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The Cost Savings Opportunities on the Business Side of Healthcare – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on August 14, 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, 8/17 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Don Lee (@dflee30) and @CAQH on the topic of “The Cost Savings Opportunities on the Business Side of Healthcare“.

Progress on the Journey to Automate the Business of Healthcare

Next time you’re in the doctor’s office, take note of what the administrative staff is doing behind the reception desk.

For every patient, the staff needs to know if he or she has an active health insurance policy, if it will reimburse for the specific services the doctor provides and the deductibles or copays to determine the patient’s bill. After the patient leaves, the staff submits the claim and may continue to follow up to make sure it gets paid.

Complicating their job, not every patient has the same insurance plan, let alone the same insurance company. That makes it easy to imagine how the doctor’s office could become a chaotic logjam without some uniformity in how all these processes are accomplished from one health plan to another. But, all in all, this system works pretty well, doesn’t it?

This is because leaders on the business side of healthcare began collaborating more than 10 years ago to crack the code on interoperability. They hammered out rules of the road that, in combination with other efforts, have accelerated the use of automation and brought uniformity to routine processes — like figuring out if you owe a copay.

But the journey from slower and costlier manual processes – like phone, fax and mail – to interoperable, or automated, machine-to-machine processes is far from complete. We know this because our co-host, @CAQH, tracks the progress of this journey through the CAQH Index.

The most recent CAQH Index found that progress has not only slowed, but on some important measures the industry has actually lost ground and a savings opportunity of $11.1 billion remains. Since healthcare providers have historically been slower to implement and use automated processes than health plans, the vast majority of the savings is available to medical providers ($7.5 billion) and dentists ($2 billion).

The CAQH Index takes into account the cost of common business processes for each stakeholder and the number they conduct each year to determine the greatest savings opportunities for medical and dental health plans and providers. We’ll be talking about that in the #HITsm chat with co-host @dflee30, a Health IT expert who recently interviewed CAQH researchers about the report.

For a short time, there’s still time to participate in the 2018 CAQH Index study. Every data contribution helps to make the Index more complete. Email explorations@caqh.org for information on how your organization can help.

Download a complimentary copy of the 2017 CAQH Index or use the savings calculator to estimate your organization’s savings at www.caqhindex.org and check out Don’s recent podcast.

So, without further ado, here are the various topics and questions we’ll be discussing for this week’s #HITsm chat.

Topics for this week’s #HITsm Chat:
T1: #Healthcare administrative costs have been projected to reach $315 billion by this year. What are some of the sources of these excessive admin costs? #hitsm

T2: Why is it important to track progress related to admin costs? #hitsm

T3: What are some barriers the #healthcare industry faces in reducing admin costs? #hitsm

T4: What can the #healthcare industry do to overcome these barriers and achieve significant cost savings? #hitsm

T5: How is the emerging #valuebased payment model impacting #healthcare administration and operations? #hitsm

Bonus: What are other growing #healthcare administration and operations trends and how might they impact healthcare admin costs? #hitsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
8/24 – The Role of Technology in Chronic Disease Management
Hosted by Colton Ortolf (@ColtonOrtolf)

8/31 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

9/7 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

9/14 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

9/21 – Human Centered Design in Healthcare #PatientsMatter
Hosted by Jen Horonjeff (@jhoronjeff) from @Savvy_Coop

9/28 – TBD
Hosted by Niko Skievaski @niko_ski from @redox

10/5 – 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.

Seema Verma Calls for the End of Fax in Healthcare – Here’s The Real Problem

Posted on August 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.

In case you missed it, CMS Administrator, Seema Verma challenged the audience at the Interop Forum hosted by ONC to “make every doctor’s office fax free by 2020.” Many in healthcare celebrated this challenge with statements like the following:

“It is inconceivable that providers still rely on technology that should have faded away at least 10 years ago.”

Statements like this make it seem like doctors and other healthcare leaders are luddites that are holding on to their fax machine out of some principal. They make it sound like healthcare professionals love their fax machines. Let me assure you that neither thing is the case. The reason faxes are so prominent in healthcare is a complex issue. However, the core problem is that there’s no better solution.

Everyone calls for the end of faxes in healthcare. The problem with this is that when you slam faxes, you’re slamming the most interoperable piece of healthcare. That’s sad, but true.

Faxes aren’t the problem. The lack of better solutions is the problem. So, instead of slamming fax machines, we should better understand the qualities that make faxes the interoperability choice of healthcare.

