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My Overall View of Healthcare IT After HIMSS15

Posted on April 17, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As I fly home from HIMSS15 (literally), I’ve been thinking how to summarize my annual visit to the mecca of healthcare IT conferences we know as HIMSS. I’ve seen a bunch of numbers around attendance and exhibitors and I believe they’re somewhere around 43,000 attendees and 1300 exhibitors. It definitely felt that massive. The interest in using technology to improve healthcare has never been higher. This shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone. When I look at the path forward for healthcare, every single scenario has technology playing a massive role.

With that in mind, I think that the healthcare IT world is experiencing a massive war between a large number of competing interests. Many of those interests are deeply entrenched in what they’ve been doing for seemingly ever. Some of these companies are really trying to dig in and continue to enjoy the high ground that they’ve enjoyed for many years. This includes vendors at HIMSS, but also many large and small healthcare organizations (the small entrenched healthcare organizations weren’t likely at HIMSS though) who enjoyed the status quo.

The problem with this battlefield is that they’re battling against a massive shift in reimbursement model. They can try and stay entrenched, but the shift in healthcare business model is going to absolutely force them to change. This is not a question of if, but when. This doesn’t keep these organizations from bombing away as they resist the changes.

If you’re a healthcare startup company entering the battlefield (to continue the analogy), you’re out in the open and absolutely vulnerable. You’re very rarely the target of this major entrenched players, but sometimes you get impacted by collateral damage. As the various organizations throw bombs at each other you have to work hard to avoid getting in their way. This is a tricky challenge.

Even more challenging to these startup companies is they don’t have a way to access many of the entrenched companies so they can work together around a common vision. Most of the startups would love to work with the entrenched healthcare companies, but they don’t even have a way to start the conversation.

The mid size healthcare IT companies are even more interesting. They’ve started to carve a space for them in the battle and many of the entrenched healthcare IT vendors are scared at what this means for them. They’re using every means possible to disrupt the competition. At HIMSS I saw the scars from many of these battles.

Certainly this description is true of many industries. Welcome to economic competition and capitalism. Although, this year at HIMSS I found the battle to be much more intense. In the past couple years meaningful use opened up new territories to be “conquered.” There was enough “land” to go around that companies were often working to capture new territories as opposed to battling their competitors for the same opportunities. That’s why I think we’re in a very different market today versus the past couple years.

The great thing is that in periods of turmoil often comes the most amazing innovations. I believe that’s what we’re going to see over the next couple years. Although, I predict that most of these innovations are going to come from places we don’t expect. It’s just too hard for companies to innovate themselves out of business. There are a few exceptions in history and we might see a few exceptions in healthcare. However, my bet is on the most successful companies being those that choose to obliterate as opposed to automate.

What’s most exciting to me is that healthcare organizations and patients seem to be ready for change. There are varying degrees of readiness, but I believe I’ve seen a groundswell of change that’s coming for healthcare. As a blogger this of course has me excited, but as a patient it has me excited as well.

What were your thoughts of HIMSS 2015? What do you think of the analogy?

While the battle is on in healthcare IT, the best part of HIMSS is always the people. Every industry has some bad apples, but for the most part I’m always deeply impacted by the good nature of so many people I meet at HIMSS. They are sincere in their efforts to try and improve healthcare for good. We certainly have our challenges in healthcare, but similar to what George Bush said in his keynote, I’m optimistic that the good people in healthcare will be able to produce amazing results. The best days of healthcare are not behind us, but are ahead of us.

Some Inspiring and Thought Provoking Ideas from the HIMSS15 Final Keynote

Posted on April 16, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The last keynote at HIMSS is always inspiring for me. They’ve almost always ended up being one of the more prominent memories for me from HIMSS. This year was no different. I really need to chew on a bunch of what was said still, but Jeremy Gutsche was throwing out nuggets of wisdom throughout his talk. Here are some tweets that show what I mean:

Engaging Clinician Leadership to Adopt Healthcare Technology – Breakaway Thinking

Posted on April 15, 2015 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Carrie Yasemin Paykoc, Senior Instructional Designer / Research Analyst at The Breakaway Group (A Xerox Company). Check out all of the blog posts in the Breakaway Thinking series.
Carrie Yasemin Paykoc

In many healthcare organizations, IT leaders are given the ultimate responsibility of implementing and adopting electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technology (HIT) because the build and installation fall within their responsibility. While their technical skills and experience are necessary to select, install and maintain the HIT system, clinician leadership should ultimately own the use of the system.

