HealthTech - Technology Solutions That Drive Healthcare en 4 Tips to Successfully Segment Your Healthcare Organization’s Networks <span>4 Tips to Successfully Segment Your Healthcare Organization’s Networks</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/21/2018 - 12:06</span> <div><p>With the <a href="" target="_blank">proliferation of network-connected devices</a>, healthcare organization networks have grown larger and more complex. This <strong>gives potential hackers more opportunities</strong> to infiltrate provider systems.</p> <p>One of the most helpful techniques for improving security is network segmentation — <strong>breaking networks into pieces</strong>, placing devices with similar security needs on each segment and <strong>restricting all network traffic</strong> attempting to cross those segments.</p> <p>Here’s four tips for getting started:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP</strong>: Get more news from the <em>HealthTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Analyze Network-Connected Medical Devices</h2> <p>Segmentation won’t be effective unless you first analyze the overall security posture of your network-connected devices. Each network segment should contain devices with similar trust levels, so that compromising a low-trust device does not grant easy access to high-trust devices.</p> <p>Examples of segments include separating visitor devices from organization devices and separating laptops used by management from medical devices.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. Design and Implement Healthcare Network Segmentation</h2> <p>There are two types of segmentation: physical and virtual. Physical, on-premises segmentation is generally the most expensive option and takes the longest to implement, but it can also provide the strongest security. That’s especially true if segments have their own internet connections, making them truly separate.</p> <p>Another physical segmentation option is to <strong>move devices to the cloud</strong>, but this is only feasible in limited cases. Virtual segmentation can usually be achieved quickly and inexpensively, but it may not be as strong.</p> <p>Regardless of the method, providers must use additional technologies to monitor and restrict network traffic at each segment boundary.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. Monitor First, then Enforce with Hospital Staff</h2> <p>Roll out segmentation in phases to minimize operational disruption. Don’t enforce restrictions for segment-to-segment traffic at the outset. By using a <strong>monitor-only mode</strong>, you can identify issues and correct them without inadvertently blocking necessary activity. After resolving these issues, you can start enforcing the restrictions.</p> <h2 id="toc_3">4. Maintain the Segmentation and Adjust Over Time</h2> <p>Segmentation <strong>requires maintenance over time</strong>. As the organization deploys new devices and retires existing ones, new segments may be needed and old segments may need to be consolidated or eliminated. Changes to restrictions will also be necessary to account for changes in devices, network traffic and security risks.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/karen-scarfone" hreflang="en">Karen Scarfone</a></div> </div> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 16:06:19 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41076 at What It Takes to Introduce Tech-Driven Patient-Centered Care in Radiology <span>What It Takes to Introduce Tech-Driven Patient-Centered Care in Radiology</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ricky.ribeiro</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/20/2018 - 12:03</span> <div><p>People typically imagine a radiologist as a professional sitting in a dark room in semi-isolation, so it may seem odd that radiology is even contemplating joining the patient-centric movement. But patient-centered care has infiltrated the healthcare discussion in many specialties, including radiology.</p> <p><strong>Radiologists are owning their role in patient care and as the leaders in diagnosis across the entire healthcare enterprise</strong>. As medical imaging continues to play a central role in the diagnosis, screening and surveillance of disease, its proliferation often puts radiologists at the center of the multidisciplinary team taking care of each patient. The <a href="" target="_blank" title="American College of Radiology">American College of Radiology</a> has even introduced the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Commission on Patient and Family-Centered Care">Commission on Patient- and Family-Centered Care</a> and placed at least one patient on every committee to further emphasize the importance of the patient-centered care movement in radiology.</p> <p>To effectively implement meaningful, patient-centered programs and ultimately integrate a patient-centric mentality into the fabric of everything radiology requires a number of technological tools — some that are already available and others that are still on the horizon.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>HealthTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Image-Sharing Needs to Make the Jump from CD to 21st Century</h2> <p>The need for image-sharing technology may seem obvious. However, <strong>many radiology departments still are not able to get images from other departments electronically</strong>. They continue to rely on patients to provide CDs of scans in order to upload the images onto the local picture archiving and communication systems (PACS). Few things in healthcare, other than the fax machine, seem more outdated than that. This shortcoming significantly impacts patient care.</p> <p>A number of published studies reveal that a substantial percentage of all imaging performed in the U.S. are repetitive and could be avoided if outside images were readily available. While some of these instances are in acute, emergent situations, too many are done non-emergently due to a lack of CDs and electronic sharing of images.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Children's Healthcare of Atlanta">Children's Healthcare of Atlanta </a>currently uses existing image-sharing software, which allows us to quickly “push” and/or “pull” images between facilities as needed. When images are easily portable electronically, facilities can avoid repeat imaging studies and patients benefit as their care can be expedited. This is particularly relevant for patients who may require a surgical or minimally-invasive intervention upon arrival at a new hospital.</p> <p>One future consideration for tech developers would be to<strong> automate the image-sharing process when a patient is transferred from one facility to another</strong>. Automatically transferring patients’ imaging studies (rather than requiring studies to be manually requested by the receiving institution) would be an elegantly simple, patient-centered solution that could streamline care and further reduce unnecessary imaging.