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Are You Investing Enough in IT Security?

Posted on July 20, 2018 I Written By

Mike Semel is a noted thought leader, speaker, blogger, and best-selling author of HOW TO AVOID HIPAA HEADACHES . He is the President and Chief Security Officer of Semel Consulting, focused on HIPAA and other compliance requirements; cyber security; and Business Continuity planning. Mike is a Certified Business Continuity Professional through the Disaster Recovery Institute, a Certified HIPAA Professional, Certified Security Compliance Specialist, and Certified Health IT Specialist. He has owned or managed technology companies for over 30 years; served as Chief Information Officer (CIO) for a hospital and a K-12 school district; and managed operations at an online backup company.

Would you put a $ 10 fence around a $ 100 horse?

Does it make sense to put a $ 100 fence around a $ 10 horse?

For the right security, you need to know what your horse is worth.

The same concepts apply to protecting your data. What is your data worth?

Ask Cottage Health , which had two data breaches, totaling 55,000 records., and settled a $ 4.1 million lawsuit with patients, then paid a $ 2 million California penalty. They were sued by their insurer, which wanted the $ 4.1 million settlement money back, after it discovered Cottage Health had not consistently implemented the security controls it claimed on its insurance application. The $ 6.1 million in the settlement and penalty does not include its costs for legal fees, credit monitoring, notifying patients, public relations, or recovering the business lost from patients who moved to another provider.

One of our clients was audited for HIPAA compliance by the venture capital firm that wanted to invest in their company. Another client had us do a compliance assessment on a healthcare company they wanted to purchase. In both cases, HIPAA compliance was worth millions of dollars.

We asked a client how much the financial impact would be on their business if they lost the sensitive personal data they collected about business partners, and had to notify everyone. The owner said they would be out of business, costing millions of dollars.

Breaches result in lawsuits, with settlements in the millions. If you are a licensed or certified professional, you can lose your license or certification if you are breached.

Federal HIPAA penalties in 2014 – 2015 were $ 14 million. In 2016 – 2017 they tripled to $ 42 million. In 2018, they have already reached $ 7.9 million.

Data is worth more than gold.

Instead of words and images in a computer, think of your data as a pile of gold bars that is worth protecting.

When we work with our clients, we help you identify the types of data you have, where it is located, and how it is protected. We recently worked with a client that came to us for help protecting their patient information. They were shocked when we showed them that they had bigger risks related to the data they stored about workforce members, and job applicants they did not hire, than the people they served.

  • What data do you have that is regulated, that you must protect to comply with laws and other regulations?
  • What fines and lawsuit judgments might you face if your data is breached?
  • Beyond HIPAA that protects patient information, do you know your state data breach laws that apply to employee data?
  • Do you know the regulations that protect credit card data?
  • Do you have enough of the right type of insurance to protect your finances if you are breached?

Everyone has unregulated data that is sensitive or proprietary, that could hurt your business if it is lost, stolen, or accessed by a competitor or someone who wants to hurt you? Salaries, trade secrets, employment records, pricing models, merger and acquisition plans, lawsuit files, have all been stolen.

As part of our assessments, we search the Dark Web (the criminal side of the Internet) to see if our clients have employee passwords for sale by hackers. Over 90% have had at least one employee’s credentials stolen and offered for sale.

Most of our clients start out not knowing the value of their risks. They hadn’t approved IT security purchases, because the costs were high, and they didn’t know if security was worth the investment.

So, how much should you invest in protecting your data?

The recently-released 2018 Cost of a Data Breach report shows, through research of actual breaches, that in 2017 the average cost to a breached organization for a single lost healthcare record was $408. Across all industries the cost was $ 233 per record. Only a third of the cost was for the direct response to the breach – notifying patients, hiring lawyers and IT security experts, and paying for credit monitoring. Two-thirds of the $ 408/record was the financial effect on the healthcare organizations, by losing patients after violating their trust.

Here is a calculation you can use to estimate the value of protecting your patient data.

Number of Patient Records x $ 408 (cost per record of a breach) = $ ________________ in risk.

Example: 25,000 records x $ 408 = $ 10.2 million. (If this number startles you, imagine if your costs were only 25% of the total, which is still $ 2.5 million.)

Other ways to put a dollar value on your risk

  • How much would a breach affect the market value of your business?
  • How much investment capital do you need for expansion?
  • Personally, what will your retirement look like if you had to pay $ 1 million, $ 2 million, or more, to cover the costs of a breach?
  • What would your life be like if you went out of business?

