October 19, 2012
By Ben Daniels*
Chicago Hospitals Create a Network for Adults With Congenital Heart Disease
MedicalXpress (10/15) reports that seven Chicago-area academic and teaching hospitals collaborated to form the Chicago Adult Heart Network (CATCH) with the goal of ensuring that adults with congenital heart disease receive appropriate follow-up care. CATCH representatives note that more babies born with congenital heart defects are living into adulthood as a result of successful interventions, but are not receiving adequate post-pediatric follow-up care. CATCH hopes to increase awareness among practitioners of the need for regular follow-up and to facilitate collaboration among Chicago's cardiac specialists.
A Different Kind of Virus
Technology Review (10/17) reports that hospital equipment reliant on software systems is becoming increasingly at risk for malware infections as a result of reliance on older software operating systems that cannot be updated due to concerns over U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory reviews. The inability to update operating systems or add security features causes the equipment to become regularly infected. At a meeting of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Information Security & Privacy Advisory Board, panel members indicated that a wide variety of hospital equipment is at risk, ranging from compounders to archiving systems associated with MRI machines. FDA has indicated that it is aware of the challenges and is reviewing its regulatory stance on software.
New Cancer Center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center
Memphis Business Blog (10/16) reports that the University of Tennessee Medical Center officially unveiled its new 108,000 square foot facility in Knoxville on Tuesday. At a cost of $23 million, the cancer center triples the size of the former facility and seeks to consolidate all aspects of cancer care. The center offers space for both outpatient care and cancer research.
California's Health eQuality Program
iHealthBeat (10/18) reports that the University of California-Davis and the California Health and Human Services Agency signed a sixteen-month, $17.5 million cooperative grant agreement known as the California Health eQuality program (CHeQ). The funding for the grant is what remains of the $38.8 million grant received by the state in 2010 from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to develop privacy and security policies for health information exchange in the state. The CHeQ will seek to improve quality and coordination through better access to standards that allow for transmission of secure health information among providers.
Steward and Partners Team Up on Trauma Care
Boston.com (10/18) reports that Steward Health Care System and Partners HealthCare System have reached an agreement whereby Steward will send severe injury cases from its ten community hospitals to Partners' Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals in Boston. The arrangement calls for Steward to send nearly all of its estimated 1,000 annual severe trauma patients to the Partners facilities to receive level-one trauma care and for Partners physicians to assist Steward in its efforts to develop trauma centers capable of handling less-critical cases. A spokesperson for Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Martha Coakley indicated that the AG's office is reviewing the details of the arrangement.
*We would like to thank Ben M. Daniels, Esquire (Foley & Lardner LLP, Boston, MA), for providing this week's update.