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Next-Generation Scheduling Tech Could Take Radiology to the Next Level</h2> <p>If someone ever decides to host a patient focus group to learn about the pain points for patients as it relates to radiology departments, the scheduling process will undoubtedly come up. So often, patients are forced to navigate through a centralized scheduling system for the entire healthcare system, eventually get transferred to the radiology department, and then schedule an appointment that is quite possibly double-booked at a facility not of their choosing.</p> <p>The appointment is often made by phone with a subsequent automated phone call reminder the day before the exam. <strong>Patients are offered very little, if any, information about what to expect on the day of their study</strong>. If they’re lucky, the imaging center may provide directions. It is very much unlike any other type of scheduling experience we have with other industries — just think of the ease of OpenTable for restaurant bookings.</p> <p>Instead, imagine if patients were offered an online scheduling option where they could select their preferred facility and time, based on available appointment slots. Once scheduled, the app could automatically populate the patient’s calendar with a reminder and an address that can be used in a navigation app to help the patient plan the trip to the facility.</p> <p>Modern scheduling software may allow patients to reschedule the study if they can’t make an appointment or even offer a notification system to let patients know about a cancellation, allowing them to reschedule their appointments earlier. Even better, t<strong>his app could provide a brief video about the procedure</strong>, with pictures from the imaging center the patient will visit, and share pre-procedure instructions, including fasting instructions if necessary.</p> <p>While no facility has yet employed a scheduling app this sophisticated, a number of facilities are at least now offering online scheduling, which has been greatly received by patients. Other facilities are also reaching out to patients with videos about their imaging exams, which are often delivered electronically days prior to the exam. Bundling a number of these existing technologies into a single application would be a patient-centered step in the right direction.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Results Notification Tools Keep Patients in the Loop</h2> <p>The time between when an imaging study is completed and the final interpretation is rendered can be anxiety provoking. In fact, that may be an understatement. Any patient who is awaiting a diagnosis after an imaging study is likely to say that any amount of time during this waiting period is too long. As such, there are a number of ways that radiology departments could make this process more patient-centered.</p> <p>For example, patients might receive a text when their imaging study has been interpreted. If this message system uses a service or app more sophisticated than traditional SMS, the message may also include the final report, an option to view a patient-targeted “lay” interpretation of the report, the amount of time the results will be embargoed in the electronic medical record (if applicable), the radiologist who interpreted the images, and even a number to call if the patient would like to review the images with a radiologist.</p> <p><strong>Many patients may prefer to review the images with their primary doctor or specialty physician</strong>. In that instance, patient-centered software might notify patients not only when the study has been interpreted, but also when their physicians have reviewed the report.</p> <p>Many facilities have adopted patient portals that allow patients to obtain imaging reports. However, this approach requires the patient to actively log on to the electronic portal and be able to comprehend the report. While this is a step in the right direction, there are clearly improvements that could be made to the results notification process to improve its patient-centeredness.</p> <p>By implementing already-existing technology in creative, meaningful ways, there are a number of areas in which radiology departments can become more patient-centered in the future.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11636" hreflang="en">C. Matthew Hawkins</a></div> </div> Wed, 20 Jun 2018 16:03:19 +0000 ricky.ribeiro 41071 at How Telemedicine Helps Healthcare Organizations Improve Patient Engagement and Satisfaction <span>How Telemedicine Helps Healthcare Organizations Improve Patient Engagement and Satisfaction</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ricky.ribeiro</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/19/2018 - 20:42</span> <div><p>About three years ago, Dr. Alfred Atanda was in southern Delaware, about 100 miles from the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Nemours Alfred duPont Hospital for Children">Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children</a>, where he is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. Atanda happened to stop in a beach shop owned by the father of a recent post-op patient, where he learned that the patient was having trouble with his brace.</p> <p>Atanda and the patient’s father called the boy, who was having trouble explaining the problem. So Atanda started an impromptu video chat. <strong>He looked at the brace via the video chat, showed the boy how to adjust it</strong>, and also asked him about his appetite and other aspects of his recovery.</p> <p>Driving home, Atanda realized the family had made the same 200-mile drive several times — sometimes for follow-up appointments that were no more than five minutes.</p> <p>“I couldn’t believe I’d seen him six times in the office — and every time, dad closes the shop, and the son takes off time from school,” he says. The patient had another appointment in two days, but he told the family not to come. This experience helped crystalize the power and value of telemedicine for both patient and doctor convenience.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">Improving Patient Satisfaction: Telemedicine Technology Keeps Patients Out of the Office</h2> <p>Telemedicine technology is already at work improving the patient and provider experience in many innovative organizations. At the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Cleveland Clinic">Cleveland Clinic</a>, the telemedicine program encompasses a wide range of technology — from connected devices to virtual visits to remote imaging transfers — which are used inside the hospital and in a patient’s home, says Dr. Peter Rasmussen, the organization’s medical director of distance health.</p> <p>“The Cleveland Clinic has four pillars of operations: patient access, the patient experience, patient safety and patient retention,” he says. “Telemedicine helps us in all of those regards. We believe that every caregiver can use some kind of digital tech in care delivery.”</p> <p>For the Cleveland Clinic, Nemours and other healthcare organizations, telemedicine can play a key role in improving both patient engagement — the extent to which patients participate in their own care — as well as patient satisfaction — the degree to which patients recommend an organization’s services.</p> <p>At Nemours, <strong>Atanda conducts two or three virtual visits per day</strong>. These appointments revolve around information transfer, he says — reviewing a recent MRI, conducting preoperation counseling or following up after a surgery. Visits typically take place in the hours before or after patients go to school or their parents go to work.