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More Patient Demand, More Communications

Posted on May 31, 2016 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Andy Nieto, IT Strategist for DataMotion Health.
Andy Nieto
Nearly every news outlet does an annual recap about what has changed over the past 12 months. In recent years, we’ve learned we are now more connected, more aware, traveling more, doing more and so on. The role of the local family doctor being the only caregiver has also changed, giving way to more specialists, more providers and more needs. A survey by GfK Roper showed Americans over 65 saw an average of 28 doctors – and that was five years ago. There are now 8,000 of us reaching age 65 every day. By 2029, the 65+ group will comprise more than 20 percent of the population.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Healthcare is encountering numerous problems, fueled by an aging population. For the industry to adapt, move forward, and produce better health outcomes, one particular change is critical.

Problem One: More People Seeing More Doctors

A 2014 Journal of the American Medical Association article, “Finding the Missing Link for Big Biomedical Data” (jama.2014.4228), identified there are a tremendous number of data elements which affect a patient’s health, wellness, and ultimately, their outcomes from treatment.

There are two concurrent efforts underway to manage and control this data. The first was the HITECH Act and move to digitization, management and aggregation of patient data. This push for electronic health records (EHRs) has resulted in more than 3,000 certified healthcare technology products on the market. There are 900,000 active physicians, more than 5,700 hospitals, 60,000 pharmacies and 100,000 physical therapy entities. And this doesn’t include countless caregivers, ancillary staff, labs, etc.

That said, the volume of information is staggering and will only increase.

The second effort underway is to define care needs and create communities to effectively address these. The Health Information Management System Society (HIMSS) has created the Health Story Project in an effort to understand the scope of these needs. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has patient rights and wellness acts. And virtually every insurance and health system has some type of health outreach management plan.

All of these communities are empowered by access to, and utilization of, information about the patients under their care. Most importantly, it is imperative that the “left hand understand what the right hand is doing” in order to treat patients more effectively and safely, control costs, create greater efficiencies and much more.

Problem Two: So Much Information in So Many Places
“Americans are sicker” is a blanket statement that the media now seems to report daily. Obesity, chronic conditions and increased costs for healthcare are constantly in the headlines. At least one report has stated that 45 percent of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic condition. What’s more, by 2025 one half of all Americans will suffer from chronic conditions.

For many businesses and industries, there’s long been an 80/20 rule where 80% of the cost was from 20% of materials, 80% of revenue from 20% of customers, etc.  For healthcare though, there are many who feel the situation with chronic care patients is much worse.

Of course, effective treatment means a need for more specialists, more providers and more information to handle those with such conditions. But that vital information is now in so many places.

Problem Three: The Communication Crisis
When I was growing up, my mother always told me to “use my words” to address conflict. Unfortunately, our healthcare crisis has an even larger and more fundamental conflict – a lack of communication. How do we deal with any of these problems if we cannot communicate?

Communication in healthcare is a multi-pronged issue. Information must be exchanged. Care, providers, resources and schedules must be coordinated. Amidst this, we cannot forget the patient, and that today as a country we are less healthy and demands have increased.

One study found patients with chronic conditions as a result of poor lifestyle choices, obesity for example, are significantly less likely to be compliant with treatment plans. The fact is, patients that have regular and interactive communication with their providers are significantly more likely to be compliant with care plans and demonstrate better outcomes.

Communication, including feedback with the patient, is critical to addressing patient compliance

A Single Solution
Communication is the foundation of coordinating the volume of care providers, specialists and services needed to address patient health, wellness and outcomes. HIPAA, HITECH, Omnibus rulings, as well as the ongoing work of the ONC and HIMSS, all support interoperability and connected healthcare. Opening the lines of communication is the first step, though with this progress, the problem of data becomes clear.

Communication exists in many forms. Healthcare is both a science of medicine and an art of care, which means various types of information must be exchanged. To achieve the “holy grail” of interoperability, obstacles for clinical information exchange must be removed. Barriers around data types and formats are a blockade to progress. Conversation, consultation, planning and discussion are as critical to the delivery of care as discrete and diagnostic data elements. Therefore, messaging must be used that is open and empowered to ALL types of data – from structured digital data to images and unstructured documents – and security is obviously imperative.

Simple communication is a conversation between providers. So, why is it, then, that many “so called” clinical messaging solutions do not support the simple process of person-to-person dialogue? A communications solution must support both “science and art.” Care coordination, facilitating provider-to-provider and provider-to-patient interaction removes barriers, simplifies and improves care delivery, and by extension, improves health and wellness.

With this in mind, the themes of “more” must be extended to healthcare to move forward. And that means more communication, more coordination and more care.

About Andy Nieto
Andy Nieto is the IT Strategist for DataMotion Health, a provider of secure health information delivery services and solutions. An accredited HISP (health information service provider) of Direct Secure Messaging, the DataMotion Direct service enables efficient interoperability and sharing of a person’s data across the continuum of care and their broader lives. For more information, please visit

Health Data Sharing and Patient Centered Care with DataMotion Health

Posted on April 13, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Now that the HIMSS Haze has worn off, we thought we’d start sharing some of the great video interviews we did at HIMSS 2016. In this case, we did a 3 pack of interviews at the DataMotion Health booth where we got some amazing insights into health data sharing, engaging patients, and providing patient centered care.

First up is our chat with Dr. Peter Tippett, CEO of Healthcelerate and Co-Chairman of DataMotion Health, about the evolution of healthcare data sharing. Dr. Tippett offers some great insights into the challenge of structured vs unstructured data. He also talks about some of the subtleties of medicine that are often lost when trying to share data. Plus, you can’t talk with Dr. Tippett without some discussion of ensuring the privacy and security of health data.

