The Department of Homeland Security has granted the Center for Innovative Technology $4.8 million to develop internet of things technologies that could improve public safety, such as Wi-Fi, thermal and 360-degree imaging and aerial drones.
Health system executives can successfully achieve EHR interoperability by evaluating their organizations' technical capabilities related to improving patient care delivery as well as considering various approaches to achieving interoperability, writes Rob Barras, senior vice president of consulting at The Advisory Board. Although complete interoperability is not possible because there are always emerging data sources with different access issues, health systems should cooperate with community partners in developing solutions aimed at improving patient care, Barras said.
More than 50% of health care organizations had inadequate or no health care cost reduction targets, although 96% of surveyed executives say their organizations strongly need cost transformation, according to a Kaufman Hall poll. The survey also found that nearly 80% of respondents said the health care industry's transition to value-based care motivated them to try to reduce organizational costs, but 75% said they had average to below-average cost transformation success.
Expect public policy activities that could affect your hospital or health system's IT program to pick up now that lawmakers' August break is over. CHIME's public policy team recently updated the CHIME Policy Playbook to keep you informed and help you get involved. The document outlines CHIME's policy priorities and details how members can engage with Congress and key federal agencies. Contact CHIME's D.C. team, Leslie Krigstein and Mari Savickis, if you have questions or want to become more active in public policy and advocacy.
"After hundreds of years of paper notes and cashiers in our banks, I predict that we will be cashless and digital within the next 30 years," says John Brosnan, head of Financial Services Group, Aon Risk Solutions. The Financial Times has described cash as a "barbarous relic" and around the world; digital cryptocurrencies compete to provide people with what is designed to be a completely decentralized currency. Understanding why people are looking to stop circulating cash and what the advantages and pitfalls could be is becoming increasingly important. Read more.
A Trend Micro report shows the health care sector is one of the biggest targets of a ransomware campaign that combines the Locky ransomware and the malware variant FakeGlobe to double the payload, affecting users in more than 70 countries, with 7% in the US. The campaign allows hackers to infect victims by sending emails that contain a malicious .zip file and luring victims with fake invoices and a FakeGlobe support page that helps users pay the ransom.
Some animal-rights groups lobby to end research that could extend the healthy life spans of dogs, cats and livestock; help birds recover from disasters; and protect great apes, elephants and other endangered species, writes Foundation for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey. "Discouraging studies condemns animals to unnecessary suffering and death from preventable illnesses," Bailey writes. "Real animal lovers should be proud to support animal research."
The updated work plan from the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General includes an audit of HHS' cybersecurity and incident response capabilities, with the audit results to be released in 2018. "Increased threats to critical cyberbased infrastructure systems have created a need for government agencies to increase their computer security efforts," OIG officials say.
Organizations should consider training more of their IT personnel on using threat intelligence data to help handle the ongoing rise in cybersecurity threats, writes Sue Poremba. "IT staff are the ones already working with the infrastructure and have a better understanding of the organization's mission than other employees, and many already do frontline cybersecurity defense or mitigation as part of their regular duties," she writes.
Researchers developed a tablet-based chatbot that provides spiritual and emotional guidance, finding most of the adults ages 55 and older who talked to the device felt less anxious about death and ready to complete a will. The next stage of the trial will test an advanced version of the chatbot among people with a terminal illness, focusing on meditation and discussions about health, medication and religious topics.