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IoT Not Just An Acronym: A Powerful Force Transforming Healthcare

Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new term. Nearly 20 years ago an MIT professor described a world where “things” are connected and able to share data. In healthcare, IoT is not a technology trend on the horizon, it is IoT Not Just An Acronym: A Powerful Force Transforming Healthcarehere today, and having an enormous impact on the healthcare industry.

Ninety percent of all of the world’s data has been generated the last two years and that statistic will be blown away in 2015 and the years to come as the IoT continues to grow. In fact, Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30% from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020. Leveraging the invaluable insights enabled by the connection of these devices is what the Internet of Things is all about.

IoT  is a powerful force transforming the way healthcare organizations do business by allowing them to leverage the cloud to reduce operational costs and generate valuable data-driven insights. IoT starts with the data, devices and services within a healthcare organization including EHRs, claims and financial systems. The data from these various sources is combined with new sources of data like wearable devices and in-home monitors, providing a complete patient view across the entire continuum of care. Healthcare organizations are using the cloud to leverage the IoT to reduce operational costs with predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring of medical devices and to lower readmission rates with predictive insights that identify patients who need additional clinical intervention.

Healthcare organizations that implement a strategy to leverage the Internet of Things will improve efficiencies by spending less time managing processes and systems and more time delivering high-quality and cost-effective patient care. Check out 10 Trends Impacting Healthcare in 2015

 

Posted in News

#Tech Imperatives for Health Plans to Enhance Customer Experience

Regulations continue to drive changes through the $2.9 trillion dollar healthcare industry, with the goal of transforming the traditional system to improve quality of care and reduce costs. Healthcare customers are #Tech Imperatives for Health Plans to Enhance Customer Experienceseeking price transparency now that they are responsible for a larger portion of the cost of medical services. Health plans must shift their business models to align with an industry that is becoming increasingly competitive and being driven by a more empowered and demanding customer.

Since its inception, the health insurance industry business model has been a B2B operation based on premiums and reimbursements. Today, health insurance organizations are in varying stages of a journey that is transforming them from platforms for purchasing insurance into health management bodies striving to engage their members and provide resources to help them change their health and wellness behaviors. In order to attract new members and retain existing ones, health plan organizations must think like B2C organizations and transform their business models to improve the overall customer experience. They must shift their focus from providing customer service to finding ways to engage their customers.

Health plans must strategically address these technology imperatives, at an enterprise level to enhance the customer experience and succeed in the new world of healthcare:

Digital Strategy - Develop a strong enterprise vision with a road map that utilizes a multichannel enrollment approach (web, mobile, social).

Data Management Strategy – Develop a data management strategy and infrastructure that integrates ALL data, including clinical, and transforms it into actionable, secure and useful insights.

Mobile Strategy – Develop a mobile (mHealth) strategy that embraces mobile applications and leverages them to engage and empower customers.

These technology imperatives must be considered from a strategic perspective in order to meet the true needs of the business.

Transform Unstructured Healthcare Data Into Key Patient Insights

The transformation of the healthcare industry from a fee for service model to a value-based care model will only succeed if healthcare providers are able to generate a complete, 360 degree view of the patient. In a Transform Unstructured Healthcare Data Into Key Patient Insightsrecent blog Stephanie Banks, Senior Marketing Manager at Perficient, talks about how the importance of leveraging technology to uncover value in healthcare data:

Healthcare companies in the digital age are now responsible for vast amounts of data. This data is created and acquired on a daily basis, and the volumes are increasing substantially with each patient visit or interaction.  Some information is stored in pre-determined, structured fields within Electronic Medical Records (EMR), claims or financial systems and is readily accessible with traditional analytics.  Other information, such as doctor’s notes, patient surveys, call center recordings and diagnosis reports is saved in a free-form, textual format and is rarely used for analytics due to the limitations of traditional business intelligence solutions.

Experts suggest that up to 80% of enterprise data exists in an unstructured format, which means a large majority of critical data isn’t being considered or analyzed. Without accounting for this significant percentage of available information, healthcare organizations will find it challenging to make accurate and well-informed decisions that impact patient care and organizational operations.

