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How Does Age Impact Patient Satisfaction & Provider Switching? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on July 25, 2017 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 7/28 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Lea Chatham (@leachatham) from @SolutionReach on the topic of “How Does Age Impact Patient Satisfaction & Provider Switching?.”

A new patient survey conducted by Solutionreach, looked at patient satisfaction, practice selection, practice switching, and communication preferences across three generations–baby boomers, Generation X, and millennials–and four practice types–primary care, dental, dermatology, and eye care.

Not surprisingly there were some striking differences between the generations. For example, baby boomers are much more satisfied with their providers than the other two generations. However, there were also some unexpected consistencies like a desire for more email and text communication across all generations.

The survey found that across all generations and all types of practices there is a significant amount of practice switching going on, probably more than ever before. In this #HITsm chat we’ll look at some of the data and what a few of the surprises were as well as some of the things providers should be thinking about if they want to retain and recruit patients in the different generations.

For more information on the Solution Reach survey mentioned above, check out their paper, news release, and these two blog posts.

Questions we will explore in this week’s #HITsm chat include:
T1: Baby boomers appear to be more satisfied with providers than other generations, what might be contributing to this? #HITsm

T2: Why are millennials and Gen Xers so much less satisfied with providers? #HITsm

T3: What are some of the key areas of low satisfaction across practices/generations? How do we fix it? #HITsm

T4: New data suggest liking your doctor isn’t enough anymore. What does it take to keep patients today? #HITsm

T5: Should practices start taking age into account for retention/recruitment of patients? How? #HITsm

Bonus: Should doctors be using tools like texting in day-to-day practice? Where and when? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
8/4 – Health IT Interoperability
Hosted by Alan Portela (@AlanWPortela) from Airstrip

8/11 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

8/18 – Diversity in HIT
Hosted by Jeanmarie Loria (@JeanmarieLoria) from @advizehealth

8/25 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

Meeting the Patient Where They Are – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on July 18, 2017 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 7/21 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Melody Smith Jones (@MelSmithJones) from HYP3R on the topic of “Meeting the Patient Where They Are.”

Every day, decision-makers across the healthcare industry sit in boardrooms charting the course for the future of patient engagement.

At the same time, individual patients are turning to new sources for health information, researching symptoms online and crowdsourcing answers from friends on social media.

More than ever, healthcare providers need to meet patients where they are.

Join this Twitter chat to explore how healthcare decision-makers can get out of the confines of the boardroom and truly understand the patient experience of today.

Questions we will explore in this week’s #HITsm chat include:
T1: As the healthcare consumer turns away from traditional media & towards digital channels, how can we meet the patient where they are? #HITsm

T2: Since financial literacy and price transparency have a steep learning curve, how can we meet the patient where they are? #HITsm

T3: As healthcare consumers continue to become avid researchers in their own right, how can we meet the patient where they are? #HITsm

T4: As the patient stares blankly at the available patient portal, how can we meet the patient where they are? #HITsm

T5: As patients and families bring digital devices with them into the care setting, how can we meet the patient where they are? #HITsm

Bonus: As the worlds of social media and intelligence continue to merge, how can we meet the patient where they are? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
7/28 – How Does Age Impact Patient Satisfaction & Provider Switching?
Hosted by Lea Chatham (@leachatham) from @SolutionReach

8/4 – TBD
Hosted by Alan Portela (@AlanWPortela) from Airstrip

8/11 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

8/18 – Diversity in HIT
Hosted by Jeanmarie Loria (@JeanmarieLoria) from @advizehealth

8/25 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

Best Practices for Patient Engagement

Posted on July 13, 2017 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 following is a guest blog post by Brittany Quemby, Marketing Strategist for Stericycle Communication Solutions, as part of the Communication Solutions Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with them on Twitter: @StericycleComms
Brittany Quemby - Stericycle
Knowledge is power… so the saying goes.  When it comes to patient engagement, it couldn’t be more true. Being “in tune” is the key to unlocking the ultimate patient experience. Knowing what your patients need and want allows you to close the gap and deliver on those desires, while developing a deeper connection through effective patient engagement.

