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Breaking News Stories in Healthcare Information Technology
The coronavirus continues to keep the world talking about healthcare, and healthcare technology news continues to be dominated by what everyone can do to stop this pandemic.

Prioritizing the Most Vulnerable at Medical Home Network

Medical Home Network is a conglomeration of ten federally qualified health centers in Chicago and three health systems that is responsible for the care of 122,000 Medicare beneficiaries. Over the last two years, they have made healthcare technology news for using AI to analyze patients who are most at risk of being re-hospitalized. Now, they have turned their experience to identifying people who are at a high risk of contracting coronavirus. The program allows the group to contact 4.4 % of its beneficiaries to support them with care managers based on their social risk.

Students in Abilene TX Develop Robotic Bedside Table

While medical professionals look for PPEs across the world, students were involved in helping create a novel solution for two Abilene TX hospitals. Students at Wylie ISD and Abilene ISD made healthcare technology news when they were challenged to come up with two prototypes of bedside tables that could be remotely controlled. The small groups of students created their prototypes in less than 36 hours. Then, IT officials with the hospitals got with a local manufacturer to produce the winning model. The tables should allow nurses to deliver care without having to enter patient rooms.

Distillers Using Technology to Help With the Coronavirus Fight

While many people may be lamenting the fact that their favorite distillery is closed, distilleries are attacking the coronavirus in new ways. Following the waiver of a part of the federal law to let distillers turn their alcohol into hand sanitizer. While these companies may usually be competitors, they are using IT to work together and help each other produce hand sanitizer that can be used by first responders and others.

Learning to Use Data From Wearable Devices to Track COVID-19 Outbreak

Researchers with Scripps Research Translational Institute are conducting a clinical trial to see if data collected from wearable devices can track COVID-19 and influenza outbreaks. Wearers can opt into the DETECT study, which collects data on heart rate and amount of sleep, which can be essential factors in seeing when people might be getting sick. Researchers believe that the data may be able to move up the prediction of an epidemic or a pandemic by a few weeks so that preventative measures can be put in place. CareEvolution is helping with the app-based study.

COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition Forms

A healthcare coalition has formed to focus on COVID-19. The goal of the alliance is to work with MITRE Corporation to make sure that valuable information does not become bogged down within an individual’s company bureaucracy. The first goal of the coalition will be to identify available resources and track insights. One of the first announcements out of the group is that it is vital to track patient travel data. Participants come from many different sectors, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Athenahealth, Mayo Clinic, Walgreens, and the University of California Healthcare System.

HHS’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Reduces Quality Payment Program

Over 1.2 million clinicians who are working with COVID-19 patients und the Quality Payment Program have had automatic extensions granted amid the growing pandemic. Additionally, participants have had some guidelines loosened. It is the home of CMS that will allow doctors, IT teams, nurses, and others to focus on patient care. Hospital and PAC programs are both affected.

China Using Drones in Coronavirus Fight

China is using drones in at least three ways in the fight to stop the coronavirus epidemic. Officials with the government are using drones to help spray public areas to disinfect them. According to drone company XAG, drones are more efficient than using humans to do the job, and they may be doing it better. The government has also been using drones to deliver samples to centralized testing centers at a significantly reduced rate of speed. For example, it would typically have taken people over 20 minutes to deliver a sample from the People’s Hospital of Xinchang County in Zhejiang Province to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, the drone was able to do it in under 6 minutes. The government has also approved the use of drones to deliver food and supplies in hard-hit areas.

EHR System Being Severely Tested

The IT team at the University California, San Diego Health, has put the EHR System to the test under the current pandemic. The IT team used the system for virtual meetings and to track the pandemic in real-time. Nurses were able to use a protocolized triage system to quarantine patients at home, guide them to testing centers, and refer for further testing when needed. The hospital’s IT team also developed standardized orders to save time. Working with the Incident Command Center, the team was also able to create a COVID-19 dashboard along with virtual meetings.