Risky HIE practices, iPad Air review, 3D mammography, and more
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Health Management Technology News
November 6, 2013

In this issue:

Avoiding the five risky HIE practices that threaten data integrity

Hologic 3D mammography tech tops "Minnies" and "Best in KLAS" annual awards

Midwives and nurses are as good as docs – and sometimes better, WHO finds

Gizmag’s Will Shanklin reviews iPad Air

Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2B in U.S. healthcare fraud settlement


Avoiding the five risky HIE practices that threaten data integrity

Health information exchange organizations (HIOs) offer a number of potential benefits to patients, providers, and stakeholders by ensuring that clinicians have access to the information they need when they need it. However, system issues, stakeholder demands and resource limitations have forced many HIOs to use sub-par data integrity processes that could compromise their long term-success, according to an article in the November/December Journal of AHIMA, "Five Risky HIE Practices that Threaten Data Integrity." According to the article, the five risky practices are:

  1. Relying on weak algorithms to manage duplicate records, increasing the chance of creating potentially dangerous patient records;
  2. Failing to include HIM staff in implementing record-matching algorithms, creating a lack of understanding on what constitutes critical data or where that data resides on the patient record;
  3. Failure to manage ongoing data integrity, instead of taking steps to remove duplicate records and prevent the creation of new ones;
  4. Lack of standard interfaces and automated processes, relying instead on manual processes; and
  5. Establishing weak governance processes, which may allow bad data to pollute the system.

To avoid these dangers and eliminate the problems caused by dirty or duplicate data, HIOs are advised to implement strong data integrity best practices, including: using advanced duplicate matching algorithms to strengthen those built into systems; establishing strong governance policies; and automating data mapping, integrity audits, duplicate data monitoring, identification, and reconciliation and other manual processes whenever possible.

Read the full AHIMA article.

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Hologic 3D mammography tech tops "Minnies" and "Best in KLAS" annual awards

Hologic, Inc., a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of premium diagnostic products, medical imaging systems and surgical products, announced Nov. 5 that two leading healthcare organizations have recognized 3D mammography (breast tomosynthesis) technology with important industry awards. 3D mammography, a technology pioneered by Hologic, was named the Hottest Clinical Procedure in 2013 by AuntMinnie.com, a leading worldwide radiology Web content provider. Additionally, Hologic's 3D mammography system was recognized as the category leader in digital mammography and received the highest rating out of 140 imaging products evaluated in the 2013 "Best in KLAS" annual customer satisfaction survey.

"In the past year, the adoption rate of 3D mammography has increased dramatically as several large clinical studies validated the benefits of this groundbreaking technology," said David Harding, Hologic Group Vice President – Women's Health. "We believe Hologic's 3D mammography is well on its way to becoming the standard of care in breast cancer screening. Recognitions such as these reinforce what we have known since we first introduced the technology – 3D mammography can detect cancers earlier when a woman's potential for successful treatment is at its greatest and can significantly reduce unnecessary patient recalls."

In the 2013 annual ranking of the best in radiology, 3D mammography was named the Hottest Clinical Procedure by the readers and editors of AuntMinnie.com for the fourth consecutive year. The "Minnies" awards recognize excellence in radiology. Candidates are selected from nominations submitted by AuntMinnie.com members, and winners are chosen through two rounds of voting by expert panelists. This year there were over 200 candidates and 15 categories.

Also recognized was Hologic's Affirm 3D guided breast biopsy procedure which came in second in the Best New Radiology Device category.

Hologic's 3D Dimensions system was named "Best in KLAS" in the digital mammography category in the 2013 KLAS annual customer satisfaction survey of medical imaging products. The 3D mammography system also received the highest rating out of the 140 imaging products evaluated.

Read the Hologic announcement

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Midwives and nurses are as good as docs – and sometimes better, WHO finds

Midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other non-doctors do as good a job as MDs in the care they deliver – and patients often like them better, a World Health Organization team reported last Thursday.

These non-physicians are especially effective in delivering babies, taking care of people infected with the AIDS virus and helping people care for chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, the team reported in a WHO bulletin.

The findings extend from the poorest nations to the United States and Europe, they said. While some physician groups have resisted wider use of such professionals, they should embrace them because they are often less expensive to deploy and are far more willing to work in rural areas, the WHO experts said.

“There are some obvious advantages in terms of relying on mid-level health workers,” WHO’s Giorgio Cometto told NBC news in a telephone interview.

