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More Ways AI Can Transform Healthcare

Posted on April 25, 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.

You’ve probably already heard a lot about how AI will change healthcare. Me too. Still, given its potential, I’m always interested in hearing more, and the following article struck me as offering some worthwhile ideas.

The article, which was written by Humberto Alexander Lee of Tesser Health, looks at ways in which AI tools can reduce data complexity and detect patterns which would be difficult or even impossible for humans to detect.

His list of AI’s transformative powers includes the following:

  • Identifying diseases and providing diagnoses

AI algorithms can predict when people are likely to develop heart disease far more accurately than humans. For example, at Google healthcare technology subsidiary Verily, scientists created an algorithm that can predict heart disease by looking at the back of a person’s eyes and pinpoint early signs of specific heart conditions.

  • Crowdsourcing treatment options and monitoring drug response

As wearable devices and mobile applications mature, and data interoperability improves thanks to standards such as FHIR, data scientists and clinicians are beginning to generate new insights using machine learning. This is leading to customizable treatments that can provide better results than existing approaches.

  • Monitoring health epidemics

While performing such a task would be virtually impossible for humans, AI and AI-related technologies can sift through staggering pools of data, including government intelligence and millions of social media posts, and combine them with ecological, biogeographical and public health information, to track epidemics. In some cases, this process will predict health threats before they blossom.

  • Virtual assistance helping patients and physicians communicate clearly

AI technology can improve communication between patients and physicians, including by creating software that simplifies patient communication, in part by transforming complex medical terminology into digestible information. This helps patients and physicians engage in a meaningful two-way conversation using mobile devices and portals.

  • Developing better care management by improving clinical documentation

Machine learning technology can improve documentation, including user-written patient notes, by analyzing millions of rows of data and letting doctors know if any data is missing or clarification is needed on any procedures. Also, Deep Neural Network algorithms can sift through information in written clinical documentation. These processes can improve outcomes by identifying patterns almost invisible to human eyes.

Lee is so bullish on AI that he believes we can do even more than he has described in his piece. And generally speaking, it’s hard to disagree with him that there’s a great deal of untapped potential here.

That being said, Lee cautions that there are pitfalls we should be aware of when we implement AI. What risks do you see in widespread AI implementation in healthcare?

London Doctors Stage Protest Over Rollout Of App

Posted on April 18, 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.

We all know that doctors don’t take kindly to being forced to use health IT tools. Apparently, that’s particularly the case in London, where a group of general practitioners recently held a protest to highlight their problems with a telemedicine app rolled out by the National Health Service.

The doctors behind the protest are unhappy with the way the NHS structured its rollout of the smartphone app GP at Hand, which they say has created extra work and confusion among the patients.

The service, which is run by UK-based technology company Babylon Health, launched in November of last year. Using the app, patients can either have a telemedicine visit or schedule an in-person appointment with a GP’s office. Telemedicine services are available 24/7, and patients can be seen in minutes in some cases.

GP at Hand seems to be popular with British consumers. Since its launch, over 26,000 patients have registered for the service, according to the NHS.

However, to participate in the service, patients are automatically de-registered from their existing GP office when they register for GP at Hand. Many patients don’t seem to have known this. According to the doctors at the protest, they’ve been getting calls from angry former patients demanding that they be re-registered with their existing doctor’s office.

The doctors also suggest that the service gets to cherry-pick healthier, more profitable patients, which weighs down their practice. “They don’t want patients with complex mental health problems, drug problems, dementia, a learning disability or other challenging conditions,” said protest organizer Dr. Jackie Applebee. “We think that’s because these patients are expensive.” (Presumably, Babylon is paid out of a separate NHS fund than the GPs.)

Is there lessons here for US-based healthcare providers? Perhaps so.

Of course, the National Health Service model is substantially different from the way care is delivered in this country, so the administrative challenges involved in rolling out a similar service could be much different. But this news does offer some lessons to consider nonetheless.

For one thing, it reminds us that even in a system much different than ours, financing and organizing telemedicine services can be fraught with conflict. Reimbursement would be an even bigger issue than it seems to have been in the UK.

