Archive for October, 2018

Infographic: Medication Adherence: A Multifaceted Challenge

October 31st, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

The path to medication adherence is filled with road blocks, according to a new infographic by Health Dialog. For healthcare organizations to navigate successfully, they need to focus on fostering long-lasting behavior change through personalized, meaningful engagement with high-risk and difficult-to-reach populations.

The infographic examines medication adherence barriers and four steps for improving medication adherence.

Leveraging Pharmacists to Reduce Cost and Improve Medication Adherence in High-Risk PopulationsWhen it comes to medication management for Medicare beneficiaries, there are more than 25 different factors that can complicate proper use of prescribed medicines—from affordability issues, even among the insured, to fear of a drug’s side effects to potential dangers from high-risk medications or health conditions.

Leveraging Pharmacists to Reduce Cost and Improve Medication Adherence in High-Risk Populations examines Novant Health’s deployment of pharmacists as part of its five-pronged strategy to deliver healthcare value through medication management services.

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Infographic: 8 Healthcare Analytics Tips

October 29th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Many healthcare organizations are drowning in the medical and consumer data flood. According to research by IDC Health Insights, hospitals rank analytics as the top driver for new IT spending. The data and analytics pressures prevalent in healthcare make the industry unique, according to a new infographic by Sirius Computer Solutions, Inc.

The infographic provides eight tips for healthcare organizations to get started.

Stratifying High-Risk, High-Cost Patients: Benchmarks, Predictive Algorithms and Data AnalyticsHealthcare organizations employ a variety of tools and analytics to identify high-risk, high-cost patients for targeted population health interventions.

Stratifying High-Risk, High-Cost Patients: Benchmarks, Predictive Algorithms and Data Analytics presents a range of risk stratification practices to determine candidates for health coaching, case management, home visits, remote monitoring and other initiatives designed to engage individuals with chronic illness, improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare spend.

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Infographic: 5 Strategies To Encourage Positive Online Physician Ratings

October 26th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Patients are starting to rely on physician reviews to help them select a physician and recent developments suggest that these reviews may one day affect physician availability in payer networks, according to a new infographic by NORCAL Group.

The infographic describes the nature of these reviews and offers strategies for encouraging positive ones to help physician practices maintain a positive online reputation.

Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action PlanUnityPoint Health has moved from a siloed approach to improving the patient experience at each of its locations to a system-wide approach that encompasses a consistent, baseline experience while still allowing for each institution to address its specific needs. Armed with data from its Press Ganey and CAHPS ® Hospital Survey scores, UnityPoint’s patient experience team developed a front-line staff-driven improvement action plan.

During Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action Plan a 45-minute webinar, now available for replay, Paige Moore, director, patient experience at UnityPoint Health—Des Moines, shares how the organization switched from a top-down, leadership-driven patient experience improvement approach to one that engages front-line staff to own the process.

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Guest Post: Clinicians and Developers Take Healthcare to New Heights Through Virtual Reality Technology

October 25th, 2018 by Laura Reagen

Hospitals and medical centers are using virtual reality and augmented reality technologies to assist in a variety of clinical applications.


What does a theme park game complete with roller coasters and thrill rides have to do with identifying cardiovascular birth defects in the womb? Both are the latest in virtual reality (VR), and among the many innovative experiences designed by some of today’s leading tech companies. What started out as fun and games has turned into a serious business for many VR developers, as well as the healthcare organizations they serve. In fact, all of healthcare is going virtual in a big way, as hospitals and medical centers use VR and augmented reality (AR) technologies to assist in a variety of clinical applications.

Using VR To Distract Patients From Pain

Prominent names in healthcare like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are among these organizations. St. Jude is exploring the use of VR as a way to distract children and teens from the intense pain that accompanies sickle cell disease. People with sickle cell disease have abnormally-shaped blood cells, which makes it difficult for these cells to navigate through tiny blood vessels throughout the body in order to deliver oxygen. When this blood flow is disrupted, it can be incredibly painful. Unfortunately, the IV medications used to manage this pain may not immediately ease the suffering of many patients.

To address that issue, the hospital is hoping to bring relief to these young people through an innovative study that will use virtual reality as a distraction technique while this IV medication is administered. Patients will be able to dive into the ocean, experience marine wildlife and navigate through sunken ruins through an innovative VR app, which clinicians hope will divert their attention away from their intense discomfort.

