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#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.

What’s the Future of Patient Communication? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on July 3, 2018 I Written By

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

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 7/6 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Lea Chatham (@LeaChatham) from @Solutionreach on the topic of “What’s the Future of Patient Communication?”

One in three patients is considering a switch in healthcare providers according the Patient-Provider Relationship Study. And, nearly 40 percent who have already switched said it was because of poor experience. Some of the top issues were poor communication, difficulty scheduling, and bad customer service from staff.

These are totally fixable issues. With the right tools, processes, and technology, practices can improve communication and streamline scheduling. And, we are finally beginning to see the industry get how important it is to improve the experience patients have. The fact is happy patients are healthier and more likely to show up and come back for the care they need.

We’re also seeing more practices get onboard with text as the way to reach patients. But what’s next? What will the future of patient communication and collaboration be? Voice? Integrated wearables? Let’s discuss!

Here are the topics/questions we’ll be discussing during this week’s #HITsm chat:

T1: Have we finally reached the place where snail mail and phone calls will go away? #HITsm

T2: Text is taking over? Will we start to see AI driven chatbots more in healthcare? #HITsm

T3: What’s next for communication? Voice like Siri and Alexa? Integrated wearables? AI-driven monitoring devices? #HITsm

T4: What privacy implications are there with some of these “cutting edge” options? #HITsm

T5: How can we address those privacy and security concerns? #HITsm

Bonus: What is the perfect future state for patient communication and collaboration? #HITsm

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

7/20 – #HITsm Community Ranks Top 10 Technology Services & Products for Healthcare Stakeholders
Hosted by Healthcare Scene (@HealthcareScene)

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 Nursing Informatics is Changing the Healthcare Landscape – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on June 26, 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, 6/29 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Cathy Turner (@MEDITECH_Nurses) and Ashley Dauwer (@amariedauwer) from @MEDITECH on the topic of “How Nursing Informatics is Changing the Healthcare Landscape.”

When it comes to treating patients, there is one constant: the critical role that nurses play in delivering quality care. As care becomes more complex and stretches far beyond the acute hospital walls, nursing roles will continue to evolve. The nursing informaticist role emerged at the unique junction between healthcare and technology. Nursing informaticists are essential because they serve as an advocate between nurses directly caring for patients and information technology experts, helping to implement and optimize information technology to transform healthcare.

Two weeks ago hundreds of nurses convened at MEDITECH’s annual Nurse Forum. Year after year I am impressed with how our community of nurses come together to discuss how new technologies can address challenges and obstacles facing nurses today. It’s important for nurses to leverage events and social media to network, share successes, and demonstrate how they are embracing technology to impact patient care.

Resources:

Join us for a lively discussion at this week’s #HITsm chat as we explore these themes and discuss the following questions:

T1: What is nursing informatics and what does it mean to you? #HITsm

T2: How are nursing informaticists influencing changes in healthcare? #HITsm

T3: What technologies are improving patient care and nursing workflows? #HITsm

T4: What tips or advice do you have for new nursing informaticists? #HITsm

T5: How can social media help nurses in their healthcare career? #HITsm

Bonus: For the nurses, who is your biggest inspiration and why? For the non-nurses, name a nurse that inspires you and why. #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
7/6 – What’s the Future of Patient Communication?
Hosted by Lea Chatham (@LeaChatham)

7/13 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

7/20 – TBD
Hosted by Jared Jeffery (@Jk_Jeffery)

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.

IT and Affordability, Care for the Poor, Population Health in Low-income Areas – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on June 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 6/22 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Lenny Liebmann (@LennyLiebmann) on the topic of “IT and Affordability, Care for the Poor, Population Health in Low-income Areas.”

Technology can do a lot for healthcare delivery. But can technology—and technologists—specifically improve delivery for the economically disadvantaged and under-served? Or are the financial incentives in our industry too heavily stacked against such efforts?

Please join us this Friday, June 22 from noon to 1PM Eastern time for an interactive online discussion about the role technology can play in democratizing healthcare as costs rise and income disparity widens.

