Lots of news in the world of EMRs/EHRs this week. Stage 2 is approaching in 2014 and Forbes examines the four key objectives. Fierce Health IT brings us an article about how analyzing relationships in EMR data can link gene variants to diseases. Finally, Clinical Advisor reports that we really have come a long way when it comes to EMRs and what they can do. Read on to discover the latest news about EMRs and EHRs.
Patient Empowerment and Their Role in the Electronic Medical Record from Forbes: "The EMR is here–at least in theory. And while many hospitals and physicians have a certified EMR, the test of the system will be the clinical engagement of all stakeholders, including patients. In particular, these are the key areas mandated in the stage two roll out in 2014. Stage 1 was the initial data acquisition and sharing and stage 3 is (the lofty expectation of) improved outcomes. But it’s stage 2 that establishes the clinical interface of the EMR with the technical and logistical aspects. And there are 4 key objectives for the stage two rollout: Rigorous healthcare information exchange, the incorporation of e-prescribing and lab results, electronic transmission of clinical information and case summaries across multiple recipients, and Increased patient and family engagement."
DNA Links to Skin Diseases Found in EMR Data from Fierce Health IT: "Data contained in electronic medical records can help link genetic variants to previously unknown relationships with disease, according to research published at Nature Biotechnology. Vanderbilt University researchers found links between DNA variants and skin diseases by surveying 13,000 EMRs. First they grouped around 15,000 billing codes from medical records into 1,600 disease categories, then they looked for looked for links to disease in records in which DNA data was available. Links to skin diseases--non melanoma skin cancer and two forms of skin growths called keratosis, one of which is pre-cancerous--were found. The researchers were able to validate the connection between these conditions and their associated gene variants in other patient data, reports Technology Review. Looking for various diseases at once might be less biased than research looking at a specific disease, the article says, and it might help researchers understand how single genes might affect multiple characteristics or conditions."
Top EHR Security Myths: Encryption and BYOD from Health IT Security: "Like any other industry, healthcare has a great deal of misinformation floating around security best practices. This is especially the case when it comes to securing a healthcare organization’s EHR data. Review the different misnomers that have been debunked of late and what healthcare IT security pros think of perception v. reality when it comes to current security trends. The first is 'Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt!' Simply put, many are quick to direct organizations to encrypt their data without knowing the many different places the data resides or whether all of the data stays at rest or parts of it are in motion. While, yes, healthcare organizations must encrypt their patients’ data, they also need to know what they’re encrypting and where in their infrastructure. Encrypting data at rest is obviously different than encrypting data in motion."
HIMSS: 4 Reasons Why the FDA Should Ease Up on EMR Regulations from MedCity News: "HIMSS put forward its take on why health IT products, particularly electronic medical records, shouldn’t be considered a medical device. The group published a letter this week in response to a query from the Department of Health and Human Services as the government hones health IT policy with an eye to patient safety. The move is part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s safety and innovation act designed to develop recommendations on health IT regulation. A letter penned by Scott MacLean, chairman of HIMSS and the deputy CIO at Partners Healthcare, and HIMSS CEO H. Stephen Lieber said: 'In our experience, innovative efforts can spur the development and adoption of health IT solutions that accelerate patient safety and support quality improvements. The challenge becomes finding the balance between regulating technology to support patient safety without stifling technology improvements and innovation intended to improve safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness.'"
What's New With EHRs? from Clinical Advisor: "EHR technology now has the power to weave 'tapestry data' about an individual's residence, local air quality, socioeconomic status, reading and eating habits, and even product brand preference into a patient portrait that can be matched up against traditional medical records to vastly improve diagnostic accuracy and treatment, said Christina Bivona-Tellez, Global Health and Human Services Manager for ESRI. The picture a doctor can get of a patient, their medical history, their occupation and stress level, and other factors is limited only by the data available. Given enough information to work with, ESRI software can, for example, quickly predict the spread of a flu virus from unrelated databases containing information on wind direction, airline passenger information, emergency room admissions, and other scenarios, explained Bivona-Tellez."
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