A Weekly Compilation of Clinical Laboratory and Related Information
from The Division of Laboratory Science and Standards
October 25, 2012
Bill to Fix CLIA Proficiency Testing Language for Clinical Laboratories Passes in the House, Awaits Senate’s Return in November
Clinical laboratories may have to wait at least another month before the U.S. Senate returns from recess to vote on a bill to remove severe penalties for labs that inadvertently violate certain CLIA proficiency testing (PT) requirements. A similar bill was passed in the House in September.
The bill, S. 3391: Taking Essential Steps for Testing Act, was ready for a Senate vote in mid-October. It was set aside so that senators could return home while the campaign season entered its final weeks.
Bill Would Lessen Penalties for Clinical Laboratories Under CLIA
A companion bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously on September 19. That house bill, H.R. 6118, has the same name.
Both bills are designed to provide more precise guidance to resolve an issue under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) statute of 1988.
Less Frequent Pap Tests Safe for Most Women, Ob/Gyn Group Says
Most women need testing for cervical cancer only every three to five years, rather than annually, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For women aged 30 and older, the Pap test, as it is called, should be done along with a test for human papillomavirus (HPV) every five years, according to new guidelines released by the organization. "The yearly Pap test was an arbitrary decision when it was recommended years ago," said Dr. David Chelmow, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond. This change should reassure women, because it is scientifically based on the results of several studies, said Chelmow, who led the development of the guidelines.
According to the new guidelines:
- Women aged 30 to 65 with normal Pap and HPV tests need screening only every five years. If only a Pap test is available, it is needed every three years.
- Women aged 21 to 29 should be screened every three years instead of every two years.
- Women under 21 do not need screening because invasive cervical cancer is rare in this age group.
- Women 65 and older don't need screening if they have no history of cervical cancer and have had three consecutive normal Pap tests or two consecutive Pap and HPV tests over a 10-year period with the latest test done within the past five years.
- Women of any age who have had a total hysterectomy, which includes removal of the cervix, and have no history of cervical cancer do not need regular screening.
- HPV-vaccinated women should follow the same screening guidelines as unvaccinated women.
- Some women need more frequent screening. They include women who have had cervical cancer, are HIV-positive, have compromised immune systems or were exposed to the drug diethylstilbestrol in the womb.
A reorganization of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is designed to aid the institute's growing mission to help translate genomic research into medical research and practice.
The NHGRI was initially created to lead the human genome project, and it continues to lead large-scale genomic research projects such as the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE). But its mission has also expanded to include finding ways to use genomics to improve human health and to understand the influence genomics may have on other aspects of society.
The institute's extramural research program will be reorganized into 4 divisions. The division of genome sciences will oversee basic research, the development of genomic technology, and large-scale sequencing projects. The division of genomic medicine will promote the application of genomics in medical science and clinical care and will include the office of population genomics. The division of genomics and society will build on the work of the institute's ethical, legal, and societal implications research program. The division of extramural operations will oversee institute operations, including grants and scientific reviews.
Institute of Medicine Report Finds Healthcare Management Lags Behind Other Industries
Why are pathology groups, clinical laboratories, and the majority of healthcare providers so slow to borrow innovative approaches from commercial businesses that measurably improve patient service, quality, and satisfaction? No less an authority than, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has taken the entire healthcare system to task for being so slow to adopt proven innovations that are being rapidly taken up by non-healthcare industries. These findings were published report recently issued by the Institute of Medicine. Authors of the report found that when it comes to quality, outcomes, cost, and equity, healthcare falls short when compared to other industries.
According to the IOM report, Americans spend $2.6 trillion a year for healthcare. Roughly one-third—about $750 billion—of that $2.6 trillion is attributable to waste. Here’s how the wasted dollars break down:
- unnecessary care—$210 billion;
- excessive administration—$190 billion;
- inefficient delivery of care—$130 billion;
- inflated prices—$105 billion;
- fraud—$75 billion; and
- prevention failures—$55 billion.
ONC Seeks Jazzed-up Blue Button Display
HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has launched another in a series of contests related to the federal government's Blue Button for America health-records initiative. A collaborative project of HHS and the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department, Blue Button is an effort to make health data readily accessible to patients through the click of a button. According to HHS data, more than 1 million people have already used the tool to download their medical records from providers and insurers.