Also, it’s also of note that the NHS and Babylon Health faced a storm of patient complaints about the way the service was set up. It’s entirely possible that any US-based efforts would generate their own string of unintended consequences, the magnitude which would be multiplied by the fact that there’s no national entity coordinating such a rollout.

Of course, individual health systems are figuring out how to offer telemedicine and blend it with access to in-person care. But it’s telling that insurers with a national presence such as CIGNA or Humana aren’t plunging into telemedicine with both feet. At least none of them have seen substantial success in their efforts. Bottom line, offering telehealth is much harder than it looks.

Why Physician Practices Need a MIPS Expert on Staff

Posted on April 16, 2018 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Marina Verdara, Sr. Training Specialist for CMS Incentive Programs, Kareo.

Healthcare providers go to school to learn how to care for patients, and that’s what they do best. However, billing processes, performance-based payment adjustments, and payment incentives are typically not included in this education. Being responsible for today’s regulatory complexities and workload may not have been what providers envisioned for their career. And it’s taking a toll. Nearly half of physician practices spend more than $40,000 per full-time physician per year on complying with Medicare payment and incentive programs, according to an MGMA survey. These costs factor in loss of physician productivity and staff training needs, along with IT expenses.

Independent practices must find a way to streamline the CMS incentive program reporting process. One important way to do this is by designating a “MIPS expert” among your staff. This could be your lead clinician or another manager who has oversight of patient encounter documentation.  While 2017 reporting is done, now is the time to specify the MIPS expert so they can ensure compliance throughout all of 2018.  Don’t wait until 2018 is done to specify your MIPS expert.

MIPS Recap

In 2015, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new goals for value-based payments in Medicare that changed your practice’s payment structure. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) introduced a system where providers receive payment based on the value and quality of services provided, not the volume. These changes repealed the Sustainable Growth Rate Formula, streamlined multiple quality reporting programs into MIPS, and provided incentive payments for participation in Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).

HHS made these changes as the first steps to creating a Medicare for healthier people. Their goals are to create a Medicare system that will be here for generations to come while also providing open, flexible, and user-centered health information.

Navigating The System

This sounds like a great plan, right? But, how do you keep up with the frequent MIPS changes and alerts while maintaining a successful private practice?

You need a MIPS expert.

You wouldn’t leave your busy practice in the hands of a mechanic, and you shouldn’t leave your billing and incentive payments in the hands of someone who doesn’t understand MACRA and MIPS. You need an internal staff member who is your MIPS champion. This is the person who can partner with your EHR vendor to ensure that the eligible providers in your practice earn the highest incentive available, as well as avoid any negative penalties. In my role of training practices on implementing a streamlined CMS reporting system, I can tell you that practices with a designated MIPS expert are much more successful and efficient in their MIPS reporting process—and these are the practices that are earning the highest possible score.

Invest in the education and training of your internal MIPS expert so you can be confident that your practice is among the highest earners.

3 Reasons You Need a MIPS Expert at Your Practice

1. A MIPS expert will help maximize your payments. MIPS is all about streamlining your practice to become more efficient in how you diagnose and improve patient outcomes. When you do this well and report your data, you increase your chances of earning a positive payment adjustment.  

Participating in MIPS earns you a payment adjustment according to evidence-based and practice-specific quality data. The better the quality of your data, the better your chances of earning a positive payment adjustment.  

Your MIPS expert will understand the details of the MIPS program. They should be familiar with the activities and measures that are most meaningful to your practice. Your MIPS expert can help your eligible clinicians select measures that best apply to the specialty to prove their performance and maximize their payments.

2. A MIPS expert will be your education partner. This staff member should stay educated and informed of the latest regulatory details. Here at Kareo, we notify eligible clinicians and the designated MIPS expert of ongoing education opportunities. These are offered on a set schedule and as needed with new changes to MACRA and MIPS.

