Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


older | 1 | .... | 7 | 8 | (Page 9) | 10 | 11 | .... | 66 | newer

    0 0

    Farzad Mostashari, MD, has a unique vantage point over the health information technology industry. Previously he served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Today he is founder and CEO of Aledade, a company that markets technology and services designed to help independent primary care practices come together to form accountable care organizations (ACOs) that can take on the total cost of care and share in value created.

    Aledade operates ACOs across 11 states and handles nearly 100,000 patients in more than 110 physician practices. In June 2015, the company raised a Series B Funding Round of $30 million and now employs a staff of more than 80 experts in health policy, technology and practice transformation. This growth, the company said, is driven by the need of primary care physicians to begin the shift from volume-based care to value-based care with the aim of delivering better care at a lower cost.

    Healthcare IT News spoke with Mostashari about about a variety of topics, from ACOs and technology trends to EHR shortcomings.

    Q: What is the state of technology within accountable care organizations? What must technology do, and what is the role of population health within an ACO?
    A:
    One way to think about the role of technology here is the electronic health record is the transactional piece of healthcare where a patient’s care needs to be delivered. But it does not address very well – despite many years of effort on the part of meaningful use and other programs – the concept of population health. So the needs from a population health tool perspective are, first, get the data, so there is a whole lot of infrastructure work around assembling and integrating claims data, clinical data, ADT data, event notifications from hospitals, practice management system data, and scheduling system data. And then, collecting data from the use of apps to understand what physician practices are doing and what they need to be doing.


    Healthcare IT News EHR Satisfaction Survey 2016 
    ⇒ Are EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey
    Comparison chart: How readers rated their EHR in 2016 vs. 2015


    Then comes creating insights. So I’m a physician and I have all the data in front of me, and if I am going to call 10 people today, who should I call, what should I say, who just left the hospital, who needs a wellness visit who has opportunities for quality improvement? And then comes making data and insights actionable. That is a fair description for the three steps that any population health tool needs to provide: Get the data, get insights, help me take action.

    Q: What are you seeing happening in smaller and rural practices when it comes to healthcare information technology?
    A:
    They are under a tremendous amount of pressure and they are wondering if they can continue to stay independent. The burden of administrivia, the quality reporting, the feeling that once things like MACRA and MIPS come in, and public reporting, that they will be working harder and harder and getting less and less of the healthcare dollar. That they are wondering if they can continue being alone. They do not want to become employees, they want to retain their autonomy. That is what I am seeing, practices that are delivering very good care but feeling increasingly squeezed, and they want help. That is what Aledade offers, a way out for them.

    Q: From your vantage point, what is the status of health information exchange and interoperability?
    A:
    We now have in the population health space a clear business model for a very specific interoperability for HIE as it pertains to event notifications. Put this way: Tell me when my patient got discharged from the hospital because otherwise I might not hear about it and I cannot help them. So, just give me my patients’ ADTs to HIE, it is simple, cheap and actionable. To me that should be the highest priority both for local HIEs and for states as well as for federal officials. When it works, it is amazingly helpful and effective. What we need are policies and governance that encourages or requires participation in those information exchanges. It’s not as far-reaching as creating a virtual clinical record and assembling everything and making it respond to queries. It is much more finite and much less sensitive in terms of the information, and it creates immediate value.

    In product parlance, it is the minimum viable product, the MVP. The MVP is ADT. To be clear, the challenges there are not technical. It took us literally 15 minutes to set up an ADT feed from the hospital once we got the engineers on the line together. There are very high degrees of reliability and standardization. The challenge is on the business side. Does a hospital want to share this information with providers outside of its network? As far as patient care goes, I believe there is an ethical mandate here that policy should reflect.

    Q: Are you seeing any shortcomings with EHRs as they are implemented today, and if so, what could vendors be doing better?
    A:
    Clearly a lot of EHR vendors, not all by any means, but a lot of them, took the meaningful use requirements as a certification exercise and the result has been that many providers are dissatisfied with usability. Potentially even more of a shame is even after all of those hours spent on the data entry, the data is not as usable as it should be for the purposes of population health, for quality reporting, or for predictive modeling. And the data is not as liquid as it should be. A provider organization might have spent tens of thousands of dollars on an EHR system and countless hours feeding data into it, but then they cannot get their own data out as promised in the EHR certification that the vendor did. These are challenges that EHR vendors need to step up to, and if they want to be preferred EHR vendors for the value-based world, they need to make the data necessary for population health much more easy to collect and use.

    And the data needs to be more reliable and more liquid. By liquid I mean that if I have a physician who has bought an EHR that was certified to give that physician a batch download of patient care summaries with all the clinical data and that was tested in a lab by the vendor and it was assured the system could do that, then when that clinician wants to join the population health world of value-based care in an ACO and goes to the vendor and says I want my batch download, the vendor should not be able to say that actually only works in a lab on five patients and does not work in the field. Or say that it will cost you $50,000 more to achieve.

    That clinician is the person who bought the system and entered the data into the system, it’s their data, their patients’ data, and they should be able to get the data out. The longer term ideal is that data is not just accessible in batch or in a push model, but it’s available through third-party applications via APIs. I’m not expecting that this year or next year, but I am expecting vendors to be true to the promises they made in the EHR certification program. 


    Helpful advice for planning to purchase a population health platform:

    ⇒ Experts explain what to look for when choosing a population health platform
    ⇒ Comparison chart of 8 population health products 
    ⇒ An in-depth look at 8 population health software programs


    Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
    Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com

    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    Shaun Grannis, MD, can relate to the recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showing that physicians spend 37 percent of their time on clinical documentation in their electronic health records.

    "Eight years ago when I was seeing patients, I would dictate for 90 seconds after every patient in free text and communicate all care provided," said Grannis, interim director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics at the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute.

    "Today, I fill out a five-page template for a sore throat that no one wants to read, with details that providers often miss," he said.

    Peter Basch, MD, feels his pain.

    "Our concern is that the voices of regulation, defensive medicine, billing and quality measure reporting have been so loud that the primary reason for documentation has been ignored," said Basch, senior director IT quality and safety, research and national health IT policy at MedStar Health in Washington.

    [Also: Is all that EHR documentation causing physician burnout?]

    "The purpose of clinical documentation is to document what happened in an efficient, effective manner," he said. "Documentation should remind us, when we next see the patient, what we saw, thought and did."

    Basch is one of the authors of "Clinical Documentation in the 21st Century," for the American College of Physicians.

    "The Medical Informatics Committee for the ACP became interested in a position paper as a response to clinical documentation in the EHR, which I can summarize as 'copy and paste,' occurring frequently," he said.

    "Copy-and-paste or use of macros becomes problematic when documentation shortcuts don't reflect the history and/or physical exam of the patient," Basch explained. "If copy-and-paste creates incorrect documentation, the next provider might be misled and reach inappropriate diagnostic or treatment decisions.

    "The line is fully crossed into fraud when copy-and-paste of complete notes is used for different patients and, in the most egregious cases, to bill for patients never seen," he explained.

