Whirlwinds of Change — What Can We Anticipate?

Digital Imaging and Healthcare IT Challenges: Advances & Trends for 2016

Part One

It’s that time of year again – when industry publications, websites and blogs roll out their predictions on the imaging and IT trends that will be most influential in the coming year. As always, the changes are coming at us with ever-increasing speed.

For this post, I surveyed a range of respected industry sources and condensed many of their predictions for quicker reading. If you’d like to explore any of the viewpoints here further, the link to the complete article is always listed.

  • Healthcare IT Advances Set to Fuel Explosive Market Growth

Rajiv Leventhal reports in Healthcare Informatics that while the global digital health market is already valued at over $55.3 billion, it’s projected expected to continue expanding by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 21 percent by 2020, according to a report from P&S Market Research.The report attributes this surge to the growing demand for an advanced healthcare information systems and growing investments by health IT players. Electronic health records (EHR), mobile health (mHealth)  and telemedicine will fill a pressing need for more efficient diagnosis, treatment, care and rehabilitation. Improved patient-provider communication via mobile devices and apps will support reduced medication errors and provide better overall care.

More details here.

  • Transitioning From Interoperability to Advanced Interoperability

Gary Palgon, VP of Healthcare of Life Sciences Solutions at Liaison Technologies, writes in Healthcare IT News that compliance with the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program’s proposed rules for Stage 3 Meaningful Use will require enterprises to make a greater investment in connecting internal and external systems. With fundamental levels of interoperability largely achieved, the focus will now shift to advanced interoperability – seamlessly pulling together data from connected systems to present a holistic, uniform view of the patient’s health. This is crucial, as without advanced interoperability, there’s no way to bridge the gap between more data and meaningful data. More details here.

  • Stretching Budgets With Refurbished Equipment

AuntMinnie.com reports that the market for refurbished medical equipment will be worth $9.37 billion U.S. (8.3 billion euros) by 2019, according to a new report by MarketsandMarkets. Medical imaging equipment categories covered in the survey include x-ray, ultrasound, MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, and others systems such as C-arm and mammography devices. This trend is being driven by a growing demand for lower-cost medical devices due to financial constraints, the need to achieve more economical specialty exam capabilities and increasing privatization in the healthcare sector.

There is some resistance among public institutions regarding the purchase of refurbished medical equipment due to a perceived lack of standardization of policies governing its sale and use. Even so, MarketsandMarkets stands by their projections for this trend. More details here.

  • Progress to Come Gradually For the Less-Than-Half of Managed Care Organizations Without Access to EMR Data

Healthcare Economics recently reported on the results of a Digital Trends Study by Precision Advisors. Based interviews with 145 managed care executives, the study concludes that while Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are aware of the benefits big data and predictive analytics, they are not able to fully implement them. Specifically, only 46 percent of MCOs currently have access to EMR data. And, while 73 percent of MCO executives surveyed expect to see this increase by 26 percent over the next several years, the specifics of this progress have yet to be seen. Survey respondents cited interoperability challenges as a key barrier to integrating EMR data. More details here.

Part Two will be posted on 12/29/15

JianqingBennettBWJianqing Bennett, President, Digital Medical Solutions, Carestream Health

Radiology Insights #55: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

This week’s articles focus on the move to personalized medicine, increased imaging use in the ED, an IDC reportCarestream, Radiology that predicts increased cyberattacks on patients’ healthcare data, the value of data stored in RIS and PACS systems for effective decision support, and a study that compared radiology findings with diagnoses provided by other clinical data sources.

Top 5 trends from RSNA 2015 in Chicago – AuntMinnie

This year, RSNA cast its gaze forward, looking at the trends that will shape medical imaging in the years to come. The move toward personalized medicine and data analytics will enable radiologists to find circumstances where imaging can be used most efficiently and economically. There is no doubt that the future of healthcare will be technology-driven, and it’s hard to find a medical specialty more grounded in technology than radiology.