3. A MIPS expert will mobilize your practice staff and clinicians. To successfully meet MIPS requirements, the entire practice needs to be engaged. The MIPS expert can partner up with your EHR vendor to ensure that eligible clinicians in your practice understand the MIPS requirements and know how to navigate through the system. In this process, your practice can identify areas where any given workflow should be modified to earn the highest possible score and receive maximum payment for the great care they deliver.

Resources for Your MIPS Expert

As we mentioned above, MIPS experts at independent practices must stay up to date on all MIPS alerts and resources available to you through the Quality Payment Program. They should take time to educate themselves, understand changes, and read all alerts provided by Medicare or by their EHR vendors.

Your MIPS expert should be able to find an education partner using one or both of these paths:   

  1. Your Regional Extension Center: Contact them to ask questions and get connected with a MIPS education partner.
  2. Your Electronic Health Record company: As an example, Kareo has MIPS training specialists who can partner with your MIPS expert to help maximize payments, stay up to date on the latest changes, and provide support. We have training sessions and ideas for implementation of new workflow processes.  

Don’t be intimidated by the complexity of MIPS. Take time to designate a MIPS expert on your staff and get them connected to their education partner today.

About Marina Verdara
Marina is a Sr. Training Specialist guiding Kareo customers to higher levels of success with their CMS Incentive Program reporting, including MIPS and Meaningful Use. Marina has over seven years of experience working directly with several hundred small practice clinicians on a variety of projects specializing on CMS Incentive programs such as Meaningful Use, PQRS, and MACRA. Kareo is a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene.

How to Evolve Healthcare Conferences in the 21st Century – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on April 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 4/13 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Steve Sisko (@shimcode) on the topic of “How to Evolve Healthcare Conferences in the 21st Century”.

The general purpose of a conference is to bring people together in one place where they can discover and share information, insight and ideas on a specific theme. And then, hopefully, leave the event with energy and focus. Our brains can only take in a limited number of stimuli at any given time. With 1000’s and even 10’s of 1000’s of attendees – and 100’s or as many as 1,000 exhibitors at some events – today’s conference attendee can easily end up leaving a conference exhausted and overwhelmed.

But what really makes a good conference? Is it the content itself? The people who present the content? The location and venue of the conference? The atmosphere of the conference? The social events and opportunities for networking? Or something else?

Like with everything in life, different individuals have different needs and wants. And with advancements in presentation, collaboration and communication technologies, there are new options for enhancing and extending the conference experience. With an ever-increasing number of conferences, forums and events throughout the year, conference organizers MUST evolve if they want their events to remain relevant.

The purpose of this tweetchat is to share information and personal experience as to what constitutes a ‘good conference’ and offer ideas for addressing and improving the various elements that make up a conference.

A Little Reference Material

  1. Top Event Tech Trends for 2018: http://www.tsnn.com/blog/top-event-tech-trends-2018
  2. How Technologies Shape the Future of Medical Conferences: http://medicalfuturist.com/how-technologies-shape-the-future-of-medical-conferences/
  3. How to Plan and Run A Great Conference Experience: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/08/plan-and-run-a-great-conference
  4. 7 Secrets of Awe-Inspiring Events: https://www.studionorth.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/7-Secrets-of-Awe-Inspiring-Events.pdf

Note: For the purpose of this chat, “content” means any and all materials created, curated or otherwise originating from the organizers of a conference and the vendor exhibitors, speakers, panelists and others involved with a conference event.

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat as we discuss the following:

T1: What can conference organizers do to provide tangible value to conference registrants – and those considering registering for the conference – BEFORE the event starts? #HITsm

T2: What are some of the most interesting and useful ways you’ve seen conference speakers and panelists share information to, or interact with, conference attendees? #HITsm

T3: What technology-based approaches can conference organizers and exhibitors use to create new or enhance existing opportunities for content identification, acquisition, and dissemination? #HITsm

T4: How can those physically attending a conference and those ‘following along remotely’ originate, share and/or discuss conference-related content? #HITsm

T5: What can conference organizers and exhibitors do to provide additional value to conference attendees and others AFTER the conference is over? #HITsm

Bonus: What are some of worst examples of a conference organizer ‘dropping the ball’ that you’ve ever experienced or heard about? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
4/20 – The Power of Story
Hosted by @DesignInHealth (led by Kijana-Knight Torres), Burt Rosen (@burtrosen), and the #WTFix team

4/27 – TBD
Hosted by Erica Johansen (@thegr8chalupa)

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.