    Lesley Kadlec, director of the American Health Information Management Association, agrees that "the goal of the patient health record is to tell the patient story and technology should facilitate that process."

    She ticks off the reasons clinical documentation contributes to provider stress.

    "One example is voice recognition technology or text entry as a replacement for traditional dictation and transcription. While transcription costs may decrease, time spent by physicians learning the voice technology, editing notes or creating documents using text entry increases."

    Kadlec adds that, "design and user-friendliness of an EHR system greatly impact clinical burnout.

    "If it takes too long to enter data or search for items in lengthy drop-down menu; that will seem burdensome to clinicians who wants to focus on the patient" said Kadlec, who thinks "all areas of the patient encounter need to be mapped, not just the clinical portion."

    [Also: One hospital's new approach to clinical documentation]

    According to the ACP position paper, "cooperation is needed among industry healthcare providers, systems, government and insurers to improve documentation. We must work together to fundamentally change the EHR from a passive recipient of information to an active virtual care team member."

    Kadlec agrees. "IT and clinicians should work collaboratively to design and customize an EHR that best meets the needs of the organization and tells the patient story," she said.

    "Regular feedback is important. Sharing what works and what doesn't work and then re-designing the technology and processes that improve workflow should be done regularly. The EHR should be an evolving work-in-progress, not a once-and-done project," said Kadlec – who suggested "a combination of structured (standardized) data, free text and voice dictation offers the best range of options in capturing the clinical picture and telling the patient story."

    However, the ACP position paper notes that "structured data should be captured only where they are useful in care delivery or essential for quality assessment or reporting."

    "We believe in standards that support operability and interoperability of structured data," said Basch. "We also believe that not all information should be structured as that can destroy context and narrative and distort meaning."

    [Also: Florida Hospital reaps $72.5 million from clinical documentation improvement, achieves ICD-10 compliance]

    He tells IT developers to "build software to support the business of medicine."

    After all, physicians won't buy EHRs that don't support coding and other reporting requirements, said Basch. "We hope these coding and regulatory requirements will permit some flexibility where the ability to appropriately act upon informational views becomes the market differentiator, not checkboxes to satisfy regulatory compliance."

    Despite the rapid digitization of healthcare over the past decade or so, it's worth remembering that "we're in the early days of EHR," said Grannis, who predicts that "what will happen in 20 years is what I used to do eight years ago – walk into a room in my clinic and interact with the patient, human to human.

    "We will have solved the technology problems, the voice recognition and (artificial intelligence) problems," he said. "We're getting better at recognizing this is fundamentally not just a business and financial decision, but a care decision. Ensure that providers at all levels – from physicians to nurses to technicians in this workflow – evaluate each project."

    Twitter: @HealthITNews


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    Oxford, Mississippi-based Urgent Care Clinic of Oxford reported it was a victim of a ransomware attack, which appears to have been initiated by Russian hackers. The breach was discovered in August 2016, occurred at sometime in early July of 2016 and was announced Friday.

    Urgent Care staff noticed the server running slowly on Aug. 2. The server was held for ransom for an undisclosed amount of time before control was returned to the clinic, according to officials. The clinic shut down the server’s remote access to prevent anyone outside of the clinic from again accessing the system.

    The FBI was contacted and the incident is still under investigation. Urgent Care sent letters to the last known address of every patient in its system. At the moment, there is no final tally on how many patients were affected by this breach.

    Urgent Care also hired a forensic analyst to determine the source of the hack and the exact information that was breached. The investigation proved it’s 'very likely' the attack was carried out by Russian hackers, who gained access to patient data including names, social security numbers, dates of birth, health data and other personal information.

    [Also: Russian hackers hit DoD: PHI at risk?]

    The cyberattack affected the personal information of both former and current patients, officials said. However, "unfortunately, we cannot say which patients specifically may have been affected by this data breach."

    The clinic’s computer system is up and fully operational, according to officials.

    Officials have asked any patients of the clinic prior to August 2, 2016 to read the notice regarding the breach. Urgent Care is offering one year of free credit monitoring and recommends all patients regularly check all credit card and bank account information for any suspicious activity.

    "We understand this may pose an inconvenience to you, and we sincerely regret that this situation has occurred," officials said. "Urgent Care is committed to providing quality care and service to all its patients and that includes keeping your personal information as safe and secure as possible."

    Twitter: @JessieFDavis
    Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    Two more ransomware attacks have been reported recently: Marin Healthcare District in Greenbrae, California and the New Jersey Spine Center in Chatham, N.J. Both organizations paid the ransom.

    The attack on MHD stemmed from a ransomware attack on Marin Medical Practices Concepts, the health system's medical billing and electronic medical record services vendor. The breach occurred on July 26.

    MHD reported the attack on September 28, when it notified its 5,000 patients some of their medical data was lost during the attack. According to officials, Marin providers were unable to access patient data for more than a week. The computer systems are back online, but the provider lost two weeks of backup data.

    A third-party forensic investigation determined there was no evidence patient data, including financial and health information was accessed. However, officials said due to a failure in MMPC's backup systems during restoration, patient data collected at MHD's nine medical centers between July 11-26 was lost. Diagnostic test results weren't lost, and patients don't need to be re-tested.

    MMPC's CEO Lynn Mitchell told the Marin Independent Journal that the ransom was paid, but said the amount will not be disclosed.

    [Also: Ransomware attack on Urgent Care Clinic of Oxford, purportedly caused by Russian hackers]

    Meanwhile, the six sites of the New Jersey Spine Center were attacked by Cryptowall ransomware on July 27, 2016. It encrypted not only the electronic health record, but also the backup files and phone system. According to officials, the antivirus software detected the virus only after the ransomware was installed.

    Hackers likely gained access through a list of stolen passwords run by an automated program. As the organization's backup files were inaccessible and there's currently no decryptor for this ransomware variant, officials said there was no alternative but to pay the cybercriminals. The amount paid wasn't disclosed.

    Some 28,000 patients were affected by the breach, according to the breach report sent to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights. The FBI and local authorities were also notified of the breach.

    Officials said there is no evidence that suggests patient data like Social Security numbers, credit card data and medical history was stolen, but there's no way to rule out unauthorized access. The organization is offering patients one year of free credit monitoring.

    Twitter: @JessieFDavis
    Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    HealthX Ventures closed a first round of funding worth $20 million. The Wisconsin-based venture capital fund is focused on investing in software businesses that solve cost, quality and access issues in the healthcare industry.

    HealthX has already invested in five early stage startups, including Redox, which was founded by former Epic employees to integrate apps with EHRs. The company has also invested in cloud-based machine learning startup EnsoData, a patient rehab company called Moving Analytics, billing specialist HealthiPASS and Epharmix, which monitors the sickest 20 percent of a client’s patient population to enable disease-specific interventions.

    [Also: Health IT startups to watch in 2016: running list of big news]

    The new round of capital commitments came from investors across the country. HealthX Ventures has expanded its investment team to five members. The firm targets companies that are early in their life cycle and typically participates in the first rounds of funding.

    “Our fund supports companies solving hard problems that will not only lower the cost of healthcare, but also improve the lives of clinicians, patients, and their families," HealthX founder and managing partner Mark Bakken said in a statement.

