HealthTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Healthcare en Smartwatches in Healthcare Drive Insights and Action <span>Smartwatches in Healthcare Drive Insights and Action</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/15/2019 - 15:42</span> <div><p>Smartwatches and other wearables aren’t just for fashion and fitness. Increasingly, they’re helping healthcare providers <strong>collect and analyze wider swaths of patient data</strong> between appointments or after surgery — valuable insights that can inform treatment.</p> <p>Globally, an estimated <strong>198.5 million devices</strong> will be sold by the end of the year, marking an annual growth of <strong>15.3 percent</strong>. Much of that boost, <a href="" target="_blank">according to IDC research</a>, is coming from adoption in the healthcare segment. </p> <p>Although the tally includes wristbands, “smart” clothing and step-counting shoes, smartwatches account for nearly half of all sales cited in the research.</p> <p>That could be due in part to the <a href="" target="_blank">Food and Drug Administration</a>’s 2018 clearance of the <a href="" target="_blank">Apple Watch</a>’s electrocardiogram and irregular heart rhythm monitoring functions (the watch is not considered a medical device, however, and FDA <a href="" target="_blank">clearance isn’t the same as approval</a>).</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Discover how wearables can help to battle heart disease.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Apple Watch Helps Collect Heart Health Data</h2> <p>Still, the potential has inspired organizations such as <a href="" target="_blank">Ochsner Health System</a> in New Orleans, which in 2015 launched a pilot program to better track patients with uncontrolled hypertension. </p> <p>The effort to use patients’ wireless blood pressure cuffs to transmit readings to their Apple Watches <a href="" target="_blank">is the first of its kind</a> in the U.S. <strong>to help patients manage a chronic condition</strong>. </p> <p>The organization now also uses the Apple Watch to monitor patients with atrial fibrillation — and it has outfitted doctors too. Alerts about a patient's declining condition can be sent right to a provider's wrist, “even if they have gloves on,” Dr. Richard Milani, Ochsner’s chief clinical transformation officer, recently told <em>HealthTech</em>.</p> <p>Ochsner isn’t alone. <a href="" target="_blank">A survey of hospital executives</a> from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and AT&amp;T found <strong>47 percent</strong> of hospitals are providing wearables to patients with chronic diseases. And about a third of them issue the devices to enhance post-op and preventive care. </p> <h2 id="toc_1">Smartwatch Data Boosts Medical Studies and Patient Care</h2> <p>Given their functions and widespread popularity, smartwatches are also a boon to health researchers. This year, <a href="" target="_blank">Stanford University</a> announced results of a study that found the <a href="">Apple Watch could detect atrial fibrillation</a>, a leading stroke risk, with <strong>84 percent</strong> accuracy. </p> <p>Exciting developments are set to further leverage the analytical power of these tools. </p> <p>In September, <a href="" target="_blank">Apple</a> made headlines <a href="" target="_blank">after announcing three medical studies</a> involving institutions such as <a href="" target="_blank">Harvard University</a> and the World Health Organization. The partnerships will collect user-generated data from Apple Watches and the company’s Research app — with efforts focused on women’s menstruation and overall health, everyday noise exposure and hearing loss, and the relationship between movement and heart health.</p> <p><strong>Other manufacturers are embracing data-driven wellness functions</strong> to help patients and providers keep tabs. <a href="" target="_blank">Samsung’s Galaxy Watch</a> can now <a href="" target="_blank">track a wearer’s blood pressure</a>. And <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Fitbit</a>, which has broadened its scope from activity trackers, has <a href="" target="_blank">partnered with Google Cloud</a> so users can safely transmit health data to their doctors and their electronic medical records.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>BECOME AN INSIDER:</strong> Sign up for access to exclusive HealthTech videos, whitepapers and articles.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_2">Wearables Bring Forth Challenges and Potential</h2> <p>A surging pool of data, collected properly and with respect to privacy, has the potential to lower healthcare costs by <strong>reducing in-person medical visits</strong> and <strong>detecting potential issues</strong> before they escalate. And there’s no question the tools enable users to take a more proactive role.