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Editor's e-Note
You may not know this, but cyber criminals are sort of nostalgic. In that vein, they’re huge supporters of health care systems with old systems and software.

Their favorite may be creaky software that hospitals choose to neglect despite the availability of patches and updates. There are several reasons behind this oversight, some of which are explored in this month’s E-News Exclusive.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Health Care’s Historical Hurts — How Outdated Systems and Software Make Health Care a Target
By John Nye

In well over a decade of testing and assessing networks and their constituent systems, the rarest finding has always been a well-managed network with patched systems. A perfect storm of circumstances and industry necessities has led to a deep-seated and difficult-to-fix culture of insecure networks. For example, at any given time in most hospitals—between contractors, patients, and visitors—half the people neither work there nor know or follow security procedures.

Another common cause of outdated systems are those unknown or not controlled by the organization, such as biomedical devices and anything in the imaging suite. The health care industry struggles as a whole to manage system inventories and patching in far too many cases.

A few major, ingrained issues have led to the current state of HIT, including the following:

• Physicians and researchers shadow IT. Many physicians and researchers have the leeway (or simply take it) to choose what type of computers they use and often choose whatever software they prefer as well.

• Old systems. This is one of the biggest issues in the health care world—systems that are either “too expensive” or “too difficult” to replace with a modern equivalent. Good examples here are industrial control systems and medical imaging devices.

• Missing updates and unpatchable systems. Many health care organizations have decided to keep Windows XP, Server 2003, Windows 7, and other old Windows Server versions past their deprecation dates. This makes them vulnerable to attack and the only protections available are insufficient “Band-Aids.”

Full story »
Products & Services
Libman Education Releases HIPAA Privacy & Security Courses
Libman Education now offers multiple options for HIPAA privacy and security training, with four new courses authored by HIPAA expert Kelly McLendon, RHIA, CHPS. Courses include “HIPAA Privacy & Security Training” for nonclinical workforce members of a health care provider with no prior HIPAA privacy and security training; “HIPAA Privacy and Security Training — Refresher,” which addresses 2018 updates in OCR guidance, including ransomware, cloud computing, patient access, and disclosing to loved ones; “HIPAA Privacy & Security Training — Business Associates (No Patient Rights)” for business associates and subcontractors that do not process “patient rights” requests such as disclosures and amendments; and “HIPAA Privacy & Security Training — Business Associates (with Patient Rights)” for business associates and subcontractors that process “patient rights” requests such as disclosures and amendments. Learn more »

3M and M*Modal Combine to Create CDI Engage One
3M M*Modal CDI Engage One brings the power of 3M and M*Modal advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language understanding technologies to deliver real-time clinical insight to clinicians, clinical documentation improvement (CDI) specialists, and coding teams. CDI Engage One embeds AI-powered clinical intelligence into both standard physician and CDI workflows. It analyzes EHR notes and clinical data to find gaps and deficiencies, helping clinicians document the patient story upfront, completely and accurately, before notes are saved to the EHR, which means fewer CDI queries and less disruption to workflow. Built on a single, cloud-based platform, CDI Engage One integrates with the 3M 360 Encompass System, enabling users to drive increased efficiency of back-end CDI processes and save hours of manual review with advanced AI tools for CDI worklist prioritization, streamlined CDI queries, and clinical evidence-based documentation analysis. Learn more »

Frontive Smart Personal Health Platform Simplifies Complex Care Instructions
Frontive, a digital health company, announces its smart personal health platform, Frontive Health. Frontive combines its patented AI–enabled solution with Amazon Echo’s intuitive voice assistant to securely connect and organize fragmented pieces of health information to help patients and caregivers more easily adhere to care regimens. Frontive Health focuses on the “task management” of care instead of diagnosis and triage, identifies and guides patients through a few daily actions to do and/or to avoid that most contribute to their goals, and leverages patients’ existing health info and preferences to create a personalized interaction that dynamically adapts as needed. Frontive Health also reduces the need for manual data entry by automatically extracting and updating select items directly from patients’ PHRs. This information is maintained in a private HIPAA-compliant cloud to protect patient privacy. Learn more »

