Geisinger is beginning a nationwide precision health initiative to expand its model of integrating data science and genomics into precision health care and to establish partnerships and ventures with organizations throughout the US. The program will integrate Geisinger's EHR data and promote its MyCode Community Health Initiative, which stores and codes the DNA of community members.
The NextSeq 550Dx, a next-generation sequencer that comes with a diagnostic mode and a research mode, was launched by Illumina. The company also announced the inclusion of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues for the intended use of its existing MiSeq Dx platform.
An Integrated Healthcare Strategies survey of 874 health care organizations showed that the base salary of hospital and health system CIOs averaged $322,000 in 2017, and compensation for leadership-level IT positions rose by about 3% during the past year. Researchers also found that organizations intend to raise the salaries of IT staff and those in the managerial and executive positions by 2.8% on average over the next year.
CHIME has suspended its $1 million National Patient ID Challenge after falling short of achieving the desired results in addressing accuracy in patient identification and patient matching, despite making good progress in the effort, CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell said. Branzell also said that CHIME will be refocusing its efforts on another strategy aimed at tackling the patient safety hazard.
Health care organizations should focus on complying with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, implementing cybersecurity plans and remaining people-oriented to enhance privacy and security, according to a blog post in the Journal of AHIMA. The group also cited the importance of sharing information between organizations, as well as the benefits of joining an information sharing and analysis organization.
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin asked Congress to reprogram $782 million from its current budget to allow the agency to start transitioning from its VistA EHR to the Cerner EHR system. The VA needs to receive the funding by the end of the calendar year so it can align its system with the Department of Defense's Cerner platform, Shulkin said.
Genomic analysis and data sharing should be integral parts of public health surveillance systems, including the One Health Initiative, according to Jennifer Gardy with the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and Nick Loman with the Institute for Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham. "Combining genomic data with data streams from enhanced One Health surveillance platforms presents an opportunity to detect the population expansions and/or cross-species transmissions that may precede a human health event," Gardy and Loman write in Nature Reviews Genetics.
A precise dose of an engineered virus containing a properly functioning copy of the MECP2 gene restored motor, learning and memory skills in mouse models of Rett syndrome and extended the animals' life spans. The therapy also produced no adverse effects when tested in cynomolgus monkeys, which in early tests demonstrated more than twofold expression of MECP2 in brain and spinal tissue.
Infoblox surveyed health care IT and security professionals in the US and UK and found that while a majority of the respondents were confident that their organizations could properly respond to a cyberattack, 26% indicated their organizations would pay a ransom demand. Respondents cited antivirus software, firewalls and encryption software as their top cybersecurity investments.
As of the fourth quarter of this year, 19% of long-term and post-acute care providers had some technical features of their EHR systems operational, compared with 15% last year, according to a Black Book survey of over 2,000 LTPAC organizations. Researchers also found that around 86% of LTPAC facilities do not electronically exchange health information with home health providers, referring hospitals or physicians.