Author Archive

2018 HIT Leaders,PACS

HIT Leaders articles graphic image.

2018 best picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) – HIT Leaders Awards

HIT Lists graphic image.Our staff polled clinicians on today’s most effective picture archiving and communications systems (PACS) solutions to determine which product/service line yields the most effective results from their day-to-day use. We asked about hardware imaging machines; secure networks for the distribution and exchange of patient images; workstations or mobile devices for viewing, processing and interpreting images; and electronic archives for storing and retrieving images and related documentation and reports; and cost. We surveyed 21 separate solutions. Below are the top 10 HIT Leaders for 2018.

  1.  @INFINITThealth
  2.  @Intelerad
  3. @SectraNews
  4.  @MergeHealthcare
  5.  @Carestream
  6.  @NovaradCorp
  7.  @FujifilmHealth
  8. @AgfaHealthCare
  9.  @PhilipsHealth
  10.  @GEHealthcare

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Cavirin,cloud computing

Moving healthcare to the cloud: Managing security risks

Part 4 of 5 of “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud”

Written by: Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

In the last blog of our Moving Healthcare to the Cloud series, we discussed the key considerations for healthcare organizations that are defining a cloud migration project. In this blog, we examine the technologies to apply in order to assess, manage and reduce the risk of security attacks.

While the cloud is proving to be less risky, more secure and more innovative than traditional on-premises IT, it is still not foolproof nor without risk. Healthcare organizations need to take every precaution in the cloud to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

In many cases, data must be properly encrypted, with keys stored separately from where the data is stored in order to maintain confidentiality. The number of admins who have access to the keys to decrypt the data should also be limited and all access should be logged and verified. Data integrity can be ensured only if admins and users who have appropriate levels of authorization can modify, manipulate, or delete the data.

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2018 HIT Leaders,care coordination,clinical communications,HIT Lists

HIT Leaders articles graphic image.

2018 best secure communications platforms – HIT Leaders Awards

HIT Lists graphic image.Our staff polled clinicians on today’s most innovative care team communications solutions to determine which product/service line yields the most effective results from their day-to-day use. We asked about alert integration, secure messaging, cross platform support, enterprise-wide directories, ease of use, analytics and reporting tools and cost. We surveyed 19 separate solutions. Below are the top 10 HIT Leaders for 2018.

  1. Telmediq logo graphic image. @Telmediq
  2. Halo Communications logo graphic image. @DocHaloApp
  3.  @VoceraComm
  4. Patient Safe Solutions logo graphic image. @PatientSafeSoln
  5. Spok logo graphic image. @spoktweets
  6. Imprivata logo graphic image. @Imprivata
  7. Tiger Connect logo graphic image. @TigerConnect
  8.  @PerfectServe
  9.  @Cerner

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Cavirin,cloud computing

Moving Healthcare to the Cloud: Defining the Project—The Who, What and Where

Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

Part 3 of 5 of “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud”

Written by: Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

In the last blog of our “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud” series, we discussed why it makes sense for healthcare organizations to move their IT infrastructures to the cloud. In this blog, we examine the process for defining cloud migration projects.

Although every step in the overall cloud migration process is critical, just how well you define the project at the start could very well set the stage to streamline success—or cause a lot of pain along the way.

At a high level, you first need to decide exactly what to move to the cloud:

  • Which business functions? This covers the entire spectrum of the healthcare organization—from patient medical services to billing, procurement, insurance claims, compliance, human resources, marketing, communications and physical security as well as the general operations of buildings and grounds. Business processes to which end users require anytime, anywhere access from multiple devices—as well as those processes through which end users collaborate frequently—will likely benefit the most from moving to a cloud environment.

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Bright.md,flu,telemedicine,virtual

Prepping Your Practice for Flu Season: Are Virtual Visits the Answer?

