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Health System Accuses Docs of Divulging Confidential Trade Secrets

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In a lawsuit filed this past week, the Medical University of South Carolina accused a group of soon-to-be-former employees of divulging trade secrets to another health system in an attempt to develop a rival treatment program.

According to the complaint, which was filed in Charleston County Court, a group of doctors allegedly planned to carry out a “wholesale departure” of physicians, nurses, technicians, staff and fellows in MUSC’s Division of Head and Neck Oncology.

MUSC claimed the group did so in order to establish a head and neck practice at HCA Healthcare’s Trident Medical Center, also in Charleston.

“On information and belief, the physicians acted in concert, with each other and with HCA and Trident, to engage in unlawful conduct and lawful conduct using unlawful means to effectuate their overall plan and scheme to the injury of MUSC and [University Medical Associates],” according to the complaint.

Trident and HCA Healthcare did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

WHY IT MATTERS

According to MUSC, a key part of the physicians’ alleged scheme involved the misappropriation of confidential information.

As the filing outlined, as it built its HNO Division over the past 20 years, MUSC identified and purchased the equipment necessary to perform “sophisticated and complicated” surgical procedures.

It also developed physician preference cards and instrument lists to perform those procedures.

These preference cards are at the heart of MUSC’s complaint: They catalog specific tools, supplies, room setup, types and brands of instruments, pharmaceuticals and processes to follow for each specialized procedure.

MUSC’s cards are not available in the public domain; accessing them requires a two-factor authentication system, according to the health system.

“While still employed by MUSC, without any authority or justification for doing so and in violation of their duties to MUSC, defendants … directed a registered nurse employed by MUSC to send MUSC physician preference cards to HCA, which she did by email correspondence to HCA,” the complaint alleged.

“Without the misappropriated physician preference cards and instrument lists, the defendant physicians would not be able to quickly establish the facilities, processes, and procedures to perform these complicated head and neck procedures at HCA’s Trident Medical Center.”

MUSC also accused various defendants of obtaining MUSC’s instrument list and emailing it to HCA; of trying to obtain patient lists; and of providing case logs to HCA.

All six physicians named in the lawsuits are scheduled to stop working at MUSC as of November 30.

The health system is accusing the defendants of breach of duty of loyalty, interference with contractual relationships, civil conspiracy, breach of contract, unfair trade practices, misappropriation of trade secrets.

It is seeking an injunction to stop the doctors’ alleged plan, as well as damages.

THE LARGER TREND

Proprietary information is a hot commodity in the healthcare space, particularly where innovation is concerned.

Just this month, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to weigh in about a case involving trade secrets and compensatory damages between the electronic health record vendor Epic and Tata Consultancy Services.

In March of this year, the post-acute care company CareCentrix filed a corporate espionage lawsuit against its competitor, Signify.

As outlined in CareCentrix’s complaint, General Manager and Vice President of Product Marcus Lanznar spied on his employer at the behest of Signify.

Meanwhile, telehealth giant Teladoc filed a lawsuit against competitor Amwell this past October, accusing it of alleged patent infringement.

ON THE RECORD

“In summary, the defendant physicians have obtained MUSC’s confidential and proprietary information with the intent to use this information and/or provide this information to HCA for the development of a head and neck cancer treatment department at HCA’s Trident Medical Center, all in violation of the duties owed by the physicians to MUSC,” read the complaint.

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Email: kjercich@himss.org
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

Original Source: healthcareitnews.com

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Health Care

Singapore’s Public Health System Rolling Out the Clinician’s ZEDOC Platform

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Singapore’s health tech agency Integrated Health Information Systems has partnered with Auckland-headquartered digital health firm The Clinician to deploy a patient-reported outcome and experience measures platform across the island state’s public healthcare system.

WHAT IT’S FOR

The Clinician’s ZEDOC platform, the company describes, assists healthcare providers in managing patient-generated health data outside the hospital through digitisation. Integrated with HIS, the system supports timely exchange of health data and information between providers and patients, including subjective PROMs and PREMs, objective wearable device data, and other communication or educational materials. By streamlining the digital collection of critical health data, ZEDOC is able to render real-time, actionable information crucial for improving health outcomes and experiences.

The partners are working on multiple ZEDOC integrations with existing health information systems (HIS). A privacy-preserving hybrid infrastructure has been implemented which ensures that all personally identifiable information stays within the IHiS’s private health cloud while all anonymised health data are collected through a secure commercial cloud platform.

WHY IT MATTERS

Singapore intends to measure and improve health outcomes and patient experience with the rollout of The Clinician’s ZEDOC platform. Their partnership will “bolster patient engagement and enable clinicians to more effectively assess patients’ health status before, during and after receiving a health service – closing the loop when they are outside the hospital,” said The Clinician CEO Dr Ron Tenenbaum. It will also allow providers to deliver “more holistic and personalised care for patients by taking into account their perspectives for the first time,” he added.

To demonstrate the benefit of routine collection and analysis of PROMs, The Clinician shared that this has resulted in over 50% reduction in 90-day complications for hip and knee surgery patients in one study and a five-month improvement in the survival of cancer patients in another.

Among benefits for care providers, the ZEDOC integration will replace existing paper-based forms with an integrated digital platform that automates data capture, as well as benchmark outcomes across providers to reduce variability and waste. For patients, they can become more involved in the treatment decision-making and be informed early of health risks and warning signs.

THE LARGER TREND

Last month, Cabrini Health and The Alfred, two of the largest healthcare providers in the Australian state of Victoria, deployed the ZEDOC platform to automate the collection and analysis of health data from colorectal cancer patients. The installation is said to adhere to the colorectal cancer standards outlined by the International Consortium of Health Outcomes Measurement.