The following are the questions we’ll discuss during the hour chat:

T1: What particular interest and/or experience do you have in the topic of better healthcare for lower-income families. #HITsm

T2: Should health technologists purposefully prioritize initiatives that improve care for the poor—or is improved care an innate result of the improved efficiencies and efficacies generally enabled by IT? #HITsm

T3: Can you share any specific examples you’ve seen of technology specifically helping lower-income patients achieve better health outcomes? #HITsm

T4: Any ideas about how healthcare providers can leverage tech to improve population health in low-income neighborhoods—above and beyond better serving low-income individuals and families? #HITsm

T5: Do the economics of healthcare appropriately incentivize the use of technology to benefit the poor? Or do those economics actually disincentivize such efforts? #HITsm

Bonus: Any other thoughts about the relationship between technology innovation in healthcare and the needs of low-income citizens? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
6/29 – How Nursing Informatics is Changing the Healthcare Landscape
Hosted by Cathy Turner (@MEDITECH_Nurses) and Ashley Dauwer (@amariedauwer) from @MEDITECH

7/6 – What’s the Future of Patient Communication?
Hosted by Lea Chatham (@LeaChatham)

7/13 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

7/20 – TBD
Hosted by Jared Jeffery (@Jk_Jeffery)

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.

Deep Thoughts from Einstein Applied to Health IT

Posted on May 13, 2015 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.


Ok, to be honest, I don’t really want to fact check if Einstein really said this or not. You might know how quotes from famous people were often not said by said famous person. However, that doesn’t really matter to me since the above quote was too interesting not to share.

I really like the idea that the key to solving really challenging problems is to stay with the problems longer. The biggest challenge I think we face in healthcare IT is that far too many people are running around like chickens with their head cut off. I understand completely why it’s happening. The regulations and stimulus have created this maniacal set of requirements that require a bit of running around like crazy people.

I don’t think the major problems of healthcare can be solved through a maniacal chasing of incentives and regulations that we see in healthcare today.

If we want to really go after and solve major problems, then we have to stay with the problems a little longer and not head off to the next problem too quickly or even ignore a problem that seems challenging or even impossible. I realize that this is much easier said than done. We easily let the fires of today prevent us from preventing the fires that will come tomorrow, next month, and next year. It’s natural to do.

The thing that gives me most hope is the amazing people working in healthcare. The majority are great people trying to make a difference for good. Now we just need those good people working in healthcare IT can take a bit more time and stay with the problems of healthcare a little longer before they move on to put out the next fire.

Things Your EMR Will Never Do

Posted on August 15, 2013 I Written By

James Ritchie is a freelance writer with a focus on health care. His experience includes eight years as a staff writer with the Cincinnati Business Courier, part of the American City Business Journals network. Twitter @HCwriterJames.

EMRs can be powerful tools for building practice efficiency.

But they can’t do it all.

Ruth Sara Hart-Schneider, sales and marketing director for Cincinnati-based Salix, says health care providers are still paying too many people to move too much paper. Her firm helps them to fill the gaps left after even the most successful EMR implementation.
Ruth Sara Hart-Schneider is sales and marketing director for Salix
Salix specializes in workflow automation, business process outsourcing and litigation support. Health care makes up about 30 percent of its workload.

Hart-Schneider works with physician practices, hospitals and a variety of other health care clients, such as durable medical equipment firms and clinical research organizations. She deals with 26 EMR systems.

Note: If you catch her hanging out by your fax machine, don’t be alarmed. It’s part of her job.

Here’s what Hart-Schneider had to say:

Can you explain more about what your company does in health care IT?

We support health care companies in leveraging the electronic data they already have. We help them to avoid having redundant systems or people hand-filling forms or electronic systems generating paper systems. We work around the electronic systems in an office, like EMRs and practice management systems. Usually an office will have both, but there are all these other functions that have been left on the table.

What are some examples?

