The Quest for a Fail-Safe Patient Identification Solution in the U.S.
A recent article on the challenges posed by mistakes in patient identification was rather pessimistic about the amount of progress that has been made in the field (see:Fail-safe patient ID matching remains just out of reach patient-id). This boils down to the challenge of ensuring that the EHR record of"Mary Smith" who is admitted today is uncorrupted by data from a different"Mary Smith" who was admitted to the hospital yesterday. Below is an excerpt from the article. It's long so read the whole thing if you are interested.[D]igital technologies —electronic health records in particular&md...
Source: Lab Soft News - August 21, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Computer Security Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Medical Research Quality of Care Source Type: blogs

Ohio Medicaid Department Directed to Quit Its PBM Contracts
It seems like this has been a long time coming but at least one set of state officials is taking action regarding the excess profits and business model of their pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) (see: Ohio Medicaid to try out transparent PBM pricing model). Below are some details from the article:Ohio's Medicaid department is directing its managed-care organizations to quit their contracts with pharmacy benefit managers because of opaque pricing practices officials said cost the state millions of dollars. The state's five managed-care plans must strike up new contracts with companies able to manage pharmacy ser...
Source: Lab Soft News - August 17, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Cost of Healthcare Healthcare Business Healthcare Insurance Medical Consumerism Medical Ethics Source Type: blogs

Need for More " Disruptive " CEOs of Health Systems; What Does This Mean?
Some critics of the current health system CEOs assert that some of them are unprepared for what lies ahead in the field. Their primary expertise is often in revenue management and M&A. For most hospitals, however, revenue is shrinking (see: Why Major Hospitals Are Losing Money By The Millions) and many potential mergers have already been achieved. Inpatient stays have also been shrinking (see:Trends in Hospital Inpatient Stays in the United States, 2005-2014) and threats to outpatient revenues are presented by walk-in retail clinics, urgent care clinics, and UnitedHealth as a major physician employer (see:30,...
Source: Lab Soft News - August 15, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Cost of Healthcare Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Hospital Executive Management Hospital Financial Source Type: blogs

Successfully Screening for Lung Cancer Based on Predictive Analytics
I have blogged a number of times about predictive analytics (see, for example: Identifying Patients for Remote Monitoring with Predictive Analytics;Eric Schmidt Discusses the Potential Value of Predictive Analytics in the ER). Much of the hype about this technology and set of products is largely theoretical at this time but great potential looms in the future. I therefore was very interested in a recent article that provided a very pragmatic perspective on the topic (see:Big data and predictive analytics pull in smokers for lung screening). Below is an excerpt from it:Virginia-basedChesapeake Regional Healthcare sough...
Source: Lab Soft News - August 14, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Innovations Hospital Executive Management Hospital Financial Medical Consumerism Medical Research Preventive Medicine Public Health Source Type: blogs

Announcing the Second Annual API Digital Pathology and AI Workshop
On December 8-9, 2017, theAssociation for Pathology Informatics offered for the first time a workshop on digital pathology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. This conference was somewhat unusual in that it was located in a hospital rather than a hotel or conference center. A tour of the automated lines in the pathology department of Henry Ford was included. Navigate to the above link to review the faculty and lectures that were offered at that time. It was very well received and highly successful with all seats filled.The second workshop in this series is now being offered on December 7-8. 2018, but wit...
Source: Lab Soft News - August 9, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Digital Imaging in Pathology Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures Pathology Informatics Surgical Pathology Source Type: blogs

During an EHR Crash, Don't Disturb the Worker Bees
In response to my blog note yesterday suggesting the need for frequent updates during major EHR crashes (see:Hospital Computer Crashs Show EHR Vulnerabilities; Need for Better Explanations), a reader of Lab Soft News submitted the following comment:I suspect those who desire frequent updates have never lived on the"IT" side of one of these crashes. Interrupting the staff who are working to resolve the issue will only delay the resolution.It is not practical to have them stop"frequently" to give their leadership updates, unless that is considered a higher priority than restoring the system.I personally l...
Source: Lab Soft News - August 7, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Computer Security Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Hospital Executive Management LIS Definitions and Strategy Source Type: blogs