Overall imaging use has slowed — but ED rates still high – AuntMinnie

Despite an overall slowdown in the rate of noninvasive diagnostic imaging in other settings, imaging use rates have continued to increase in the emergency department (ED), according to a study presented at the RSNA 2015 meeting by researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Why do imaging use rates in the ED keep climbing? It could be because emergency departments are a significant source of medical care in the U.S. In fact, nationwide ED visits increased from 95 million per year in 1997 to nearly 140 million in recent years, which translates into higher imaging use rates, Patel said. Other factors include defensive medicine, dependence on technology, and the difficulty of evaluating complex patients under tight time constraints, she said.

Cyberattacks will compromise 1-in-3 healthcare records next year – ComputerWorld

Consumers will see an increase in successful cyberattacks against their online health records next year. A new report from IDC’s Health Insights group claims that because of a legacy of lackluster electronic security in healthcare and an increase in the amount of online patient data, one in three consumers will have their healthcare records compromised by cyberattacks in 2016. “Frankly, healthcare data is really valuable from a cyber criminal standpoint. It could be 5, 10 or even 50 times more valuable than other forms of data,” said Lynne Dunbrack, research vice president for IDC’s Health Insights.

Too much Big Data may not be enough – Health Management Technology

The quest to mine and analyze meaningful, reliable, and useful data from the burgeoning plethora of electronic and online sources, healthcare organizations can allow the big picture to overshadow many underlying and valuable components contributing to patient care improvement. The clinical data and diagnostic images in radiology information systems (RIS) and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) remain two examples. For clinical imaging and radiology executives, these visual clues and cues are necessary for effective, efficient decision support. Certainly a growing number of manufacturers and information technology companies recognize this. As a result, they’re offering providers a light at the end of the tunnel.

System compares radiology results with downstream clinical information – Health Imaging

A system comparing radiology findings with diagnoses provided by other clinical data sources was recently put to the test in a study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.  Early indications are that it passed. Lead researcher William Hsu, PhD, of Medical Imaging Informatics Group in Los Angeles, and colleagues evaluated their system, which pulls data from electronic health records and examines clinical reports for imaging studies relevant to the diagnosis. They said the goal of their system was “to establish a method for measuring the accuracy of a health system at multiple levels of granularity, from individual radiologists to subspecialty sections, modalities, and entire departments.”

eBook: Radiology as an Enterprise Model for Collaboration

Collaboration has become a key component of today’s healthcare system. Department silos are breaking down and fading away, and from the rubble is born multidisciplinary teams with a focus on interoperability across departments.

Meaningful Use (MU) has served as a great incentive to make patient information universally available to clinicians through the EHR, but too often the collaborative benefits of the technology fail to become available to the “-ologies” in the health system.

But there are examples of successful collaboration delivering real benefits to the medical community and patients.  One of the best is the University of Virginia (UVA), where the EHR-driven radiology workflow not only provides full clinical information to radiologists, but the collaborative workflow adopted by UVA has also helped the UVA Physicians’ Group attest to MU Stage 1 and receive nearly $1.5 million.

Cree Gaskin, MD, Vice Chair, Informatics at UVA outlines their process in a recent chapter of our CIO eBook. The key to this EHR-driven radiology workflow was the life-cycle of the PACS. Specifically, the fact that it has reached a maturity level that is the third and final phase of the evolution, as seen in Dr. Gaskin’s graphic below.

EHR-driven radiology workflow

This third stage involves the PACS becoming integrated and interoperable with the EHR. This allows workflow to become optimized, and images and reports to become accessible via the EHR. From this, collaboration among clinicians and other stakeholders is supported in full and information can be accessed immediately. This ongoing gathering of data informs clinical decision support and big data analysis.

From within the EHR, the radiologist can identify what would be useful, depending on the case. That information can then be served up to radiologists so they do not have to spend time searching for it. If the information is identified in advance, then it can be made accessible, as almost all of the necessary data is housed in UVA’s EHR.

The key is to establish an EHR-driven workflow, as demonstrated here in Dr. Gaskin’s graphic.