Most EMRs we deal with are not set up for prior authorization requests. And every state has its own forms for different programs — Medicaid HMOs, workers’ compensation. Particularly for practices dealing across state lines, it becomes cumbersome for the staff. EMR companies don’t want to program all these forms for all the states, and they change constantly anyway. That’s a sweet spot for us. Prescription monitoring is another one if the practice is giving many narcotics. Also, EMRs don’t interface with many of the tools the carriers have out there for eligibility, benefits and claims status. Some other areas are disability, return-to-work forms, immunization logs for pediatrics and certificates of medical necessity for things like wheelchairs and oxygen.

When practices invest in EMRs, do they realize how much they’ll still need to do on paper?

They’re trying to meet meaningful use. When they choose a system, they know what it will do. It’s not a tool to manage your office. Still, people get frustrated with how many repetitive tasks their employees have to do even after all this money has been spent. For example, a group had a pulmonary function testing machine that wouldn’t talk to the EMR. They would print the report and then walk over and scan it into the EMR. A lot of equipment is like that.

How do you identify the inefficiencies in a practice?

If you stand by the fax for 10 minutes and watch what comes through, you’ll have a pretty good idea. You can also look around at the stacks of paper. You can ask people what they’re behind on.

How do you help?

Salix will work with an organization to help them identify their biggest pain points and then customize a solution that will free up staff time and save them money. We look for the best tools for each application. We like FileBound, which has an ASP model product that meets all the HIPAA security requirements, has a very reasonable price point and allows unlimited users without user fees.

Among our services: We can help with the auto-population of forms, we can provide data-entry services for labs and test results that are faxed in and we can help provide interface solutions for equipment that’s not hooked to the EMR. For a surgery practice, as one example, we can help design and implement systems so that the manager can look at tomorrow’s schedule and ensure that all pre-certs have been completed.

How important is it to address these areas?

Most often, there are higher-level tasks that aren’t getting done because staff is bogged down in some very menial, basic and repetitive tasks. You don’t need your nurse spending time on data entry or filling out school forms.

Is it realistic for a practice to go completely paperless?

Yes, but not in the near future. You couldn’t do it yourself. Vendors and everyone else that you deal with would have to be paperless, too, and that’s not happening. Many of the nursing home and hospice operators I talk to say they’re not going electronic because they don’t have the money. I think some things will always come in on paper.

Interoperability: The High Jump and The Long Jump with ONC’s Doug Fridsma

Posted on March 5, 2013 I Written By

Mandi Bishop is a hardcore health data geek with a Master's in English and a passion for big data analytics, which she brings to her role as Dell Health’s Analytics Solutions Lead. She fell in love with her PCjr at 9 when she learned to program in BASIC. Individual accountability zealot, patient engagement advocate, innovation lover and ceaseless dreamer. Relentless in pursuit of answers to the question: "How do we GET there from here?" More byte-sized commentary on Twitter: @MandiBPro.

I’ll admit, I was incredibly nervous about interviewing Dr. Doug Fridsma, the Chief Science Officer for the Office of the National Coordinator and the face of both the Standards and Interoperability (S&I) Framework and the Federal Health Architecture initiative. Not only do I consider him a key luminary, but his overarching responsibility for the future of interoperability and standards-based programs is incredibly alluring. I swoon over those who have the power and desire to effect meaningful, positive change on a grand scale. I wasn’t disappointed.

Doug explained his philosophy towards fulfilling the promise of interoperability with a sports metaphor: the high jump and the long jump.

“I don’t like high jumps,” he said. “High jumps, if you knock down the bar, you’re done and you get no points. Long jumps, you get points for each increment. The high jump for interoperability is ubiquitous data liquidity. The long jump is Meaningful Use.”