Ray Costantini, M.D., MBA, CEO and Co-Founder, Bright.md

Ray Costantini, M.D., MBA, CEO and Co-Founder, Bright.md

It’s that time of year again. Healthcare delivery systems are preparing for the onslaught of patients who will walk through the door with cough, cold, and flu symptoms in various stages of severity. This season presents providers with challenges ranging from controlling contagion and protecting fragile populations to increased workloads and supply and demand discrepancies.

So, like every year, systems are informing patients about CDC’s flu shot recommendations and then setting up clinics where patients can get them; educating schools and the rest of the community about outbreak conditions; ordering extra supplies; and staffing up for the increased number of patient visits.

Healthcare providers that offer virtual care—especially asynchronous virtual care– to their patients are often better equipped to deal with this challenging time of year. They can encourage sick patients to seek care from the comfort of their homes, reducing the number of people who they could spread the virus to—including at-risk populations such as pregnant women, newborn babies, elderly patients, and those with weakened immune systems.

While all remote-care programs can help manage contagion, asynchronous virtual access solutions offer some unique benefits. Solutions that provide automation support increase provider efficiency when treating high-demand but low-acuity conditions, like the flu. This frees up time for clinicians to meet the needs of patients with high-acuity needs or chronic conditions. Increased efficiency can also help prevent provider burnout, which is typically at a dangerous high during the fall and winter months.

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CMS,Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,PPACA

CMS Awards $8.6 Million in Funding to States to Help Stabilize Markets

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded $8.6 million in funding to 30 states and the District of Columbia to provide State insurance regulators with the opportunity to enhance States’ ability to strengthen their respective health insurance markets through innovative measures that support market reforms and consumer protections under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). States can use the funds for activities such as:

  • Conducting economic analyses and market scans of the State’s health insurance market to improve and expand the number of affordable healthcare coverage options under new flexibilities offered to states by CMS guidance and regulations; and
  • Examining plan policies, procedures and claims related data related to access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, including opioid treatment services.

“These grants build on CMS’s ongoing efforts to give states the tools and flexibility they need to help people struggling to afford the year over year premium increases caused by Obamacare regulations,” said  CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We recognize that States are in the best position to assess the needs of their consumers and develop innovative measures to ensure access to affordable health coverage. These grants make yet another down payment on our work to enhance States’ ability to stabilize and improve their respective health insurance markets.”

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Cavirin,cloud computing,cybersecurity

Moving healthcare to the cloud: Why it makes sense

Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

Part 2 of 5 of “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud”

Written by: Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

As I presented in the opening message in part 1 of the “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud” blog series, healthcare IT is in a crisis. The good news is, help is available to address the issues healthcare organizations, and their third-party vendors face—and it comes in the form of cloud computing. From the perspective of enhancing patient services as well as internal and patient communications, the future of healthcare is definitely in the cloud.

Nemi George, the Senior Director of Information Security & IT Governance for Pacific Dental Services, provides one specific example: “A key area in which we see the cloud helping us is with our medical imaging,” says George. “Today, a local server is used to capture images and then synchronizes nightly to the data center. Using a cloud service for imaging significantly reduces the cost and the speed to retrieve image files while also allowing access across multiple platforms without the dependency on location.”

As your organization begins its journey to the cloud, the planning should first involve a close look at the top-level ROI. It’s important to know why it makes sense to move to the cloud.

“In line with our risk methodology and cloud strategy, we are comfortable moving applications to the cloud,” George says. “Our focus is on applications that require a high level of resilience and also general business apps that we seek to mobilize, such as Workday and Box, that offer a mobile experience without the dependency of a VPN.”

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consumerization,Generation Z,Millennials,patient experience,satisfaction surveys

Paving the road to consumerized healthcare – and better patient experiences – in the United States and beyond

Robbie Hughes, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Lumeon

Written by: Robbie Hughes, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Lumeon

When you think of one industry in particular that has mastered the creation of a seamless, digitally integrated experience for the customer journey – with automated coordination across all stakeholders and touchpoints – what comes to mind?