Here’s a look at why fax is so common in healthcare:
Faxes are HIPAA Compliant – The reality is that case law and other HHS comments have declared Faxes to be HIPAA compliant. That’s not to say that faxes are secure. We could talk over whether it’s secure or not and even edge cases where it’s still not HIPAA compliant. However, what’s clear to everyone in healthcare is that you can fax PHI and there’s no HIPAA violation. At least that’s the perception and how people treat it in action. This is a powerful idea that can’t be understated. Perceptions deeply influence people’s behaviors. Especially in risk-averse doctors’ offices.

Published Fax Numbers – Every practice has a fax machine and they all publish their fax number on their website. Thanks to Google, there’s basically an online directory where I can search any doctor and find their fax number.

Faxes Are Standard – Unlike so many other healthcare interoperability standards, every fax machine knows how to call and talk with another fax machine. There’s no need to ask what version or flavor of the fax standard you are using. There’s no need to ask where you’re storing certain information. Every fax uses the same standard and delivers the same result regardless of organization.

Every Practice Has a Fax Workflow In most cases, practices have their fax machines integrated directly into their EHR. Regardless, they all have some workflow that gets from the fax machine to the provider. Don’t underestimate the power of this workflow.

Faxes are Free – Ok, this has evolved a little over the years as healthcare organizations have moved to secure fax and fax servers which might charge a monthly fee. However, faxes are relatively cheap and have a known cost structure behind them. In many cases, it’s a cost that’s already been incurred. There’s no incremental cost to send more faxes.

That’s a pretty compelling feature set and I’m sure I’ve missed something. If healthcare provided a solution that offered all of these things, healthcare organizations would happily take this replacement. Plus, a replacement could and should do things that faxes don’t do like granular data.

However, direct messaging taught us a really important lesson about granular data which also highlights why fax machines are still so popular and direct messaging is not. Machines love granular data. That’s why machines are ok with a massive CCDA document that’s chock full of data. However, those CCDA documents are almost impossible for a human to read and cause doctors to say that CCDA is an abomination that doesn’t improve care. They’re right if you’re talking about a human reading a CCDA.

Humans need healthcare documentation designed for humans! Leave the XML health data files to machines.

When you understand this idea, it’s easy to see why doctors still love to receive faxed notes and hate CCDAs. Faxed notes are generally human-readable documents (EHR note bloat aside). CCDAs are not. The ideal solution is that we could have both. We just haven’t gotten there yet, but we could get there if we could overcome many of the other compelling fax features listed above.

What About Patients?
There’s a common problem we have when discussing technology in healthcare. Healthcare is so complex that we often confuse various uses of the same technology. The fax machine is a great example. All of the above analysis was how healthcare providers use a fax machine to communicate with other healthcare providers and other healthcare organizations. All of these entities have a fax machine and know how to use it. This is why the fax is a compelling option in healthcare. However, when you add the patient to the mix, it changes the equation.

Many of the people who want to ax the fax are talking about it from the perspective of a patient. That’s a totally different equation than the one described above. Many patients don’t have fax machines anymore and they’re unlikely to ever get one. It’s not unreasonable to say that healthcare should abolish trying to fax healthcare information to patients. A fax is rarely the best workflow for a patient. Healthcare providers should consider patient-friendly options.

When talking about faxing, we need to separate the discussion of patient interoperability and provider interoperability. They are very different beasts and not separating them confuses the discussion.

Conclusion
All in all, Seema Verma can call for the end of fax until she’s blue in the face. Until there’s an alternative that’s better than the fax, we’re not going to see faxes out of healthcare. It’s no inconceivable or even ridiculous that healthcare organizations continue to use the best workflow they can find for their organization. In many cases today that workflow is the fax. Once that equation changes, every healthcare provider I know will change. I’ve never met a single provider that’s nostalgic for faxes. They hate them as much as the next person but don’t see a better option.

Of course, as Ed Gaines pointed out on Twitter, Seema may want to start by taking a good look in the mirror. How about CMS stops using fax as the only option for some of the things they do? Once CMS abolishes faxes from their organization, that will give her a more powerful platform to call on the rest of healthcare to do the same. Unfortunately, I think Seema will quickly realize that there’s a reason that faxes are still so popular, there’s nothing better.

If Seema does away with faxes in healthcare, she’ll be doing away with the only form of nationwide healthcare interoperability that we have today. What’s going to replace it?