    Before HealthX Ventures, Bakken, a serial entrepreneur, founded Nordic, a Madison Wis.-based company that bills itself as the world’s largest Epic consulting firm. Nordic offers help with the EHR giant’s implementations, optimization, data and analytics, managed services, population health and more.

    Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
    Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    Author: 
    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/breacedcollagehitn.jpg
    Slideshow Description: 

    Ransomware attacks have been steadily increasing in the healthcare industry since the beginning of the year, and with the most recent attacks on New Jersey Spine Center, Marin Healthcare District and Urgent Care Clinic of Oxford, it doesn't look like the target placed on these providers will be shrinking anytime soon. Hospitals are recognizing the threat and are making cybersecurity a top priority. But as cybercriminals gain intelligence - and confidence - it may not be enough to make up for human error, outside vendors and other vulnerabilities.

    Read the Analysis: Hollywood Presbyterian hack signals more ransomware attacks to come.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Email-Virus-HITN_NJ_Marin.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    New Jersey Spine Center in Chatham, N.J. and Marin Healthcare District in Greenbrae, California
    Slideshow Description: 

    Two more ransomware attacks were reported at Marin Healthcare District in Greenbrae, California and the New Jersey Spine Center in Chatham, N.J. Both organizations paid the ransom. The attack on MHD stemmed from a ransomware attack on Marin Medical Practices Concepts, the health system's medical billing and electronic medical record services vendor. Meanwhile, the six sites of the New Jersey Spine Center were attacked by Cryptowall ransomware on July 27, 2016. It encrypted not only the electronic health record, but also the backup files and phone system.

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Security-HITN_Oxford.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Urgent Care Clinic of Oxford
    Slideshow Description: 

    Oxford, Mississippi-based Urgent Care Clinic of Oxford reported it was a victim of a ransomware attack, which appears to have been initiated by Russian hackers. The breach was discovered in August 2016 and occurred at sometime in early July of 2016. Urgent Care staff noticed the server running slowly on Aug. 2. The server was held for ransom for an undisclosed amount of time before control was returned to the clinic, according to officials. The clinic shut down the server’s remote access to prevent anyone outside of the clinic from again accessing the system.

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Rodney%20Hanners%20-%20USC.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    University of Southern California's Keck and Norris Hospitals
    Slideshow Description: 

    Two University of Southern California hospitals were hit by a ransomware attack that encrypted hospital data on servers, making files inaccessible to employees. The attack was quickly contained and isolated, which prevented it from spreading to other servers. The incident was remediated within several days and data was fully restored - without paying the ransom.

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Email-Virus-HITN_6.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Professional Dermatology Care in Reston, Virginia
    Slideshow Description: 

    Reston, Virginia-based Professional Dermatology Care reported that an unauthorized third party accessed protected health information and financial data of 13,237 of its patients. The cybercriminals encrypted the patient data with ransomware, intending to extract money from the healthcare organization According to officials, the breach was not to 'misuse patient data.' The incident occurred between June 19 and 27 this year, when PDC officials discovered the breach.

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Kansas%20Heart%20hosptial%20hitn_0_0.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Kansas Heart Hospital
    Slideshow Description: 

    Kansas Heart Hospital became the victim of a ransomware attack in May, and after it paid the first one, attackers boldly demanded a second ransom to decrypt data. Kansas Heart Hospital president Greg Duick, MD told local media that patient information was not endangered and routine operations weren't affected. He declined to say how much money Kansas Heart Hospital paid the cybercriminals, only that it was “a small amount.” Duick explained that Kansas Heart Hospital did not pay the second ransom request and said that along with consultants it didn't think that would be a wise move, even though attackers still appear to have some of their data locked.

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Alvarado%20Medical-HITN_0.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Alvarado Medical Center
    Slideshow Description: 

    San Diego-based Alvarado Hospital Medical Center became the third hospital owned by Prime Healthcare Services to be hit with ransomware in March. The system was hit by a "malware disruption" on March 31, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. A spokesperson for the 306-bed hospital confirmed the cyberattack, but wouldn't say which systems had been affected. For its part, Alvarado said it had taken "extraordinary steps to protect and expeditiously find a resolution to this disruption," according to a statement provided to the Union-Tribune, but offered little other detail except to say patient and employee records hadn't been compromised.

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/kings%20daughters.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    King's Daughters' Health
    Slideshow Description: 

    King's Daughters' Health in southeast Indiana had to power down all of its computer systems in March, as it discovered a single employee's file had been infected with Locky ransomware virus. King's Daughters' Health officials told Indiana's WSCH radio that patient data was secure and hadn't been compromised and that it would restart its computer systems once it was safe to do so. KDH used manual processes to continue operations, while the systems were down. Linda Darnell, the hospital's senior director of IT, told the station that ongoing staff education about these evolving cyber threats helped employees act quickly to contain the Locky virus once it was found. 

    Special report: Ransomware to get worse, hackers targeting whales, IoT triggers new vulnerabilities

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/medstar%20health_1.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    MedStar Health
    Slideshow Description: 

    March proved to be a big month for ransomware, as MedStar Health in Washington, DC was hit with ransomware that locked down the system for a few days. The cybercriminals demanded a ransom of 45 Bitcoin, or about $19,000 to unlock the system's data. They also offered a separate option of paying 3 Bitcoins to unlock a single computer. The virus affected Washington’s Georgetown University Hospital and other medical offices in the region. MedStar employees encountered a pop-up message demanding the payment in exchange for a digital key that would unlock the data, according to several reports. Medstar said in a statement that the virus prevented some employees from logging into system, but all of its clinics remained open and functioning. The malware blocked MedStar employees from accessing patient data and, in some cases, patients were turned away.

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/chinohitn_0.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Chino Valley Medical Center and Desert Valley Hospital
    Slideshow Description: 

    Two Prime Healthcare hospitals in California - Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino and Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville - were attacked by hackers demanding a ransom in March. Prime spokesperson Fred Ortega acknowledged the attack, according to reports and said that neither hospital paid the ransom and no patient data was compromised.

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/methodistkentuckyhitn_0.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Methodist Hospital
    Slideshow Description: 

    Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Kentucky was held under a ransomware attack for five days in March, which it effectively fended off without paying the cybercriminals. During the attack, the hospital declared an internal state of emergency and posted this to the hospital's website: “Methodist Hospital is currently working in an Internal State of Emergency due to a Computer Virus that has limited our use of electronic web based services. We are currently working to resolve this issue, until then we will have limited access to web based services and electronic communications.”

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/ottowahitn_0.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Ottawa Hospital
    Slideshow Description: 

    Attackers broke into Ottawa Hospital’s network with ransomware that initially encrypted four computers. Hospital officials publicly stated that its IT staff has since wiped the machines clean, restored necessary data through backup copies and added that none of the other 9,800 computers were affected and no patient data was compromised. The ransomware attack against Ottawa Hospital is the latest in a string of cybercriminal attempts to gain access to hospital computers then lock down that data and demand payment, typically in Bitcoin, to decrypt it.

