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Posts Tagged ‘interoperability’

Market Driven Patient Portal: Integration of Data

In our last conversation about  “What the market says you need in your patient portal” we discussed the needs of integration and interoperability. This is an area that, while interesting to the IT team, often does not get a lot of attention. This is not because this topic lacks interest, rather, it’s just not the most appealing topic to talk about. For example, when you are Market Driven Patient Portal: Integrate Dataremodeling your bathroom, you discuss the fixtures, the new shower, the new faucets, even the fancy commode; but do you get excited talking about the plumbing? Likely not, however it is the ability to move and connect the items of interest together that makes the project all come together. If you do not connect something the right way you get water all over…or worse.

So, what does this have to do with clinical and financial data? For one, the data is generally in various systems and data stores throughout the organization and generally it comes from multiple organizations. For example, if you look at these concepts from a health plans point of view, the clinical data is coming from HIE’s, provider facilities, clinical labs, purchased data sources, and others. The financial data is coming from claim systems across multiple lines of business, GL systems, AR/AP systems, and others. All of this data still has to be aggregated, cleansed and organized to make it useful. This is not an easy task and having the strategy, the information models, the plan and the governance are all key to ensuring success of these efforts.

Another reason integration is important is it helps define the consumer of the information. Typically, financial data has been reserved to back office functions or it is used to help define/negotiate the cost of services whether they be premiums, reimbursements, subsidies, etc. With the advent of consumerism, the patient is demanding more information in this arena. Patients want to know what their total cost of services are. They want to know the details of the fees. They want the ability to compare costs, values, outcomes so they can make a well-defined choice. Patients generally look at the cost as the driver, yet there are behavioral changes that need to be overcome; e.g. the higher priced option must be the best, right?

There is a lot still to overcome in this area as providers have typically held on to this information and patients may not be able to understand the complexities of where the money actually flows. Integrating the clinical and financial data is a stepping stone in the path to a full consumer-driven healthcare model. Government mandates are forcing the need for change, however, breaking down the walls to integrate information will not be easy. Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) will be one of the drivers to help make healthcare interoperability a reality.

Core to solving these problems is having a clear understanding of the business capabilities and processes that drive the solutions. Understanding (documenting) the business capabilities, defining the information needs (again documenting) and then defining the business processes (yes writing it down) that act between the capabilities and information will be the blueprints and guides to setting and achieving the vision. With the vision established, we then can begin the process of connecting the dots of where the information lives to where it needs to go and the format which it needs to be in. There are a number of technical challenges given that interoperability is not just a simple plug-n-play solution. The movement of the information needs to follow standards (which by-enlarge exist) yet all of the connections and the subtleties of the content need to be clearly outlined in the road map of integrating clinical and financial data.

This concludes our “What the market says you need in your patient portal” blog series.

Market Driven Patient Portal: HIE Across Diverse Care Settings

So far in this discussion about “What the market says you need in your patient portal” we have been driving toward changes that are core to new engagement models. However, we have not addressed a core enabler: “It’s all about the data!”

Consumers demand access to information that meets their needs and they are not complacent Market Driven Patient Portal: Health Information Exchange Across Diverse Care Settingswith becoming hunters and gatherers for the information is truly about them. Consumers in today’s market demand accurate and up-to-date information about their health profile, just like they do with respect to their financial profile. However, the systems and processes to make that information available are not all there.

There are various sources of the information that are relevant to the patients/consumers (and also to the providers providing care to their patients). Much of this data has been distributed through the provider community. Some of the data is in the provider’s own systems. Some of the data is in the hospitals EHR systems. Some of the data is in outpatient facility systems. Other data is isolated and hard to locate.

With the push to HIEs some of the data is now becoming more available to the providers and to the patients they serve. However integrating the data into a holistic view is still a challenge. The information still needs to be gathered / extracted from the source systems, transformed into a structure that the HIE can understand and then there are the issues of translating the codes and values to normalized/consistent terms following a defined set of vocabularies. Additionally, ensuring a unified view of the individual can be a challenge. Enterprises IT groups are leveraging Enterprise Master Person Index (EMPI) solutions to construct the golden record of the individual but this also has its challenges.

