Archive for the ‘Electronic Health Records’ Category

Infographic: The Prescription for Getting ROI From Analytics

July 26th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

As the amount of patient data increases, healthcare organizations are investing in healthcare analytics solutions, according to a new infographic by IBM. To allow organizations to draw complex data insights from intricate, personal and rapidly changing data, healthcare organizations can benefit from a complete business intelligence (BI) solution.

The infographic looks at the trends driving this investment in analytics.

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 examines program goals, platforms, components, development strategies, target populations and health conditions, patient engagement metrics, results and challenges reported by more than 100 healthcare organizations responding to the February 2016 Digital Health survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

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Infographic: Managing Medical Data on a Blockchain

July 19th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Shared infrastructure for information exchange via a blockchain in healthcare can eliminate duplication of healthcare services among treating physicians and improve care coordination, according to a new infographic by Gem.

The infographic demonstrates how the blockchain is used as a common registry for medical records between providers.

Remote Patient Monitoring for Chronic Condition Management: Leveraging Technology in a Value-Based System Encouraged by early success in coaching 23 patients to wellness at home via remote monitoring, CHRISTUS Health expanded its remote patient monitoring (RPM) enrollment to 170 high-risk, high-cost patients. At that scaling-up juncture, the challenge for CHRISTUS shifted to balancing its mission of keeping patients healthy and in their homes with maintaining revenue streams sufficient to keep its doors open in a largely fee-for-service environment.

Remote Patient Monitoring for Chronic Condition Management: Leveraging Technology in a Value-Based System chronicles the evolution of the CHRISTUS RPM pilot, which is framed around a Bluetooth®-enabled monitoring kit sent home with patients at hospital discharge.

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Infographic: Healthcare Technology Trends 2017

July 12th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

With it’s renewed focus on patient engagement and experience, the healthcare industry is adopting the latest in digital technologies to enhance the quality of patient care, data security, and cost control, according to a new infographic by Experion Technologies.

The infographic examines how nine key technology trends are impacting the industry.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital HealthDigital health, also referred to as ‘connected health,’ leverages technology to help identify, track and manage health problems and challenges faced by patients. Person-centric health management is slowly acknowledging the device-driven lives of patients and health plan members and incorporating these tools into care delivery and management efforts.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Digital Health examines program goals, platforms, components, development strategies, target populations and health conditions, patient engagement metrics, results and challenges reported by more than 100 healthcare organizations responding to the February 2016 Digital Health survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network.

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In Montefiore Social Determinants of Health Screening, Patients’ Needs Shape SDOH Workflow

July 11th, 2017 by Patricia Donovan
 Clinical factors drive 15 percent of a patient's well-being; social determinants of health like finances drive the rest.


Clinical factors drive 15 percent of a patient’s well-being; social determinants of health like finances drive the rest.

In Dr. Amanda Parsons’ twenty-something years in healthcare, she has never implemented a program as widely embraced as Montefiore Health System’s Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) screening.

“It was one of the few times in my career that I didn’t encounter physician resistance,” said Dr. Parsons, Montefiore’s vice president of community and population health. The health system’s screening assesses patients for a host of SDOH factors that drive 85 percent of their well-being, including housing, food security, access to care or medications, finances, transportation and violence.

Following assessment, the goal is to connect individuals who screen positively for SDOHs with assistance from the area’s robust network of community organizations.

Dr. Parsons outlined her organization’s SDOH screening process, findings, challenges, and future plans during Assessing Social Determinants of Health: Collecting and Responding to Data in the Primary Care Setting, a June 2017 webcast by the Healthcare Intelligence Network now available for rebroadcast.

To get started, Montefiore piggybacked on the efforts of a few provider sites already screening for SDOHs. It then offered providers a choice of two validated screening tools, the first developed at a fifth-grade reading level, the second a more sophisticated “stressor” screen. Thirdly, it built a two-tiered triage system that leveraged social workers for individuals with very high SDOH needs, and community health workers to assist with lower-level needs.

Referrals would come from existing data banks or a host of new online referral tools, many of which Dr. Parsons mentioned during the webcast.

