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Archive for the ‘Health Information Exchange’ Category

Includes Enterprise HIE and State-Wide HIE

Apple HealthKit: A Game Changer

I have been an athlete all my life, but since I’ve reached my 30′s, had 5 reconstructive surgeries, and moved back to the Midwest to a completely sedentary job, staying fit and healthy has become more challenging than ever before.

As an Apple lover for years, I have a myriad of Apps I enlisted to help. Between TargetWEIGHT, MYFitnesspal, MapMyFitness, myWOD, and Nike Fit Band, I have been unsuccessful in maintaining the health and fitness level of my satisfaction.Apple HealthKit: A Game Changer

When I heard about the Apple HealthKit platform and the ability for it to sync with third party application data, the question I posed to myself was, will this help me? I have no chronic illness. I’m not sick. I just want to be healthy. After doing some primitive research, if Apple can pull this off as they say they can, it will revolutionize not just my health technology experience, but the way any doctor in my future will diagnose and treat me.

The Apple HealthKit in addition to the Myhealth App promises to connect Apple Applications & other devices to one another, and to your physician if you choose to. Alleged, my myriad of applications will update one another automatically so I can work (at my nutrition & fitness) smarter and more accurately. Or, if I choose to use the Myhealth, this data will aggregate within the application in a single profile to use and share. Myhealth has 47 different tracking options to help me reach my goals, along with tracking my health milestones and medications/allergies. Furthermore, in case of an emergency, this historical account of my vitals, fitness level, and health milestones such as a chronic illness diagnosis are logged and can be shared with the ER Doctor. This may be critical in saving my life.

I am very conscious however that many folks are extremely uncomfortable with having this type of data in the cloud. I believe this will be a large barrier for Apple along with other 3rd party development partners to overcome. However the technology to keep this information secure exists, and I believe it can be done right. The challenge for Apple is to relay to the public the capabilities of internet security. Now educating Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Y’ers on Cloud Security and gaining the trust to make this Application helpful to all generations may be a challenge and will come with time.

Luckily, as a thirty-something that needs to keep track of my own family’s health along with my aging parent’s health, having health information at my fingertips may not just be convenient but literally may be a life saver. The Mayo Clinic thinks so, they have partnered with Apple along with Epic to make this endeavor successful. You can read more at:

http://www.imedicalapps.com/2014/06/apple-partnership-epic-game-changer/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+iMedicalApps+%28iMedicalApps%29

It’s IaaS not IaaS – Creating a nimble Healthcare organization

I always find industry acronyms amusing. Sometimes they describe new technologies, other times they are a new name for an existing technology (maybe with a slight twist).  And then there are those times when two different technologies, models, theories, etc. end upwith the same acronym. Such is the case with Information as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. Both are interesting concepts that deserve equal time, but today I would like to talk about Information as a Service (IaaS).

IaaS PicIaaS is certainly not a new concept. It has been around for a while. But it does merit a re-visit every now and then, since many healthcare organizations still struggle with integrating multiple systems and data sources.

At the core of IaaS is the concept of developing a common data model (also known as a canonical model) using schematic mapping and master data management. The common data model that is exposed represents multiple autonomous information sources that organizations use in order to transact business on a daily basis. Read the rest of this post »

ACA’s Quality Rating System – An opportunity to gain market share

Starting in 2015 all issuers of Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) on the Healthcare Marketplace will need to provide Quality Rating System (QRS) measurements that will be aggregated and scored to provide consumers with a star rating for each product offered.

How many stars will you have?

How many stars will you have?

Although there are still details to be worked out by CMS, the required measures for the 2015 beta test are in place. All issuers that wish to continue providing QHPs on the Marketplace will need to provide the required measures. There are two different sets of measures included in the beta specifications.

The first is a set of clinical quality measurements that are mostly taken from the current NCQA HEDIS accreditation process. Many issuers already collect the data for these measures; especially, if they are meeting the requirement to be accredited for the Marketplace today and are using NCQA for that process.

The second is set of measures derived from an enrollee satisfaction survey (ESS) that needs to be performed by an accredited third party survey vendor. Most of the questions in the ESS are drawn from CAHPS. The survey processes requires that a sample of data is drawn, audited by a third party and provided to the survey vendor. The vendor then performs the survey and reports the results to CMS. Questions focus on rating an enrollee’s satisfaction with a plan over a six month period.

While the QRS initiative driven by the ACA attempts to provide transparency, it also creates a competitive market that will force issuers to look at ways to increase the quality of care and enrollee satisfaction to deliver better scores. The prize? For consumers, better products. For issuers, a larger share of the market.