This particular application may not come as a surprise for anyone who has tried the real deal in VR—not just cardboard phone-enabled headsets but instead the sophisticated gaming systems like the Oculus Rift or HTC Hive. The idea of managing pain through this immersive experience isn’t far-fetched once you’re strapped inside a headset that controls your entire visual field and allows you to “virtually” walk inside of spectacular landscapes. It can distract you from all kinds of stimuli, both within your body and outside of it. This concept of distraction from pain and discomfort is one that is just beginning to find its way into the halls of many hospitals and prominent healthcare institutions.

Reducing the Reliance on Pain Meds During Labor and Delivery

At the forefront of this shift is Phoenix-based Banner Health. Physicians and researchers there are exploring the use of VR in the delivery room, in an effort to understand whether this intervention could help patients deal with labor pain and reduce the need for narcotic medications. Banner had already tried out virtual reality as a mechanism for training healthcare professionals. Then Dr. Mike Foley heard from other clinicians about the value of VR following surgery. Some felt using this technology in the recovery room could reduce the need for post-surgery pain medication and even drive earlier discharge from same-day surgery. Given the current opioid epidemic, Dr. Foley wanted to use this idea to help women deal with labor pain while receiving less opioids. This, in turn, could lead to safer deliveries and easier transitions home for both moms and babies. Dr. Foley and his team at Banner just completed a small randomized study of 20, which showed promising results in this area.

Pioneering the Use of VR in Managing Phobias and Pain

The origins of using VR in the area of pain management date back to some of the earliest days of this technology. Dr. Hunter Hoffman first heard about the potential for VR through a prominent researcher who was using it to help patients overcome a fear of heights. He decided to try a similar technique to assist a psychologist treating individuals with arachnophobia. Out of this very specific need, “Spider World” was born. The application was a means of exposure therapy, allowing individuals to gradually increase their interactions with fear-inducing scenarios.

This effort took place in the 1990s—when VR hardware and software were just emerging but were still cumbersome and costly. In fact, the hardware Dr. Hoffman used in these early efforts included a 75-lb supercomputer and helmets that weighed nearly eight pounds. But from this early iteration, Dr. Hoffman expanded his use of VR, ultimately developing a “Snow World” designed to help burn victims manage the pain associated with their injuries. Dr. Hoffman collaborated closely with Dr. Dave Patterson of the Harborview Burn Center on the effort, and is still using this same technique (albeit with much more affordable and lighter systems in place!) 20 years later. He is also at the forefront of using VR to help treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder many of whom are veterans.

Pairing Clinical Best Practices With VR Expertise

For developers that specialize in creating virtual experiences, the future looks especially bright. As healthcare embraces this new technology as a natural extension of the clinical setting, VR could become more synonymous with treating patients than entertaining gamers. Those at the forefront of this trend, like St. Jude and Banner Health, will continue to publish their results and may inspire others to enter this “new world” of care delivery.

Laura Reagen

Laura Reagen

About the Author: Laura Reagen is the Creative Director of Activate Health, a Phoenix and Nashville-based marketing firm. Activate Health specializes in providing marketing, advertising and public relations support to entities across the healthcare industry including health technology firms, hospitals, health plans and health systems. Laura is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Arizona State University.

Infographic: 7 Healthcare Social Media Numbers To Know

October 24th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

The idea of blending healthcare, with its many restrictions on privacy, with social media, where nothing seems private anymore, can be tricky for many providers. But the numbers show that it is a wilderness that you can’t ignore. However, rather than going into the social media landscape unprepared, or not at all, physician practices should consider how the proper approach can benefit both their practice and their patients, through increased sharing of educational materials, greater awareness of healthy habits, and increased brand awareness, according to a new infographic by JONES PR.

The infographic provides seven healthcare social media numbers for healthcare providers to know.

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results Between Medicare’s aggressive migration to value-based payment models and MACRA’s 2017 Quality Payment Program rollout, healthcare providers must accept the inevitability of participation in fee-for-quality reimbursement design—as well as cultivating a grounding in health data analytics to enhance success.

As an early adopter of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and the largest sponsor of MSSP accountable care organizations (ACOs), Collaborative Health Systems (CHS) is uniquely positioned to advise providers on the benefits of data analytics and technology, which CHS views as a major driver in its achievements in the MSSP arena. In performance year 2014, nine of CHS’s 24 MSSP ACOs generated savings and received payments of almost $27 million.

Health Analytics in Accountable Care: Leveraging Data to Transform ACO Performance and Results documents the accomplishments of CHS’s 24 ACOs under the MSSP program, the crucial role of data analytics in CHS operations, and the many lessons learned as an early trailblazer in value-based care delivery.

