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2015 Healthcare ACO Trends and The Key to Success [Infographic]

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) as a model to deliver high-quality, cost-effective care across the continuum and improve population health management (PHM) has significantly increased. In an ACO, healthcare providers take responsibility for the health of a defined population, coordinate care across the continuum, and are held to benchmark levels of quality and cost. In 2015 ACOs will continue to be on the rise! Read the rest of this post »

The Gift of Communication to Assist in the Fight Against Ebola

In the spirit of the holidays Perficient is joining Partners In Health to help fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, by providing communication tools that enhance communication and collaboration for the more than 1.5 million users.The Gift of Communication to Assist in the Fight Against Ebola

Founded in 1987, Partners In Health (PIH) works to strike at the root causes of illness by weaving together clinical and social support for poor and marginalized patients, by training local healthcare providers in the communities they serve, and by advocating for global policy change.

Resource allocation at PIH has always prioritized the needs of people over systems. While the current email system attempted to meet PIH requirements for 10 years, there were significant deficiencies and it was very expensive to maintain. It was common to lose email service for a period of days. PIH applied and received a grant from Microsoft for Office 365 subscriptions and they selected Perficient to help with the migration.

Perficient migrated PIH infrastructure to the cloud and developed and executed a comprehensive organizational change management (OCM) program . “When looking at technology solutions providers, Perficient’s proven track record in the healthcare industry and demonstrated Microsoft cloud services expertise stood out immediately,” said Dave Mayo, CIO, Partners In Health. “Thanks to our partnership with Perficient, we are adopting a consolidated, reliable platform for colleague interactions – one that enables us to more effectively serve our world’s most vulnerable. We are immensely grateful for Perficient’s generosity and support of our efforts.”

Office 365 will allow users to access email from anywhere in the world on any computer or mobile device with access to the Internet. OneDrive for Office 365 will enhance collaboration among all PIH users, both domestically and internationally. The platform will provide PIH with a reliable and secure communication toolbox, including storage and collaboration tools. Deployment of Office 365 across PIH sites in Africa, Haiti, Russia, and the U.S. will enable PIH’s mission to provide a preferential option for the poor in health care and will be an important tool to enhance communications as they respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

“The mission and values of Partners In Health firmly align with Perficient’s aim to be responsible, active corporate citizens in our larger community,” said Jeffrey Davis, Perficient’s chief executive officer and president. “We are honored to support Partners In Health’s mission as it works to attend to the needs of underserved populations and improve the quality of health for all.”

Read the entire press release here

Visit www.pih.org learn more about Partners in Health or to make a donation.

4 Ways the New Consumer Is Reshaping Healthcare Business Models

The healthcare industry is a $2.9 trillion business in the United States and providers account for more than 70% of the spend. Healthcare reform is looking to transform the traditional system to improve 4 Ways Healthcare Consumers Impact Provider Business Modelsaccess and quality while tackling the skyrocketing costs. In addition to federal mandates, the healthcare industry is seeing a shift driven by a younger consumer. Healthcare organizations need to pay close attention to this consumer shift and realize age does matter.

Traditionally, healthcare consumers were a passive participant in their care and relied on caregivers to make decisions for them. Doctors were chosen based on qualitative measures such as education, rather than on how they performed in relation to patient outcomes and satisfaction.  Today, however, if healthcare providers want to create loyal consumers, they must adjust their business and marketing models to adapt to the new healthcare consumer.

#1. Think Digital: To engage with patients, you have to think like a marketer. You define your target market and find out where they live, work and play.  You position yourself to interact at those important moments when they are thinking about their health and wellness. Only 1% of a healthcare consumer’s time is spent in the clinical care setting, so, instead of just handing out instructions to sign up for the patient portal at the registration desk, there are other options that are more effective. To engage patients you must reach them where they are and that requires you to think digitally and to have a solid digital strategy.