    Full Story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/hollywoodpresbyterian2hitn_2.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center
    Slideshow Description: 

    Hackers launched a ransomware attack against Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and held the hospital’s data hostage until the organization paid the ransom of $17,000 or 40 Bitcoins. Without access to their systems, Hollywood Presbyterian caregivers fell back on handwritten notes and faxes, as the hackers knocked the provider offline for almost a week in February. Everything from e-mails to CT scans were affected, and patients had to pick up prescriptions and test results in person, as they could not be sent electronically because of the emergency.

    Full Story.

    Teaser: 

    Ransomware attacks have been steadily increasing in the healthcare industry since the beginning of the year, and with the most recent attacks on New Jersey Spine Center, Marin Healthcare District and Urgent Care Clinic of Oxford, it doesn't look like the target placed on these providers will be shrinking anytime soon.

    Thumbnail: 
    Ransomware hospitals attacked
    Custom OAS pagetag: 
    Primary topic: 

    0 0

    Despite being the buzzword du jour, with an array of definitions of varying usefulness, population health management technologies are maturing and appear poised to transform healthcare, according to IDC Health Insights.

    The consultancy said that population health management software must have the functionality to identify at-risk patient populations – or those predicted to be at risk in the future – and has to enable provider performance measurement, the creation and monitoring care plans and communication with communities of patients and individuals alike.

    But researchers see big variations in the the analytic capabilities in these various systems – specifically with regard to risk stratification and performance measurement – as well as with the degree of integration with electronic health records and the sophistication of care plan development.

    [Are EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

    Notably, the number of market leaders has doubled over the past two years – with EHR vendors accounting for half the pack, according to IDC.

    Its new MarketScape report, "U.S. Population Health Management, 2016 Vendor Assessment," IDC evaluated pop health platforms from Allscripts, athenahealth, Caradigm, eClinicalWorks, Enli, IBM Phytel, McKesson, Medecision, Optum, The Advisory Board Company and Wellcentive.

    "Some vendors have exited the market while others have for the first time qualified for inclusion," IDC Research Director Cynthia Burghard said in a statement. "We expect market maturity will continue to grow at a rapid pace."

    Indeed, the population health management market is fast-evolving and highly competitive, according to the report, which notes, for instance, that more and more companies are developing disease-specific applications for patients with chronic illnesses.

    "At this nascent stage of population health management, the approaches have been based on historic approaches," Burghard added. "With maturity, the need to be more precise in our analysis, more personalized in care plan development and more proactive in patient engagement will grow."


    Helpful advice for planning to purchase a population health platform:

    ⇒ Experts explain what to look for when choosing a population health platform
    ⇒ Comparison chart of 8 population health products 
    ⇒ An in-depth look at 8 population health software programs


    Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
    Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, with its sweeping changes for how providers will be paid, is just weeks away from finalization and is set to launch soon thereafter. The American Medical Association has unveiled two new tools to help physicians navigate the new reimbursement landscape.

    The AMA Payment Model Evaluator and The AMA STEPS Forward collection of educational modules are both available for use on the AMA website, and require only a login to site, not AMA membership, the organization said during a conference call.

    The AMA Payment Model Evaluator offers initial assessments to physicians so they can determine how MACRA will impact their practices, and what path might best suit their group. It was developed with physicians and input from partners, and will give physicians and their staff a brief assessment, as well as relevant educational and actionable resources.

    Physicians and medical practice administrators need only access the AMA website, find the MACRA tools link on the bottom right side of the homepage, and click their way to the tool. Once they have filled out the online questionnaire, they will receive guidance for participating in the MACRA payment model most suited to them. The Evaluator will be continually updated in response to regulatory changes, and to keep practices up to speed throughout the reform process.

    [Also: With MACRA, doctors have big concerns for small practices]

    STEPS Forward is a collection of 'practice improvement strategies' with MACRA-specific tools. Each module focuses on a specific topic, offering practical solutions, implementation guidance, case studies, continuing medical education, and downloadable tools and resources.

    "Physicians and their practice staff can use these to help improve practice efficiency and ultimately enhance patient care, physician satisfaction and practice sustainability," AMA said in a statement.

    The full collection now includes 42 modules, including implementing team-based care, electronic health record selection and implementation, preparing practices for value-based care, implementing team documentation, and Quality Reporting and the importance of Qualified Clinical Data Registries in maximizing success.

    Also, the AMA launched a ReachMD a five-episode podcast series called Inside Medicare's New Payment System. Andy Slavitt, CMS acting administrator, AMA staff experts, and others are featured on the series.


    0 0

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/ivo-nelson-ut-health-glaser-award.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Ivo Nelson was honored at a UT Health award ceremony
    Slideshow Description: 

    Ivo Nelson an innovator and CEO of NextWave Health, was honored by the John P. Glaser Health Informatics Society on October 4 in a ceremony that took place at the  University of Texas UTHealth School of BIomedical Informatics (SBMI). 

    Nelson began his work advancing the use of technology in improving patient outcomes in 1989 at Perot Systems. He left to found Healthlink which became the largest privately-held provider-focused health information consulting firm until it was acquired by IBM in 1992. He went on to participate in the formation of a number of other healthcare companies and served on the board of HIMSS. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Next Wave Health, an investment firm that works with start-ups and early stage companies.

    The UTHealth SBMI formed the John P. Glaser Health Informatics Society last year "to recognize innovators in the field of health informatics and provide education, collaboration and networking opportunities for the broader community of health informatics professionals, clinicians and students."

    Photos: Marcos Hernandez

     

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/john-glaser-award.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    John Glaser honoring Ivo Nelson
    Slideshow Description: 

    John Glaser (right) served as CEO of Siemens Health Services until it was acquired by Cerner. Previously, Glaser was vice president and CIO of Partners HealthCare; he also previously served as vice president of information systems at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He was the founding chair of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and past-president of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). He is a prolific author; his most recent book is Glaser on Health Care IT: Perspectives from the Decade that Defined Health Care Information Technology.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/group-shot-glaser-award.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Attending the ceremony in Houston...
    Slideshow Description: 

    John Glaser, senior vice president of Population Health and Global Strategy, Cerner Corporation; Steve Lieber, president & CEO, HIMSS; Ivo Nelson, chairman and CEO, Next Wave Health; Jiajie Zhang, dean, UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics; and Robert Murphy, MD, associate dean for Applied Informatics, UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/houston-reception-award.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    The ceremony was held at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Houston
    Slideshow Description: 

    TheJohn P. Glaser Health Informatics Society at UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics was created to provide a forum for dialogue and collaboration among faculty, students, alumni, and a diverse group of professionals working in the field of health informatics.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/John-glaser-Jiajie-zhang-award.jpg
    Slideshow Description: 

    John Glaser and Jiajie Zhang, dean, UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/group-ut-health-award.jpg
    Slideshow Description: 

    Carl Vartian, CMIO, HCA Gulf Coast Division; Debora Simmons, assistant professor, UTHealth; Muhammad F. Walji, associate dean for technology services & informatics and professor, UTHealth School of Dentistry; and two UTHealth central development officers

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/john-glaser-uthealth-faculty-award.jpg
    Slideshow Description: 

    John Glaser with Ayse McCracken, Gene Sellers, Dana Sellers, and Dana Hoyt

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/7864-award.jpg
    Slideshow Description: 

    UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics faculty: Elmer Bernstam, associate dean for research and professor; Robert Murphy, associate dean for applied informatics and associate professor; Kirk Roberts, assistant professor; and Deevakar Rogith, assistant professor 

    Teaser: 

    A University of Texas ceremony honored achievement in the field of health informatics and started a new tradition.