</p> <p>In postvisit satisfaction surveys, <strong>98 percent of patients says they would be interested in future telemedicine visits</strong>, and 99 percent would recommend telemedicine, Atanda reports in a <a href="" target="_blank" title="Telemedicine in pediatric sports medicine BMJ">recent paper for The BMJ</a>. “I keep people out of office who don’t need to be there,” he says, adding that this also lets the practice keep slots open for potential new surgery candidates.</p> <p>A desire to keep patients out of the hospital drives many of the Cleveland Clinic’s telemedicine initiatives, Rasmussen says. He notes that, as a hospital with an international presence, <strong>many patients could otherwise travel for hours for appointments that may take less than 15 minutes</strong>. One example is bone marrow transplants. Patients who undergo this procedure face a high risk of infection, as their immune systems are compromised, and often take medication that increases their blood pressure, Rasmussen says.</p> <p>Traditionally, these patients return to the hospital every day for temperature and blood pressure readings. This places a burden on patients, and it also means being in a facility where germs can run rampant. Now, through a telemedicine program, bone marrow transplant patients can go home with a blood pressure cuff, thermometer and activity tracker. Nurses can monitor patients’ progress from afar and reach out only to those patients who are not making progress, Rasmussen says.</p> <p>A similar obstetrics program allows women with low-risk pregnancies to measure their weight, blood pressure and urine analysis at home, using equipment supplied by Cleveland Clinic. The women then participate in video visits with their obstetrician, who have access to the data collected by their patients.</p> <p>“If you’re a busy mom, you don’t want to be wasting your time going to the doctor for all this,” says Rasmussen, noting that women typically have at least nine appointments with an obstetrician before giving birth. “This is a 1- to 2-minute video visit. It’s incredibly convenient for the woman and the caregivers.”</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Improving Patient Engagement: Virtual Doctor Visits Allow Patients to Connect</h2> <p>The convenience that telemedicine offers, and the potential to engage patient populations, extends beyond care delivery.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Front Porch">Front Porch</a> manages retirement, active adult and affordable housing communities in four states; the majority of its residents are in California. Many of the communities offer continuing care services. Using technology to support residents’ wellness and independence is an important part of that mission, says Davis Park, director of Front Porch’s center for innovation and wellbeing.</p> <p>“We’re really interested in multisensory places to address the needs of cognitively challenged adults,” Park says. Products run the gamut from virtual reality to voice assistants to counseling applications available on an iPad, he says.</p> <p>As Front Porch pilots products, <strong>the goal is to make technology engaging for residents in the context of their everyday lives</strong>, Park says. An early text-based medication adherence pilot struggled for a few reasons: Residents didn’t know how to charge cell phones, didn’t wear clothing with pockets to carry phones, or left phones in their cars because they only used them in emergencies.</p> <p>“There needs to be certain messaging talking about mobile health. Your loved ones and caregivers are out for your best interests, and this solution will only help those around you provide high-quality care,” he says. “What’s important is how we engage with the patients and meaningfully connect with them to receive the information that’s important to them.”</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Virtual Options Increase Patients’ Quality of Life</h2> <p>While telemedicine technology is often regarded as a type of “high-tech” care, it can also support meaningful connections with patients who may require more “high-touch” care, especially while at home.</p> <p>As detailed in a 2014 paper by researchers at <a href="" target="_blank" title="poor medication adherence research">Johns Hopkins</a>, poor medication adherence contributes to up to $300 billion in avoidable healthcare costs, primarily through increased service utilization tied to poor health outcomes.</p> <p>To address this issue in a high-risk population, the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Lynn Community Health Center">Lynn (Mass.) Community Health Center</a> is planning to provide patients with a medication dispenser that alerts both pharmacists and community health workers when patients miss a dose. The program will initially target patients who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and are covered by the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth, says Emily Johnson, the center’s director of community outreach.</p> <p>The program will support the center’s larger care coordination goal of engaging patients in preventive care that supports their health and wellness goals and lowers care costs, Johnson says. Once community health workers help patients set up their medication dispenser, <strong>patients will be able to load their medications into the device on their own</strong>.</p> <p>“People with a major mental illness have a 20- to 25-year shorter lifespan,” Johnson says. “The hope is that we can reduce their total cost of care, increase their quality of life, and teach them the skills to maintain themselves independently.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/brian-eastwood" hreflang="en">Brian Eastwood</a></div> </div> Wed, 20 Jun 2018 00:42:11 +0000 ricky.ribeiro 41066 at How Healthcare Organizations Can Stay on Top of Insider Threats <span>How Healthcare Organizations Can Stay on Top of Insider Threats</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ricky.ribeiro</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/18/2018 - 16:27</span> <div><p>Healthcare is the only industry where insider threats are greater than threats from the outside. This is according to the recently released <a href="" target="_blank" title="2018 Verizon Breach Report">2018 Data Breach Investigations Report</a> (DBIR) by Verizon, which noted the prevalence of human error as well as threats from phishing and ransomware.</p> <p>The problem of inside actors in healthcare organizations is only getting worse, according to Suzanne Widup, one of the report’s co-authors.</p> <p>“It just continues to be an issue year over year,” says Widup. “We see a lot more errors [in healthcare] than we do in some other industries, especially where encryption has been adopted that would mitigate that.”</p> <p>Much of the issue could stem from continuing opposition to encryption in the healthcare sector, as many are worried that encryption will delay access to data in an emergency situation.</p> <p>“My answer to that is that not all of these devices, by any means, are ever going to be used in an emergency situation,” says Widup. “It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition.”