This latest challenge, announced in a notice in the Federal Register [PDF 105 KB], calls on applicants to redesign health records to make them more visually intuitive, efficient and easy to use.
ONC to Survey Exchange Between Physicians and Labs
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT plans to gauge the extent to which clinical laboratories are able to electronically send lab test results in structured data to the ordering physicians. The survey will include about 2,700 hospital-based and 2,000 independent labs. ONC also will survey the percentage of lab results that are currently be electronically transmitted in standard coded format to physicians, according to an announcement in the Oct. 19 Federal Register. The survey and assessment is part of ONC’s state health information exchange program, one of whose goals is to encourage electronic exchange of structured test results between clinical labs and healthcare providers.
Exchange of test results has lagged because of the time and cost involved for providers to build interfaces with individual labs. Standards for structured data should accelerate sharing between providers and labs. ONC will use its findings to understand the baseline level of lab information exchange in order to guide it in developing activities to promote more exchange and to offer more targeted assistance to states and territories in their lab information exchange strategies.
Enforcement Climate for Labs Toughest Since LabScam
You should understand how the procedures work, what they are examining, and take a look at your own systems to see how you are dealing with the issues they are examining.
One common area for review is whether labs have the proper orders for the service that is being provided. “That is a particularly frustrating area for laboratories because now that you don’t need a physician signature this really depends a lot on the records that physicians are keeping. This means that your requisition forms have to be clear so you can show auditors where something has been ordered. You also need to work with your physicians to make sure they are maintaining appropriate documentation.”
Joint Commission Offers Course on Rapid Influenza Testing in Ambulatory Settings
The Joint Commission announces the launch of Strategies for Improving Rapid Influenza Testing in Ambulatory Settings (SIRAS), a free continuing education (CE) course designed for physicians, physician assistants and registered nurses who provide care in ambulatory settings. SIRAS was developed under a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Joint Commission. The module contains videos that demonstrate proper techniques for collecting respiratory specimens, as well as a review of information pertinent to performing point of care testing in the ambulatory setting.
Life-Saving DNA Test Overlooked in Rise of Colon Cancer
Genetic testing is becoming cheaper and more widespread, promising to usher in a revolution in cancer treatment. Yet, long-standing DNA tests are often overlooked for reasons including doctors’ ignorance and financial incentives discouraging companies from marketing them. As scientists predict DNA testing will transform medicine, doctors and hospitals are ignoring existing tests that could help prevent thousands of cancer deaths, not just of their own patients, but in generations to come.
Busy primary-care doctors, who typically have little training in genetics, don’t see the warning signs in patient family histories and don’t refer those at risk to a genetics expert. Testing companies don’t advertise and market some DNA tests as much as they do more lucrative tests for breast cancer genes, Bruzzone said. This failure to incorporate genetic knowledge into routine prevention and treatment of diseases like colorectal cancer -- the second-most common cause of cancer death in the U.S. --shows how hard it is to bring the benefits of the genome to patients.
Hepatitis C Point-of-Care Tests Are Highly Accurate
A new meta-analysis demonstrates that point-of-care tests (POCTs) for the diagnosis of hepatitis C (HCV) have a high level of accuracy and may help increase screening rates for this disease. These findings are published in the October 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study, led by Sushmita Shivkumar, MSc, from McGill University and McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, reviewed 19 studies that evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of POCTs and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) that screen for HCV in oral fluid, whole blood, serum, or plasma. The researchers found that POCTs had the highest sensitivity (whole blood, 98.9% [95% confidence interval (CI), 94.5% - 99.8%] and serum or plasma, 98.9% [95% CI, 96.8% - 99.6%]). RDTs of serum or plasma had the next-highest sensitivity (98.4%; 95% CI, 88.9% - 99.8%), followed by POCTs of oral fluid (97.1%; 95% CI, 94.7% - 98.4%).