Hospital Computer Crashs Show EHR Vulnerabilities; Need for Better Explanations
A recent EHR crash atSutter Health was managed in about the same (ineffective) way as most of the other similar health system disruptions. Sutter disclosed little about what was happening during and after the crash. The outage was discussed in a recent article (see:How a Major Computer Crash Showed the Vulnerabilities of EHRs). Below is an excerpt from it:The...[recent] communications outage at Sutter Health, the largest health system in northern California, which cut off access to electronic health records (EHRs), highlighted the frequency of such outages and the need for backup plans and drills nationwide (see:Sutte...
Source: Lab Soft News - August 7, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Medical Consumerism Medicolegal Issues Quality of Care Source Type: blogs

A Look Back in Time: Free Internet Access in Hospitals
This note marks the beginning of a new continuing series in which I will look back in time and quote an earlier blog note. I will then comment about how the key ideas covered earlier have changed in the ensuing years.In January, 2006, I posted a note about the innovative idea at that time of providing free Wi-FI to patients and visitors in a hospital (see:Free Wi-Fi for Patients in Hospitals). Here is a quote from the article:TheRichardson Regional Medical Center now provides free Wi-Fi Internet access to patients and visitors throughout the hospital.What started as a WLAN to support paperless charting became a broader dep...
Source: Lab Soft News - August 3, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Quality of Care Source Type: blogs

Toby Cosgrove Appointed as an Advisor to Google Cloud; Where Is Google Headed?
Dr. Delos"Toby" Cosgrove who stepped down as CEO of the Cleveland Clnic in May, 2017, has been appointed as an executive advisor to the Google Cloud team (see:Toby Cosgrove joins Google Cloud). This may be mainly a ceremonial appointment or Google may be seeking to gain expertise from him regarding the relevance of the cloud for the future of healthcare. Below is an excerpt from the article:[Gregory] Moore,...[Vice President of Healthcare], noted that Cosgrove would take on the challenges of the Triple Aim, a framework aimed at improving the patient care experience, improving population health and reduc...
Source: Lab Soft News - August 2, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Cost of Healthcare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Medical Research Public Health Source Type: blogs

Big Pharma Wants Your DNA (But What Will They Do With It?)
It's never been a secret that the consumer DNA labs like23andMe have always intended to sell their anonymized data to other parties such as pharmaceutical companies (see: Helix Makes DNA Sequencing Available to Consumers;Where Do We Go From Here?,23andMe Customers: Suckers or Empowered Consumers?).This has always been the rationale for offering DNA testing to consumers at very low prices. After a few years, the details of such deals are beginning to emerge. A recent article spelled out some of them (see:Big Pharma Would Like Your DNA). Below is an excerpt from it:...[T]his week ’s announcement that GlaxoSmit...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 31, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Electronic Health Record (EHR) Genomic Testing Healthcare Innovations Lab Industry Trends Medical Consumerism Medical Research Pharmaceutical Industry Source Type: blogs

CMS Adds Home Monitoring Reimbursement to Home Health Payments
I have blogged previously about the growing decentralization in healthcare with an increasing number of services provided away from hospitals and with movement toward consumer homes (see:TEN MAJOR TRENDS FACING THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY IN THE AMBULATORY SPACE ON A FIVE-YEAR HORIZON;Mobile Health Teams as a Variant on the Theme of Decentralized Acute Care in the Home). New technology is providing cost-effective and useful solutions in terms of home monitoring devices (see:Top 10 Remote Patient Monitoring Companies for Hospitals).A key element in the success of new ways to deliver healthcare has always been whether reimbursem...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 28, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Healthcare Insurance Public Health Source Type: blogs

Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft Pursue Portability Among Web Services
I have been blogging aboutinteroperability between hospital EHRs for nine years. Here's my first note that used this term: Do Hospitals Really Want Interoperable E-Health Records?. I believe that patients should have the right to download a copy of their EHR records and be able to provide it to other hospitals when necessary. This is sometimes referred to as health dataportability (see, for example:Hospitals as a Major Barrier to the Pursuit of EHR Interoperability).Warning: if x-ray and pathology test results and digital images are included in such a download, such files may be huge. However, you can now buy afou...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 25, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Digital Imaging in Pathology Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Business Healthcare Information Technology Medical Consumerism Medicolegal Issues Pathology Informatics Public Health Quality of Care Source Type: blogs

Sunquest Announces the Integration of Its AP-LISs with Its Genetic Analysis System
The modern laboratory information system (LIS) evolved in the late 1970's and was a"turn-key" system designed to manage test results from the chemistry and hematology labs using interfaces to the analyzers in these two labs. This market need was driven by the large amount of data generated in these labs and also because numerical data was relatively easy to manage and report as opposed to textual data. The earliest anatomic pathology systems, now referred to as AP-LISs, were initially similar to word processors and were designed to publish surgical pathology reports.LISs, managing mainly numerical data from C...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 23, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Genomic Testing Healthcare Innovations Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures LIS Definitions and Strategy LIS Vendor News Pathology Informatics Source Type: blogs

It's Time for the Integration of Virtual Health Services Based on a Timeline
I was struck by a passage in a recent article about the rapid growth of virtual health services for the majority of encounters at Kaiser Permanente, for example, falling into this category (see, for example: (see:In-Person Health Care as Option B). Below is one key passage from this article:Progress in this direction is already under way. At Kaiser Permanente, for example, 52% of the more than 100 million patient encounters each year are now “virtual visits.”The organization has been able to innovate in this area in part because it spends about 25% of its annual $3.8 billion capital budget on informat...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 21, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Public Health Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

It's Time for the Integration of Virtual Health Services Based on a Timeline
I was struck by a passage in a recent article about the rapid growth of virtual health services for the majority of encounters at Kaiser Permanente, for example, falling into this category (see, for example: (see:In-Person Health Care as Option B). Below is one key passage from this article:Progress in this direction is already under way. At Kaiser Permanente, for example, 52% of the more than 100 million patient encounters each year are now “virtual visits.”The organization has been able to innovate in this area in part because it spends about 25% of its annual $3.8 billion capital budget on informat...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 21, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Public Health Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

Data Breach Reported at LabCorp, One of the Two Largest Reference Labs
LabCorp, one of the nation ’s two largest reference labs in the U.S., is investigating a security breach thatcould have put health records of millions of patients at risk (see: LabCorp Investigates a Possible Data Breach). The company, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, says it detected “suspicious activities” on its network the weekend of July 14 and “immediately took certain systems offline as part of its comprehensive response to contain the activity.” LabCorp says it has not yet discovered any evidence of the unauthorized transfer or misuse of data it h...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 18, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Computer Security Healthcare Information Technology Lab Industry Trends Lab Information Medical Consumerism Source Type: blogs

Data Breach Reported at LabCorp, One of the Two Largest Reference Labs
LabCorp, one of the nation ’s two largest reference labs in the U.S., is investigating a security breach thatcould have put health records of millions of patients at risk (see: LabCorp Investigates a Possible Data Breach). The company, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, says it detected “suspicious activities” on its network the weekend of July 14 and “immediately took certain systems offline as part of its comprehensive response to contain the activity.” LabCorp says it has not yet discovered any evidence of the unauthorized transfer or misuse of data it h...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 18, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Computer Security Healthcare Information Technology Lab Industry Trends Lab Information Medical Consumerism Source Type: blogs

