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Industry Insight

IU Health Develops App to Help ED Physicians Search Patient Data

Doctors at Indiana University (IU) Health hospitals now have faster, easier access to information about the patients they are treating in the emergency department. The app, created in a partnership among Regenstrief Institute, Indiana Health Information Exchange, IU Health, and IU School of Medicine, provides clinicians with only the most relevant information from a patient’s medical history related to the complaint that brought them to the hospital.

“There is an incredible amount of information available for most patients, but sifting through all of it to find the most crucial data can be very time consuming,” says Titus Schleyer, DMD, PhD, a Regenstrief research scientist and professor of biomedical informatics at IU School of Medicine. “Clinicians could spend three to five minutes searching for data in a patient’s records. This tool cuts that time to less than 10 seconds, freeing up more time to interact with the patient.”

The app covers several conditions: chest pain, abdominal pain, headache, weakness and dizziness, back pain, pregnancy, heartbeat irregularities, and trouble breathing. These conditions account for about 40% of all visits to the emergency department at IU Health.

The decision support tool has been in use in the emergency department at IU Health Methodist for about two years. Over the course of the development, the team has improved functionality and added features, including support for multiple conditions.

Its use has now expanded to include emergency departments at IU Health West, IU Health North, and IU Health Saxony. The app will be rolled out to the remaining emergency departments in the IU Health system over the next nine months.

How the App Works
The app is integrated into the EHR system. When the clinician selects a condition, such as chest pain, the app connects to the Indiana Network for Patient Care, the clinical data repository managed by the Indiana Health Information Exchange, and retrieves the patient’s test results, notes, and other information most relevant to the complaint. The tool is a FHIR, or Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources app, an application programming interface allowing EHR systems to communicate with third-party applications using a common language.

“Before this app, providers had to leave the EHR and access the Indiana Network for Patient Care through a separate tool,” says John Kansky, president and CEO of Indiana Health Information Exchange. “This eliminates the extra step. In addition, instead of sorting through every single health record, this app anticipates what the doctors are looking for and brings up only the most relevant information.”

Researchers hope it will improve patients’ outcomes as well as reduce costs, time, and inconvenience by eliminating unnecessary tests and preventing readmissions to the hospital.

“The goal of this app is to allow providers to spend more time with patients, rather than searching through medical records, while also providing them the pertinent information they need to provide the best care possible,” says Jason T. Schaffer, MD, an emergency physician and associate medical information officer at IU Health and associate professor of clinical emergency medicine at IU School of Medicine. “What’s just as important is providing information on what is not available. With this decision support app, doctors don’t waste time searching for test results that may not exist.

“Our goal with this project is to develop a framework that can be generalized to other use cases,” Schaffer continues. “We hope to build upon this app and possibly make it available in other contexts to improve care.”

— Source: Regenstrief Institute


Security Leaders List 17 Recommended Controls to Mitigate Cyberattack Risks

To address concerns about an escalation in attempted cyberattacks sponsored by nation-states, the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Security (AEHIS), an affiliate of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, has published a list of recommended controls designed to mitigate risk. The guide was written by the AEHIS Incident Response Committee and is available to the public.

The document, “Healthcare Sector Preparations for the Threat of Nation State Sponsored Cyberattacks Against Critical Infrastructure,” lists 17 security controls a health care organization can implement to strengthen its cybersecurity posture. The recommended controls augment industry standard best practices.

“If an organization is not already in line with industry standard best practices, coming up to par on those first may very well serve that particular organization better,” the authors wrote. “What this guide is intended to do is highlight controls that can be used to supplement industry standard practices and highlight controls that may be especially helpful in helping organizations mitigate the potential damage a nation-state-sponsored cyberattack could do to a health care organization. The guidance is implemented in the form of a top list of things to do to help mitigate such attacks.”

The recommended controls are the following:

1. Patching
2. Verify Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans
3. Geoblocking
4. Security Information and Event Management Alerts
5. Threat Intelligence
6. Network Segmentation
7. Audit Publicly Exposed Assets and Services
8. Continuous Network Discovery
9. Incident Response Planning and Testing
10. Sandboxes
11. Application Whitelisting
12. DNS [Domain Name System] Sinkholing
13. Two-Factor Authentication
14. Local Administrator Password Solution
15. Deception
16. Enterprise Detection and Response
17. Security Education

“Healthcare Sector Preparations for the Threat of Nation State Sponsored Cyberattacks Against Critical Infrastructure” is available to download on the AEHIS website at aehis.org/ciso-resources.

— Source: The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives


Provation Acquires MD-Reports

 Provation Medical, a provider of procedure documentation and clinical decision support solutions, backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., announces its acquisition of MD-Reports, a provider of EMR, practice management, and report writing software.

For 25 years, Provation has been a market leader in procedure documentation software for gastroenterology, serving 42 of the top 50 gastroenterology hospitals and more than 2,600 facilities nationwide. MD-Reports serves a complementary segment of the market and has experienced significant growth by bringing high-quality clinical software solutions to more than 530 physician offices, hospitals, and ambulatory surgery centers. The combination enhances Provation’s best-in-class clinical documentation platform and adds practice management capabilities to its portfolio.

“With the addition of MD-Reports, Provation has expanded on our vision to increase productivity for all health care providers by bringing the latest software solutions to a new segment of the market,” says Daniel Hamburger, CEO of Provation. “In addition to our organic initiatives, growth through acquisition is an integral part of Provation’s strategy to develop a comprehensive portfolio of leading clinical productivity software solutions.”

Provation continues to build out its clinical productivity software portfolio to meet the evolving needs of physicians and to increase operational efficiencies, business profitability, and regulatory compliance by improving quality, streamlining workflows, and enabling insights.

“Provation is shaping the future of clinical productivity and better patient outcomes,” according to Prashant Mehrotra and Paul Huber of Clearlake. “The combination expands Provation’s core software offering and accelerates Provation’s ability to serve small and mid-sized providers. With the acquisition of MD-Reports complete and integration underway, we look forward to continuing to support the Provation team through Clearlake’s O.P.S. framework as they execute on a robust organic and inorganic growth strategy that is focused on innovation and delivering industry-leading software solutions.”

— Source: Provation