Know the value of your cyber security risk. Do the math.

Ask your IT department, or an outsourced independent IT security consultant, to assess your risks, and recommend what you need to be fully protected. Our assessments calculate your risks based on dollars, and provide ‘under the skin’ data about the current status of your security. Don’t settle for guesses.

Base your security investment on the value of your risks, not just the general idea that your data needs to be protected.

And, if you own a $ 100 horse, upgrade your $ 10 fence.

Somatix: Bringing Gesture Recognition to Healthcare

Posted on July 19, 2018 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 number and variety of sensors and tracking devices coming to healthcare is astounding. All of these devices are going to provide a platform for hundreds of innovative companies to build amazing software on top of all of this hardware that will really impact healthcare. It’s exciting to see.

I saw this in action first hand when I talked with Eran Ofir, CEO and Co-Founder of Somatix. What makes Somatix interesting is that they do their hand gesture tracking on any hardware. Here’s a peek at some of the technologies that can work with Somatix:

Using these off the shelf technologies, Somatix does a pretty wide range of gesture detection including: smoking, eating, drinking (cold and hot), teeth brushing, walking, sleeping, shaving, medication intaking, and more. When you think about the sensors that are available in these commercial wearables, it’s not hard to see how this type of gesture detection is possible. Plus, these charts illustrate how different gestures register on wearables:

It’s not hard to imagine how this gesture recognition technology can be used in healthcare. It can detect sudden falls, medication adherence, immobility, sleeping habits, missed meals, low liquid consumption, smoking, and even neurological malfunctioning.

The question is what do you do once a certain action is detected? Somatix is doing some work in this area as well. Detecting the gesture is just the first step, but can work as a trigger to enable care providers to intervene with personalized messages and incentives to the patient. One of the areas where Somatix has seen success is in their SmokeBeat product which helps with smoking cessation.

As I look at the bigger picture, I could see hundreds of applications of this gesture technology in healthcare. So, I asked Eran if Somatix offered an API that would allow startup companies, health systems, payers, and other healthcare organizations to be able to incorporate this gesture recognition technology into their own applications. Unfortunately, they haven’t gone this route yet since they’re a relatively young company, but he saw that as a potential future opportunity. I hope they take that route since gesture recognition across all of these devices is a hard thing to build, but is a powerful thing that could benefit a wide variety of healthcare applications.

All in all, I was impressed by what Somatix has built. Plus, it was easy to see as they get more hand gesture data how they’ll be able to improve the accuracy of the gesture detection even more. Eran described how they’d seen this first hand with detecting smoking which they can now detect almost perfectly. While all of the gesture detection doesn’t have perfect accuracy it will get pretty close over time.

Healthcare still has a ways to go in figuring out how to turn gesture recognition into improved care, but it’s great to see companies like Somatix perfecting the recognition which will enable care providers to use that data to improve a patient’s health. Gesture recognition technology from Somatix is a great example of a building block of change that will transform healthcare as we know it.

Identifying, Selecting, and Managing Healthcare Technology Products and Services – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on July 18, 2018 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, 7/20 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Healthcare Scene (@HealthcareScene) on the topic of “Identifying, Selecting, and Managing Healthcare Technology Products and Services” and is an extension of last week’s #HITsm chat.

It should be no surprise to anyone who’s worked in the healthcare industry for any length of time that effective and cost-efficient information technology products and services are essential to improve healthcare outcomes and reduce runaway healthcare costs. And making a bad decision can be extremely cost-inefficient! But healthcare technology products and services are evolving faster than ever and even the most intelligent and focused individuals are challenged to stay abreast of and on top of all the new products and services. Properly selecting, implementing and using products and services to actually improve healthcare outcomes and reduce costs is not trivial task.

We’ve Got the Insights, Ideas and Opinions

Last week, #HITsm tweetchat participants shared their insights, ideas and opinions on what they believed could be the top technologies and services for healthcare stakeholders: Physicians & Medical Practices, Hospitals & Health Systems, Patients, Health Plan Members, Healthcare Consumers & Caregivers and Health Plans & Payers. Over 500 comments were collected from 45+ active participants.

Since last Friday, those 500+ insights, ideas and opinions have been culled, sorted, and curated into the topics for this week’s #HITsm tweetchat. An overview of this curated information can be found in this post titled ‘Recapping the #HITsm Crowdsourced List of Top Technology Services & Products for Healthcare Stakeholders.’  And the actual curated data from last week’s #HITsm tweetchat can be accessed here.