Here at Stericycle Communication Solutions, we are a group of individuals with all different types of needs and wants as patients. Below are some of the best practices that we preach to our doctors and healthcare providers when it comes to patient engagement and the patient experience:

Connect with meaning – Reach us where we spend most of our time. Roughly two-thirds of us own a smartphone, meaning we have access at our fingertips.  We expect an interactive and omni experience with our healthcare providers. We are looking for simple ways to connect with our doctors, schedule appointments, and prepare for important appointments.  By engaging on these terms, healthcare practices can be sure to connect to patients on a deeper level and encourage repeat visits to their health system.

Engage through multiple and preferred channels – We expect our healthcare experience to fit seamlessly into the rest of our lives. This means integrating with the technologies that we prefer including online, in person, and on our devices.

Did you know that:

  • 91% of us email daily
  • 77% of us set up appointments with their primary care provider via phone call
  • Text messages have a 98% open rate

These simple touch points, enables you to effectively engage using more than one mode of communication, ensuring you connect with us the right way each time!

Get personal! – Patients are no different than the everyday consumer.  We love personalization. In fact, 47% of us said we wanted “personalized experiences” when it comes to our health. Communicating based on our specific needs and wants gets noticed and evokes action! This allows providers to not only connect on a more personal level with us, but also empowers us to take an active role in own healthcare.

Involve Us! – Keep us in the loop! We are more involved in our own health than ever before.  Use of health apps and wearables have doubled in the last two years. We want to play an active role when it comes to important healthcare related moments.  Both US consumers (77%) and doctors (85%) agree that the use of health apps and wearables helps patients engage in their health. We want to be involved; take advantage!

To learn more about effective patient engagement, download this patient engagement whitepaper.

The Communication Solutions Series of blog posts is sponsored by Stericycle Communication Solutions, a leading provider of high quality call center & telephone answering servicespatient access services and automated communication technology. Stericycle Communication Solutions combines a human touch with innovative technology to deliver best-in-class communication services.  Connect with Stericycle Communication Solutions on social media: @StericycleComms

EHR Optimization – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on June 27, 2017 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 6/30 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Justin Campbell (@tjustincampbell) and Julie Champagne (@JulieEChampagne) from @GalenHealthcare on the topic of “EHR Optimization.”


Healthcare information technology witnessed a wave of implementation, where the promise of efficiency gains and meaningful use incentives drove adoption of Electronic Health Records. As most Healthcare Delivery Organizations (HDOs) now have an EHR in place, it’s becoming clear that the traditional arguments for EHR implementation are insufficient to maximize return on technology investments.  As EHR adoption approaches maximum levels, HDOs are refining EHR strategy from a short-term clinical documentation data repository to a long-term asset with substantial functionality surrounding clinical decision support, health maintenance planning and quality reporting. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by KPMG, in collaboration with CHIME, 38% of the 112 respondents ranked EMR/EHR optimization as their top choice for where they plan the majority of capital investment over the next three years.

Further, as the capabilities and sophistication of EHRs continue to grow, there is a widening divide between healthcare organizations that harness the capabilities for a competitive advantage and those that are crippled by poor usability, workflows and adoption. Capturing information is only the most basic feature of an EHR. HDOs should ensure the EHR is positioned to be flexible and extensible to adopt emerging technologies driving insight to the point of care. Thus, tremendous opportunity exists for EMR clinically and operationally oriented optimization to generate additional margin, ease the burden on providers, and improve care HDOs must refine their EHR strategy. In this tweetchat, we’ll weigh EHR optimization against replacement, discuss EHR optimization opportunities and barriers, and consider EHR optimization levers, effort, KPIs, and ROI.

Resources and Other EHR Optimization Reading:

  1. EHR Optimization Whitepaper
  2. EHR Optimization Infographic
  3. EHR Clinical Optimization Toolkit
  4. Achieving Clinical System ROI Through EHR Optimization, Replacement & Portfolio Rationalization
  5. Healthcare CIOs Focus On Optimizing EMRs
  6. Has Electronic Health Record Replacement Failed?
  7. EHR Implementation Accomplished – What’s Next?