</p> <p>Still, smartwatches and other wearables must remain a complement to the care experience. As a <em>Forbes</em> contributor <a href="" target="_blank">noted last month</a>, clinicians are crucial to navigating false positive results and boosting compliance among users when manual data entry is required. </p> <p>There’s also an onus on tech companies to develop and market affordable products to democratize the benefits of data collection and self-monitoring. After all, <strong>greater participation means more lifesaving data</strong> to advance the shared duty of better healthcare for everyone.</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="" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/adam-oldenburg" hreflang="en">Adam Oldenburg</a></div> </div> Tue, 15 Oct 2019 19:42:00 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42976 at Why Network Infrastructure Is Key to Keeping Seniors Connected <span>Why Network Infrastructure Is Key to Keeping Seniors Connected</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Mon, 10/14/2019 - 09:17</span> <div><p>There’s no question that many of <strong>today’s older adults are technologically savvy</strong>.</p> <p>Smartphone ownership among seniors has nearly quadrupled since 2013, <a href="" target="_blank">according to the Pew Research Center</a>. Roughly one-third of adults 65 and older own tablets.</p> <p>Such growth has prompted senior living communities to implement new technologies designed <strong>to combat isolation and to keep residents’ minds and bodies active</strong>. Wearables and other mobile devices are also helping facilitate timely, targeted care. Data analytics is playing an integral role too.</p> <p>A modern senior living community is a robust tech ecosystem with interconnected devices aimed at improving quality of life. To support those innovations, <strong>providers must have a strong, scalable framework with powerful Wi-Fi</strong>.</p> <p>As my CDW colleagues recently noted in the “<a href="" target="_blank">The Modern IT Infrastructure Insight Report</a>,” technology is no longer about maintaining best practices but accelerating them to add value and improve experiences. This mindset has real value in a residential care setting.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: </strong>Learn how providers are building networks to meet requirements today, tomorrow and beyond.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Updated Networks Help Organizations Better Prepare for Tomorrow</h2> <p>Most senior residences have wireless coverage, but some may struggle to accommodate a growing stable of Internet of Things-enabled products. Knowing the tools in circulation — and what older adults are likely to want and need in the years ahead — is central to network infrastructure planning.</p> <p>That’s the mantra of <a href="" target="_blank">Sun Health Communities</a> near Phoenix, which turned to CDW for help with a major network upgrade. With 900 seniors in three locations, the company isn’t complacent about change: Its CIO anticipates a need to <strong>increase internet speeds</strong> in its residences (voice-powered smart apartments are in the works) <strong>by tenfold within the next five years</strong>.</p> <p>Other notable examples of good planning that keeps seniors’ evolving tech habits front of mind are cited in a CDW white paper titled “<a href="" target="_blank">The 21st Century Senior Living Community</a>.” These include <a href="" target="_blank">Watermark Retirement Communities</a>, where computer classes are offered to help those living at the company’s 50 locations get comfortable with email, web browsing and video chat.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/christine-holloway" hreflang="en">Christine Holloway</a></div> </div> Mon, 14 Oct 2019 13:17:50 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42966 at Most Healthcare Trustees Lack IT Experience <span>Most Healthcare Trustees Lack IT Experience</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/10/2019 - 15:20</span> <div><p>An IT knowledge gap at the executive level can leave healthcare organizations vulnerable to <a href="">dangerous threats</a> and unnecessary spending, according to a new survey of board members and executive leadership.</p> <p><strong>Ninety-one percent </strong>of hospital and health system boards rely exclusively on consultants to guide their IT strategy — and only <strong>5 percent</strong> have a dedicated technology committee, <a href="" target="_blank">a Black Book Research poll found</a>. Just <strong>4 percent</strong> of trustees have direct technology experience relevant to the healthcare industry.</p> <p>It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that <strong>90 percent</strong> of trustees say their boards aren’t prepared to handle a complete failure of an <a href="">electronic health record system</a>. </p> <p>The survey notes similar uncertainties concerning a large-scale data breach or hack (<strong>85 percent</strong>) and switching to an EHR system with a new ­ vendor (<strong>84 percent</strong>).