Hospital Recycling Bins May Contain Sensitive PHI

Posted on April 6, 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 group of Canadian researchers studying hospitals information security practices found that hospital recycling bins contained a substantial amount of PHI.

The researchers, who summarized their findings in a letter published in JAMA, spent two years collecting materials from the recycling bins at five teaching hospitals in Toronto. The “recycling audit,” which took place November 2014 and May 2016, included­­­­ data for inpatient and outpatient care settings, emergency departments, physician offices and ICUs.

When they did their audit, the researchers found more than 2,600 items which contained personally identifiable information, including 1,885 items related to medical care. The majority of the items containing PHI (65%) had been created by medical groups.

Their audit also found that the most common locations at which they found particularly sensitive patient-identifiable information for physician offices (65%) and inpatient wards (19%).

The most commonly-found items included patient-identifiable information included clinical notes, medical reports (30%), followed by labels and patient identifiers (14%). Other items which contained PHI included diagnostic test results, prescriptions, handwritten notes, requests and communications, and scheduling materials.

According to the researchers, each of the five hospitals they audited had policies in place to protect PHI, along with secure shredding containers for packaging up private information. That being said, they guessed that as the hospitals transitioned to EHRs, they were discarding a high volume of paper records and losing control of how they were handled.

I don’t know what the EHR adoption rate is in Canada, but nearly all U.S. hospitals already have an EHR in place, so on first glance, it might appear that this couldn’t happen here. After all, once a hospital has digitized records, one would think the only way hospitals would expose PHI would be when someone deliberately steals data.

But the truth is, a great deal of hospital business still gets done on paper, and it seems likely that one could find a significant number of documents with PHI on them in U.S. recycling bins. (If someone was willing to do the dirty work, there might be a meaningful amount of PHI found in regular garbage cans as well.)

What I take away from this is that hospitals need to have stiffer policies in place to protect against paper-based security breaches. It may be time for hospital administrators to pay closer attention to this problem.

Cybersecurity Lapses Might Be Killing Patients

Posted on April 4, 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.

Nobody would argue that data breaches are good for patients. After all, health data management is challenging enough without having to deal with outside attacks. But could they actually be killing patients? One researcher argues that this is indeed happening.

According to research by Dr. Sung Choi of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, hospital data breaches are linked to more than 2,100 patient deaths per year.

One key reason for this phenomenon is that data breaches create distractions for doctors which can extend far beyond the actual incident. This seems to be associated with an increase in patient mortality rates, he said. He also noted that it can be costly for hospitals to address images created by the data breach, which may divert resources better spent in patient care.

What’s more, breaches trigger a whirlwind of administrative activities, including remediation efforts, regulatory increase in litigation in the years that follow. This presents yet another distraction from focusing on care delivery.

To conduct his analysis, Dr. Choi used data from CMS and HHS, comparing patient care data at hospitals that have and have not experienced a data breach. He found that there were 305 hospital breaches between 2012 and 2016, exposing 14 million records.

One of the metrics Dr. Choi reviewed was the proportion of who died within 30 days of being heart attack patients who die within 30 days after being admitted to hospital. He found that this rate increased by 0.23% with one year after the breach, and by 0.36% two years after the breach. This adds up to an additional 2,160 additional patient deaths each year, he said.

What’s more, hospitals that experienced a health data breach took far longer to administer an ECG to newly-admitted patients, the data analysis concluded.

It’s worth noting that this phenomenon is not well documented as of yet. While data breaches are clearly correlated with some additional patient deaths, Dr. Choi seems to concede that he hasn’t found a direct causal relationship between breaches and mortality across the board.

Still, it stands to reason that cybersecurity problems would have some impact on patient care quality. Now that we’re armed with this data, we have even more compelling reasons to avoid breaches. Let’s hope that the hospital industry’s track record on health data security improves in the near future.

