Archive for the ‘Health IT’ Category

Infographic: Doctors Call for Overhaul of Electronic Health Records

July 6th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Physicians want substantial improvements in the way electronic health records (EHRs) work, according to a new infographic by Stanford Medicine based on a survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

The infographic examines how physicians would like to see EHRs evolve.

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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Guest Post: Staying HIPAA Compliant When Using Smartphones

July 5th, 2018 by Brad Spannbauer

Smartphones in Healthcare

Introducing smartphones into a healthcare environment also brings new security risks, especially when devices are used to create, receive, maintain or transmit ePHI.

Smartphones are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in clinical settings. When compared with the likes of pagers, smartphones offer many benefits, such as improved communication and collaboration, increased mobility, and more advanced security and privacy features. However, despite these benefits, introducing smartphones into a healthcare environment also brings new security risks, especially when devices are used to create, receive, maintain or transmit electronic protected health information (ePHI).

The compact size and portability of smartphones is what makes them so convenient for on-the-go healthcare professionals, but it is also this which makes them particularly susceptible to loss or theft, which can lead to data breaches.

According to a Ponemon study, 90 percent of healthcare organizations have been affected by at least one data breach, and nearly half have had more than five data breaches. While malicious activity continues to be the leading cause of these attacks, employee negligence and lost or stolen devices are the primary instigators.

Eliminating the security and privacy threats introduced by smartphones isn’t easy, but by addressing the following key areas, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) covered entities can mitigate the risks and significantly reduce the likelihood of a data breach occurring.

Put a stop to non-secure communication

In today’s cyber crime ridden world, organizations must be proactive in guarding every aspect of their digital infrastructure, and maintaining secure communications is a key part of this process. Non-secure applications such as email or native text messaging apps are inherently risky due to a lack of security features and privacy controls, which ultimately render them non-compliant under the rules of HIPAA. Instead of using unsecure tools, healthcare providers should invest in secure communication solutions that are designed to withstand the rigors and regulations of healthcare.

Educate your workforce

Research by IBM suggests that 95 percent of all security incidents in 2016 involved human error—misaddressed emails, weak passwords and falling prey to phishing schemes are prime examples of how data breaches can occur due to carelessness or lack of proper education. Additionally, the rise in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) means employees are more frequently using devices both inside and outside the office, which naturally increases the risks of a device being lost, stolen, or accessed by an unauthorized third party. Regular staff training should therefore be a top priority for any organization that allows its employees to use a mobile device for work purposes. Ultimately the onus is on employers to ensure employees understand their responsibilities, and to provide the tools to allow them to carry out their jobs effectively and securely.

Follow OCR’s advice

In recognition of the risks associated with increased usage of smartphones in clinical settings, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued guidance for HIPAA covered entities who use mobile devices to create, access or store ePHI. The guide offers the following tips:

  • Implement policies and procedures regarding the use of mobile devices in the workplace—especially when used to create, receive, maintain, or transmit ePHI.
  • Consider using Mobile Device Management (MDM) software to manage and secure mobile devices.
  • Install or enable automatic lock/logoff functionality.
  • Require authentication to use or unlock mobile devices.
  • Regularly install security patches and updates.
  • Install or enable encryption, anti-virus/anti-malware software, and remote wipe capabilities.
  • Use a privacy screen to prevent people close by from reading information on your screen.
  • Use only secure Wi-Fi connections.
  • Use a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  • Reduce risks posed by third-party apps by prohibiting the downloading of third-party apps, using whitelisting to allow installation of only approved apps, securely separating ePHI from apps, and verifying that apps only have the minimum necessary permissions required.
  • Securely delete all PHI stored on a mobile device before discarding or reusing the mobile device.
  • Include training on how to securely use mobile devices in workforce training programs.

Remember, at the end of the day, if you allow ePHI to be stored on mobile devices, some of those devices inevitably will be lost or stolen. And if that ePHI is not adequately protected through strong encryption along with robust access controls as described above, you will have a reportable data breach on your hands. So plan accordingly.

As devices and applications become more technically advanced, and as more and more healthcare organizations leverage the advantages of smartphones over traditional tools, smartphone usage is only set to increase. To realize the benefits, however, it is critical that the security of mobile devices is reviewed and updated regularly, and policies are modified when necessary. Convenience should never come before compliance.

