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Create Happier Healthcare Staff in 3 Easy Steps

Posted on September 14, 2017 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Chelsea Kimbrough from Stericycle Communication Solutions, as part of the Communication Solutions Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with them on Twitter: @StericycleComms
Chelsea Kimbrough
Creating excellent patient experiences is the focus of nearly every healthcare organization. To do this, providers are increasingly turning to new patient engagement tools and technologies. It’s important to note, however, that patient experience woes cannot be mended with technology alone. The healthcare professionals facilitating communications and care will always play an integral role in patients’ overall satisfaction and loyalty.

Unfortunately, those providing in-person care are often distracted from important patient-facing responsibilities by front office tasks. Thankfully, many modern engagement tools are able to create more seamless operational workflows for healthcare professionals in tandem with enhanced patient experiences. But with the market growing increasingly competitive, it’s important to pick the tools and technologies that best serves both populations.

Outlined below are three steps healthcare organizations can take to create a more enjoyable workplace for their staff and what key capabilities are necessary to ensure the greatest ROI.

  1. Lessen the number of phone calls
    If the phone isn’t demanding attention, healthcare professionals are better able to focus their talent and effort on the patients and people in more immediate need of their expertise. This ability drives better health outcomes, operational efficiencies, and patient experiences.

    Telephone answering solutions and technology help achieve these results. However, it’s important whoever is answering your phones is prepared to handle any question, task, language, or call volume. Unfortunately, many internally-run call answering solutions are unable to swiftly manage fluctuating call volumes. By partnering with a third-party telephone answering service, healthcare organizations can ensure every call is met with exceptional care.

    When searching for a call center solution, healthcare organization should seek:

    • Flexible call answering solutions
    • Multilingual live agent support
    • Control over call flow & scripting
    • Proven experience & expertise
  1. Automate appointment reminders
    Patients crave convenient experiences – and so do healthcare professionals. Automating informational messages to patients, such as appointment reminders, population health notifications, and relevant event announcements, removes part of this communication responsibility from staff, directly enabling them to focus on in-person care.

    It’s important, however, that this particular service is able to integrate with the health systems’ EHR or EMR. This ability enables the health system to target a patient’s contact method of choice when sending automated messages, seamlessly enhancing their experience. And by communicating every interaction with the health system, staff members are kept informed and prepared to meet patients’ needs should they choose to reach out.

    When searching for a messaging solution, healthcare organization should seek:

    • Email, voice, and text messaging capabilities
    • Patient-specific customization
    • Easy message deployment
    • EHR/EMR connectivity
  1. Optimize patient scheduling
    Patients of all ages can benefit from a smoother appointment scheduling processes – and for many patients, online scheduling is the answer. By eliminating the need for a timely phone call, online scheduling better fits into the digitally-driven lives of today’s patients.  And when implemented properly, online scheduling can directly benefit both telephone answering and automated messaging, too.

    Because scheduling an appointment should be a pain-free process, healthcare organizations should simplify it by sending an automated reminder with a unique, secure link to digitally schedule an appointment from their phone, laptop, or other internet connected device. By choosing a tool that automatically communicates this information with the health system’s EHR, patients can call about their appointment and receive consistently accurate information no matter what healthcare employee answers the phone. What’s more, this particular patient engagement tool lessens the appointment scheduling burdening from staff, enabling them to provide better in-person care.

    When searching for an appointment scheduling solution, healthcare organization should seek:

    • Intuitive, user-friendly tools
    • Accurate appointment availability
    • Easy message deployment
    • EHR/EMR connectivity

When the right communication tools and technologies are implemented, entire healthcare organizations thrive. With the above three strategies and the technologies associated with them in place, healthcare professionals can better focus on patients with the reassurance their phones are answered by trained professionals, important messages are promptly delivered, and schedules are being filled.

Healthcare organizations that implement communication tools and technologies that benefit both patients and staff are better positioned to have happier, more satisfied team members. And with a happier staff tending to patients’ healthcare needs, organizations can better safeguard patient loyalty for years to come.

The Communication Solutions Series of blog posts is sponsored by Stericycle Communication Solutions, a leading provider of high quality telephone answering, appointment scheduling, and automated communication services. 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

Patients Want Customizations – Just Not Too Much!

Posted on August 10, 2017 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Cristina Dafonte, Marketing Associate of Stericycle Communication Solutions as part of the Communication Solutions Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with them on Twitter:@StericycleComms
cristina-dafonteEverything around us is customizable: your laptop background, the layout of applications on your phone, any product dashboard you have access to. Customization sells, and consumers crave it. Consumers love to think that something is unique or special for just them, even if they know in their hearts that isn’t the case.

Patient engagement, especially appointment reminders, shouldn’t be the exception to the rule. We’ve far surpassed the days of the robo-dialer letting you know your doctor’s office was calling. Today, patients look for custom communications.

There are two ends of the spectrum that I have seen with customization of appointment reminders. The first is no customization at all.

Example: My dentist sends an email that is “Please click to confirm your appointment. We look forward to seeing you!” And includes a large CONFIRM button.

This message leaves me wondering a few things: when is my appointment? Which dentist am I seeing? What if I need to reschedule? What kind of appointment did I schedule? The message wasn’t personalized to my appointment or to me.