Apple’s Full-Court Move Into Healthcare – Game Changer or Flash In the Pan? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on April 3, 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, 4/6 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Joe Babaian (@JoeBabaian) on the topic of “Apple’s Full-Court Move Into Healthcare – Game Changer or Flash In the Pan?”.

The past week has been filled with excitement about @Apple’s move into healthcare. For the followers of #HITsm, #hcldr & #HITMC this has been one of our top topics! We all care about access and ownership of our healthcare data in a coherent and interoperable way. We hang on the various new initiatives, promises, and false starts offering the opportunity to finally pull all this together.

Apple has laid down the gauntlet: @chrissyfarr writing for @CNBC “Apple’s plan to put health records on your phone has huge implications for medicine”

  • Apple announced on that it has expanded its health records product to 40 health systems and 300 hospitals, and it’s opening it up to all iOS users.
  • “Doctors put patients in charge,” Apple’s news release reads.
  • “We view the future as consumers owning their own health data,” Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, said in a recent interview with CNBC.


The reaction has been enormous:

  • Apple is changing the game, breaking the mold.
  • Apple is hyping a partial measure to a select group only within a walled garden.
  • Apple is laying the groundwork for flipping the paradigm going forward.
  • Apple is promoting Apple.

These are just some of the comments I’ve been hearing. In some ways, the reaction is almost political and veers away from sober reckoning and gets close to Apple “fanboys” vs. everyone else. This isn’t the approach we should take during a time of disruption – we must dive more deeply and look for the pros and cons while putting aside our preconceived notions. With a powerful foundation, Apple is one of the few organizations with the ability to pull something like this off – both logistically (40 systems / 300 hospitals!) and technologically. By this same token, Apple has been known to embrace their own vision and expect everyone else to do the same – right or wrong.

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat as we discuss the following:

T1: How is Apple’s plan for health records truly altruistic and game-changing or just a flash in the pan? #HITsm

T2: How might Apple’s entry into 40 systems & 300 hospitals make this effort successful by the very nature of the massive roll out? #HITsm

T3: Why have so many other health record / access initiatives with similar goals failed to catch fire and truly succeed? #HITsm

T4: What will be needed for Apple’s push to reach the majority of patients in an effective way? Or is this impossible? #HITsm

T5: What will you do when presented with an iPad upon admission and instructions for using your iPhone for total access to your health records and care? #HITsm

Bonus: Does it matter if the solution for health records and data lives on iOS or Android? Shouldn’t we all get behind what works with the right vision versus looking to pick things apart? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
4/13 – How to Evolve Healthcare Conferences in the 21st Century
Hosted by Steve Sisko (@shimcode)

4/20 – TBD
Hosted by Burt Rosen (@burtrosen) and the #WTFix team

4/27 – 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.

Cybersecurity Report Card:  Better Performance, But Not Great

Posted on March 29, 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 new research report from HIMSS has concluded that while healthcare organizations are improving their cybersecurity programs, there’s still a number of things they could do better.

The study drew on responses from 239 health information security professionals. Their responses were gathered from December 2017 to January 2018. While respondents came from a number of settings, the largest number (31.5%) were with hospitals, multi-hospital systems or integrated delivery networks.

One key point made by the study was that significant security incidents are projected to continue to grow in number, complexity and impact. That’s reflected by responses from survey participants, 75.7% of whom said that their organizations experienced a significant security incident in the past 12 months.

The top threat actors attacking these organizations included online scam artists deploying phishing and spear phishing attacks (37.6%), followed by negligent insiders (20.8 %) or hackers (20.1%). In many cases, the initial point of security compromise was by email. Time it took to discover the incident included less than 24 hours (47.1%), one to two days (13.2%) and 3 to 7 days (7.4%).

Despite these risks, and the effort required to protect their data, healthcare organizations with cybersecurity programs are improving their performance. They’re devoting more resources to those programs (55.8% of current IT budgets), responding to problems identified by regular risk assessments (with 83.1% adopting new and improved security measures in the wake of those assessments) and regularly conducting penetration testing and security awareness training.