About the Author:

Brad Spannbauer

Brad Spannbauer

A 20 year industry veteran, Brad Spannbauer currently oversees product strategy and planning, and provides direction and market leadership for j2 Cloud Connect’s worldwide business as their Senior Director of Product Management. His focus in the healthcare and legal verticals led to Brad’s involvement with the j2 Cloud Services™ compliance team, where he leads the team as the company’s HIPAA Privacy and Compliance Officer. Learn more about our HIPAA Compliant Fax Solutions.

Infographic: Sepsis Alert

July 4th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in United States’ hospitals today. Moreover, 62 percent of patients hospitalized with sepsis are re-hospitalized within 30 days, according to a new infographic by TigerConnect, Inc.

The infographic examines how a secure communication solution can speed sepsis response times for better patient outcomes.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient MonitoringArtificial intelligence. Automation. Blockchain. Robotics. Once the domain of science fiction, these telehealth technologies have begun to transform the fabric of healthcare delivery systems. As further proof of telehealth’s explosive growth, the use of wearable health-tracking devices and remote patient monitoring has proliferated, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added several new provider telehealth billing codes for calendar year 2018.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring delivers the latest actionable telehealth and remote patient monitoring metrics on tools, applications, challenges, successes and ROI from healthcare organizations across the care spectrum. This 60-page report, now in its fifth edition, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and remote patient monitoring initiatives as well as the use of emerging technologies in the healthcare space.

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.

Infographic: Consumer and Physician Perceptions of Virtual Care

July 2nd, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Consumers support the concept of virtual care, but doctors aren’t meeting the demand, according to a new infographic by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

The infographic examines consumer and physician virtual care perceptions and potential benefits to physicians for timely adoption.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient MonitoringArtificial intelligence. Automation. Blockchain. Robotics. Once the domain of science fiction, these telehealth technologies have begun to transform the fabric of healthcare delivery systems. As further proof of telehealth’s explosive growth, the use of wearable health-tracking devices and remote patient monitoring has proliferated, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added several new provider telehealth billing codes for calendar year 2018.

2018 Healthcare Benchmarks: Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring delivers the latest actionable telehealth and remote patient monitoring metrics on tools, applications, challenges, successes and ROI from healthcare organizations across the care spectrum. This 60-page report, now in its fifth edition, documents benchmarks on current and planned telehealth and remote patient monitoring initiatives as well as the use of emerging technologies in the healthcare space.

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 Steps To Prepare for Real-Time Enterprise Healthcare Data

July 2nd, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

The right real-time enterprise data infrastructure allows the information to be routed to a data lake where enterprises can employ modern business intelligence solutions to derive actionable insights.

Recent trends and emerging technologies are converging and a truly real-time enterprise will soon be an achievable possibility. As we move beyond traditional batch data to include streaming data, healthcare systems are seeing an unlimited and unyielding flow of data. This constant flow gives enterprises the ability to act on the information as it originates. Additionally, the right infrastructure allows the information to be routed to a data lake where enterprises can employ modern business intelligence solutions to derive actionable insights.

Of course, not every organization will need to be able to utilize truly real-time data, all organizations need to consider how they can best manage the increasing flow of data. Following are five steps to consider as you develop your enterprise information management (EIM) strategy:

  1. Define/identify business objectives – Is real-time data needed?: While the use cases are innumerable, real-time applications of data by their nature require a much higher level of network resources than data that is sent every hour or every day, as batch processes often are. Consider this: do you need data immediately or is once per hour sufficient? Organizations must first consider how frequently information is needed and then set the strategy.

  2. Find your edge and manage devices: Advancements in integration, messaging software, and Internet of Things (IoT) are building a new edge of the network. Mobile devices in the modern context can be virtually anywhere. To have success organizations need a data and device strategy to ensure that they can “read” the data they need, when they need it. Asset management strategies are also necessary for these devices to ensure that the information on them is controlled, secured, and properly maintained. An increasingly common example of device management at the edge is in healthcare, where tablets and mobile phones are increasingly used at the point of care.