#2. Mobile is a Must: With over 50,000 health apps and growing and more than 90% of the adult population adopting mobile technology it is clear to see that mobile health is shifting into the mainstream. Healthcare organizations that continue to ignore the mobile train are going to be left in the dust. A mobile strategy that integrates both external and internal components is key. A bring-your-own-device and a shared device strategy within your organization should be incorporated. Facilitating the use of mHealth enhances outcomes and communication and is more efficient and convenient for healthcare consumers and providers.

#3. Consumer Insights are Vital: Healthcare organizations by nature are filled with information and data that is collected from a variety of disjointed sources within and outside of the organization. But collecting information is pointless unless you can manage it. Data that is useful, operationally relevant, insightful and secure provides key insights about your consumers, but it can be overwhelming. It is important to focus on what decision-makers must understand and to only scale your analytics strategy to the capacity of your business. Too often organizations purchase and try to implement complex tools and they do not have the sophistication or resources to make them work.

#4. Convenience & the Experience: Last, but certainly not least, is perhaps the most important of them all: Consumer experience should be the umbrella for everything that you do as a service provider and it is critical to your success. Healthcare consumers use the Internet to shop for providers and treatments by reading online reviews and looking up doctor quality information. Social media, the web and word of mouth can help your business just as much as they can hurt it. Look for ways to enhance the consumer experience, offering telehealth is a great way to engage healthcare consumers by bringing the provider to them. It provides convenience and easy accessibility,  two things today’s healthcare consumers are seeking. With more and more healthcare consumers turning towards retail medicine it is essential that you create a top-notch, cohesive, multi-channel experience to compete with the convenience of a CVS or Walgreens.

Posted in News

Is It Time For A Healthcare Black Friday Sale? #HCareBlkFriday

#HCareBlkFriday

It’s that time of year when millions of consumers get hyped up about Black Friday. Retailers open at ridiculous hours and people obsess over the ads, mapping out their course of action to get the best deals!

We live in a time when healthcare costs are at an all-time high so wouldn’t it be nice to have a Healthcare Black Friday Sale?

@Perficient_HC   #HCareBlkFriday

 

Wearable Technology for All

The definition of wearable technology has changed as much as technology has in the last century. In the first waves of wearable technology we got the calculator watch, you know the one, featured in back to the future. Although we have yet to see a hover board, wearable technology has gone to unbelievable heights. From the iPhone 6, to Google Glass, the bar continues to be set higher.Calculator Watch

After the Google Glass Project (smart glasses), several other companies broke into the smart wearables market, including Apple (iWatch), Samsung (Galaxy Gear), and Sony (SmartWatch) shortly after Google. Now you can buy all types of devices, including watches, glasses, headbands, wigs, rings, etc. Using apps for personal and business computing, practical everyday tasks, fitness tracking, and healthcare monitoring.

I recently, purchased a Nike Fitband, hot pink and black of course. Syncing my iPhone with the app was the easy part, however, I learned that there was minimal features of use to me and this was not something I would keep (for $129). I returned it to the store. After that, my need for quick and convenient health data continued. I fed into the buzz around the Apple Healthkit. iPhone is wearable technology that I already was utilizing. So how could I optimize this device? The first thing I noticed was that it was automatically tracking my steps! “Sweet!” I then realized there was a plethora of data analysis tools that could keep track of my health, medical history, my fitness, and my nutrition. “Sweet, times three!”

Even as a psudo-millenial, as I attempted to use the app, I could not figure out how I could get data to input automatically. After doing some internet research, I was led to a list of Apps that can work/sync with the Healthkit. I was disappointed in the list as I was hoping to use the apps I already use, and are familiar with. They were not on the list. This list of new apps didn’t give me any indication if I needed any additional wearable technology (equals more money) to make them work. Some of them are free, some not, so how was I to choose? If I could find this information in one place, I may be able to quickly decide which apps to download or which piece(s) of wearable technology I would like to gather or start collecting.

All of this wearable technology is overwhelming. And I am only digging into the personal use market these apps are not so difficult to understand, it’s how to use them all together that is confusing. This is not only a common problem with all of our personal devices. There is a large business driven market calling for this problem to be resolved. Technology management is taking off; Hospitals have wearable and wireless technology in use all over a hospital, in many medical devices. The ability to capture and manage all the data and have it at one’s fingertips is one of the fastest going industries.