On the other hand, HIMSS found that most healthcare organizations, cybersecurity programs still need improvement. For example, staffers face major obstacles in remediating and mitigating security incidents, particularly having too few cybersecurity personnel on board and a lack of financial resources. HIMSS also noted that educating and testing “human components” for security vulnerabilities is critical, but may not be included in many efforts.

In some cases, organizations don’t have formal insider threat management programs. While many respondents (44.9%) said they do have insider threat management programs and policies in place, another 27% said those programs were informal. And 24.2% said their organization had no insider threat management program at all.

In addition, risk assessments vary widely across the industry. Popular sources used to gather cyber threat intelligence include US CERT alerts and bulletins (60%) and HIMSS resources (53.8%), but many others are used as well.

The net of all of this seems to be that while healthcare organizations have gotten smarter where cybersecurity is concerned, they need to invest more in specialized personnel, improve staff training, remediation and risk assessments and stay alert. As the number of attacks continues to grow, nothing else will get the job done.

What is Patient – Centric Care? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on March 27, 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, 3/30 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Linda Stotsky (@EMRAnswers).

There was a lot of discussion about patient-centric care at #HIMSS18. What is it? Have we changed our approach to patient-centric design and communication?

Enabling patients to feel respected, valued as a person, is a multi-faceted task that involves more than HIPAA compliance. “Being treated with dignity and being involved in decisions are independently associated with positive outcomes”, according to a 2005 abstract in the Annals of Family Medicine. We talk about best practice guidelines and principals, yet how far have we come in the last 13 years since that statement was released?

Patient-centric care is defined as “respectful of and responsive” of individual patient preferences, needs and values. These values guide shared decision making, communication and treatment options, balancing clinical knowledge with patients’ wants, needs, and opinions. There is no “one size fits all” approach.

Patient-centric healthcare changes the paradigm from information and interactions that emanate with the provider, to information and interactions that begin and end with the patient, respecting his/her cultural values, practices and autonomy. Processes of care, progress and prognosis, plus an ability to recognize and respond to a patient empathically, communicate a desire to understand the patient perspective.

Do our present systems limit involvement from a time perspective?  Are we too busy clicking data boxes that we forget to pull away from the screen to engage in a two-way discussion?

Key patient-centered principals include:

  • Respect for the patient voice
  • Care coordination
  • Educational resources
  • Physical and emotional support (empathy)
  • Patient Safety
  • Access to all aspects of care (data, physical access, and communication)

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat as we discuss the following:

T1: What is a persistent patient centric approach? #HITsm

T2: Why are we still struggling to meet the educational needs of all patients? #HITsm

T3: How can we close the gaps in care management? #HITsm

T4: Who should carry the patient-centric care flag and lead the progress forward? Payers? DPC? HC Orgs? #HITsm

T5: What are a few “short wins” we can do NOW to improve patient-centric care? #HITsm

Bonus: What do you do when you experience care that is less than patient centric? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
4/6 – Apple’s Full-Court Move Into Healthcare – Game Changer or Flash In the Pan?
Hosted by Joe Babaian (@JoeBabaian)

4/13 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

4/20 – TBD
Hosted by Burt Rosen (@burtrosen) and the #WTFix team

4/27 – 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.

“I Don’t Want to Be Portal’d” – The Need for Untethered Patient Portals

Posted on March 23, 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.

Always great when people who work in healthcare IT bumped into it in their own personal lives. That’s what makes this tweet from Steven Posnak so interesting:

For those not familiar with Steven Posnak, he’s the Director of the Office of Standards and Technology at ONC. He’s very familiar with these challenges on a policy level and now he’s gotten a first hand look on a personal level. I think most patients understand the idea of being portal’d.

One great thing about Steven Posnak’s tweet was that it inspired Arien Malec to share this tweetstorm about the need for an untethered patient portal:

This is some great analysis of why we have tethered portals today. I don’t see EHR vendors ever fully committing to an untethered portal and public API for all portal functions. Can you see it happening? I can’t. The future of healthcare portals is tethered portals, until we leapfrog way past it.