The Wall of Shame welcomes Sutter Health. Another computer with unencrypted protected health information on over 4 million patients – gone. Now, those guys are pretty smart, so why don’t they encrypt all computers with PHI? One of life’s persistent questions. I mean, I can accept the fact that a health plan operator like Cignet Health might have issues with getting a grip on HIPAA compliance, but Sutter Health? What were they thinking? Can’t happen here? Encryption is a drag? It’s an easy way to avoid major egg-on-face and to avoid spending significant coin on PR, credit reporting services, and potentially on court judgments — all in addition to significant administrative fines payable to HHS and state regulators.
So the federales are piloting the HIPAA audit program. I know it’s required by the HITECH Act, but who believes that it will motivate behavior change? Anyone? Sutter Health was clearly not motivated to seek a safe harbor that would have made the loss of 4 million patient records a non-event. I know encryption can be a drag, but I’m not a techie. If you are, I invite you to educate me (and the other non-techies out there) on the question of how miserable it really is to have to deal with encrypted data; if you’re really a techie, write a program to enable light-touch encryption that doesn’t interfere with use of data.
Whether or not encryption is miserable, we should be asking: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at HealthBlawg :: David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog*
How should physicians utilize social media in their professional lives? In this video, I was interviewed by Family Practice News at the 2011 American Academy of Family Physicians Annual Scientific Assembly meeting in Orlando. Check out this blog post where there are slides of my presentation at that meeting about social media. (Also FYI, as of this posting, the video above has the most hits of any on the Global Medical News Network channel – Yay!)
Especially for Family Medicine, using social media is very important, in my opinion, to help tell our story. For too long, I believe that we, as a specialty, have let others define who we are. Social media has a chance to change that.
As far as initial use of social media, I advise physicians Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Family Medicine Rocks Blog*
Turns out there is an unintended consequence of many of the current efforts to standardize the way doctor’s practice medicine. It is called de-skilling. De-skilling can occur when physicians and other providers try to adapt to standardized, new ways of doing things. Examples of such standardization include clinical based care guidelines, electronic medical records (EMRs), Pay for Performance (P4P), Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) requirements and so on.
Examples of physician de-skilling were revealed in a recent study which consisted of in-depth interviews with 78 primary care physicians regarding EMR use. EMRs are all about standardization – what data is captured and recorded, how data is reported, how data is used, and so on.
Over the course of the interviews, physicians in the study described significant examples of de-skilling behavior. Most indicated that Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Mind The Gap*
Physicians recommend treatments with higher survival rates for their patients, but they make more mental mistakes when they are the patient and have to choose for themselves.
Psychologists know that when people make decisions for others, they are dispassionate enough to be less swayed by extraneous factors. Even toddlers make less impulsive decisions for others than they do for themselves.
Researchers surveyed general internists and family medicine specialists about two scenarios, each with two treatment alternatives. Both outcomes involved a choice between surviving a fatal illness but with sometimes crippling outcomes. Physicians were randomized to groups in which they imagined themselves as the patient facing the decision, or in which they were recommending an option to a patient. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
There are three Internets. Here’s some Venn goodness (note that “The” was spelled “Teh” on purpose):
When it comes to “sEMR” (Social EMR), we are somewhere in the middle of the Web of “People” and the Web of “Things,” in case you’ve been wondering. Read the rest of the story over on Health Is Social.
*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*