Orchard Offers Trellis to Manage Point-of-Care Testing for a Laboratory
Point-of- care testing (POCT) is becoming increasingly important for health systems as healthcare becomes even more decentralized (see:TEN MAJOR TRENDS FACING THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY IN THE AMBULATORY SPACE ON A FIVE-YEAR HORIZON;Mobile Health Teams as a Variant on the Theme of Decentralized Acute Care in the Home). Patients are being served via telemedicine visits or in smaller ambulatory care settings such as walk-in clinics in retail drug stores. Remarkably, some surveys show that patients are often more accepting of telemedicine than physicians (see:Telemedicine is getting trendy, but doctors may not be keeping up).In ...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 17, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures LIS Definitions and Strategy Pathology Informatics P Source Type: blogs

Development of a Web-Based Educational Program for the Training of BRCA Carriers
We are in an era regarding genetic and molecular testing when it is often insufficient to simply report certain test results to clinicians and their patients. Sophisticated patient education may then be necessary in order for the patient to understand the implications of certain positive lab results. A perfect example of this is the identification of BRCA carriers. Such patients need to be informed about the implications of their genetic status and their possible responsibility to untested blood relatives. A recent paper discussed the development of aFamily Gene Toolkit to achieve such an educational goal (see:De...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 14, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Genomic Testing Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Lab Information Lab Processes and Procedures Medical Consumerism Medical Education Public Health Source Type: blogs

HPV Test Superior to Pap Smear for Detecting Precancerous Cervical Changes
A recent article indicated that HPV testing is superior to the Pap smear for detecting precancerous lesions of the cervical epithelium (see:HPV test is better than Pap smear at detecting precancerous cervical changes). Has the Pap smear outlived its usefulness in cancer screening programs? Below is a key passage from the article:A new study found that the HPV test was better than the Pap smear in detecting precancerous changes that can lead to cervical cancer. A test for HPV detects precancerous changes of the cervix earlier and more accurately than the Pap smear....The randomized, controlled study...showed that the human ...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 11, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Cytopathology Healthcare Innovations Medical Research Public Health Surgical Pathology Source Type: blogs

Cleveland Clinic and Apple Make EHR Data More Broadly Accessible via iPhones
This article answered a question that was in my mind by noting that the Cleveland Clinic Health Records app was synced with its Epic MyChart app to provide patients with various type of data including lab test results, medications, immunizations, and physician notes. The article also notes that the Cleveland Clinic wasnot one of the first health systems announced as launching the Apple Health Records service but now seems to have surged ahead of other hospitals. I also found it interesting that this article about the Cleveland Clinic makes no mention of the term"patient portal" although I would have expected to a...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 9, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Medical Consumerism Public Health Source Type: blogs

AI Allows Computers to " Read " EHR Records and Make Predictions
I have blogged previously about utilizing machine learning software andnatural language processing (NLP) to extract meaning from EHR records (see, for example:What Is the Significance of the Roche Acquisition of Flatiron?). This approach to healthcare research is starting to bear fruit (see:Machines Learn To Read Hospital Records, Will Doctor's Handwriting Be Next?). Below is an excerpt from a recent article describing artificial intelligence (AI) and EHR records:Patient records are unruly; they consist of numbers, images, and text....As a result of the jumble of data types and formats, data mining to identify pre...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 6, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Medical Ethics Medical Research Source Type: blogs

T2 Bacterial Panel Obtain FDA Approval; Provides Rapid Diagnosis of Sepsis
There is exciting news in the area of clinical bacteriology. The FDA has approved the T2 Biosystems bacterial panel for the rapid detection of septicemia (see: T2 Biosystems Receives FDA Clearance to Market T2Bacteria Panel for Detection of Sepsis-Causing Pathogens), Below is an excerpt from the article:T2 Biosystems...announced that it has received market clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the T2 Bacteria Panel for the direct detection of bacterial species in human whole blood specimens from patients with suspected bloodstream infections. The T2Bacteria Panel... provides sensitive det...
Source: Lab Soft News - July 3, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Cost of Healthcare Food and Drug Administration Lab Industry Trends Medical Research Quality of Care Source Type: blogs

