ABBYY,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,EHR,Electronic Health Records,HITECH Act,Office of National Coordinator for Health IT

Top challenges managing electronic health records

Bruce Orcutt , President Product Marketing and Management ABBYY

Written by: Bruce Orcutt

A recent study by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) about health information management (HIM) professional career trends attributes the electronic health record (EHR) as a major catalyst for the way health information is managed. In fact, a majority of physicians, 89.6 percent, are using some type of electronic medical record (EMR) or EHR system according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 97 percent of hospitals are using a certified EHR system, reports the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT. This has greatly impacted the roles and duties of healthcare professionals, resulting in the need to train future HIM professionals in new educational competencies that align with evolving career opportunities. The AHIMA study shows that HIM professionals will spend a lower amount of time on diagnosis and procedural coding and more emphasis on leadership, teaching and informatics/analytics. To address this trend, AHIMA is proactively aligning its strategic objectives to support emerging roles in informatics and analytics, however, there are still challenges with EHRs and patient forms that will keep HIM professionals stagnant in their roles if not addressed.

Using decade-old technology.

The HITECH Act passed in 2009 when health IT adoption was in its nascent stages, yet, despite claims that healthcare is becoming fully electronic, it’s impossible to completely eliminate paper from patient care. Patients present insurance cards and driver licenses that must be copied, sign forms and provide summaries and referrals from other providers. They also complete health histories and other intake documents. Causing a significant drag on EHR systems is legacy optical character recognition (OCR) data capture technology that is nearly a decade old. While it is able to automate most data entry by digitally capturing and converting the data into EHRs, it is still error-prone and cannot capture unstructured data from various sources, or evolve to new form types or add form fields easily.

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Collaboration in Supply Chain,enterprise workflow,FormFast,healthcare organization,operational efficiency

Bring your healthcare organization up to speed with enterprise workflow

Aaron Vaught, Director Marketing FormFast

Written by: Aaron Vaught

Operational excellence has never been more important in the healthcare industry than it is today. A number of external factors, including increased quality requirements and lower reimbursements, are driving the imperative for efficiency across the entire healthcare organization. 

As a result, healthcare organizations (HCOs) are embracing workflow technologies to promote collaboration, operational efficiency, standardization and transparency (COST). However, roadblocks often exist for organizations in their aim to improve COST within their data collection and workflow strategies – especially in non-clinical areas.

HCOs collect, store and exchange a tremendous amount of data, which can lead to inevitable difficulties with data collection and workflow. There are a few other reasons that inefficiencies in non-clinical departments occur:

1. Some electronic documentation and workflow improvement initiatives are limited to clinical processes.

2. There are shortcomings in administrative workflow areas such as Finance, Supply Chain, Human Resources, and Risk Management. As a result, workflow snags causing poor performance in one area can impact other departments and the organization as a whole.

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clinical trials,data access,Liaison Technologies,Partner data,patient information,patient-centric environment,Payer reimbursement data,value-based care

In a patient-centric environment, data access matters more than ever

Gary Palgon, Vice President of Life Sciences and Healthcare, Liaison Technologies

Written by: Gary Palgon

The healthcare industry in the U.S. and beyond has been buffeted by trends like the shift to value-based care, technological innovations that broaden treatment choices and an increasing focus on individual patients. Like other life sciences sector businesses, pharma companies are eager to stay ahead of the curve, and that will require new thinking about how to integrate and manage data. Access to integrated, high-quality, easily accessible data will be the key to success in the years ahead.

Optimizing data means finding a way to break down data silos, integrate and harmonize information from disparate sources (and in different formats) and providing secure, compliant access to authorized staff. But while it’s an important first step, it won’t be enough for pharma companies to focus exclusively on breaking down data silos within their own organizations — they’ll have to also be able to take in data from many different sources and integrate and manage it effectively.

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Forward Looking,Insight,mental health care,Telepsychiatry,The Telepsychiatry Advantage

Telepsychiatry: Raising the bar on access to mental health care

James Varrell, President and Medical Director, Insight

As May—Mental Health Awareness Month—rolls around each year, health care stakeholders are reminded to reflect on the notable achievements and strides made in mental health treatment. The industry continues to forge new paths in terms of technological advancement, research, discovery and awareness, leading to a more holistic approach to care delivery and improved health outcomes across U.S. communities.

In terms of improving access to care, one advancement in particular carries significant weight for expanding care options and lowering costs for patients, providers and communities: telepsychiatry. Telepsychiatry is a form of telemedicine that uses videoconferencing to provide psychiatric evaluation, consultation and treatment. A growing segment of telepsychiatry is direct-to-consumer care, which is working to tear down stigma-related barriers to treatment and open doors to expanded referral options and more timely care. In fact, industry stakeholders increasingly recognize direct-to-consumer telepsychiatry as a primary solution for filling mental health care gaps at a time when the need is soaring.