Interestingly, while Montefiore is fully live on an EPIC® electronic health record, SDOH screenings are currently conducted on paper, noted Dr. Parsons. This decision was one of multiple considerations in workflow creation, including respect for patient privacy.

For the time being, each Montefiore provider site selects a unique population to screen—or opts not to screen at all, if staffing is lacking. For example, one site screens all patients scheduled for annual physicals, while another screens patients recently discharged from the hospital.

In an initial readout of both screens, SDOH positivity was highest for housing and finances.

By the end of 2017, Montefiore expects to have completed more than 10,000 screenings. The health system, which serves some 700,000 patients, also plans to boost its ranks of community health workers, broadening its referral network.

Looking ahead, Montefiore will address a number of key administrative and emotional barriers. Some patient issues, like overcoming the stigma of seeing a social worker, can be minimized with a simple scripting change. Others, like alleviating an individual’s financial pain or putting a roof over a family’s head, are much more complicated.

Also needed is a process to confirm a patient has “gone that last mile” and obtained the recommended support, Dr. Parsons added.

As it expands SDOH screening, Montefiore is banking on that swell of engaged providers. As part of its mission to provide comprehensive, ‘cradle-to-grave’ care for its mostly Medicaid and otherwise government-insured population, Montefiore “intervenes even when there is no payment structure for that work,” said Dr. Parsons.

Falling into that category is SDOH screening. “Much of the Social Determinants of Health work is not very billable in the traditional paper service model, but it is incredibly important to do, regardless.”

Listen to an interview with Dr. Parsons on adapting SDOH screenings for different populations.
TW_Montefiore_SDOH_webinar0617

Infographic: Hospital Holes for Hackers

June 16th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Nearly 90 percent of healthcare organizations had a data breach in the past two years, and nearly half, or 45 percent had more than five data breaches in the same time period, according to statistics cited in a new infographic by SecureWorks.

The infographic examines the impact of data breaches and where hospital security holes can be found and what organizations should do to address these potential risks.

Covered Entity Manual Covered Entity Manual is a template-style download manual that can be easily adapted to align with your compliance needs as a covered entity. All content complies with the Omnibus Rule.

Covered Entity-Specific Manual provides you with a generic, comprehensive set of policies and procedures: 33 privacy policies; 30 security policies; 6 policies that address common requirements of both the privacy and security rules; 1 breach notification policy; and 12 forms and templates, including a notice of privacy practices.

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Infographic: What Hospital CIOs Think About Data Security and Clinical Mobility

June 5th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Effective patient engagement has been linked with increased adherence to medical plans, reduced hospitalizations, and higher revenues, according to a new infographic by ChartLogic. One way to generate these results is by meeting patients where they spend the most time, i.e. social media.

The infographic looks at which secure communication methods clinical staff use, the top four reasons hospitals use pagers and mobile health strategies.

Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2017: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry Not in recent history has the outcome of a U.S. presidential election portended so much for the healthcare industry. Will the Trump administration repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? What will be the fate of MACRA? Will Medicare and Medicaid survive?

These and other uncertainties compound an already daunting landscape that is steering healthcare organizations toward value-based care and alternative payment models and challenging them to up their quality game.

Healthcare Trends & Forecasts in 2017: Performance Expectations for the Healthcare Industry, HIN’s 13th annual business forecast, is designed to support healthcare C-suite planning during this historic transition as leaders prepare for both a new year and new presidential leadership.

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Infographic: Futuristic Hospitals

May 26th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

Hospitals across the globe are bringing together science and technology to improve patient care, according to a new infographic by Gap Medics.

The infographic explores some of the most futuristic hospitals in the world, where state of the art equipment and high tech medical care is advancing healthcare.

Remote Patient Monitoring for Chronic Condition Management: Leveraging Technology in a Value-Based System Encouraged by early success in coaching 23 patients to wellness at home via remote monitoring, CHRISTUS Health expanded its remote patient monitoring (RPM) enrollment to 170 high-risk, high-cost patients. At that scaling-up juncture, the challenge for CHRISTUS shifted to balancing its mission of keeping patients healthy and in their homes with maintaining revenue streams sufficient to keep its doors open in a largely fee-for-service environment.

