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INFOGRAPHIC: Patient Portals – 7 Features the Market is Demanding

When it comes to patient portals most provider organizations are focused on meeting the Meaningful Use requirements rather than creating a patient portal that truly engages their patients. While healthcare organizations have been making steady progress towards Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 attestation, the lack of patient engagement continues to be problematic. Creating a patient portal that engages and empowers patients outside of the four walls of the care setting requires organizations to look beyond MU2. Engaging patients through a portal will drive increased revenue streams by creating services that go beyond traditional geographic boundaries. The below infographic depicts the 7 features that can turn your MU patient portal into one that is driven by market demand.

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Cost Accounting to Improve Care Delivery: #HIMSS15 Session Recap

Cost Accounting to Improve Care Delivery: #HIMSS15 Session RecapI was fortunate to participate in the Health Information Management System Society’s (HIMSS) Annual Conference in Chicago last week. More than 42,000 other healthcare professionals attended the conference this year. I was in awe of how much innovated brain power was under one roof and how far information technology has come within the healthcare industry.

I was able to attend an interesting session with one of my colleagues called, “Reducing the Cost of Care Through Real Time Intelligence,” where Dr. Barry P Chaiken was speaking on how real-time analytics can help provide a true understanding of the cost of delivering care. He stated that the value of healthcare is really a basic equation: Healthcare Value=Quality of Care/Cost of Care and that there needs to be a true investment into the quality of care given the cost. To illustrate his point he provided an analogy to hotel room towels, stating that if you pay for a Motel 6 room, you wouldn’t really think twice about the quality of towels, but if you pay for a room at the Ritz and have Motel 6 quality towels you’d question why this is. Same thing goes for healthcare, if the U.S. has one of the highest per capita spends as a country, why is the quality of care so low compared to other countries – paying for the Ritz Hotel (high cost) but getting Motel 6 towels (outcomes).

He focused on the operations side of things, specifically labor and supplies as a starting point to help reduce costs throughout the healthcare delivery system. The problem – this data is rarely provided real-time. He outlined four steps that were followed by Community Medical Center on their “journey” to achieve real-time, actionable intelligence around operational cost management1:

  • Identify ways to obtain labor and supply cost near real-time
    1. Pilot process to obtain critical data sets
  • Improve data collection by modifying charge capture process
    1. Timeliness and accuracy of supply charge capture
  • Expand data sets – quality indicators, patient satisfaction, care team
    1. Use analytics to identify drivers of quality, satisfaction, care team
    2. Expand use of predictive analytics – impact on cost and quality
  • Develop KPIs through meetings with operational leaders
    1. Plan limited release of initial set of KPI’s
    2. Focus on value to users
    3. Launch mobile application leveraging real-time
    4. Create process for alerts to key manager

Dr. Chaiken was able to present the impacts of implementing the four steps through some solid analytics that were derived from the work. He made a great point on using “little successes” to make such a large journey achievable. He gave an example of how during childhood we would set little goals, such as jumping to the next rung on the monkey bars, rather than being too ambitious and trying to jump two rungs. His point was that over ambitious executives, clinicians and IT staff sometimes set unrealistic expectations when it comes to IT and business/clinical intelligence. More  often than not they fail and failure in healthcare is not something anyone can afford.

It was a great session and it really got me thinking about using some basic clinical and administrative data, not to achieve grandiose outcomes, but more immediate and meaningful outcomes that can truly help us begin to better understand the cost of care in our healthcare systems.

 

Sources:

  1. http://files.himss.org/2015Conference/handouts/93.pdf

Video: Healthcare Industry Trends and Challenges from #HIMSS15

More than 42,000 healthcare executives, thought leaders and health IT enthusiasts attended #HIMSS15, last week in Chicago. Several of Perficient’s healthcare experts provided their perspectives on the trends and challenges within the healthcare industry. Check out our Healthcare Industry Trends and Challenges video, a compilation of insights from members of the Perficient team.