    Thumbnail: 
    Ivo Nelsen honored
    Custom OAS pagetag: 
    Primary topic: 

    0 0

    Author: 
    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/New%20hires_0.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Running list: 2016 notable hires, promotions in health IT
    Slideshow Description: 

    Keep up with the top comings and goings, the changing roles and faces in the world of healthcare IT with this regularly updated gallery.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Jerry_Esker_2.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Jerry Esker takes CEO seat at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System
    Slideshow Description: 

    Esker, who has been with the organization for more than 30 years, accepts the new roll just as the organization prepares to roll out a Cerner EHR system.

    Read the article.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Barnett.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Thomas L. Barnett to join University of Rochester Medical Center as CIO
    Slideshow Description: 

    Thomas L. Barnett will take the post of CIO at the University of Rochester. Barnett has more than 20 years of experience in building information systems in complex healthcare settings, officials stated in a news release announcing their selection. Part of the vast experience he brings to the job is his work with Epic EHRs at other health systems. URMC is an Epic shop.

    Read the full article.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Mary%20E.%20O%27Dowd.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Mary E. O'Dowd, former New Jersery health commissioner, to oversee health systems, lead population health initiatives at Rutgers University
    Slideshow Description: 

    Mary O’Dowd joins Rutgers as the academic medical center is embarking on a wide-ranging population health initiative to integrate specialities with more traditional fields.

    Read the full article.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Joy%20Grosser_1.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Joy Grosser wins CIO post at University Hospitals in Cleveland
    Slideshow Description: 

    In addition to IT experience in large healthcare systems, Grosser brings strategic strengths to the job.

    Read the story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/mainehealth_marcydunn2_0.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    MaineHealth taps Marcy Dunn for CIO post
    Slideshow Description: 

    In her role at MaineHealth, Dunn will be responsible for IT operations across the system of nine member hospitals and other healthcare providers serving southern, western and central Maine, as well as Carroll County, N.H.

    Read the story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Jeff%20Hurst_1.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Cerner names RCM expert Jeff Hurst to lead revenue cycle business
    Slideshow Description: 

    Cerner President Zane Burke said Hurst, currently a senior vice president at Florida Hospital, brings both vision and operational expertise to the software vendor.  

    Read the story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Rajiv%20Kumar%2C%20MD-HITN-1.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Apple hires one of its HealthKit ambassadors: Rajiv Kumar, MD
    Slideshow Description: 

    The pediatric endocrinologist at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is known for his HealthKit pilot study on Type 1 diabetes patients.

    Read the story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/marcharrisonHFN_0.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    A. Marc Harrison to succeed CEO Charles A. Sorenson at Intermountain Healthcare
    Slideshow Description: 

    Intermountain Healthcare appointed A. Marc Harrison, MD, 52, as its new president and chief executive officer. Harrison will take the post when the current CEO Charles Sorenson, 64, retires on October 15, 2016.

    Read the fiull story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/paul_tang__md_480.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Paul Tang, MD, joins IBM Watson
    Slideshow Description: 

    After 18 years of leading health IT innovation at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, part of Sutter Health, headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., Paul Tang, MD, is making his innovation work even bigger, broader and faster by teaming up with IBM Watson.

    Read the full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Jeffrey%20Carr-HITN_0.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Jeffrey Carr takes position as Mercy Health's first-ever Chief Innovation Officer
    Slideshow Description: 

    Jeffrey Carr, formerly the entrepreneur-in-residence – at a Cincinnati startup incubator, is bringing his varied innovation background to bear at Mercy Health, which operates 23 hospitals in Ohio and Kentucky. Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Valita%20Fredland.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Indiana HIE puts longtime expert in charge of privacy, security
    Slideshow Description: 

    Valita Fredland is stepping into the triple role of vice president, general counsel and privacy officer at the Indiana Health Information Exchange, the largest health exchange in the country. Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Patricia%20Flatley%20Brennan%20in%20CAVE.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Patricia Flatley Brennan to head National Library of Medicine
    Slideshow Description: 

    Patricia Flatley Brennan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a former practicing nurse with a Ph.D. in industrial engineering, will take the lead as director at the National Library of Medicine. Read full story here.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/1.%20Andrew%20Bindman%2C%20MD_0.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    UCSF professor, researcher Andrew Bindman to head AHRQ
    Slideshow Description: 

    Andrew Bindman, MD, takes the helm at the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Under the umbrella of the Department of Health and Human Services, AHRQ is charged with finding ways to improve healthcare by making it more accessible, affordable, equitable – and safer. Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Eric%20Dishman-HITN_0.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Eric Dishman exits Intel to head National Institutes of Health precision medicine research
    Slideshow Description: 

    The longtime Intel fellow will be responsible for creating a longitudinal study to more effectively treat disease and ultimately improve health. Dishman also brings experience using precision medicine tactics to beat cancer he fought for 23 years. Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/2.%20Neal%20Singh-HITN.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Caradigm names Neal Singh its new CEO
    Slideshow Description: 

    Population health IT developer Caradigm promoted its chief technology officer Neal Singh the chief executive position. Singh will take over for Michael Simpson, who has led the company since it was founded as a joint venture by Microsoft and GE four years ago. Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Adam%20Landman.jpg
    Slideshow Title: 
    Landman takes CIO spot at Brigham and Women's
    Slideshow Description: 

    As CMIO, Adam Landman has taken an active role in Partners HealthCare's Epic implementation and is 'experienced in designing early-stage technology innovation.'  Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/5.%20marklantzyhitn_1.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Indiana University Health names new CIO
    Slideshow Description: 

    Mark Lantzy brings more than 20 years experience earned at Gateway Health, Accenture, Aetna, WellCare. Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/6.%20glaserhitn.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Cerner taps John Glaser to lead EHR company's population health efforts
    Slideshow Description: 

    Before joining Cerner, Glaser was the longtime vice president and chief information officer at Partners HealthCare. Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/7.%20Jeff%20Brown%20seattlechildrens.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Seattle Children's Hospital names Jeff Brown permanent CIO, senior vice president
    Slideshow Description: 

    Brown joined Seattle Children's from Lawrence General Hospital in Massachusetts in April 2015, serving as interim CIO. Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/8.%20mechael.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    HIMSS taps Patricia Mechael to lead Personal Connected Health Alliance
    Slideshow Description: 

    HIMSS appointed Patricia Mechael executive vice president, Personal Connected Health Alliance at HIMSS, effective April 15. Read full story.