  3. Let Data Streams Flow into Lakes: As organizations gather and use different kinds of often completely unrelated data forms, it makes a lot of sense to create a data lake. Whether this is required goes back to the context of use and the business objective, but in all cases, it is crucial to develop a strategy to consolidate, store, protect and back up the data.

  4. How Do Users Consume the Data?: Information for the sake of information can be distracting. Real-time data is no exception. Again, it is critical that its use be considered in the development of strategy. Let’s use monitoring again as an example. Do users need to know what is happening all of the time, or just when something is wrong, or some other key milestone? If they only need to know at certain points (problem detected, report generated, etc.), what is the best way to relay that information—an alert, a color-coded dashboard? The possibilities are limitless but should reflect a keen understanding of how the information will be used when needed most.

  5. Build in Analytics to Mine That Gold: Information is dynamic and so are the use cases that motivate different users to seek and apply it. For many, the information they gain is descriptive, for some it’s diagnostic in nature, and for others it’s predictive. An example can be found in the predictive analytics used to proactively identify equipment failure and to guide the resulting maintenance and repairs. For others it is prescriptive and informs what is happening currently to help define what should be happening. Regardless, the enormous range of use demands that organizations seeking to benefit from real-time data first establish the infrastructure necessary to run analytics in a way that pulls out actionable, relevant information.

A move to real-time enterprise will require changes to virtually every part of an organization. It will take a great deal of time, attention and hard work; however, the benefits will be significant. The five steps discussed here can help healthcare organizations find and stay on the right path to becoming a real-time enterprise.

About the Author:

Jennifer Schwartz

Jennifer Schwartz is an accomplished professional with special expertise in enterprise information programs, consulting, strategic planning, and mobile solution architecture. She has 18 years of experience with improving operational efficiency, reducing costs, and formulating strategic plans for her clients. As the Enterprise Information Management solution lead for CTG, Ms. Schwartz focuses on business process management and automation, providing best practice guidance, and executing special projects that help transform data into action. Jennifer works across industries, advising clients on the execution of projects to realize efficiencies.

Infographic: 7 Steps for Healthcare Interoperability

June 29th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare interoperability will lead to a collaborative environment with accessible data for all users to gain meaningful insights, according to a new infographic by Liaison.

Healthcare organizations can move from an environment with siloed information and limited data access to one that is truly collaborative with accessible data for all user with the seven interoperability steps outlined in the infographic.

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.

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.

Infographic: The Current State of Telehealth

June 20th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Telehealth becomes a bigger part of the medical landscape every year, according to a new infographic by URAC.

The infographic details the results of a recent URAC survey on the future of telehealth services.

Real-time remote management of high-risk populations curbed hospitalizations, hospital readmissions and ER visits for more than 80 percent of respondents and boosted self-management levels for nearly all remotely monitored patients, according to 2014 market data from the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN).

Remote Monitoring of High-Risk Patients: Telehealth Protocols for Chronic Care Management profiles a successful eight-year initiative by New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation’s (NYCHHC) House Calls Telehealth Program that significantly lowered patients’ A1C blood glucose levels.

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.

Infographic: The State of Mobile Clinical Communication

June 15th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Adoption of smartphone-based clinical communications systems in the healthcare setting has grown rapidly in recent years. However, fragmented solutions and disparate device deployments are all too common in provider institutions today, according to a new infographic by PatientSafe Solutions.

The infographic examines the maturity level of provider organizations and vendor solutions for mobile clinical communications.

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.

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.

Infographic: Unlock Your Data To Optimize Your EMR

June 6th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

As healthcare shifts from volume to value, imaging clinicians need intelligent solutions that help them leverage the data available in the EMR at the point of care for faster, more accurate diagnoses, according to a new infographic by Change Healthcare.

The infographic examines how to mine clinical information and leverage it in a way that provides more efficient care.

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.

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.

Infographic: Smart Technologies Transforming Healthcare

June 4th, 2018 by Melanie Matthews

Healthcare providers are continuing to turn toward advanced technologies and the Internet of Things to improve care services, according to a new infographic by MedicoReach.

The infographic examines the attributes of smart healthcare, barriers to smart healthcare adoption and provider response to these barriers.

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.

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.