12/5 live forum: Health researchers and payers are way ahead on big data. But, can they keep it secure?

From health data pioneer John Halamka, who will be part of this panel:

The new threats to information security and integrity are state sponsored cyberterrorism, hackivism and organized crime.  Every CIO I know loses sleep over these threats.  Let’s work together to identify emerging threats, implement best practices for mitigating risks and investigate promising new technologies like blockchain.

Watch it live Tuesday. 

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Partners’ Kvedar’s new book on “The Internet of Health Things”

Joseph  Kvedar, the VP of Partners’ Connected Health Program was on to  “The Internet of Healthy Things” way before any of the rest of us.  Now he’s collected his thoughts — aimed a “business executives” — in a new book.

More video from this year’s connected health conference here.

 

Boston voices in stories on telemedicine and hotels as hospital step-down units

Some Boston links in these story from Health Leaders Media.

connected healthIn a story about telemedicine, Joseph Kvedar, MD, vice president of the Partners’ Center for Connected Health in Boston, says that at two recent health industry meetings “every panel and every conversation had something on telemedicine and virtual visits.” Telemedicine is taking off, but there is resistance from regulators in at least one state, and stubborn questions about reimbursement and efficacy in general.

This column about hospitals discharging patients to hotels starts in Boston and heads out westHLM:

The Wyndham Beacon Hill hotel uses its proximity to Massachusetts General Hospital as a marketing tool. The hotel website includes a hospitals page featuring a blonde model in a white coat with a stethoscope around her neck. The hotel offers a link to each of the city’s hospitals, discounted rates for patient families, and access to a shuttle bus.  

The Wyndham isn’t alone. Often, patients have to travel long distances to places like Boston for specialized care. So hotels have grown up around large hospitals to offer shelter to caregivers. And sometimes patients, too sick to travel home or waiting for follow-up care, need a night or two of lodging as well.

But hospitals have different protocols—or none at all—when it comes to discharging patients to hotels. And hotels have different capacities for hosting them.

But the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s bloodborne pathogens standard applies to all.

2 Boston studies: Breast cancer costs and medical records benefits

After pushing mammograms for years, breast cancer advocates have had a hard time pulling back. Still the evidence keep piling up that message about surviving breast cancer is more complicated than early detection.  What this study by Boston researchers doesn’t measure: the scores of women who say — If there’s a chance it’s cancer, I want to know.  From the AP, in the back pages of the Globe A section; buried in the web site.

Sharpening a medical debate about the costs and benefits of cancer screening, a new report estimates that the United States spends $4 billion a year on unnecessary medical costs due to mammograms that generate false alarms, and on treatment of certain breast tumors unlikely to cause problems.

On a lighter note, another study centers on the benefits of giving patients their own records. From the NYTimes.

ONC_PSA_BannerAd_300x250_Red_Button_1Some of the most advanced medical centers are starting to make medical information more available to patients. Brigham and Women’s, where Mr.  (Steven) Keating had his surgery, is part of the Partners HealthCare Group, which now has 500,000 patients with web access to some of the information in their health records including conditions, medications and test results.

Other medical groups are beginning to allow patients online access to the notes taken by physicians about them, in an initiative called OpenNotes. In a yearlong evaluation project at medical groups in three states, more than two-thirds of the patients reported having a better understanding of their health and medical conditions, adopting healthier habits and taking their medications as prescribed more regularly.

Here’s the Globe’s take.

Some patient advocates have been pushing for this for years, and having a little fun with it.

#Google #Glasses in the hospital: A “mixture of intrigue and skepticism. #HIT #EMR

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Giuseppe Costantino photo

When it comes to health information technology — a term that encompasses everything from medical records to monitors — John Halamka — the chief information officer at  of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center — is the man. Here he reports on wearable computing in the hospital.

Here’s what we’ve learned thus far:
 
halamkaPatients have been intrigued by Google Glass, but no one has expressed a concern about them. Boston is home to many techies and a few patients asked detailed questions about the technology. The bright orange pair of Glass we have been testing is as subtle as a neon hunter’s vest, so it was hard to miss.
 
Staff members have definitely noticed them and responded with a mixture of intrigue and skepticism. Those who tried them on briefly did seem impressed. More from Halamka on his own blog Life as a Healthcare CIO.
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Press (blue) button; get health records — Hacking health this weekend in Boston

ssThe Blue Button “is a simple concept: give patients’ access to their own data. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) first used the Blue Button logo on its patient portal in 2010 ,By clicking on the button, individuals could download their medical records in digital form.

Since then, millions of Veterans have logged onto the tool to download their personal health information, and many of the country’s largest data holders, including federal agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Defense (DoD) and private health plans such as United HealthCare and Aetna, have embraced Blue Button as a way to make health care data readily available to their beneficiaries.”

This weekend:

Tufts MedStart and MIT Hacking Medicine in collaboration with the ONC Present:

The Blue Button Boston Innovation Challenge

Tufts MedStart and MIT Hacking Medicine are excited to announce their collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) on the January Blue Button Code-a-thon taking place from Friday, January 17th to Sunday, January 19th.  Blue Button is an international movement to engage patients in their health through access to their health data in both human and machine-readable formats. This fall, all providers using MU2 certified technology will be able to support patients viewing, downloading, and transmitting their clinical data to a consumer endpoint, like a personal health record, or provider through Blue Button + Direct.

This codeathon is an opportunity for providers, patients, and the developers of consumer facing technology to come together to learn about Blue Button, identify high priority use cases, and build exciting new products that are ready to receive Blue Button data. We hope this event will foster collaborations that exist long after the codeathon ends. The ONC recently sponsored a successful codeathon on device data and health financial data in San Francisco, and we are excited to work with a new community in Boston!

The event will focus on use cases that take advantage of patient clinical data liberated through Blue Button + Direct, a technology available in all Meaningful Use certified technology starting winter 2014. The event will open with patients and providers sharing their highest priority Blue Button use cases which will guide development over the weekend and judging criteria. Example ideas may include but are not limited to:

  • Co-designed applications that can improve communication between the health care provider and the patient. (ie. care plans and notes that both the patient and physician can contribute to)
  • Simplifying medical jargon, content, and diagnoses for patients. (ie. consumer friendly definitions of clinical terms)
  • Clinical health information visualizations. (ie. interactive lab results)
  • Population trend analysis. (ie. seasonal, location specific tracking of symptoms at an aggregate level)
  • Patient record matching to clinical trials.

 

New Mass. electronic health records grants: Wiring Healthcare for the Homeless

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From Healthcare IT News:

The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will give 32 collaborative projects up to $75,000 each in HIway Implementation Grants to help 80 healthcare organizations across the Commonwealth connect to the HIway, Massachusetts’ statewide health information exchange.

From the Massachusetts eHealth Institute

Recipients were awarded grants based on their ability to build upon existing improvement efforts that impact care quality, costs or population health. Types of collaborative projects receiving funding include:

  • A large facility using the HIway to manage heart failure patient care;
  • Coordination between care facilities and patient care coordinators;
  • An ambulance service using the HIway for pre-hospital care coordination for the homeless; and
  • An acute care organization using the HIway to share discharge summaries to skilled nursing facilities and home health organizations.