EHR-driven workflow

How it works at UVA is that one central login at a workstation allows access to:

  • Protocoling
  • Reading Studies
  • Chart reviews/search
  • MU
  • Teaching file
  • Tech work lists
  • Manager referrals
  • Audit trail
  • Report creation and signing
  • MD performance metrics
  • Administrative reports
  • Peer review (prior while reading)
  • Charting—orders, notes
  • “Watch patients; results tracking
  • Communication with providers

The interoperability between UVA’s Epic EHR and Carestream PACS permits the EHR-driven workflow or the EHR-enslaved workflow which is PACS-driven. In the PACS-driven workflow, the doctor selects a study from the PACS integrated worklist, and the corresponding patient record will be opened in Epic.

UVA reports that the results of such capability have included improved report turnaround time (RTAT), and more important, with stratification by level of priority, and nearly $1.5 million MU Stage 1 incentives for the UVA Physicians’ Group.

For a more detailed look at UVA’s story, you can read the interactive eBook, “Clinical Workflow in an Era of Interoperability,” which contains interviews and soundbites from Dr. Gaskin, as well as Dan O’Malley, MS, UVA’s director, informatics and business services.

Julia, Weidman, Marketing Manager, Healthcare Information Solutions, CarestreamJulia Weidman is the Healthcare Information Solutions Marketing Manager for the US and Canada at Carestream.

 

Diagnostic Reading #52: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoAnother week means another issue of Diagnostic Reading. This week we share articles about DBT cutting recall rates, Yelp revealing patient opinions on imaging services, patient data breaches, mobile health, and EHR adoption.

DBT Cuts Recall Rate in Women with No Prior Mammograms – AuntMinnie

Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) cuts the number of recalls in a subset of women vulnerable to higher recall rates: those who have never had a prior mammogram, according to a new study in the November issue of theAmerican Journal of Roentgenology. Baseline mammography studies tend to have significantly higher recall rates than those with available comparisons, so using DBT in this population could be a way to maximize the technology’s benefits. Matching DBT’s strengths to specific patient populations is a crucial “best practice” skill in an environment of decreasing reimbursement and limited resources for implementing new technologies.

Yelp Reveals What Patients Value About Imaging Services – AuntMinnie

The online consumer ratings website Yelp.com isn’t just for restaurant reviews: Patients are using it to grade their imaging center experiences, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. It turns out patients are most focused on service-related factors such as how long they had to wait and whether the receptionist was friendly, rather than issues such as the quality of equipment or the education and training of radiologists.

Patient Data Breaches Widespread, Beyond Healthcare – Healthcare IT News

Some 392 million health records have been accessed in 1,931 protected health information breaches across a staggering 90 percent of industries, according to preliminary findings from a new Verizon report. These industries, across 25 countries, have seen health insurance information, personnel files or other data outside of traditional healthcare settings or industries stolen, the study shows.

Mobile Health: A Largely Untapped Market for Healthcare – Healthcare IT News

A recent study published by the Journal of Medical Internet Research and designed by New York University revealed the consumer perspective of health app use in the U.S. Consumers want health apps to do more for their lives, to “more accurately communicate and monitor their health.” But product sophistication and an accurate understanding of consumer profiles limit capability. More than half of mobile users have downloaded mobile health apps, with the majority seeking fitness and nutrition goals. However, while mobile health app usage is extensive throughout the population and increasing in popularity, there are a vast number of people not engaged. Even more stop using them.

Research: Hospital EHR Adoption Increases, but Challenges Continue – Healthcare Informatics

While electronic health record (EHR) adoption has increased steadily in U.S. hospitals since 2010, challenges—such as getting small and rural hospitals to adopt the technology—do remain, according to new research published in Health Affairs. The research team, led by Julia Adler-Milstein, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan, looked at 2008–14 national data, which includes the most recently available, to examine hospital EHR trends. They found large gains in adoption, with 75 percent of U.S. hospitals now having adopted at least a basic EHR system—up from 59 percent in 2013.

 

Diagnostic Reading #51: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoIn this week’s Diagnostic Reading, we’re looking at the Meaningful Use HIT program, ultrasound mammography, redefining the role of the CISO, patient communication, and patient satisfaction.