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat focused on EHR Optimization. We’ll use the following 6 questions as the framework for the discussion:

This Week’s Topics
T1: How did the big-bang implementation approaches contribute to EMR inefficiencies and what can be done to mitigate? #HITsm

T2: What is it about current EMR technology that contributes directly to physician inefficiency? #HITsm

T3: How do you get providers engaged in an optimization initiative if they are disenchanted with the product and suffering from burnout? #HITsm

T4: How can clinical workflows be adjusted to improve physician-patient interactions by removing EHR technology and data entry as an obstacle to F2F interaction? #HITsm

T5: What are the most common barriers to EHR optimization and how are they overcome? #HITsm

Bonus: What amount (if any) of ROI should HDOs expect from EHR optimization and is it worth the effort? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
7/7 – International EHR Adoption: Challenges and Solutions
Hosted by Stefan Buttigieg, MD (@stefanbuttigieg)

7/14 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

7/21 – Meeting the Patient Where They Are
Hosted by Melody Smith Jones (@MelSmithJones) from HYP3R

7/28 – How Does Age Impact Patient Satisfaction & Provider Switching?
Hosted by Lea Chatham (@leachatham) from @SolutionReach

8/4 – TBD
Hosted by Alan Portela (@AlanWPortela) from Airstrip

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

Clinical Intelligence – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on June 20, 2017 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 6/23 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Megan Janas (@TextraHealth) on the topic of “Clinical Intelligence.”

The word “Intelligence” is on the move in organizations. Creeping out from a corner of business that was once reserved for planning, strategy and competitive analysis- the intelligence of today is found in departments and teams and increasingly in the software suites that assist people with work. In hospitals and healthcare, clinical intelligence has deeper meaning than just “what AI programs are on the horizon and which one might we use.” Clinical Intelligence is dynamic, requiring multiple decisions and multiple steps to drive the sweeping change needed to usher in a new era of work and patient care. Healthcare will face challenges with next generation tech. However, with the right teams, forward thinking, and change agents, professionals can acquire meaningful Clinical Intelligence to transform their organizations and the patients they serve.

Let’s look at what defines Clinical Intelligence in order to break it down. An article from HIMSS describes Clinical Intelligence as:

“Clinical & Business Intelligence (C&BI) is the use and analysis of data captured in the healthcare setting to directly inform decision-making. It has the power to positively impact patient care delivery, health outcomes and business operations.” –Source

Clearly, Clinical Intelligence is in every level of a healthcare organization. That’s important, because for Clinical Intelligence to impact all areas, it has to be intentionally networked into each department. Clinical Intelligence thrives with interoperability, data, and analytics converging to help organizations make informed decisions from patient care to financial assessments. Teams need to evaluate their current capabilities, plan, and employ leaders with strong communication skills to convey the vision and objectives. This begins with a snapshot of where an organization falls on the data analytics spectrum. Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics make up the spectrum. Descriptive analytics tell a team about what has already happened from data collected around clinical documentation, claims, surveys, and lab tests. Predictive analytics takes the Descriptive data to make conclusions about future events. Lastly, Prescriptive analytics goes beyond prediction to reveal what steps to take should a prediction materialize. Moving through the data spectrum is an objective healthcare organizations will need to tackle to achieve CI.

In order to apply analysis to data sets, teams need to make sure the data that they have is relevant and large in scope to help guide their decision making. Additionally, professionals need to ask questions about data sets including, the type of data needed, the sample size, the available data, the bias that could be baked in, and if there are other sources of comparable data. The availability of public data is widely growing with resources including the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Furthermore, the world of machine learning is assisting like never before, offering help by allowing teams to skip over data prep to pre-packaged data sets collected from a variety of sources. IBM Watson and IPsoft Amelia are just two examples of artificial intelligence machine learning making huge advances in several industries.

