HIPAA privacy rule was enacted more than a decade ago and health organizations, ever since, are putting consistent efforts to ensure that the health information remains private and secure. The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations are vast and complex at places and healthcare organizations require a thorough understanding and substantial effort to maintain compliance. Consequently, many organizations, especially the smaller hospitals and physician practices, often fail to keep up with the requirements and land into hefty fines for HIPAA violation. In some healthcare organizations, the staff does not understand who exactly is in charge of maintaining the compliance and in others they ignore the gaps in the procedures believing it to be a low-risk area. HIPAA violations can lead to major financial and reputation damage and this calls for identifying and analyzing the HIPAA compliance gaps and working towards closing them.
The healthcare industry has been tremendously impacted by wearable technology over the past decade. The sensor-based devices are bringing remarkable advancements in diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, in addition to making people more and more health-conscious. A huge number of people have embraced the wearable technology and prefer to monitor their health parameters constantly through the devices. Some of the devices can also be used to send data to the doctors, who can monitor their patients’ health and decide the course of action in a timely manner. The devices can significantly speed up the entire process of diagnosis and treatment by automating a number of processes. Wearable devices can be used to track heart rate, physical activity, sleep, etc and can also guide the users on achieving a healthier lifestyle. Paired with a website or smartphone, these devices store and transmit health data. Statistics suggest that the wearable technology market is expected to reach $150 billion by 2027.
Maintaining healthcare data privacy is a job of paramount importance for healthcare organizations today. Healthcare data is one of the most sensitive personal information available and also it is one of the most frequently breached data types, especially those that are stored in electronic form. The challenges of protecting healthcare data are continually increasing, and many organizations are finding it difficult to keep up with HIPAA and other regulations. Healthcare data breaches have different forms like cases where hackers steal Protected Health Information (PHI) for committing medical identity theft or instances where healthcare providers view health records without authorization. Data breaches cost organizations dearly, by tarnishing reputation and imposing hefty fines related to HIPAA. Healthcare organizations need to implement comprehensive data security measures for protecting patient data and keeping the hackers and other evolving threats at bay. They need to adopt more sophisticated and multifaceted approach to protect the data in use, at rest or in transit.
There is hardly any aspect of the world today that is untouched by technology. And, in the wake of technology strengthening its presence in every industry, digital health has emerged as a buzzword in healthcare. Digital health can be defined as the combination of digital technologies and healthcare which aims at enhancing the healthcare quality and delivery. Healthcare industry is experimenting with new technologies to refine the procedures and get desired results in a short span of time. Recently, clinical trials have experienced a much desired transformation owing to digital technologies. Not only there have been innovations, but also elimination of many traditional barriers and constraints. With new digital platforms making their way into healthcare, the efficiency and productivity of clinical trials encountered a great surge, resulting in increased patient engagement, new outcomes and reduced patient withdrawal.
Recruiting and retaining patients has always been a challenging task in clinical trials. Although patients are the centre of all clinical trials, the procedures are often not particularly patient-centric. Over years, clinical trials have been designed and carried out by experts, without involving patients in the design process or educating them about the clinical trial. However, lately, pharmaceutical companies have realized the need of making the clinical trials more patient-centric, which emphasizes helping the patients learn about the trials, improving their experience, retaining patients and encouraging trial participation in future. Research also suggests that investing in patient engagement helps in improving enrollment as well as retention, which in turn helps timely completion of the trial. Many companies have, now, realized the significance of patient centricity in clinical trials but very few actually know about the tools and methodologies to make their procedure patient centric.
Like many other industries, healthcare is also embracing a number of new technologies and, consequently, some substantial transformations as well. Patient experiences and healthcare deliveries have experienced huge improvements. Digitization is transforming the healthcare industry in significant ways helping it to excel in every aspect and provide patients a safe and healthy life. Not only the healthcare organizations are now better equipped to take care of the patients,the patients also have become more involved and conscious about managing and monitoring their own health, as well as engaging with their healthcare providers. With the explosion of healthcare information technology, a number of devices have made their way into the market opening up endless opportunities for the consumers as well as healthcare professionals. Let’s have a look at the technologies that are, lately, transforming the healthcare industry.
It’s important to respect the privacy of your employees but so it is to see if any of their behaviors is affecting the performance or relationships at work. Drug abuse in the workplace is a serious issue and employers and HR managers are often incompetent to handle it well. Also, until drug abuse poses evident impacts on the work of employees, management often chooses to ignore it. However, it’s important to realize that even a single employee with drug related problem can be a serious threat to the work performance and efficiency of the entire team. Identifying the signs and dealing with the problem of drug abuse in the workplace could be a challenging task. The management must take immediate action as soon as it detects signs of drug abuse but the task isn’t as easy as it sounds and involves a number of complicated steps.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to bring revolutionary changes to a number of industries, including healthcare industry. The technology has already impacted the industry in significant ways and experts are working to turn more possibilities into reality. So far Internet of Things has mainly assisted in improving care with telemonitoring and remote monitoring applications. Additionally, some initiatives have also been taken in the field of tracking and maintenance of healthcare assets. However, this could be considered just the beginning and to make the use of IoT omnipresent in the healthcare industry more efforts are required. Researchers are working on more advanced approaches to use IoT for digital transformation of healthcare. Take a look at how IoT can make significant impacts on the healthcare industry:
Undoubtedly, big data analytics has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry but it also comes with its own unique challenges. The industry is still coping with collecting large amounts of data, converting them into electronic health records (EHR) and deducing meaningful insights from them. Integrating these data-driven insights into operational procedures can help healthcare organizations reap great many benefits. Advantages of big data analytics include higher patient and staff satisfaction rates, lower costs, healthier patients and many more. However, achieving this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Big data analytics is a complex process that requires collection, sorting, analyzing and presentation of data and all of this must be in compliance with the regulations. Let’s have a look at the top challenges which the healthcare organizations face while implementing an effective big data analytics program.
The healthcare industry of the United States is facing a major issue – the opioid crisis. Opioid abuse is now a growing public health concern that is resulting in many opioid related deaths. Over the past decade, hospitals have also noted a prominent rise in the opioid-related visits. The epidemic is evident across multiple delivery points and the industry is still struggling to find an effective solution. The current scenario calls for quick implementation of the right strategies in association with improved health plans. Studies suggest that Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and latest health plans are increasingly attempting to leverage data driven and evidence based approaches to change the behavioral patterns of patients. The healthcare industry is also counting on advancing technologies for support to control the opioid epidemic. Curbing opioid crisis needs a collaborated effort of all the sections of the healthcare industry including the government and various communities. However, healthcare leaders are also thinking of ways to address the issue in their respective organizations for immediate effect.