     

     

     

     

     

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/Sue%20Schade.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Sue Schade leaves University of Michigan, heads to Cleveland for interim CIO role
    Slideshow Description: 
    Schade, chief information officer at University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, is leaving that role and will instead focus on consulting, coaching and interim management work after spending more than 30 years leading IT departments. See full story.
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/10.%20Vindell%20Washington.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Vindell Washington named principal deputy national coordinator at ONC
    Slideshow Description: 

    Washington most recently served as president and CMIO of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. Read full story.

    Slideshow Image: 
    http://m.healthcareitnews.com/sites/default/files/11.%20Daniel%20Barchi%20NYPres.png
    Slideshow Title: 
    Daniel Barchi named NewYork-Presbyterian CIO, will lead telehealth launch
    Slideshow Description: 

    Barchi previously served as senior vice president and CIO at Yale New Haven Health System and Yale School of Medicine.

    Read full story.

    Teaser: 

    Keep up with the top comings and goings, the changing roles and faces in the world of healthcare IT with this regularly updated gallery.

    Thumbnail: 
    hires promotions health IT
    Custom OAS pagetag: 

    0 0

    Jerry Esker, who has served as interim president and CEO of Sarah Bush Health System in Mattoon, Ill. since late July, has been named president and CEO by the health system’s board of directors.

    “Over the last few months, Jerry has been a trusted leader moving Sarah Bush Lincoln forward as it executes its strategic plan,” Steve Wente, who chairs the health system’s board of directors, said in a statement. “His focus and the focus of the entire staff is on patient safety, service and the implementation of Cerner, the organization’s new operating system.”

    [EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

    As the vice president of practice management, Esker led the division’s strategic growth by increasing the number of employed medical staff members from 78 to 147 and virtually eliminating resignations by medical staff members. Over that same period, clinic office visits rose from 185,000 a year to 286,000 a year, and medical staff satisfaction improved from the sub-median level to the 90th percentile nationally by 2013.

    Wente noted that the sustained growth of the practice management unit is directly correlated with the success of the entire health system.

    Esker has been with the health system since 1985, beginning his career as a staff pharmacist. Within three years, he was promoted to pharmacy director, and in 2007 he was named vice president of practice management.

    Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
    Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    Chad Brouillard deals with the unsavory topic of medical malpractice lawsuits and the increasing complexity EHRs add to them everyday.  

    The attorney at Foster & Eldridge in Cambridge, Massachusetts defends physicians in malpractice suits and witnesses first-hand the hassle and uncertainty of EHRs as evidence in court.

    When paper records were prolific, the problems that arose around gathering evidence pertained mostly to illegible notes and abbreviations that, when written, looked like other abbreviations, he said.

    Not so with EHRs. Today’s problems arise when doctors accidently select the wrong drop-down on a menu, for example. In addition, print-outs of EHRs can be thousands of pages long. EHRs, after all, were architected to be purely-digital, not printed out on paper.

    “What it boils down to, is there are no clear-cut standards for discovery or evidence,” Brouillard said.

    Wait! What? The EHR as a legal record?
    The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) defines the legal health record as a means of identifying “what information constitutes the official business record of an organization for evidentiary purposes.”

    In layman’s terms: it’s what can be used as evidence in court — either in favor or against a doctor or provider organization.

    [EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

    Part of the problem, of course, is that the issue of the legal record has thus far taken a back seat in EHR implementations and policy discussions because there have been so many other issues taking precedence. Hint: meaningful use. 

    Another reason policymakers have backburnered the matter is the reality that physicians loathe the conversation because it requires simultaneously facing the issue of malpractice lawsuits.  

    EHRs leave doctors exposed
    Administrators, healthcare attorneys, clinicians and executives are growing more and more frustrated, mad and even worse vulnerable, according to Kim Baldwin-Stried Reich, a member of the HL7 workgroup on legal EHRs and an expert witness in court on the matter.

    EHRs aren’t easy to use, for one thing, and doctors don’t want to have to think about how they will have to use the records to defend themselves, for another.

    “The EHR record is very difficult when it comes to court,” she added. “It’s very difficult for doctors to testify because the printout is not what they saw at the time they used the EHR to make their decisions.”

    Jodi Daniel, a partner at the law firm of Crowell & Moring in Washington, DC and former policy director for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said she’s anecdotally heard about physicians settling malpractice lawsuits, not because they were guilty, but because they couldn’t use the EHR to prove that the decision they made was based on the information available to them at the time.

    “They couldn’t demonstrate what they did and why they did it,” Daniel said. “They were forced to settle to make the problem go away.”

    Now is the time to plan
    The legal record that EHRs house, however inadvertently, is not something doctors or hospital executives can ignore any longer.

    AHIMA recommends establishing a policy around a legal record, as does HL7’s Reich.  

    Lydia Washington, senior director of HIM Practice Excellence at AHIMA, said there’s nothing fool-proof for protecting physicians if they are asked to defend their decisions in court via an EHR, but having a policy in place as a healthcare practice or organization can help to minimize problems that could occur.

    “Preparing in advance for the risks and the problems the might happen — even though you don’t want those problems to happen — is just a smart thing to do,” Daniel agreed. “It’s a risk mitigation strategy.” 

    Twitter: @HealthITNews


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    As 2016 enters its final season, healthcare executives are planning for next year and determining which technologies and initiatives to prioritize during the next 12 months.

    What will you upgrade in 2017? Security? EHRs? Analytics? Population health?

    Which technologies will you introduce or investigate in 2017? Precision medicine? Telehealth? Remote patient monitoring? Smart medical devices?

    The questions are brief and will take only five or six minutes to complete. And all answers are confidential and will not be shared with anyone. CLICK HERE to take the survey.

    We will report the survey results in a feature article in the January 2017 issue of the print and online editions of Healthcare IT News.

    CLICK HERE to get started. 

    Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
    Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    The Office of the National Coordinator today released the final rule for the ONC Health IT Certification Program, which gives the agency more direct oversight of the health IT testing labs.

    The rule highlights the importance of protecting public health and safety while also strengthening transparency and accountability in the certification program.

    The “ONC Health IT Certification Program: Enhanced Oversight and Accountability” final rule will enable the ONC Health IT Certification Program to better support physicians and hospitals – the vast majority of whom use certified electronic health records – and the rapid pace of innovation in the health information technology market, according to the ONC.

    [EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

    “We have a very good framework that we’ve been working on for several months and how it’s executed and is triggered, it is a process,” National Coordinator Vindell Washington, MD, said on a call with reporters.

    Washington also underscored that the focus of the new rule is around items that affect patient safety and items that are certified by multiple Authorized Certification Bodies.

    The rule focuses on three areas: Direct review, consistent authorization and oversight and increased transparency and accountability.

    Direct review lays out a regulatory framework for ONC to directly review certified health IT products and take necessary action when public health and safety is at risk, or when issues arise involving multiple certified functionalities or products that have been certified by multiple ONC authorized certification bodies.

    Consistent authorization establishes a process for ONC to authorize and oversee accredited testing laboratories, making it easier for ONC to quickly, directly, and precisely address testing and performance issues.

    The rule also calls for increased transparency and accountability by making surveillance results and performance results of certified health IT publicly available.