Read the rest of this post »

Gearing Up for 2015: 10 Trends Impacting Healthcare in 2015

HITS SNAPSHOT – GEARING UP FOR 2015 10 Trends Impacting Healthcare in 2015Technology is a major player in the evolving healthcare environment, and organizations are increasing their health IT budgets to adapt to the “new” industry. Having the right technology in place can enhance patient experience, help meet regulatory requirements and provide key insights that reduce costs and improve outcomes. In our recently released HIT SNAPSHOT we have identified ten trends impacting the healthcare industry that can help determine which technology investments should be made to achieve the greatest return on investment.

Download the guide now

Top 10 Healthcare Industry Trends Blog Posts from 2014

Top 10 Healthcare Industry Trends Blog Posts of 2014As we wrap up 2014, let’s take a look at the top 10 blog posts from our thought leaders. These blogs were published on Perficient’s Healthcare Industry Trends Blog.

If you missed these you may want to take a look.

#1. What the Market Says You Need in Your Patient Portal
by Melody Smith Jones | June 19, 2914

#2. Connected Health Trend Countdown: #1 Health Plans Go B2C
by Melody Smith Jones | February 5, 2014

#3. Changing Delivery and Spending of Medicaid Through DSRIP
by Priyal Patel | May 22, 2014

#4. Healthcare Gamification: Avoiding Chocolate Covered Broccoli
by Melody Smith Jones | February 4, 2014

#5. How Enterprise Mobility Management can Improve Patient Care
by Kate Tuttle | May 7, 2014

#6. Perficient Ranked One of the Largest Healthcare Consulting Firms
by Kate Tuttle | August 25, 2014

#7. Connected Health Trend Countdown in Review
by Melody Smith Jones | February 6, 2014

#8. Apple: The New Digital Hub for Healthcare Data
by Kate Tuttle | September 9, 2014

#9. Healthcare Benchmarking
by Priyal Patel | July 9, 2014

#10. The Problem with Health IT is in the Definition
by Kate Tuttle | October 13, 2014

 

 

Top 10 Healthcare Thought Leadership Assets from 2014

Top 10 Healthcare Thought Leadership Assets of 2014As we wrap up 2014, I wanted to share with you Perficient’s top 10 healthcare thought leadership assets from 2014.  Visit the Thought Leadership section of our website to discover additional complimentary resources and to register for upcoming webinars on trends and topics within healthcare IT.

#1. Gearing Up for 2015 –  10 Trends Impacting Healthcare
Guide: Multiple Contributors

#2. Top 10 Connected Health Trends, What You Need to Know
White Paper: Written by: Melody Smith Jones

#3. Implementing a SOA Strategy to Improve Healthcare Interoperability
Perspective: An Interview with Terie McClintock

#4. Improve Quality of Care and Business Outcomes through Enterprise Information Management
Perspective: An Interview with Juliet Silver

#5. The Connected Healthcare Enterprise
White Paper: Written by: Jaclyn Layton and Melody Smith Jones

#6. How Cloud Computing Delivers Scale, Security, Compliance and Social in Healthcare
Perspective by: Joan Rothman

#7. Healthcare Enterprise Data Model: The Buy vs Build Debate
Webinar: Presented by: David Meintel

#8. Learn How ProHealth Care is Innovating Population Health Management with Clinically Integrated Insights
Webinar: Presented by: Juliet Silver and Christine Bessler

#9. Align Patient Outcomes with Financial Data – A Formula for Correlating Cost and Quality
White Paper: Written by: Lesli Adams and Terie McClintock

#10. The Health Plan Transformation: Improving Customer Experience with CRM Solutions
Perspective: An Interview with Andrew O’Driscoll

For more than 15 years, Perficient has delivered a variety of high-quality and cost-effective solutions and services to help healthcare organizations adapt to the ever-changing healthcare market. Our deep domain expertise, strategic partnerships with the world’s leading technology vendors, dedicated healthcare industry expertise, and a broad portfolio differentiates us from the competition.

At Perficient, building long-lasting relationships with our clients is a priority. In each of the past four years, approximately 85% of our revenue was derived from repeat business. This reflects our commitment to quality consulting and speaks to the long-term partnerships we build with our clients.