Ownership of the system requires commitment to establish best practice workflows and system parameters that clinicians follow and evolve over time. The risk is that the technology won’t be used to its fullest potential and could even pose potential harm when used incorrectly or without knowledge of how information is entered, accessed, and used by other providers. In a recent alert from the Joint Commission, 23 percent of all reported HIT-related events were due to poor design and data associated with clinical content. Ensuring nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and other clinical staff are involved in decisions about how the system will be used will help alleviate these issues and ensure proper system use.

Over the years, The Breakaway Group’s research has shown that clinician leadership must be highly engaged to effectively adopt new EHRs and HIT systems. In fact, it is the most important predictor of successful EHR adoption. While clinician leader engagement may appear straightforward, competing priorities make it difficult to maintain the degree of engagement required after a new EHR system goes live.

For example, clinician leadership may see fewer patients or put certain responsibilities on hold until the system is implemented. In reality, responsibilities associated with the HIT system must shift and evolve among all stakeholders throughout the adoption journey. After go-live, clinician leadership involvement shifts from decisions around clinical applications and best practice workflows to decisions around upgrades, optimization of the system, and identifying workarounds. Both pre- and post-go-live responsibilities take time and need to align with the overall responsibilities for each role within the healthcare organization.

Involvement of clinician leadership early on in the adoption journey helps create a culture that embraces change and instills a sense of ownership to all levels in the organization. This cultural shift is not easy and requires the right mix of calculated planning and visionary leadership that must resonate with clinicians. A recent article published by The New York Times, describes the paradox of clinicians resisting new EHRs and creating “technology that physicians suddenly can’t live without.” On one hand this technology is causing resistance among clinicians to the point of reverting to paper, while on the other, this technology is helping mitigate countless medical errors and waste. Clinician leadership must engage to address both sentiments and create a culture conducive to change. With the rate of technological advances, a cultural status quo will not suffice.

Naturally clinicians are data scientists and lifelong learners. Show them data and provide them a comfortable learning environment to get up to speed quickly. Then they can help review the data and identify areas for improvement. For example, clinicians can query orders associated with quality outcomes such as electronic orders for flu vaccinations and determine if the rate ordered aligns with internal quality metrics. If the rate is below the agreed upon threshold, clinician leaders can focus efforts on systematically improving the rate ordered.

The longer clinician leadership involvement is delayed, the more likely resistance will fester and organizational culture will be at risk. Adopting technology, especially technology associated with government requirements, is painful and simply takes time. The difference is whether clinician leadership is involved early in the decision making process. If you do not want your clinician reverting to paper charts and/or throwing laptops and mobile devices out of sheer frustration, give clinicians the time and resources to fully engage in the adoption journey.

Xerox is a sponsor of the Breakaway Thinking series of blog posts.

HIMSS15 Social Media and Influencer Thoughts

Posted on I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I think this has been the case the past couple years. The Tuesday of HIMSS seems to always be my day of social media. This year was no different. This was highlighted by a meetup that Shahid Shah and myself did at the HIMSS spot. At first I wasn’t sure if anyone would show for the event. Luckily, 1-2 people were there early and so at least we wouldn’t be talking to ourselves. In fact, Shahid asked for those that weren’t there for the meetup to free up the seats for those that were there for it. Luckily, when I wasn’t watching a whole bunch of people showed up and the event was standing room only. I guess Shahid can really draw a crowd.

What was impressive was the mix of the audience. There was a large group of some of the most influential people in social media (I won’t name names since there were too many and I’ll forget someone), along with a number of newer people. I love that mix and particularly love the new people that are still finding their way. Sometimes they seem a bit like dear in the headlights. That’s ok. That’s part of the fun of learning.

What’s clear to me is that social influencing as really matured for many people, but there are still a lot of people that are trying to figure it out. It’s amazing to see the difference. I’ll be interested to watch this evolve. I still see so much opportunity with it and many aren’t taking advantage of it.

Then, my night was capped off with the New Media Meetup at HIMSS15. This is the 6th year I’ve hosted this event and it seems to get better each year. I’m always humbled by the list of people that register to attend. Plus, I’m extremely appreciative of Stericycle and Patient Prompt that basically through a big party for all these amazing people. It’s always amazing to see the broad spectrum of people that attend and how down to earth they are even given many of their significant social influence. Plus, what an amazing preview for the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference.

