The Secret Life of the SNOMED Code: Why Patient’s ‘Problem List’ is a Problem

In her debut on the blog, Mandi Bishop highlights how the one-to-many mapping of SNOMED codes could affect patient care and their medical history.

‘The purpose of the SNOMED problem list is to inform all providers in the patient’s care continuum of any active or chronic conditions needing assessment and monitoring. With the single-click application of any given SNOMED code to an entire population of patients, it is highly likely that some, if not many, patients will be incorrectly assigned. It is unlikely that the patient will be clinically educated enough to identify, let alone explain, the difference to the network of providers participating in his or her care.’

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Make the Connection: Using Tech to Find Mental Health Resources

Mental illness still carries a huge stigma, causing embarrassment for those with mental illness that often prevents them for reaching out for help when they are struggling. Fear of being judged as unstable, potentially violent or “crazy” can prevent those with mental illness from getting the help they need. Access to mental health care also has historically been a challenge.

Technology is one possible way to help breakdown stigma and barriers to care and can provide a tool to help raise awareness and build support. Here are some ways the tech community can help those with mental illness.

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Rise of Data Analytics Heightens Need for PHI Security

2013 significantly changed the context of the healthcare security and privacy conversation. From the Snowden NSA revelations, to HIPAA Omnibus rule, changes in breach characteristics, to connected devices, mhealth, IoT and increasing use of cloud and corporate BYOD policies, one thing is clear: security by obscurity equals no security at all. The burden of protecting PHI is now spread across all data holders, patients, providers and payers alike. Lauren Still outlines some of the unique security issues that need to be addressed as healthcare technology moves into a data analytics mindset.

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GAO Report on Health Information Exchange Focuses on Standards

Meaningful use criteria are indeed shaping the industry and modernizing how health data is used, but the criteria isn’t a paint-by-numbers instruction manual. IT departments should not feel reliant on or handcuffed by the ONC. There is still plenty of room for IT leaders to set ambitious, innovative goals that help create a competitive advantage through data exchange.

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The State of Nursing Informatics

Just as general technology has changed over the past decade, so too has the field of nursing informatics. In February, HIMSS released its most recent survey on nursing informatics, which spans back to 2004. Here are some findings on the state of the field from the HIMSS 2014 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, followed by a few questions the results raised with author Jennifer Thew, RN.

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Big Things in Patient Engagement: Context and Transparency

It was apparent that health IT is really moving toward accountable, value-based care, which ultimately has its success rooted in better decisions by patients, physicians and caregivers. The interoperability must ultimately lead to delivering more transparent cost and quality data in context. To make effective decisions, and to effectively engage, we must understand all the factors influencing a person at a given time, we must understand contexts, and get key information placed into that context. That’s how we can put mHealth, interoperability and patient engagement into a framework that drives patient engagement.

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