Despite the criticism that it receives, the airline industry can be considered a success when it comes to its ability to orchestrate the customer’s journey and improve customer experience. Gone are the days when a passenger would call a travel agent to book or manage their itinerary. We now research, book and manage flights digitally though a website or app. This allows us to check-in, upgrade and receive loyalty benefits, and keeps us up-to-date with real-time flight status, from check-in times to delays, all the way through to compensation, rebooking and satisfaction surveys. In other words, airlines are seamlessly connecting what could otherwise be a highly fragmented journey for their traveller – from exploring flight options, to completing a journey, and everything in between.

Online services now provide consumers with a simple, elegant experience, while the true sophistication happens seamlessly in the background by automating and orchestrating the engagement, with business processes and fluid data exchange. This sort of seamless and automatic, digital experience is exactly what consumers have come to expect from everything they touch in their daily lives.

Healthcare is no exception. The industry is in the midst of a movement toward the consumerization of the industry, largely driven by Millennials and Generation Z who are accustomed to our new world of always-on, instant service.

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Cavirin,cloud computing,Compliance,cybersecurity,HIMSS,HIPAA,security

The cloud can help solve the healthcare IT crisis… with a well-planned journey

Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

Part 1 of 5 of “Moving Healthcare to the Cloud”

Written by: Anupam Sahai, Vice President, Product Management, Cavirin

Time to perk your ears up! If you haven’t been paying attention, the healthcare industry, whether you’re ready to admit it or not, is in the midst of an IT crisis. With an ever-increasing influx of security threats looming, healthcare IT leaders, now more than ever, need to embrace the power of change to transform how doctors, nurses, staff and patients consume IT. This was just one of the key themes presented back in March at the HIMMS18 conference in Las Vegas.

Threats are coming in from several fronts. Here are a few reasons why many CIOs and CTOs are finding it hard to get a good night’s sleep:

The fallacy of thinking compliance = a strong security posture

Some organizations think that abiding by regulations such as HIPAA makes them safe, but this has been proven to be incorrect. Let’s take a real public example. In February 2015, Anthem disclosed that criminal hackers had broken into its servers and had potentially stolen more than 37.5 million records that contained personally identifiable information. 20 days later, Anthem raised the number to 78.8 million records. According to Anthem, the data breach extended into multiple brands that Anthem uses to market its healthcare plans, including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, and UniCare. The security breach occurred even though Anthem was HIPAA compliant.

Vulnerable legacy equipment

For decades, manufacturers like Siemens, Bosch, Honeywell and others have built embedded systems that run on operating systems from the Stone Age—unpatched, insecure and vulnerable. An example of this includes Siemens medical scanners. Hackers can exploit trivial flaws in the network-connected devices to run arbitrary malicious code on the equipment. These remotely-accessible vulnerabilities lurked in all Siemens positron emission tomography and computed tomography scanners running Microsoft Windows 7.

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Why partnerships are key to driving healthcare forward

Brent Shafer, CEO Philips North America

Written by: Brent Shafer

It’s no secret that our healthcare system is up against enormous challenges, such as aging populations and growing chronic and lifestyle-related diseases, while providers struggle to increase access and quality of care. However, a brighter future is at hand with a more seamless, collaborative approach by hospitals and health technology companies that put patient care as the focus. As connected technologies continue to disrupt and transform the healthcare industry for the better, healthcare leaders must bridge the gap between bringing innovations forward that can change patient care and driving actual integration into health systems. In fact, this year’s Philips Future Health Index (FHI) data revealed that both healthcare providers (86%) and consumers (61%) believe a more integrated healthcare system would improve the quality of healthcare in the United States.

Without better integration, global access to quality healthcare will continue to decline. If broadly adopted, however, connected technologies have tremendous potential to provide solutions to the resource shortages confronting healthcare in many countries. We will be better able to track and manage the health of populations both inside and outside hospital walls, while simultaneously decreasing unacceptably long wait times, rising cost and severe staff shortages.

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