I didn’t go into many details on what was at the session or who attending the New Media Meetup, but you can get a lot of that information by checking out the #HITMC hashtag. Thanks to all of my new and old social media friends that made today special. I keep learning from you.

I’ll leave this with just one insight that really hit home to me when I shared it in the meetup. Really caring about the people you’re connecting with, the topics you’re sharing and the work you’re doing really comes through in social media. If you’re faking it, people will usually see that. Plus, really caring about those you connect with on social media and the things you share will change your life in really amazing ways.

Reminds me of the wrestler, Jessie Ventura who became governor of Minnesota. One time I heard him say he didn’t have to have a good memory, because he always said what he thought and never told things that were half true. On social media, if you’re faking it, it makes it hard to remember all the things you’ve faked. If you’re authentic and real, it makes it so much easier.

A Few Quick HIMSS15 Thoughts

Posted on April 13, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today’s been a long day packed with meetings at HIMSS 2015. I need to reach out to HIMSS to get the final numbers, but word is that there are over 40,000 people at the show. In the hallways, the exhibit hall and the taxi lines it definitely seems to be the case. I’m not sure the jump in attendees, but I saw one tweet that IBM had 400 people there. Don’t quote me on it since I can’t find the tweet, but that’s just extraordinary to even consider that many people from one company.

Of course, the reason I can’t find the tweet is that the Twitter stream has been setting new records each day. The HIMSS 2015 Twitter Tips and Tricks is valuable if you want to get value out of the #HIMSS15 Twitter stream. I also have to admit that I might be going a bit overboard on the selfies. I think I’ve got the @mandibpro selfie disease. Not sure the treatment for it since my doctor doesn’t do a telemedicine visit while I’m in Chicago.

I’ve had some amazing meetings that will inform my blog posts for weeks to come. However, my biggest takeaway from the first official day of HIMSS is that change is in the air. The forces are at work to make interoperability a reality. It’s going to be a massive civil war as the various competing parties battle it out as they set the pathway forward.

You might think that this is a bit of an exaggeration, but I think it’s pretty close to what’s happening. What’s not clear to me is whose going to win and what the final outcome will look like. There are so many competing interests that are trying to get at the data and make it valuable for the doctor and health system.

Along those lines, I’m absolutely fascinated by the real time analytics capabilities that I saw being built. A number of companies I talked to are moving beyond the standard batch loaded enterprise data warehouse approach to a real time (or as one vendor said…we all have to call it near real time) stream of data. I think this is going to drive a massive change in innovation.

I’ll be talking more about the various vendors I saw and their approaches to this in future posts after HIMSS. While I’m excited by some of the many things these companies are doing, I still feel like many of them are constrained by their inability to get to the data. A number of them were working on such small data sets. This was largely because they can’t get the other data. One vendor told me that their biggest challenge is getting an organization to turn over their data for them for analysis.

While it’s important that organizations are extremely careful with how they handle and share their data. More organizations should be working with trusted partners in order to extract more value out of the data and to more importantly make new discoveries. The discoveries we’re making today are really great, but I can only imagine how much more we could accomplish with more data to inform those discoveries.

Have We Forgotten About Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX)?

Posted on April 10, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

When Healthcare.gov ran into problems we heard all about the health insurance exchanges (HIX). Since Healthcare.gov hasn’t run into any issues we aren’t hearing about health insurance exchanges nearly as much. The exception might be the states that were running their own HIX and failed. I’ve seen a number of those stories out there.

However, I think that the HIXs have largely left the healthcare dialogue in general. I’m sure the payors involved in the exchanges are still highly involved, but most people aren’t following it.

This was driven home to me when I saw the following two tweets and images about HIXs.

I’ll admit that I haven’t dug into the exchanges lately either other than when I tried them out at the end of last year when I had to find a new insurance company (Side note: the price on the HIX was more than what I could get separate and they weren’t offering me a subsidy, so I didn’t end up using the HIX). Since I haven’t been involved or watched what’s happening with HIXs, I can’t say if they’re a good or a bad thing. What I do know is that they’re playing a huge role in healthcare and how and what health insurance people are getting. So, maybe we should be paying more attention.

Maybe some of my readers are following it a lot closer than I am doing. If you are, please enlighten us in the comments.