What Does It Take to Be a Successful Healthcare Entrepreneur? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on August 7, 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, 8/10 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Michael Dermer (@michaelgdermer) and Victoria Sherman (@VictoriaShrman) on the topic of “What Does It Take to Be a Successful Healthcare Entrepreneur?“.

Michael Dermer is an entrepreneur, speaker, lawyer and founder/author of The Lonely Entrepreneur. Michael is considered the founder of not only a company, but an industry – rewarding individuals for healthy behavior. Michael left a promising law career to start IncentOne, the first company to provide rewards for healthy behavior. At the time, rewards in healthcare were not only non-existent – they were offensive. He was told over and over “we will never reward people for things they should be doing to be healthy.”

After bootstrapping for a decade, his company received a large private equity investment on October 15, 2008. They had arrived. It should have been a time for celebration. Then the financial crisis hit. Ten years were gone in ten days. Bankrupt customers. Investment gone. Credit dead. Family dollars at risk. Angry investors. Family relationships on the brink. It would take two years of working 24 hours a day to save what took ten years to build. The perfect storm.

It was doomed. Or was it? Today, health rewards are everywhere, he sold IncentOne to industry innovator Welltok and his company is credited with creating the health rewards industry. What resulted was not only a business success, but the discovery of unique intelligence on how to thrive under the pressure, chaos and burden of being the entrepreneur. The Lonely Entrepreneur was born. It is now their mission is to unlock the potential of entrepreneurs worldwide by turning the passion and pressure we all feel into success.

So, without further ado, here are the various topics and questions we’ll be discussing for this week’s #HITsm chat.

Topics for this week’s #HITsm Chat:
T1: In today’s hypercompetitive world passion & grit aren’t enough, we must develop the skills and mindset to be a better entrepreneur each day. From managing the chaos to generating revenue to standing out from the crowd. What does it mean to be a successful entrepreneur? #HITsm

T2: Great products & services should be enough, you have to be adept at creating ‘leverage’ to make healthcare customers move quickly. Leverage is an important skill for winning business in healthcare. What are some of the ways to leverage winning in business? #HITsm

T3: You have to use your entrepreneurial creativity to find a niche, a ‘playground’ where you are the only one playing. How do you beat your competition by finding playgrounds where no one else is playing? #HITsm

T4: Health plans, health systems, pharma companies, employers are all very different animals. But chasing every customer means you’re bouncing all over without understanding your market. What are some of the unique value propositions for EACH of these healthcare entities? #HITsm

T5: The healthcare industry is full of well-entrenched, well-funded competitors. And buyers have little mindshare for the difference between products so you need to position your company in order to have success. Why is positioning more important than product and what are some ways to position your product/service? #HITsm

Bonus: If your company is struggling or not progressing as quickly as you would like, what are some of the things you can do to turn in around (i.e. pivot?) #HITsm

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

8/24 – The Role of Technology in Chronic Disease Management
Hosted by Colton Ortolf (@ColtonOrtolf)

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.

HIPAA Security Infographic

Posted on August 6, 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.

There are a lot of nuances to HIPAA. Hopefully, you’ve addressed them as part of your security risk analysis and any mitigation work that’s required as part of that analysis. Unfortunately, even an organization that does a solid HIPAA security risk analysis often doesn’t communicate what was done in that analysis to the rest of the organization.

With this in mind, I found this HIPAA security infographic by eFax to be valuable for those that aren’t deep in the nuances of HIPAA, but that want a quick overview of some common HIPAA issues that they should know about.

Healthcare Security Humor – Fun Friday

Posted on August 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.

After Mike Semel’s recent post on embarrassment, career suicide, or jail, it may seem a bit ironic to offer some healthcare security humor. That’s exactly why we think it’s good to share some healthcare security humor. We love irony and we often have to remember that what we do is extremely serious, but we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously. Plus, humor can often get a point across in a way that is extremely memorable. That’s how I felt when I saw the healthcare security cartoon below:

This cartoon reminds me of the hospital CIO who told me “I’m most concerned with the 21,000 security vulnerabilities that existed in my organization. I’m talking about the 21,000 employees.” This is a real problem and one that many people don’t take serious enough in healthcare. It’s not something you can just put as a line item on a budget. It takes shaping the culture of your organization and that’s hard, but essential.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on July 31, 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, 8/3 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by John Lynn (@techguy) from @HealthcareScene on the topic of “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words“.
We’ve all heard the common idiom that a picture is worth a thousand words. No doubt we’ve all had experiences like this. I first realized the power of this when I heard tech startup founder, Kevin Rose, talk about how a picture in just a few seconds can convey a world of meaning and even emotion. There’s no doubt that the right picture can send a powerful message.