Infographic: Hospital Labs Focus on Staffing, Automation, Cost Control

October 22nd, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Hospital labs say staffing will be their leading challenge over the next year, and that inadequate staffing is having a significant impact on their staff operations, according to a new infographic by the Health Industry Distributors Association.

The infographic examines additional trends impacting hospital labs.

Innovative Community Health Partnerships: Clinical Alliances to Reduce Health Disparities in Underserved PopulationsAs one of the poorest urban congressional districts in the country, the Bronx, a New York City borough, was also rated as the last county (#62) in New York for health outcomes and health factors by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In reaction, the Bronx Health REACH initiative formed the “#Not62,” campaign to transform the health of the community.

Innovative Community Health Partnerships: Clinical Alliances to Reduce Health Disparities in Underserved Populations highlights the models of change and key initiatives developed through Bronx Health REACH’s community health transformation project.

Infographic: Digital Healthcare Technology 2018 Vision

October 19th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare enterprises are increasingly unleashing the power of intelligent technologies, using them to deliver personalized, efficient and informed care, according to a new infographic by Accenture.

The infographic examines five trends that demonstrate the potential for healthcare to apply emerging technologies to create deeper, more meaningful relationships with healthcare consumers.

A New Vision for Remote Patient Monitoring: Creating Sustainable Financial, Operational and Clinical OutcomesAs healthcare moves out of the brick-and-mortar traditional setting into patients’ homes and their workplaces, and becomes much more proactive, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has been expanding its remote patient monitoring program. The remote patient monitoring program at UPMC has its roots in the heart failure program but has since expanded to additional disease states across the integrated delivery system’s continuum of care.

A New Vision for Remote Patient Monitoring: Creating Sustainable Financial, Operational and Clinical Outcomes delves into the evolution of UPMC’s remote patient monitoring program from its initial focus on heart failure to how the program was scaled vertically and horizontally. Click here for more information.

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Infographic: Access to Health Services

October 17th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Individuals with an advanced degree are more likely to have health insurance than those with less than a high school degree, according to a new infographic by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The infographic also examines how a person’s type of health insurance impacts access to a usual primary care provider.

Although nearly three-fourths of health outcomes are determined by social determinants, few clinicians can ably identify those patients facing challenges related to social and environmental conditions or other experiences that directly impact health and health status.

Social Determinants and Population Health: Redesigning Care Management to Bridge Clinical and Non-Medical Services, care teams will learn that by asking patients the right questions and listening carefully to their responses, they can begin to identify and address social determinants, dramatically impacting patient outcomes as well as their own financial success under value-based care.

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Infographic: 2019 Merit-based Incentive Payment System Adjustment for 2017 Performance Year

October 15th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Clinicians will receive a positive, neutral, or negative payment adjustment factor based on their 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) final score, according to a new infographic by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The infographic examines the MIPS final score and payment adjustment factors.

Profiting from Population Health Revenue in an ACO: Framework for Medicare Shared Savings and MIPS SuccessA laser focus on population health interventions and processes can generate immediate revenue streams for fledgling accountable care organizations that support the hard work of creating a sustainable ACO business model. This population health priority has proven a lucrative strategy for Caravan Health, whose 23 ACO clients saved more than $26 million across approximately 250,000 covered lives in 2016 under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP).

Profiting from Population Health Revenue in an ACO: Framework for Medicare Shared Savings and MIPS Success examines Caravan Health’s population health-focused approach for ACOs and its potential for positioning ACOs for success under MSSP and MACRA’s Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

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Infographic: Unlocking the New Patient Engagement Experience

October 12th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

The digital age is no longer about just the product—it’s equally about the customer experience, according to a new infographic by Publicis Health.

The infographic explores the shift occurring in the healthcare space to a new outcome-based economy that is powered by an increasingly digital and data-driven experience.

Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action PlanUnityPoint Health has moved from a siloed approach to improving the patient experience at each of its locations to a system-wide approach that encompasses a consistent, baseline experience while still allowing for each institution to address its specific needs. Armed with data from its Press Ganey and CAHPS ® Hospital Survey scores, UnityPoint’s patient experience team developed a front-line staff-driven improvement action plan.

During Improving the Patient Experience: Engaging Front-line Staff for a System-Wide Action Plan a 45-minute webinar, now available for replay, Paige Moore, director, patient experience at UnityPoint Health—Des Moines, shares how the organization switched from a top-down, leadership-driven patient experience improvement approach to one that engages front-line staff to own the process.

Get the latest healthcare infographics delivered to your e-inbox with Eye on Infographics, a bi-weekly, e-newsletter digest of visual healthcare data. Click here to sign up today.

Have an infographic you’d like featured on our site? Click here for submission guidelines.