 

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#HIMSS15 Recap: 4 Hot Topics That Left McCormick Buzzing

#HIMSS15 Recap: 4 Hot Topics That Left McCormick BuzzingOver 42,000 healthcare IT enthusiasts and thought leaders attended HIMSS15 this year in Chicago. Thousands of others joined form various locations using social media to engage in the conversations. The HIT Super Bowl did not disappoint those in attendance and those joining the social media conversations. The conversations were around several different health IT topics but there were 4 hot topics that were making McCormick buzz.

Interoperability
The HIMSS15 top buzzword was interoperability. Healthcare executives across the industry are focused on technology that streamlines communication and the exchange of data across their systems. The challenge within the healthcare industry is not the lack of information, in fact the amount of information available is overwhelming. The big pain point comes with making the information useful and leveraging it to provide better, more proactive patient care. Integrating disparate data systems has proven to be a hurdle that many healthcare organizations haven’t figured out how to get over.

The 40,000 square foot Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS15 provided visitors the opportunity to watch more than 140 interoperable health IT systems as they followed the patient’s journey across the care continuum. The show also offered over 40 educational sessions focused on interoperability.

mHealth and the Internet of Things (IoT)
The HIMSS conference was full of smartphone apps, wearable technologies and other devices used for connecting and engaging patients. Connected health strategies are used to engage patients outside of the walls of the care setting to help make them more active participants in their care. The HIMSS15 conference featured a Mobile Health Knowledge Center which offered educational sessions on mobile topics such as innovative care delivery, privacy and security and technical requirements. One of the best quotes I heard came from the #HITsm panel discussion. Rasu Shrestha, MD (@RasuShrestha) said “I can’t wait for the distinction between mHealth and just health to disappear. It is all the same.” I couldn’t agree more, we need to get to the point where we are leveraging the best tools and technologies to provide the very best healthcare without the need to distinguish between the two.

BI and Analytics
The amount of information that healthcare organizations have to manage provides another level of complexity to the industry. With the amount of information that flows between interoperable systems, it is not surprising that business intelligence and analytics were a hot topic at HIMSS15. Integrating clinical, financial, operational and claims data to generate a 360-degree patient view provides healthcare organizations with actionable insights. These actionable insights are necessary to provide proactive care for individuals and entire populations. With the ultimate goal of healthcare being to provide high-quality, cost-effective care,  BI and analytics is vital to making this goal a reality. BI and analytics are not only important for individual care but real-time, accurate and insightful data is a big part of population health management.

Patient Privacy and Data Security
Healthcare data breaches are up by 138% and that astonishing number is predicted to continue to rise. No one wants to be the next Anthem, surrounded by lawsuits and huge patient privacy liabilities. The HIMSS15 Cybersecurity Command Center offered educational sessions from industry and government experts as well as product demos and a “capture the flag” game that allowed users to compete for prizes to protect the virtual hospital network. Visitors to the Cybersecurity Command Center were able to take a look at products and services that can assist with training, preparation and response techniques. The healthcare industry continues to balance the need to keep patient data secure and private while also providing this data across the continuum of care for better outcomes.

Another HIMSS has come and gone, but these four topics left McCormick buzzing and will continue to be hot topics for many months (years) to come. I’m already looking forward to HIMSS16 – see you all in Vegas.

 

#HIMSS15: Can Real-Time Intelligence Equal Lower Cost?

shutterstock_111725270I’m learning lots at HIMSS this week. One of the sessions I attended examined how real-time intelligence can reduce the cost of care. At first blush, I thought it would be about real-time “analytics,” but I was incorrect.

What I found was an M.D. talking about actionable cost accounting. Kind of a nice change, I’d say.  Even though he was speaking about a particular vendor solution, it was refreshing to see a clinician discussing this topic.

How do we make cost data real time? Traditional costing applications typically take months to produce results. With episodic focused activity based costing algorithms, it is possible to perform near-time costing calculations.