</p> <p>The industry’s diversity — hospitals, clinics, private practices and more — includes many offices that are simply too small to have a dedicated security staff. For larger organizations, she cites cultural impediments to implementing security controls that other industries use.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>HealthTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">How to Tackle Insider Healthcare Threats</h2> <p>According to Michelle O’Neill, director of corporate compliance and privacy officer for <a href="" target="_blank">Summit Health Management</a>, a physician-led management services model for medical practices, there are three types of insider threats: accidental, negligent and malicious.</p> <p>For accidental and negligent threats, education and effective training are generally key, a strategy the Verizon report stressed.</p> <p>Malicious insider threats are tougher to prevent, but there are <a href="" target="_blank" title="Insider Threats Privacy and Security HCA">strategies that can help</a>, O’Neill says. These strategies include:</p> <ul><li>Know and manage anyone with access to the organization’s systems</li> <li>Pay attention to unusual employee or user behaviors</li> <li>Focus on high-risk individuals</li> <li>Perform proactive audits to identify red flags</li> <li>Implement effective privacy and security training</li> <li>Have strong termination procedures in place</li> </ul><h2 id="toc_1">Training Proves Key to Keeping Insider Threats at Bay</h2> <p>The threat from social attacks remains a challenge to prevent. In fact, companies are nearly three times more likely to get breached by social attacks than via actual vulnerabilities. The Verizon report found financial pretexting and phishing represent 98 percent of social incidents and 93 percent of all breaches investigated. For these incidents, email continues to be the main entry point (96 percent of cases).</p> <p>Training employees to spot and report suspicious email is especially important, says Randall Frietzsche, CISO and privacy officer for <a href="" target="_blank" title="Denver Health">Denver Health</a>.</p> <p>“Users are really scared to use email today. They get email that they’re afraid to click on and they hear all the horror stories. I want to not only reduce the risk of phishing email and ransomware, but I also want to increase users’ confidence in using email because they’ve seen phishing email before, they’re trained on the indicators and what to do with phishing email,” he says.</p> <p>Denver Health employees undergo training, but they’re also tested at least monthly with fake phishing emails.</p> <p>Getting users to report phishing emails gives the security team a chance to respond earlier than if the organization already has been compromised.</p> <p>“When people alert us, we can use tech tools to dive into that, see what it was, see who all got it, see if anybody clicked on it. We can drive very fast once we get notified,” Frietzsche says.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Health IT Teams Should Keep Security Programs Up to Date</h2> <p>Healthcare is behind the curve in enacting security controls — about 10 years behind financial services, which enacted controls due to strict regulatory requirements, Frietzsche says.</p> <p>Along with O’Neill, he stresses the need for healthcare organizations to have an insider threat plan as part of an overall privacy and security program.</p> <p>The Denver Health security management program covers different domains: risk management, incident management, exception management as well as insider threat management.</p> <p>“[With each one] we define why we do it, why it’s important, how we do it, and what’s the expected outcome. If there are any metrics associated with it, we say what those will be as well,” Frietzsche says. Having such a laid-out plan is useful if the team has to go ask for money or other resources to enact it.</p> <p>It has an overall IT security policy and an acceptable use policy – you can do these things and you can’t do those things.</p> <p>He recommends technology including role-based access, limited privilege, monitoring of user behavior through a security information and event management (SIEM) tool or user behavior analytics in order to find patterns and develop policy that lays out how the organization will act on patterns if there are deviations.</p> <p>“Then we have a policy from governance all the way down to operationally how we address insider threats,” he says.</p> <p>According to Frietzsche, many healthcare organizations haven’t thought about what happens if an employee clicks on a malicious email — will that person be fired for a first offense?</p> <p>Widup also urges organizations to make a ransomware attack their next incident response test so they can figure out how to recover before it actually happens to them.</p> <p>“Even if it’s not time to do a response test — and we hope everybody does this annually — it would be a really good exercise to go through,” she says.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/susan-hall" hreflang="en">Susan Hall</a></div> </div> Mon, 18 Jun 2018 20:27:26 +0000 ricky.ribeiro 41061 at Big Data in Healthcare: How Chief Data Officers Can Help <span>Big Data in Healthcare: How Chief Data Officers Can Help </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26806" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">daniel.bowman_26806</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/15/2018 - 09:38</span> <div><p>With doctors and nurses focused on clinical care and CIOs busy setting up servers and installing software, the <strong>emerging role of the chief data officer</strong> is becoming more necessary.</p> <p>These healthcare data scientists help foster innovation, manage compliance with regulations and drive down costs in a value-based care environment. Their job is to <strong>make sense of financial, clinical, regulatory and legal data</strong>.</p> <p>In fact, research firm Gartner reports that <strong>90 percent of large companies</strong> will hire a CDO by the end of 2019, many of them at healthcare organizations. The responsibilities for healthcare data reporting and analysis that would typically fall to a CIO or CTO are being handed to the CDO, says Nathan Patrick Taylor, a co-chair for the <a href="" target="_blank">American Health Information Management Association</a> data analytics practice council and director of data science and analytics at <a href="" target="_blank">Symphony Post Acute Network</a>, a provider of short-term post-hospital rehabilitation, long-term care and assisted living.</p> <p>By hiring CDOs, companies can prevent CIOs and CTOs from getting overwhelmed, Taylor suggests.</p> <p>“The CDO role takes that data component away from them and frees them up to do what I think IT should be doing, which is setting the underlying infrastructure to be able to do the analytics component,” Taylor says.</p> <p>A chief reason CDOs are needed is to <strong>govern healthcare data usage</strong> and act as a data steward. CDOs manage where employees access data, whether it’s a mobile device, tablet or smartphone. In this role the CDO helps catalog the healthcare data, document business definitions of the data and ensure that the health system improves the quality of the information. The CDO then works with IT to prioritize and fix the data.