The S&I Framework project is tracking progress towards standardization and standards adoption across 5 areas of Meaningful Use and interoperability:

  1. Meaning – shared vocabularies across continuum of care
  2. Structure of messages shared across continuum of care
  3. Transport of messages
  4. Security of transport and messages
  5. Services for accessing messages

All of these categories are exemplified in the flagship project for Meaningful Use and interoperability: the Automate Blue Button Initiative, affectionately known as ABBI. For those not familiar with ABBI, do an experiment: ask your primary care provider whether you can visit a patient portal and download your medical records by clicking the “Blue Button.” If your PCP can provide you the website link to request the download, you should be able to receive your entire medical record (from that provider) in a vaguely huma-readable format (Excel, Word, PDF, etc.). The medical and clinical jargon may not make a lot of sense; however, it’s certainly an incremental hop in the long jump towards interoperability and standards adoption. The standard vocabularies, structure, transport mechanism, security protocol, and web-enabled access are foundational building blocks which enable the Blue Button program’s adoption.

Doug’s goal with the ABBI program was three-fold: get it OUT there, have providers and patients start USING it, and structure it so that it can be repeatable and scalable. Patient engagement advocates across the Twittersphere applaud the sentiment that we, patients, should have ownership of our health data, and many recognize the ONC’s efforts as instrumental in turning the tide for patient access. Several notable bloggers have covered the ABBI project in detail, analyzing its value to healthcare IT development professionals, providers, and patients, including:
Keith Boone @motorcycle_guy – the ABBI Pitch, with a quick overview of the goals for the program, and humorous insight into providers’ qualms about adoption

Greg Meyer @greg_meyer – Scalable Trust and Trust Bundles, with developer-focused details on the structure and transport categories of interoperability

For the next incremental long jump beyond ABBI and Meaningful Use Stage 2, Doug Fridsma and the ONC have several new initiatives tackling the atomic-level data governance and quality of clinical information. In order to communicate between disparate EHR systems, across multiple facilities and potentially multiple payers, it isn’t just the structure of the container and transport of the message that must be consistent: it’s the individual data elements, themselves, which comprise the meat of the message that must be standardized.

The ONC recently announced the Structured Data Capture Initiative with the goal of creating a technical infrastructure to support “structurally sound” standard data elements with support for “unique semantics”, to capture EHR and supplemental clinical data for use across the continuum of care. This effort officially kicked off the week of HIMSS 2013; its progress will be instrumental in broadening the effectiveness of interoperability and Meaningful Use.

So, as I walk the Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS13, watch the use case demonstrations, and ask the participants the tough questions like, “How are you incorporating the use case development you’re exhibiting here into consideration for your next product full release,” I’ll be taking note of those organizations that seem focused on the next incremental jump towards patient-centric, data-driven healthcare systems. And I’ll be wondering what Doug Fridsma and the ONC will do to get to the next incremental jump on the way to the nirvana of ubiquitous data liquidity.

…I’ll also be kicking myself for not taking the opportunity to get a fan photo with Doug while I had the chance.

What Would ONC’s Dr. Doug Fridsma Do? (THIS Geek Girl’s Guide to HIMSS)

Posted on March 2, 2013 I Written By

Mandi Bishop is a hardcore health data geek with a Master's in English and a passion for big data analytics, which she brings to her role as Dell Health’s Analytics Solutions Lead. She fell in love with her PCjr at 9 when she learned to program in BASIC. Individual accountability zealot, patient engagement advocate, innovation lover and ceaseless dreamer. Relentless in pursuit of answers to the question: "How do we GET there from here?" More byte-sized commentary on Twitter: @MandiBPro.

I know you’ve all been wondering how I’m planning to spend my mad crazy week at HIMSS in New Orleans. Well, maybe not ALL of you, but perhaps at least one – who is most likely my blog boss, the master John Lynn. Given the array of exciting developments in healthcare IT across the spectrum, from mobile and telehealth to wearable vital sign monitoring devices, EMR consolidation to cloud-based analytics platforms, it’s been extraordinarily difficult to keep myself from acting like Dori in “Finding Nemo”: “Oooooh! Shiny!” I’ve had to remind myself daily that I will have an opportunity to play with everything that catches my eye, but that I am only qualified to write and speak intelligently on my particular areas of expertise. And so, I’m proud to say I’ve finally solidified my agenda for the entire week, and I cannot WAIT to go ubergeek fan girl on so many industry luminaries and fascinating up-and-comers making great strides towards interoperability, deriving the “meaning” in “Meaningful Use” from clinical data, and leveraging the power of big data analytics to improve quality of patient experience and outcomes.

