Combined, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services serve close to 100 million Americans. Given the size of their patient bases, it is imperative that these organizations evolve and innovate to meet changing patient populations technological advances. In tandem, they must be prepared to prevent cyberattack, as their data is highly attractive to criminals. In this roundup, we learn how the VA and CMS focus on innovation, improving patient experience, and protecting data.
How the VA and CMS Are Improving the Patient Experience
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are working hard to improve the patient experience for their constituents. Fred Altimont, Managing Director for Federal Healthcare at Infor, said that while public healthcare is, unfortunately, synonymous with long waits for care and lots of paperwork, the VA and CMS are diligently working towards improving the patient experience. One element of that is better interoperability between healthcare systems, to alleviate current difficulties in transferring records from doctor to doctor, facility to facility and EHR to EHR. The solution involves shifting the current thinking about who controls a patient’s data, Altimont said. He said that to get to value-based care, where better outcomes are the unit of measurement, it’s time to put patients in charge of their own data.
Read the interview here.
VA Innovators See Home-Grown Ideas Spread Far and Wide Across Veterans Health Network
Like much of the healthcare industry, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is grappling with a growing elder population, skyrocketing health care costs and a shortage of quality providers. The VA has no choice but to change the way it does its business. Luckily, employees at the Veterans Health Administration have no shortage of new ideas, big and small. At a recent “Innovation Experience,” VA employees presented dozens of ideas they hope will be chosen for an Innovators Network and “Spark-Seed-Spread” investment program, which gives employees the space and resources to cultivate their ideas. A past example is a tooth brushing program designed to prevent hospital-acquired pneumonia among veterans has been adopted at 42 VA sites. So far, the department estimates it’s prevented at least 268 pneumonia infections in patients.
Read the story here.
Ransomware Attacks on The Rise: What Does This Mean for the VA?
Government agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) house large amounts of personal data that bad actors want, making these healthcare systems prime targets. DCH Health System, an Alabama-based healthcare organization, was the latest to be targeted by a ransomware attack that impacted systems at three hospitals. The health organization paid the ransom, purchasing a decryption key and was able to recover hospital systems. This attack highlights the increase in frequency and impact that cyberthreats are posing. Healthcare systems, schools, and government agencies have all fallen prey to attacks that impact systems, employees, and patients or constituents. Recently, GovCybersecurityHub, our sister publication, spoke to Dennis Egan, the Director of Healthcare East at CrowdStrike, about these attacks and the motivations, trends, and malicious actors behind them.
Read the interview here.