</p> <p>Taylor noted that auditing controls in software will be required to meet the requirements of data governance.</p> <h2>CDOs Take the Lead to Protect Healthcare Data Quality</h2> <p>Nick Minale, CDO of <a href="" target="_blank">Johns Hopkins HealthCare</a>, the health insurance division of <a href="" target="_blank">Johns Hopkins Medicine</a>, describes his role as a steward of data and a champion of data quality.</p> <p>“A lot of organizations talk about data quality or those activities, and without a champion, it often doesn't get prioritized,” Minale says. “I have to put an ROI on the effort and show the value, and so in a typical IT environment, a lot of those things will just fall to the wayside.”</p> <p>When IT tickets fail to receive attention, it takes a leader to shepherd projects through.</p> <p>“I'm outside of IT, and I'm a champion for the business to get those data-quality efforts to happen,” Minale says. “I like to call myself the ‘data bridge’ to bridge that gap between what the business needs and what IT could deliver, given the right priorities and direction.”</p> <p>As a data steward, Minale also spearheads the <strong>collection of data for population health projects</strong>.</p> <p>“In my role, I'm not creating any of the analytics, but I'm helping to clean it up, get it to the population health analytics team in a better format, shape and quality so that they can then help the [insurance plan] members,” Minale says.</p> <p>CDOs manage the gathering of information from <strong>multiple data sources</strong> and oversee the monitoring of data from cloud-based servers and vendor contracts, says Gloria Kupferman, chief data strategy officer at the American Hospital Association.</p> <p>“Most large enterprises now store data in the cloud and are bringing together information from disparate sources (external and internal) to create deeper insights,” Kupferman explains. “From an IT perspective, this requires a different set of skills to manage and monitor the cloud-based servers and the vendor contracts.”</p> <h2>How Healthcare CDOs Address Data Regulatory Requirements</h2> <p>As part of the effort to maintain data compliance with regulations, Minale convenes a data sharing committee to vet data requests and ensure that data releases comply with state and federal regulations. Minale and the committee also ensure that data use agreements specify who the custodian of the data is. Additionally, Minale must meet the regulatory requirements for privacy regarding military data because he works under DoD contracts.</p> <p>“[Members] are former military members, and so as you can imagine, there's an extra layer of scrutiny there,” Minale says.</p> <p><strong>Data compliance</strong> is a key reason why healthcare organizations need CDOs, says Besa H. Bauta, CDO at <a href="" target="_blank">MercyFirst</a>, a nonprofit child welfare agency that provides healthcare services in the New York area. They are the go-to people for questions about <strong>HIPAA compliance</strong> and guidelines around protected health information, Bauta says.</p> <p>“Data and compliance go hand in hand in a lot of ways, just ensuring that we're providing the data in as timely and accurate a fashion as possible,” Bauta says.</p> <p>At MercyFirst, Bauta and her team manage child vaccine and EHR data as well as behavioral data and demographic information. MercyFirst also integrates the health data with juvenile justice and educational data.</p> <h2>A Champion for New Data to Foster Innovation in Healthcare</h2> <p>CDOs will bring about innovation in healthcare through the <strong>predictive models</strong> that are being developed to analyze population health. This data will be critical as healthcare continues to move from a fee-for-visit model to a <strong>value-based payment model</strong>, says Rajib Ghosh, director of social health information exchange at <a href="" target="_blank">Alameda County Care Connect</a> and a former chief data and transformation officer at the <a href="" target="_blank">Community Health Center Network</a> in San Leandro, Calif.</p> <p>The HIE that Ghosh is building for Alameda County will allow healthcare CDOs to <strong>deliver holistic data on patients</strong> rather than data from separate medical episodes, he says.</p> <p>“All those things actually came front and center because the payment model got changed, and that required a transformation in the overall healthcare delivery,” Ghosh says. “Who is the best person to really deliver that is the person who understands the importance and the connectivity of the data elements, which is really the chief data officer.”</p> <p>By being “plugged into” operations, IT and clinical workflows, CDOs are able to drive innovation, Ghosh says.</p> <p>The key need will be for someone to <strong>help make better decisions on patient care</strong>, notes R. "Ray" Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research. “I think we'll have chief data officers for some time because we're inundated with so much data, and what we really want is to make better decisions.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11626" hreflang="en">Brian T. Horowitz</a></div> </div> Fri, 15 Jun 2018 13:38:53 +0000 daniel.bowman_26806 41056 at Cybersecurity and Senior Care: How Organizations Can Stay Vigilant Amid Digital Threats <span>Cybersecurity and Senior Care: How Organizations Can Stay Vigilant Amid Digital Threats</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26806" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">daniel.bowman_26806</span></span> <span>Thu, 06/14/2018 - 07:45</span> <div><p>Cybersecurity is one of the most prominent issues facing the healthcare industry today. According to the <a href="" target="_blank">2018 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey</a>, <strong>76 percent</strong> of respondents say that their organizations experienced a <strong>significant security incident</strong> within the last 12 months.</p> <p>A notable factor in the industry’s vulnerability is that many organizations — particularly smaller ones — <strong>lack the resources</strong> to build and deploy appropriate protections. To that end, senior care facilities are at an even greater risk than traditional healthcare organizations, as the former industry is less mature than the latter when it comes to security, according to a <a href="" target="_blank">white paper</a> published in December by the <a href="" target="_blank">LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST)</a>.</p> <p>What’s more, older adults are some of the most susceptible individuals when it comes to <strong>online scams and attacks</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">according to</a> Home Instead Care. With that in mind, what steps can senior care leaders take to keep pace with looming digital security threats?</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>HealthTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks.</a></p> <h2>Know How the Law Applies to Your Organization</h2> <p>Knowledge of the regulatory environment and is a good place to start for administrators. Senior care organizations <strong>must meet HIPAA compliance</strong> in the use, storage and dissemination of protected health information, meaning it behooves all leadership and staff to be well versed in the law, as well as any idiosyncrasies particular to the industry. At the Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Symposium at <a href="" target="_blank">HIMSS 2018</a> in Las Vegas in March, MatrixCare Chief Transformation Officer Larry Wolf discussed some of the specific hurdles senior care organizations face regarding compliance.</p> <p>“In some ways, the industry is held to more standards in terms of cybersecurity than others because we have people living in our care settings as residents,” Wolf said. “As residents, they have rights to privacy and to be treated with respect. Those things ought to drive how an organization thinks about privacy.”</p> <p>In addition, he said, the senior care industry comprises many smaller organizations with a lot more outsourced technology.</p> <h2>Share Threat Information and Best Practices</h2> <p>It’s worth noting, however, that <strong>HIPAA compliance doesn’t necessarily equate to safety</strong> from hackers or inside threats; rather, it means an organization has taken precautions as stipulated by federal regulations.</p> <p>Therefore, administrators not only must take typical steps to protect themselves — installation of firewalls and antivirus programs, and encryption of sensitive information — but they also should be willing to work with other organizations in the industry to share information and best practices pertaining to potential and looming threats.</p> <p>Organizations also should make it a priority to <strong>educate their residents on cybersecurity</strong>. The more information seniors themselves have at their disposal, the better armed they’ll be in the event of a hack attack attempt.</p> <p>“This is not a competitive advantage; we are all at risk,” Wolf said. “We all have to work together. The competitor down the street is your ally.”</p> <p>Hackers tend to target entities that don’t have the proper safeguards in place. With a <strong>comprehensive plan in place</strong> and an open mind, a senior care organization can lower its digital security risk and potentially help others in the industry.</p> <p><em>This article is part of </em>HealthTech<em>’s <a href="">MonITor blog series</a>. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using <a href="">#WellnessIT</a>.</em></p> <p><em><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="MonITor_logo_sized.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/ginna-baik" hreflang="en">Ginna Baik</a></div> </div> Thu, 14 Jun 2018 11:45:57 +0000 daniel.bowman_26806 41051 at Remote Triage: Penn Medicine Develops a Central Telehealth Hub <span>Remote Triage: Penn Medicine Develops a Central Telehealth Hub</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26806" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">daniel.bowman_26806</span></span> <span>Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:52</span> <div><p>Penn Medicine has overcome physical distance by centralizing one of the largest telehealth hubs in the United States.</p> <p>With its Center for Connected Care, the University of Pennsylvania’s health system <strong>combines four telehealth services</strong> — its 15-year-old telehealth service for the critically ill (Penn E-lert eICU), a tele-homecare service for the chronically ill, a telemedicine service that connects obstetricians with trauma surgeons to help critically injured pregnant women, and a tele-urgent care program that helps reduce the number of physical visits. By doing so, the health system, which serves patients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, will consolidate a telehealth practice of 50 employees at <a href="" target="_blank">Penn Medicine Rittenhouse</a> in center city Philadelphia.</p> <p>Doctors and nurses will determine the severity of patients’ conditions and whether they can be treated remotely, without traveling to a specialty center, explains Dr. John Gallagher, trauma program manager at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.</p> <p>“What I think the telehealth piece adds is a certain level of triage,” Gallagher says.</p> <p>By bringing its telehealth services together, Penn Medicine allows a cancer patient awaiting a bone marrow transplant to speak with a remote transplant physician and a local physician <strong>via videoconference, or a stroke specialist</strong> to consult remotely with an ER doctor who’s treating a stroke patient in person.</p> <p>Participants in Penn Medicine’s telehealth program at home are often monitored post-hospitalization. They enroll with high-risk conditions such as heart failure, respiratory failure or cirrhosis of the liver, explains Dr. William Hanson III, Penn Medicine’s chief medical information officer.</p> <p>Patients at home submit data over a cellular network from devices like electrocardiogram (EKG) monitors and blood pressure cuffs that inflate, measure readings and share data with physicians automatically over the internet.</p> <p>“Patients who are gaining weight inappropriately or having blood pressure issues are flagged in a software system, and we know to reach out to them before they get into trouble and need to be readmitted urgently,” Hanson says.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>HealthTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks.</a></p> <h2>Telehealth Helps Penn Monitor Obstetrics and Neonatal Care</h2> <p>Over the last three years, Gallagher has seen the telehealth program prove valuable for patients with minor injuries or those that are pregnant.</p> <p>For obstetrics, the platform includes <strong>a maternal fetal monitor, a video monitoring system and audio system</strong> so that the Penn Presbyterian telehealth hub can communicate in real time with the obstetrics unit.</p> <p>“We've actually had two cases where we've delivered and done a C-section here at Presbyterian and also had the neonatal team and obstetrics team come over, but the initial interaction was through the telemedicine system,” Gallagher says.</p> <h2>Moving Beyond Fragmented Telemedicine Systems</h2> <p>Expect to see <strong>telehealth centralization in larger institutions</strong> compared with smaller hospitals, says Chilmark Research analyst Brian Eastwood. Health systems like Boston’s Partners HealthCare, Philadelphia’s Mercy Health System and NewYork-Presbyterian are centralizing their telehealth services.</p> <p>“Large integrated delivery networks and academic centers have the scale for it, they have the footprint, and they can contract with the vendors to be able to get that bulk of both equipment and potential users,” Eastwood says.</p> <p>Still, many telehealth systems remain fragmented.</p> <p>“Centralizing services is still relatively new,” says Lynne Dunbrack, research vice president for IDC Health Insights. “Telehealth services are often fragmented by specialty and whether the services are designed to support patients that are hospitalized or at home.”</p> <p>Whether it’s on a military vessel, a cruise ship or in space, look for telehealth to continue to grow and make an impact.