On Sunday, I’m setting the stage for the rest of the week with a sit-down with ONC’s Director of Standards and Interoperability and Acting Chief Scientist, Dr. Doug Fridsma. His groundbreaking work in interoperability spans multiple initiatives, including: the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) and the CONNECT project, as well as the Federal Health Architecture. For insight into his passion for transforming the healthcare system through health IT, check out his blog: From The Desk of the Chief Science Officer.

Through the rest of the week, I aspire to see the world through Dr. Fridsma’s eyes, focusing on how each of the organizations and individuals contribute to the standards-based processes and policies that form the foundation for actionable analytics – and improved health. I’ve selected interviews with key visionaries from companies large and small, who I feel are representative of positive forward movement:

Health Care DataWorks piques my interest as an up-and-comer to watch, empowering healthcare systems to improve outcomes and reduce medical costs by providing accelerated EDW design and implementation, whether on-premise or via SaaS solution. Embedded industry analytics models supporting alternative network models, population-based payment models, and value-based purchasing allow for rapid realization of positive ROI.

Emdeon, is the single largest clinical, financial, and administrative network, connecting over 400,000 providers and executing more than seven billion health exchanges annually. And if that’s not enough to attract keen attention, they recently announced a partnership with Atigeo to provide intelligent analytics solutions with Emdeon’s PETABYTES of data.

Serving an area near and dear to my heart, Clinovations provides healthcare management consulting services to stakeholders at each link in the chain, from providers to payers and supporting trading partners – in areas from EMR implementation (and requisite clinical data standards) to market and vendor assessments, and data management activities throughout. With the dearth in qualified SME resources in the clinical data field, I look forward to learning about how Clinovations plans to manage their growth and retain key talent.

Who doesn’t love a great legacy decommissioning story? Mediquant proports adopting their DataArk product can result in an 80% reduction in legacy system costs through increased interoperability across disparate source systems and consolidated access. The “active archiving” solution allows for a centralized repository and consolidated accounting functions out of legacy data without continuing to operate (and support) the legacy system. Longitudinal clinical records? Yes, please!

Those are just a few on my must-see list, and I think Dr. Doug Fridsma would be proud of their vision, and find alignment to his ONC program goals. But will he be proud of their execution?

Can’t wait to find out, on the exhibit hall floor – and in the hallway conversations, and the client case study sessions, and the general scuttlebutt – at HIMSS!

Interoperability, Clinical Data, and The Greatest Generation

Posted on February 21, 2013 I Written By

Mandi Bishop is a hardcore health data geek with a Master's in English and a passion for big data analytics, which she brings to her role as Dell Health’s Analytics Solutions Lead. She fell in love with her PCjr at 9 when she learned to program in BASIC. Individual accountability zealot, patient engagement advocate, innovation lover and ceaseless dreamer. Relentless in pursuit of answers to the question: "How do we GET there from here?" More byte-sized commentary on Twitter: @MandiBPro.

As a healthcare IT zealot and wanna-be policy wonk, I find myself mired in acronyms, and surrounded (and indulged) by those who understand my rapid-fire Klingon-esque rants on BETOS and LOINC and HCPCS. The larger concepts of interoperability and meaningful use lose the forest for the trees of IHE standard definitions and specific quality measures. Have we lost sight of the vast majority of the healthcare consumers, and their level of understanding and awareness of those larger concepts? Could you explain HL7 ORUs or CCDs to your great-grandma?

I recently visited my 90 year-old grandparents, both remarkably healthy multiple cancer survivors who show no signs of slowing down, and have maintained enough mobility to continue bowling 3 times a week. After an evening of pinochle, my grandma asked me to please help her understand what it is that I DO for a living. We’ve had this conversation before.

“I’m a healthcare technology consultant, Grandma. I work with insurance companies and doctors to help them get all your information.”

Puzzled look.