This was also illustrated to me recently when as a random introduction for an #HITsm chat a few weeks ago, I suggested people share some images with the community. It was fascinating to see the images people shared and how we got to see a new side of someone in the community that we wouldn’t have known otherwise.

With that in mind, I decided that it would be fun to have a full #HITsm chat devoted to sharing images. As you’ll see, some of the questions focus on images that describe the impact of healthcare and health IT and other images are about those of us in the #HITsm community getting to know each other better.

This illustrates the real goal I have for the #HITsm community. Inspiring each other and creating deeper connections with those in the community.

So, without further ado, here are the various types of images we’ll be asking you to share on this week’s #HITsm chat.

Topics for this week’s #HITsm Chat:
Introduction: Take a selfie of you right now and share it. Don’t be shy or afraid. Just share! #nojudgment #HITsm

T1: Share the most powerful healthcare images, charts, etc that you’ve seen. Why and how did it impact you? #HITsm

T2: Share images that illustrates the impact of the work you’re doing or a favorite work moment. #HITsm

T3: Share pics of your family (yes, that can include animals, parents, or even close friends you consider family) #HITsm

T4: Share the 3rd from the last pic you’ve taken on your phone. #HITsm

T5: Share your favorite healthcare cartoons. Why is it your favorite and what’s the message we should learn? #HITsm

Bonus: What’s your favorite animated gif or meme (healthcare or not)? Why? Share them. #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
8/10 – What Does It Take to Be a Successful Healthcare Entrepreneur?
Hosted by Michael Dermer (@michaelgdermer) and Victoria Sherman (@VictoriaShrman)

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

8/24 – The Role of Technology in Chronic Disease Management
Hosted by Colton Ortolf (@ColtonOrtolf)

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.

2018 Practical Innovation Award Winner: ENGINUITY

Posted on July 25, 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.

As the vision for the Health IT Expo came into view, we realized how valuable it was for the Health IT Expo community to learn about and share practical innovations that were happening in healthcare IT. As part of that effort, we announced the 2018 Practical Innovation Awards. Being the first year, we only had a short time to promote it and get the word out about it. With that said, we’re extremely pleased with the practical innovations that the 2018 Practical Innovation Award Winner has brought to the healthcare IT community and we’re excited to share those with you.

So, without further ado, we’re excited to announce the 2018 Practical Innovation Award Winner is ENGINUITY run by Kelly Del Gaudio, Principal Consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions and was implemented at Freeman Health System, Valley Health System, and Canton – Potsdam Hospital System. This is a well-deserved honor for Kelly Del Gaudio and the team that worked on this project. Congratulations!

While awards and recognition are great, they don’t mean much if we don’t share the details of the practical innovations that won the award. In order to share more details about ENGINUITY (originally named Project Claire[IT]), we thought an interview with Kelly Del Gaudio would be a great way to share what they accomplished and hopefully help to spread their experiences, insights, and innovations.

Tell us about Project Claire[IT].  How was it started and who was involved?

Project Claire[IT] was what we originally called ENGINUITY. It was a project in honor and memory of my friend and Rule writing mentor at MEDITECH, Claire Riemer. Claire was the original pioneer of the MEDITECH rules engine and led the Clinical Content group there for many years.

The idea for this project started about a few months after I came on as the Principal Consultant for MEDITECH at Galen Healthcare Solutions. Since I had a lot of experience with the MEDITECH Rules engine from people like Claire, and working on a Clinical Optimization Performance Team during my 10 years at the “Tech”, I decided to host a free “Rule Writing 101” webinar that would give users a basic understanding of the MEDITECH Rules engine and offer tips and tricks on how to write some basic rules. We were surprised when we saw the signup list the day of the webinar (which ended up being our highest attended to date), and soon after, the flood gates opened with questions from MEDITECH users asking for help with Rules they’ve been stuck on for weeks, months and sometimes years!

Many of the questions we received were similar (people needing help with calculations, VTE compliance, Problem List Management etc) so we thought maybe we could streamline the process and write the complex rules that everyone seems to need for them; or as we call it: Doing their NerdyWork. Galen was no stranger to this as we have been successful in creating and delivering a similar solution to our Allscripts clients called eCalcs.

I knew I had the unique skill set to write the Rules that these customers needed, but not being a nurse or clinician by trade (although I can occasionally fake it til’ I make it) I knew I needed their help to understand exactly what their frustrations were from both a clinical and IT perspective. The only logical conclusion was to host a focus group, and so our first Galen Focus Group: Operation NerdyWork was born.

