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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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.

Continue Reading,flu,telemedicine,virtual

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

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

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

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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Autism Treatment,Legislative Support,Pediatric Care,Rural Health,Stoltenberg Consulting,Telehealth,value-based care

Emerging opportunities for telehealth in the shift to value-based care

Sheri Stoltenberg, Founder CEO Stoltenberg Consulting

Written by: Sheri Stoltenberg

As the healthcare industry becomes more competitive in the push toward value-based care, providers are turning to telehealth for expanded patient-care opportunities. Through the consideration of the legislative progress, technology use and successful case studies surrounding this care-delivery option, we gain a deeper understanding of emerging opportunities for providers. Moving forward, healthcare providers who understand the potential of telehealth, as well as the direction of the marketplace, will have a key advantage.

Patient Perception

As telehealth evolves, one of the most noticeable changes we’ve seen is the increasingly positive perception among patients. Every year, more patients and their families look to telehealth services for convenience, comfort and decreased out-of- pocket costs. In a small qualitative study published in the May/June issue of Annals of Family Medicine, all patients surveyed were satisfied with video physician consultations, while a majority of patients said they are open to provider follow-ups with virtual visits.

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entertainment experience,HCAHPS,Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems,Steward Health Care System,TeleHealth Services

Healthcare televisions provide foundation of hospital patient satisfaction and education

Matt Barker, Vice President of Marketing and Interactive Solutions, TeleHealth Services

Hospitals are embracing the technology infrastructure in patient rooms as a strategy to differentiate services and improve patient experience.

Investments in technology that improve care, support financial reimbursements, increase safety and reduce readmissions also are driving improved Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient satisfaction scores.  

While at home, people watch TV an average of six hours a day. In a hospital, TV viewing increases to almost 11 hours each day. Hospital televisions offer a welcome distraction during a difficult time. Hospitals are investing in an infrastructure that provides quality entertainment on high-definition televisions on par with what patients experience when they are at home or in a hotel room. Healthcare has joined the hospitality industry in recognizing that quality entertainment improves the experience and builds brand loyalty.

For example, Steward Health Care System in Boston, with more than 2,000 beds, has invested more than $850 million in technology, including enhancements to the entertainment experience to promote a more home-like environment. The investment is paying off. Steward reported $30 million in savings in the Medicare Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program in the first three years. The hospital system is on the leading edge of making the ACO model work in Massachusetts by delivering better care at lower costs, and making sure the patient experience is convenient and comfortable.

“Patients look for amenities that provide the comforts of their home while away from home,” says Scott Kenyon, vice president of Environmental Management, Corporate Real Estate and Facilities. “Starting in their rooms, patients have the ability to access gaming consoles through the Samsung healthcare televisions and now we have introduced the ability for these patients to view their favorite TV shows and movies in high definition. We are generating an exceptional patient experience that combines social media and HDTV while fostering a new brand image for the hospital.”

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CONNECT for Health Act of 2016,licensure,Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2015,reimbursement,Slalom Consulting,teleconsultation,Telehealth,Telehealth Enhancement Act of 2015,telemedicine,Triple Aim,wearables

Telehealth: Why is it booming?

Dalia Haroune_Slalom Consulting_Photo_HighRes

Dalia A. Haroune, Solution Principal, Healthcare, Slalom Consulting

Sam Vadas_Slalom Consulting_Photo_HighRes

Samantha Vadas, Strategy Consultant, Slalom Consulting

The telehealth market is booming and expected to expand to over $30 billion globally by 2020, according to Modor Intelligence’s research. Its use cases are shifting from remote patient care through data sharing, to remote patient care and wellness through live interaction and teleconsultation. The industry is focusing on applications with proven effectiveness in care outcomes, as well as technologies that enable strategic and operational imperatives like cost savings, revenue growth, and improved patient experience.

Key areas of telehealth seeing this growth are real-time video consults, store and forward specialty consults (particularly between provider facilities using asynchronous transfer of data, images, sound or video), and remote patient monitoring. We’re also seeing an expansion in the care settings where telehealth is used and the champions that are driving its growth. Historically, the use of telehealth has been driven primarily by providers and used mostly in the hospital setting. More recently, we’ve seen applications of telehealth in ambulatory care clinics, doctors’ offices, long-term care facilities, the ER, and in the home. The emphasis on value-based care and the rise of consumerism are encouraging patients, employers, and payors to join providers in championing telehealth and the use of telehealth technology.