“They take less time to be trained. Typically, they cost less to remunerate. In some countries they are more likely to be retained in rural areas.”

David Auerbach, a researcher at the Rand Corp., says other studies have shown the same thing. “There’s really not much difference you can find in the quality,” he said.

Cometto and colleagues around the world looked at all the studies they could find on the quality of care delivered by non-physicians. They settled on 53 that looked specifically at the quality of care delivered – and at how happy patients were with the care they got.

“The evidence shows there aren’t statistically significant differences,” Cometto said. “The quality of care they provide is comparable to physicians. In some cases, for specific services, they actually outperform physicians.”

Read the NBC News article.

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Mobile Tech

Gizmag’s Will Shanklin reviews iPad Air

After putting it through the paces, we can say the iPad Air combines "personal" and "computer" to near perfection. If you take those words literally, then you might say the iPad Air is the best PC ever made.

The biggest reason – and maybe the only reason – to upgrade to the iPad Air from the last couple of iPads is its combination of size, weight and build. Yes, it's basically a big iPad mini. But we think that's a very, very good thing.

Pick up an older iPad, then pick up the iPad Air, and the difference is immediately noticeable. The Air is 28 percent lighter than the last two full-sized iPads. To put that in perspective, the iPhone 5s is only 17 percent lighter than the first-generation iPhone, from way back in 2007. Yet Apple just shaved nearly 30 percent off of the iPad's weight in one year.

The iPad Air gives you the same big, beautiful screen that the previous two Retina Display-equipped iPads gave you. If you've used either the iPad 3 or iPad 4, then the iPad Air's screen is going to be a spitting image.

Part of the reason the iPad Air is so light and thin is because it has a smaller battery than previous iPads. It actually holds 24 percent less juice than the last two iPads. But rest assured, the new model's battery life is as good as ever … if not a little better.

The iPad Air is much faster than any other iPad … and pretty much any other ARM-based mobile device. That's a good thing, but we also don't necessarily think it's reason enough to upgrade from last year's model.

Read the full Gizmag review.

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Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2B in U.S. healthcare fraud settlement

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries have agreed to pay over $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations of promoting three prescription drugs for off-label uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Justice announced on Monday.

"The conduct at issue in this case jeopardized the health and safety of patients and damaged the public trust," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. "This multibillion-dollar resolution demonstrates the Justice Department's firm commitment to preventing and combating all forms of healthcare fraud. And it proves our determination to hold accountable any corporation that breaks the law and enriches its bottom line at the expense of the American people."

The allegations include paying kickbacks to physicians and pharmacies to recommend and prescribe Risperdal and Invega, both antipsychotic drugs, and Natrecor, which is used to treat heart failure.

The figure – one of the largest health care fraud settlements in U.S. history – includes $1.72 billion in civil settlements with federal and state governments as well as $485 million in criminal fines and forfeited profits.

Monday's action is the latest example of regulators cracking down on aggressive pharmaceutical marketing tactics, namely trying to increase sales by pushing medicines for unapproved, or "off-label," uses. While doctors are allowed to prescribe medicines for any use, drugmakers cannot promote them in any way that is not approved by FDA.

J&J said in a statement, "This resolution allows us to move forward."

The government's criminal complaint over Risperdal charged that from 2002 to 2003, sales representatives of J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals promoted the antipsychotic to physicians and other prescribers who treated elderly dementia patients by urging them to use the drug to treat symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, depression, hostility and confusion despite the drug only being approved to treat schizophrenia at that time. Sales reps were allegedly offered incentives for off-label promotion of the drug.

Risperdal then grew to become J&J's top product by 2005, with sales over $3.5 billion.

In its plea agreement, J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals admitted to promoting Risperdal as a way to control erratic behavior in seniors with dementia. Today that use is explicitly barred in the drug's warning label because it can increase the risk of stroke and death in elderly patients.

Read the CBS News article.

Return to the table of contents >




Surviving value-based purchasing in healthcare

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View the On-Demand Recording of this Health Catalyst Webinar >

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November 2013 HMT digital book

Industry News

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NEWTON, Mass. - October 30, 2013 - In the largest opinion poll ever undertaken on revenue cycle management (RCM) software,...
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Health Catalyst named fifth best place to work in small healthcare companies
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - October 30, 2013 - Health Catalyst, a leader in healthcare data warehousing and analytics, ranked No. 20...
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Joint Commission annual report recognizes 1,099 Top Performer hospitals
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. – October 30, 2013 – Thirty-three percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals reporting...
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