This presenter suggests that we start with labor because labor costs average 60-70% of the total. Use cases were discussed about labor utilization productivity tracking, supply and RX utilization compliance, time keeping compliance and patient movement coordination.

I wonder how we can actually perform “activity based costing” without also advancing the interoperability landscape in healthcare. Read the rest of this post »

#HIMSS15 Hot Topic: Remote Patient Monitoring and Big Data

shutterstock_170846444I’m learning lots at HIMSS this week about remote patient monitoring. I’m very interested in the subject of harvesting data from patient monitoring devices and mashing it up with structured data about patients. I am awestruck when I consider the possibilities.

“Personal IT” and remote patient monitoring technologies (RPM) are set for incredible growth and uses that we probably can’t even imagine right now.   A recent report by New York City-based ABI Research (RPM) predicts that nearly 100 million wearable devices will ship over the next five years.

“Data has traditionally resided in silos belonging to specific applications delivered primarily by device vendors themselves. New cloud platforms capable of collecting data from a range of vendor devices and sharing it securely with a range of related parties including patients, healthcare providers, and payers will drive adoption and bring more connected devices to market,” Jonathan Collins, principal analyst at ABI Research, said in a statement.

The popularity of FitBit and Jawbone have created a demand from patients to get the same functionality in medical devices. This has occurred, they say, in the continuous glucose monitoring market and in pulse oximeters, blood pressure cuffs, and ECG monitors*. Read the rest of this post »

#HIMSS15: Reducing Readmissions with Post Discharge Text Messages

213022198-compressor Today I had the good luck to happen upon a #HIMSS15 session entitled “Improve Patient Engagement, Lower Readmissions with #mHealth.” I thought that was a bold statement to make on behalf of #mHealth. Since I’m a big sucker for a bold statement, I found myself drawn to the session like moth to flame.

The session was hosted by Richard Imbibe, CFO, and Dr. Thompson Boyd, MD at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia (approximately 300 staffed beds). Since Hahnemann was facing the same readmissions issues that all hospitals face, they wanted to experiment with the patient discharge processes with the goal of reducing readmissions. They faced a baseline readmissions rate of 26.7%, and they wanted to know what would happen if they messaged their patients post-discharge with reminders of post-discharge instructions. More specifically, they wanted to remind patients to attend their follow up appointments, which were a notable factor in whether or not a patient would be readmitted.

How the Study Worked

Hahnemann studied 368 heart failure patients because they were the “sickest of the sick”.   Read the rest of this post »

#HIMSS15: Managing Population Health with Science, Analytics & QI

main_imageQuality Improvement processes are an essential part of the clinical care continuum. I was a math major in college (way back when) and I “buy-in” to the science around statistical process control charts and statistical methods employed in QI. At the end of the day, in my opinion, science is the basis for improving the process of care whether we utilize rigorous mathematical deviations or we simply employ big data and advanced analytics.

How does that relate to Population Health? I attended a session at HIMSS 2015 that discussed just that. The folks at Texas Children’s Hospital talked about how they are using technology (science) and performance improvement techniques to: Read the rest of this post »

#HIMSS15 Recap: Reaching Healthcare Consumers via Social Media

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Click the image to view more photos from the #hcsmIRL tweet chat and #HIMSS15.

Nearly 100 #HIMSS15 attendees joined Perficient this morning to discuss how healthcare organizations can leverage social media to attract unknown consumers, and improve patient and clinician interaction and overall communication within the clinical setting.

Roundtable moderator Melody Smith Jones, Manager, Connected Health, at Perficient, presented her insights into the topic and pitched seven questions to the audience via the hashtag #hcsmIRL.

“At Perficient, we believe Connected Health can address in-treatment compliances, workflow management and chronic-disease management,” Jones said. “We have seen firsthand how Connected Health can transform healthcare delivery.”