</p> <p>“You can use telemedical care in post-op care; you can use it in end-of-life care,” Hanson says. “There are a lot of ways in which <strong>telemedicine can really significantly change the way that we care for patients</strong> today, and the technology gets better and better every year in terms of the fidelity of transmission.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11626" hreflang="en">Brian T. Horowitz</a></div> </div> Wed, 13 Jun 2018 13:52:14 +0000 daniel.bowman_26806 41046 at Cloud Resources Open Up Healthcare AI Problem-Solving <span>Cloud Resources Open Up Healthcare AI Problem-Solving</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26806" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">daniel.bowman_26806</span></span> <span>Tue, 06/12/2018 - 10:16</span> <div><p>Artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionize radiology, simplify clinical decision-making and take the healthcare industry by storm. But enabling <strong>AI requires huge amounts of processing power and data</strong> in order to analyze electronic health records. This need could spur a shift from on-premises systems to the cloud.</p> <p>The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is one of the organizations tapping the cloud to facilitate AI operations. A project to detect bladder cancer earlier and more precisely is just one of the AI initiatives under way at UPMC. Today, cytotechnicians examine highly magnified urine sample slides that might include 100,000 cells, looking for five or six misshapen cells that suggest need for a biopsy.</p> <p>“These needle-in-a-haystack problems are what we’re trying to automate,” says Adam Berger, CTO at UPMC Enterprises, the health system’s commercial arm. “We’re trying to streamline problems that are inherently amenable to computation,” he says of reducing the time technicians spend on slides, cutting costs and increasing accuracy. “It’s not necessarily replacing clinicians, but streamlining the tedious part of diagnosis.”</p> <p>Another project aims to <strong>predict patients at high risk of glaucoma</strong>. The health system is working on problems with AI in which a meaningful intervention can decrease that risk over the long term.</p> <p>Artificial intelligence is poised to take the healthcare industry by storm, with cloud resources making it possible, says David Teich, a technology analyst and consultant.</p> <p>“The <strong>cloud is the reason AI is moving forward</strong> after so many years in the wilderness. We had deep learning methods back in the late ‘80s, but there was no computational power that anyone could even think about implementing a deep learning system,” he says.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>HealthTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks.</a></p> <h2>Cloud-Hosted Data Enables Healthcare Machine Learning</h2> <p>Healthcare and other industries benefit from the greater speed, scalability and data security that the cloud platform has to offer, says Aashima Gupta, global head of healthcare solutions at Google Cloud. Once data is in the cloud, it’s easier to leverage the machine learning services and tools that enable the provider to unlock needed value from the data.</p> <p>Teich identified radiology and the back-office applications that close the loop between doctors, specialists, labs and hospitals as two prime areas for artificial intelligence.</p> <p>According to Berger, UPMC is mid-journey to the cloud, with a foot in both camps. It opened a data center north of Pittsburgh in October but “stepped on the gas pedal” after its cloud-first team made public several data projects they were working on a year and a half ago.</p> <p>UPMC has structured data — lab results, diagnoses, procedures, medications — in more traditional systems on-premises, some of which use AI. But it had no solution for unstructured data, so it put clinical notes for the past 10 years (about 150 million of them) in the cloud. The system pulls in <strong>around 700,000 new documents a week</strong>. It’s building a similar repository for imaging and has hired a team of experts in deep learning to build AI applications on top.</p> <p>For UPMC, the decision of where to run a project largely depends on where the data is stored. Berger predicts it will be many years before the health system is a cloud-only operation.</p> <p>Reduced costs and advances in clustering are fueling AI, Teich says.</p> <p>“Deep learning is basically, by its construct, at a training level with so much data. So it’s going to happen in the data center, whether it’s a private cloud or public cloud,” says Teich. “The question is when are the technologies going to evolve to a point where enough people can look at [data] without having to have a Ph.D.”</p> <p>He likens the state of AI to that of business intelligence 15 years ago, when only data scientists could use it. Now BI tools have evolved to be useful for less tech-savvy users and customers.</p> <h2>How to Best Use Data in the Cloud</h2> <p><strong>Interoperability and consistency of data</strong> should both be top of mind when leveraging AI in the cloud, Gupta says. Google has been working with healthcare leaders to support key industry data standards. In March, it announced the Cloud Healthcare application programming interface, which ingests and manages key healthcare data types, to address the interoperability problem.</p> <p>Other factors to keep in mind include:</p> <p><strong>Cost —</strong> While the cloud offers the opportunity to hand over provisioning, maintenance and associated labor costs to the vendor, costs can get out of hand, especially with unplanned overages.</p> <p>“I don’t think about the cloud as being more or less expensive than on-prem. I think of it more like the difference between [operational expenditure] and [capital expenditure],” Berger says. “Do you want to rent or buy? We have found that for a lot of our innovative projects, we don’t know up front what the compute, storage and bandwidth needs will be. The cloud lets us adjust on the fly without having to go out and purchase new servers. That’s pretty liberating.”</p> <p><strong>Tools —</strong> “In the past two years, we’ve seen a rapid evolution in the cloud for tooling specifically for healthcare. … Google, Microsoft [and other cloud providers], they’re all taking healthcare very seriously. They’re updating their services to be HIPAA-compliant, which is a huge, huge deal,” Berger says.</p> <p>Google, for instance, provides pretrained HIPAA-compliant models for speech recognition, translation, computer vision and natural language processing.</p> <p><strong>Compliance —</strong> Microsoft recently announced its Azure Security and Compliance Blueprint, a collaboration with HITRUST to provide an application development foundation for healthcare AI.</p> <p>Another regulatory issue: An algorithm changes with machine learning, and it might not be what regulators had approved. Teich says the FDA is trying to learn how to adapt to this new landscape of AI.