Partners Healthcare to Self-Insure Its Employees; What Are It's Strategic Goals?
A number of healthcare providers and insurance companies are merging. One previously reported example is the CVS purchase of Aetna (see:Merged CVS and Aetna Will Move Toward a Community-Based Healthcare Model;Analytics May Be the Secret Sauce to Propel CVS-Aetna Forward). Now comes news thatPartners HealthCare will self-insure its 100,000 employees (see:Partners HealthCare to Self-Insure 100K Employees). Below is an excerpt from the relevant article:Partners HealthCare has announced it will self-insure 100,000 of its employees, transitioning coverage from BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts to its ownNeighborhood He...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 29, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Source Type: blogs

Partners Healthcare to Self-Insure Its Employees; What Are It's Strategic Goals?
A number of healthcare providers and insurance companies are merging. One previously reported example is the CVS purchase of Aetna (see:Merged CVS and Aetna Will Move Toward a Community-Based Healthcare Model;Analytics May Be the Secret Sauce to Propel CVS-Aetna Forward). Now comes news thatPartners HealthCare will self-insure its 100,000 employees (see:Partners HealthCare to Self-Insure 100K Employees). Below is an excerpt from the relevant article:Partners HealthCare has announced it will self-insure 100,000 of its employees, transitioning coverage from BlueCross BlueShield of Massachusetts to its ownNeighborhood He...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 29, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Source Type: blogs

Trump Administration Opposes Public Reporting of Hospital Infection Rates
A recent news article highlighted the news that CMS is proposing a new rule whereby hospitals are not longer required to publicly report their infection rates (see:Trump administration rule could stop public reporting of hospital infections despite death toll). Below is an excerpt from the article:Federal health regulators will have to stop releasing data on hospital infections — which affect one in 25 hospital patients every day — under a proposal set to take effect in November, according to an analysis by patient safety advocates. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) plan, part of ac...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 28, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Hospital Financial Medical Consumerism Public Health Source Type: blogs

A New Term, Scientific Wellness, Used to Describe Direction of Healthcare
There has been lots of jargon arising in recent years in relating to the future direction of healthcare. Terms that have been introduced includepersonalized medicine,precision medicine,personal genomics, anddigital health. I want to comment briefly on a recent article that suggested that the term scientific wellness may be useful in this regard (see: The future of personalized health is scientific wellness). Below is an excerpt from it:The convergence of personalized medicine with digital health and artificial intelligence, systems biology, social networks, big data analytics and precision medicine is on the...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 22, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Cost of Healthcare Genomic Testing Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Innovations Medical Consumerism Medical Education Preventive Medicine Source Type: blogs

Physician-to-PhysicianTeleconsults Boost Survival Rates for Liver Disease
I have blogged in the past about provider-to-provider teleconsults (see:The Need for More Research in Provider-to-Provider Telemedicine). This type of telemedicine is often overlooked or underreported. A recent article addressed how video consults have improved survival rates for liver disease patients (see:Video consults boost survival rates for liver disease patients by 54 percent). Below is an excerpt from the article:Patients of primary care physicians who participated in video consultations with liver disease specialists had a 54 percent higher survival rate than patients whose PCPs didn ’t leverage th...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 19, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Innovations Healthcare Insurance Medical Research Public Health Quality of Care Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

Hospitals Cry Foul Over Anthem's Radiology Reimbursement Policy
In a previous post, I noted that health insurance company Anthem was refusing to pay the hospital rate for outpatient MRIs and CT scans, dictating that their insurance holders receive outpatient imaging services from less expensive free-standing radiology centers (see: Anthem Won't Pay for Outpatient MRIs and CT Scans in Hospitals). Hospitals are fighting back and taking Anthem to court over this policy (see:Hospitals cry foul and sue Anthem over new policies). Below is an excerpt from this article:County courtrooms are no strangers to contract disputes between local hospitals and insurers. Lately, though, th...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 15, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Insurance Hospital Financial Radiology Source Type: blogs