</p> <p>Such doubt can also affect the bottom line. Despite nearly one-quarter of executives ­citing high knowledge of ROI from tech investments, <strong>92 percent</strong> of them knew nothing about IT lifecycle cost studies. And most CFOs believe that boards’ inexperience with health-related technology results in overspending on software and services.</p> <p>Because health systems are embracing new tools that support external functions such as marketing, analytics, intelligence and <a href="">interoperability</a>, IT acumen must exist at all levels of an ­organization, says Black Book Research founder Doug Brown.</p> <p>“Health systems boardrooms are definitely becoming smarter about digital technology but it is a slow work in progress,” Brown says.</p> <p><strong>Learn how healthcare ­organizations can take a fresh look at innovation at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</strong></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/kevin-joy" hreflang="en">Kevin Joy</a></div> </div> Thu, 10 Oct 2019 19:20:19 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42961 at Don’t Let Phishing Leave Your Healthcare Organization in the Dark <span>Don’t Let Phishing Leave Your Healthcare Organization in the Dark</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/10/2019 - 09:45</span> <div><p>Phishing is popular because it works. Researchers, as part of <a href="" target="_blank">a recent investigation published in JAMA Network Open</a>, spent the past seven years studying the tactic, sending <strong>over 2.9 million simulated phishing attacks</strong> to employees across six different U.S. hospitals. </p> <p>The results were stark: <strong>Roughly 1 in 7 of the simulated emails sent were clicked on</strong> by healthcare employees.</p> <p>Leslie Corbo, assistant professor of cybersecurity for the <a href="" target="_blank">School of Business and Justice Studies at Utica College</a> and a co-author of the investigation, explains that there are several reasons that healthcare organizations are particularly vulnerable to this type of attack.</p> <p>“Think about the way the phishing email itself is composed: A lot of times, <strong>attackers use a sense of urgency</strong>,” she says, “or the person thinks they are following an order.”</p> <p>In other words, the high-stakes, high-speed, hierarchical world of medicine can push employees to react to phishing emails without pausing to fully evaluate the content and hyperlinks they contain — which should greatly disturb every leader across the healthcare industry.</p> <p>Moreover, a recent <a href="" target="_blank">Email Security Risk Assessment</a> from <a href="" target="_blank">Mimecast</a> states that email impersonation <strong>attacks now account for 1 in every 350 emails</strong> in the healthcare, <strong>with</strong> <strong>1 in 3,741 carrying malware</strong>. As these attacks continue to grow and evolve, organizations must find a way to combat them to protect valuable assets, such as patient data, from being compromised.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Three ways healthcare organizations can protect themselves from phishing.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Physicians Are Concerned About Compromised Patient Data</h2> <p>Successful phishing emails often result in <strong>the compromise of sensitive data or the introduction of ransomware</strong> that’s capable of preventing a care team from meeting their patients’ needs.</p> <p>“If the facility is affected by ransomware, the patient can be affected,” says Corbo. For example, surgery schedules might be disrupted or the wrong medications dispensed because the information caregivers rely upon is suddenly inaccessible.</p> <p>“Those things come into a form of malpractice,” she says. “<strong>Someone could argue that the hospital wasn’t prepared</strong>.”</p> <p>Physicians echoed those concerns in <a href="" target="_blank">a 2017 survey</a> conducted by <a href="" target="_blank">Accenture</a> and the <a href="" target="_blank">American Medical Association</a>. Seventy-four percent of those surveyed worried that cyberattacks could lead to a loss of electronic health record access and compromised patient data, while 53 percent were concerned that patients would be harmed.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>DISCOVER:</strong> Five things to know about how penetration testing works.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Micro Trainings Can Make for Macro Results</h2> <p>The human factor makes it hard to combat phishing effectively. But, says Corbo, robust and ongoing <strong>training can make a noticeable difference</strong> in how healthcare staff handle suspicious emails.</p> <p>“If you train once a year for the sake of compliance, you’re fooling yourself,” she says. “Employees get it after they’ve been provided regular training, and it doesn’t have to be an all-day event, or even an hour.”