Once all of the data is assembled (assuming that it is) the next challenge is to get the information to the right person at the right time. The HIE now needs to be integrated to the rest of the enterprise. Exposing the information in terms of the services or APIs can now begin. Finally the Portal (and this is just one of the consumers) can begin to consume these services and make the information available to the consumers. What’s also of importance is that the consumers can access this data from multiple perspectives. The provider can see full episodes of care across multiple care locations. The patient can see their health profile all in one location.

Having a single view of one’s health profile (or even the illusion of) is a powerful tool. Not only does it provide insights for better care, it breaks down the walls of information silos that have challenged providers and patient’s alike. Again, it is all about the data, and integration and interoperability are the key.

Reframing the ACO Analytics Problem with Malcolm Gladwell

I just finished watching a quick slideshow on the Health Data Management website, “Enterprise Analytics: Moving on Up” and as luck would have it, I also watched several sessions of the live Webcast from the Healthcare Innovation Day Conference 2014 in Washington, DC, sponsored by West Health Institute and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

Malcolm Gladwell quoteWhile I was watching these, I was intrigued by the thought of how Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) can leverage existing solutions, combined with point solutions, to accomplish their reporting, analytics and beyond, and use interoperability wisely.  One of the key learning points for me from these sessions was this:  “Reframe the problem”….advice from Malcolm Gladwell’s keynote address.

How do we “reframe the problem” when it comes to ACO reporting and analytics?  There are defined metrics that are required for these organizations, so how can we leverage existing systems to create these reports and analytics?  Do we “build vs. buy”?  Depending upon the organizational size, legacy systems and IT support, the decision can be difficult.  What is good for one system may not work in another.  So where do we start?

A strategic evaluation of current state and desired future state with the development of a road map may be a logical first step.  Data Governance also needs to happen early on in the process to allow an organization to create data standards that will drive reporting and analytics.  Once these steps have occurred, an organization can feel confident that they can make an informed decision to “build or buy.”

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ICD-10: Nine tips to decrease cash flow disruptions

T-minus 9 months!  Are you ready for ICD-10?  Are you really ready?

The Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference is being held in Orlando, Florida this year and I would guarantee that the educational sessions on ICD-10 will be packed with healthcare providers seeking the answer to this very question.  On the other hand, some providers may feel very confident that their organization is ready for the October 1st change.  In fact, being so close to Disney World, they may be singing, “Hakuna Matata” (Disney’s The Lion King song, meaning, “no worries”), through the conference hall thinking that because their organization has performed ICD-10 readiness assessments, developed detailed project plans for implementation and begun the remediation process, they are good to go.

ICD10 Readiness - Minimizing Impact to the Bottom LineHowever, before they start hitting any high notes and doing a dance, they should make sure that they have not only taken the necessary steps to fully understand the impact ICD-10 will have on their workflow and documentation practices, but also to their bottom line.  Healthcare organizations need to understand that “As part of a holistic risk mitigation strategy, providers must understand and be able to forecast possible changes to cash flow and engage in advanced planning to protect revenue losses before, during, and post ICD-10 conversion1.”

According to results from a poll conducted by firm KPMG, 76 percent of providers have completed an impact assessment for ICD-10 and 72 percent had set aside a budget to prepare for readiness2.

“As October 1st inches closer, healthcare organizations have their work cut out to properly absorb the impact that the new coding will have on their businesses,” said Wayne Cafran, an advisory principal in KPMG’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practice. “A full 50 percent stated that they had yet to estimate the new coding system’s impact on their cash flow. With estimates by those who did measure the impact tallying anywhere from $1 million to more than $15 million, healthcare organizations are in for a rude awakening when they finally realize what the new standards will have on their bottom lines1.”

Tips to protect your bottom line

ICD-10 implementation is fast approaching, and providers need to take aggressive steps to ensure that their efforts focus on adequately assessing the potential cash flow problems that may arise after October 1.  Don’t start panicking just yet.  Here are 9 tips, from Beth Mahan, to calm the panic and help mitigate the potential impact to your bottom line1

  1. Discuss budgeting avenues for additional cash reserves if material delays in payment occur.
  2. Conduct financial modeling to understand financial implications moving from ICD-9 to ICD-10 and determining the revenue impact by provider or system facility, service line and geography.
  3. Review managed care contracts to negotiate protective language relevant to reimbursement in the event payment shifts occur that could have a negative impact on your bottom line.
  4. Engage with your high-volume payers to assess their readiness state to process your claims coded in ICD-10
  5. Conduct clinical documentation improvement reviews using ICD-10 code set.
  6. Develop a strategy for coding, billing and claim backlogs to improve cash flow.
  7. Determine strategy for denials management pre- and post-ICD-10 conversion.
  8. Assess readiness state of external vendors who support coding, billing, follow up and denials.
  9. Review audits occurring that may be impacted by compliant use of ICD-10 over time.