Operation NerdyWork was a group of nine MEDITECH hospitals all running MEDITECH’s 6.x/6.1 or higher platform. They represented various areas of the country, from cities to rural/remote, from large Health Systems to small Critical Access satellites. It seems that no matter how big (or small) your IT staff was, the Rules Engine was a bit of a black box for everyone.

Here is our elite nine:

  • Catholic Health Initiatives
  • Salinas Valley Medical Center
  • Randolph Hospital
  • Uvalde Memorial Medical Center
  • Freeman Health System
  • Canton-Potsdam Hospital
  • Peterson Reginal Medical Center
  • Calvert Memorial Hospital
  • Parkview Medical Center

These groups offered their time on Thursdays during the winter of 2016 and provided us with valuable insights into the world of a MEDITECH doctor, nurse, care provider, or pharmacist. From their list of frustrations, we got to work building better, rule driven workflows that will save time, reduce clicks, increase compliance and patient safely and present users with much needed clinical decision support.

We decided to call our platform ENGINUITY because we use the MEDITECH Rules Engine to code a lot of our custom content. It’s also a derivative of the word ingenuity which is the quality of being inventive, clever, resourceful; thinking outside of the box. We pride ourselves on coming up with really clever ways to achieve something that may otherwise be “Working as Designed”. ENGINUITY continues to be crowdsourced and we receive suggestions every day from users of our content. MEDITECH customers drive the future direction of this product because hey, they’re the one that have to use it right?

What have been the practical benefits of this project?

Practical Innovation is all about solutions that can be implemented now that bring value to an organization. We think we are doing just that.

By streamlining the lengthy design process that many of these rules take to write and creating a plug and play solution that has been tested, validated, and thoroughly researched, we can confidently help hospitals achieve optimal compliance, increased patient and provider satisfaction, EMR confidence, realize revenue gains and so much more. If you wanted to implement some of these complex tools outside of ENGINUITY, not only would you need at least one full time dedicated FTE on these projects, but that person would need to have an advanced Rule writing skill set which is not easy to find. You would also need to keep those people on staff to troubleshoot Rules that are subject to change during much needed updates or future workflow changes.

I actually spoke with a client at last year’s MUSE conference who told me that their resident “Rules” person was about to retire so they stopped optimizing their system because she was the only one who could support it. I used this anecdote the next day at our official launch presentation and realized that this was more common than I thought. Rules are complex and there are a lot of unknowns but they are far and away the most efficient way to optimize the your MEDITECH system which is why everyone should have them!

ENGINUITY makes these options an affordable reality for many organizations that simply don’t have the time, capital or resources. The Galen team supports all of our content post-implementation, so our clients can worry about daily system support and education.  ENGINUITY customers also determine “what’s next” in our dev cycle and are always receiving the fruit of our development efforts keeping their system optimized, refreshed and functional for years to come.

What were the keys to success with this project? 

I attribute the success of this project to 5 main things.

  1. First, having a deep understanding of the technical underpinnings of the MEDITECH Rules Engine is crucial to the success of ENGINUITY. I have always been fascinated with trying to figure out this puzzle and I continue to learn more about it daily. For me, it’s fun; for most, its frustrating. Thank you Claire Riemer, Ginny Jacques and Nancy McGowan for teaching me this craft.
  2. Second, having the support of the Galen Healthcare Solutions team. They let me run with this idea to design, develop and mass deliver content to clients who need it and they’ve fully supported it through its infancy to now. We are KLAS ranked and on Modern HealthCare’s Best Places to Work for a reason and I know working at Galen was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I firmly believe that autonomy, support and confidence is really what helps innovation to thrive.
  3. Third, our focus group. They are the ones who brought the ideas to the table and got the ball rolling. Thank you Operation NerdyWork!
  4. Fourth, our ENGINUITY clients who push us and challenge us with new puzzles every day. Their challenges (though sometimes daunting) make us better in the long run.
  5. Finally, getting the word out in major healthcare IT publications! Having published articles that recognize our unique approach to customer collaboration and feature our MU3: Measure 3 content really help to spread the word about what we’re doing.

How does this project impact patients?