A Small Pivot from the Original Part 2 #HITsm Tweetchat Theme

To be sure, the original idea for this week’s #HITsm tweetchat was that participants would rank the technology services & products most important to healthcare stakeholders. While this week’s chat still includes a ranking of information crowdsourced in last week’s chat, topics for this week’s chat will shift to how healthcare stakeholders may best identify, select and manage the healthcare technology products and services that may best improve healthcare outcomes and reduce costs for ALL of healthcare’s stakeholders.

As you consider the topics of this week’s chat that are listed below, keep in mind the quote by Dr. Alkasab of @MassGeneralNews that @Jk_Jeffery shared last week: “We’re not buying from a vendor; we’re marrying them!”

We hope you can participate in this week’s #HITsm chat and share your insights, ideas and opinions.

Resources for This Week’s #HITsm Tweetchat

Topics for the 7/20/18 #HITsm Tweetchat

T1: What tangible and intangible ‘things’ must healthcare organizations selecting a specific healthcare vendor demand from a healthcare vendor prior to executing a purchase agreement? #HITsm

T2: What are the most important installation, configuration, operational and support requirements that must be considered when evaluating a decision to purchase a vendor’s service or product? #HITsm

T3: How can healthcare organizations and prospective vendor partners leverage 3rd parties – like healthcare patients, consultant, 3rd party research firms and other advisory sources – during the process of evaluating and selecting a specific healthcare product or service? #HITsm

T4: Let’s flip the inquiry: What must vendors of healthcare products and services demand from prospective purchasers of their products and services prior to executing a purchase agreement? #HITsm

T5: What are the surprises that Physicians, Medical Practices, Hospitals, Health Systems, Patients, Health Plan Members, Healthcare Consumers, Health Plans and payer often experience 6 to 12 months after purchasing a product or service? How could this have been solved in the purchase agreement? #HITsm

Bonus: In regards to the aforementioned quote that ‘We’re not buying from a vendor; we’re marrying them,’ what are key reasons why a healthcare organization may divorce their vendor partner? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
7/27 – Creating Loyalty in Healthcare
Hosted by Sunny Tara (@SunnyTaraVegas) and Janae Sharp (@coherencemed) from @CareCognitics

8/3 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

8/10 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

8/17 – The Cost Savings Opportunities on the Business Side of Healthcare
Hosted by Don Lee (@dflee30) and @CAQH

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.

Recapping the #HITsm Crowdsourced List of Top Technology Services & Products for Healthcare Stakeholders

Posted on I Written By

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

The following is a guest blog post by Steve Sisko (@ShimCode). Thanks to Steve for putting in all the time and effort to collect and analyze last week’s chat in preparation for this week’s chat.

Last week, the Health Information Technology Social Media (HITsm) tweet chat hosted by Jared Jeffery @Jk_Jeffery challenged participants to share their ideas on the Top 10 Technology Services & Products for Healthcare Stakeholders. Forty-six participants shared over 500 tweets on six topics supporting the theme of the tweetchat.

In an effort to explore new ways of leveraging the wisdom of the crowd, the information, insight and ideas shared by the 46 tweetchat participants has been culled, sorted and summarized. This summary and supporting detail is intended to provide the basis for the next #HITsm chat on Friday, July 20th.

The HITsm Crowd Shares Their Insight

This blog post presents this information shared during the 7/13/18 HITsm tweetchat. While appreciation goes out to chat host Jared Jeffery and all chat participants, special acknowledgement goes out to the following individuals who shared an above average amount of information, ideas and insight gleaned from the 521 tweets shared in the hour-long chat:

Name Handle
Aaron Jun @aaronjun_
Anthony Leon @anthonynotleon
Colton Ortolf @ColtonOrtolf
Heather S Lavoie @HSLavoie
Jeremy Coleman @jeremycoleman
Joe Babaian @JoeBabaian
John Lynn @techguy
Julie Maas @JulieWMaas
Lea Chatham @LeaChatham
Michelle Currie @mshlcurrie
ShereeseM, MS/MBA @ShereesePubHlth
Steve Sisko @ShimCode

 

Statistics from the 7/13/18 #HITsm Tweetchat

The following are some general stats regarding the content shared by chat participants. These stats are based on removing all retweets, introductions, logistical and greetings – a total of 189 tweets remained.

