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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 7/20/17 #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.

How e-Prescribing Features Improve Your Practice Life

Posted on July 9, 2018 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Dr. Tom Giannulli, CMIO at Kareo.

e-Prescribing, the process of electronically fulfilling a medication prescription directly from your practice, is far from new. In fact, this service has been around long enough that the majority of patients have come to expect the convenience that accompanies it.

Most private practices are using some type of medical software that aids in the e-Prescribing process. Some may have incorporated said software because they felt obligated, but others have realized that an integrated software solution can do more than help meet the requirements for the meaningful use electronic health record (EHR) initiative.

They recognize that it may also help to improve their practice.

As the clinical leader for an electronic health record (EHR) vendor serving independent practices, I can attest that Kareo’s cloud-based software is designed with the intent to improve the unique needs of the private practice. The changes in regulations and requirements might mean you should change the way you practice, but it doesn’t have to reduce the personal connection between patients and their providers.

Improve Upon Value-Based Care

Value-based care is driven by data and has required practices to become more efficient and effective in order to reduce overall healthcare costs.

Without the automated support that accompanies e-prescribing, compiling the number of required reports could become overwhelming and significantly reduce your efficiency. Our software can make compiling this data with accurate reports both simple and manageable, which saves you valuable time. It makes tracking the quality metrics related to drug compliance much easier, but it’s also tracking quality by:

  • Helping to reduce your liability with legible prescriptions
  • Improving upon prescription accuracy
  • Reducing medication errors
  • Improving upon patient compliance
  • Monitoring fraud and abuse from duplicate prescriptions

Having an automated perspective on drug interactions and prescription history at your fingertips allows you to focus on measures that improve preventative care. This global perspective on each patient’s individual treatment can potentially reduce abuse and readmissions.

Leverage a “Heads Up” Philosophy

You won’t hear many, if any, physicians state that they chose medicine for the abundance of paperwork.

The time EHR can save on administrative tasks provides the physician with more time to do what they enjoy—care for their patients. Patients often choose a practice because they want that personal connection with their physician. Someone who knows their story, and is aware of their health history. Most patients don’t enjoy waiting while the physician is writing notes, asking them to repeat their medical history, or trying to find the correct button on the computer. This won’t help to increase patient satisfaction, and gain patient loyalty. With the information right in front of you, you have more time to devote to quality communication, which gains your patient’s trust.

There are several secondary key benefits to practicing “Heads Up” Medicine with e-prescribing that help improve the patient experience by devoting your attention to your patient, not your computer. You’re still getting the essential information with an easy method of information collection by pointing and clicking.

  • Reviewing key points and a simple question and answer interview can help you build your narrative.
  • Your EHR is accessible on a mobile device, such an IPad, and not just on a website
  • You don’t have to spend the extra time typing the narrative in each time and starting from scratch.

Save Significant Time

Time is valuable to you, and your patients. The time saved with automated support does more than make your patients happy by getting them in and out of their visit quicker, it also shows that you respect their time.

Less time waiting and more time with their providers often results in better patient satisfaction. Word of mouth is often the most effective form of marketing and satisfied patients refer new patients to help you continue to grow your business.

Our software takes care of the bulk of your work with chart, bill and fill to reduce administrative tasks and improve your workflow. It helps you write the note, ensures that you get the billing codes correct and fills the prescription and orders lab work. This allows you to improve your workflow by:

  • Getting the billing done quickly and accurately to expedite payment
  • Allowing you to see more patients in the same amount of time
  • Helping you gain a better balance between your work and personal life to reduce the risk of burnout
  • Making sure your patients don’t leave because of extended wait times

Maintain a Personal Connection

Engaging more with your clients can foster patient satisfaction and loyalty to your practice. Your patients want compassionate care provided and human interaction, and you can leverage this “heads up” philosophy with the simple solutions offered in EHR software to manage the bulk of your administrative work.

Seek out technology and service solutions to improve your practice, increase patient satisfaction and provide you with more time to focus on priorities to aid in the growth of your practice, rather than being burdened with administrative tasks. Because you chose to work in private practice for the patients, not the paperwork.

About Tom Giannulli, MD, MS
Tom Giannulli, MD, MS, is the chief medical information officer at Kareo, a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene. He is a respected innovator in the medical technology arena with more than 15 years of deep experience in mobile technology and medical software development. 

Is Amazon Ready To Protect Patient Data?

Posted on July 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.

Late last month, a Connecticut woman found out that a third-party Amazon vendor she had done business with had exposed her personal medical data to the world, including her medical conditions, along with her name, birthdate and emergency contact information.

The story suggests that Amazon engaged in a bit of bureaucratic foot shuffling when called on the privacy lapse. According to the woman, an Amazon call center rep told her it would investigate the issue, but a further email told her they would not be able to release the outcome of this investigation. It’s little wonder she wasn’t satisfied.

Ultimately, it appears that she was only able to get immediate action once she contacted the third-party seller, which took the photos containing the information down promptly upon her request.

Though no small matter for the woman involved, the episode means little for the future of Amazon, in and of itself. However, it does suggest that the marriage of Amazon technology and healthcare data may pose unexpected problems.

For those who have been sleeping under a rock, in late June Amazon announced that it had acquired online pharmacy PillPack for what reports say was just under $1 billion. PillPack, which competes with services delivered by giants like CVS, lets users buy their meds in pre-made doses. News stories suggest that Amazon beat out fellow retail giant Walmart in making the buy, which should close the second half of this year.

Without a doubt, this was a banner day in the history of Amazon, which has officially stamped into healthcare in 10-ton boots. The deal could not only mark the beginning of new era for the retailer, but also the healthcare industry, which hasn’t yet seen a tech company take a lead in any consumer-facing healthcare business.

That being said, perhaps a more important question for readers of this publication is how it will manage data generated by PillPack, a store likely to grow exponentially as Amazon integrates the online pharmacy into its ecosystem.

While there are obviously many good things its staggering fulfillment and logistics capabilities can bring to PillPack, Amazon’s otherwise amazing systems weren’t built to protect patient health information.

When it comes to most any other company, I’d imagine these problems could be addressed by layering HIPAA-compliant technologies and policies over its existing infrastructure. However, given the widely distributed nature of its retail network, it’s not just a matter of rethinking some architecture. Sealing off health data could require completely transforming its approach to doing business. Just about every retail transaction could prove a chink in its armor.

Since it wasn’t itself required to meet HIPAA standards in this instance, Amazon won’t get any flack from regulators over the recent PHI exposure. Still, issues like this could undercut the trust it needs to integrate PillPack into its core business successfully.

If nothing else, Amazon had better put a strong PHI protection policy in place on its retail side. Otherwise, it could undermine the business it just spent almost $1 billion to buy.