A weekly digest of the latest news in the healthcare industry
Biomarker Tool to Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Earlier- In a report from CMIO, Finland researchers have developed a new tool, PredictAD, that enables physicians to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier through the use of decision support. The tool analyzes biomarker readings from a patient and compares these markers to other patient data in a secured clinical database. The markers are included in a mathematical model that creates an image and offers supporting data to gauge the advancement of the disease. Researchers claim the tool will increase accuracy of diagnoses and offer physicians more data to support their assessments.
The Use of Telemonitoring in ICU- South Carolina’s Tuomey Healthcare System will launch telemonitoring ICU services this April. The “tele-ICU” services will deliver virtual monitoring by physicians and care specialists on a 24-7 cycle in the system’s hospitals. The services are expected to significantly improve patient outcomes and patient safety, and the services could also lead to reduced mortality and length-of-stay. Each patient’s room includes two-way video access for face-to-face consultations with the patient and healthcare team. The New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) suggests all community hospitals with 10 or more ICU beds should adopt some form of tele-ICU care.
Shift Your Focus to the ED to Cut Costs- A column published by Hospitals & Health Networks Daily suggests that health leaders should focus efforts on the emergency department (ED) and embrace a D2D, or “door-to-doc,” model. D2D works under the assumption that patient demand and traffic variability can be predictable and the D2D model should be used to determine appropriate staff levels and help EDs operate more efficiently during peak and off hours. The system can also reduce ED visits that are not necessary and decrease wait times as patients are immediately taken to an intake room in which an ED worker will evaluate them for further care. This way, emergency beds are saved for those truly in need.
Health IT Funds Appropriated for DOD and VA- President Obama recently signed the omnibus spending package, which included health IT appropriations for the Department of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA). Lawmakers set aside $1.4 billion for DOD health IT spending, but this money is restricted for an EHR system until the agency meets certain requirements. The DOD must first identify a cost-effective, interoperable EHR infrastructure and define the role of the DOD-VA Interagency Program Office in developing the EHR system. The omnibus spending package allotted $3.11 billion for VA health IT spending, and it will primarily be used for health IT operations and maintenance, salaries and systems development, enhancement, modernization, and the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record project.
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