X by 2

Automating a little can help a lot

David Mitzel, Senior Developer, X by 2

Written by: David Mitzel

Hospitals are nothing if not busy places. Doctors, nurses, patients, families, and support staff make up the human fabric of the daily life at any hospital system. And undergirding all of these stakeholders and activities is another sort of lifeblood for the hospital – data and information. The reliance on information has become the way that hospitals operate, and creating, organizing, and optimizing information on a real time basis is an operational imperative for any hospital system. One of the problems, however, is that hospitals need and use a fair amount of information that they do not create. This article focuses on one of those information streams – the data sent to hospitals from insurance companies – and suggests some best practice approaches for quickly automating the file load process as part of any hospital’s overall data quality improvement efforts.

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sepsis,sepsis awareness month,Wolters Kluwer

Sepsis awareness beyond September

As September draws to a close, so does this year’s “Sepsis Awareness Month.” 

With the hopes of extending attention beyond this month on a condition that kills someone every 2 minutes in America, we reached out to Sean Benson, Vice President and General Manager of Specialized Surveillance, Wolters Kluwer Health, to learn more about sepsis’ impacts and the factors hospital administrators ought to consider when creating an effective plan of action to improve health outcomes and lower cost at the same time. 

Mr. Benson co-founded ProVation Medical, now part of Wolters Kluwer Health, in 1994. He has been closely involved in most areas of the company’s operations, including Research & Development, Product Management, Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Client Services. Most recently, he has overseen the company’s newest clinical surveillance platform, POC Advisor.

(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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Halifax Health,sepsis,Vocera,Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer and Vocera arm Halifax Health with rapid sepsis identification solutions for improved patient outcomes and safety

Wolters Kluwer Health and Vocera Communications,  (VCRA) have teamed to arm Halifax Health with a high-powered surveillance solution to advance its battle against sepsis. Linking the real-time clinical surveillance and analytics of the POC Advisor platform with Vocera’s hands-free communications technology and mobile app accelerates the diagnosis of sepsis and the timely delivery of patient-specific advice to nurses and other clinical staff at the point of care.

“Time is the enemy when it comes to sepsis, with the likelihood of death increasing by 8 percent for each hour that passes without treatment,” said Ginny Kwong, M.D., Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer for Halifax Health. “Complicating early diagnosis is the need to aggregate data scattered across multiple clinical systems before it can be analyzed, and the results communicated to the point of care in a meaningful way.

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Infor,supply chain

Achieving value-based care through the supply chain

Cory Turner, Strategic Director, Infor

Written by: Cory Turner

Modern healthcare organizations have found a new strategy to improve patient care. Instead of investing the bulk of their budgets in clinical systems and talent/human capital, chief executives and clinicians are paying closer attention to what typically is a hospital’s second-highest priority in terms of resource costs: supply chain.

Some of that newfound interest stems from realizing their supply chains could operate much more effectively. Others are gaining newfound visibility into current inventory inefficiencies after integrating enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other software with an electronic health record (EHR) system. Underlying almost all of these strategic moves, however, is an ongoing shift in both mindset and practice from fee-for-service to value-based care models.

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Duplicate health records,VisionWare

Duplicate health records reach epidemic proportions

An-Chan Phung, Chief Technology Officer, VisionWare

Written by: An-Chan Phung

Take a look through the contacts in your cell phone. Do you have more than one entry for the same person? Or, do you have one listing for your cousin Maggie’s old cell phone, one for her new cell phone, and one for her work line at the job she lost three years ago? When you bought that new iPhone, you expected that all of Maggie’s different entries would be appropriately matched and the right data would appear in the right fields. However, now, when it comes time to reach her, it‘s time-consuming and frustrating to get to Maggie’s magical record. You spend more time sifting through the information and trying to make sense of it than you do connecting with the people who matter in your life. Even technology as simple and integral as your personal smart phone can be made complex and time-consuming if the data inside isn’t managed properly.

Now, picture facing this problem on a larger life or death scale—trying to find accurate patient contact information in a hospital or health system EMR. Over time, your hospital acquires new technology solutions, a wide variety of employees from across your entire health system begin to enter personal health information, the hospital acquires additional hospitals and/or practices, and the duplicate records just keep adding up. Unfortunately, however, now the stakes and the potential negative impacts are much higher, and your new “duplicate record problem” begins to prevent your overall hospital from achieving healthcare’s Triple Aim.

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health data breaches,Opioid

Viewpoints: Bracing for health data breaches; The economics of opioid abuse and despair

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

RealClear Health: Your health data will be breached
Just a couple of weeks ago, NHS Lanarkshire, the third largest health system in Scotland and one that employs over 12,000 staff, fell victim to a malware attack. On the heels of a broad cyberattack affecting much of the National Health Service (NH) in May, medical operations were put on hold, and patients were even told to not go to the hospital unless it was absolutely necessary. Though occurring on the other side of the Atlantic, this event stood as a stark reminder that many hospitals, health systems and other companies in the health care space are vulnerable to a cyberattack. (Cori McKeever Ashford and Kristen Thistle, 9/12)

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Viewpoints: Coal country health study is ‘no waste of time’; The fight against the opioid epidemic continues

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

The Washington Post: Trump says he cares about people in coal country. So why halt A study on their health?
One would imagine that the Trump administration, which swept into power claiming to support the people who live in coal country, would prioritize federal spending on those very people’s health. Instead, the Interior Department has halted a study on how so-called mountaintop-removal coal mining affects people who live around these landscape-stripping operations. Ostensibly, the halt is part of a broad budgetary review. If so, Interior should restart the study quickly. It is a worthwhile use of government research money, and it should proceed no matter which constituency the president had promised to support. (9/10)

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From patient-to-payment: Why providers must reinvent RCM

Joel Hackney, Chief Executive Officer, nThrive

Written by: Joel Hackney

Nearly half of the nation’s 5,000+ hospitals are losing money for every patient they see and many are at risk of closing their doors in the next 18 months. Regardless of how worthy, hospitals simply cannot execute their mission if they do not have the funds. Declining reimbursements, changes in reimbursement models, and an increased complexity in the types of quality reporting required by payors and the government have placed unprecedented pressure on the shoulders of health care providers – making opening a new hospital, hiring a new doctor, or purchasing more medical equipment impossible without the proper cash flow in place first. Health care providers must adopt solutions that work across the entirety of the revenue cycle – in the form of technology or technology enabled services – to drive revenue.

Value-Based Care and Declining Reimbursements

Giving providers an incentive for delivering the best possible care, the switch to value-based reimbursement has effectively turned the traditional health care compensation program on its head. Rather than being paid for the volume of procedures performed, payment is now determined by patient outcome and satisfaction. With penalties scheduled to take effect in 2017, this modification will pay more to physicians who provide quality care at a lower cost to Medicare, and will reduce payments to physicians who conduct more Medicare-billable services without improved patient results.

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critical care,PeraHealth,sepsis,sepsis awareness month,speed of critical care

The importance of speed of critical care – learnings from sepsis awareness month

Daria Byrne, Vice President of Product Management, PeraHealth

Written by: Daria Byrne

While not widely recognized or understood by the general population, sepsis, a serious medical condition caused by an immune response to infection according to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, has a significant impact on U.S. healthcare. Not only is sepsis a major patient safety concern, but it is also the leading cause of hospital mortality and the nation’s third leading cause of death. In fact, sepsis contributes to one in every two to three deaths, resulting in 258,000 patient deaths each year. Moreover, it’s considered the most expensive condition to treat in the U.S. healthcare system, costing more than $24 billion each year.

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