Healthcare Scene #HIMSS15 Guide

Posted on April 9, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If you read this and any of the other Healthcare Scene blogs or follow us on social media, you know that #HIMSSSanity is upon us. Yes, it’s the Thursday before the big HIMSS Annual conference in Chicago.

I’ve often described my visits to the HIMSS annual conference like a kid in a candy store. As a blogger the model is pretty simple. I need: content, readers, and advertisers. Everywhere I look at HIMSS you can find potentially all three of those things. That’s why I’ll be there all week enjoying time meeting with lots of really interesting people and companies.

My HIMSS schedule is packed with meetings. I think when all is said and done I’ll have about 30 must attend meetings and hundreds of casual meetings and networking with people. I always love meeting readers in person at HIMSS, so please find me and come say hi. Luckily, in our HIMSS 2015 guide we have a number of options where you can find me. Plus, I’m listing a number of other talks/sessions/features at HIMSS that have caught my eye. Here we go:

HIMSS Opening Reception
I’ve had mixed experiences at the HIMSS opening reception. I usually like to check it out and see what HIMSS has done. Plus, it’s a great place to meet random people. One challenge I have with social media is that it now facilitates me meeting a lot of the same people. That’s a great thing, but does sometimes limit meeting new people. I love the HIMSS Speakeasy theme for the opening reception. I heard that the live music will make for the perfect #HIMSS15DanceOff setting.

iPatientCare
If you’re interested in “What comes after MU? Real digital attention to your patients” then you’re going to want to join Shahid Shah at the iPatientCare Booth #2941 on Monday 4/13 at 2:30 PM CT. They’ll be discussing the questions: What are you doing to manage chronic care in your organization? Is your approach to interoperability bad for patients? What are you doing to manage chronic care in your organization? Changing reimbursement is going to require true patient engagement (not just MU required engagement). In this talk at the iPatientCare booth, Shahid will dive deep into what true patient engagement looks like.

Social Media and Influence Meetup
This meetup will be hosted by myself and my partner Shahid Shah at the HIMSS Spot (North Hall – B Lobby) on Tuesday 4/14 at 12:30 CT. This will be one of the best places to come and find me. Plus, we always have a great crowd and an even better discussion with those that attend. In some ways this will be a small preview into the larger 2 day healthcare IT marketing and PR conference. We hope to see lots of the #HITMC community there.

SAP Healthcare
The famous Shahid Shah together with Dr. David Delaney, SAP’s CMO, will be leading a great discussion at SAP Booth #2656 on Tuesday 4/14 at 2PM CT. The discussion will be around the topic “Driving Clinical Value and ROI Out of Your Data” and will cover questions like: Is data really generating clinical value? Is anyone really driving clinical value from data? Do we have the resources we need to generate ROI from our healthcare data? These are some really important questions for healthcare and I’m sure the discussion will be great.

New Media Meetup Sponsored by Stericycle
We posted about the New Media Meetup before and so hopefully you’ve registered to attend. If you haven’t, there are only a very few number of slots left and then we’re at capacity. This really is a who’s who of healthcare IT social media influencers. I’m proud to host the event and have loved working with Stericycle and Patient Prompt to plan it. We’ve got a lot of fun things and great giveaways planned for the event. Can’t wait to see everyone there.

Vocera
Vocera has a whole schedule of talks to choose from. The one by Rhonda Collins, CNO at Vocera called “Navigate the Storm without Creating Your Own Twister” caught my eye. I think we can all relate to the storm of healthcare IT priorities and challenges. Although, the Sue Murphy, Exec. Dir. of Patient Experience & Engagement at University of Chicago Medicine, session on Transforming Patient Experience Using Care Rounding also looks interesting.

#iHeartHIT Meetup
I really wanted to make this meetup, but it looks like I’m booked other places. Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. I believe the HIMSS social media ambassadors will be there. Luckily, I think I’ll see them at some of the other events. It also means that it will likely generate a lot of tweets so I can kind of experience the event later.

#HITsm at #HIMSS15
This year, #HITsm is mixing it up with their meetup. They’re basically having a panel discussion with Keith Boone, Rasu Shrestha, MD, David Muntz, and Douglas Fridsma, MD. I believe that Mandi Bishop is moderating. Seems like the topic du jour is going to be interoperability given the panelists. Should be a great panel for that topic. I’ll be the heckler in the back or maybe I’ll just save my heckling for Twitter.