    The rule requires ONC to provide surveillance results quarterly to the public on the web-based Certified Health IT Product List. 

    Washington was also asked about the matter of EHR usability.

    “To say that usability is a checkbox that you get from a certifying body is not really a place where you want a strong federal arm,” Washington said. He added that if usability itself were contributing to unsafe situations, then ONC could use some oversight efforts.

    Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
    Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    At the first White House Frontiers Conference held at the University of Pittsburgh, Barack Obama proved while he only has three and half months left as president he wants to solidify the administration as "science-forward."

    Obama furthered this stance at the event co-hosted by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon, while making a few tongue-in-cheek jabs at a particular presidential candidate. He also hosted the conversation on progress made with technological innovations - and its promise.

    "Innovation is in our DNA. Science has always been central to our progress, and it's playing a leading role in overcoming our greatest challenges," said Obama as he opened the Presidential Panel on Brain Science and Medical Information. "Only with science do we have a chance to cure cancer, Parkinson's or other diseases." 

    [Special Report: Precision medicine: Analytics, data science, EHRs in new age]

    Along with touting the scientific advancements made while he was in office, Obama also took a stand against his critics.

    "I am a science geek, and I don't make any apologies for it," he added. "It's the thing that sets us apart. That's why I get so riled up when I hear people willfully ignore facts or stick their heads in the sand about basic scientific consensus."

    "It's not just that bad position leads to bad policy," he added. "It's also that it undermines the very thing that has always made America the engine for innovation around the world…. We don't just listen to science when it fits our ideologies. That's the path to ruin."

    When Russians sent Sputnik into space 60 years ago, the U.S. didn't deny that it was up there. We built our own space program, almost overnight - then beat them to the moon, Obama said.

    After his opening, Obama sat among a panel of three scientists and a patient advocate to discuss the future of the healthcare technology landscape. Among the discussion of current AI, machine learning and other high-tech projects, the panel discussed concerns that security fears hindering innovation.

    Genomic data is one of the most complicated sets of data to be handled, explained panelist Ricardo Sabatini, research and data scientist for Human Longevity, a long-term genomics study. Researchers want to publish and share information, but security is still a concern.

    [Also: Precision Medicine Initiative expands with Geisinger, Partners HealthCare, Henry Ford, many more]

    "We need to remove fear and allow people to reengage in their own health and on their own data: There are technologies to keep them safe and secure," Sabatini said. "This shouldn't be a limit to access your own information and feel comfortable to own your own information."

    Security is going to be an ongoing problem across discipline. As lives become more digitalized, it will become more challenging to provide it, Obama said.

    "The opportunities to hack your information will be just as great or greater in a poorly integrated, broken down healthcare system, as it will be in a highly integrated effective healthcare system," Obama said. "It's important for us not to overstate the very real dangers of cybersecurity and ensuring the privacy of our health records."

    "We don't want them so overstated that ends up becoming a significant impediment to us making the system work better," he added.

    Twitter: @JessieFDavis
    Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    VERONA, WISCONSIN — Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner enters the conference room at the EHR giant’s sprawling – and ever so whimsical – Intergalactic Headquarters at 1979 Milky Way. 

    Framed boards with some of her recent favorite quotes bedeck the walls of the conference room, one of several scattered across the campus. As Faulkner reviews some of the axioms, she becomes animated. There’s not one she does not like. She selected them all, and she keeps them fresh by rotating in new ones from time to time.

    Her choices are telling. A sampling: “Don’t be a champion of the mediocre.” “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” “Be an enabler, not an inhibitor.”

    One more taste: “If you see a snake, kill it; don’t form a committee on snakes.” 

    [EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

    Sitting down with a reporter for an interview is a relatively new experience for Faulkner, who admits she would rather focus on “the work.” Until recently she never thought about taking time away from developing new software and running her nearly $2 billion company. Lately, however, she has been more inclined to talk about how her software works, about EHR usability and interoperability and to discuss how Epic fares on these and other related topics.

    Faulkner even brought colorful information sheets and graphs showing stats that support the points she wants to make on R&D, data exchange, interoperability and EHR usability.

    Indeed, she discussed those points when Healthcare IT News visited Epic’s campus. And we asked a question more personal than technical in nature: Why the change of mind? What made you start talking to the media now?

    “It has to do with our growth in the industry,” she said. “When we were smaller, it was fairly easy just to stay below the radar and concentrate simply on ‘are we developing good software? And are we doing a good job with our customers?’ That’s how life was,” Faulkner recalled.

    As she sees it, offering a good product, good service and a good relationship with customers is the best way to compete. Or at least it used to be.

    “Even though in my mind that’s a wonderful way to compete, I think what it has become is more of a media battle than a quality-of-products and quality-of-services and support battle,” Faulkner said. “At first we tried to resist that — we couldn’t.”

    There were too many misconceptions, too many untruths, like the time Faulkner read an article about a healthcare organization that was having an awful time with its Epic software.That provider, it turned out, was not even an Epic customer. The troubles stemmed from another vendor's EHR.

    [Innovation Pulse: Interoperability: Ripe for disruption?]

    Then came the Coast Guard’s decision in April 2016 to terminate its $14 million EHR contract with Epic prior to go-live, without a clear explanation as to why. It prompted Faulkner to post the facts she knew about the project on Epic’s website to counter any misconceptions that Epic was at fault.

    Situations like these have made Faulkner realize that silence might not be the right response to misinformation and assumptions and that, perhaps, setting the record straight might be a more effective course.

    But Faulkner readily admits that Epic – with no marketing department, no press releases and no PR people – has not been prepared on this front. Just recently, in fact, Epic vice president of client success Eric Helsher has picked up some of the vendor’s PR responsibilities.

    “One person can’t do everything,” Faulkner said. “There needs to be a team with a strategy. We still don’t have a very good machine in place to be able to work quickly. We’re in the process of it. We’re not done with that.”


    Healthcare IT News Editor-at-Large Bernie Monegain traveled to the EHR maker's campus. Other Inside Epic articles: 
    ⇒ Epic reveals R&D spending outstrips Apple, Google and all its competitors
    ⇒ A look into Epic's EHR design and usability teams 

    ⇒ Judy Faulkner refutes rivals' claims about Epic EHR being closed


    Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
    Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com

    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    Olathe Health System announced that it will expand its enterprise-wide Cerner EHR by integrating with Cerner’s Millennium Revenue Cycle technology.

    Integrating the revenue cycle technology with the electronic health record would achieve what Cerner calls “Clinically Driven Revenue Cycle,” noted Cerner Senior Vice President Jeff Hurst in a statement.

    The combination streamlines processes and makes for more efficient billing, with data flowing in near real time, Hurst explained.  

    [EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

    Olathe CIO Randy Rahman added that integrating clinical and financial solutions will enable better care coordination across inpatient and outpatient facilities, as well as independent physician practices.

    “Our goal is to bring our organization onto one platform,” Rahman said. “The potential patient benefits and outcomes are truly what drive our business actions, including this decision to expand our health IT system.”