The data hospitals and others amass through their collective workings, build upon strategies organizations can deploy to reduce costs, improve care, assist with safety and patient outcomes. Suddenly, using data becomes an advantage, a competitive resource edging a health entity over their peers. The pursuit of Clinical Intelligence results in cross departmental learning and knowledge not previously available. Examples of Clinical Intelligence are found in a variety of healthcare settings. Wake Forest Baptist Health in North Carolina used analytics to assist in their oncology infusion center to assist with patient flow. The results were felt across the center with nurses less rushed and the pharmacy processing requests faster. Patients had fewer delays and overall the work environment improved. Montefiore Health System uses a predictive analytics tool to help identify patients at high risk of death or intubation within 48 hours of admittance. Mayo Clinic has additional tools to catch sepsis and treat it faster. These examples are just some of the ways in which analytics become valuable transformational assets.

The time to begin moving towards organizational Clinical Intelligence is presently with the preparation of data collection. Machine learning, and analytics offer health systems a new frontier of discovery; benefitting the decision making of every person involved in patient care.

Resources and Other Clinical Intelligence Reading:

  1. Clinical and Business Intelligence
  2. Turning Healthcare Big Data into Actionable Clinical Intelligence
  3. Four Keys to Successful Digital Transformations in Healthcare
  4. Better Questions to Ask Your Data Scientists
  5. The Most Valuable Resource is No Longer Oil, but Data
  6. Does Your Company Know What to Do with All its Data?

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat focused on Clinical Intelligence. We’ll use the following 6 questions as the framework for the discussion:

This Week’s Topics
T1: What are some benefits and obstacles to Clinical Intelligence? #HITsm

T2: How can health organizations best prepare for machine learning & AI? #HITsm

T3: Data has been described as “digital oil”. What’s its value and worth to a healthcare org? #HITsm

T4: How can leaders convince skeptics that Clinical Intelligence is valuable to an organization & patients? #HITsm

T5: How long do you estimate it will take for Clinical Intelligence to be within a healthcare system? Why? #HITsm

Bonus: Do you have an example of healthcare using analytics to learn? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
6/30 – EHR Optimization
Hosted by Justin Campbell (@tjustincampbell) and Julie Champagne (@JulieEChampagne)

7/7 – International EHR Adoption: Challenges and Solutions
Hosted by Stefan Buttigieg, MD (@stefanbuttigieg)

7/14 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

7/21 – Meeting the Patient Where They Are
Hosted by Melody Smith Jones (@MelSmithJones)

7/28 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

8/4 – TBD
Hosted by Alan Portela (@AlanWPortela)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on June 13, 2017 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 6/16 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Danielle Siarri (@innonurse) on the topic of “Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).”

As technology continues to evolve, the clinicians’ skill set will need to continue to keep up with the health tech evolution. Virtual reality actually stimulates our senses together in order to create the illusion of reality. Augmented reality (AR) is a blend of virtual reality (VR) and real life. AR users are able to interact with virtual contents in the real world and to distinguish between the two. A new term Mixed Reality is a hybrid reality that merges real and virtual worlds to produce new environments /visualizations where physical/digital objects co-exist then interact in real time. Currently VR and AR are being used to simulate and support medical and nursing training as well therapy for patients for anxiety and pain control.

Clinical practitioners are using VR prior to surgery instead of sedation. In Sweden, pharmacist are using VR for pain control. At a California hospital VR is being used for children with terminal cancer to “transport” them during long hospital and facilitate end of life care. Physiologist are using VR for agoraphobia and treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to expose patients mentally without physically putting them in challenging environment.

Join us for the #HITsm chat for the topics of VR/AR in healthcare technology.

This Week’s Topics
T1: What are some ways you have seen VR/AR used to improve the patient’s experience? #HITsm

T2: What are some uses of Mix Reality that could be applied to clinical education? #HITsm

T3: What are implications of using 360 videos and VR with patients with limited mobility? #HITsm

T4: What are some of the future implication of AR, VR, MR in healthcare technology and why? #HITsm

T5: What are the barriers to implementing and widespread adoption of VR/AR into practice? #HITsm

Bonus: What efforts are in place to improve the divide in education and digital health literacy with VR/AR? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
6/23 – Clinical Intelligence
Hosted by Megan Janas (@TextraHealth)

6/30 – EHR Optimization
Hosted by Max Stroud (@MMaxwellStroud), Justin Campbell (@tjustincampbell), and Julie Champagne (@JulieEChampagne)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

Value-sizing The Patient Experience

Posted on June 8, 2017 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Sarah Bennight, Marketing Strategist for Stericycle Communication Solutions, as part of the Communication Solutions Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with them on Twitter: @StericycleComms

In health IT, we talk about the patient experience all the time. Many of us have dedicated our entire careers to improving the patient experience. It has become so central to improving healthcare that patient-reported experience results determine a significant portion of reimbursement.

