HealthLeaders Media IT - August 10, 2010 | 5 Big Advances in Small Clinical Technology
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5 Big Advances in Small Clinical Technology
Gienna Shaw, Technology Editor

From a tiny eye telescope to microscopic health data on the surface of contact lenses to advances in cancer treatments, medical devices continue to get smaller and smaller. And the smallest of the small fields—nanotechnology—is expected to get bigger (so to speak) over the coming years.  [Read More]
August 10, 2010  
Editor's Picks
FDA Moves Toward Tighter Medical Device Oversight
Makers of X-ray machines, drug pumps and other medical devices would have to submit more safety information to win federal approval under a Food and Drug Administration proposal designed to tighten regulation of thousands of products reviewed each year. The move is designed to improve oversight of the U.S. device industry, including the government's ability to revoke approval for products that prove unsafe or ineffective.[Read More]

Medical Device Makers Pan FDA Proposals
It might not come as a big shock that the medical device industry has raised concerns about the recent FDA move to tighten medical device oversight—although some say they did not expect controversy. "[The] FDA has been saying that this round of proposals would be noncontroversial, things everyone would agree with by consensus," Ralph Hall, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who previously worked for the industry told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. But there are objections to parts of the proposed changes. For example, the proposal would create a new subset of moderate-risk devices for which clinical or manufacturing data typically would be necessary to win marketing clearance from the government. That's controversial, Hall said, because existing data about safety problems with the devices doesn't support the creation of a new category. [Read More]

APIC: Automated Surveillance Prevents HAIs
Facilities that have automated surveillance technologies to detect infectious organisms have also implemented best practices to prevent their spread, a study of 241 acute care hospitals in California indicates. Only 78 of 241 California's hospitals (32.4% of those studied) have employed computer technologies to identify infections, according to the study. Eight-five percent of institutions with surveillance technologies had implemented best practices, such as checklists and handwashing protocols, to prevent infections. [Read More]

CMS EMR Incentive Funding Reaches $73 Million
Another six states plus Washington, D.C. have received federal matching funds totaling $5.75 million to plan state electronic medical record (EHR) incentive programs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Thursday. The recent awards bring the total federal amount for this program to $73.32 million since last November. The money will be used to help providers install and use electronic medical record systems in their practices, according to CMS.[Read More]

Surgeons Replace Heart Valves Less Invasively
An emerging technique in Europe in which surgeons replace diseased heart valves through catheters rather than with open heart surgery may have enormous promise for thousands of U.S. patients denied the procedure because they are too fragile to undergo anesthesia for the three to six-hours open heart surgery requires. A less invasive option, such as replacement of a damaged valve with prosthetic valves made from bovine or porcine pericardium mounted within a stent and delivered through a catheter, may be the solution. But more research, some of which is expected to be published next month, is needed to evaluate its comparative benefit, according to a report published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.[Read More]

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Tech Headlines
Clouds, big data, and smart assets: Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch
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HIPAA penalties raise stakes for security breaches
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Medical Device Makers: Stop Griping and Embrace Healthcare Reform: During the national healthcare reform debate, many in the medical device industry strenuously objected to contributing their "fair share" to reform through a new tax on their devices. While other healthcare stakeholders accepted the notion of shared sacrifice and agreed to give up collective hundreds of billions of dollars, device companies warned that a new tax would force them to pass on the additional cost to hospitals and patients. And the protests haven't stopped. [Read More]
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Tech to Boost Satisfaction and Patient Flow: Are long wait times in the ER hurting the patient experience at your organization? Denice Soyring Higman, RN, president and founder of Soyring Consulting in St. Petersburg, FL, discusses how hospitals can dramatically boost patient satisfaction scores with simple patient flow changes and by using clinical data to improve efficiency and productivity in the ER. [Listen Now]
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