A bipartisan group of senators has released a draft bill that would create a nationwide electronic system to track the distribution of prescription drugs. The proposed measure would require every entity in the prescription drug supply chain to provide electronic transaction information during ownership changes, strengthen licensing requirements for wholesale drug distributors and require FDA to maintain a database of such distributors. Philadelphia Inquirer’s "PhillyPharma", Politico's "Pulse."
On Tuesday, six Republican senators released a white paper outlining their concerns about current federal health information technology policy and called for an overhaul of the meaningful use electronic health record incentive program. In the white paper, the lawmakers wrote, "nearly four years after [its] enactment ... we see evidence that the program is at risk of not achieving its goals and that $35 billion in taxpayer money is being spent ineffectively in the process." FierceEMR, Center for Public Integrity.
Proponents of using telehealth technology to monitor patients in intensive care units say that leveraging such tele-ICU systems could help reduce costs and improve care. However, some critics of the technology argue that there is little evidence that tele-ICU systems has led to improvements in patient care. New York Times.
A new report finds that 70% of surveyed physicians say that at least one patient shares health measurement data with them and that nearly 75% say that patient self-tracking could lead to improved health outcomes. Clinical Innovation & Technology, Manhattan Research release.
Consumers' online reviews and ratings could have important implications for health care providers, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute. Researchers found that 48% of U.S. consumers have consulted a health care-related review through Yelp, Facebook or another source. The report noted that patient satisfaction scores already are financially affecting health care organizations through initiatives like CMS' value-based purchasing program. Becker's Hospital Review, PwC release.
A report from McKinsey & Company finds that the health care industry could save up to $450 billion annually by using "big data." However, the report notes that the health care industry will need to make changes to realize such savings. Wall Street Journal's "CIO Journal" et al.
Most patients who had online access to their electronic health record data experienced improved communication with their health care providers and greater engagement in their care, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. However, the study found that some patients said they experienced negative effects stemming from derogatory language in physician notes and inconsistencies between physicians' verbal and written comments. FierceEMR, InformationWeek.
To help patients with chronic conditions, physicians increasingly are recommending mobile applications that offer basic reminders or link with medical devices to transmit vital information. Some insurers are covering the cost of such apps as a way to reduce overall health care costs. Columbus Dispatch.
On Tuesday, President Obama announced a new brain-mapping initiative that could help researchers discover new ways to treat Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke and other neurological conditions. In addition to advancing neuroscience research, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies -- or, BRAIN -- initiative could spur the development of new IT tools. InformationWeek, New York Times.
An Institute of Medicine report calls for the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to integrate their electronic health record systems as part of an effort to ease the transition for U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. VA and DOD recently announced plans to halt their integrated EHR project and instead focus on making their current systems more interoperable. FierceHealthIT, MedPage Today.
California researchers found that models of website networking and cellphone signal transmissions offer insight into how lung cancer spreads in the body and how cancer treatment plans could be improved, according to a study by published Monday in the journal Cancer Research. U-T San Diego.
Although many U.S. residents use the Internet to look for health information, few post online reviews or comments about health-related topics, according to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Among those who use the Internet to look for health information, Brigham Young University researchers found that 15% post health-related comments or questions on social networking sites, blogs or online discussion forums and 10% post reviews of health care providers or facilities. Wall Street Journal's "Ideas Market," BYU release.
During a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Thursday, an FDA official announced that the agency plans to issue final guidance on how it will regulate mobile health applications by Oct. 1. In addition, the official said FDA will not regulate health-related lifestyle apps or apps that perform the functions of an electronic health record or personal health record system. Modern Healthcare, Clinical Innovation & Technology.
UC-San Francisco researchers are preparing to launch a study that will leverage smartphones and other devices to better prevent and manage heart disease. Researchers aim to enroll up to one million participants across the U.S., who will contribute information to a centralized database. Wall Street Journal.
Next week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold three days of hearings to examine how FDA should regulate medical applications used on tablet computers, smartphones and other mobile devices. House lawmakers say they want to determine how the regulation of medical apps could affect patients, health care providers and app developers. Washington Post's "Post Tech."