4 Hot Takes From the Week in Health Tech

Can’t-miss insights on physician suicide, genealogy database ethics, and more.

Last week was another one full of interesting, actionable, and thought-provoking insights from the health-tech world. Healthcare Analytics News™ gathered these must-read viewpoints, from a commentary on the ethics of DNA databases (stemming from the Golden State Killer case) to reports on data blocking and clinician suicide.

So, spend a few minutes this Sunday catching up on the ideas that can guide your healthcare conversations—and your healthcare organization—going forward. As the medical industry undergoes a digital transformation, it’s crucial that healthcare leaders stay on top of the hottest opinions and analyses, and we scoured the internet for these nuggets so you don’t have to.

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4 Hot Takes in Health Tech

1. Forensic Genealogy Is Neat. Is It Ethical, Though?

After leading bioethicists for the National Institutes of Health penned this groundbreaking commentary, we caught up with one of the authors to discuss the Golden State Killer case, the ethics surrounding genealogy databases for forensics, and more. “It’s much worse to hide the ball and have people be surprised than it is to be clear and transparent, up front, in a way that lets people understand and internalize that their data might be used in this way,” says Benjamin E. Berkman, JD, MPH. In short, these 2 articles help refine and direct the important discussion that began after police used DNA to identify and arrest the alleged Golden State Killer.

2. Printing Is Increasing Post-EMR Adoption. And So Are the Security Risks.

An executive at the cybersecurity firm CynergisTek drops a bomb: Printing, somehow, has become more prolific since hospitals and providers began widely adopting electronic medical records. What does this mean for data protection? Well, it’s not good. But this column goes beyond describing a problem, offering context and a possible path forward.

3. Days of Information Blocking Look Numbered

Less an opinion piece than a deeply reported analysis, this article published by Healthcare Dive examines CMS’s push to open up troves of data, to take a crack at true interoperability. “Data sharing among disparate parties will be critical to realize the benefits of integrating new tools into the clinical setting. Companies may be more inclined to share under the pressure of government and business incentives,” author Meg Bryant writes. But will federal prodding be enough?

4. American Healthcare Workers Are Committing Suicide in Unprecedented Numbers

This isn’t the first time we highlighted a clinician mental health column, and it won’t be the last. The issue is far too important, affecting every healthcare stakeholder, from clinicians and decision makers to patients. Writing for The Hill, Vinita Parkash, MD, describes the heart-wrenching suicide of her junior colleague, and how cavalierly the tragedy was treated in the office. She calls for stronger supports, for suicide victims and survivors alike, representing a culture change. “Leaders need to be trained to give support to their providers, so providers can heal and continue in their job of caring for their patients, after one of theirs is lost to suicide,” Parkash says.

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