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Study: mHealth Program Improves Mental Health Outcomes for Veterans

October 6, 2016
by Heather Landi
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A mobile and web-based wellness program employed by military veterans who had been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan had a positive impact on mental health and wellness outcomes, according to study by researchers in the department of psychiatry at the University of Vermont.

Veterans with a history of deployment in the global war on terror face ongoing and significant challenges with high prevalence of adverse psychological, physical, spiritual and family impacts, according to researchers. “Together, these challenges contribute to an emerging public health crisis likely to extend well into the future. Innovative approaches are needed that reach veterans and their family members with strategies they can employ over time in their daily lives to promote improved adjustment and well-being,” Janet Kahn, Ph.D., a researcher with the University of Vermont, College of Medicine, department of psychiatry, wrote. Kahn was the lead author of the study, which was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Researchers found that the use of a web-based and mobile wellness program had a significant impact on improving posttraumatic stress disorder and depression for military veterans, and their partners, and could be an accessible, low-cost approach that supports veterans’ well-being and mental health.

Khan and the research team sought to evaluate the effects of a web-based, self-directed program of instruction in mind- and body-based wellness skills to be employed by veterans and their significant relationship partners on mental health outcomes associated with post-deployment readjustment.

For the study, researchers recruited 160 veteran-partner pairs in four regions, San Diego, Dallas, Fayetteville, N.C. and New York City, with a specific focus on veterans who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the veteran-partner pairs were provided web-based and mobile app video and audio instruction in a set of mindfulness-related stress reduction and contemplative practices through the Mission Reconnect (MR) program. Some couples were provided the MR program alone, while some were provided the MR program along with the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) for Strong Bonds weekend program for military couples. Other couples were provided the PREP program alone and still others were put in the waitlist control group.

During the first eight-week reporting period, veterans and partners assigned to the Mission Reconnect program used some aspect of the program a mean of 20 times per week, totaling nearly 2.5 hours per week, with only modest declines in use at 16 weeks. “Significant improvements were seen at eight and 16 weeks in measures of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, sleep quality, perceived stress, resilience, self-compassion, and pain for participants assigned to Mission Reconnect,” the study authors wrote.

The study authors concluded that both veterans and partners were able to learn and make sustained use of a range of wellness practices taught in the program.

“Home-based, self-directed interventions may be of particular service to veterans who are distant from, averse to, or prohibited by schedule from using professional services,” the study authors wrote.

Use of a mobile and web-based, self-directed program can be an accessible, low-cost approach that supports well-being and reduces multiple symptoms among post-9/11 veterans and their partners, the study authors concluded.

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/news-item/mobile/labcorp-joins-apple-health-records-project

LabCorp Joins Apple Health Records Project

November 5, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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LabCorp, a provider of clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services, has announced that it has enabled Apple’s Health Records feature for its patients.

This iPhone feature aims to make it easier for LabCorp patients to access their LabCorp laboratory test results, along with other available medical data from multiple providers, whenever they choose, according to officials.

In January, Apple announced that it would be testing the Health Records feature out with 12 hospitals, inclusive of some of the most prominent healthcare institutions in the U.S. Since that time, more than 100 new organizations have joined the project,  according to Apple.

LabCorp test results are viewable in the Apple Health app for LabCorp patients who have an account with the company, and enable integration with the Health Records app. In addition to their LabCorp test results, patients will have information from participating healthcare institutions organized into one view, covering allergies, medical conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals.

Patients will receive notifications when their data is updated, and the Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, according to officials.

“LabCorp on Health Records will help provide healthcare consumers with a more holistic view of their health. Laboratory test results are central to medical decision making, and broadening access to this information will help patients take charge of their health and wellness, and lead to more informed dialogues between patients and their healthcare providers,” David P. King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, said in a statement.

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HIMSS Analytics Introduces Infrastructure Adoption Model for Health Systems

October 25, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, announced the introduction of the Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, which is designed to measure the technical infrastructure used within a health system.

The INFRAM focuses on five technical subdomains, allowing organizations to benchmark how their infrastructure operates within the following areas: mobility; security; collaboration; transport; and data center.

Similar to HIMSS Analytics’ well-known Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, or, EMRAM, the INFRAM is an eight-stage model (0 – 7) that allows healthcare IT leaders to map the technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their facility’s clinical and operational goals, while meeting industry benchmarks and standards.  The final stage, Stage 7, guides organizations towards optimized information integration, contextualization and orchestration essential for the delivery of higher order local and virtualized care processes.

For reference purposes, Stage 0 on the model represents that an organization does not have a VPN, intrusion detection/prevention, security policy, data center or compute architecture. Stage 3 signifies that an organization has an advanced intrusion prevention system, while Stage 5 represents having video on mobile devices, location-based messaging, firewall with advanced malware protection, and real-time scanning of email hyperlinks.

HIMSS officials note that by identifying specific benchmarks for organizations to reach before they go live with EMR, systems, the INFRAM aims to ensure that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable and extensible. Through this, organizations can ideally improve care delivery and create a pathway for infrastructure development tied to business and clinical outcomes.

 “The INFRAM is a welcome addition to our maturity model suite and addresses a longstanding need – guiding healthcare organizations in securely implementing the infrastructure with which their EMRs are built upon,” Blain Newton, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “We have seen health systems engage with advanced clinical applications, only for them to ‘glitch’ under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support their tools. With the INFRAM, healthcare providers can develop a detailed, strategic technology plan that defines their organization's current state, desired future state, and each stage in between to achieve their clinical and operational goals.”

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Clinical Team Communication and Data Access in the Palm of Your Hand

Thursday, October 25, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CT

Eisenhower Health, a west coast-based Magnet Hospital, implemented an enterprise-wide solution enabling mobile communications and collaboration across all care teams, linking the entire enterprise, advancing its communications capabilities, creating access to an enterprise directory, and improving care team response and turnaround times.

Additionally, the system provided extensive and comprehensive reporting with data analytics showing where and to what extent response improvements were made, but also providing the information the hospital needed to better utilize the system and make adjustments to improve results.

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