The second end of the spectrum is too much customization. I didn’t know it was possible to personalize a message too much until I received the following text message from my eye doctor:

(1/2) Hi Cristina, your contacts are ready for pick up. Please stop by the office at your earliest convenience to get them. Our office hours are 7-3pm on the first Monday of every month, 8-4pm every

(2/2) other Tuesday, and 8-6pm on the second Thursday of every month, and 7-12pm on Friday. Thank you for choosing [my eye doctor].

The first time I received that text message, I read it at least 3 times, trying to figure out what the office hours were for the day I needed to go get my contacts! That, my friends, is a reminder with too much customization.

Fortunately, the team at Stericycle Communication Solutions has figured out just the right amount of customization. Our patient communications are built on 4 pillars:

  1. Arrive: what needs to be done when the patient arrives
  2. Bring: what they need to bring for the appointment
  3. Prep: if there is any pre-appointment prep work that needs to be completed
  4. Do: any specific instructions for the patient’s arrival.

These best practices ensure that the patient feels the communication is specifically for them and that they have enough information to confidently and comfortably arrive at the office – without feeling bombarded with facts or instructions.

Want to learn more about Stericycle Communication Solutions’ patient engagement customizations? Download our FREE overview “Customizing Your Patient Engagement.”

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

More About Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on August 8, 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, 8/11 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Prashant Natarajan (@natarpr) on the topic of “More About Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.” Be sure to also check out Prashant’s HIMSS best selling book Demystifying Big Data and Machine Learning for Healthcare to learn about his perspectives and insights into the topic.

Healthcare transformation requires us to continually look at new and better ways to manage insights – both within and outside the organization today. Increasingly, the ability to glean and operationalize new insights efficiently as a byproduct of an organization’s day-to-day operations is becoming vital to hospitals and health systems ability to survive and prosper. One of the long-standing challenges in healthcare informatics has been the ability to deal with the sheer variety and volume of disparate healthcare data and the increasing need to derive veracity and value out of it.

The potential for big data in healthcare – especially given the trends discussed earlier is as bright as any other industry. The benefits that big data analytics, AI, and machine learning can provide for healthier patients, happier providers, and cost-effective care are real. The future of precision medicine, population health management, clinical research, and financial performance will include an increased role for machine-analyzed insights, discoveries, and all-encompassing analytics.

This chat explores participants thoughts and feelings about the future of artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry and how healthcare organizations might leverage artificial intelligence to discover new business value, use cases, and knowledge.

Note: For purpose of this chat, “artificial intelligence” can mean predictive analytics, machine learning, big data analytics, natural language processing and contextually intelligent agents.

Reference Materials

Questions we will explore in this week’s #HITsm chat include:
T1: What words or short phrases convey your current thoughts & feelings about ‘artificial intelligence’ in the healthcare space? #HITsm #AI

T2: What are big & small steps healthcare can take to leverage big data & machine learning for population health & personalized care? #HITsm

T3: Which areas of healthcare might be most positively impacted by artificial intelligence? #HITsm #AI

T4: What are some areas within healthcare that will likely NOT be improved or replaced by artificial intelligence? #HITsm #AI

T5: What lessons learned from early days of ‘advanced analytics’ must not be forgotten as use of artificial intelligence expands? #HITsm #AI

Bonus: How is your organization preparing for the application and use of artificial intelligence in healthcare? #HITsm #AI

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
8/18 – Diversity in HIT
Hosted by Jeanmarie Loria (@JeanmarieLoria) from @advizehealth

8/25 – Consumer Data Liquidity – The Road So Far, The Road Ahead
Hosted by Greg Meyer (@Greg_Meyer93)

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.

Inching Toward Health IT Interoperability – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on August 1, 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, 8/4 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Alan Portela (@AlanWPortela) from Airstrip on the topic of “Inching Toward Health IT Interoperability.”

To some it may seem as though ‘interoperability’ is a stale health IT buzzword, but nothing could be further from the truth. Why? Because interoperability still isn’t a reality.

Data is digital, but not readily available; data exists in EHRs, but isn’t aggregated and shared in a way that makes sense for clinicians. In addition, precision medicine relies upon the ability to collect real time data from medical devices at the moment of care – physiologic phenotypes, genomic data, and the like. Precision medicine fundamentally depends on data to make unique diagnosis/care plans for individuals or populations. That cannot happen easily or effectively without interoperability.

Health IT could play a significant role in addressing more serious health issues, but a lack of interoperability and access holds us back. If we want precision medicine, then we need to recognize that interoperability is a must.

Questions we will explore in this week’s #HITsm chat include:
T1: Where have you seen the most success in health IT interoperability? #HITsm

T2: What have been your largest barriers to health IT interoperability? #HITsm

T3: What is vital to making health IT interoperability a reality? #HITsm

T4: Which industry stakeholder has the biggest responsibility to push health IT interoperability forward? #HITsm

T5: How should governing bodies – national and/or industry specific – support health IT interoperability? #HITsm

Bonus: How can we, as health IT leaders and innovators, drive the change the industry needs? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
8/11 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

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

8/25 – Consumer Data Liquidity – The Road So Far, The Road Ahead
Hosted by Greg Meyer (@Greg_Meyer93)

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.

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 Greg Meyer (@Greg_Meyer93)

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.