“When you go to the doctor, Grandma, do they write anything down on paper, or are they using a computer when they talk to you?”

“Oh, they’re always on those computers! Tap-tap-tap. Every question I answer and they tap-tap-tap.”

She illustrates by typing on her lap, and I confirm that she’s a hunt-and-peck person. She stops only after I finish asking my next question.

“Do you have private insurance, or do you use the VA?”

“I have Blue Cross. Your grandpa uses the VA.”

“How many doctors did you have to see for your blood infection?”

“FOUR! Sometimes two in one day!”

“Did they all have to ask you for your history?”

“No – they already had it, on their computer. They even knew about my mastectomy, 30 years ago. One corrected me on the date; I’d thought it was only 20 years ago.”

“Well, Grandma, when you booked your appointment with the first doctor, their computer system automatically requested your medical records from your insurance company. And the insurance company automatically sent your records back to the computer. After the first doctor made notes on your visit, just after you walked out the door, the computer sent an updated copy of your medical records back to the insurance company, and it ordered the lab tests you needed before you went to the next doctor. Then, the lab automatically sent your results to the insurance company AND the doctor who ordered the tests.”

“But the other doctors had the test results.”

“Yes, ma’am. Each time you made an appointment with a new doctor, that doctor’s computer requested your medical records from the insurance company, and the insurance company sent out the most recently updated information. It only takes a minute!”

“Goodness. So, do you build the computer programs that make all that work?”

Eyes wide. THIS impresses her.

“No.”

Puzzled look again, so I quickly continue.

“But I make sure those computer programs can talk to each other, and that the insurance company can make sense out of what they’re saying.”

“Because if they couldn’t talk to each other, I’d have to haul a suitcase from doctor to doctor with my chart?”

“Yes, ma’am. That’s called ‘interoperability’. There are new rules for how doctors’ computers should talk to each other, and to the insurance companies. And I get to work with the insurance company to do other really cool stuff. I take a look at LOTS of people’s medical records to find patterns that might help us catch diseases before they happen.”

“And what’s that called?”

“Clinical informatics. It’s my favorite thing to do, because I get to study lots and lots and LOTS of information. That’s called ‘big data’.”

“Sweetheart, you lost me with the computer words. But I’m just so happy you’re happy!”

She hugs me and grins, and I finally feel like I’ve found the right way to talk about my passion: through use cases. Although, Grandma would call them stories.

And there you have it: the importance of interoperability and clinical data, through the eyes of The Greatest Generation. Check in next year for an update on whether my definitions stuck!

FilmArray Delivers Test Results in An Hour

Posted on February 18, 2013 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Maybe it’s because I live in Utah, so it’s easier for me to recognize the technology being created here, but it seems as if lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of medical devices created here. Last night I was reading KSL.com about a device that was recently designed that can apparently detect certain diseases — and, most impressively, in under an hour.

Waiting for lab results can be excruciating. Although I have access to the patient portal for Intermountain Healthcare, and can see results as soon as they are done (which is, most of the time, much faster than waiting for the doctor to call), it still takes longer than I would like. FilmArray is a test that can detect around 20 diseases in less than an hour.

The diseases that can be detected can be viral or bacterial, and are related to upper respiratory infections. This could be pretty helpful, especially when you or your child goes to the doctor, and they can’t really tell what’s wrong just by looking at them or listening to their lungs. It can help to get treatment started quicker, and hopefully shorten the length of the symptoms.

FilmArray also eliminates the need for someone to spend a ton of time in the lab working the results, as it takes less than about five minutes of a tech’s time. It’s a machine that is easy to learn how to use, so staff can be trained fairly easily, without much disruption in the regular schedule.

This graphic from the FilmArray website shows how easily it works, from start to finish:

filmarray_setup

The device has been available since 2011, though I don’t get the impression that it’s very mainstream yet. I think this could be a great thing for doctor’s offices and hospitals to invest it, because of it’s quickly produced results, and the ease of use involved. Even with an initial investment, it seems as if the time saved will pay it off in the end.