Next up, we talked with Dennis Robbins, PHD, MPH, National Thought Leader and member of DataMotion Health’s Advisory Board, about the patient perspective on all this technology. He provides some great insights into patients’ interest in healthcare and how we need to treat them more like people than like patients. Dr. Robbins was a strong voice for the patient at HIMSS.

Finally we talked with Bob Janacek, Co-Founder and CTO of DataMotion Health, about the challenges associated with coordinating the entire care team in healthcare. The concept of the care team is becoming much more important in healthcare and making sure the care team is sharing the most accurate data is crucial to their success. Learn from Bob about the role Direct plays in this data sharing.

Thanks DataMotion Health for having us to your booth and having your experts share their insights with the healthcare IT community. I look forward to seeing you progress in your continued work to make health data sharing accessible, secure, and easy for healthcare organizations.

A Healthcare Holiday Tale: Horace & the Messaging Miracle

Posted on December 9, 2015 I Written By

The following is a great health care holiday poem written by the team at DataMotion Health. Thanks to them for sharing their creativity with us. You can download a beautiful PDF version of the poem here.

Horace had health woes that were very much chronic,
His doctors were stymied, could not find a tonic.
It ruined his holidays last year, and worse,
He was never quite able to get rid of the curse.

He ran here for some blood work, scurried there for a scan,
The results never made it back to his primary’s hands.
Referrals were lost, prescriptions weren’t made,
If they’d contacted him, oh the time he’d have saved!
Horace Intro 1
Still the thing that pushed Horace right over the edge,
Was the breach that gave his data to hackers instead.
Now his rombosis was raging, his hacknoids inflamed,
Must he cancel his holidays at Aunt Esther’s again?

So with brimstone and ire he called Doc Minty B. Cone,
Even nursing heard cursing coming out of the phone.
“Egad,” moaned Doc Minty, “Is there a solution that’s near?
There’s no reason for this…I could so use a beer!”
horace yelling doc-minty-image 2
“A solution, need you?” quipped Tim Tan from IT.
“I’ve got one that you’ll love if you’ll listen to me.
It allows sharing data ‘cross the continuum of care
O’er the internet securely, there’s nothing to fear.”

“Each doctor would know what the other was doing.
Could a reaction to treatment be Horace’s undoing?
The blood work results, the hacknoidial scan?
With the click of a mouse, they’d be in your hands.”

“Not so fast,” said Doc Minty, “I know what comes next,
A list of techno to-dos that will leave us all vexed!”
Tim Tan smiled broadly and smugly replied,
“This can be done in the cloud – it’s not pie in the sky.”

“There are Health ISPs to get it set straight away,
No wires or briars, sometimes done in a day.
Encryption with ease, no security keys,
Works just like email, the whole thing’s a breeze!”
minty and tim-tan image 3
“And when you bring in the patient…when the info is flowing?”
“Better outcomes!” cried Minty, “I know where you’re going!”
“Exactly, good Doctor,” Tim Tan said with a smirk.
“Patient engagement’s the future!” and he started to twerk.

Minty had to admit it – there was nothing to fight.
This gyrating hipster was actually right!
Then Tim Tan settled down and without further defiance.
Discussed without thrust how it helps with compliance.

“What’s that?” came the voice of the new CCO.
“Our tracking not causing us any more woes?”
And when he detailed the subsidies of Meaningful Use,
The CFO burst in with the force of a moose.

Doc Minty looked up to see a crowd gathered,
More doctors, more staff, all worked up in a lather.
He knew what to do as they joined him in chorus,
“Secure communications – it’s time we saved Horace!”

Then they raced down the hallway and into the eve,
As Tan wiped away tears with the sleeve of his tweed.
They spilled out of the lobby into snow soft and white,
Crying “Better healthcare for all and to all a goodnight!”
Running into the night image 4
Later next evening, Horace gave out a shout.
A message from Minty, “Now what’s this about?”
An appointment was scheduled for Tuesday at three.
All his doctors were assembled and stifling their glee.

“Horace,” said Minty, “You were right on the money.
We weren’t on the same page, and while I know it’s not funny,
Communication amongst us is now done securely.
We’ve shared all the data and know why you feel poorly.”

Dr. Janacek started, “I prescribed Noodlerspec,
An anti-inflammatory that keeps hacknoids in check.”
“But the cream that I gave to grow hair on your head,
Can make them balloon!” Doc Grizzly Bales said.

“And the pressure resulting makes rombosis rage,”
Added a lab tech named Prudence, who preferred the name Paige.
Then Doc Minty leaned over and with a gleam in his eye,
Held a single pill out and said, “Now, give this a try.”
horace gets pill image 5
One giant gulp later Old Horace was well!
His rombosis gone! His hacknoids unswelled!
He went home, packed his bags and then hopped on a plane
To celebrate the holidays at Aunt Esther’s again.

The family gathered ‘round as Horace pulled up a site,
A new patient portal they viewed through the night.
They saw all his scans, test results and those files.
They were mostly grossed out but couldn’t help smile.

“It’s just as it should be – I know what’s going on!”
Horace even broke into a Festivus song.
And his hair spilled out grandly as he tossed up his hat,
Frightening Aunt Esther and all her eight cats.
horace-aunt-esther (003) final image 6
For Tim Tan, his advice had finally been heeded,
The practice ran better, that’s all that he needed.
The staff was more efficient and now had a way
To communicate securely and keep hackers at bay.

As for Minty, he smiled, though he scraped away ice.
Climbed into his car and checked his mobile device.
And there found a message from Horace of good cheer;
“Happy holidays Doc, and a healthy New Year!”

Happy holidays and a healthier new year from DataMotion Health!
Delivering secure health information, where and when it’s needed most.
Please visit for more information.