We’ve rounded up some of the highlights from the tweet chat here: Read the rest of this post »

Predictions for the Top 3 Trends at #HIMSS15

Predictions for the Top 3 Trends at #HIMSS15Holy Cow!! (Little tribute to Chicago legend, Harry Caray!) The Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference has come back to Sweet Home Chicago. Nearly 38,000 HIMSS15 attendees will fill Chicago’s McCormick Place April, 12-16, 2015. It’s a given that there will be many conversations about the Chicago Cubs, deep dish pizza, the crazy winds off of Lake Michigan, Soldier Field, the beautiful Chicago skyline, and other iconic Chicago things.

In addition, to the conversations about the windy city,  I predict that there will be infinite conversations throughout the Conference, and thereafter, surrounding three hot healthcare trends:

  1. ICD-10: With less than 7 months remaining till the October 2015 implementation of the new and expanded diagnosis codes, ICD-10, providers and health plans are either embracing it or praying for yet another postponement. The conversation surrounding cost impact will most likely be the fuel that sparks the hot debates among attendees – does it cost more to implement or delay ICD-10?

Read the rest of this post »

Connected Health Top 10: #1 A Real Retail Strategy for Healthcare

Top-Ten-300x298In this post-reform era of high quality care at a low cost, the healthcare industry has been looking towards the retail industry for strategies used to engage consumers. Lessons learned include how to use the retail setting as a medium for providing care and how to engage consumers outside of the care setting using technology.

What is often neglected when assessing the tactics used by the retail industry is their core competency of using data insights to motivate and incentivize changes in consumer behavior. Connected Health solutions are, in and of themselves, streams of valuable information that can be mined and analyzed to achieve business objectives.

Health plans, and soon healthcare providers, are realizing that understanding consumer data is at the heart of driving loyalty as well as encouraging healthful and cost-conscious healthcare consumer decision making. The drive starting in 2015 will be to establish a single source of the truth on consumer data informed by external consumer data interactions both with an organization and outside of the organization through sources such as social listening and mHealth. These solutions are meant to enhance the consumer experience through the ability to generate insights to determine the next best action across channels. Objectives include: Read the rest of this post »

Population Health: A Hot Topic At #HIMSS15

PopHealth-TreeI wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago about patient-powered research and I want to follow it up with a focus on population health. Population health efforts are intensely data-driven and require more data than is captured between the walls of hospitals or clinics. I’m working on an initiative right now to plan out how both structured and unstructured data can be harvested from EMRs and from social media (for example) to gain a 360 view of the patient population in a metropolitan area.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 75 percent of the country’s eligible professionals and more than 91 percent of hospitals are on electronic health records certified for Stage 1 meaningful use. With the vast majority of personal health information being recorded in a sharable form, we’re poised to accelerate initiatives that will drive the need for HIT from many respects including:

  • Analytics – The accumulation and aggregation of data needed to improve outcomes and improve medicine.
  • Interoperability – The sharing of multiple sources of data needed to manage patient interactions.
  • Patient Engagement – The conversations and interactions with the patient when they are not within the four walls of traditional clinical setting.
  • Financial Management – The connection between the patient payment and the quality received.

An integrated analytics platform for improving population health provides insights to care providers, case managers and the individual patient. Care providers can see which patients need important health screenings or care interventions, setting the stage for enhanced preventive care and better management of chronic diseases. Patients can now be engaged at a higher level to achieve their care goals through many patient engagement platforms including both active and passive participation through portals and remote monitoring devices. Advancements in genomic profiling and personalized medicine will eventually innovate how we treat chronic diseases.

Interoperability is a key element of population health because all of this data is never in application, database or even one data center locality. Integrated systems streamline data sharing and support population health initiatives; however, many organizations don’t have a clear vision for how to meet the demands of the ever-changing healthcare industry.

The next couple of years look to be promising for the advancement of population health and it’s correlation to precision medicine through significant advancements in analytics. Perficient is well suited to attack these projects.

Population Health will be a hot topic at this year’s HIMSS conference, stop by and see Perficient at #HIMSS15 booth #4460 to continue the conversation.