Business briefs: Everyday Health; UBM; CompTIA research; JAMA Study

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Everyday Health promoted Paul Slavin to Chief Operating Officer. Slavin, who was previously SVP general manager, global news and Everyday Health Studios, joined Everyday Health in 2011 from ABC, where he was running the network's global news operation.

Marketing services firms UBM DeusM and UBM Live launched a new community meant to facilitate open communication across the pharmaceutical industry. The companies said in a statement that the ad-free forum, called PharmaEvolution.com, will provide an environment where professionals can “openly discuss challenges and issues without intrusive marketing messages, unethical use of personal information, or unfocused discussion.” The companies said they see the website as a destination for R&D, manufacturing and supply chain professionals, among others.

Non-profit health research group The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation gave a $1.9 million grant to the for-profit org PatientsLikeMe, which pools patient information to help identify trends. The grant will fund a patient survey with questions that reflect or address the patient perspective. In a February 25 PatientsLikeMe blog post, Paul Tarini, senior program officer of at the foundation, wrote that this point of view could pose a significant shift: if “patients start driving and defining what outcomes are most important to pursue, then we believe we will see some real potential for changes in clinical protocols and research agendas,” he wrote. In addition to drawing on patient priorities, the new project may also incorporate work PatientsLikeMe has done—a spokesperson forwarded MM&M a study about the typical MS patient query which found that patients are swimming in complex, wordy questions, when simpler, shorter queries provide the same results without the hassle.

This morning, CompTIA released their Fourth Annual Healthcare IT Insights and Opportunities study on how healthcare providers are growing into mobile technology. Mobile research conducted by the group suggests “healthcare providers are on the cusp of greatly expanding their use of smart mobile devices to include EMR/EHR (electronic medical records/electronic health records) systems, X-rays, and MRIs” with half of HCPs reporting the use of tablets and over 60% using smartphones. And as smartphone adoption increases among HCPs, their appetite for medical apps has also risen: “41% of HCPs with a smartphone or tablet rely on medical or health-related apps at least a few times per week,” and CompTIA forecasts that figure “to grow to over 62%” in the next year. Their data also indicate 43% of HCPs have a comprehensive EMR/EHR system in place, which differs from studies conducted in the past two years—in 2010, the Medical Group Management Association found 52% of healthcare providers have some level of EMR/EHR system, but only 16% of healthcare providers had optimized it for use, which suggests a learning curve. In 2012, research firm SK&A found EHR adoption at 37% for single-physician offices, compared to 65% for practices with 6-10 doctors, and 77% for practices with more than 25 doctors.  CompTIA concludes that EMR/EHR adoption “continues to make gains, with nearly half of HCPs reporting the use of a comprehensive system and predicted that the “next wave of adoption with occur among small and mid-size practices,” but expects this wave to come at a slower place, given that the brunt of workflow and cost hurdles is felt more strongly by smaller practices.

A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association says primary doctors are increasingly missing diagnoses at the office, resulting in thousands of deaths and disabilities a year. The study used electronic health records to track 190 diagnostic errors made during visits at one of two healthcare facilities. Of those 190 cases, patients were hospitalized or returned to the office or ER within two weeks. Researchers suggest patients take greater responsibility for their health by providing doctors with all relevant information about the severity and timing of their symptoms. The study also suggests physicians need more training in how they deal with initial and follow-up diagnoses. Dr. David Newman-Toker from John Hopkins Univeristy School of Medicine told Reuters: “We have every reason to believe that diagnostics errors are a major public health problem. You're really talking about at least 150,000 people per year, deaths or disabilities that are resulting from this problem.”

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