Medical Groups Rebel Against Meaningful Use HIT Program – AuntMinnie

The American Medical Association (AMA) and 110 other medical associations have asked U.S. lawmakers to intervene in the meaningful use (MU) program before physicians decide to no longer participate in the initiative, designed to spur the adoption of healthcare IT. In a November 2 letter to leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, the associations detailed their concerns over the administration’s plans to move ahead with implementing stage 3 of the meaningful use program, “despite the widespread failure” of stage 2.

Breast Ultrasound Mammography Find More Cancer – AuntMinnie

Adding ultrasound to mammography screening detects more early invasive breast cancer and probably reduces mortality, according to a 4 November study in the journal Lancet. The Japanese trial is thought to be the first of its kind in a large randomized multicenter population, and that focused on younger women at average risk with dense breast tissue.

Increased Cyber Risks Redefining the CISO – Healthcare IT News

Increased cyber risks and a recent string of major breaches have changed the game for chief information security officers, making cybersecurity a top priority for board members and helping CISOs more effectively make the case for bigger budgets. A recent IBM-sponsored research project performed by the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security at Southern Methodist University in Dallas sought to explain this new shift. The results concluded there were three types of CISOs effectively innovating the way their firms handle cybersecurity.

Patients Lack Access to Digital Health Communication Tools – Healthcare Informatics

Many Americans lack access to or awareness of digital health tools, such as text appointment reminders and patient portals that can increase communication with their healthcare providers, according to a survey by The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP) and Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC). The survey also found most physicians don’t recommend using these digital tools, according to the consumer respondents. Just 29 percent receive electronic reminders for appointments, medication refills or suggested care and 14 percent report having the ability to check medications online. In addition, only 15 percent receive communication via online messaging platform and 9 percent get text reminders, and that digital interaction is growing very slowly, such as only 4 percent growth for email correspondence about patient health.

Online Review Show Technologists, Receptionists Impact Patient Satisfaction More Than Radiologists – Radiology Business

Patient reviews are becoming increasingly popular and influential throughout the healthcare industry, but that momentum doesn’t always carry over to radiologists. For example, in a study  published back in August by the Journal of the American College of Radiology,  researchers searched five popular physician-rating websites and only found reviews for 197 of 1,000 randomly selected radiologists.

Diagnostic Reading #50: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoA new week means a new Diagnostic Reading. This week we’re looking at digital breast tomosynthesis, patient portals, how hospitals use cloud services, hospital safety, and the future of healthcare.

1. DBT Finds 54% More Cancers than Mammography – AuntMinnie

Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) finds 54% more cancers than 2D mammography and reduces recall rates by almost 20%, according to a new study published in Radiology. Even better, the technology identifies lesions in dense breast tissue, which mammography tends to miss.

2. Do Patient Portals Exacerbate Healthcare Disparities? – Healthcare IT News

Portals and personal health records have been touted as ways to spur better patient engagement and set the stage for improved outcomes. But a new study shows they often aren’t used at all by the very people who may need them most. The report, Disparities in Electronic Health Record Patient Portal Use in Nephrology Clinics, was published this month in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Of 2,803 patients, 1,098 (39 percent) accessed the portal. Of those, more than 87 percent of users reviewed their laboratory results, 85 percent reviewed their medical information, 85 percent reviewed or altered appointments, 77 percent reviewed medications, 65 percent requested medication refills and 31 percent requested medical advice from their renal provider, according to the CJASN study.

3. Hospitals to Triple Use of Cloud Services – Healthcare IT News

Globally, the healthcare organization cloud market could triple in within five years. That would mean skyrocketing from $3.73 billion in 2015 to nearly $9.5 billion by 2020, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets. Adoption of cloud computing in healthcare is likely to increase owing to the rising need to curtail costs and enhance the quality of care, reforms benefiting healthcare IT, proliferation of new payment models, the cost-efficiency of cloud technology, and the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

4. New Hospital Safety Scores Report Shows Modest Patient Safety Improvements – Healthcare Informatics

The Leapfrog Group released its Fall 2015 Hospital Safety Score report showing consistent top safety performance by 133 “straight A” hospitals, while patient safety improvements across the board were more modest. Of the 2,530 hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 773 earned an A (down from the 782 in spring 2015), 724 earned a B (up from 719), 866 earned a C (up from 859), and 133 earned a D (down from 143). And the latest scores indicate that 34 hospitals earned an F grade, which is up from 20 hospitals from the Spring 2015 Scores.