Imprivata and Vocera Partner to Advance Mobility in Health Care
A partnership between Imprivata and Vocera Communications combines Imprivata Mobile Device Access with Vocera Collaboration Suite to enable fast, familiar authentication into shared clinical mobile devices and the Vocera smartphone application, eliminating the burden of manual log-ins for health care providers. The joint solution gives clinicians the same secure clinical communication capability they have with Vocera Collaboration Suite, with the addition of single sign-on for faster access. Imprivata Mobile Device Access also enables users to access shared mobile devices with a simple tap of a proximity badge, which increases device security, protects patient health information, and improves auditing, all without disrupting clinical workflow. Imprivata Mobile Device Access integrates seamlessly with Imprivata OneSign, ensuring a fast, consistent authentication workflow experience across workstations, virtual desktops, and mobile devices. Learn more »
Ask the Expert
Have a coding or documentation question? Get an expert answer by sending an email to

This month’s selection:
Any advice on how to best capture the codes for the novel coronavirus?


The new, scary variety is deemed “Novel 1 coronavirus.” There is more than one coronavirus; the regular kind is one of the viruses that cause the common cold. This new critter doesn’t yet have its own specific code.

It’s hard to find the coronavirus codes from the index alone; you have to know exactly what the virus causes. 3M software is more user-friendly.

B34.2, Coronavirus infection, unspecified

Read more »
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In this e-Newsletter
Recently in For The Record
Address Skill Gaps, Boost Coder Productivity
There are holes in coders’ games, according to the results of a nationwide coding contest. Don’t fret, say coding directors, there are strategies out there that can help plug any deficiencies. Read more »

Ahead of the Curve
By taking a collaborative approach to documentation and coding, health care organizations are able to stay on top of their charts. Read more »

Down but Not Out
For whatever reason, the EHR is not functional. Now what? Smart health care organizations will have a back-up plan ready to fire on all cylinders. Read more »

Rappin’ About RACs
Rarely does the activity of recovery audit contractors remain ordinary, run of the mill. Experts discuss the latest developments in an effort to help health care organizations try to dodge denials. Read more »
Other News
New Cerner Patent Reflects Efforts to Move Beyond EHR Products
Cerner was awarded a patent for a blood sample defect detection device, diversifying the company’s portfolio from strictly EHRs, reports Becker’s Hospital Review.

Digital Health Technology Can Help Manage the Coronavirus Outbreak
Various tech is helping identify, monitor, detect, and treat the Wuhan virus, including BlueDot, a health monitoring artificial intelligence platform that warned of the outbreak before other health organizations did and correctly predicted the virus’ path, according to The Medical Futurist.
Industry Insight
AMA Announces New Effort to Train More Future Physicians on Health Systems Science

Furthering its work to ensure future physicians are well equipped to deliver care to patients within modern health systems, the American Medical Association (AMA) recently announced a new effort aimed at training more future physicians in health systems science. The AMA’s new Health Systems Science Scholars Program will provide select medical school and residency program faculty with the resources and coaching they need to design, implement, and evaluate health systems science curricula at their institutions.

“The AMA is committed to ensuring all future physicians are ready to enter practice with a better understanding of how health care is delivered, how health care professionals work together to deliver care, and how they can improve patient care and health care delivery in modern health systems. This is the latest step toward achieving that goal,” says AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA. “We will continue to work with our community of innovation to develop and share additional resources and best practices to help prepare our future physicians to deliver care that meets the needs of modern patients on their first day in practice. This work will move the US health system to improve patient experiences, improve population health, and reduce health care costs.”

During the 12-month program, faculty members—selected through a competitive application process—representing 38 medical schools and residency programs across the country will receive resources and individual coaching and mentorship from nationally known experts in health systems science. Over the course of the year, each scholar will complete a curriculum project that their institution can use to integrate health systems science into physician training, attend a two-day faculty-development workshop, participate in webinars, and meet with a designated mentor.

Read more »
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