The effort to develop a blood test to reveal a woman's risk for breast cancer may be one step closer to fruition, but is still far from becoming a reality, according to a new study. The researchers found that blood hormone tests may predict the risk for developing postmenopausal breast cancer up to 20 years after a blood sample was taken. But the study has limitations and needs to be replicated and expanded, said Dr. Xuehong Zhang, lead author and an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. If the research is confirmed by other studies, women could have their blood levels of so-called "sex hormones" such as estradiol, testosterone and the androgen DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate) assessed every 10 to 20 years to get a biological assessment of their breast cancer risk, Zhang explained.
Potential Test for Early Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have discovered the protein product of a little-known gene may one day prove useful in identifying and monitoring the development of mesothelioma in early stages, when aggressive treatment can have an impact on the progression of disease and patient prognosis. "This gene produces a protein, fibulin-3, that is present in levels four to five times higher in the plasma of patients with mesothelioma compared to levels in asbestos-exposed patients or patients with several other conditions that cause tumors in the chest," said lead investigator Harvey I. Pass, MD, the Stephen E. Banner Professor of Thoracic Oncology, vice chair of research for the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and division chief of General Thoracic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Prognostic Test May Help Maximize Lung CT Screening Benefits
Although National Comprehensive Cancer Network clinical practice guidelines recommend physicians consider adjuvant chemotherapy in high-risk stage I tumors, guidelines to assist in the identification of these tumors are lacking, according to Johannes R. Kratz, MD, of University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues. Kratz and colleagues devised a study to analyze the performance of the molecular prognostic assay in small, node-negative tumors.
The researchers studied a molecular assay that measures the expression of 14 genes and assigns patients to low-, intermediate- and high-risk groups. The researchers concluded, “The identification of high-risk patients may further maximize the benefit of T1a node-negative tumors through low-dose computed tomography screening.”
Ready for Prenatal Sequencing?
Within a few years, prenatal whole-genome sequencing may be a realistic option in obstetricians' offices, according to Ben Berkman, deputy director of the Bioethics Core at the National Human Genome Research Institute. Will doctors and patients be prepared to handle all of the genetic information contained in fetuses' genomes? Berkman recently told GT's Matt Jones that it is time to start gathering data on how these fetal genomes will be used in the clinic.
FDA Keeps Blood Supply in Check
A system of checks and balances in the blood donation screening process minimizes the likelihood of the transmission of an infectious disease such as West Nile virus to a patient, officials for two area collection organizations said. The Food and Drug Administration regulates the national blood supply and mandates procedures for pre- and post-collection screening, storage and distribution. Dr. Mei-Chein Fucci, medical director for the American Red Cross Southwest Region, said about 1 percent to 2 percent of donated blood units never hit circulation for one reason or another, including the possibility of containing one of the nine diseases that testing labs look for during the screening process.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's diagnostic molecular pathology laboratory is developing a number of targeted sequencing assays to test for actionable cancer mutations and plans to run the first patient samples early next year, following certification by the New York State Department of Health.
The first assay will focus on solid tumors. It will use Illumina's TruSeq Amplicon Cancer Panel, which includes 212 amplicons representing mutational hotspots in 48 genes, including BRAF, KRAS, and EGFR, and will run on the Illumina MiSeq. In addition, the lab is working on an assay for acute myeloid leukemia and myeloproliferative neoplasms, combining RainDance Technologies' multiplex PCR platform and Illumina's MiSeq to analyze 30 genes. By next fall, the lab also plans to develop a large panel of several hundred cancer genes, an assay that will use hybridization capture and the Illumina HiSeq 2500.
Hologic Wins FDA Approval of HPV Genotyping Test
FDA has approved its new test for genotyping the specific human papillomavirus (HPV) types associated with the majority of invasive cervical cancers worldwide. The new test, called the APTIMA HPV 16 18/45 Genotype Assay, is designed to work with the company’s TIGRIS instrument system to specifically detect HPV types 16, 18, and/or 45 after a woman has tested positively for the presence of HPV. By determining the presence of these particular HPV types, the test will help healthcare professionals better assess a patient’s risk of subsequently developing cervical cancer.
Illumina Launches New Arrays for Genotyping and Screening Studies
Illumina, Inc., a developer of life science tools and integrated systems for the analysis of genetic variation and function, has launched the Infinium HumanCore BeadChip family of products.