A New Patient Adventure…A Hair Pulling Experience

I grew up in a small town in Iowa and lived in and around my hometown for 30 years. It wasn’t unusual for my commute to work to be interrupted by a John Deere tractor driving down the highway. When I hit 30 I traded in my rural roots and headed off to the booming metropolis of St. Louis for a change of scenery. I, like A Day At The Doctor...A Hair Pulling Experiencemany others, struggle to schedule routine and regular doctors appointments so when I moved, finding a new doctor was not a priority. I have been blessed with a relatively healthy life thus far and tend to view healthcare as sick care. (When I’m sick I will go to the doctor.) Needless to say, it took me a while to take the time to find a new doctor after moving to St. Louis. In fact, it didn’t happen until I had found a veterinarian and a groomer for my dogs, a hair stylist I liked and a car repair shop that was reliable and trustworthy. To be honest, I still may not have a doctor if it weren’t for the fact that I needed to get a refill on my prescription.

Who Uses FAX Machines? Doctors Do…
I took some time looking online to find doctor reviews and patient referrals and, of course, listened to word of mouth from my new friends in St. Louis. Once I settled on a doctor I made a call to schedule an appointment and then contacted my previous doctor back in Iowa to have my records FAXED to my new doctor. The fact that fax machines are still being used, not only as the primary technology but the only one, both humored and frightened me at the same time. But I thought whatever works to get my information to the new doctor, works for me. Having my previous medical history in the hands of my new doctor would save me time. I wouldn’t have to fill out the medical history paper work because I took the time prior to my appointment to have my records faxed to them…Right? Wrong, this didn’t save me any time at all.

A NEW Patient Again and Again…
I was advised to arrive 20 minutes early to fill out paperwork and when I arrived I checked in and was handed a blank stack of medical history forms to fill out. I began by filling in the easy stuff, name, social security number, birth date, address but when I got to the medical history part I felt like writing “check the records that were faxed to you.” I stumbled my way through the paperwork and turned it in, thinking to myself, if that were a test I would be happy with a C. I sat back down and waited for the nurse to call my name, and when she did, I followed her back as she proceeded to ask me questions about my medical history. The same questions that I had just struggled to answer on paper. And again, I felt like telling her to “look at the paper work I just wasted 20 minutes of my time filling out.”

At this point I was ready to see the doctor, get my prescription and be on my way. The doctor entered and I had a similar experience with her, a lot of repeated questions and answers, but I survived, got my prescription and set up another appointment for the following year. I was pretty proud of myself for scheduling a routine appointment! As painful as this visit was, I was glad that it is only a process that new patients have to endure, so I wouldn’t have to do it again…Right? Wrong, I received a letter in the mail that my doctor is closing shop, leaving me once again with the rigorous task of finding a new doctor and worse yet, becoming a NEW patient again.

Those Are MY Medical Records, Aren’t They…
As I began my search for a new doctor, I was able to seek additional referrals from friends now that I had lived in the area for a couple of years. I picked up the phone and called to make an appointment and the receptionist asked that I have my medical records faxed to them. After making the appointment I called my previous doctor and asked that my medical records be sent to my new doctor. I was told that they could fax the records from my single visit but that they could not fax my older records and that I would have to contact my doctor back in Iowa to have those faxed. Wait, aren’t those my medical records? I’m giving you permission to fax them, why do I have to contact the doctor in Iowa to fax them? The receptionist reiterated that she would be happy to fax my one record but I would need to fill out a release form in order for her to do that. She asked if I had a fax machine….seriously, why do all these doctors insist on the fax machine? I asked if she could email it, but email wasn’t an option. So I am now waiting for snail mail to deliver a release form that I have to fill out and drop back in snail mail in order for my request to be processed.Upon hanging up with her I called my doctor in Iowa and asked to have my medical records faxed to the new doctor. Again I was told that I would have to fill out a release form and that I could get that at my new doctor’s office. So, I now have to fill out 2 different release forms in order to get MY medical records faxed to my new doctor. And I am sure when I go to my new doctor I will have to fill out the same paperwork that I have jumped through so many hoops to get to them prior to my appointment.

I can’t wait for the day when all my medical records are stored in one place and I won’t have to get permission to have MY records sent to a new doctor. A secure and private location that is easily accessible by ALL of my doctors – both current and future!

 

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!