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December 15, 2020 News No Comments

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Sonoma Valley Hospital (CA) notifies 67,000 patients of an October 11 ransomware attack that may have compromised patient information.

The breach, which forced the hospital to take its computer system offline for several days, is SVH’s second cybersecurity incident in less than two years. Hackers hijacked the hospital’s website in August 2019, forcing it to change its domain.

Reader Comments


From Frankly Speaking: “Re: Tim Kelsey. Has left HIMSS after one year to take up a CEO post of a boutique agency in Sydney, Australia. He was SVP of international analytics after leaving the Australian Digital Health Agency with a few loose ends. His deputy at ADHA, Ronan O’Connor, joined him at HIMSS in October and now his boss has moved on.” Kelsey’s LinkedIn says he left HIMSS this month to become  CEO of Pacific Knowledge Systems.


None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Precision medicine, analytics, and data-licensing company Tempus will use a $200 million investment to expand its work beyond cancer to infectious diseases, depression, and cardiology. The Chicago-based company has raised over $1 billion and achieved an $8 billion valuation.


  • Crook County Medical Services District (WY) selects EHR and RCM software and services from CPSI and its TruBridge subsidiary.
  • HealtheConnect Alaska will implement real-time care transition and coordination software from Collective Medical.
  • One Health Solutions will use Get Real Health’s patient engagement software as part of its health program for several coal mining communities in Pennsylvania.



Provation names Bill Franck (Elsevier) chief sales officer.

Announcements and Implementations


Dina develops a post-acute care bed availability service to help case managers find PAC facilities that have room for COVID-19 patients.

Audacious Inquiry adds patient medication history data from Surescripts to its PULSE Enterprise platform, which gives providers access to medical information for patients in times of emergency.

Chi Arthritis & Rheumatology goes live on Saykara’s mobile voice assistant, increasing patient capacity by 15% and eliminating after-hours charting.



Another COVID-19 hospitalization record was set Monday at 110,549 inpatients. Arizona and Nevada have the highest hospitalizations per million residents.

A new poll finds that nearly 25% of Americans probably or definitely won’t take a COVID-19 vaccine, with the highest percentage of skeptics being Republicans (42%), those aged 30-49 (36%), rural residents (35%), and black adults (35%). One-third of essential workers say they will pass on being vaccinated, as do 29% of people who work in healthcare delivery. The biggest concerns are side effects, lack of trust that the government will ensure safety and effectiveness, the vaccine’s newness, and the role of politics in their development.


FDA’s review of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine finds it to be protective, according to data distributed Tuesday, with FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization of the second vaccine expected Friday and injections to begin on Monday. The Moderna vaccine’s efficacy rate was 94.5% with the usual expected but not dangerous side effects. The trials data also showed that the vaccine group had two-thirds fewer virus-positive nasal swabs, suggesting that it prevents some asymptomatic infections after just one dose. The data also noted that zero of 3,500 vaccine group patients who were over age 65 became infected, a performance similar to that of the Pfizer vaccine that gives hope that the products can stop long-term care deaths quickly.

The federal government has contracted for 300 million doses of the two vaccine products through Q2, which with the two-shot regimen is enough for less than half of Americans.

Two dozen companies are working on at-home rapid tests for COVID-19, many of them connected to smartphone apps that provide instructions and data reporting, but FDA requires them to be sold only with a prescription.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says that while recent COVID-19 case spikes haven’t been as dramatic as he expected, the case peak won’t occur for three more weeks, while the highest pressure on health system and patient deaths won’t be seen until the end of January.


Google offers an end-of-year update on the adoption of the exposure notifications system it developed with Apple earlier this year, touting the fact that more than 50 countries, states, and regions have rolled it out as part of their public health apps. Adoption in the US is likely not as high as public health officials would like, with only Colorado (20%) and Washington, DC (53%) meriting mentions. Uptake in the UK has reached 40%.

DocASAP announces GA of its COVID-19 Vaccination Coordination Solution, including online appointment scheduling and reminders, pre-appointment messaging, and post-appointment wellness tracking.

Walgreens and CVS will require long-term care residents in Washington to sign a paper consent form and provide photocopies of their insurance cards before their employees administer COVID-19 vaccines. They will also make just three trips to each facility in a two-month period, making it more likely they will miss employees who are not at work.



San Antonio’s city government will use telemedicine to triage some 911 callers, making sure that an ambulance is truly needed before dispatching one. The rollout uses technology from UK-based GoodSAM, which allows callers to share their location and live video without installing an app. The company uses AI to measure heart rate from the video at what it says is a 92% accuracy rate.


The University of Kentucky profiles UK HealthCare’s Enhanced Care through Advanced Technology Intensive Care Unit, which acts as a remote patient monitoring command center for 168 beds across two of the health system’s hospitals. ECAT ICU nurses use six or seven stations with eight monitors each to help bedside nurses stay abreast of vital signs and lab results, and help to perform urgent assessments based on real-time data.

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  • Cerner releases a new podcast, “One year later: Fighting COVID-19 in Asia.”
  • Good Morning America features Change Healthcare in a segment on COVID-19 vaccination passport apps.
  • Ellkay VP of Interoperability Solutions G.P. Singh joins the Carequality Advisory Committee.
  • Lumeon’s COVID-19 Remote Home Monitoring Solution earns a best new healthcare and medical product in the 2020 Best in Biz North America Awards.
  • PM360 magazine recognizes OptimizeRx’s TelaRep virtual communication solution as one of the most innovative product for life sciences.

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