With content developed in collaboration with several research institutions, the customizable Infinium HumanCore and Infinium HumanCoreExome BeadChips support large-scale genotyping and screening studies such as those performed by biobanks, genome centers, and core labs. According to Illumina, based on its Infinium assay, the BeadChips enable genotyping of markers found across diverse populations, making them ideal for researchers engaged in population genetics studies around the world.
LabCorp Licenses Sequella Technology for TB Assay Development
Drug firm Sequella announced the licensing of its B-Smart nucleic acid-based technology to Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings for an undisclosed amount. LabCorp will develop its assays combining nucleic acid testing with phage-based technology "to accurately and quickly identify any resistance of M. tuberculosis clinical isolates to antitubercular antibiotics, regardless of whether the resistance genotype is known," Sequella said in a statement.
California Startup Natera Aims to Redefine Prenatal Testing by Analyzing DNA Fragments
The current tests look hormone level changes within the mother’s blood that are somewhat correlated to chromosomal health of the fetus, Sheena explained. Natera, a venture backed company with the support of the likes of Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, on the other hand was looking for a more reliable marker. And that is the small fragments of fetal DNA floating about in the maternal blood. “So, what we do is we take blood draws from the mother and we look at a mixture of fetal and maternal DNA and we use our proprietary informatics to detect the chromosomal abnormalities on the five major chromosomes that are leading to birth defects,” he explained. More specifically, the company looks at DNA SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), which Sheena described as the individual nucleotides where people tend to differ.
LionsGate Technologies of Vancouver, Canada has announced a new technology offering that provides the ability for all sorts of medical sensors to easily use smartphones and tablets as their interface. By using the audio jack as the cheap and universal way to transfer data, LionsGate can make their technology compatible with just about any programmable consumer device out there. They’ve already demonstrated their Vital Signs DSP technology by building a pulse oximeter that works straight off an iPhone’s audio jack and displays readings on its screen.
Collaboration for Medical Lab Tracking Technology
BLUECHIIP has entered a Collaborative Co-Development Agreement with Swiss company Inpeco which will see the firms develop Inpeco products which integrate Bluechiip’s technology. Inpeco designs and manufactures automation systems for clinical laboratories, in order to improve biological sample processing.
Australian-based Bluechiip specialises in tracking and retrieval solutions for medical labs based on passive RFID technology which utilises MEMS technology and integrates features specifically catering to the lab environment.
Typenex FinalCheck Prevents Blood Transfusion Errors
Medical errors can have serious consequences, but mistakes during blood transfusions are particularly unacceptable. Though such errors are rare, they do still occur, and Typenex Medical, a Chicago, Illinois company, has created a solution that pretty much eliminates the possibility for errors. The system utilizes a combination lock on the blood bag that will only open using a code printed on the patient’s armband. If a clinician accidentally attempts to open the bag using another patient’s code, it will stay closed and the transfusion will not happen.
Opko Health to Buy Clinical Laboratory Company for $40M
Miami-based Opko Health signed a deal to acquire Nashville, Tenn.-based Prost-Data and its OURLab affiliate, which has 18 laboratories for drawing blood throughout the United States. This means the biotechnology and pharmaceutical company has branched into clinical laboratory services. Opko has previously been focused on developing products for that industry, such as a test to detect Alzeimer’s disease for which it granted Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings an exclusive license to implement.
Abbott Laboratories (ABT) Lays Off 550, More Cuts to Come
Abbott Laboratories laid off 550 workers across several of its business units and said it plans to cut "several hundred" additional workers in 2013. The North Chicago-based company said the job cuts, 100 of which were in Chicagoland, affect workers in its nutrition, medical devices, established pharmaceuticals and diagnostics units. None were in the company's proprietary pharmaceutical division, which will be spun off Jan. 1 as an independent company called AbbVie, a spokesman said
South Carolina State and company officials said that Physicians Choice Laboratory Services is planning to invest more than $24 million to set up a new facility. Operations president Joe Wiegel says the company is consolidating and expanding its current operations into a new building in Rock Hill. The new facility is expected to be up and running by July, and hiring for the 364 new positions has already started.
Clinical Lab Data Standards and the Future of EHR
Quest Diagnostics unveiled its Health IT Quality Solutions Program, which will identify EHR software that meets data management and interoperability standards in combination with its clinical laboratory data system.