Want to participate and win? Then you need a solution that not only provides the required measures, but also provides insight and the ability to drive quality improvements. This can be accomplished with a well thought out solution architecture that provides processes for delivering the measures and the means for analyzing data to drive improvements.

A Blueprint for Managing Drug Shortages

In April 2014, I read a startling article that the United States was importing salt water, saline, from Norway due to a shortage in the United States1. Bags of saline solution are one of the most common items used in modern healthcare and that is why it is amazing that American doctors have been facing a bizarre IV saline shortage that forces the import of heavily, unwieldy bags of salt water from overseas. As a result, hospitals, and especially cancer centers, have been keeping strict inventories of how many bags are on hand and struggling to avoid rationing their use. This turn of events led to a deeper look at the problems caused by drug shortages for healthcare organizations and developing a business intelligence blueprint to help manage shortages more effectively.

A Blueprint for Managing Drug Shortages

The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, in their report Drug Shortages: A closer look at products, suppliers and volume volatility, identified 6 key insights:

  1. The drug shortage problem is highly concentrated to generic injectables or five disease areas including oncology and cardiovascular diseases.
  2. The supply of drugs on the shortages list has been stable or increased overall in the past five years.
  3. There is significant volatility in the suppliers of the drugs, not the total volume supplied.
  4. The recent volatility is a new trend compared to previous years.
  5. The number of suppliers has fluctuated and may be one reason for the volatility.
  6. Some states are feeling the drug shortage more acutely than others.

Read the rest of this post »

Information Is Your Competitive Advantage

Information has always been available to us, but never before has there been so much at our finger tips, coming at us so quickly from many different sources. We can no longer continue managing our enterprise information the same way we have for the last 30 years, it is not sufficient. With that I would like to welcome you to the new generation of information management.Information is Your Competitive Advantage

Information is only useful to us if we can access it, understand it and can compare it to what we already know. Healthcare organizations rely on information to make smarter, faster and more impactful business decisions. Business leaders want access to many different kinds of information, but the problem is that information is often stored in separate, disconnected silos making it challenging to use the data strategically to generate business intelligence. Instead, often times, business leaders make decisions on intuition rather than hard data.

Enterprise data management solutions instantaneously capture data from enterprise systems, cloud devices and applications and help organizations standardize and deduplicate data. This helps organizations manage their information more effectively and minimizes conflicts and organizational data issues. Organizations need enterprise data management solutions to automatically track the performance and behavior of the data stored in their systems so they can make better business decisions.

Data alone is not useful, but data that can be turned into information is your competitive advantage. Enterprise information management (EIM) enables businesses to obtain more value from their data and content, unifying what has traditionally been a dichotomy. EIM turns unstructured and structured data into information, information that drives profitable business actions, and ultimately improves quality of care and business outcomes.

Industry expert and healthcare analytics strategist, Juliet Silver explains the importance of an EIM in a recent interview.

 

How Enterprise Mobility Management Can Improve Patient Care

Healthcare is an ever-changing industry, and healthcare organizations continue to face the challenge of improving the quality of care while remaining compliant with industry standards. Depending on the diagnosis, the patient journey can include transfers between acute, post-acute, ambulatory care and home-health care organizations. As a result of these often-frequent transitions in care settings, the patient’s quality of care and overall safety can be compromised.

How Enterprise Mobility Management Can Improve Patient CareEnterprise Mobility Management (EMM) allows healthcare organizations to securely and more efficiently exchange clinical data while remaining compliant with industry regulations such as HIPAA requirements. The use of mobile technologies and applications can help make this transition across the continuum of care smoother resulting in fewer hospital re-admissions and better patient outcomes.

By 2020, a projected 70 percent increase in home health aides signifies the importance of secure device management solutions outside of traditional care facilities. EMM provides organizations with the technology needed to positively impact patient care throughout the entire patient journey regardless of the treatment location.

 What will it take to get us there?

  1. IT administrators need to begin to focus on how they can extend existing standard health data processes to mobile devices.
  2. These mobile devices need to enable care providers to access and enter data into Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), manage prescriptions and patient financial data, among other data sources. This should all be able to happen in real time, from anywhere and is especially important for home health providers, so they can enter data from the patient’s home, on their mobile devices.
  3. Home health organizations need secure tablets and smartphones to ensure secure and protected medical record access. The need for mobility management and security are now more important than ever as the delivery of care continues to expand beyond the traditional clinical setting.

EMM will provide the security and medical record access needed to ensure quality of care and patient safety across the entire continuum of care.

