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 | Vol. 13 No. 8, April 20, 2016 |
Study Cautions e-Health Records May Feature Important Gaps
A recently released study by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute (US) found an early adopter of electronic medical records (EMRs) showed "significant missing data" within its e-records for patients with a diagnosis for depression or bipolar disorder throughout 2009.
The gaps were found for patients with a diagnosis for depression or bipolar disorder throughout 2009. While the study focused on behavioral health within a particular provider group, it cautioned more broadly that incomplete data is characteristic of the entire system of electronic medical records. The study looked at more than 5,500 patients insured through Harvard Pilgrim. About a quarter of depression and bipolar diagnoses were not recorded and almost 90% of acute psychiatric services at hospitals were not included in the e-health records, the study found.
The US 2009 federal stimulus law included rules dictating that by 2015 more than 500,000 doctors in the country and almost 6,000 hospitals should have e-health records and health information technology systems or be subject to penalties in Medicare reimbursement, the study said. Faulty e-health records can have dire consequences. This latest study referenced a prior study into malpractice filings, identifying 147 cases where e-health records "contributed to patient harm" with 46 of those resulting in death. The study suggested improvements might be achieved by insurers sharing claims data with e-health systems and clinicians as well as "patient-driven data-sharing mechanisms."


Laser Sensor to Differentiate Tumors and Healthy Tissue During Surgery
Knowing the boundary of a tumor, particularly around important anatomy as in the brain, is critical to successful surgical extractions. Scientists at the VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands may have come up with a way to identify the margins between healthy and cancerous tissue during the surgery, requiring no biopsies or staining of the tissue. The technique relies on very short burst lasers that use what’s known as third harmonic generation to essentially fuse photons within tissue to generate higher frequency photons that reveal a lot about their environment.
The laser light is delivered at 1200 nanometers, long enough to penetrate a bit through soft tissue. When three photons combine they produce new photons at 400 nanometers that scatter as they pass through the tissue on the way to the detector. The scattering creates a picture of the tissue, allowing for identification of cancerous vs. healthy material.
Australia: Dead People Given e-Health Records in Latest Bungle for $1 Billion Government Program
The federal Health Department is setting up My Health records for people who have been dead for over two decades in the latest bungle to beset the troubled $1 billion project. It comes as a major international technology company CSC last month warned medical practices not to use the My Health Record because of a glitch that meant data for one patient “may be saved against an incorrect patient record”.
And as the Australian Medical Association calls for a major overhaul of the records to integrate them into existing medical software because just 300 GPs are using the records each week. Four years after it was launched only 75,000 records are populated with a patient health summary that makes them useful to doctors. As the project to drag healthcare into the digital age flounders it has emerged the government is setting up My Health records for people who are no longer alive.
Dubai Says Planning to Open 22 New Healthcare Facilities
Dubai's new healthcare strategy will generate numerous openings for investors across the sector, with medical tourism, e-services and specialized-hospital expansion ripe for development, a senior official has said. Humaid Al-Qatami, the chairman and director-general of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said in an interview with Oxford Business Group that the Dubai Health Strategy 2021 had been developed to take account of both "strengths and gaps" in the current services available.
He said Dubai plans to open 22 new healthcare facilities - 18 private and four public hospitals - in the coming years. Al-Qatami, who was previously the Minister of Education and Health, also highlighted the full implementation of compulsory medical insurance in the emirate. Key features include a sharper focus on prevention, health and lifestyle, smart healthcare and governance, Al-Qatami said. He also highlighted the "tremendous opportunity for investment" in e-health initiatives, which he described as "vital" for the growth and development of the health sector. At the heart of the strategy lies Dubai's bid to carve a niche as a regional and international destination for medical tourism by boosting health visitor numbers from 135,000 in 2014 to 500,000 by 2020.
Siemens Develops e-Health Application for German Radiology Network
Curagita Holding AG and Siemens Healthcare are jointly planning to develop and evaluate new e-health solutions for the 100 practices in the Radiologienetz Deutschland (Radiology Network Germany). An initial pilot phase will test an e-health application in the network's own major radiology and nuclear medicine practices in Hamburg and Munich, which will support both diagnostic processes and the quality network between the various locations. In the first stage, from mid-2016, it will be possible for the two participating reference practices within the network, and the patients themselves, to have electronic access to prostate cancer diagnosis results. Siemens will be responsible for interdisciplinary and multi-sector networking and develop the access portals. The physicians at the major practices will also test the diagnostic imaging software and Siemens' long-term archive. The evaluation of different indicators from medical examinations and expert surveys via telemedicine will make use of a Cloud-based IT solution from Siemens.
Leading Australian Hospital Group Ramsay Health Care Win Global GS1 Healthcare Award
Ramsay Health Care, leading Australian hospital group, has been announced the winner of the prestigious ‘GS1 Healthcare Best Provider Implementation Case Study Award’ in the GS1 Healthcare Provider Advisory Council (HPAC) awards. The award recognizes the best implementation of GS1 standards to support improvements of at least one process in their hospital group.
The ceremony was held at the recent Global GS1 Healthcare Conference held in Dubai from the 18 to 20 April 2016 where the GS1 Healthcare community gathered to hear about the implementation of GS1 standards in hospitals and the benefits global standards bring to providers and patients.


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