U.K. health secretary backs plan to sell de-identified patient data; N.C. commits $4M to telepsychiatry for rural patients;

News From Around the Web

> U.K. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is backing a controversial plan to sell de-identified patient data to private firms for medical research, according to the The Guardian. "The project has been described by campaigners as an 'unprecedented threat' to medical confidentiality, and doctors do not have to inform patients that their records are being passed on," according to the article. Article

> Telemedicine will be used to evaluate behavioral health patients in a rural settings in North Carolina with the state's commitment of $4 million to a program that begins Jan. 1, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. The program will be based at East Carolina University, and funding will be provided over two years, with the rollout to participating rural hospitals lasting until June 2015. Article

Provider News

> Emergency room wait times are often painfully long and a huge problem for hospitals' efficiency. For Mercy Health's Anderson Hospital in Cincinnati, three years ago, ER patients waited 40 minutes to be seen by a doctor. But now, the average wait time is only 12 minutes--a 70 percent decrease, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier. How did the hospital do this? By speeding up treatment and changing the way it "sorted" patients, according to Michael Argus, M.D., Anderson's emergency department medical director. Article

> Music soothes the soul, and might help heal the body, as well. So hospitals across the country are returning their patient-support programs to include music therapy, according to news reports.Louisville, Ky.-based Norton Healthcare recently expanded its music therapy program, spending $400,000 on an expansion and renovation at Norton Audubon Hospital to include a performance space, a music library, a music classroom for patients and a concert grand piano, the Courier-Journal reported. Article

Medical Imaging News

> Whether for general radiography, ultrasound and capital imaging, PACS, or imaging IT hardware and middleware, radiology providers typically remain loyal to only a few select brands, according to new research published by Frost and Sullivan. For the report, most survey respondents said that their facilities use a preferred vendor model, which means they only purchase equipment from two or three select manufacturers, with GE Healthcare singled out as having a strong competitive advantage over other brands. Article

And Finally... Just in case you didn't know... Article

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