 

10 Benefits of Enterprise Information Management in Healthcare

This month, we completed an interview with our healthcare analytics strategist, Juliette Silver. We wanted to understand how enterprise information management strategies can specifically optimize business performance, reduce costs, mitigate risks and improve quality of care.

From the interview, I take away at least 10 major benefits to establishing and leveraging an enterprise information management strategy in healthcare settings:

EIMAn EIM strategy can:

  1. Help manage access to enterprise information in a secure, HIPAA-compliant manner.
  2. Allow healthcare professionals to turn mountains of data into real-time decisions.
  3. Help focus people, process, policies, frameworks and foundational technologies toward how to best leverage enterprise data.
  4. Set forth the framework that will be used to provide the information delivery capability,whether the information is in the form of data (structured or unstructured) or unstructured content, or a combination of both.
  5. Help an organization respond to evolving regulatory requirements and reimbursement models.
  6. Define the information management model that will be used to harmonize the delivery of both content and data specific to a healthcare organization’s goals and objectives.
  7. Ensure the delivery of information in the form of a trustworthy source that can be interpreted, used and managed consistently across the enterprise.
  8. Give a clinician or healthcare knowledge worker the access they need to the many sources or types of information from which to make decisions.
  9. Ensure information is timely, accurate, valid, verified and generally fit for purpose.
  10. Produce a more holistic view of the patient, derived from structured data stored in an electronic health record and other clinical systems, as well as unstructured information or content made available in some of the forms previously stated.

Read the full interview here.

Key Components to Collaboration between Payers and Providers

There is no doubt that the relationship between payers and providers is beginning to change, evolving from challenging and adversarial interactions into more collaborative exchanges. Kurt Allman, in his article in Healthcare Payer News this week, outlines 3 components for this relationship to be successful:

collaboration

  1. Data collection
    “Payers collect a lot of data, which can provide a broad picture of what is happening in a population and across the entire continuum of care. Health systems bring a rich vein of information related to specific components of that continuum.”
  2. Transparency
    “We rely on this data to make sure we know what works, and when it doesn’t work, we use the information to identify opportunities for improvement,” says Kevin Sears, vice president of payer strategy and product development at CHE Trinity Health in Lavonia, Mich.
  3. Mutual understanding
    In the past, providers worked to drive up revenue from the payer, while the payers needed to drive down costs to please their customers, both employers and employees/members. Now the two have to work together to reduce waist and improve care.

Now, we see that payers and providers must collaborate in order to truly drive value, more so than they ever needed to in the past.

When payers and providers work together to achieve all three of the above imperatives, they’ll identify opportunities that will become mutually beneficial. Each can begin by asking themselves whether their high-priority projects are working to help them to obtain higher transparency, data collection and sharing, and a mutual, more collaborative relationship with the other.

 

Enterprise Warehouses: The gift that keeps on giving

I read a blog post recently with references to Oracle’s Marc Perlman @marcdperlman speaking about how Healthcare entities are nearing the timeframe where they can reap the benefits of implementing electronic health records.  To quote Marc, “As healthcare providers look to establish enterprise data warehouses, they should begin with a specific project that hinges on this kind of data-driven approach.  Once done, enterprise data warehouses become “the gift that keeps on giving,” because they can be used to spread actionable insights to other parts of the organization, as well.”

The Gift That Keeps On GivingAs my colleague, Lesli Adams @lesliadams writes in her blog: A healthcare treasure map leading to a single data warehouse, the Oracle Enterprise Health Analytics platform is a treasure trove of data.  The platform combines Oracle Database, Oracle Healthcare Data Warehouse Foundation, and data modeling, integration, and analytics capabilities in an integrated stack that runs on Oracle’s highly engineered Exadata Database Machine. The result is a scalable, high-performance data warehouse that serves as a central repository for health data analysis, which can be done using the built-in tools that come with the system, Oracle Endeca Information Discovery, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, or other analytics applications that are available to run on it.

Perficient is uniquely positioned to deliver the Oracle Enterprise Health Analytics platform as well as strategic healthcare analytic roadmaps.  Perficient will be at the Population Health Colloquium #pophealth, and we are looking forward to talking with you about Health Analytics and Population Health.

See our presentation on Tuesday at the Mini Summit on Shared Accountability:  How Informatics and Data for Clinical Decision Workflow Engages Consumers on the Quality/Cost Equation. Sponsored by Oracle Health Sciences and Perficient, featuring:

Sanjay Udoshi, MD, (@smudoshi) Physician Architect, Clinical Analytics, Product Strategy, Oracle
Lesli Adams (@lesliadams), MPA, Director, Oracle Healthcare Business Intelligence, Perficient, Inc.

