AMA guidelines offer roadmap for ethical use of telemedicine

Healthcare Dive, 14 July 2016
Author: Meg Bryant
“Following two years of debate, the American Medical Association has adopted ethical guidance on how doctors should interact with patients when they do so through telemedicine, rather than in a medical office or hospital. By providing guidance on key ethical issues in telemedicine, the AMA is offering telehealth providers a clear framework for negotiating the digital doctor-patient landscape.”
Find article here.

Care.data has been scrapped, but your health data could still be shared

The Conversation, 12 July 2016
Author: Eerke Boiten
“Following a review by Dame Fiona Caldicott, the UK government decided to pull the plug on care.data, a controversial NHS initiative to store all patient data on a single database. This may seem like a victory for data-privacy advocates, but NHS data-sharing initiatives are still being planned and the goalposts are being moved on patient consent.”
Find article here.

4 reasons why healthcare needs a digital code of ethics

CIO, 6 July 2016
Author: Eric Swirsky
“As health information technology continues to transform healthcare and doctor-patient relationships, the resulting ethical dilemmas are making the need for a digital code of ethics more critical than ever. While the trend toward implementation of systems to maintain, manipulate, and share data has been palpable, there is no cohesive code of ethics addressing the issues related to the use of aggregated data.”
Find article here.

NHS to scrap single database of patients’ medical details

The Guardian, 7 July 2016
Author: Sarah Boseley
“The government’s scheme to store patients’ medical information in a single database, which ran into massive problems over confidentiality, is to be scrapped, NHS England has said. The decision to axe the scheme, care.data, follows the publication of two reports that support far greater transparency over what happens to the information, and opt-outs for patients who want their data seen only by those directly caring for them.”
Find article here.

Doctors Swamped by ‘E-Medicine’ Demands

MedicineNet, 28 June 2016
Author: Dennis Thompson
“Doctors say they’re drowning in electronic paperwork, feeling burned out and dissatisfied with their jobs thanks to countless hours spent filling out computerized medical forms, researchers report. Electronic health records are a cornerstone in the effort to modernize medicine. But, new systems designed to chart a patient’s progress and instruct their future care have proven to be very time-consuming.”
Find article here.

Doctors are overloaded with electronic alerts, and that’s bad for patients

Washington Post, 13 June 2016
Author: Shefali Luthra
“Some people receive constant reminders on their smartphones: birthdays, anniversaries, doctor’s appointments, social engagements. At work, their computers prompt them to meet deadlines, attend meetings and have lunch with the boss. Prodding here and pinging there, these pop-up interruptions can turn into noise to be ignored instead of helpful nudges. Something similar is happening to doctors, nurses and pharmacists. And when they’re hit with too much information, the result can be a health hazard: alert fatigue.”
Find article here.

Online Tools to Shop for Doctors Snag on Health Care’s Complexity

NYT, 16 June 2016
Author: Reed Abelson
“Today, online tools can show you which doctors are in your plan’s network as well as rank them by the likely cost of a visit. The idea behind these web tools, which have been available from health insurers and start-ups for several years, is to harness the power of so-called big data. The companies cull medical claims and other sources of information to help people become sophisticated shoppers for medical care — and they promise to curb the overall cost of health care in the process. By some estimates, the savings from this newfound transparency could run in the billions of dollars a year.”
Find article here.

NHS to offer free devices and apps to help people manage illnesses

The Guardian, 17 June 2016
Author: Denis Campbell
“Millions of people will receive devices and apps free on the NHS to help them manage conditions such as diabetes and heart disease in an major drive to use technology to reduce patient deaths. NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, has backed the move as a significant expansion of self-care that could help prevent patients becoming seriously unwell and needing hospital treatment.”
Find article here.

Access to core information critical to e-health record success

AMA, statement 16 June 2016
“Doctors and other health workers need to have access to core clinical information in electronic medical records if the Federal Government’s My Health Record system is to deliver an improvement in patient care, the AMA has said. Releasing the AMA’s updated Position Statement, Shared Electronic Medical Records 2016, today, AMA President Dr Michael Gannon said that giving patients the ability to block or modify access to critical information such as medications, allergies, discharge summaries, diagnostic test results, blood pressure and advance care plans compromised the clinical usefulness of shared electronic medical records loaded on the My Health Record system.”
Find statement here.

Private telehealth foray into public system

CMAJ, online 13 June 2016
Author: Paul Webster
“The launch of an app offering Ontario patients access to family doctors via telephone, text messaging and videolink for $10 a month is fuelling debate over the place of privately delivered virtual health care. The Akira app allows Ontario patients to consult with physicians and grant permission to access app-generated health records, including clinical notes, prescriptions and test results…”
Find article here.