Top General Categories

Category Count Category Count
Analytics 6 Payer-Prior Auth 3
Care Gap Identification & Management 3 Precision Medicine 2
Collaboration 3 SDOH 8
Communication Tools 12 Tech-API 3
Consumerism-Related 13 Tech-Blockchain 2
Cost Reduction 5 Tech-Cloud 3
Cost Transparency 8 Tech-Data 4
Disruption/Innovation 9 Tech-Ecosystem 2
General 7 Tech-Interoperability 8
Hospital & Health Systems 4 Tech-Security 3
Insurance 3 Usability-Patient/Member 7
Multiple 5 Usability-Physician 6
Patient Advocacy 2 Value-based Care 2
Patient Engagement 9 Vendor Selection 33
Patient Experience 8

 

Services & Functions within General Category

Category Services
Analytics Artificial Intelligence
Analytics Automatically ID candidates that match clinical trials
Analytics Population Health
Analytics Predictive Analytics
Analytics Surveillance Systems
Analytics Turnaround time on analytics decrease considerably.
Care Gap Identification & Management Aggregating data across providers to truly determine care gaps
Care Gap Identification & Management Care Gap Identification
Care Gap Identification & Management Management platforms that leverage dedicated case workers to close care gaps
Care Gap Identification & Management Schedule optimization through automated outreach
Care Gap Identification & Management SDoH platforms
Communication Tools Communication Tools
Communication Tools Cross-discipline communication tools
Communication Tools Patient provider communication tools
Communication Tools Solutions to communicate, collaborate and connect with patients.
Communication Tools Text reminders
Communication Tools Unified Conversational #AI command & control systems
Consumerism-Related Consumer Loyalty Tools
Consumerism-Related Consumer Tools
Consumerism-Related Cost Transparency Tools
Consumerism-Related Healthcare literacy and advocacy assistance
Consumerism-Related Remote patient monitoring
Cost Reduction Medical devices to augment humans
Cost Reduction Patient flow improvement
Cost Reduction Revenue cycle management
Cost Transparency Cost Transparency Tools
Cost Transparency Medication Cost
Cost Transparency Patient schedule/wait time expectations
Disruption/Innovation Solutions that put the patient voice back into design & security
General Medical Record Documentation
Hospital Analytics for reducing hospital readmission
Hospital Digital outreach for clinical trials
Hospital Services and products that support growth of outpatient services
Multiple Analytics
Multiple CRM platforms
Multiple Physician communication tools
Multiple Populaton health case manager for at risk contract patients
Multiple Telehealth
Multiple Telemedecine video solution
Multiple Text-to-voice
Patient Advocacy On-demand diagnoses and advocacy services
Patient Engagement Cost Transparency Tools
Patient Engagement ‘Healthcare CRM’ tools.
Patient Engagement Patient itineraries/real time patient portal
Patient Engagement Products & services that improve patient communications & engagement
Patient Engagement Tools to enhance brand loyalty
Patient Engagement Tools to weave social media into customer engagement
Patient Experience Having all reports in one place so I can share between docs.
Patient Experience Health technology that creates a VIP like experience for patient
Patient Experience Patient itineraries.
Patient Experience Patient self-scheduling
Patient Experience Portal aggregator
Patient Experience Products to facilitate, track and report for patient interactions with physicians and medical practice
Payer-Prior Auth Prior Authorization
Payer-Prior Auth Voice assistants helping with scheduling
Precision Medicine Precision Medicine
SDOH Call a ride service
SDOH Help support health and improve outcomes by addressing Social Determinants of Health
Tech-API API
Tech-API Solutions that have an #API integration
Tech-Cloud Cloud-based applications
Tech-Data 3rd party data archiving
Tech-Data Patient access to medical records
Tech-Ecosystem Desktop virtualization
Tech-Interoperability Easier transfer of patient information
Tech-Interoperability Systems talk to one another.
Tech-Security Security enhancements for devices and data can reasonably be deployed
Usability-Patient Provider Directory Utility
Usability-Physician Products to help ensure physician, clinical and other user access to software applications
Vendor Selection Professional Services, with staff who REALLY understand what their product can do
Vendors Mentioned Diabetes behavior modification
Vendors Mentioned Helping the Hispanic/Latino community navigate the US healthcare system,
Vendors Mentioned Workflow automation

 