But today’s patient experiences do beg the question: are they a pie in the sky dream or something tangible that can be addressed in our organizations?

To tackle the patient experience, we have to audit all contact points to determine areas of weakness. A great way to start is by creating a healthcare consumer journey map. Identifying each point a patient could potentially interact with your organization is key to ensuring their experience will be great. Once you have identified each potential encounter, mystery shop that experience as if you were the patient to test your brand’s current performance. When determining whether or not your organization provides a great brand experience, you may find yourself comparing your performance to the top brands you work with on a daily basis.

For example, I recall a time when I studied abroad in the United Kingdom. Upon arriving in a foreign country after 22 hours of travel with little sleep, I needed to eat. I vaguely recalled passing a familiar restaurant sign on the way to my flat: McDonalds. And though I didn’t really love the golden arches at the time, I chose to eat there. Why? Because I knew what to expect. I knew how to order, what menu items would be available, and what it would taste like.

By focusing on consistent interactions and expectations for their customers, McDonalds has created a strong brand. In fact, when asked about introducing new products during a 2010 CNBC interview, former CEO James Skinner said “[McDonald’s doesn’t] put something on the menu until it can be produced at the speed of McDonalds.”

Can your healthcare consumers count on a consistent experience when contacting your organization? Your brand experience should encompass the entire health system to build confidence and loyalty in your brand. Creating consistency across each encounter begins with simple questions. Was their initial call met with a timely, sincere, and welcoming voice? Was parking convenient? Are average waiting times reasonable? Do Center A and Center B provide the same quality support? Is their bill easy to understand? If your answers are all yes, it’s more likely that patients will continue to choose your organization.

When patients feel confidence about provided services and perceive value in the care you provide, brand loyalty is achieved. What’s more, many studies show that patients who have great healthcare experiences and are confident in the level of care they receive will have better clinical outcomes. Value-based care demands consistent, evidence-based clinical interactions. But we can’t leave out the important patient experience outside the walls of the exam room.

After my exhaustive travels, I certainly had a better outcome by relying on my trust in McDonalds’ brand. I chose to value-size my meals frequently throughout my England journey – not because it was the best tasting food, but because I could always rely on consistently convenient and quality experiences. The healthcare industry can certainly learn a lot more from cutting edge commercial companies when it comes to creating loyalty. To learn more about the patient journey and loyalty, download our e-book.

The Communication Solutions Series of blog posts is sponsored by Stericycle Communication Solutions, a leading provider of high quality call center & telephone answering servicespatient access services and automated communication technology. Stericycle Communication Solutions combines a human touch with innovative technology to deliver best-in-class communication services.  Connect with Stericycle Communication Solutions on social media: @StericycleComms

Health System & Health Plan Innovation, Change & Growth During Uncertain Times – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on June 7, 2017 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 6/9 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by @HCExecGroup, @_GWConnect and @_GuideWell as part of #AHIPInstitute on the topic of “Health System & Health Plan Innovation, Change & Growth During Uncertain Times.”

Major forces of change – including consumerism, value-based care, risk-sharing between health systems, providers and payers, the need to address health equity, and new market entrants – have ‘invaded’ healthcare in the United States over the past decade. Moreover, the Affordable Care Act, ongoing regulatory pressures and uncertainty resulting from healthcare reform efforts have further amplified the need for health systems, health plans, hospitals and healthcare providers to evaluate new business models and diversify their business; all while devising innovative ways to stay relevant and competitive in their markets as they improve health outcomes, lower costs & improve equity for all.

