A certification program for the NIST Cybersecurity Framework was launched Tuesday by HITRUST to help security teams report their framework implementation to regulators, business partners and upper management. The certification program includes an assurance certification to verify whether NIST CSF requirements and controls are met and a scorecard that shows how a security program aligns with the core subcategories of the framework.
The House on Tuesday passed the Veterans' Electronic Health Record Modernization Oversight Act, which would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide regular updates to Congress on its EHR modernization project. VA officials would also be required to report any changes to the schedule or contract within five days and to alert lawmakers about any bid protests, milestone delays and privacy breaches or data losses within 10 days.
The HIMSS' Interoperability Initiatives Environmental Scan is an educational resource intended to update hospital executives about interoperability initiatives and national developments in health information exchange. It includes information such as organizations' approaches to and costs for information exchange.
Researchers at Texas Biomedical Research Institute are developing an Ebola virus treatment that can reduce viral load enough to allow the patient's immune system to clear the rest of the infection. The treatment has been effective in nonhuman primates, whose immune responses are so similar to humans' that "we are confident in saying, if we are able to protect a monkey against the Ebola virus, it should work in humans," said scientist Ricardo Carrion.
Chimpanzees that were part of research projects at the NIH should be moved to retirement sanctuaries unless relocating them would be "extremely likely" to put their life, safety and welfare at extreme risk, an NIH working group said in a report. The opinion of an independent veterinary expert should be sought in questionable cases, and the sending and receiving facilities should collaborate and share veterinary records, according to the report, which also notes that the NIH "lacks the data necessary to proactively assess the health of individual chimpanzees in its colony, track chimpanzees over time, or conduct its own population or actuarial research."
A study in the journal Cell, based on 2 million EHRs from three New York-based academic medical centers, showed that emergency contact information in EHRs could help predict a patient's risk of developing 500 hereditary conditions, including celiac disease and type 2 diabetes. Researchers identified 7.4 million familial relationships from reviews of standard emergency contact information included in patients' EHRs.
Kickstand Communications polled 600 US employees from various industries and found that 87% of health care workers reported using nonsecure email to share sensitive data, including protected health information, with almost three-quarters of them considering email to be a secure form of data, document or information delivery. Findings also showed that health care workers were 36% more likely to use nonsecure methods such as email to send regulated data than those from the financial services sector, and a majority of them admit to externally sharing customer data and regulated data.
Hospital board leaders should foster innovation in their organizations by strengthening board practices, such as expanding diversity of experience and background when choosing board members and developing an innovation mindset, and establishing unlikely organizational collaborations, write Jim Finkelstein and Sheila Repeta of FutureSense. Leaders should also choose hospital executives who can leverage metered creativity and adaptability for innovation, they write.
The Department of Veterans Affairs finalized its $10 billion, 10-year contract with EHR vendor Cerner on Thursday, making it one of the federal government's largest IT deals. The agreement requires Cerner to provide an EHR system that enables seamless, secure patient data sharing among the VA, community providers and the Defense Department and allows the VA to add system capabilities to help meet veterans' and providers' needs.
The Department of Homeland Security is on track to add all 23 major federal agencies to the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center dashboard by early June. Fifteen of 23 agencies have been added to the dashboard, which is seen as critical to providing cyberthreat protection to federal networks.