If your organization has truly taken the necessary steps to mitigate the risk to its cash flow, then I would recommend that the organization perform an internal audit for ICD-10 implementation and compliance to assure that when October 1st comes you really are set.  Taking the aforementioned steps plus this extra step can bring your organization peace of mind and save you big bucks in the long run.

Then when asked, “Are you really ready for ICD-10?” you can really sing, “Hakuna Matata!”

 

Will you be HIMSS?

Meet Priyal and the rest of our healthcare team at Booth #2035. Contact us to set up a meeting.

himss14_top

Resources for this blog post:

  1. http://www.govhealthit.com/news/icd-10-revenue-neutrality-9-ways-protect-your-cash-flow
  2. http://www.nuemd.com/news/2014/01/13/providers-lack-understanding-icd-10-revenue-impact/
  3. http://www.successehs.com/item/6-tips-to-protect-cash-flow-during-the-icd-10-transition.htm

Top 5 Technology Trends in Healthcare – November 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

HCBlog Top5 Trends

Consolidation and Mergers

Healthcare entities, both payers and providers, have been making an increased effort to capture market share and dominate their geography. Smaller players are being picked up by larger players, consolidating physician practices and health plans. These mergers have driven digital strategy projects and paperless environments, with an increased interest in advertising and public facing websites to try to attract market share. 

Extending Your EMR

Healthcare professionals have been very vocal about the challenges that come along with electronic medical record systems. The workflow in many EMR systems was created by a programmer and works the way it was programmed, not the way healthcare professionals work. Several technology tools were made to extend or approve upon EMRs without ripping the code apart, often by putting it into a browser or allowing it to be mobile.

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Key Ingredients to an Enterprise Information Management Solution

EIM Gumbo

1 portion of Data Governance

1 portion of Data Warehousing

A stock of interoperability*

Culture, chopped up finely

Dash of patience

*Measured and added to the extent as needed.  Can be made up of a variety of means, manner and mechanisms to facility the move of data to the warehouse and information from there out to the plate in preparation for consumption

Preparation:

  1. cast.iron_.pot_.on_.stove_.istockMake a roux with Data Governance – let it cook for a good long while, it can’t be rushed and takes time.
  2. As the Data Governance is simmering, you can begin dicing up the Data Warehousing.
  3. Once the Data Governance roux is ready, mix in the Data Warehousing. Give the Data Warehousing a little time to get set up and going.
  4. Slowly begin to pour in the stock of interoperability, stirring to mix as you do.
  5. Throw in a dash of patience, adjusting to taste as the gumbo simmers.
  6. Let cook for 36 – 60 months, with a low initial temperature, gradually increased over time.
  7. You can begin tasting and sampling after 12 months.
  8. Prior to serving, add the Culture, giving it enough time to cook, add more over time as is needed.
  9. Enjoy!  And don’t be afraid to get creative once everything is well under way.

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Top 5 Technology Trends in Healthcare – August 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

HCBlog Top5 Trends

Personalization of Medicine

Personalized analytics have the power to improve care outcomes for patients by drawing data from a complete view into their care coordination. Healthcare analytics and big data hold the key to being able to provide personalized care and prevention. By integrating personal health records with EMR data, providers have a 360 view into the history of the patient and the care they require.

Interoperability

Interoperability plays a key role in ensuring systems can communicate with each other to share information. It helps to reduce redundant data entry, speed access to information and create a real-time flow of information through an enterprise IT system. The key benefit of creating interoperability is to improve the visibility, sharing and re-use of data collection between disparate healthcare applications and devices.

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It is time for Interoperability to catch fire! (FHIR® that is)

One of my healthcare consulting friends once said that interoperability was difficult because healthcare was interactional, not transactional.  The interactive nature of the healthcare organization and the patient foretells the complexity of integrating and sharing information that is so critical to reducing costs, increasing patient safety and streamlining productivity.  The challenge is inertia – we have so many healthcare applications and integration engines that are stuck on the older HL7 version 2.x as the means of implementing interoperability.  The uptake of the proposed HL7 version 3.0 has been very, very slow due to support from the EMR vendors that are focused on bigger problems like Meaningful Use or ICD-10 support.  In response, HL7 is hoping to set interoperability on fire with a new approach called FHIR® – Fast Health FHIRInteroperable Resources – it is a next generation standards framework created by HL7. FHIR combines the best features of HL7’s Version 2, Version 3 and CDA® product lines while leveraging the latest web standards and making sure that easy implementations are a top priority.

