without health insurance.”

On a personal note, our son-in-law who lived in California was dealing with Stage 3 colon cancer when he had to journey to a family emergency in Illinois. While in Illinois, he had to be hospitalized. Because he was being treated where they had electronic medical records, the hospital in Illinois was able to retrieve his complete medical history which eliminated the need for them to order tests that had recently been done. This is a real plus for the patient as we all know some of these tests aren’t too pleasant. You can quickly see how the savings can add up. Aside from that, the quality of care has now improved dramatically, very quickly.

Continue reading Health Care Debate and Switch