Original Post: healthcareitnews.com

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EU Analysis Highlights Digital Health Lessons From COVID-19

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An EU analysis has outlined the effect of COVID-19 on healthcare systems in Europe and the role of digital innovation in building their resilience.

Experts from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Observatory have published a set of 29 country health profiles, covering all EU member states, as well as Iceland and Norway. A companion report also highlights a selection of cross-country trends.

Speaking at a virtual launch event on Monday (13 December), Josep Figueras, director, European Observatory, highlighted two main lessons learnt from the use of technology in the pandemic.

Using telemedicine as an example of digital health innovation, he said the number of teleconsultations had increased in all EU countries during 2020. However in some countries, such as France, teleconsultations had decreased when lockdowns ended.

“The key issue here is how we harness and sustain innovation – how we make sure that these improvements in the use of telemedicine (as an illustration of the use of other digital technologies) can be maintained and sustained to increase the effectiveness of the health system,” Figueras said.

He also highlighted that the technology for telemedicine and other innovations was already available in many European countries before the pandemic but was not being used.

Figueras asked: “What did we do within the pandemic that literally within a couple of weeks, we got all this telemedicine in place?”

To sustain the use of telemedicine and other health technologies, he said it was important to look at the regulatory measures, financial incentives, training and changes in culture needed.

“Something the pandemic has taught us loudly and clearly is the importance of digital innovation – not only the new technologies, but the ability to implement them,” Figueras added.

WHY IT MATTERS

The State of Health in the EU cycle is a two-year process initiated by the European Commission in 2016, designed to improve country-specific and EU-wide knowledge in healthcare.

It aims to gather data and in-depth analyses on health systems and make the information accessible to policy makers and stakeholders.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

During the pandemic, digital tools have been used in the EU to boost public health measures such as the implementation of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, vaccination booking systems, and cross-border interoperability for contact-tracing apps.

There has also been investment in EU-wide COVID recovery initiatives such as the EU4Health programme.

ON THE RECORD

Maya Matthews, head of unit performance, European Commission said: “COVID-19 illuminated the fact that in many European countries we do not have a strong public health system. We cannot do testing and tracing. Even surveillance is done sometimes in a very fragmented fashion.

“I think if one thing comes out of COVID-19, it’s to say that public health matters – that public health is a very important part of health systems and has not really received the attention it deserves.”

Source Here: healthcareitnews.com

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Health Care

Clinical Messaging Platform Hospify to Close, Bupa Arabia Invests in Global Ventures, and More News Briefs

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Clinical messaging platform Hospify to close

British healthtech startup Hospify has announced it will close its secure clinical messaging platform on 31 January 2021.

Hospify said it suffered a decline in demand after the government suspended the UK 2018 Data Protection Act in relation to healthcare last year for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also cited difficulties caused by “post-Brexit uncertainties surrounding the future of the UK’s data adequacy agreement with the EU”.

A statement from the Hospify team says: “It’s a sad end to a wonderful vision, a vision of universal health care communication that was both free of data exploitation and free at the point of use.”

Insurance giant Bupa Arabia invests in Global Ventures

UAE-based international venture capital firm Global Ventures has announced new investment from Bupa Arabia, the leading health insurance company in the region.

Bupa Arabia’s participation in Global Ventures Fund II as strategic partner aims to foster the healthcare ecosystem in the region and particularly in Saudi Arabia.

The investment is part of the Bupa Arabia’s strategy to participate and invest in disruptive healthcare and insurance technologies, amongst other targeted growth sectors.

Noor Sweid, Global Ventures founder and general partner, said: “Bupa Arabia shares our outlook and ambition on the digital health sector, and its potential for technology and innovation to deliver long-term economic benefits particularly in emerging markets.”

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital achieves EMRAM Stage 6

Specialist NHS trust Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital (LHCH) has been awarded Stage 6 of the EMRAM, or Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, by HIMSS.

The EMRAM measures the adoption and maturity of a health facility’s inpatient EMR capabilities from 0 to 7. Achieving Stage 6 means the trust has established clear goals for improving safety, minimising errors, and recognising the importance of healthcare IT.

Kate Warriner, chief digital and information officer said: “Digital excellence must be the cornerstone if we are to continually improve the care that we provide for our patients in the years ahead. Therefore, whilst we are rightly proud of this achievement, we have ambitions for further pioneering innovation and advancing our use of technology to become a Stage 7 hospital.”

More than $110m raised by Sheba’s ARC Innovation Center

Israel’s Sheba Medical Center has announced that six companies from its Accelerate Redesign Collaborate (ARC) Innovation Center raised more than $110 million (EUR97.2m) in 2021.

ARC brings new technologies into the hospital and community ecosystem focusing on digital health technologies including precision medicine, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics, telemedicine and mobile health.

Sheba MedTech startups receiving investments this year included: Aidoc, BELKIN Laser, Starget Pharma Append Medical, Innovalve Bio Medical and TechsoMed.

Professor Eyal Zimlichman, ARC director and founder, said: “The ARC Innovation Center has been focusing on ground-breaking, innovative technologies with a prime directive to redesign healthcare.”

Konica Minolta named as part of NHS Digital Documents Solutions framework

Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd has been named as one of 46 suppliers on the new ?5 billion Digital Documents Solutions framework.

The firm will provide solutions across five key areas: internal print, external print, digital mail room, scanning and electronic document management solutions.

Jason Barnes, head of public sector, Konica Minolta, said: “Having been chosen through a competitive tender process, we are especially pleased to be newly appointed to the LPP framework, which deepens and furthers our reach into the NHS health sector.”

Original Source: healthcareitnews.com

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