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Vol. 11 No. 21, October 8, 2014


Asking for Patient Feedback Improves Accuracy of EHRs
Allowing patients to provide electronic feedback on their medication lists can improve the accuracy of their electronic health records (EHRs), according to a study published in eGEMs. For the study, researchers reviewed a Geisinger Health System initiative that permits patients to view their medication lists before visiting the doctor and provide feedback if there are inaccuracies. Pharmacists followed up with patients that requested changes before finalizing the requests. Of 457 completed forms, 414 were included in the analysis. The researchers found patients generally were "eager" to offer feedback on their EHRs. Of those who submitted forms, 89% requested changes, including changing a type of drug, revealing a potential overdose, or updating dosage frequency.
The study found that patients provided accurate and useful information about their medications. Specifically, pharmacists said patient feedback was accepted in 80% of the cases and resulted in record changes. The pharmacists also noted that it took about 2.5 minutes per form to process the feedback. Based on a subsample of 107 forms, the researchers found that pharmacists responded positively to patients' feedback. (PDF)


Rapid Ebola Detector Identifies Infected Patients in About an Hour
With the Ebola virus spreading, researchers around the world are working on finding ways to prevent pandemic. One major part in being able to control the spread of Ebola is early identification of infected patients. Scientists at Boston University have been developing a new photonic device that doesn’t require labeling of samples and may provide quick and accurate diagnosis of Ebola anywhere it is taken. The device has already been shown to be able to spot individual H1N1 virus particles, but now the researchers have shown that it can identify multiple viruses at the same time, including viruses that were genetically modified to resemble Ebola and Marburg. Previous techniques generally required a few hours of preparation and processing before results were provided, but the new device demands very little prep and spits out results within about one hour.
Phosphorescent Transparent Paint-On Bandage Shows Wound Tissue Oxygenation
Monitoring how serious wounds are healing can be a challenging endeavour, the wound usually being hidden from view by bandages. Beside visual assessment, the oxygenation of wound tissue is an important parameter that would provide a lot of information to clinicians. Now a new paint-on bandage developed at Harvard can provide both a window to see the wound and indication of the oxygen saturation below the bandage.
The bandage consists of phosphorescent molecules that are covered by a paint-on transparent flexible material. When light is shined onto the bandage, the phosphor molecules are activated and continue glowing after the light is turned off. The less oxygen is present around the molecules, the longer they glow. Using a smartphone as a sensor to time how long the bandage glows for indicates the amount of oxygen in the wound.
Google Glass Live Captioning for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Captions Nearby Speakers
There’s a help for deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate with others that don’t know sign language – a new app for Google Glass that does the lip reading all on its own. Developed at Georgia Tech, the app works with a smartphone that runs voice recognition algorithms. The person with whom the Glass wearer is speaking simply talks into the phone and the transcribed text automatically appears within the Glass. The app will provide different possibilities for the text if there are ambiguities and the Glass wearer can quickly select which is the correct one to help define the context of the conversation. Additionally, the size of the text that appears on the screen can be easily adjusted and you can have family and friends install the app on their own phones to quickly pair up with and start using the app anytime they’re around.


