Author Archives: Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely

About Rebecca Vesely

Rebecca Vesely is AHCJ's topic leader on health information technology and a freelance writer. She has written about health IT since the late 1990s for a variety of publications.

VA head opts for no-bid approach to EHR upgrade

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Last week’s announcement that the Department of Veterans Affairs would replace its homegrown electronic health record system VistA with a Cerner product came ahead of the expected July 1 deadline for a decision on the matter.

The move made waves in the health IT sector for several reasons. Most notably, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, M.D., chose to invoke a “public interest exception” in the Cerner pick, bypassing the usual competitive bidding process for government contracts. Continue reading

Report: Health care cybersecurity unprepared and under threat

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The first rule of health care cybersecurity is you don’t talk about health care cybersecurity.

In reporting on cybersecurity threats, journalists will likely encounter resistance from hospitals, health systems and health insurers to speaking publicly about their readiness and strategies around cybersecurity. Continue reading

What to watch on the health IT front as Congress considers Trump’s proposed budget

President Trump’s proposed budget calls for steep cuts to health and human services programs. The biggest headlines highlight potential dramatic slashes to Medicaid, food stamps and the children’s health insurance program.

With so many higher profile programs at risk, reductions in spending for health IT initiatives can seem like small potatoes. But these cuts, if approved by Congress, would have consequences in communities large and small. A few examples: Continue reading

New tip sheet outlines what reporters should ask about security risks of medical devices

Photo: Dennis Skley via Flickr

The global ransomware attack involving WannaCry earlier this month exposed the vulnerabilities of computer systems worldwide.

But there’s one area even more at risk: medical devices. And that risk is growing, experts warn.

In a new AHCJ tip sheet, I describe how medical device security has become a growing concern and why journalists should pay attention. Continue reading

Tips for covering cyberattacks on health care organizations

The cyberattack that hit British hospitals and hundreds of other organizations in more than 100 countries last week continues to unfold and has been called unprecedented in its scope.

For health care journalists, there are important questions to ask hospitals, other health care organizations – and even their own media organizations – about their level of preparedness and response plans for such an attack. Continue reading