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Monday Morning Update 8/26/13

August 25, 2013 News 1 Comment

From Todd: “Re: FDA security guidance. FDA has published radio frequency guidance for wireless medical devices that includes information about authentication and encryption to prevent hackers from gaining control. FDA has a draft out for comment that includes a requirement that vendors develop a plan to apply operating system updates and patches to address security flaws.” It’s strange (or typical government efficiency) that a document that went to draft in January 2007 finally gets published years afterward. The cybersecurity draft came out in June.

From Digital Bean Counter: “Re: Optimity Advisors. Anyone have experience working with them?”

From Keith: “Re: EHRs. If they aren’t medical devices, why is the vendor reporting to the FDA and recalling its care controlling system?” Picis announces a Class 2 recall of its ED PulseCheck emergency department information system due to a problem printing entered notes along with prescriptions. My guess is that Picis (part of OptumInsight) commendably reports through FDA even though they aren’t required to since I’ve seen their entries in the MAUDE database over the years. Demands for FDA oversight would be reduced to almost nothing if vendors reported and tracked software defects with the same enthusiasm as they do unpaid invoices.

Most poll respondents don’t think the FDASIA report will improve IT-related patient safety since it limits its scope to a user reporting mechanism and other forms of post-marketing surveillance. New poll to your right: when a vendor requires you to register before downloading a white paper you want to see, what do you do? I will, as the poll maker, unprofessionally expose my bias in stating that I think hiding advertising material behind a lead-gathering signup form is both stupid and insulting. We hospital people are smart enough to figure out how to contact you if your material inspires us to further action; we aren’t fans of being cold called as punishment for being willing to give your material a look. Do the sales and marketing people a favor and ignore their faulty advice. I always sign up with phony information, inserting the vendor’s own phone number in the required slot.

I  ran a reader’s question in Friday’s news asking for hospitals that have switched from Cerner to Epic. Readers provided these: Aurora, Legacy Health Portland, Children’s Dallas, University of Utah (underway), Rex Healthcare, Loma Linda, and Lucile Packard (underway). I appreciate the information, which then led me to another question as it often does: have any hospitals voluntarily switched from Epic to Cerner?

XIFIN, which offers revenue cycle solutions for laboratories, radiology,  and pain management, acquires PathCentral, a vendor of cloud-based digital anatomic pathology vendor with big-name customers such as Johns Hopkins, Mass General, and University of Southern California.

A medical assistant / IT administrator at an orthopedics practice is arrested for stealing a pre-signed blank prescription form from the the practice’s EMR and writing himself a prescription for Percocet.

The Washington Post profiles Altruista Health, a 75-employee Reston, VA company that offers predictive algorithms that identify a provider’s highest-risk patients. I ran a Readers Write article by CEO Ashish Kachru in December 2012.

URAC and the Leapfrog Group announce the second annual Hospital Website Transparency Awards, which recognizes websites that portray quality measures honestly and contain information that’s actually useful instead of the far more common marketing BS (stock photo photogenic doctors, community chest-puffing, and unsubstantiated claims that locals are incredibly lucky to have a world-renowned medical facility in a town too small to even have a mall.)

Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network says it will go live soon, running on the Medicity platform.

A 178-respondent CIO survey performed by SSi-SEARCH finds that the average CIO makes $286K, but despite greatly increasing workload and responsibility, receives single-digit annual salary increases. Still, almost 60 percent of respondents say their pay is satisfactory. They report that people- and team-related issues are both their biggest challenge and their biggest accomplishment. Only 11 percent of the CIOs aspire to a non-IT role, but those who do are interested in a COO position despite responses indicating that it’s tough for a CIO to be recognized as a strategic leader outside the IT realm.

An Allscripts promotional video filmed at Sarasota Memorial Hospital (FL) celebrates the hospital’s 15 years on Sunrise and features VP/CIO Denis Baker.

New York City is piloting NYC Macroscope, which aggregates EHR data into a public health surveillance database that will allow city officials to monitor the health of the population in near real time. Their only concern is that its data is, by definition, limited to those patients who receive medical care, so the city will still need to conduct traditional survey-based surveillance. Data exchange has been established with 3,200 providers in the NYC Primary Care Information Project, which uses eClinicalWorks and distributes queries through the Hub Population Health System.