We put a lot of effort in the design process of a workflow to make it easy for the doctor/user to use. Many of our tools are “single-click” meaning that as soon as I “click” on something (a query or order) then the algorithm will “fetch” necessary data and bring that to the providers attention immediately. We can suggest, require, suppress or automate responses based on preexisting information which makes ENGINUITY very patient centric. This added clinical decision support is embedded directly into the MEDITECH system (not 3rd party) which significantly increases the confidence that users have in the messages they are receiving. We can then use a combination of hard stops, soft stops, alerts and audit trails to increase patient safety across the board.

We’re currently working on a case study of before and after Implementation of our VTE Compliance protocol, which was designed using the AHRQ’s Best Practice recommendations for VTE Prophylaxis compliance. It is estimated at increasing organizational compliance to over 90% which will significantly impact the lives of many surgical inpatients.

I also worked with some of our product development folks from our VitalCenter Online Archival team to create a way to have Rules evaluate patient Problems and drive care off the Problem List. From my research, this is not just a MEDITECH problem, (pun intended) but it spans across all EMRs leaving most Problem Lists “static”. We are changing that for our MEDITECH clients by driving and automating care off the Problem List making it a truly “dynamic” list.

You call the effort “Operation NerdyWork”.  What’s been your experience getting “nerds” together to collaborate on a solution like this?

Operation NerdyWork was all about bringing a diverse group of people together with some commonalities (trades, users of MEDITECH) and working together toward a common goal. Listening to each other’s pain points and sometimes even solving each other’s problems without my help at all (which was really fun to see). Everyone brought a unique voice to the table. As innovators, the best we can do is shut up and listen, hear what people want and develop what they need.

What practical advice would you give health IT professionals that will help them be more successful in their work?

Find something you’re good at, something you’re passionate about, something that keeps you up at night but also helps you rest easy knowing you could be a part of the solution. When you’ve found it then surround yourself with supportive people and get busy on the Nerdywork.

A big Congratulations to the 2018 Practical Innovation Award Winner: ENGINUITY

Creating Loyalty in Healthcare – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on July 24, 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, 7/27 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Sunny Tara (@SunnyTaraVegas) and Janae Sharp (@coherencemed) from @CareCognitics on the topic of “Creating Loyalty in Healthcare“.

In the current healthcare landscape, one element that’s really missing is loyalty. We’ve all heard the stories of how the next generation of patients is much more likely to switch doctors. It seems that loyalty is hard to find in healthcare today.

The reality for most healthcare organizations and payers is that they didn’t have to worry too much about loyalty in the past. However, as the internet has empowered patients, creating patient loyalty is going to become extremely important.

Creating loyalty in healthcare is really challenging. In many cases, patients are going to their doctors who then tell them bad news. The same is true with insurance companies who are often the bearer of bad news to patients. How then can you transform these bad experiences and still build loyalty?

We (Sunny Tara and the team at CareCognitics) saw a similar challenge in the casino industry. Many of the casino patrons would come and lose a lot of money. Despite common thought, Casinos don’t want you to lose a lot of money because then you’ll have a bad experience and stop coming to that hotel which must be “unlucky.” To transform the patron’s experience, we used a combination of rewards and unique VIP experiences that turn the bad experience into a good one. Doesn’t this sound like some of what we need to do for patients in healthcare?

Join us for this week’s #HITsm chat where we’ll discuss loyalty in healthcare and what experiences we can offer patients to change these bad experiences into good ones and generate more loyalty. We hope you’ll come and share your good and bad experiences so we can all learn how to improve the patient experience.

Topics for this week’s #HITsm Chat:

T1: Describe the best experience you had (or that you heard about) in healthcare that created loyalty. #HITsm

T2: Describe the best consumer experience you had in your life outside healthcare that created loyalty. #HITsm

T3: What types of experiences, services, technology, etc would create loyalty for you in healthcare? #HITsm

T4: What types of experiences, services, technology, etc damage your loyalty in healthcare? #HITsm

T5: Should we be creating loyalty to doctors, hospitals, health systems, payers, HIT services? Why or why not? #HITsm

Bonus: What can employers do or are they doing to create employee loyalty? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
8/3 – A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (Get your pictures ready to share!)
Hosted by John Lynn (@techguy) from @HealthcareScene

8/10 – What Does It Take to Be a Successful Healthcare Entrepreneur?
Hosted by Michael Dermer (@michaelgdermer) and Victoria Sherman (@VictoriaShrman)

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

8/24 – TBD
Hosted by Colton Ortolf (@ColtonOrtolf)

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.

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. There are dozens of off the shelf wearable technologies from tech giants, high-end brands, sports leaders, and fashion brands which can be used together 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.