Telehealth has been around for decades, so why has it only recently experienced faster growth, adaption, and interest? These are the four main drivers:

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Amazon Web Services,ClearDATA,cloud comp,cybersec,data warehouses,Platform-as-a-Service

Clearing up the ambiguity of the cloud

Matt Ferrari, CTO ClearDATA headshot

Matt Ferrari, Chief Technology Officer, ClearDATA

In the 1990s and 2000s, the options for hosting data on the Internet were archaic, suffering from availability outages, performance issues and the inability to scale. In addition to these technical issues, most healthcare CIOs at that time demanded the ability to “touch and feel” their data. The notion of moving to the cloud was not one that brought a great deal of peace of mind.

In time, non-mission critical workloads such as e-commerce slowly transitioned to cloud computing environments. As the IT began to mature and evolve, and due to the large capital expenditures required to facilitate important tasks such as de-identifying patient data, many healthcare administrators began to welcome Amazon Web Services with its massive public cloud. When cloud service providers started providing PCI security assessments and HITRUST capabilities, highly regulated workloads were relocated to the cloud as well. During this period of transformation, the cloud pushed our industry to find a stronger focus on IT performance, availability and security, and that is where we continue to trend today.

To learn more about the current, and future, states of utilizing the cloud in healthcare, I contacted Matt Ferrari, Chief Technology Officer, ClearDATA.

(Editor’s note: To hear audio excerpts of this interview, click on the media player buttons that run throughout this article.)

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cloud,Cloudification,HIPAA Omnibus Rule,managed security service provider,Proficio

The cloudification of healthcare: Benefits and risks

Ken Adamson, Vice President, Proficio

Written by: Ken Adamson

Many organizations are moving most of their business-critical applications and workloads to the cloud. The healthcare industry is no exception – hospitals, payers and other organizations also are making moves to the cloud.

While they’re working hard to improve their security measures and making great strides to better protect their data, security challenges continue to evolve.

Healthcare, everywhere

As the organizational structure of healthcare facilities continues to advance, cloud adoption brings numerous benefits for these institutions. Not long ago, patient files were all on paper – placed into a folder that never left the physician’s office. But with the consolidation and reorganization of many healthcare organizations, this approach has become outdated and replaced by electronic records.

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blockchain,cloud,cybersecurity,HIMSS,HIPAA,IOT,Revation Systems

HIMSS 2017: Security, cloud and the future of healthcare

Perry Price, President, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Revation Systems

Written by: Perry Price

With 45,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors assembled at the country’s leading healthcare conference, HIMSS 2017 bustled with the latest and greatest in health IT innovations. While sifting through the hum of thousands of conversations could be challenging, the discussions spurred from so many key influencers coming together to discuss their visions for the future was enlightening. After three days of mingling with some of the brightest minds in healthcare and IT, attendees came away with two major themes emerging above the noise: security and the cloud.

As Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM, reflected in her keynote, the U.S. finds itself on the precipice of transformation and change in 2017 as the country transitions into a new White House administration. This transformation, paired with advances in health IT, are resulting in a year of tremendous possibility and opportunity for accelerating the quality of care — particularly within the scope of security and cloud technologies for healthcare.

IoT cybersecurity: Friend or foe?

Although recent advancements in technology have increased the work efficiency for medical professionals and, consequently, improved care for patients, there is a fear that private health information (PHI) security may be compromised. This new technology coming into play weighs heavily on the minds of many in the industry. With an increasingly interconnected world, the topic of cybersecurity in healthcare has, perhaps, never buzzed quite as loudly as it did at HIMSS 2017.

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In ambitious health data project, researchers happily trade ‘moonshots’ for day-to-day drudgery

Verily Life Sciences, formerly Google Life Sciences, is launching its initiative to collect information on 10,000 volunteers to create a baseline of health for the population. But, despite the scope of the project, those running it say they have their feet firmly planted on the ground and in reality.

Bloomberg: Google’s Health Moonshot Comes Back To Earth 
Opening on April 19, the study is called Baseline, as in a starting point for what healthy biometric data should look like. It’s the first serious public test for Verily Life Sciences, formerly Google Life Sciences. While Verily has separated from Google’s internet business within the Alphabet Inc. holding company, it’s taking a page from the playbook of its former parent, which aims to collect and organize information online. Verily wants to collect data from our bodies, using it to guide better health decisions. While that sounds ambitious, it’s much more modest than the missions Verily promoted when it was officially part of Google. Years ago, the biotech division promised projects such as glucose-monitoring contact lenses and all-in-one medical scanners; those remain in the lab. (Chen and Bergen, 4/19)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Google Verily Project Baseline: New Study To Predict How We Get Sick
In partnership with both Duke University School of Medicine and Stanford Medicine, the landmark study, part of its Project Baseline, aims to collect health data from 10,000 participants over the course of at least four years, the company announced in a news release Wednesday… Using physical and biochemical traits of the study population, researchers hope to better understand how people get sick, when they get sick and identify any additional risk factors and biomarkers leading up to disease, including diseases related to both cardiovascular disease and cancer. (Pirani, 4/19)

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