Archives: Technology & Information Systems

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Let’s Stay Together: Negotiating a Successful Joint Technology Development Agreement

An entrepreneurial company may face an early decision as to how it can afford to develop new technology, particularly new technology that does not fit within the technical specialties of that entity. Whether a new company needs to develop a new website, new software, or a compatible piece of technology, that company might consider entering … Continue Reading

Calls and text messages from healthcare organizations: New developments under the TCPA’s ’emergency purpose’ exception

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which imposes a penalty of $500-$1,500 per violation for pre-recorded or auto-dialed calls to cell phones, contains two statutory exceptions to liability: where the recipient of the call provided his or her prior express consent to be called, or where the call was placed for an “emergency purpose.” 47 … Continue Reading

Medical Advancements in 3D Printing

3D printing continues to transform the medical field. Recently, doctors in Spain produced the world’s first 3D-printed rib cage and sternum, which is made entirely of titanium. The doctors surgically implanted the metal rib cage and sternum in a cancer patient. Last month, the FDA approved the first 3D-printed drug. The drug, which Aprecia Pharmaceuticals … Continue Reading

No Purple Communications exception applied to healthcare providers

In an Aug. 27, 2015, decision, a majority of the Board found that the Purple Communications standard, with respect to an employer’s email system, would apply without exception to healthcare providers and, in particular, for acute care hospitals. Contrary to the cogent arguments put forth by member Johnson in his dissent, the majority found there should … Continue Reading

TMB considers changes to on-call telemedicine requirements

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) Telemedicine Committee met on Thursday, August 27, 2015. During the meeting they discussed potential changes to the on-call services telemedicine rule (174.11). At the end of the meeting, they instructed board staff to draft proposed revisions to the rule to allow for changes to the rule. Although the direction to … Continue Reading

The 10 Key Activities for Effective Data Breach Response – Are You Prepared?

It’s a dangerous world for protected information, with major breaches in the news and a challenging cyber-threat environment behind the scenes. The healthcare industry is a prime target, especially given the premium value of health information on the black market. And healthcare entities face not only PHI breach exposures, but also security risks for other … Continue Reading

Another notch in the hacking holster: Cyber outlaws hit Anthem hard

Having no need to brandish bandanas to obscure identity or firearms to force entry, it was reported Wednesday that cyber bandits, in a sophisticated and well-orchestrated robbery, recently waltzed into the IT vaults of Anthem, the second-largest U.S. health insurer, and walked off with personally identifiable information on about 80 million current and former members, … Continue Reading

Interoperability 2017 – Will the latest government plan be the golden spike that connects the EHR rails?

Seemingly picking up where we left off in our recent white paper and Advisory Board article, the Obama administration released a 166-page draft plan January 30th intended to drive providers and patients toward a common set of electronic clinical information and a commitment to more fully connected EHR systems by the end of 2017.… Continue Reading

Big Redial – Texas telephone medicine terminated?

After a protracted legal battle resolved in the favor of Teladoc, Inc. (Teladoc) on Dec. 31, 2014, (see Teladoc, Inc. v. Texas Medical Board, No. 03-13-00211-CV, Tex. App. 3rd, Austin) and clarifying that Teladoc physicians could prescribe dangerous drugs based on a telephonic evaluation, the Texas Medical Board (TMB) wasted no time in issuing an … Continue Reading

Data security lessons learned from FIN4 cyber attacks

By now you have probably heard about the ongoing FIN4 cyber attacks on publicly traded entities in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. If not, here’s a brief recap. On Sunday, Nov. 30, security consulting firm FireEye published a report on the current hacking efforts of a group dubbed FIN4. FIN4 has targeted more than 100 … Continue Reading

New White Paper On Avoiding Liability with EHR Systems Now Available

In the Electronic Health Records (EHR) space, unconnected and competing systems carry the potential for organizational train wrecks. Until robust, efficient, and mandatory interoperability standards emerge, providers should consider linking systems through other means, as failure to do so may lead to malpractice and regulatory compliance issues. A new White Paper, Driving the Golden Spike: … Continue Reading

Update: The changing landscape of mobile medical app regulation, less than one year later

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a new Draft Guidance June 20, 2014, that would make significant changes to the way mobile medical devices are regulated, despite only being claimed by the FDA in September 2013. In that original Guidance, the FDA defined a new industry that it intended to regulate: the creators and providers … Continue Reading

Organizations Aim to Standardize Telehealth Practices

The Federation of State Medical Boards recently endorsed a model policy that addresses the proper use of telemedicine services.  Only a few weeks later, a not-for-profit foundation released  a report highlighting the benefits of telemedicine and making recommendations for telehealth services.  It’s no surprise that telehealth and telemedicine have been in the news with increasing … Continue Reading

Low-tech errors account for most healthcare data security incidents

“End-users, sysadmins, and developers lead the pack when it comes to mucking things up, though pretty much all of us are guilty.” These are simple, yet telling, words from the 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report released this week by Verizon. The report statistics indicate:  46 percent of all data security incidents in healthcare come from theft … Continue Reading

Global Information Governance Day

First, kudos to AHIMA for helping raise information governance awareness by sponsoring a Twitter chat on February 20, “Global Information Governance Day.” As an information governance professional, I am encouraged that industry associations like AHIMA are picking up the reins to drive both the visibility and importance of information governance in the enterprise. As Lynne … Continue Reading

Could Your Facility Benefit from Telemedicine?

A study published in the February 2014 issue of Health Affairs concludes that the use of telemedicine by nursing homes can reduce hospitalizations and generate savings for Medicare. However, there are several barriers to successful implementation, including the cost of the technology, the willingness of staff to utilize the service and traditional Medicare and Medicaid … Continue Reading

Zero-Based Information Governance

Remember the paper-based world when junk mail was clearly junk? When we could easily identify the important mail? When there was no middle ground? When we were not afraid to throw anything away? Deborah Juhnke, Director of Information Governance Consulting at Husch Blackwell, reminds us that when it comes to information governance, at some point … Continue Reading

Advanced Locks Provide More Than Security for Seniors

Alzheimer patients wandering off.  Jewelry stolen from a resident’s room.  Arthritic hands unable to maneuver a key in a lock.  All of these can be issues at senior living communities.  However, these issues may become less common as more and more senior communities are moving toward digital key systems. According to an article in Seniors … Continue Reading

New Healthcare Texting Products Available Through Sprint

Are healthcare providers at your facility texting patient information to each other?  This type of communication is becoming more and more common, but such text messages are often in violation of HIPAA.  To address this issue, Sprint announced last week that it is now offering two texting products that provide the proper security for PHI … Continue Reading

PC’s and Paper and Staff, Oh My!

This post was provided by Debbie Juhnke in Husch Blackwell’s Information Governance group. According to a recent KPMG report on data loss, the healthcare industry’s greatest exposures for data loss are hard copy loss/theft, PC theft, and social engineering, ranking first (in a tie), second, and third against other sectors respectively for percentage of data … Continue Reading

Study Finds iPads and FaceTime Help Transport of Critical Patients

Pediatric critical care transport teams at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware participated in a study using iPads to communicate about the patient’s condition prior to and during transport.  The study, which was funded by the Nemours Fund for Children’s Health, found that use of iPads provided better communication between the transport … Continue Reading

HHS Announces Settlement of HIPAA Breach Affecting Fewer Than 500 Patients

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a settlement with the Hospice of North Idaho (HONI) for potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security Rule.  The settlement, which was for $50,000, is unique because it is the first settlement involving a breach of electronic … Continue Reading