    As Olathe Health System expands services on its campus, including the building of a new cancer center, Olathe executives also plan to roll out a suite of Cerner oncology solutions designed to help care teams manage complex medication orders. The health system will implement RxStation, Cerner’s automated medication dispensing device. 

    Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
    Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    Midland Health in Texas, which includes Midland Memorial Hospital and affiliated health clinics, will roll out a new EHR and also financial and population health management systems from Cerner.

    Midland Memorial’s 474-bed hospital and its community clinics will convert from disparate IT systems in place today to Cerner’s integrated digital platform, which includes the Cerner Millennium EHR, population health management and revenue cycle management.

    The hospital will employ HealtheIntent, Cerner’s population health management platform, which is designed to collect data from multiple sources into a single patient record. 

    [EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

    Midland Health intends to offer its clinicians a more holistic view of their patients’ health status to provide them with insights and improve care coordination. Patients, for their par, will have access to an online patient portal where they can schedule appointments as well as view personal health information and clinical results.

    “When considering which supplier would best support Midland Health, we were focused on specific important capabilities,” Midland CFO Stephen Bowerman said in a statement. “We required a system that would provide clinical visibility between the physician practice and acute care setting and a revenue cycle integrated with the EHR.”

    Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

    Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
    Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    Healthcare CIOs take note: Prepare now for the onslaught of crowdsourcing, open source, mass customization as well as innovative and disruptive business models that are coming your way.

    The ongoing shift toward value-based and customer-centric care delivery will spark innovative solutions and add value for healthcare customers. Such digitization of products, services and commerce models, in fact, are already beginning to democratize healthcare systems in disruptive ways, according to global research firm Frost & Sullivan.

    "CEOs should pay attention to developing innovative business models to monetize emerging opportunities,” Frost & Sullivan  analyst Kamaljit Beher wrote in a new report. “Companies such as Apple, Google, IBM Watson and Intel will continue to compete outside their domain, forcing traditional healthcare companies to change their dominant business models.”

    [EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

    The healthcare industry is entering a phase of rapid transformation, brought about by the emergence of new technologies and the need to align with emerging care compensation models, Frost & Sullivan noted.

    What’s more, medical technology and pharmaceutical companies are thinking beyond products and pills and gauging ways they might provide services to become more customer-centric.

    Actionable health outcome data will be the new battleground in the healthcare industry, analysts predict.

    “Walmart is planning to take bold steps, from introducing disruptive product-service bundling packages to aiming to become a primary care provider,” Beher wrote.

    New models such as crowdsourcing and mass customization are emerging and enabling price transparency. They also provide companies with more flexibility by lowering inventory carrying cost.

    These emerging models also promote the culture of open innovation, enabling data collection on customer preferences, which will lead to optimized new product developments.

    “Collaboration and open-source innovation are key ingredients for future restructuring,” Beher wrote. “Scalability is the most critical success factor.”

    Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
    Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


    0 0

    BALTIMORE -- Electronic health records make it easier than ever to create detailed patient files even for long or complex encounters but the technology has a dark side: EHR upcoding.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in fact, is more concerned than ever about overcoding – and balancing medical necessity with meaningful use.

    It’s no wonder. On the one hand are unscrupulous providers either upcoding or otherwise gaming the system with EHR notes and, on the other, are well-meaning clinicians who inadvertently fall prey to documentation mistakes that put them at odds with the law.

    Some doctors are just distracted, lazy or otherwise all too happy to let someone else deal with the hassle of EHR charting. 

    [Also: Legal records lurking in EHRs add new wrinkle to malpractice lawsuits]

    Kim Garner Huey, owner of KGG Coding and Reimbursement Consulting, said she once encountered a coder who told her that one doc was "so bad with his documentation" that he gave the coder his login info – enabling her to have free access to the medical record, and even the ability to enter diagnoses.

    That tale, as one might imagine, elicited audible gasps from the AHIMA Convention and Exhibit audience here this week.

    As EHR’s approach near-universal adoption, hospitals must focus on data integrity, high-quality clinical documentation, making sure doctors do not upcode improperly just because it’s easier, and for the dreaded audit.  

    Garner Huey and Sandra Giangreco, coding compliance audit senior manager with CHAN Healthcare Auditors offered advice during an AHIMA session on avoiding chart note challenges, and gave some perspective on what auditors are looking for when gauging medical necessity.

    When auditors come knockin’
    Garner Huey said auditors generally look for some telltale signs when examining EHR documentation. They're interested in authentication such as signatures, dates and times – metadata that tells who did what, and when.

    They're on the lookout for contradictions between history of present illness and review of systems.

    Auditors also tend to be well attuned to certain wording anomalies or grammatical error that might indicate something other than above-board clinical notes.

    Another thing they look for: medically implausible documentation.

    Configuring code generators and templates
    Garner Huey and Giangreco shared questions that hospitals should be asking about code generators and templates.

    Has code generating software been programmed to account for policies specific to the local Medicare contractor? How does the coding tool manage dictated portions of the encounter, such as the HPI? And how does it distinguish between different levels of medical decision-making?

    With templates, there other questions to consider. Is the provider able to choose only part of a template, or to personalize one? Are there multiple templates, personalized for complaint or diagnosis? Are the various contributors to the encounter – nursing staff, physician, identified?

    Pros and cons of copy and paste
    Then there's the issue of copy-and-paste. Auditors can see within an EHR where notes have been slapped in from some other source by recognizing unnecessarily lengthy notes, outdated or redundant information or challenges identifying the authors or dates.

    But copy-and-paste doesn't always indicate wrongdoing. Giangreco and Garner Huey pointed to a JAMA Internal Medicine paper by researchers form University of Wisconsin.

    [EHRs getting better? Readers rank vendors higher than last year in new survey]

    "It is too easy, and often mistaken, to equate a physician's routine use of copy-and-paste with fraud," the authors wrote. "Data replication is a feature of electronic health records; facts beyond the mere use of duplicated text are required to establish that a note may be fraudulent."

    Indeed, when used correctly, it can create time savings, the JAMA article noted; EHRs are "not to blame for the carelessness of individual physicians."

    AHIMA guidelines
    AHIMA put forth some of its own guidelines for proper use of copy-and-paste functionality back in 2014, aiming to promote EHR efficiency while still ensuring accuracy and integrity.

    Providers, meanwhile, should develop thorough policies and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance and "high-quality clinical documentation and health information integrity."

    It should only be done with robust technical and administrative controls, AHIMA officials said, and clinicians should always weigh the time savings against the risk of inaccurate, fraudulent or unwieldy EHR documentation.

    To ensure copy-and-paste is used appropriately, AHIMA recommended that providers, vendors, policymakers work together to develop standards for monitoring clinical documentation compliance – and ensuring that EHR systems support it.

    Developers should make sure their EHRs are configurable so clinicians can use copy-and-paste accurately – such as enabling recording user actions, audit capabilities and reporting, said AHIMA. And groups such as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology should take a more active role in documentation capture processes.

    Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
    Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com


    Like Healthcare IT News on Facebook and LinkedIn


older | 1 | .... | 7 | 8 | (Page 9) | 10 | 11 | .... | 66 | newer