Hospitals, Opioids, and Facebook: The Week's Top 5 Health-Tech Stories

What you need to know to succeed in health IT and beyond.

How can health systems curb the opioid epidemic? Or, perhaps an easier question, how can hospitals effectively use Facebook to serve their patient populations? (Maybe the answer doesn’t come as quickly as you’d think.) These are just some of the health-tech issues that Healthcare Analytics News™ tackled this week, but they proved most captivating to our C-suite audience.

So, as usual, here’s our weekly rundown of the stories and insights that have people in health information technology (IT) and the rest of medicine talking, clicking, and sharing. What’s more, we’ve included a few staff favorites. Taken together, these lists should help you better understand the challenges—and solutions—facing health IT. They also serve as a filter for our very best content.

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Think we’re missing something, or want to share your thoughts on the stories? Give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Also, let us know which healthcare apps you love the most, and we’ll write about them in the August issue of the magazine.

The Week’s Top 5 Health-Tech Stories

1. 192K EMRs Suggest Link Between Inpatient and Outpatient Opioid Use

When researchers scrutinize medicine’s role in opioid use, they tend to focus on what happens outside the hospital walls. But patients often receive opioids for the first time while admitted. In one of the first large-scale inpatient studies on the matter, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine investigators find results that mandate additional research—and, just maybe, new prescribing guidelines.

2. Hospitals Are All Over Facebook, but What Are They Posting About?

On its face, this sort of research might seem a bit… strange. But as any connected clinician knows, social media sites are powerful communication tools, capable of influencing public health. So, then, how health systems and providers use platforms like Facebook could have consequences, both good and bad, for their patients. Here are some guidelines for forward-thinking healthcare organizations.

3. A Blockchain Genomic Data Start-Up Held Its ICO. 15 Seconds Later, It Had $35M

Don’t take initial coin offerings or anything branded “blockchain” seriously? Check out the Shivom story and see if you change your mind. This genome-sequencing company, aiming to democratize data, earned more money than most of us will ever see in just 15 seconds. But why?

4. Medtronic Devices Latest to Receive Vulnerability Warning from DHS

If your institution uses Medtronic’s N’Vision Clinician Programmer, you need to read this. The company doesn’t yet have a fix for the potential flaw, but its recommendations could keep health systems and stakeholders from falling prey to cyberattackers.

5. Cerner Disputes Characterization of DoD Implementation Problems

The saga of Cerner and its business relationship with federal agencies continues. This time around, the electronic medical record (EMR) vendor giant’s president blasted reports that the company’s EMR rollout for the Department of Defense was troubled. And yes, he even used the term “fake news.”

Our Favorite Health IT Stories

Hackers Continue to Turn SamSam Loose on Healthcare

This is the threat that keeps on taking. SamSam is back. Actually, it never really left. Here’s the latest on how hackers have leveraged this ransomware in 2018 and what healthcare can—no, must—do to protect its networks and patients.

EMRs are Broken, but They Might be Fixable

Some good news: Yeah, EMRs cause a lot of pain and heartache, but the bright minds at Penn Medicine have figured out how to make the tech work for them. What can your health system take from this success story?

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