Author Archives: Karen Blum

Karen Blum

About Karen Blum

Karen Blum is AHCJ’s core topic leader on health IT. An independent journalist in the Baltimore area, she has written health IT stories for publications such as Pharmacy Practice News, Clinical Oncology News, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, General Surgery News and Infectious Disease Special Edition.

Health IT editor shares top trends to follow in 2023

Colin Hung

What health IT trends should reporters look out for in 2023? I spoke with Colin Hung, chief marketing officer and editor of Healthcare IT Today, for insight. 

This year, look for hospitals to roll out the red carpet in efforts to woo patients back into their physical spaces, and a rightsizing of telehealth, Hung said. His comments may spur additional story ideas for journalists.

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Artificial intelligence roundup and tipsheet to gear up for 2023 reporting

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Artificial intelligence, or the use of computer science to simulate human intelligence, seems to be becoming increasingly widespread in health care applications. Many hospitals and health care institutions have adopted or are evaluating at least one AI program including sifting through thousands of radiology images to identify anomalies and helping with staff scheduling. 

Even if you don’t routinely cover health IT, you may find yourself writing about AI at some point. Therefore, I put together a new tipsheet that covers some basics to help people get up to speed or gain a basic understanding of the topic. AI also will be the subject of a session at AHCJ’s Health Journalism 2023 conference in St. Louis. 

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Charging for patient portal messages: A trend to watch?

Photo by Liza Summer via pexels.

One of the conveniences of online patient portals is the ability to send messages or questions to care providers in between appointments and get answers. But now, the Cleveland Clinic and a handful of other medical centers have started charging for this service, and not all patients and patient advocacy groups are happy. 

It’s an interesting trend for journalists to follow, given the prevalence of these portals. There are a number of story angles to pursue as well, including the view of providers, patients, and insurers, how this might impact the usage of the portals and how much revenue health systems could gain from this move.

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6 prescription digital therapeutics story angles to explore

Photo by William Fortunato via pexels

The news that Highmark, a Pittsburgh-based large commercial insurer, plans to expand its coverage of several prescription digital therapeutics cleared by the FDA made headlines recently in STAT, Fierce Healthcare and other outlets. The payer is not the first to cover some prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs) but it is the first to announce it intends to pay for claims for the use of some apps and other technologies that help treat psychiatric disorders and other complex conditions.

With digital therapeutics expected to be a $56 billion global opportunity by 2025 (according to Insider Intelligence), there are multiple avenues for stories for journalists to explore (see list at end).

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Black boxes in the operating room could improve teamwork, patient safety

Image by David Mark via Pixabay

The aviation industry has used black boxes to help determine what caused an accident. Some surgeons have now been employing similar technology in the operating room to monitor and improve performance and communication among surgical teams with an eye toward better patient safety. Journalists could find interesting stories by interviewing operating teams at hospitals using this technology to find out what they have learned.

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