This chat will explore topics related to innovation and factors impacting how healthcare organizations change and grow during this uncertain time. Join us Friday, 6/9 at Noon ET (9 AM PT) for a lively discussion.

This Week’s Topics
T1: What specific ‘areas of opportunity’ must health plans/systems address to improve health outcomes, lower costs & improve equity? #HITsm

T2: What must health systems & health plans focus on over next 8 to 18 months regardless of health reform outcome? #HITsm

T3: Who’s most likely to disrupt healthcare: insiders or outsiders? And what barriers do each face – right now or in near future? #HITsm

T4: What technologies will do the most to move healthcare supply-side toward improving outcomes, lowering costs & enhancing equity? #HITsm

T5: Incentives drive innovation. How can they be aligned to meaningfully support innovation that improves outcomes & lowers costs? #HITsm

Bonus: What are examples of innovative healthcare programs, processes, people and organizations – U.S.-based or elsewhere? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
6/16 – Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Hosted by Danielle Siarri (@innonurse)

6/23 – Clinical Intelligence
Hosted by Megan Janas (@TextraHealth)

6/30 – EHR Optimization
Hosted by Max Stroud (@MMaxwellStroud), Justin Campbell (@tjustincampbell), and Julie Champagne (@JulieEChampagne)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

Patient Stories, Not Just for Story Time Anymore – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on May 30, 2017 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 6/2 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Susannah Meadows (@susannahmeadows) and the #WTFix Community on the topic of “Patient Stories, Not Just for Story Time Anymore.”

There’s a new conference happening Wednesday June 14th that’s focused fully around the patient and the problems that exist in health care as we know it. The conference is called What’s the Fix? or #WTFix for short.

The great part about the conference is that it costs nothing to attend and they’re making it available for free in person and virtually. Plus, I love their focus on the patient. Knowing that this conference was just around the corner, I reached out to Burt Rosen and his team who are organizing the event and asked if they had someone from their conference that could host the #HITsm chat talking about the patient perspective.

We’re blessed that Susannah Meadows (@susannahmeadows) was willing to host this week’s #HITsm chat. Susannah just published her book “The Other Side of Impossible” which was featured in this New York Times article. Thanks Susannah for sharing your story and hopefully during the #HITsm chat she can inspire others to share theirs. I don’t think we can ever get enough patient perspectives.

We can’t wait to talk patient stories in this week’s #HITsm chat. Here are the questions we’ll be discussing.

T1: Why are patient stories important (and you are a patient too)? #HITsm

T2: Where do you hear patient stories? Do you ever ask your friends or neighbors? #HITsm

T3: What’s the most impactful story you’ve heard #HITsm

T4: What Have you changed as a result of what you’ve heard? #HITsm

T5: How do you create an environment that’s safe for story sharing and doesn’t feel exploitative? #HITsm

Bonus: What are the best and worst conferences for hearing patient stories? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
6/9 – Health Plan Innovation, Change and Growth During Uncertain Times
Hosted by @HCExecGroup, @_GWConnect and @_GuideWell as part of #AHIPInstitute

6/16 – TBD
Hosted by Danielle Siarri (@innonurse)

6/23 – Clinical Intelligence
Hosted by Megan Janas (@TextraHealth)

6/30 – EHR Optimization
Hosted by Max Stroud (@MMaxwellStroud), Justin Campbell (@tjustincampbell), and Julie Champagne (@JulieEChampagne)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

Scenarios for Health Care Reform (Part 2 of 2)

Posted on May 18, 2017 I Written By

Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in open source, software engineering, and health IT, but his editorial output has ranged from a legal guide covering intellectual property to a graphic novel about teenage hackers. His articles have appeared often on EMR & EHR and other blogs in the health IT space. Andy also writes often for O'Reilly's Radar site (http://oreilly.com/) and other publications on policy issues related to the Internet and on trends affecting technical innovation and its effects on society. Print publications where his work has appeared include The Economist, Communications of the ACM, Copyright World, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Vanguardia Dossier, and Internet Law and Business. Conferences where he has presented talks include O'Reilly's Open Source Convention, FISL (Brazil), FOSDEM, and DebConf.