Company Reference by Topic

Topic Vendor Ref Category
T1 @AminoHealth Cost Transparency
T1 @CardiacInsight Cost Reduction
T1 @ClinicSpectrum Cost Reduction
T1 @HealthifyUS Care Gap Identification & Management
T1 @myopennotes General
T1 @practicemax Cost Reduction
T1 @SCIOanalytics Analytics
T1 @solutionreach Communication Tools
T1 @StericycleComms Communication Tools
T2 @CareCognitics Vendors Mentioned
T2 @cerner @lumeris Vendors Mentioned
T2 @CitrixHealth Tech-Ecosystem
T2 @Clara_Health Analytics
T2 @deep6ai Analytics
T2 @DellEMCHealth Tech-Ecosystem
T2 @DXCHealth Tech-Ecosystem
T2 @HolonSolutions Vendors Mentioned
T2 @infloio Vendors Mentioned
T2 @KLASresearch Precision Medicine
T2 @LBSolutions Vendors Mentioned
T2 @spectralink Communication Tools
T2 @spoktweets Communication Tools
T2 @telemediq Communication Tools
T2 @TigerConnect Communication Tools
T2 @voalte Communication Tools
T2 @voceracomm Communication Tools
T2 @wkhealth Analytics
T3 @AminoHealth Vendors Mentioned
T3 @ConsejoSano_US Vendors Mentioned
T3 @LivongoHealth Vendors Mentioned
T3 @Lumeon_ Vendors Mentioned
T3 @PicnicHealth Vendors Mentioned
T3 @solutionreach Analytics
T3 @StericycleComms Communication Tools
T4 @CapGemini General
T4 @OscarHealth Insurance
T4 @salesforce Patient Engagement
T4 @ziparico Patient Engagement
T6 @MEDITECH Vendor Selection

 

The Curated Tweets from the 7/13/18 #HITsm Tweetchat

You can access the curated list of tweets from the 7/13/18 #HITsm Tweetchat here.

Consider joining the #HITsm tweetchat later this week on Friday, 7/20/18 at 9:00am PT where additional topics based on the content shared during last week’s #HITsm chat will be discussed. You can see the topics and details for chat once their posted on the #HITsm chat page later today.

EMR Integration Paying Dividends For All Types of Healthcare Practitioners

Posted on July 17, 2018 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post from the team at Fullscript, a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene. Follow and engage with them on Twitter: @FullscriptHQ

It would not be a stretch to say that EMRs have been both a blessing and curse for healthcare practitioners. There is no doubt that EMRs have improved the safety of care and the mountain of data that has been collected is now powering the renaissance of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare. However, EMRs have also increased the workload on clinicians which in turn has negatively impacted the overall patient experience and has contributed to burnout. It would not be a stretch to say that EMRs have been both a blessing and curse for healthcare practitioners. There is no doubt that EMRs have improved the safety of care and the mountain of data that has been collected is now powering the renaissance of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare. However, EMRs have also increased the workload on clinicians which in turn has negatively impacted the overall patient experience and has contributed to burnout.

To help practitioners, HealthIT vendors need to ensure their products can be:

  • Tightly integrated with EMRs so that data can be shared easily
  • Seamlessly incorporated into existing workflows
  • Tuned to fit the specific needs of the practice

Fullscript, an online e-prescribing platform helps integrative medical practitioners dispense supplements without the need for physical inventory. This saves valuable office space and improves the overall safety of practices. The company offers over 20,000 professional-grade supplements. Key to the company’s success has been the integration of their platform with existing EMRs coupled with their user-friendly workflow features.

Dr. J. E. Williams, a highly respected integrative medicine clinician who treats and revitalizes patients across a spectrum of illness, implemented Fullscript in order to provide his patients with a streamlined experience and to improve the performance of his practice.

Prior to Fullscript, Dr. Williams, used a non-integrated e-prescribing system. That system was difficult to use and his patients frequently complained at how confusing it was. The result was that patients were not filling their scripts and were not following the prescribed regimen. After switching to Fullscript, Dr. Williams could seamlessly e-prescribe what his patients need, directly from within his EMR. In addition, the easy-to-use nature of the system has made it less confusing for patients. The net result is that Dr. Williams has experienced 100% patient compliance by using Fullscript through his EMR.

“I can write a recommendation when a patient is in front of me, or immediately afterwards. ​Patients want to see their recommendation in their inbox right away, and that’s what Fullscript provides. My patients love it.” – Dr. J.E. Williams

Dr Williams is on a mission to bridge complementary as well as alternative therapies with evidence-based clinical science. Although some would see this as controversial, Dr. Williams firmly believes that there is growing evidence of improved patient outcomes when melding ancient wisdom with modern science. The ultimate goal is to use the most efficient therapies with the least side effects for patients.