Remote Patient Monitoring for Chronic Condition Management: Leveraging Technology in a Value-Based System chronicles the evolution of the CHRISTUS RPM pilot, which is framed around a Bluetooth®-enabled monitoring kit sent home with patients at hospital discharge.

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.

Guest Post: 5 Legal Considerations for Maximizing Telehealth Security

May 25th, 2017 by Ammon Fillmore and Mark Swearingen
Patient privacy and data security are key telehealth concerns providers must address.

Patient information privacy and security are key telehealth concerns for healthcare providers.

Telehealth is one of the fastest growing and developing areas of healthcare today. With this rapid growth come many questions and concerns that arise when legal and regulatory schemes are not able to keep up with the pace of development. One such concern is the legal and regulatory issues relating to the privacy and security of telehealth services. Telehealth services can be provided securely, but specific attention must be paid to information and application security in order to protect patient privacy and comply with laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”).

Healthcare provider executives who currently offer, or are considering offering, telehealth services to their patients should give attention and appropriate resources to the following areas in order to maximize the organization’s security posture and operational efficiencies.

Arrangement Structure

One of the primary decisions for a healthcare provider organization to make with any telehealth arrangement is whether the organization will provide the telehealth services itself or in collaboration with a third party. Many considerations will be part of this decision, but information privacy and security should be one of them. An organization should only consider providing telehealth services on its own if it can dedicate sufficient resources and personnel to establishing and maintaining the secure transmission and storage of patient information. Only an organization with a competent and established information technology staff should consider providing telehealth services in this manner.

If an organization chooses instead to collaborate with a third party to provide telehealth services, there are several third parties with whom the organization can collaborate to provide those services securely. Those third parties can provide anything from equipment only to a full range of services, including digital infrastructure and professional physician services. When a third party is involved, the organization must also consider how to structure the arrangement for purposes of HIPAA, including determining whether the third party will be a business associate of the organization or whether the organization and the third party will function as a single Organized Health Care Arrangement (“OHCA”) under HIPAA. These decisions will impact how information flows between the parties and who is responsible for securing that information.

Contractual Protections

Responsibility for securing information where the provider organization collaborates with a third party will be governed by the operative agreements between the parties, including the Business Associate Agreement, where applicable. Provider organizations should be sure that the agreements detail the third party’s security-related obligations and establish the third party’s responsibility for failing to meet those obligations. The operative agreements also should contain sufficient representations and warranties of the third party’s security posture, including the technical specifications that the third party will implement in order to safeguard patient information. Equally important is making sure that the operative agreements include sufficient assurances that patient information will be accessible to the appropriate healthcare provider.

Technical Specifications

Telehealth arrangements will differ in the precise technical specifications that the parties implement to safeguard patient information. However, certain technical specifications are broadly applicable and can significantly reduce security risks. One example of such a specification is the use of encryption technology. Encrypting patient information, both while stored on computer systems and during transmission between systems, is an effective means of safeguarding the information from unauthorized third parties and preventing breaches from occurring. Another such specification is authentication of the participants in a telehealth encounter, the clinicians and patients themselves. It is important that technological measures are implemented to ensure the identity of both the clinicians and patients so that all parties can have confidence that the individuals involved in the encounter are actually who they appear to be. Provider organizations should strongly consider implementing such technologies in any telehealth services arrangement.

Security Awareness

Even the best technical safeguards can be compromised by human error, so it is imperative that effective security awareness training be provided both to workforce members as well as patients. Workforce members who participate in telehealth services arrangements must be made aware of their obligations to protect the privacy and security of patient information under their organization’s policies and procedures and be sanctioned when a violation occurs. Likewise, patients should be provided with information about the security risks present in telehealth arrangements and advised of the steps they can take to mitigate those risks.

Security Risk Analysis

Provider organizations are required under HIPAA to periodically perform an enterprise-wide security risk analysis and to take steps to remediate any risks that are identified. The failure to do so can result in substantial fines and penalties to a provider organization. An enterprise-wide risk analysis considers not only the electronic health record but also any system or equipment that contains electronic patient information, which would include equipment and systems utilized in providing telehealth services. Accordingly, provider organizations should be sure to include telehealth systems in their risk analysis, including those utilized by a third party service and to address any identified risks and vulnerabilities in a timely fashion.