Digitizing Healthcare: The State of e-Health in Australia
If there is one industry experiencing rapid change right now, it is healthcare. Whether it’s the shift from paper to electronic records, face-to-face consultation to telehealth diagnosis or instructing patients to empowering them, the industry is evolving fast. UnitingCare Health is rolling out Australia’s first fully integrated digital hospital, which will connect up e-medical records, X-rays, pathology results, vital sign machines and other health information. St Stephen’s digital hospital in Hervey Bay, Queensland is set to open on 13 October and is receiving $47 million from the Federal Government's Health and Hospitals Fund, with UnitingCare contributing $49m. The hospital has a goal to reach Healthcare Information Management System Society (HIMSS) level 6 when it opens, and then level 7 about a year after. This global benchmark for IT maturity is aimed at improving patient care.
New Brunswick Clinicians to Receive Mentorship from Peers to Effectively Use Technology in Practice
In partnership with Canada Health Infoway, Velante announced the launch of the interdisciplinary NB Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Peer to Peer Program, which will increase support for clinicians in New Brunswick (NB) as they transition from paper-based to EMR systems. New Brunswick joins other provinces already involved in the pan-Canadian Clinician Peer Network which provides access to best practices and lessons learned from other peer networks across the country and the opportunity to engage with their peer leader colleagues. As of March 2014, Infoway has created 10 Peer Networks that have engaged more than 350 peer leaders and 10,000 of their colleagues. The NB EMR Peer to Peer Program is part of Infoway's clinical engagement strategy to support the effective use of digital health solutions to enable patient-centred care in clinical practice.
UK: e-Referrals Launch Delayed
The go-live of the new NHS e-referral service has been pushed back from November to spring 2015 after testing revealed a number of defects that "may have remained unresolved" by the launch date. NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre are currently working with Atos to extend the existing contract for the existing Choose and Book service before it expires in December, but a deal has not yet been agreed. In April, the HSCIC said the new e-referral service, based on open source technology with a focus on open source standards, would go live in November this year. However, the HSCIC has now delayed the launch of the replacement service until spring 2015 due to the need for “significant test, assurance and defect resolution activity” to be completed.
US and UK Work on Obesity 'Disruptors'
NHS England has been working with the US Department of Health and Human Services on using data to tackle obesity, according to an American health technology leader. Bryan Sivak, the chief technology officer at the Department of Health and Human Services, said that the two organizations have been developing a shared set of work to “join up some of our efforts” on data and innovation. The partnership was finalized late last year, with a focus on addressing obesity by using data from the two countries’ systems and designing new quality metrics. There is also an intention to “prime the marketplace” for applications developers to encourage innovation.

Nine European Hospitals Receive Awards in Rome
The analytics unit of HIMSS Europe awarded nine European hospitals with a Stage 6 Award during an awards ceremony at the annual CIO Summit, taking place in Rome from 6 - 7 October. The awarded hospitals are: Galway Clinic with 146 beds, Azienda Ospedaliera of Vimercate with 527 beds, Zaans Medisch Centrum with 290 beds, Izmir Tire Devlet Hastanesi with 232 beds, Rize Devlet Hastanesi, Rize with 293 beds, Mersin Erdemli Devlet Hastanesi with 159 beds, Bursa Dörtçelik Hastanesi with 350 beds, Croydon University Hospital with 518 beds and Polyclinique de la Clarence with 205 beds.
It is the first time that hospitals in the UK and Ireland receive an EMRAM Stage 6 Award. There are now three Stage 6 hospitals in Italy, nine in France, eleven in the Netherlands and five in Turkey. In total there are fifty-two (52) hospitals in Europe recognized with the Stage 6, and two hospitals with the Stage 7, one in Germany and one in Spain.

New Faculty Peer Leader Network Supports Educating Next Generation of Clinicians for Digital Health Age
Clinician engagement continues to be a focus for Canada Health Infoway (Infoway), as it launches the new Faculty Peer Leader Network to support educators in preparing future clinicians to practice in a technology enabled environment. The Faculty Peer Leader Network builds upon of the successful Clinicians in Training program, which integrated clinical informatics core competencies into the curricula and produced resources to support education, and will leverage the Peer Leader Network model to provide support and mentorship to the academic community. Over the next 18 months, the Faculty Peer Leader Network will create a collaborative and engaging environment that aims to: incorporate emerging consumer health solutions, such as remote patient monitoring and e-visits; utilize existing tools and resources such as the Faculty Teaching Guide and Pharmacists e-Resource tool; curriculum redesign to promote inter-professional practice and the integration of informatics competencies; provide mentorship to support change management and quality improvements; and more.
Mobile Health (mHealth) Market Forecast 2014-2024: A Revolution in eHealth, Telemedicine, Informatics & Connected Health
The advent of connected devices and M2M is offering a tremendous opportunity for healthcare professionals. Near-ubiquitous mobile networks are allowing carers to diagnose, monitor, and communicate with patients with unprecedented speed and efficacy. mHealth is a term used for the practice of medicine and health services, through mobile devices. In its most common form, it refers to using mobile communication devices, such as smartphones and tablets, for health services and information. mHealth applications include the use of mobile devices in collecting community and clinical health data, delivery of healthcare information to practitioners, researchers, and patients, real-time monitoring of patient vital signs, and direct provision of care, via mobile telemedicine. The emergence of low-cost smartphones has allowed wider access to app stores, which are now home to over a million mHealth apps. These range between freemium apps geared around diet and daily fitness routines, scaling up to costly premium apps with elaborate clinical reference points, images, diagnostic, and monitoring functions.


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