I love my wearable technology, however, just as with any market has quick progression, it may get messy before it gets better. As my life will only get busier, I am looking forward to learning all the opportunities this technology can give me to streamline my life. I encourage any busy person to look into free applications, they can simplify your day to day life in a great way. Can Siri be close to a personal assistant?! Not yet, but we are close!

Webinar: Healthcare Enterprise Data Model: Buy vs Build Debate

The healthcare industry is undergoing an extensive transformation and the changes are putting pressures and demands on organization leaders. Healthcare executives are searching for ways to improve measurable outcomes not only because of the impact they have on the Webinar: Enterprise Data Model Buy vs Build Debatefinancial health of their organization, but because it is the right thing to do.

Organizations are turning to an Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) to aggregate and organize data from disparate sources. An EDW makes information available for analysis by users in the clinical, financial, administrative, and research functions. Most healthcare organizations understand the benefits of a scalable EDW solution that provides the visibility to manage metrics, improve patient satisfaction and care and positively effects the bottom line. However, many organizations aren’t sure where to start, do they build it from scratch or buy one? What are the pros and cons for each approach? How long will it take to get up and running?

Are you interested in the buy vs build debate? Join us as we explore the pros and cons of building your own data model vs. buying one and look at real customer use cases to help weigh the pros and cons of this critical enterprise decision. During this webinar, we will discuss:

  • How experience plays into the equation
  • Which solution delivers value more quickly
  • Which solution helps reduce the risk to the organization
  • How easy is it to integrate other solutions
  • How the decision to build vs. buy can impact your internal team

Webinar: Enterprise Data Model: Buy vs Build Debate
Tuesday, November 18, 2014  |  2:00 PM CT
Register Today

3 Components for a Successful Hybrid Environment in Healthcare

It is no secret that healthcare organizations are collecting more information today than ever before. They’re collecting information about their own operations, their patients and the communities they serve. The challenge for healthcare organizations isn’t collecting the information, but analyzing the data and efficiently and securely storing it. Healthcare organizations that can overcome the data challenges and gain faster, fuller data insights will have the tools to positively impact patient care and overall business.3 Keys to a Successful Hybrid Environment in Healthcare

When it comes to data storage, healthcare organizations struggle with finding a balance between “on premise” and the cloud. Many CIOs recognize the need to expand beyond the home port and are quickly moving information to public clouds. However, they aren’t completely abandoning their data centers for fear they won’t have control or access to timely information. The hybrid IT solution helps to solve the data storage problem but it also brings a unique set of concerns in regards to data control, data access and data compliance.

Data Control
Data is much easier to control when it is housed in one central location. With a hybrid IT solution, however, you do not have that luxury. Data stored in multiple locations must be seamlessly connected, able to securely and efficiently move between locations and allow you to maintain full control across all platforms.

Data Access
The key to collaboration and improved patient outcomes is ensuring everyone who needs access to data has it. On the flip side, broad data access needs to be secure and only available to authorized users. With a hybrid IT solution integrated data supports collaboration beyond the walls of the healthcare facility.

Data Compliance
Changing regulations are putting added pressure on healthcare organizations. Keeping up with the evolving regulatory landscape is a challenge in itself and having information stored in multiple locations only adds to this complexity. Developing a strategy to protect data and manage it to ensure it meets regulatory requirements is critical to a hybrid IT solution.

Hybrid IT environments provide the best of both worlds when it comes to data storage and analysis. Leveraging a hybrid environment will lead to timely and accurate analysis of data which will result in the delivery of actionable insights for improved collaboration, better patient outcomes and overall lower cost of care.

Considering implementing a hybrid IT environment or just want to learn more? Join Perficient and UnityPoint Health for a discussion on the benefits of Power BI and Office 365, and how one technology-savvy healthcare provider is leveraging its hybrid environment of Power BI, Excel-enabled dashboards and SharePoint 2013.

