The Immunization Integration Program, an alternative testing and recognition program for EHRs developed by HIMSS, Chickasaw Health Consulting and ICSA Labs with support from the CDC, aims to integrate vaccination data with patients' EHRs to help reduce the administrative burden associated with charting immunizations. Collaborators hope the program will improve vaccine coverage and compliance and clinical practice related to immunizations, according to Joyce Sensmeier, vice president of informatics at HIMSS.
An undisclosed number of individuals were affected by a ransomware attack against the National Capital Poison Center in Washington, D.C., in October. An investigation found that an unauthorized third party accessed the center's database server, which contained caller names, names of those possibly exposed to a poisonous substance, information on exposures, medical record numbers, recommendations given to the caller and other information.
The Department of Defense named Essye Miller as its acting CIO, replacing John Zangardi, who was tapped as CIO at the Department of Homeland Security in October. Miller will also continue serving as the agency's deputy CIO for cybersecurity.
The World Privacy Forum's "The Geography of Medical Identity Theft" report showed that the high number of medical identity theft complaints in states such as California, Texas, Florida and New York could be due to higher populations there. The report also found trends of aggressive debt collection and a regional medical identity theft hotspot including a number of Southeastern states.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to repeal net neutrality and remove the ban on paid prioritization may prompt slower traffic in telemedicine, which could especially affect trauma and emergency care providers who need quick access to data, said Mark Gaynor of St. Louis University. The American Academy of Pediatrics expressed opposition to allowing paid fast lanes, which could result in higher fees, slower access to medical records and delays in care.
New York-Presbyterian is collaborating with Walgreens to offer its NYP OnDemand telemedicine kiosks at some Duane Reade drugstores in New York, enabling patients to access certified Weill Cornell emergency medicine physicians via high-definition video conferences. More kiosks are expected to open, and ColumbiaDoctors physicians are expected to begin participating next year.
Seventy-eight percent of IT professionals at health care provider organizations said they experienced a malware or ransomware attack in the previous 12 months, with 43% of larger organizations experiencing 16 or more attacks, according to a HIMSS Analytics/Mimecast survey. Researchers found that cybersecurity incidents are most likely to be caused by email, and 87% of respondents expect an increase or a significant increase in security threats related to email in the future.
Two University of Rochester neuroscientists reported in Neuron that they introduced information directly into two monkeys' premotor cortex, and the research could lead to a way to mitigate brain damage caused by stroke. The scientists implanted small electrode arrays into the brains of the monkeys, which had been taught to play a game involving visual cues, and the animals performed the functions as well using only signals transmitted by the electrodes as they did when prompted visually.
New ransomware known as the "Spider Virus" was discovered Sunday by Netskope researchers. The campaign includes emails with Microsoft Office attachments that demand bitcoin payment within 96 hours, warning that if payment is not received within that time, files will be deleted permanently.
The American Medical Association and Accenture surveyed about 1,300 US physicians and found that 83% reported experiencing a cybersecurity attack, with phishing and computer viruses cited as the most common causes of cyberattacks. Just over half of respondents said they were very or extremely concerned about their organizations being affected by cyberattacks in the future, and about three-quarters said clinical practice interruption and security of patient records were their top concerns.
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