The press release said that the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cited 55 percent of physicians adopting an EHR in 2011, and half of that percentage said being alerted to a critical lab value was important to EHR adoption. This number is obviously more reflective of smaller providers or practices than hospitals, which have the resources to handle lab data internally. These physicians realize the time that can be saved in using EHR to bring their practice up to speed in technology and make lab results more readily available in times of need.
There are currently 20 vendors in the program that qualified under the “Gold” or “Silver” categories. The criteria for these selections include capacity, implementation process and clinical and operational quality. Also available is the Quest “Platinum” tier, which requires a vendor to directly infuse Quest with its technology and day-to-day operations.
Delaware Public Health Lab Gets National Award for Outstanding Training Program
The Delaware Division of Public Health Laboratory was selected by the 2012 Laboratory Response Network National Meeting Planning Committee as the winner of the 2012 award for Outstanding Sentinel Clinical Laboratory Training Program. The sentinel laboratories are healthcare microbiology labs that serve on the front line of detecting public health threats caused by agents of bioterrorism or newly emerging infectious diseases.
Hospital Food Contaminated With C. diff
A new report suggests that hospital food is frequently contaminated with the dangerous diarrhea bug Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Houston researchers found that about one-fourth of nearly 100 hospital food samples they tested were positive for C. diff. Among the worst culprits: turkey, chicken, and egg products, vegetables and fruits, and desserts. Almost all were cooked.
It's only one hospital. And no cases of human infection were linked to the food. But together with past research, the findings suggest that contaminated food may be an important route of spread of C. diff in hospitals, says researcher Hoonmo Koo, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Moreover, the temperatures at which hospital foods are cooked may be too low to kill the bug, he says.
An infectious diseases expert not involved with the research says the major C. diff strains that contaminate food are different from the ones responsible for human disease.
UV Light Zaps 'Bugs' in Hospital Rooms
Flooding hospital rooms with ultraviolet light from a robotic device kills more than 90% of pathogens, including Clostridium difficile, researchers said at IDWeek 2012. The device, which emits UV light for fixed periods of time (up to 45 minutes for C. difficile), is designed to complement general cleaning of hospital rooms to prevent in-hospital transmission of pathogens such as C. difficile, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and Acinetobacter, said Deverick Anderson, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Duke University NC.
Things are looking good for medical schools this year, with a record number of students in the 2012 class and the most diverse cohort yet. But a government freeze on residency training positions may stop that momentum in its tracks. With the nation facing a projected shortage of as many as 90,000 doctors in the next decade, the past year’s 1.5 percent spike in medical students is a hopeful indicator, according to a report released by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
HIV Study Spurs Vaccine Hopes
Hopes for the discovery of a vaccine against Aids have risen substantially following research – led by a Durban scientist – which shows that antibodies manufactured by some HIV-infected people have the potential to destroy 88 percent of HIV strains found throughout the world. The Aids study published in the journal Nature Medicine describes how a unique change in the outer covering of the virus found in two HIV-positive KwaZulu-Natal women produced the potent antibodies.
The South African research consortium, led by Professor Salim Abdool Karim of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in SA (Caprisa) at the University Of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), comprises scientists from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Joburg, UCT, Wits University and UKZN. For the past five years the team has studied how certain HIV-infected people develop very powerful antibody responses. According to a statement from Caprisa, the antibodies are referred to as “broadly neutralising” antibodies because they kill a wide range of HIV types.
Leukaemia Could be Treated with Blasts of Plasma
Scientists have found that cancer cells from leukaemia sufferers are killed when they are exposed to a type of matter known as cold plasma, the Daily Telegraph reported. These streams of ionised gas, similar to the material found inside decorative plasma balls and plasma televisions, are thought to trigger the in-built self-destruct mechanism in the cancerous cells, while healthy cells remain unscathed. The researchers now believe it will be possible to develop a dialysis-style treatment where the blood of leukaemia patients is passed through plasma streams to destroy the cancer cells.
If Smart Is the Norm, Stupidity Gets More Interesting
Smarter people generally earn more money, enjoy better health, raise smarter children, feel happier and, just to rub it in, live longer as well. With the rise of inexpensive genome sequencing, they’ve analyzed the genomes of thousands of people, looking for gene variants that clearly affect intelligence, and have found a grand total of two. One determines the risk of Alzheimer’s and affects I.Q. only late in life; the other seems to build a bigger brain, but on average it raises I.Q. by all of 1.29 points.