This article is educational in nature and is not intended as legal advice. Always consult your legal counsel with specific legal matters. If you have any questions or would like additional information about this topic, please contact Ammon Fillmore at (317) 977-1492 or afillmore@hallrender.com or Mark Swearingen at (317) 977-1458 or mswearingen@hallrender.com.

About the Authors: Ammon Fillmore and Mark Swearingen are attorneys with Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C., the largest healthcare-focused law firm in the country. Please visit the Hall Render Blog for more information on topics related to healthcare law.

Mark Swearingen

Mark Swearingen

Ammon Fillmore

Ammon Fillmore















HIN Disclaimer: The opinions, representations and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of the Healthcare Intelligence Network as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

Infographic: Protecting Patient Data in Today’s Digital Healthcare World

April 19th, 2017 by Melanie Matthews

The healthcare industry continues to ride the digital wave to improve patient care and organizational efficiency while reducing costs. Hospitals and health systems are relying on electronic health records, the cloud, and the Internet of Things (IoT) more than ever. While these technologies are convenient, efficient, and enable a higher degree of patient-centric care, they can be jeopardized by cybercriminals, according to a new infographic by Fortinet.

The infographic examines how healthcare organizations can protect their patients’ data in a digital healthcare landscape.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Data Analytics and IntegrationThe 2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Data Analytics and Integration assembles hundreds of metrics on data analytics and integration from hospitals, health plans, physician practices and other responding organizations, charting the impact of data analytics on population health management, health outcomes, utilization and cost.

2016 Healthcare Benchmarks: Data Analytics and Integration examines the goals, data types, collection processes, program elements, challenges and successes shared by healthcare organizations responding to the January 2016 Data Analytics survey by the Healthcare Intelligence Network. Click here for more information.

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Guest Post: EHRs, Artificial Intelligence and Empathy

March 9th, 2017 by Basil Hayek and Paul Penta, Sapient Health

social_business_strategyCan melding the best of electronic health records (EHRs) and artificial intelligence foster greater empathy among healthcare providers? Basil Hayek, Director of Business Consulting, Sapient Health, and Paul Penta, Manager of Business Consulting, Sapient Health, examine that possibility in this guest post.

EHRs, artificial intelligence, and empathy: If this were a Sesame Street segment, it would be easy to pick the one that is not like the others. But could combining the first two actually enable greater empathy?

First, let’s set some context. Industry-wide, there is a high degree of dissatisfaction amongst physicians with EHRs. This can result from the increased clerical burden, poor user interfaces, and feeling of cookbook medicine. These challenges add to the burden already faced by physicians, and contribute to burnout, sub-optimal prescribing and referral behaviors, and erosion of clinician empathy.

As empathy diminishes, so do outcomes. Studies across multiple conditions, including diabetes, cancer, and the common cold, found evidence supporting this hypothesis. In addition, a broad evidence review saw a consistent positive association between patient experience, patient safety and clinical effectiveness. As clinician empathy can dramatically influence a patient’s experience, it can be surmised that empathy is a contributing factor.

There are various approaches to addressing EHR challenges. Healthcare organizations are deploying scribes, tablets and optimization programs. Legislative and policy changes are in the works. Although not enacted before the end of the congressional session, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee introduced a bill last year to help improve EHR usability. In addition, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within the Department of Health & Human Services has called for certification requirements on EHR usability.

Ultimately, healthcare provider satisfaction with EHRs will improve through these tactics. That’s not to say that EHRs cannot move from simply meeting a HCP’s expectations to exceeding them. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) will play a role.

When AI is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is probably IBM’s Watson. Watson, which gained fame for winning Jeopardy against two former champions in 2011, has dramatically evolved its cognitive capability and reach to make an impact in various industries, including healthcare. Healthcare providers can use Watson to analyze medical records, assist in diagnosis, and help find evidence-based treatments, and its capabilities continue to grow. These developments are exciting, but only hint at what is achievable, which includes helping to achieve the Quadruple Aim of an improved patient experience, improved population health, reduced costs, and an improved clinician experience.