Meet our dynamic team at booth #32 to discuss new ways to optimize your systems, along with new solutions that will take your business to the next level.

Join us in Philadelphia! Follow our healthcare experts on Twitter @Perficient_HC and check our Healthcare blog.

 

Follow me on twitter @teriemc

Improve care coordination with direct secure messaging #HIMSS14

Direct secure messaging (DSM) is a transmission standard promoted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology that meets the Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements of electronic health records (EHRs).  It works much the same way as regular email, but the message is encrypted, which prevents unintended use of the protected health information that is included within.  DSM can be used to send patient information among physicians, among provider organizations and to other 3rd parties, including patients.  

shutterstock_157839875Healthcare providers have been using direct secure messaging for care coordinating for a while but there may be ways to use it more fully to reduce readmissions, reduce unnecessary testing and procedures and even increase provider productivity.  Some benefits may include:

  1. Providers can insert secure messages into any point of their workflow.
  2. Primary care providers can interact with specialists to potentially result in fewer referrals; ultimately reducing costs to the healthcare system.
  3. Hospitals can improve transitions to nursing facilities and nursing homes can improve the communication with providers to reduce the need for readmissions back to the hospital.
  4. Medical records departments can interact with the patient send their records more easily saving them time and money.
  5. Researchers can seamlessly interact with patients on release of health sciences information.

Once HIEs are fully implemented, query based networks will provide robust data exchanges, but DSMs will continue to be valuable especially for smaller practices and hospitals that do not have the means to implement sophisticated EHRs.  Read the rest of this post »

Analyzing the healthcare industry tipping point using Therbligs

Do you remember therbligs from your Operations Management class? 

The word therblig was the creation of Frank Bunker Gilbreth and Lillian Moller Gilbreth, American industrial psychologists who invented the field of time and motion study. It is a reversal of the name Gilbreth, with ‘th’ transposed. Therbligs are 18 kinds of elemental motions used in the study of motion economy in the workplace. A workplace task is analyzed by recording each of the therblig units for a process, with the results used for optimization of manual labor by eliminating unneeded movements. (Wikipedia)

shutterstock_128890124I remember, and it was a lifetime ago.  But then again, the Gilbreth’s were turn-of-the-century industrial psychologists who invented the field of time and motion study.  I consider them the founding parents of Industrial Engineering.

So why are we talking about therbligs in Healthcare?

Ah, young Jedi, the time has come to learn our lessons much the same way that the industrial giants like Ford, Carnegie Steel and General Electric learned 100 years ago during Teddy Roosevelt’s administration.  These early lessons became the standards of the mid-century boom in manufacturing and production output.

So the healthcare technology space has finally gotten to its tipping point.  In order to survive, the healthcare industry will need to invest in Industrial Engineering principles and it will need to do product line, service line, episodic, acute and outpatient time and motion studies.

Read the rest of this post »

Trends to Watch in the Healthcare World in 2014

What’s transforming the ways in which healthcare is provided?

  • legislation
  • new competition
  • innovative incentives
  • a call to refocus on priorities
  • a more empowered and digitally engaged consumer, who has more and greater expectations for quality of care and convenience of care.
  • a renewed attention on healthcare by the consumer market thanks to ongoing press about healthcare.gov and the Affordable Care Act
  • new services and business models in healthcare that we’d never seen before recent reform

Susan DeVore, Premier healthcare alliance…and much more.

Susan DeVore, CEO of our partner and client Premier healthcare alliance, wrote a post yesterday fro HealthAffairs.gov titled, “The Changing Health Care World: Trends To Watch In 2014.” In the article, she introduces the new trends she expects to see in healthcare this year. We are also seeing each of these trends impact conversations about investments our clients need to make this year and next year.

I have summarized the trends below.

1. Investments in Chronic Care -

  • Chronic conditions increase costs by 3X, so, “The biggest health care consumers are those with multiple chronic conditions.”
  • We should see more investments in Ambulatory ICUs and patient-centered medical homes as providers work to improve their shared savings payments and better manage chronic conditions within primary care facilities.

2. New Job Roles in Healthcare

  • DeVore has seen an increase in the popularity of hiring “health coaches” who are there to listen, inspire and motivate and spend time getting to know the patient’s family and life situation as it affects their ability to both access care and to care for themselves.

3. Home Health Care

  • Back to the days of the house call.
  • “Marketing firm BCC Research predicts that the market for remote monitoring and telemedicine applications will double from $11.6 billion in 2011 to about $27.3 billion in 2016.”
  • Technology is increasing access and convenience of healthcare from outside the traditional care setting, especially for rural, hard-to-access locations.

Read the rest of this post »