News Feature | April 25, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — April 25, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Healthcare IT News For VARs

In this week’s news, the DOD looks to industry minds for advice, and, EHR certifications reach a benchmark: more than 1000 products certified for 2014.

Defense Department Adopting Department-Wide EHR Project

The DOD Healthcare Management System Modernization has released a request for information from industry participants, regarding minimum infrastructure requirements for the implementation of an EHR program for the entire department. According to the solicitation, responses should cover hosting, network, device, and site characteristics. Defense Systems reports that the requests for the submission will be uploaded to the department’s site by April 25.

FBI: Cyber Threats To Healthcare Systems And Medical Devices Rising

Early this month, the FBI released a report concluding that cyber threats in healthcare are on the rise. The bureau warns that a mandated move to electronic health records creates specific vulnerabilities for the industry. It also expects to continue to see an increase in threats, and attributes that partly to a rise in the value of EHR information on the black market.

2014 EHR Certification Cracks 1000

According to the official product list of the Office of the National Coordinator, more than 1000 EHR products have met 2014 CEHRT standards. The jump to 1067 products for 2014 marks a significant improvement for product certification — providers had previously been worried about the slow speed of vendors getting their products passed through ONC standards. EHR Intelligence also notes that providers who are unable to meet standards have the option of applying for a hardship exemption.

Healthcare IT Talking Points

For the first time, CMS posted data from Medicare's Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Reporting Program to their Hospital Compare website. According to iHealthBeat, the report includes quality ratings from 3000 hospitals and includes information such as the number of hours patients spent in physical restraint and seclusion and the percentage of cases for which facilities created post-discharge continuing-care regimens.

As the industry adjusts to an extension of the ICD-10 implementation deadline, providers and vendors are left asking what’s coming next. Information Week’s Kaveh Safavi discusses the following four options that providers have in addressing the delay of the new coding system.

  • Staying the course
  • Slowing down
  • Being pragmatic
  • Stopping altogether

Smart Data Collective’s Cameron Graham discusses opportunities that forward-thinking vendors of EHR and EMR have in front of them in the light of ICD-10 changes. He sites the involvement of participants at all levels — from providers to insurance companies to governing entities — as a key indicator that vendors should be looking to take advantage of the industry change.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Healthcare IT Resource Center.