5. New Survey Forecasts the Future of Healthcare in 2025 – Imaging Technology News

Critical advancements in modern technology will play an integral role in progressing the Future of Healthcare, according to a new survey sponsored by Polycom, Inc.  The study, which polled more than 1,000 healthcare industry professionals from around the world, anticipated that over the next decade, a growing and aging population globally will lead to challenges in quality healthcare, including funding, easy access and a strain on current healthcare infrastructure. However, according to the research, technology developments, such as mobile, the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, offer a promising opportunity for overcoming healthcare bottlenecks by 2025.

Diagnostic Reading #49: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoThis week’s Diagnostic Reading articles look at appropriate ages for breast screening, ICD-10, the cost of cyberattacks, big data, and interoperability.

ACS: Breast Cancer Screening Should Begin at Age 45 – AuntMinnie
Until this guideline revision, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, ACS had marched in lockstep with groups including the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) in advocating that screening start at 40. However, accumulating evidence has suggested that accurately assessing breast cancer risk could be more complicated than simply an age-based calculation — a realization that prompted ACS to review its previous guidelines, most recently issued in 2003.

Preparing ICD-10: Documentation for Fractures – AuntMinnie

A large number of diagnostic imaging exams deal with the assessment of fractures, and the documentation of these exams will require some pieces of information that were not always included in radiology reporting until now. Identification of the episode of care was not usually included in most radiology reporting, but it will now be essential for the correct coding of fractures or other injuries. Providing this information as a part of the patient history will assist your coders in applying the proper ICD-10 code.

Cyberattacks Could Cost Providers $305B – Healthcare IT News

Over the next five years, U.S. health systems stand to lose a total of $305 billion from coordinated cyberattacks, according to Accenture. Even worse, their patients are at big financial risk themselves. The report – The $300 Billion Attack: The Revenue Risk and Human Impact of Healthcare Provider Cyber Security Inaction – predicts that some 25 million people, one out of every 13 patients, will have sensitive financial data stolen from their healthcare provider’s IT systems over the next half-decade.

Big Data: The Lifeblood of Precision Medicine – Healthcare IT News

Perhaps second only to a learning health system, precision medicine is healthcare’s grandest vision today. The idea is to essentially roll together massive population health data sets with individuals information – including genomics, lifestyle, chronic conditions – then analyze it to more effectively tailor treatments and preventative care plans for patients. At the heart of that, of course, is data. And that is going to require a major shift in terms of both business philosophy and technologies.

An Interoperability Crossroads: As Feds Continue the Push, Health IT Stakeholders Push Back for Faster Results – Healthcare Informatics

When the federal government (CMS) released the final rules for both meaningful use Stage 2 modifications and Stage 3 earlier this month, and at the same time, the final version the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) Roadmap, there were a few loud messages that it was clearly trying to convey: the need for a “person-centered” healthcare and a commitment to interoperability.

Relationship Between Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) & Radiology Must Evolve

Clinical decision support system (CDSS), an early entrant to healthcare IT, can reduce mistakes in medication administration, encourage practice standardization, and reduce duplication or unnecessary performance of diagnostic tests.  When neatly integrated into an electronic health record platform, CDSS can facilitate evidence-based clinical decisions. Built on a backbone of algorithms, rules and alerts, CDSS is a cornerstone of patient safety, healthcare quality, and cost-effective care.

But CDSS has been largely limited to prescriptions, laboratory tests and treatment protocols. This is especially true in the outpatient setting.  Building on this functionality, Congress upped the ante for CDSS with the Protecting Access to Medicare Act (PAMA).  Passed in April 2014, the immediate effect of the law was to forestall implementation of the SGR.  Nevertheless, PAMA is not limited to issues of physician reimbursement. It also details a mandate meant to change physician behavior – specifically regarding the utilization of high-end imaging studies in the outpatient setting.