The key to the fast implementation speed of FHIR® is flexibility!  FHIR solutions are built from a set of modular components called “Resources.”  These resources can easily be assembled into working systems that solve real world clinical and administrative problems quickly and with a minimal amount of development, sometimes only one day. FHIR is designed to meet modern integration demands in a wide variety of contexts – social media on mobile phones, cloud communications, EHR-based data sharing, server communication in large institutional healthcare providers, and many other scenarios.

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Top 5 Technology Trends in Healthcare – March 2013

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

HCBlog Top5

HIMSS 2013 Conference

Earlier this month the HIMSS 2013 Conference took place in New Orleans. Nearly 35,000 individuals attended the healthcare technology conference over the six days of sessions and exhibition. Highlights included a keynote address from former President Bill Clinton, an Interoperability Showcase, several Meaningful Use workshops, and a general theme of patient engagement.

Patient Engagement under Meaningful Use

A key theme of Stage 2 meaningful use is engaging patients in their own care. Building on the Stage 1 requirement that 50% of patients be able to view their documents electronically, Stage 2 mandates that 10% of those patients actually do so. Clinical summaries must be provided following each office visit and select patients will receive notifications and reminders for additional care. Secure messaging to patients, another Stage 2 requirement, can connect them with helpful care information.

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Quality Reporting Data Architecture (QRDA) Primer

One of the key ways to improve productivity in healthcare is to become more efficient at interoperability within a healthcare organization and between healthcare organizations.  Sharing quality reporting results is a good example of a healthcare area faced with challenges in interoperability and efficiency. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, the United States healthcare system has challenges with using data for Quality Performance Measurement including, but not limited to:

  • Time-consuming and problematic operations for data acquisition from electronic systems
  • Multiple and disparate systems within health care organizations complicate data mining and coordination of efforts
  • Resource-intensive data mapping efforts to link systems and performance measurement data requirements
  • Conflicts or differences between administrative data sets
  • Physicians and providers struggle to meet increasing demands for performance data

A solution is in sight to improve or eliminate these problems by using the Quality Reporting
Document Architecture or QRDA for short.  The purpose of the QRDA is to develop a standard for healthcare information systems to communicate quality measurement data across disparate systems in a standardized fashion.  The QRDA supports the efficient collection, aggregation and reporting of quality measurement information for sharing among providers within a healthcare system or providers from different healthcare systems.  The architecture will support the exchange of quality data between providers and requestors of that information (e.g. QIOs, payers, accrediting orgs, etc.).

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HIMSS 2013: An Interview with ePatient Dave

Earlier this month at the HIMSS 2013 Conference, Perficient’s Liza Sisler spoke with Dave deBronkart, better known as ePatient Dave. Dave and Liza discuss the unique roles of health, care and medication in engaged healthcare and the idea that the patient is the key to bringing all three aspects together in order to provide better health outcomes. He also talked about the role of useful digital tools to help engage patients and interoperable systems allow data to be shared and presented in a useful manner, providing better, safer care. Dave talks about the idea that patient’s healthcare data should follow them as complete and correct data at the point of care is critical to provide effective, safe health care. Lastly, @ePatientDave tells the story of Dr. Eric Topol utilizing a mobile health tool, AliveCor, to diagnose a woman on his flight home from HIMSS and the impact of mhealth tools.

When Patients Engage, Outcomes are Better

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HIMSS 2013: An Interview with John Lynn

Last week at the HIMSS 2013 show we spoke to John Lynn, Founder of Healthcare Scene blog network and Influential Networks. In the first video, John gives a description about the role of each website in the healthcare IT world. John also discussed the hot topics he has heard at HIMSS, including interoperability and the newly created CommonWell Health Alliance, as well as what he believe healthcare organizations should focus on in 2013. John, an active member of the Health IT Twitter world, shares his thoughts on the power of Social Media in healthcare.

About HealthcareScene.com:

Top Trends at HIMSS 2013:

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