In tandem with the goals of value-based care, today’s patients and providers are no longer willing to settle for limited mental health treatment choices within their community. Similarly, communities should no longer view the long waits traditionally associated with accessing psychiatric care as acceptable, especially when telepsychiatry lays the foundation for more optimal, timely care delivery.

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Appalachian Regional Healthcare,Meditech,MEDITECH's Web EHR,mobile Web EHR

Appalachian Regional Healthcare makes the move to MEDITECH’s Web EHR

After launching a complete evaluation of Electronic Health Record (EHR) solutions, Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) (Lexington, Ky.) announced they will begin a partnership with MEDITECH. The large, not-for-profit, integrated delivery network that includes 11 hospitals, will begin their shift to MEDITECH’s transformative, mobile Web EHR later this year.

“We are excited to partner with MEDITECH in providing ARH an innovative Web EHR that fosters and supports sustainability,” said Appalachian Regional Healthcare’s President and CEO, Joe Grossman. “With the Web EHR, our clinicians will have seamless integration across the continuum, improved productivity, and the sophisticated tools to improve the quality and safety of care delivered to our communities.”

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Coffeyville Regional Medical Center,electronic health record,Meditech,Web EHR

MEDITECH partnership makes Web EHR an easy decision for Coffeyville Regional Medical Center

Coffeyville Regional Medical Center (Coffeyville, Kan.) recently announced that they’ll be upgrading to MEDITECH’s Web Acute, Ambulatory and Emergency Department Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution. A MEDITECH customer for nearly two decades, CRMC’s Chief Information Officer Kris Penco calls the move to the Web EHR an easy decision.

“MEDITECH’s one patient, one record offering was a driving force in our decision to move forward with the Web EHR,” Penco said. “From a patient care standpoint, an integrated EHR leads to better and safer care for patients. Of course, cost was a key consideration, and in the end, MEDITECH offered all the tools and functionality we wanted, at a fiscally responsible price.”

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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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identify high-value primary care providers,Identifying teams using analytics,Primary Care Providers,The Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Clinical Excellence Research Center,What to do after identifying the high-value primary care teams

4 step process to identify high-value primary care providers

Karen Way, Health Plan Analytics, Consulting Practice Lead, NTT DATA

Written by: Karen Way

The goal of healthcare providers is to deliver quality care. However, with recent regulatory changes, as well as evolving technological capabilities and collaborative work environments, healthcare models are being challenged and profitability has been impacted.

To improve profitability without sacrificing benefits or raising premiums, providers should steer members to high-value primary care practices.

Research by The Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Clinical Excellence Research Center at Stanford Medicine found that using a collaborative team approach to patient-centered care, high-value primary care practices can help prevent complications and hospitalizations that drive up the cost of chronic disease care, which lowers total spending per patient.

By identifying and increasing the number of high-value primary care teams in a provider network, costs can be controlled without compromising quality and benefits.

What is a high-value primary care team?
High-value practices are based on teams of caregivers, all practicing at the top of their licenses, which is why the phrase “primary care teams” is emphasized over “primary care physicians.”

By utilizing a collaborative team-based approach, physicians have more flexibility to focus on the complex needs of chronically ill patients, while PAs or APRNs manage the daily routine needs of patients.

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BCIs,Brain-computer interfaces,Facebook,near-infrared imaging technology

Brain-computer interfaces: Facebook’s next frontier

Facebook’s tech development team are currently working on a way for users to type with their minds, without the need for an invasive implant. Updating your status with thoughts alone may one day become a reality.

[Brain plugged in with wires]Brain-computer interfaces are entering a brave new era.

The social media company’s 60-strong team hopes to achieve this miraculous feat using optical imaging that scans the brain hundreds of times per second, detecting our silent internal dialogues and translating them into text on a screen.

They hope that, eventually, the technology will allow users to type at 100 words per minute – five times faster than typing on a phone.

If this innovation comes to pass, it will be fascinating for Facebook’s following. There will, however, be deeper and more profound ramifications for people who do not have full use of their limbs.

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Amazon,GetWellNetwork,interactive patient care,IPC,patient experience,Uber

Powering the patient experience

Michael_Oneil_304_GC2016R (1)

Michael O’Neil, Chief Executive Officer, GetWellNetwork

Patients and their families have choices when it comes to their health care. And just like any other consumer, they’re shopping for the best prices, the best service and, more importantly, a provider they can trust and return to again and again.

As more individuals and families have high-deductible health plans and pay more out-of-pocket expenses, they demand a better experience. Chains of urgent care centers and retail stores have entered the provider market and now compete against long-standing hospitals and physician practices. Value, convenience and quality remain critical but it’s time to think bigger. We need to understand how each of these core elements of care contributes to the overall experience a patient has when interacting with our health systems.

In addition to delivering quality care and outcomes for the patients and families they serve, providers are increasingly expected to optimize their patients’ entire experience. I believe we can turn to our everyday retail and consumer experiences for guidance because health care providers are competing for loyalty with the same comprehensiveness, consistency and flexibility of services and options that businesses like Amazon, Starbucks and Uber promise.

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