The first part of this article suggested two scenarios that could promote health care reform. We’ll finish off the scenarios in this part of the article.

Capitalism Disrupts Health Care

In the third scenario, reform is stimulated by an intrepid data science firm that takes on health care with greater success than most of its predecessors. After assembling an impressive analytics toolkit from open source software components–thus simplifying licensing–it approaches health care providers and offers them a deal they can’t refuse: analytics demonstrated to save them money and support their growth, all delivered for free. The data science firm asks in return only that they let it use deidentified data from their patients and practices to build an enhanced service that it will offer paying customers.

Some health care providers balk at the requirement to share data, but their legal and marketing teams explain that they have been doing it for years already with companies whose motives are less commendable. Increasingly, the providers are won over. The analytics service appeals particularly to small, rural, and safety-net providers. Hammered by payment cuts and growing needs among their populations, they are on the edge of going out of business and grasp the service as their last chance to stay in the black.

Participating in the program requires the extraction of data from electronic health records, and some EHR vendors try to stand in the way in order to protect their own monopoly on the data. Some even point to clauses in their licenses that prohibit the sharing. But they get a rude message in return: so valuable are the analytics that the providers are ready to jettison the vendors in a minute. The vendors ultimately go along and even compete on the basis of their ability to connect to the analytics.

Once stability and survival are established, the providers can use the analytics for more and more sophisticated benefits. Unlike the inadequate quality measures currently in use, the analytics provide a robust framework for assessing risk, stratifying populations, and determining how much a provider should be rewarded for treating each patient. Fee-for-outcome becomes standard.

Providers make deals to sign up patients for long-term relationships. Unlike the weak Medicare ACO model, which punishes a provider for things their patients do outside their relationship, the emerging system requires a commitment from the patient to stick with a provider. However, if the patient can demonstrate that she was neglected or failed to receive standard of care, she can switch to another provider and even require the misbehaving provider to cover costs. To hold up their end of this deal, providers find it necessary to reveal their practices and prices. Physician organizations develop quality-measurement platforms such as the recent PRIME registry in family medicine. A race to the top ensues.

What If Nothing Changes?

I’ll finish this upbeat article with a fourth scenario in which we muddle along as we have for years.

The ONC and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services continue to swat at waste in the health care system by pushing accountable care. But their ratings penalize safety-net providers, and payments fail to correlate with costs as hoped.

Fee-for-outcome flounders, so health care costs continue to rise to intolerable levels. Already, in Massachusetts, the US state that leads in universal health coverage, 40% of the state budget goes to Medicaid, where likely federal cuts will make it impossible to keep up coverage. Many other states and countries are witnessing the same pattern of rising costs.

The same pressures ride like a tidal wave through the rest of the health care system. Private insurers continue to withdraw from markets or lose money by staying. So either explicitly or through complex and inscrutable regulatory changes, the government allows insurers to cut sick people from their rolls and raise the cost burdens on patients and their employers. As patient rolls shrink, more hospitals close. Political rancor grows as the public watches employer money go into their health insurance instead of wages, and more of their own stagnant incomes go to health care costs, and government budgets tied up in health care instead of education and other social benefits.

Chronic diseases creep through the population, mocking crippled efforts at public health. Rampant obesity among children leads to more and earlier diabetes. Dementia also rises as the population ages, and climate change scatters its effects across all demographics.

Furthermore, when patients realize the costs they must take on to ask for health care, they delay doctor visits until their symptoms are unbearable. More people become disabled or perish, with negative impacts that spread through the economy. Output decline and more families become trapped in poverty. Self-medication for pain and mental illness becomes more popular, with predictable impacts on the opiate addiction crisis. Even our security is affected: the military finds it hard to recruit find healthy soldiers, and our foreign policy depends increasingly on drone strikes that kill civilians and inflame negative attitudes toward the US.

I think that, after considering this scenario, most of us would prefer one of the previous three I laid out in this article. If health care continues to be a major political issue for the next election, experts should try to direct discussion away from the current unproductive rhetoric toward advocacy for solutions. Some who read this article will hopefully feel impelled to apply themselves to one of the positive scenarios and bring it to fruition.