The issue of intellectual property within Global Hosptials
Written Sarah Brooks
When it comes to health, one’s medical records are everything.
According to Health.com, surgery mix-ups are more common than we're believed to think. Over a 6.5 year period, Colorado doctors operated on the wrong part of a patients' body more than 100 times, and on the wrong patient in general more than 25 times.
The same study found that approximately one-third of the patient mix-ups had long-term effects on the patient.
In addition to patient mix-ups, identity theft is a problem amongst hospitals, as well.
A recent Ponemon Institute study found that approximately 1.5 million Americans have been a victim of medical identity theft.
Hospital workers are sometimes the culprits - selling personal information of the patients - and sometimes the general population is the culprits - stealing someone's identity specifically to obtain health care and health care benefits.
In order to prevent these crimes, security has to be tightened and medical records must be better protected.
What can hospitals do?
Ponemon Institutealso found that $6 billion is spent annually on breaches of patient information. Worse yet, the study found that protecting patient records is not a top priority of many hospitals. The areas that are most susceptible to theft include billing and private medical records.
Hospitals can choose data organizational programs that put safety and protection high on the priority list.
Syncsort, for example, is a way to integrate big data, smarter (as the slogan says). Big data is defined as a large, complex collection of multiple data sets that must be stored, shared and of course, protected. A great way for hospitals to tighten security among patient data records is by choosing companies such as Syncsort or Pivotal.
Hospitals can also make sure all of their data on hard drives is encrypted, or converted into a code. This protects the patients personal medical records if a computer or laptop were to go missing.
To help prevent patient mix-ups, the Joint Commission developed a technique where surgeons and the entire surgical team take a pre-surgery "time out."
During this break, the patient is double-checked, along with the site where the operation will take place. Human error is the main reason for patient mix-ups, not necessarily errors within the medical records system.
Keep in mind that a significant amount of errors happen long before the patient is prepped for surgery. There may have been a mix-up in test results, lab results or diagnostic procedures.
In addition to improving medical databases and protecting private patient information, double-checking everything from blood samples and MRI scans to the patients' correct name and reason for being in the hospital is crucial.
With Obamacare being enacted, most hospitals will eventually switch to electronic health records.
Hospital responsibilities are increasing - they're narrowing in on providing better care for patients, minimizing costs and improving the health of people overall.
Let's just hope millions of private records are protected from identity theft, patient mix-ups and more.
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Glendale, AZ. She writes on health, personal finance and small businesses.
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”