Although there was no evidence of a data breach, officials at LabCorp took some of its systems offline after hackers were able to access the company's information technology network, leading to system shutdowns that "temporarily affected test processing and customer access to test results on or over the weekend," according to the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filing. F. Samuel Eberts III, LabCorp's chief legal officer and secretary, wrote in Monday's filing that "testing operations have substantially resumed ... and we anticipate that additional systems and functions will be restored through the next several days."
A phishing email campaign allowed hackers to access multiple employee email accounts at Sunspire Health between March 1 and May 4, and officials only discovered the attack sometime between April 10 and May 17. The email accounts contained patients' names, medical data, health insurance information, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.
Researchers analyzed data from over 80,000 patients ages 18 and older who were transferred from one hospital to another and found that transfers were associated with lower rates of mortality and information loss when both hospitals used data-sharing capabilities. The findings, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, showed that "the ability of two hospitals to talk to each other has the potential to improve patient safety, make care much more cost-effective and reduce mortality," study author Dr. Michael Usher said.
A jury in St. Louis last week ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a total of $4.69 billion in compensatory and punitive damages to 22 women or families of affected women who said asbestos in talc products had caused them to develop ovarian cancer. J&J said it will appeal the verdict, which is the largest against the company so far.
In efforts to add more capabilities to its inpatient and ambulatory clinical portfolio, Allscripts has acquired several EHR companies so far this year, and athenahealth, amid pressure from hedge fund Elliott Management, is considering a merger or buyout after the exit of CEO Jonathan Bush, while Cerner has secured EHR implementation contracts with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Coast Guard. Athenahealth, Epic and eClinicalWorks deployed their EHR-integrated virtual assistants as Apple, Amazon and Google moved to launch several innovations in EHR interoperability, patient data access and other development areas.
Health CIOs should consider using blockchain because the technology is likely to have a major effect on industries, businesses and society, according to a Gartner advisory. Meanwhile, the IDC issued a report recommending CIOs analyze the advantages and disadvantages of blockchain interoperability and urging hospitals to pursue blockchain interoperability and task coordination with patients and providers.
The health care sector reported eight major data breaches in the first half of 2018, down from 19 major breaches during the same period in 2017, according to a report released by the cybersecurity firm Cryptonite. However, the number of patient records breached in the first half of this year was a little over 1.9 million, compared with approximately 1.67 million records in the first half of 2017, researchers found.
An Australian study published in the Annals of Family Medicine showed that many mobile health apps that referenced mental health symptoms or diagnoses could be doing more harm than good. Researchers reviewed 61 popular mHealth apps and found that they "tended to encourage frequent use and promoted personal responsibility for improvement," with users "unlikely to get any significant benefits" and possibly facing "large time burdens and potential loss of privacy," lead study author Lisa Parker said.
A Frost & Sullivan study found that patient data privacy and medical device security are among the top areas for health care investments intended to reduce adverse patient safety events. The cost of adverse safety events is expected to surpass $380 billion for US and Western European health systems by 2022.
Cerner had the top hospital EHR market share at 23.73% as of June, followed by Epic at 22.14% and Meditech at 20.75%, according to data from the ONC. McKesson and MedHost, respectively, rounded out the top five.
- Page 1