Deploying Digital Pathology in the Autopsy Service Before Surgical Pathology
I believe that most pathology teaching programs in the U.S. will be feeling a need to launch a digital pathology program soon because pathology house officer and fellow candidates are favoring those programs that are using this new technology. The applicants to these programs understand that they need to begin to master it in order to qualify for positions when they enter the pathology job market. This poses a program for those teaching departments that are not in the process of adopting this technology.A solution to this dilemma for some departments may be to deploy digital pathologyfirst in their autopsy service. At firs...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 12, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Digital Imaging in Pathology Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Lab Industry Trends LIS Definitions and Strategy Medical Education Medical Research Pathology Informatics Surgical Pathology Source Type: blogs

Can an " Annual Lab Screen " Serve as a Replacement for the Annual Physical Exam
During my career in pathology, there has been a constant litany of complaints from various quarters about excessive ordering of lab tests. And yet, all the while, a complete blood count (CBC) and other lab tests such as electrolytes, lipid panels, and renal panels have been routinely ordered as part of periodic physical exams as a means to screen for diseases that might not be recognized during the physical exam itself. However, the annual physical exam itself has been criticized by many as being unproductive (see: Is the Annual Physical Unnecessary?). The following arguments were marshaled in this article to undersco...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 9, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Cost of Healthcare Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures Medical Research Source Type: blogs

Another Type of Urgent Care Facility Flourishing for Orthopedic Problems
In a recent note, I discussed how primary care practices and hospital-based ambulatory care are now being forced to compete with both walk-in clinics in retail drug stores and urgent care centers (see:Physicians Are Disappearing from the Front Line of Healthcare). I have just learned about another type of first-line competition for physician and physical medicine practices: walk-in, orthopedic urgent care centers (see: Orthopedic urgent care centers to expand). Below is an excerpt from the relevant article:A new orthopedic urgent care center operator is expected to start opening centers in Michigan later this yea...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 6, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Cost of Healthcare Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Insurance Hospital Financial Medical Consumerism Source Type: blogs

Should the Work Product of " Non-Explainable " Medical Algorithms Be Ignored
I have blogged previously about the use of algorithms in healthcare which will be revolutionary in terms of diagnosing patients and even predicting which diseases they may develop in the future (see, for example:Eric Schmidt Discusses the Potential Value of Predictive Analytics in the ER; An Algorithm Using Medical Record Data Predicts Risk for Parkinson's Disease). A recent article discussed how radical this change will be (see: How Health Care Changes When Algorithms Start Making Diagnoses). Needless to say, some politicians are already making foolish judgements about medical algorithms as quoted in th...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 5, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Medical Research Source Type: blogs

Rapid Autopsies: Reformulating the Classic Autopy Toward a Focus on Cancer Research
The non-forensic autopsy is on life support in most hospitals with only about 10% of patients undergoing the procedure nationally (see:The Vanishing Nonforensic Autopsy). However, the rapid autopsy has moved front-and-center for selected cancer patients with the need for rapid tumor tissue harvesting. This specialized type of autopsy was described in a recent article (see: Rapid autopsies could speed cancer research. They ’re also fraught for families),. Below is an excerpt from it:Medical teams have long rushed to save the living. Now, increasingly, they ’re rushing to attend to the dead.A small but ...
Source: Lab Soft News - June 2, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Genomic Testing Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Innovations Medical Consumerism Medical Education Medical Research Source Type: blogs

Physicians Are Disappearing from the Front Line of Healthcare
A recent, longish article in theNew York Times discussed the"disappearing doctor" from the front line of healthcare by which is meant walk-in retail clinics in drug stores and urgent care centers (see:The Disappearing Doctor: How Mega-Mergers Are Changing the Business of Medical Care). People are flocking to these facilities because they are readily accessible, user-friendly, and efficient. Patients with the most serious injuries and diseases are triaged to hospital ERs so the patient mix at these walk-in centers is more homogeneous. Below is an excerpt from the article:...[The] reason big players like CVS H...
Source: Lab Soft News - May 30, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Business Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Hospital Financial Medical Consumerism Public Health Source Type: blogs

