Vol. 11 No. 22, October 22, 2014
FACTS AND STATS
Community Pharmacists Recognize the Opportunity in Digital Health
New research from Canada Health Infoway and the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) reveals that community pharmacists are frequently using digital health solutions and they want increased access to continue enhancing patient safety and quality of care. The National Survey of Canadian Community Pharmacists: Use of Digital Health Technologies in Practice, explored Canadian community pharmacists' access to, and usage of, digital health tools. The research found that digital health solutions, such as provincial drug information systems (DIS), access to lab results and electronic medical record (EMR)-generated prescriptions are improving productivity and quality of care. Survey highlights:
- Community pharmacists that have access to a DIS said they accessed it frequently with 49% saying they use it for every patient/prescription and 37% accessing it several times a day.
- Respondents with DIS access stated that it increased productivity (61%) and quality of care (92%) and provided improvements in patient safety activities such as conducting medication reviews, performing medication reconciliation and identifying potential drug-related problems such as duplications, drug interactions or allergies.
- When EMR-generated prescriptions are compared to hand-written or telephone prescriptions, pharmacists reported that digital tools are significantly improving care through better legibility (91%), increased productivity (71%), improved selection of the drug (64%) and correct dose of the drug (66%).
No More Reading Glasses: KAMRA Vision Implants Treat Presbyopia
Presbyopia, the inability to see things up close, affects large portions of the population as we grow older. Most people with the condition end up using reading glasses, but there is a new option on a horizon. The KAMRA Vision corneal inlay device has a camera-like aperture that automatically adjusts to change the depth of field of the image that falls on the retina. This allows implantees, after a 10 minute procedure using topical anesthesia, to go about their day without resorting to glasses and hopefully allowing them to regain their healthy vision. The device has been going through clinical trials.
New Technique Enables Increasingly Accurate PET Scan
A novel technique which reduces image degradation caused by respiratory motion during a PET scan was developed in a recent study at the University of Eastern Finland. PET scanning is routinely used to detect cancer and heart conditions. The new technique presented in the PhD thesis of Tuomas Koivumäki, MSc (Tech.), is based on bioimpedance measurement and it allows for image reconstruction at a specific phase of the patient's breathing pattern. This, in turn, makes it possible to reduce image degradation caused by motion. In the future, the newly developed technique will enable increasingly accurate image acquisition especially during PET scans performed to detect cancers of the chest and upper abdomen, and inflammatory diseases of the heart. PET scanning, or positron emission tomography, is a modern nuclear medicine imaging method, which allows for the detection of cancer and heart conditions.
Philips Launches Breast Cancer Care App
Philips and UK charity Breast Cancer Care has launched an interactive mobile app to help people check for symptoms of breast cancer. The app aims to take users through the process of self-examination with easy-to-follow steps and instructions. Dr Emma Pennery, clinical director of Breast Cancer Care said the app provides education to encourage women to regularly check their breasts. Around 55,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer in every year and Philips said that early detection and diagnosis “can save lives and could lead to better treatment outcomes.” Philips already had an existing breast cancer care app, but has re-launched it as an interactive version as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.
e-Healthcare May Help Reverse the Trend of High CVD and Obesity in China
The use of electronic healthcare services (versus more traditional methods) to reduce the high incidence of heart disease in China has been debated by leading cardiologists from around the world in Beijing at the 25th Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology & Asia Pacific Heart Congress & International Congress of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (GW-ICC & APHC & ICCPR 2014). A recent study presented at the ESC Congress 2014 found that obese youths have a nearly six fold risk of hypertension. Childhood obesity is on the rise in China, where fast food and soda is replacing healthier food options. Recently the Chinese government announced it will launch a program aimed at treating and preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Professor Dayi Hu, chief of the Heart Institute at the People's Hospital, Peking University and President of the China Heart Federation said “we need to find effective ways to reach the public so they understand the risks involved in an unhealthy lifestyle and diet. This can be done in a variety of ways, including through a marketing program that emphasizes good health and an electronic healthcare system that provides more access. We need to make people aware of the risks and understand how to reduce them."
UK Surgeons Unaware of Paperless Plans
More than half of UK surgeons are unaware of the government’s plans to move to a paperless NHS by 2018, according to a new survey. The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland says the findings from its report show that frontline clinicians must be engaged more thoroughly by politicians and healthcare officials. The association’s report,
“Operating within a digital NHS?” found that 57% of those surveyed were not aware of the plans to become paperless, while only 43% said they were aware. To address this concern, the association recommends that each of NHS England’s national clinical directors prepare a “vision document” outlining how the paperless NHS agenda will be implemented in their specialty, including an assessment of benefits, examples in practice and metrics to measure progress.
Southeast Asia's Health App Explosion
Millions of Southeast Asians today lack access to affordable, quality healthcare. As connected devices become increasingly ubiquitous in the region, however, many companies and NGOs are developing innovative eHealth apps to address the problem. Southeast Asia’s healthcare systems today face an acute shortage of funding. Total public and private healthcare spending accounted for only 3.9% of Southeast Asia’s GDP in 2012—lower than any other region in the world. While the average American and European drops thousands of dollars on healthcare each year, per capita spending in most Southeast Asian countries averages less than $250 annually. Improving Southeast Asia’s healthcare systems will require billions of dollars in new infrastructure, but putting all that money to work will take time that millions don’t have. As more people gain access to connected devices, however, entrepreneurs, companies, and organizations across the region see potential to speed improvements to healthcare delivery with new web and mobile applications. Some of these apps transform connected devices into portals for clinical care, allowing patients to communicate virtually with clinicians and receive health advice. These “telehealth” or “eVisit” apps can streamline or even automate the consultation process, saving time and costs for everyone.
In US, Nurses' EHR Dissatisfaction Hits Record High, Report Finds
Dissatisfaction with inpatient electronic health record systems has reached an all-time high among nurses, according to a report by Black Book Market Research, Health Data Management. Black Book's third quarter 2014 Loyalty Poll surveyed 13,650 US nurses to gauge their satisfaction with their hospitals' EHR system. The report found that 92% of nurse respondents reported being dissatisfied with their organization's inpatient EHR system. Specifically, 94% of respondents said they do not believe that communication between the nurse and the rest of the care team has improved, 90% said their EHR system has adversely affected communication between nurses and patients, 85% said they struggle daily with flawed EHR systems and only 26% agreed with the statement: "As a nurse, I believe the current EHR at my organization improves the quality of patient information."
Find Out What's New and Happening at Canada Health Infoway
Join us for TELUS Health Talks – November 14, 2014
Dr. Farzad Mostashari covers Taking an Aggressive Stance on EMRs: Lessons from the US
(This session is available to attendees at no cost. You do not need to be a HealthcareBoard member to attend.)
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