Sign up for the November 12th webinar

Read the rest of this post »

Time for Chicken Sandwiches Not Steak Dinners In Healthcare

The cost of healthcare is at an all-time high and many people feel the fee-for-service model is the main culprit for the skyrocketing costs. From a logical standpoint it makes sense, healthcare providers get paid more by providing more services. As humans we tend to consumeIt's time for chicken sandwiches not steak dinners in healthcare too much and spend too much, therefore, ditching the fee-for-service model would result in fewer services and less spending, right?

Not so fast, as logical as that sounds I am not completely sold on that theory. When we look at our lives  almost everything we do is based on a fee-for-service model. When we go out to eat,  go to the movies, get new tires on our car, get a haircut, hire a baby sitter or hire someone to do our taxes, we do it on a fee-for-service basis. Those providing the previously mentioned services would like to sell us more, but we generally resist because we don’t want to waste OUR money on unnecessary services. Generally speaking when we pay with OUR money we try to get maximum value and good providers try to be as efficient as possible.

Fee-for-service is not unique to healthcare, however, in the healthcare sector we shop with other people’s money. We have very little out-of-pocket cost for additional services and someone else “picks up the tab” for OUR spending. The third-party payer is one of the big reasons for rising costs and inefficiencies in the healthcare industry. It is human nature not to concern ourselves with the total cost of care, but rather, how much WE have to pay. How many times have you received an explanation of benefits and glanced over it only to notice the part that tells you what you are responsible for?

If we implemented a third-party payment model in other service industries we would be faced with the same inflating costs that we are dealing with in healthcare. If you were only responsible for a $30 copay every time you visit your hair stylist you would be inclined to get unnecessary services in addition to a haircut. Why, because YOU aren’t paying for them, someone else is picking up the tab.

Better yet, you are traveling for work and need something to eat. If it were personal travel you would grab a chicken sandwich and call it a night. But work is paying for it, so you have a steak dinner. As far as you are concerned a steak dinner costs the same as a chicken sandwich because YOU aren’t paying for it, you aren’t accountable for payment.

Healthcare costs and inefficiencies are going to continue to increase until we address the third-party payment model. Healthcare consumers need to be accountable and more aware of the total cost of their healthcare. A more aware and accountable healthcare consumer may be the motivation needed to live a healthier life. Or at the very least eat more chicken sandwiches.

Perficient Provides PIH New Tools In The Fight For Global Health

Kent Larson, Director at Perficient recently posted a blog about Partners In Health (PIH) and the new Microsoft tools they are using to help enable their mission to provide a preferential option for the poor in healthcare.

PIH is one of many organizations leading a coalition to combat the Ebola outbreak, working alongside two other organizations – Last Mile Health in Liberia and Wellbody Alliance in Sierra Leone. To help enhance communication and collaboration both domestically and internationally, PIH is migrating to Microsoft Office 365.

Perficient is assisting PIH with their migration to Microsoft’s Office 365 (O365) solution. O365 will allow users to access their email from anywhere in the world on any computer or mobile device with access to the Internet. OneDrive for O365 will enhance collaboration between all PIH users, both domestically and internationally. The platform will provide PIH with a reliable and secure communication toolbox, including storage and collaboration tools. Deployment of O365 across PIH sites in Africa, Haiti, Russia, and the U.S. will enable PIH’s mission to provide a preferential option for the poor in healthcare  and will be an important tool to enhance communication as they respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

To read Kent’s entire post and to learn more about the mission of PIH click here.

Webinar: Healthcare Enterprise Data Model: Buy vs. Build Debate

Transformation is sweeping across healthcare in the United States at a rapid rate. Healthcare organizations, regardless of size, need to embrace new technologies in order to keep up with the quickly changing landscape and comply with evolving regulatory requirements.Healthcare Enterprise Data Model: Buy vs Build Debate

The solutions to these challenges have one thing in common, the need for accurate information. In some cases, the information required can be sourced from a single system, but in many situations, the need requires information from a wide range of systems that could include Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Claims, Financial and Human Resources.