More Men Choosing Less Aggressive Treatment for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer for men but it often does not present in an aggressive form of the disease. It now appears that more men with this type of prostate cancer are now, appropriately, foregoing aggressive treatment of the disease (see:More men with low-risk prostate cancer are forgoing aggressive treatment). Below is an excerpt from an ariticle on this topic:American doctors are successfully persuading increasing numbers of men with low-risk prostate cancer to reject immediate surgery and radiation in favor of surveillance, a trend that is sparing men's sexual health without increasing...
Source: Lab Soft News - May 24, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Testing Genomic Testing Healthcare Delivery Medical Consumerism Medical Research Public Health Source Type: blogs

What Is the Significance of the Roche Acquisition of Flatiron?
People are talking about the acquisition ofFlatiron Health by Roche. Here is an article fromForbes that discusses the possible rationale for the purchase (see:The Flatiron Health Acquisition Is A Shot In The Arm For Roche's Oncology Real-World Evidence Needs) and below is an excerpt from the article:...Roche, a global pharmaceutical giant, [has] acquired Flatiron Health, an oncology-focused electronic health records (EHR) company, for $1.9 billion....[Flatiron] has a partnership with a large network of oncology clinics and a few major research facilities to gather patient data. While it was not entirely unexpected...
Source: Lab Soft News - May 22, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Medical Research Pharmaceutical Industry Source Type: blogs

VA Finalizes Telehealth Initiative; What's the Likelihood of Success?
In various previous blog notes, I have strongly advocated for the expansion of telemedicine across most sectors of the healthcare system. My rationale for this recommendation is that it's one of the only ways to expand healthcare delivery in a cost-effective manner. The approach also avoids the rigidity of a bricks-and-morter strategy with physical facilities becoming quickly outmoded as the style of practice changes. The VA is now finalizing plans for its telehealth program. In order to achieve this goal, the VA is circumventing the various state rules governing the licensing of providers. All of this was described in...
Source: Lab Soft News - May 18, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Electronic Health Record (EHR) Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Hospital Executive Management Telemedicine Source Type: blogs

New At-Home Lab Testing Device Provides CBC Counts for Cancer Patients
I have been closely tracking the development of new at-home lab testing devices because I think, accompanied by expanded telemedicine choices, the face of healthcare will be changed forever. A recent article inDark Daily announced such a device for complete blood counts (CBC) (see:New At-Home CBC Device Enables Complete Blood Testing for Cancer Treatments and Biological/Viral Monitoring). Below is an excerpt from it:.....[N]ew devices that enable chronic disease patients to monitor and report findings to care providers continue to be developed and embraced by healthcare consumers. One such device fromAthelas, a diagno...
Source: Lab Soft News - May 15, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Clinical Lab Industry News Clinical Lab Testing Cost of Healthcare Food and Drug Administration Healthcare Information Technology Lab Industry Trends Lab Processes and Procedures Medical Consumerism Point-of-Care Testing Test Kits and Ho Source Type: blogs

AI Predicts Which Patients Will Code, Allowing Early Intervention
I will occasionally report inLab Soft News about examples of artificial intelligence (AI) that are being introduced into healthcare because the use of such tools will radically change the way care is rendered. One such example is a recently developed algorithm that generates warnings about which patients are in imminent danger of"coding" in the hospital (see: Ochsner Health System: Preventing cardiac arrests with AI that predicts which patients will ‘code’). Such a warning enables physicians to intervene earlier for them. Below is an excerpt from the article:In modern hospitals, doctors and nurse...
Source: Lab Soft News - May 13, 2018 Category: Laboratory Medicine Authors: Bruce Friedman Tags: Healthcare Delivery Healthcare Information Technology Healthcare Innovations Medical Ethics Medical Research Quality of Care Source Type: blogs