The success of Dr Williams demonstrates the power of tight integration with EMRs for all types of clinicians. Gone are the days when clinicians had to tolerate clunky stand-alone systems. Today, they can and should expect their HealthIT partners to provide systems that seamlessly integrate with their existing applications.

Fullscript embraces this vision and has worked with over a thousand practitioners just like Dr Williams to provide the ability to e-prescribe nutraceuticals in as little as 4 weeks.

To learn more about Fullscript’s EMR integration or to read more about Dr. Williams, click here.

Healthcare Execs Investing In Intelligent Technologies Face Roadbumps

Posted on July 16, 2018 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

A recent report from Accenture concludes that healthcare executives are enthusiastic about “intelligence technologies” such as AI and IoT. It also suggests, however, that health organizations will need to add new capabilities to be sure they can manage these technologies responsibly.

The report, based on a survey of 100 health executives, found that 77% of respondents expect to invest in IoT and smart sensors and that 53% expect to invest in AI systems.  Presumably, they expect these technologies to offer benefits more quickly.

Why the gap in adoption? The truth is that healthcare leaders haven’t yet gotten their arms around AI just yet. While IoT and smart sensor technology can boost the flexibility and “judgment” of enterprise systems, AI arguably has the potential to be far more flexible and wide-reaching — and ultimately less than predictable.

This unpredictability makes AI investment a bit trickier to implement than other emerging technologies. Just over four-fifths of health leaders said they were not prepared to explain AI-based conclusions to their internal stakeholders nor outsiders.

To address this deficit, 73% said they plan to develop internal ethical standards for AI to make sure these systems can act responsibly. Before that, they’ll need to determine what “acting responsibly” actually means — and as far as I know there are no accepted guidelines for developing such standards. (They might want to start off by reviewing Google’s ethical principles for AI use here.)

Adding AI to the enterprise IT mix could also wreak havoc. I for one was surprised to read that almost one-fourth of respondents said that they had been the target of adversarial AI behaviors, including falsified location data or bot fraud. (This stat blew my mind. Why haven’t we heard more about these “adversarial behaviors” and what are they?)

This certainly adds another element of uncertainty for CIOs interested in AI investments. While AI technologies can’t “think” in the traditional sense, they can create a range of problems previous-gen technology couldn’t.

This is part of a larger picture in which health organizations aren’t sure if their data has been corrupted. In fact, 86% of health execs said they hadn’t yet invested in technologies which could verify their data sources. Adding AI to the mix could potentially compound these problems, as it might create a cascade in which the AI then draws false inferences and takes inappropriate actions.

Meanwhile, respondents were excited about blockchain and smart contracts technology, with 91% reporting that they believed it would be a critical tool for supporting frictionless businesses over the next three years. All told, expect to see IoT and blockchain investments right away, with AI lagging until health IT leaders can teach it to play nicely.

CareSync Shutdown and CareSync Alternatives

Posted on July 13, 2018 I Written By

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

I’ve been watching the shutdown of CareSync a little closer than I do most healthcare IT startup companies. Partially because it happened so quickly and partially because I’m an advisor to CareCognitics which has a CCM (Chronic Care Management – 99490) offering as part of their suite of healthcare loyalty products. So, I’m totally biased in this situation.

With that said, I thought that CareCognitics captured my feelings about CareSync shutting down really well. Here’s an excerpt from their post:

For companies like ours that work in the Chronic Care Management (CCM) space, it was big news this week that CareSync was shutting down their offices and laying off employees. The details of why this happened aren’t clear, but it’s unfortunate that such a well-respected company is shutting down. Our hearts go out to all the employees that lost their jobs and we hope that many of their skills and expertise can find a home at CareCognitics. The work we are doing is too important to let that talent go to waste.

The most heartbreaking part of CareSync shutting down is all of the patients that will miss out on the special care they receive from the CCM program. We see such tremendous opportunity and success with chronic care management and so we hope that CareSync’s customers will continue their chronic care management efforts and possibly even find new opportunities to take them to an even greater level.

Read the full post for more details. Obviously, I think CareCognitics is a good home for CareSync users who are looking to continue their CCM efforts but want to do so in the EHR which they control and will always have access to in the event of issues.

It really is unfortunate that one of the biggest names in the CCM space shutdown. I hope that those that are part of the company will share their learnings with the rest of healthcare since managing chronic conditions is such an important thing for healthcare to become what it needs to become. I know a number of them are going around trying to share what they can with others and I’ve talked to a few myself.