The solution for many organizations starts with the creation of an enterprise wide data warehouse (EDW) that serves as their “single version of truth”. At the foundation of the data warehouse is the need for a data model that accurately organizes the data in meaningful ways. Many organizations will build their own data model while others will look to leverage an industry proven data model from an experienced vendor. This choice to buy vs. build, can be one that causes great debate within organizations both large and small.

At a high level, the pros to building your own enterprise data model will come down to flexibility and control. If you choose to build your own customized model, you will get to make each and every design decision based on how your organization operates, this can be very tempting.

The main advantage to buying a data model is the time to implementation. Many of the tough decisions are made for you, based on years of experience across a wide range of customers; purchased models are often much faster to implement.

As the debate continues you will need to weigh factors like experience, time to value, risk, integration accelerators and impact on your staff. Each of these topics needs to be considered as your organization decides whether to buy or build your enterprise data model.

Interested in more information on how to weigh the pros and cons of this critical enterprise decision? Join Perficient on November 18th for a complimentary webinar. We will examine critical factors that need to be evaluated when deciding whether to build or buy an enterprise data model. We will explore real-life client stories and discuss how they benefited from their decisions.

Upcoming Webinar: Healthcare Enterprise Data Model: The Buy vs Build Debate
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 @ 2:00 PM CT

The Problem with Health IT is in the Definition

There has been a lot of debate around the challenges within the healthcare industry. Much of the discussion stems from the fee-for-service model and the focus on services and reimbursement rather than the patient. Health information technology has its own set of challenges when it comes to addressing healthcare issues. The Problem with Health IT is in the Definition

If we truly want to put the patient at the center of their own healthcare experience than we need to take a step back and look at the relationship of the patient and the entire healthcare ecosystem. Healthcare should focus less on the products and services and more on the patient and provider relationship. Furthermore, health IT should support these relationships, however, by its own definition it doesn’t.

By definition,  Health information technology (IT) encompasses a wide range of products and services—including software, hardware and infrastructure—designed to collect, store and exchange patient data throughout the clinical practice of medicine.

The definition does not mention the patient and provider relationship and the emphasis is on products and services, software and hardware and does not reflect on the benefits of patient data exchange.

A better health IT definition: An automated approach that facilitates the relationship between the patient and the healthcare system through the accurate and secure electronic exchange of data, ensuring the right data is available at the right time for everyone that is engaged in the patient’s care.

This definition includes 3 critical components:

  • The importance of the patient relationship with the healthcare system
  • The importance of accurate and secure electronic data exchange
  • The benefits of data exchange in regards to patient care

A new definition will not solve the challenges of the healthcare industry, but it is a good place to start. It may be enough of a push to ensure technology developers are developing meaningful applications that improve patient outcomes, which should be the ultimate goal of health IT.

Upcoming Webinar: Combine Data to Enable Translational Medicine

The success of translational medicine is in the data and the ability to combine multiple sources of data to enable better patient care and outcomes. Unfortunately most academic research organizations (ARO) and hospitals have multiple systems that house data creating an inability to mine through the data to identify clinical insights, disease patterns or treatment options. Combining Patient Records, Genomic Data and Environmental Data to Enable Translational Medicine

Patient records, genomic data and environmental data need to be in sync to speed the process of bringing safer therapies to market and provide “bench to bedside” medicine. Combining multiple sources of data can enable complex and meaningful querying, reporting and analysis for the purposes of improving patient safety and care, boosting operational efficiency, and supporting personalized medicine initiatives. Integrated data will  enable implementation and delivery of translational medicine anytime and anywhere.

Please join Perficient’s Mike Grossman, a director of clinical data warehousing and analytics, and Martin Sizemore, a healthcare strategist, for a complimentary one-hour webinar in which they will discuss:
  • How AROs and hospitals can benefit from a systematic approach to combining data from diverse systems and utilizing a suite of data extraction, reporting, and analytical tools, in order to support a wide variety of needs and requests
  • Examples of proposed solutions to real-life challenges AROs and hospitals often encounter

To register for the webinar click here
Combining Patient Records, Genomic Data and Environmental Data to Enable Translational Medicine
Wednesday, October 15, 2014  | 1:00 PM CT