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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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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POC adviser,Wolters Kluwer

Baton Rouge general Adds POC Advisor from Wolters Kluwer to reduce sepsis

November 2, 2017 – Wolters Kluwer Health today announced that Baton Rouge General will deploy POC Advisor™, leveraging its clinical surveillance and analytics to reduce sepsis mortality and morbidity rates. The clinical intelligence platform will be a central component of the “Most Wired” hospital’s overall clinical and technology strategy.

“Using advanced technology is key to preserving and restoring health,” said Bennett Cheramie, Vice President of Information Technology at Baton Rouge General. “By making our front-line team members aware of patients with sepsis, POC Advisor will help us treat sepsis in its earliest stages.”

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Precision medicine: From one-size-fits-all to personalized healthcare

Scientist pipetteAdvances in technology are essential if precision medicine is going to become reality.

Imagine a future in which, rather than using symptoms to identify a disease, your genes, metabolism, and gut microbiome inform how your individual health is managed. This is the vision of precision medicine.

Traditional medicine uses symptoms to diagnose diseases, and drugs to treat these symptoms. But precision medicine aims to turn this concept on its head.

By identifying the factors that predispose a person to a particular disease and the molecular mechanisms that cause the condition, treatment and prevention strategies can be tailored to each individual. 

So, how do we get from traditional to precision medicine? Advances in genetics and molecular analysis techniques have been a deciding factor, as has getting patients involved with managing their own health.

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Beyond privacy concerns: Interactive gadgets can pose threat to children’s psychology

Children, who are learning what’s appropriate social interaction, can be affected more than adults by the human-computer relationship that’s becoming more commonplace in homes. In other public health news: early menopause, the shingles vaccine, fatty liver disease, racism, and gun safety.

NPR: Parenting in the age of Alexa, are artificial intelligence devices safe for kids?
Earlier this month, the toy-giant Mattel announced it had pulled the plug on plans to sell an interactive gadget for children. The device, called Aristotle, looked similar to a baby monitor with a camera. Critics called it creepy. Powered by artificial intelligence, Aristotle could get to know your child — at least that was how the device was being pitched. (Doucleff and Aubrey, 10/30)

The New York Times: Underweight women at risk of early menopause
Underweight women are at increased risk for early menopause, a new study has found. This study, in Human Reproduction, followed 78,759 premenopausal women ages 25 to 42 beginning in 1989. Over the following 22 years, 2,804 of them reported natural menopause before age 45. (Bakalar, 10/26)

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Amazon is poised to enter Pharma landscape — so what will that look like?

Stat: Who wins and who loses if Amazon enters the prescription drug business

Will pharma be the next business Amazon disrupts?In industry after industry, the company has turned practices and expectations inside out — and the pharmaceutical world is the latest poised for change as speculation mounts that Amazon will soon start selling prescription medicines. Anticipation has been building for months, in fact, but it heightened last week on the news that Amazon (AMZN) obtained wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least a dozen states. (Silverman, 10/30)

Bloomberg: Amazon’s ambitious October spooks stocks standing in its path
The looming threat of Amazon.com Inc. siphoned billions in market cap from Under Armour Inc. to FedEx Corp. to Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. — more than $30 billion combined — in October. Companies are gearing up to face Bezos’s behemoth heading into the holiday season, with some appearing ready to get creative as the state of their industries is shaken. (Smith, 10/31)

The New York Times: The more lavish the gifts to doctors, the costlier the drugs they prescribe
When drug companies give gifts to doctors, the doctors prescribe more — and more expensive — drugs. The more lavish the gifts, the greater the effect. Researchers used data from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services on the prescriptions written by doctors in Washington, and information from the D.C. Department of Health on gifts from pharmaceutical and medical device companies given to providers in 2013. (Bakalar, 10/25)

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Inc,Messagepoint

Automation spells relief for medicare advantage organizations

Daron Domino, Vice President, Messagepoint

Written by: Daron Domino

It’s a familiar, tiring drill every year for those who work for Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs). There is a frantic rush from the time your organization makes its bid submission on the first Monday in June through the middle of August when plan materials need to go to print. Material preparation teams are tasked with preparing benefit materials such as the Annual Notice of Change, Evidence of Coverage, and Summary of Benefit that are compliant with CMS marketing guidelines, ensuring that all regulatory language, benefits and operational information is 100 percent accurate. Sitting between Product and Compliance, material preparation teams are challenged during the annual enrollment period (AEP) preparation as they process a sea of ad-hoc change requests.

Because of CMS timelines and the Sept. 30 in-home date, the annual update process typically starts ahead of benefits and plan approval being complete. So, there is risk of doing work to prepare materials for a plan, or plans, that may not receive CMS approval.

For most MAOs, the annual materials preparation process has been largely manual, resulting in increased efforts and risk of error. Many have attempted to automate the process only to find significant lead-times, costs, complexity, and ultimately a different set of challenges.

With a traditional document automation approach, data and rules drive the process. Those taking this approach spend most of their time managing a long list of business rules. One company we interviewed ended up with thousands of rules to drive benefits and content across their Individual market and Group plans. Automation was intended to simplify the annual process, reduce time and effort, and ultimately eliminate human error. Their attempt resulted in a process that requires an IT skill-set to set up and manage complex rules and a complex QA process to assess the impact of rule changes across plans, both of which have effectively eliminated any cost benefit. As a result, the team supporting materials preparation continues to work endless hours each summer.

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