Blog Archives

A plus in the operating room, EHRs can cause trouble for providers in the courtroom

Electronic health records have been touted as having – and have proven to have – many benefits for healthcare organizations in terms of cost savings and efficacy of medical treatment. They are not, however, unalloyedly beneficial in the courtroom. As

Posted in ARRA, HITECH Act Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Advocate Health Care already facing first lawsuit for July 15 breach involving 4 million EHR patient records

Chicago area Advocate Health Care suffered the country’s biggest health care record breach to date on July 15 – when four unencrypted laptops containing over four million patient records were stolen.  Seven weeks later the legal repercussions to July’s event

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EHR access lost during Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy this week tested East Coast health care systems’ electronic infrastructure.  Emergency preparedness plans were implemented fairly successfully for most health care facilities, allowing them to continue to operate adequately.  Others, however, were negatively impacted, including some which lost access

Posted in ARRA, Higher Ed, HIPAA, HITECH Act, News Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Health education information incomprehensible to many; HHS program to rate EHR-linked education materials for “understandability”

Health education materials provided to health care consumers until now have commonly assumed a fairly high level of “health literacy” – a level which, research has shown, makes the materials inaccessible to about 77 million people.  HHS’ new program addressing

Posted in ARRA Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sharing EHR notes between providers and patients improves care, patient loyalty among other benefits

According to Annals of Internal Medicine, a new study found no disadvantages to health care providers sharing EHR notes with patients. Via Kaiser Health News: Doctors are required by federal law to provide patients with a copy of their medical

Posted in ARRA, HIPAA Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Laptop theft costs Massachusetts provider $1.5 million in HHS settlement

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Associates (MEEI) will be paying HHS $1.5 million in installments over three years for a 2010 incident.  It is worth noting that OCR also reached a $1.5 million settlement with

Posted in ARRA, HIPAA Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tagging technique keeps more sensitive portions of an EHR more private

State and federal privacy laws rigorously restrict sharing of mental health and other highly sensitive patient records.  A technique called “data tagging” may be key in facilitating health care providers’ compliance with these requirements. Via Modern Healthcare: Using off-the-shelf content

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EHR hackers turn to extortion

Hackers recently struck a small medical practice in suburban Chicago, encrypted the facility’s digital medical records, and then demanded a ransom payment in exchange for allowing the facility to regain access to its records. Medical industry observers note that this

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eWeek: Top 10 Reasons to avoid EHRs stored in a “cloud”

eWeek provides a great reminder of the dangers of signing up for an electronic health records system stored in a “cloud.”  Such ASP/SaaS EHR models are attractive to many practices because they offer consistent (though not always lower) monthly fees and require

Posted in ARRA, Higher Ed, HITECH Act, News, Privacy & Security Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday: Free Webinar on “Meaningful Use”

On Thursday, February 25, 2010 from 1:00PM to 2:00PM (EST), Steve Fox and yours truly will host a free webinar, the first in a series, which will focus on the critical definition of “meaningful use” of “certified EHR technology,” as described

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In the news: EHR incentives; the rising threat of medical identity theft

In a letter to Dr. Blumenthal, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) urged the ONC to define “meaningful use” in a practical and achievable way.  Otherwise, many providers could fail to qualify for the HITECH Act’s incentives.  The MGMA is recommending, inter alia, instituting a

Posted in ARRA Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Health IT Market Heats Up

The last few weeks saw a tremendous amount of activity in the health IT market.  Dell and Xerox were among the companies trying to capitalize on opportunities created by the ARRA incentives and certain market trends, including high demand for HIT

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