While painful, the good news for CareSync users is that there are plenty of alternative CCM companies out there. It won’t be fun to switch companies, but there are CareSync alternatives. It also seems that the Tampa Bay tech community has rallied to help many of the CareSync employees. That’s a good thing even though I’m sure some will still have challenges ahead as they search for a new job.

Does all of this mean that healthcare organizations should stop working with startup companies?

Of course not. If you’ve ever bought a product from a big company, you know that big companies can shut products down just as easily (and in some cases more easily) than a startup company. However, you should be thoughtful about which startup companies you work with and keep in mind the risks associated with working with startups.

Here are some questions and thoughts you should consider as you buy a product from a startup company. What’s the track record of the founding team? Worry less about how much money they’ve raised and how efficiently they’re using that money. People are expensive and that impacts what those of us in the startup world call burn rate. How much money you’ve raised doesn’t matter if you have too high of a burn rate. The best startup companies learn how to balance this effectively. This is sometimes hard to understand from the outside, but is possible if you dig enough. It’s also one reason why 2nd time entrepreneurs are often more successful. They’ve learned how to manage their burn rate effectively.

Other questions you should consider is “What happens if this company shuts down?” It’s never a bad idea to have a backup plan if things go awry like they did at CareSync. This question is also best asked before selecting a vendor. As CareSync users evaluate new CCM companies, this is a great question to ask. The answer to the question may determine which company you get in bed with for your chronic care management efforts.

Outside partners are essential to a healthcare organizations success. It’s just impossible for a healthcare organization to do 100% of what they need to accomplish in house. This is especially true for larger healthcare organizations. So, finding the right partners needs to be a key part of your strategy. Make sure your strategy includes what will happen if you choose the wrong partner. However, the great thing is that if you choose the right partner, you’ll benefit as that partner grows and enhances what you’re doing over time.

As was mentioned in today’s #HITsm chat, “We’re not buying from a vendor; we’re marrying them.”

Alleviating “Pregnancy Brain” With Appointment Reminders

Posted on July 12, 2018 I Written By

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

Picture this: I’m standing on the tradeshow floor watching as people try to grab as much swag as possible. I’m speaking to someone who really isn’t listening to my spiel because they are only in it for the free pen. Then, I get someone who is fairly interested in our appointment reminder service. Thinking I’ve hooked, lined and sunk them, I am met with a familiar objection: “We don’t need an appointment reminder service for our OBGYN clinic because women, especially pregnant women, don’t forget when their appointments are.”

Thinking back, I wish I knew then what I know now and could have countered that argument with some cold hard facts.

You may have heard about little bouts of forgetfulness during pregnancy. According to most experts, pregnancy does not change a woman’s brain, but some women don’t feel as sharp as usual when they’re pregnant. Although the science is still out on whether “pregnancy brain” is truly myth or reality, being seven months pregnant, I can testify that I am definitely not at the top of my game.

I have to check that I’ve locked the door three times. I forget simple words. I have a hard time remembering anything if I don’t write it down. Of course, I remember that I am due at the doctor once a month (I’m not an animal) and enter the date and time of future appointments into my phone. But between work meetings, presentations, ultrasounds, and other appointments, I inevitably forget when I’m supposed to go in and begin to question myself. Did I write down the date correctly? Did I already miss my appointment?

Every month, this confusion and second guessing always leads me to call my doctor’s office before my appointment to check the appropriate date and time.

What I do know is that this seconding guessing and additional effort could be completely eliminated if my clinic were to provide more patient-focused engagement before my appointments with the help of simple appointment reminders. With so many other things to worry about, I have come to appreciate these gentle reminders from places like my hair stylist, masseuse, and even prenatal class instructor, all of who send me a quick note including the following:

  • Appointment date
  • Appointment time
  • Location
  • Preparation instructions and,
  • Any additional “need to knows.”

Although it may seem like pregnant women would never forget an appointment that has to do with something as pivotal as bringing a child into this world, I can firmly say it happens. And something as simple as an appointment reminder goes a long way to ease a patient’s mind and elevate their overall patient experience. Now if only I could remember the name of the OBGYN clinic from that tradeshow I was at…..

Click here, to learn more about how Stericycle Communication Solutions is helping to create the optimal patient experience through our customized automated messaging solutions.

The Communication Solutions Series of blog posts is sponsored by Stericycle Communication Solutions, a leading provider of high quality answering services, online scheduling solutions, and messaging solutions. 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

Do We Sometimes Make Things Too Complicated?