AI can contribute in realizing the Quadruple Aim due to its ability to efficiently analyze large volumes of data, discover patterns, and make logical inferences. The potential population health and cost implications resulting from AI are fairly self-evident. What is intriguing is how AI can play a role in helping improve the provider and patient experience. How this could come together is better told through two scenarios.

Scenario 1:

Consider 47-year-old Gary, recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He is due for a follow-up with his doctor to review his treatment after completing blood work. In the first scenario, Gary is trying to navigate his diagnosis in the current state environment.

Because of a lab location that requires him to drive instead of taking public transit, Gary misses three scheduled lab appointments and is forced to reschedule his follow-up. When he finally completes his labs and meets with his doctor, she seems hurried and spends most of the time looking at her laptop as she updates Gary’s chart. Although she notes his A1Cs have risen, she opts to continue the same regimen until his next appointment. Gary leaves feeling uncertain about the effectiveness of his medication, and has doubts on whether the side effects of heartburn and indigestion are worth it.

Now, let’s look at a version of this same narrative where AI enables a better all-around experience.

Scenario 2:

After Gary misses his first lab appointment, the AI-enhanced EHR offers to reschedule at a location one stop away from his house. He attends that appointment and keeps his follow-up with his doctor. Prior to this appointment, his doctor reviews an AI-generated clinical summary, which highlights key factors to consider for Gary’s treatment and confirms that she has reviewed the latest research relevant to Gary’s condition and history.

She greets Gary when he arrives and asks how he’s doing with the medication. When he mentions heartburn and indigestion, she acknowledges they’re common side effects, and recommends that he be diligent about taking it with food and using an antacid until the side effects diminish.

She turns Gary’s attention to a large wall-mounted screen showing a patient-optimized view of his health record. She uses a tablet as a second screen to direct the conversation via a physician view. Gary sees his blood glucose trends and notices that the side effects he just mentioned are in his record. As they discuss additional medication to help control Gary’s rising A1Cs, the doctor asks Gary to confirm the accuracy of the displayed list of medications and supplements. Gary mentions he has also started taking low dose aspirin.

Shortly after he says this, aspirin appears on the screen. The physician view on her tablet alerts her of new research indicating an interaction between aspirin and a candidate medication. With this information, she recommends an alternative combination drug, and Gary walks out with a new prescription and confidence in managing his diabetes.

Conclusion:

In the second scenario, AI enabled the following technologies and associated benefits to provide an alternate and improved experience:

  • Prescriptive analytics based on clinical and socio-demographic perspectives of EHR data: offloads intent from the patient and reduce barriers to care;
  • Context-aware clinical natural language processing: offloads data entry from the physician, and allows the patient to more naturally participate in the treatment conversation;
  • Cognitive computing to assess medical evidence: allows physicians to more easily review information relevant to a specific patient.

These enablers are neither new nor novel. However, combined they provide unobtrusive interventions that reduce the clerical and cognitive burden on physicians and provide improved opportunities for patient engagement. With time to think and a renewed focus on the person sitting in front of them, physicians can return to an empathy-driven encounter, and everyone wins.

About the Authors:

Basil Hayek, Director of Business Consulting, Sapient Health

Basil Hayek, Director of Business Consulting, Sapient Health

Basil Hayek is responsible for digital strategy and delivery for Sapient Health. He supports a broad portfolio of clients, with a focus on health plans, pharmacy, and retail health. He gets excited about bringing together his technology, data, and product background to drive engagement and deliver business results for companies and better health outcomes for individuals. Basil graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Computer Science.

Paul Penta, Manager of Business Consulting, Sapient Health

Paul Penta, Manager of Business Consulting, Sapient Health


As a Manager of Business Consulting at Sapient Health, Paul Penta draws on his experience building technology for patients in a clinical chronic care environment to enable digital change in healthcare organizations. With a focus on digital and technology strategy, Paul always keeps the patient at the center of the experience. Often taking on a cross-functional role, Paul excels in leading the strategic merger of process and product to achieve impactful metrics. Paul received an MBA from Boston University.


HIN Disclaimer: The opinions, representations and statements made within this guest article are those of the author and not of the Healthcare Intelligence Network as a whole. Any copyright remains with the author and any liability with regard to infringement of intellectual property rights remain with them. The company accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.