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/susan-hall" hreflang="en">Susan Hall</a></div> </div> Tue, 12 Jun 2018 14:16:44 +0000 daniel.bowman_26806 41041 at How Automation Can Translate to Better Patient Care and Boost the Bottom Line <span>How Automation Can Translate to Better Patient Care and Boost the Bottom Line </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26806" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">daniel.bowman_26806</span></span> <span>Mon, 06/11/2018 - 07:31</span> <div><p>Artificial intelligence doesn’t always have to be about the attention-grabbing aspects of the technology, like <a href="" target="_blank">robots in surgery</a>. One of the most prominent benefits of AI is automation, which often flies under the radar when it comes to headlines. Despite its lack of hype, in healthcare, <strong>using AI to automate basic tasks</strong> in operations and administration<strong> </strong>can result in better patient experience, quality of service, improved project implementation and lower costs.</p> <p>Advances in AI and machine learning are driving key shifts in how technology is applied in everyday healthcare settings. As practitioners and business and IT leaders work to improve clinical outcomes, patient experience and hospital operations, understanding the opportunities these emerging technologies present is critical.</p> <p>Through AI and machine learning, computers are taught to recognize patterns in unstructured data, turning it into structured data in a way that enables automation. <a href="" target="_blank">Over the next two to three years</a>, innovations in areas such as electronic health records (EHR), revenue cycle and operations will enable AI throughout the healthcare system. What’s more, <strong>AI will be integrated into the clinical workflow </strong>in existing tools like the EHR<strong> </strong>and picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), empowering practitioners with real-time data at the point of care.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>SIGN UP:</strong> Get more news from the <em>HealthTech</em> newsletter in your inbox every two weeks!</a></p> <h2>Unlock the Economic Opportunity in Healthcare Automation</h2> <p>One of the main benefits of AI is that it enables new projects and innovations previously thought to be out of reach due to cost or time constraints. If the cost of a new project can be reduced by 50 percent by using AI to automate key aspects, then the project becomes possible. And cost-savings in one area can free up dollars to invest in other areas. In administrative workflow assistance alone, <strong>AI represents an $18 billion value</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">according to</a> Accenture.</p> <p>As Medicare reimbursements decline and payroll costs rise, putting AI to use in the automation of basic tasks and processes can result in improved quality of service, a smoother customer care experience, more effective project implementations and lower costs.</p> <p>In radiology, <strong>PACS systems are using AI to automate tasks </strong>such as worklist optimization and hanging protocols — critical applications that can improve workflow and productivity for radiologists and radiology administrators. That has a positive impact on patient care, but also on clinician and staff productivity, which translates to profitability for either the healthcare organization or the radiology reading group that serves it.</p> <h2>4 Ways Automation Can Make an Impact in Healthcare</h2> <p>As these new tools take hold, having the right infrastructure to support high performance computing — fast, dependable and capable of handling lots of data — is paramount. Outside of radiology, automation can have a big impact in many operational and administrative areas:</p> <ol><li> <p><strong>Faster data to enrich EHRs. </strong>Vendors are working to modernize the capabilities of EHRs to generate and extract data in as close to real time as possible via new application programming interfaces and novel ways to harness data. Such efforts could <a href="" target="_blank">reduce physician frustration</a> and <strong>enhance patient care as practitioners get the information they need </strong>at just the right time in just the right setting.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Improved ordering.</strong> One of the most time-consuming processes for physicians is the ordering process within the EHR. Ten years ago, a physician could scrawl an order onto a prescription pad in seconds, compared to the multiple clicks it takes to complete an order now. Predictive technologies and AI can make a real impact to drive efficiencies.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Smarter billing.</strong> Payers are working to automate decision-making, such as pre-authorizations, using machine learning. AI deployments in revenue cycle applications can <strong>help organizations generate bills more quickly</strong>,<strong> </strong>ultimately presenting bills to patients and families before they leave the hospital or practice. That’s critical, for example, for high-deductible health plans with higher patient payments.</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>Adaptive staffing.</strong> Health systems are beginning to use machine learning to adjust staffing to support fluctuating emergency department patient volumes and to reduce wait times in ambulatory services. By leveraging historical data across multiple sources, organizations can understand when to staff up to handle an influx of patients for the upcoming flu season or ramp up other support staff during warm weather to ensure a <strong>smooth patient experience in the emergency room</strong>.</p> </li> </ol><p>It is clear that AI has vast potential for healthcare organizations to innovate. It has already started on the administrative side of healthcare and the future is boundless.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11611" hreflang="en">Josh Gluck</a></div> </div> Mon, 11 Jun 2018 11:31:21 +0000 daniel.bowman_26806 41036 at Engineers Set an Example for Solar Power in Healthcare <span>Engineers Set an Example for Solar Power in Healthcare</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Fri, 06/08/2018 - 10:48</span> <div><p>At its annual conference in Seattle in July, the <a href="" target="_blank">American Society for Healthcare Engineering</a>, along with the <a href="" target="_blank">Environmental Protection Agency</a>, will lead participants on an <a href="" target="_blank">Energy Treasure Hunt</a>, walking attendees through a local facility in search of opportunities to <strong>reduce energy</strong>, including examples such as:</p> <ul><li>Replacing old light bulbs with LED motion sensor lights that turn off when rooms are unoccupied</li> <li>Setting office tools to sleep mode after business hours</li> <li>Sealing window frames</li> </ul><p>After identifying energy conservation measures, attendees will calculate ­savings based on the findings. The idea is to <strong>leverage the experience to lead similar efforts at their facilities</strong>.</p> <p>To learn more about what sustainable power options can do for healthcare organizations, check out our feature, "<a href="" target="_blank">Solar Power Super Charges Cost Savings and Energy Efficiency for Hospitals</a>."</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/melissa-delaney" hreflang="en">Melissa Delaney</a></div> </div> Fri, 08 Jun 2018 14:48:10 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41031 at