Vol. 11 No. 8, April 9, 2014
FACTS AND STATS
Mayo Clinic Study Finds App Reduces Cardiac Readmissions by 40%
According to an as-yet unpublished study, the Mayo Clinic has found that incorporating a smartphone app into cardiac rehabilitation can reduce emergency room visits and hospital readmissions by 40%. In the study, which was funded by the BIRD Foundation and recently presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 63rd Annual Scientific Session in Washington, D.C., the Mayo Clinic designed an online and smartphone-based program for patients recovering from stent placement for a heart attack. Forty-four patients participated in the study — 25 used the application and a control group of 19 had regular cardiac rehabilitation without the app. Patients used the app for three months, and it had two functions: tracking patient vital signs and providing educational content. For the former, patients tracked weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, physical activity and dietary levels. The educational content was aimed at showing patients things they could do to help them avoid a secondary heart event, such as eating more fish or adding exercise into their daily routine.
Around 60% of the control group was either readmitted to the hospital or admitted to an emergency room within 90 days. In the group that used the app, that number was just over 20%. In addition, the average weight for the app group was about 9 pounds (4.1 kg) lighter than the control group and the average blood pressure was about 8 mmHg lower.
Flexible Movement Disorder Monitoring Patch Delivers Drugs When Necessary
Movement disorders can have a variety of underlying causes and factors that can exacerbate the disease progression, so symptom monitoring and adjustment of therapeutic regiments can be a challenge. New skin patch technology, based on stretchable electronics, nanomembranes, and nanoparticles, developed by scientists in Korea and the US, has the potential to provide continuous movement monitoring and drug delivery in a device the size of a bandage.
International Council of Nurses and the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth Join Forces to Advance e-Health Knowledge
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth (ISfTeH) today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that formalizes the relationship between the two organizations. ICN and ISfTeH have collaborated for more than five years to advance e-Health and tele-health knowledge and understanding in their respective, but complementary, spheres of influence. Areas of continued collaboration will include communications, conferences and resources.
New Brunswick e-Health Records System Grows
The New Brunswick Medical Society says more than a third of the 950 doctors eligible for the province’s new electronic medical records program have enrolled. The organization says 357 physicians are participating in the system, including family doctors and specialists. Society president Dr. Lynn Hansen says the program offered by Velante, a subsidiary of the society, will reduce time spent managing and searching through paper files.
A Third of European Hospitals Report Operating Losses
Facing rapidly rising costs, a third (33%) of European hospitals are reporting operating losses, generating negative earnings after tax, according to a new nine-country study released by Accenture. Accenture's European Hospital Rating Report includes an in-depth review of the 2011 financial statements of more than 1,500 hospitals in nine countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
The study assessed three factors: hospitals’ creditworthiness, the probability of defaulting on financial commitments and operating profitability. Accenture determined the proportion of hospitals, in each country, with a "low, increased or high risk of default," and found that nearly half (46%) of the European hospitals studied are potentially at risk of defaulting on their financial commitments, such as paying vendors for hospital services.
The research also shows nearly half (46%) of French hospitals are considered to be "low risk," in terms of their probability of default, as they can meet their financial commitments, but a quarter were rated as "high risk." Still, this compares favorably to the proportion of hospitals in Portugal (59%) and Norway (41%) that could face a "high risk" of default.
UK: Patient Online Accelerates
Around 25 accelerator sites and ten digital champions are being recruited as part of NHS England’s Patient Online program to deliver online records access to patients within a year. The accelerator sites include a range of practices, some of which currently offer no online patient services and others that are well developed. Issues include ensuring access for patients with poor health literacy or no internet connection as well as third party information being in the patient record. The accelerator sites will be backed up by a group of ten clinical champions who have experience of patient online interaction. They are a range of doctors and nurses who will cover a geographic area and spend one day a week in the role.
Qatar: Single Electronic Health Record for Every Patient by 2016
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has stated to implement a Clinical Information System (CIS) to create a single Electronic Health Record (EHR) for every patient by 2016. Implementation of the system is a joint initiative by HMC and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Dr AbdulWahab Al Musleh, Deputy Chief of Medical, Academic and Research Affairs for CIS. Initially, health records, patient registration and appointments will be entered into the system. In the second phase, radiology and pharmacy records will be included by this month-end. The system will be then implemented at Women’s Hospital, Hamad General Hospital and Al Gharafa Health Centre. CIS will also include Ambulance Service and Sidra Medical and Research Centre. Later, it will be implemented at other hospitals and primary healthcare centres across the country.
SIMPLY THE BEST
CADTH Announces Winners of the 2014 Awards for Excellence in Health Technology Assessment in Canada
CADTH announced the recipients of the Dr. Jill M. Sanders Award of Excellence in Health Technology Assessment. As well, in celebration of the agency's silver anniversary, two new awards have been established: the Maurice McGregor Award recognizing rising stars in health technology assessment (HTA), and the CADTH 25th Anniversary Medal honouring individuals whose hard work and dedication have helped to establish and maintain HTA as a vital component of an effective health care system. The 2014 focus of the CADTH 25th Anniversary Medal recognizes individuals who have played a key role in founding and pioneering the use of HTA in Canada, including policy-makers, HTA producers, and users.
Scotland Creates Innovation Portal
NHS National Services Scotland has developed an innovation portal to encourage the uptake and development of innovative technology products. The aim of the Health Innovation Procurement Portal is to work with companies, especially small and medium enterprises, that have ideas and innovations and find out how to help develop these into technologies that may be of use to the NHS. The portal, which is part of NHS Scotland’s response to the Scottish Government's 'Statement of Intent for Health and Wealth', provides information, guidance and support to help the companies present ideas. These will be assessed and evaluated by experienced healthcare professionals who will be able to provide constructive criticism and feedback on potential technologies and innovations. When a product has been assessed, it will be rated red, amber or green based on not being suitable, having potential or being worthwhile.
HIMSS Europe Pushes e-Health Forward with the Presentation of the Continuity of Care Maturity Model™
With the ultimate goal of holistic individual and population health management, HIMSS Europe has presented the Continuity of Care Maturity Model™, which addresses the importance of information exchange, care coordination, interoperability, patient engagement and analytics. The purpose is to move one step forward in e-Health in the continent, by supporting and complementing existing EMR models to provide leadership and guidance. The presentation has taken place in the framework of WoHIT 2014 which has been held in Nice.
The Continuity of Care Maturity Model™, measures the readiness of an organization to deliver continuity of care as well as the maturity of a healthcare system in the continuity of care delivery. There will only be a global model but regional specifications are possible within the model's framework.
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