One of the nearly 40 sections of this law, Section 218, outlines an approach effectively aimed at decreasing utilization by encouraging adherence to specialty-vetted clinical practice guidelines for the ordering of these costly tests.  These practice guidelines, or appropriate use criteria, are meant to drive the development and implementation of radiology decision support tools.  This has become a major challenge to entities that provide radiology services – the mandate to provide CDSS to referring physicians.

Set to take effect Jan. 1, 2017, PAMA is reminiscent of the EHR Incentive Reimbursement Program (Meaningful Use). Since its inception, Meaningful Use has been a puzzle to most who practice radiology. MU’s core objectives comprise the build of a replete centralized patient health record.  But, unlike other disciplines in medicine, EHR design does not conform to radiology workflow and process.  With the passing of this law, PAMA is something of a declaration that RIS and PACS do not go far enough to improve the health of our patients and to decrease healthcare expenditures.

A close reading of the law reveals three parallel strategies:

  1. Ordering physicians must confirm that the appropriate use criteria are consulted when ordering CT, MRI, nuclear and PET studies. Important to note is that adherence will not be required.  However, it will be measured by CMS.
  2. Providers of radiology services will be required to offer CDSS to ordering physicians. The law explicitly states that physicians who provide diagnostic interpretation will be paid only for those claims that confirm a certified CDSS was used.
  3. Those ordering physicians identified as outliers as measured by CMS in 2018-9 will be subject to a prior authorization process beginning Jan 1 2020.

The threat of prior authorization is a real, however soft, incentive to change one’s behavior.  Financially speaking, a greater burden must be borne by radiology services given the mandate to offer CDSS to referring providers.

In order to be able to execute on these changes to practice, PAMA defines a relatively tight timeline.  CMS is required to finalize the terms of the appropriate use criteria no later than November 15, 2015.  Once published, CMS will have until April 1, 2016 to approve clinical decision support systems for deployment.  And on January 1, 2017, all ordering providers will be expected to consult a CDSS and radiology services will be required to confirm availability, use, and level of adherence to the appropriate use criteria.  This attestation will be required on all Medicare claims for reimbursement.

My conversations with colleagues locally and across the country make me think that planning for this change is barely nascent in most communities.  I expect this topic is going to heat up soon, especially given the cost and complexities involved.  Time will tell.

Neil Kudler, MDNeil R. Kudler, MD, is the Chief Medical Information Officer and an Internist at Baystate Health in Springfield, Massachusetts. He is also the Chief Information Officer of Pioneer Valley Accountable Care, an ACO with 1,200 physicians and 150,000 lives in risk contracts. He is a Member of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS),  the Massachusetts Health Information Exchange Provider Engagement and Adoption Subcommittee, and is co-chair of the Premier PACT HITIC Committee. Dr. Kudler is also a member of Carestream’s Advisory Group, a collective of medical professionals that advises the company on healthcare IT trends.

Diagnostic Reading #48: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoIn this week’s Diagnostic Reading we look at a new breast screening study, response time for stat mobile x-ray, consumers and healthcare technology, EMR adoption, and gamma imaging dense breast tissue.

BMJ: Dutch Data Show Breast Cancer Screening Works – AuntMinnie

According to the authors of a new study published in BMJ, the Dutch example of breast cancer screening works, and mammography screening is a clear way of detecting cancer early, along with increased breast cancer awareness. Women have a greater chance of five-year survival if breast cancer is detected early while tumors are small, fewer in number, and early-stage, noted the authors from Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.

Hospital Slashes Response Time for Stat Mobile X-ray – AuntMinnie

According to an article in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, A Texas hospital was able to cut radiologic technologist response time to 10 minutes for orders for stat mobile x-ray exams from the facility’s medical intensive care unit (ICU). Implementing a series of improvements that included workflow changes, an equipment upgrade, and — perhaps most importantly — changes in ordering patterns by ICU physicians enabled the radiology department at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston to reduce technologist response times from over 45 minutes to 10 minutes.

