IT Update January 2018

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» Dental prosthetics company Nobilium has created a denture identification system using radio-frequency identification. The system is geared toward skilled nursing facilities, to help them meet regulations while making sure that dentures aren't given to the wrong resident, RFID Journal reported in November. The dentures have been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration and will be available to consumers, following testing by Nobilium in the coming months.

» Future modifications to a rule requiring long-term care providers to electronically submit workplace injury and illness data may be proposed in 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced in November. The future plans were part of an OSHA memo extending the deadline for providers to submit the data to Dec. 15.

» The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced in November the development of a new web tool to provide “improved visibility” into the quality measures the industry creates. The CMS Measures Inventory Tool will host a list of measures currently under development by CMS, implemented for use, or removed from a program. The information is available in an Excel spreadsheet but moving it to the web will make it more “intuitive and user-friendly,” CMS officials said.

» Consumer ratings of nursing homes posted on Yelp “differ considerably” from the ratings that appear on Nursing Home Compare, University of Southern California researchers reported. Their study compared ratings for 675 nursing homes and found the correlation between the two platforms was “relatively weak.” Facilities typically scored higher on the overall Nursing Home Compare five-star rating as well as ratings for staffing and quality measures than they did on Yelp. Results were published in BMJ Quality & Safety in November.

» Fitbits tracking a patient's activity may help predict readmission rates, a study in Annals of Behavioral Medicine suggests. For every 100 additional steps taken per inpatient recovery day, the risk of 30-day readmission was 17% lower; further, the risk of 60-day readmission was 18% lower, the study found.