Bush Keynote
The keynotes this year are pretty disappointing for me. I think Bush’s keynote will likely be the most interesting. Although, I always love hearing people like Jeremy Gutsche as well. Of course, I think you’re crazy to actually attend the keynote. Why do I want to watch a little small person up on stage? I’ll be watching the keynotes from the comfort of the press room (plus, they have internet and power).

HIMSS Block Party – This is similar to the opening reception. The block party idea is pretty cool. I’m quite sure you’ll find me in the Little Italy area. #ItalianFoodAddict

HX360
I’m always intrigued by the unique tracks that HIMSS puts together. This year it’s called HX360. This consists of a bunch of programming and also a section of the exhibit hall. Looking at what this area has to offer gives you a good idea of what HIMSS is thinking about the future of healthcare IT.

So many more things could be listed like the CHIME Fall Forum at HIMSS15 on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, there are a lot of evening events including the popular Encore/Next Wave Connect Pub Nights, athenahealth Cloud Party, HIStalkapalooza, Anthelio Casino Night, Divurgent’s summHIT, and AEGIS Odyssey (yes, it’s a massively beautiful yacht) to just name a few.

I personally fly in on Saturday and out on Friday. I’m still looking for something great to do on Wednesday and Thursday evening. If some people are going to be there Wednesday and Thursday evening, maybe we could do something fun together. I’d love to hear people’s ideas if you’re around.

Why Traditional IT Model is Untenable & New Models are Needed

Posted on April 8, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

A picture worth a thousand words. I’ll be chewing on this one for a while. Thoughts?

Three Key Capabilities to Manage Population Health

Posted on April 7, 2015 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Marc Willard, President of Transcend Insights.
Marc Willard - Trascend Insights
The health care industry’s transition from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement models demands a dramatic shift in how medical information is used and shared. The ability to generate a single, comprehensive patient view from an individual’s acute care, ambulatory care and wellness data is vital to support this transition. Ten years ago, the technology to move data out of silos to create real-time, physician-friendly, patient-centered population health management (PHM) systems was simply not available.

Fast-forward to 2015, where recent technological breakthroughs are fueling a new era in PHM that promises to help patients achieve their best health while allowing health care systems to create population health platforms that reward value, improve outcomes and reduce costs. For PHM vendors to successfully navigate this profound shift in the health care industry and provide actionable insights on an individual’s complete health care and health status, they need to deliver three key technologies:

  • Community-wide interoperability;
  • Real-time health care analytics; and
  • Intuitive care tools.

Community-Wide Interoperability

In developing a successful PHM system, one of the greatest challenges is working with disparate electronic health record systems that are not designed to communicate with each other, consequently keeping patient data entrenched in silos. Nothing is more frustrating for health care systems, physicians and care teams than dealing with multiple views and logins that impede the flow of information.

For PHM vendors to be successful, they must offer sophisticated health information exchange technology that integrates both clinical and claims data from diverse sources into a single, comprehensive patient view. Recent advances in cloud-based interoperability technology allow health care systems, physicians and care teams to literally get on the “same (electronic) page” with their patients’ complete health care history and real-time treatment strategies.

Interestingly, for health information exchange technology to successfully meet the needs of PHM, we must think beyond traditional electronic health record system interoperability. In addition to integrating data from health information generated outside the four walls of the hospital in ambulatory settings, successful PHM companies will be able to incorporate the valuable insights generated from the latest wearable health technologies that track activity levels, heart rate and other health information into a single, comprehensive patient view. This patient engagement is crucial in the new value-based reimbursement environment, with its focus on wellness and preventive medicine. PHM companies must know how to capture it and deliver meaningful insights to physicians and care teams without overwhelming them.

Several capabilities are required to ensure successful PHM, including bi-directional semantic interoperability, master patient indexing, both clinical and claims data capture and integration, real-time information sharing, results distribution and order processing, care and consent management tools, and of course privacy and security.

Another aspect that is crucial for interoperability is unobstructed access to patient information within traditional silos, so that data can truly be shared. Allowing data to flow requires open systems and interoperability standards that are clean, and widely and easily adopted.

Real-Time Health Care Analytics

A strong PHM tool combines community-wide interoperability with real-time health care analytics capabilities. Effective health care analytics should be able to identify evidence-based gaps in care, drug safety concerns and other opportunities for health improvement while ensuring compliance with the latest clinical guidelines and national quality measures to maximize reimbursement.

