Catch-up: what you may have missed whilst on holiday

This was the month when the UK Press seemingly finally woke up to the existence of STPs (Sustainability & Transformation Plans). This article by Derek du Preez and this in Digital Health are two one of a few that pick out the hope that digital health can help with making the NHS more sustainable. Sadly the headlines were grabbed with concern over closing hospital beds, which politicians in the UK still seem to consider to be a Bad Thing. Even though hospital beds have been reduced in most European countries over recent years, and those such as Denmark now trumpet reductions in hospital beds as progress, we have still to break the connection in people’s minds in the UK that beds are a good surrogate for health service delivery volume, (even though when pressed no individual seems keen to spend longer in hospital than absolutely necessary, or would prefer a treatment as an inpatient over treatment as an outpatient.)

Though not directly connected, the NHS offered over £100m to acute care trusts for “global digital excellence” – in line with the previous comments, perhaps the money could alternatively be spent on the UK building on its excellent primary care IT with the specific intention of moving more treatment out of hospitals…and follow that up with a proposal to put the hospital that is judged to be the least “globally digitally excellent” (more…)

The intent is good, the name–Hackfest–is unfortunate (Updated)

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/CI_Hackfest_15.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]Given another Big Blue Cross data breach (below), the juxtaposition of a release from Intel-GE Care Innovations is, how do we say, jarring. A great trumpeting of a prestige event 18-20 September in conjunction with the Stanford Center on Longevity on the Stanford University campus. “Inspiring a reconfigured care delivery process bringing care to the home and uniting patients, family caregivers and professional caregivers with the traditional clinical care team.” which will “…change the status quo. The event will bring together clinicians and care providers, health plan leaders, family and professional caregivers, patients, designers, engineers, students and faculty to explore the meaning and definition of a care team.” Yes they can be ‘hack(ing) a strategy to redefine the care team’…but given the tens of millions of health records hacked, breached and stolen in this year alone, is this the best name Stanford and Care Innovations could think of?  ‘Hackfests’ and ‘hackathons’ usually are coding or programming competitions, which long predate the negative use of ‘hack’ for malicious entry into systems. Even events in that context are increasingly met with raised eyebrow.

‘Hackfest’ for this is a stretch. Message to both: care teams need redefining, but it’s time for a better, and more descriptive, name. A ‘****-palooza’ (a voguish term in US), anyone?

Update: A Care Innovations spokesperson and this Editor had a Twitter conversation–a TweetFest, so to speak:

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Care-Innovations.png” thumb_width=”450″ /]

Readers–what do you think? Is this Editor overly sensitive to the ‘h’ word? She might be…click on the title to see Comments.

Politico: massive hacking of health records imminent

Politico is a website (and if you’re in Foggy Bottom-ville, a magazine) much beloved by the ‘inside government’ crowd and the media ‘chattering classes’. With some aspirations to be like Private Eye but without the leavening sharp satire, the fact that they’ve turned their attention to–gasp!–the potential hackathon that is health records is amazing. They mention all the right sources: Ponemon, HIMSS, the American Medical Association, BitSight, AHIMA. In fact, the article itself may be a leading indicator that the governmental classes might actually do something about it. This Editor applauds Politico for jumping on our battered Conestoga wagon with the other Grizzled Pioneers. We’ve only been whinging on about data breaches and security since 2010 and their researchers could benefit from our back file.

And speaking of 2010, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is doing its part to close the budget deficit by collecting data breach fines–$10 million in the past year. A goodly chunk will be coming from New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center: $4.8 million for a 6,800 person breach (iHealthBeat) where sensitive records showed up online, readily available to search engines. And yes, we covered this back on 29 Sept 2010 when breaches were new and hushed up. Politico: Big cyber hack of health records is ‘only a matter of time’

Oddly, there is nary a mention of Healthcare.gov.

Engaging with aging tech

LeadingAge, the main association for non-profit ‘aging services’ providers, hosted a ‘hackathon’ of sorts called HackFest at its annual convention last week. Eight international teams of students were given a 24 hour challenge to come up with an idea and create a prototype application, device or website. The winner was Team Global EngAge who developed a platform for retirement communities to offer their activities–book clubs, religious services and clubs–online so that home-bound elderly can participate via video conferencing. The purpose of the hackathon was to focus on technology needs in senior services and was sponsored by investor Ziegler and Asbury Communities. Unfortunately neither McKnights or LeadingAge list or explore the seven other concepts, which would have been interesting as all these teams can look to further develop and fund their ideas.