“If it’s this hard to find an effect of just 1 percent,” Robert Plomin, a professor of behavioral genetics at King’s College London, told New Scientist, “what you’re really showing is that the cup is 99 percent empty.” But is the genetic cup really empty, or are we just looking for the wrong stuff? Kevin Mitchell, a developmental neurogeneticist at Trinity College Dublin, thinks the latter.
In an essay he published in July on his blog, Wiring the Brain, Dr. Mitchell proposed that instead of thinking about the genetics of intelligence, we should be trying to parse “the genetics of stupidity,” as his title put it. We should look not for genetic dynamics that build intelligence but for those that erode it.
Green Tea and Cancer Prevention: New Clues
Green tea and its extracts have long been studied for health benefits, including cancer prevention. Now, researchers have new clues about how it may work to help prevent or slow the growth of prostate and breast cancers. Researchers presented the new findings at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting on cancer prevention.
Green Tea and Prostate Cancer
Men with prostate cancer who drank green tea had less prostate tissue inflammation, linked to cancer growth, and other changes than those who didn't drink it, says Susanne M. Henning, PhD, RD, adjunct professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. ''We were able to show the green tea polyphenols (antioxidants) reached the prostate tissue and they did modify inflammation of the prostate," she says. Polyphenols are antioxidants that protect against cell damage.
Testosterone is a well-known male hormone which affects many aspects of a man's life, but it may also play a part in altering social behavior, including lying. Men who have more of the hormone seem to lie less frequently than those who have lower levels, according to Professor Dr. Armin Falk, from the University of Bonn, and colleagues.
More Clinical Pathology Laboratories Use Middleware for Business Intelligence and Lab-specific Customer Relationship Management
Within the clinical laboratory industry, there’s an interesting conjunction of two fast-moving trends. One trend is the growing use of middleware by medical laboratories of all sizes. The second trend is the goal of converting any type of manual work process in the lab into an automated work process. These trends often intersect when clinical laboratories and pathology groups use middleware to automate manual processes. One common example is when a lab purchases a middleware solution that handles auto-validation. After implementation, auto-validation eliminates the need for medical technologists to manually review all the individual test results.
Clinical Laboratories Expanding Their Use of Middleware
One new direction for middleware is the rapid uptake by clinical labs of middleware solutions capable of automating management reporting. This is known as business intelligence (BI). A well-designed BI system provides the real-time flow of data that managers in well-run organizations use to reduce turnaround times, improve quality, and squeeze out unnecessary costs.
CDC App Will Track Injury and Violent Death Trends
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded a 3-year contract to BNL Consulting to build a tablet and smartphone application that allow users to parse through state and national data on injuries and violent deaths, contracting documents show.
The application will essentially be a mobile version of the CDC’s Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System, or WISQARS, through which researchers and the public can create custom reports on everything from “years of potential life lost” due to motorcycle crashes in New Jersey to the trend for annual number of dog bites in Nebraska.
New Study Provides Compelling Evidence That Commercially Available Electronic Health Records Are Associated With Better Physician Performance
A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, provides compelling evidence that electronic health records (EHRs) enhance the quality of patient care in a community-based setting with multiple payers, which is representative of how medicine is generally practiced across the United States
Electronic Checklists Help Prevent Medical Errors
When hospital workers use an electronic medication checklist to record a patient's current medications, there are likely to be fewer medication errors than when they handwrite medication histories, a new study finds. While the study did not include a large number of patients, it contributes to the evolving understanding of medication reconciliation--a requirement in Meaningful Use Stage 2 of the government's EHR incentive program.
Best Practices Rise to the Top in Digital States Survey
This year, Michigan also became one of the first states to implement a Health Care Information Exchange, which automates health data sharing throughout the state. The state’s Medicaid provider network and its human services management system operate on the same role-based identity management system, allowing providers to access only the beneficiary data they need.
Disclaimer- The information provided in this news digest is intended only to be general summary information. It does not represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is not intended to take the place of applicable laws or regulations.
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