Yet the true value in health care analytics is the ability to deliver these insights quickly and simply at the point of care. Every minute counts in health care delivery, and even a five-minute delay in processing information is unacceptable during an office visit, as the physician needs to move on to his or her next patient in a timely manner.

Rather than processing health care data in batch mode, over hours or days, a real-time analysis engine should process data in milliseconds. This enables more informed decisions at the point of care to further ensure that every individual can achieve his or her best health. Physicians now have the ability to take a longitudinal view of how these analytic insights contribute to their patients’ past, present and future health.

Effective real-time health care analytics also allows physicians and care teams to compare an individual’s health status against population benchmarks. By doing so, they can track clinical trends such as readmission rates to further support intervention strategies, reduce risk and decrease costs.

Intuitive Care Tools

Physicians and care teams are more willing to utilize real-time insights generated by sophisticated analytics if they can be easily accessed in a matter of seconds, with just one or two clicks. Even more useful is mobile technology that provides a single, comprehensive view at the physician’s fingertips.

When developing intuitive care tools, PHM vendors should consult directly with physicians to better match and accommodate their unique information needs. For example, offering physicians access to comprehensive clinical trends across a population provides vital insights. When equipped with this information, physicians can improve care delivery through proactive interventions that create meaningful change.

Getting patients involved in the health care equation is equally important when developing intuitive care tools. For example, real-time insights available via mobile point of care solutions allow physicians to maintain eye contact with their patients, have a more meaningful discussion and improve the overall patient experience. As a result, mobile point of care solutions can help physicians encourage their patients to become active participants in their own health, for example, increasing a patient’s medication adherence to help with reducing readmissions.

In addition, once we understand a patient’s total health status and health care needs, physicians and care teams can recommend customized wellness programs that directly address current or future health care concerns. Patient engagement tools as well as a single, comprehensive consumer view can help empower individuals to take control of their own lifestyle choices. For example, smoking cessation classes, nutrition counseling or exercise programs, can help keep individuals healthy and minimize the need for medical interventions.

Keep the Focus on the Patient

With the movement from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement models, the demand has never been greater for population health management systems that accomplish the industry’s triple aim: improving population health, enhancing the patient experience and reducing costs.

PHM vendors can simplify this transition by developing platforms that offer community-wide interoperability, real-time health care analytics and intuitive care tools. The health IT industry’s transformation must continue to be centered on the patient, whose health and well-being remain the focus of today’s population health management initiatives.

About Marc Willard
Marc Willard is the president of Transcend Insights, a wholly owned subsidiary of Humana Inc., dedicated to simplifying population health. The company, which launched in March 2015, represents the merging of three leading health care information technology businesses: Certify Data Systems, Anvita Health and nliven systems. For more information about Transcend Insights, visit: www.transcendinsights.com.

Government Surveillance and Privacy of Personal Data

Posted on April 6, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Dr. Deborah Peel from Patient Privacy Rights always keeps me updated on some of the latest news coverage around privacy and government surveillance. Obviously, it’s a big challenge in healthcare and she’s the leading advocate for patient privacy.

Today she sent me a link to this John Oliver interview with Snowden. The video is pretty NSFW with quite a bit of vulgarity in it (It’s John Oliver on HBO, so you’ve been warned). However, much like Stephen Colbert and John Stewart, they talk about some really important topics in a funny way. Plus, the part where he’s waiting to see if Snowden is going to actually show for the interview is hilarious.

The humor aside, about 10 minutes in John Oliver makes this incredibly insightful observation:

There are no easy answers here. We all naturally want perfect privacy and perfect safety, but those two things cannot coexist.

Either you have to lose one of them or you have to accept some reasonable restrictions on both of them.

This is the challenge of privacy and security. There are risks to having data available electronically and flowing between healthcare providers. However, there are benefits as well.

I’ve found the right approach is to keenly focused on the benefits you want to achieve in using technology in your organization. Then, after you’ve focused the technology on the benefits, work through all of the risks you face. Once you have that list of risks, you work to mitigate those risks as much as possible.

As my hacker friend said, “You’ll never be 100% secure. Someone can always get in if they’re motivated enough. However, you can make it hard enough for them to breach that they’ll go somewhere else.”