Posted on July 11, 2018 I Written By

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

I know it’s not Friday yet (when I usually share fun cartoons), but I saw this cartoon shared by Pete Friesen and I couldn’t help but share it.

This parallels really well with this tweet I saw from ePatientDave as well:

Drugs have done amazing things. Look no further than all the lives saved by penicillin. However, sometimes we need to slow things down and consider all of our options (including drugs).

The problem right now is that there’s nothing really slowing things down for doctors and are care providers. Everything seems to just be speeding up.

I had a doctor today proudly share “I’m an internist can see 40 patients with rapid work on EMR side and also complete my MIPs clicks.”

He was trying to compliment his EHR software for working so effectively. However, you have to wonder what kind of care those 40 patients received and what kind of care they could have received if he only had to see 20. I’m not suggesting he gave them bad care, but I’m suggesting that the care would have been better if he only had to see 20 and not 40 patients. The problem is that doing so will cut his pay in half (literally).

This isn’t doctors fault specifically. They want to get paid for the work they do like anyone else. It’s why so many are excited by things like DPC (Direct Primary Care) and value based care. However, in terms of the later many are still skeptical and for good reason. Value based care could mean creating more of a relationship with a patient, but it could also mean more hoop jumping.

Maybe many of our stressed-out care providers could use some canine stress therapy as well.

#HITsm Community Identifies Top 10 Technology Services & Products for Healthcare Stakeholders – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on July 10, 2018 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, 7/13 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Jared Jeffery (@Jk_Jeffery) on the topic of “#HITsm Community Identifies Top 10 Technology Services & Products for Healthcare Stakeholders”

At the beginning of each year, almost every healthcare thought leader, vendor and media company share a list of ‘Top 10 Healthcare Predictions and Trends.’ These lists get a lot of attention but rarely are these lists ever revisited or vetted by those who work in the healthcare industry. Nor are these lists updated or checked back on later in the year.

In an effort to change this pattern and to leverage the wisdom of the #HITsm crowd, the theme of the #HITsm chat on 7/13 will be to identify the healthcare technology services and products they believe are currently important to Healthcare Stakeholders:

1. Physicians & Medical Practices
2. Hospitals & Health Systems
3. Patients, Health Plan Members, Healthcare Consumers & Caregivers
4. Health Plans & Payers

Then, the information shared during the 7/13 chat will be curated to identify the top healthcare technology services and products identified by #HITsm participants. We’ll sort and curate the information shared in the 7/13 chat and then, in the #HITsm chat on 7/20, participants will rank and share their additional, hopefully unbiased, non-commercial insight into specific challenges, issues and opportunities pertaining to each of the healthcare technology services and products shared in the 7/13 chat.

Curated Summary of #HITsm Wisdom

As a unique service for chat participants and the healthcare social sphere in general, the information shared by #HITsm chat participants in the 7/13 and 7/20 chats will be assembled into a document, supplemented with additional information and shared publicly in the weeks following the 7/20 chat.

Reference Information

We hope you’ll attend these two-step #HITsm chat series and share your insight on the following topics:

T1: What are the most promising products and services that PHYSICIANS and MEDICAL PRACTICES may reasonably deploy and use in the next 12-24 months? #HITsm

T2: What are the most promising products and services that HOSPITALS and HEALTH SYSTEMS may reasonably deploy and use in the next 12-24 months? #HITsm

T3: Which products and services offer the most potential value to PATIENTS, HEALTH PLAN MEMBERS, HEALTHCARE CONSUMERS and/or CAREGIVERS over the next 12-24 months? #HITsm

T4: What are the most promising products and services that HEALTH PLANS and PAYERS may reasonably deploy and use in the next 12-24 months? #HITsm

T5: What are the most important considerations for deciding whether to move forward with purchasing and implementing a particular technology-related product or service? #HITsm

Bonus: What would you like to know more about regarding technology-related products and services for healthcare stakeholders? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
Note: The 7/13 & 7/20 #HITsm chats are part of a special two-part #HITsm chat series.
7/20 – #HITsm Community Ranks Top 10 Technology Services & Products for Healthcare Stakeholders
Hosted by Healthcare Scene (@HealthcareScene)

7/27 – Creating Loyalty in Healthcare
Hosted by Sunny Tara (@SunnyTaraVegas) and Janae Sharp (@coherencemed) from @CareCognitics

8/3 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

8/10 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

8/17 – The Cost Savings Opportunities on the Business Side of Healthcare
Hosted by Don Lee (@dflee30) and @CAQH

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.