Deloitte: Consumers Using More Healthcare Technology – Healthcare IT News

Americans are increasing their use of technology to improve their health, navigate the health system and flex their shopping muscles, according to a new report from The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. The report, “Health Care Consumer Engagement: No One-Size-Fits-All Approach,” found that 22 percent of respondents used technology to access, store and transmit health records in the last year, up from 13 percent in 2013. Use was higher for those with major chronic conditions: 32 percent compared to 19 percent in 2013.

Study: Full EMR Adoption Can Help Hospitals Overcome “Weekend Effect” – Healthcare Informatics

The weekend effect refers to patients who undergo surgeries on weekends, leading patients to experience longer hospital stays, and hospitals to face higher mortality rates and readmissions. The study, published in the Annals of Surgery, identified five resources that can help hospitals overcome this effect: increased nurse-to bed ratio; full adoption of EMRs; inpatient physical rehabilitation; a home-health program; and a pain management program.\

Gamma Imaging and Dense Breasts: Clinicians Evaluate its Role Along with MRI and Ultrasound – Radiology Today

Looking for the best adjunct imaging to complement mammography for women with dense breasts can be as challenging as reading the mammograms themselves. Comparing the functional imaging that comes with nuclear gamma imaging modalities such as molecular breast imaging (MBI) and breast specific gamma imaging to anatomical imaging of ultrasound and MRI results in debates over the pros and cons of these options. The need for images to drive diagnosis and treatment decisions is continually weighed against the chance of false-positives and the potential long-term effects of radiation exposure.

Diagnostic Reading #47: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoA new week means a new Diagnostic Reading, This week we are looking at health record security, meaningful use, a CT use study, ICD-10, and patient engagement in hospitals.

Report: 45 % of Americans Have Had Records Compromised – Clinical Innovation + Technology

According to a white paper from iSheriff, a provider of cloud-based enterprise device security, almost 45 percent of Americans have had their sensitive health information compromised via a cyberattack. The New Healthcare Crisis: Cybercrime, Data Breaches and the Risks to Patient Records highlights the largest breaches and points out that the five-year total is more than 143 million compromised patient records which is more than one-third of the 319 million Americans.

U.S. Government Finalizes Meaningful Use Regulations – AuntMinnie

The announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) featured the final rule for stage 3 in addition to modifications to current stages of the MU program. The reporting period for providers to attest to meaningful use of IT in 2015 has been dropped from 365 days to 90 days. New participants in the MU program can take advantage of a 90-day reporting period in 2016 and 2017.

6 Glaring and Disruptive ICD-10 Glitches – Healthcare IT News

Linda Girgis, MD, Family Physician, South River, NJ, shares her experiencing using ICD-10 in its first week. The glitches she experienced are outline in her article and include: the CMS grace period, clearninghouses, referrals, eligibility checks, wait times and personnel.

Study: Skip CT in Most Blunt Emergency Trauma Cases – AuntMinnie

According to a study of more than 11,000 patients that was published October 6 in PLOS Medicine, doctors can safely forego CT imaging in more than one-third of emergency blunt trauma cases by using clinical criteria to assess patients rather than automatically sending them to imaging. The researchers hypothesized that two validated clinical tools could be used to avoid unnecessary radiation-bearing exams and also save money. They showed that nearly all injuries can be found using the two sets of clinical criteria, which they called “decision instruments,” comprising either six or seven elements. Both deliver at most a small fraction of the radiation dose of CT, the group reported.

ONC: Patient Engagement Capabilities Increasing in Hospitals – Healthcare Informatics

According to ONC data, which includes data from the American Hospital Association (AHA) Information Technology (IT) Supplement to the AHA Annual Survey, this is a significant increase from 2013, where 1 out of 10 (10 percent) hospitals provided the capability. Further, most hospitals allowed patients to transmit (66 percent) and download (82 percent) health information; however nearly all hospitals (91 percent) allowed patients to view their health information electronically.