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GINA, Runtastic, and The Future of Patient Engagement: Around HealthCare Scene

Posted on August 19, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.


Worried about HIPAA? Don’t Forget GINA

If remember HIPAA regulations wasn’t hard enough when it comes to EMR security, a new factor is being brought to the table: GINA. GINA, which stands for Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, primarily aimed at the workplace. The purpose of GINA is to prevent employers from requesting or obtaining any genetic information concerning an employee at any time. This post discusses GINA, and possible issues that may be related to it.

Hospital EMR and EHR

Medicare’s New Requirement for Evidence-based Order Sets

This is a guest post by Sean Benson, co-founder of ProVation Medical. He discusses the new changes to Medicare’s Conditions of Participation for hospitals that recently went into effect. These changes were small, but significant, and Benson clears up things that might be confusing, and clarifies the new requirements.

5 Mistakes Healthcare Vendors Make in Tracking Customer Satisfaction

The company, KATALUS Advisors, focuses quite a bit on helping healthcare vendors interact with their clients. Chris O’Neal, Managing Partner at KATALUS Advisors, recently created a list of the top 5 mistakes that he sees healthcare vendors make in tracking customer satisfaction. He mentions the importance of customer satisfaction, and how “savvy” vendors are finding ways to avoid this pitfalls.

Smart Phone Health Care

Runtastic Makes Tracking Exercise Easier and More Fun

As a follow up to a recent post about apps for runners, this post has a review of another great running app, Runtastic. The app has tons of features, including a 3D Google Earth view of completed workouts. The basic app is free to download, however, upgrades and exercise plans are available for a fee.

FDA Approves Voice Guided Epinephrine Injector: Auvi-Q

Many people are plagued with allergies, and at times, have to rely on an epinephrine injector to save their lives. However, when an allergic reaction happens, the victim may not be able to use the injector themselves. As a solution, the FDA has recently approved an epi pen, called the Auvi-Q, which provides step by step audio on how to use the injector and save a life.

EHR and EMR Videos

GetWellNetwork Unveils the Future of Patient Engagement Video

GetWellNetwork released a video recently which illustrates how innovations in IPC will improve outcomes for patients for hospitals by becoming a part of everyday life. IPC has been implemented in over 20,000 hospital beds across the US and GetWellNetwork has been leading the way for IPC.

Worried About HIPAA? Don’t Forget GINA

Posted on August 15, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

As if we don’t have enough acronyms to worry about, there’s one we may not yet have discussed here which is also worth considering. In addition to HIPAA, the Genetic Information  Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) may become a factor in how we handle EMR data security.

In theory, GINA is primarily aimed at the workplace, as its purpose is to bar an employer from requesting or obtaining an individual’s genetic information at any stage of employment. But since GINA construes this to mean not only the results of genetic tests, but anything related to family medical history,even providers who don’t do occupational medicine may have some serious data security issues to consider.

GINA became law in 2008 and regulations have already been promulgated which restrict access to occupational health information. Agencies are beginning to develop their positions on GINA violations, too.

For example, the EEOC recently concluded that if personal health information and occupational health information are stored in the same electronic medical record, it’s probably a violation of both HIPAA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (which also restricts health data access).  The EEOC’s opinion came in the form of an informal discussion letter, and isn’t binding, but you can see where this is ehaded.

Perhaps more frighteningly, individuals can bring private lawsuits for violation of GINA, unlike with HIPAA. So as bad as being slapped with a citation for HIPAA violations can be, a GINA violation may have even wider implications.

Sorry to be a Dolly Downer, folks, but it’s better to know about this than find out about it later. While you may not need to make big changes in your security plans due to GINA, you should probably give it some thought.