</p> <p>Corbo notes that simulated attacks, like those used in the JAMA investigation, could be used to help employees improve their <strong>ability to detect phishing attacks</strong>, even in the midst of their busy workdays. </p> <p>“It could be less than five minutes: a simulated phishing email, where, if they click on a link or open the attachment, <strong>it will connect them to training</strong> that takes two or three minutes,” she says. </p> <p>And following a simulated attack, Corbo suggests the IT security team follow up a few days later, providing more general training to those who successfully avoid the simulation.</p> <p>Combining such training with simple technology-based changes — such as keeping vulnerabilities patched and automatically tagging links and attachments in incoming emails with security reminders — can help <strong>keep employees from taking the bait</strong>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/jacquelyn-bengfort" hreflang="en">Jacquelyn Bengfort</a></div> </div> Thu, 10 Oct 2019 13:45:17 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42956 at Why Diversity in Healthcare IT Matters <span>Why Diversity in Healthcare IT Matters</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Wed, 10/09/2019 - 10:14</span> <div><p>When commercial automobiles became widely available in the early 20th century, they resembled horse-drawn wagons. Over time, countless iterations were refined to improve style, safety and accessibility.</p> <p>These updates didn’t happen in a vacuum. Feedback, legislation, experimentation and market competition drove the changes. <strong>Diverse stakeholders and experiences helped</strong> evolve the vehicles that much of humanity now relies on for transportation.</p> <p>Similarly, <strong>diverse voices in healthcare IT are critical</strong> to improving tools that boost outcomes and reduce disparities in a nation where <a href="" target="_blank">more than 38 million people</a> live in poverty — and where communities of color generally face <a href="" target="_blank">more barriers to care</a>. Age and gender balance in the workplace is important too. After all, the core purpose of health technology is not only to create more efficient and effective care delivery but also to help democratize it.</p> <p>In order to fulfill this promise and create the most effective products, it is crucial that tech industry leaders, designers and facilitators represent perspectives, cultures and needs that mirror those of the people they serve.</p> <p>But <strong>the field has a long way to go</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank">A recent TechCrunch analysis</a> found white and Asian employees still hold a clear majority at major Silicon Valley companies.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Discover how digital tools can help improve patient outcomes.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Technology Organizations Make Progress in Diversity</h2> <p>Still, I’m encouraged by research that shows diverse teams in technology organizations are more likely to be <a href="" target="_blank">intelligent and creative</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">perform better</a> and be mindful of solutions that target a <a href="" target="_blank">wide consumer base</a>. And efforts such as <a href="" target="_blank">Health 2.0</a>’s TECHquality mentoring partnership and the <a href="" target="_blank">Culture of Health program</a> at the <a href="" target="_blank">Robert Wood Johnson Foundation</a> are helping to develop a pipeline for minority talent.</p> <p>To that end, <strong>diversity must also be a priority at care organizations</strong>, including in their IT staffing. At <a href="" target="_blank">AmeriHealth Caritas</a>, which serves low-income and chronically ill populations, we draw on the unique perspectives and voices of our employees in all aspects of community engagement services, program development and innovation.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/12371" hreflang="en">Danielle Brooks</a></div> </div> Wed, 09 Oct 2019 14:14:58 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42951 at How Predictive Analytics Is Impacting Patient Care <span>How Predictive Analytics Is Impacting Patient Care</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:34</span> <div><p>Today’s healthcare organizations face increasing pressure to achieve better care coordination and improve patient care outcomes. To accomplish these results, <strong>organizations are turning to predictive analytics</strong>.</p> <p>This area of statistics deals with the use of data and machine learning algorithms, predicting the likelihood of future outcomes based on past data. Predictive analytics can be used in healthcare to “identify pain points throughout the stages of intake and care <strong>to improve both healthcare delivery and patient experience</strong>,” says Lauren Neal, a principal at <a href="" target="_blank">Booz Allen Hamilton</a>.</p> <p>“The combination of analytics and human-centered design can ensure that healthcare providers address inefficiencies along the patient journey and tailor services to meet the unique needs of the patient population,” says Neal.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to a 2017 study by the Society of Actuaries</a>, <strong>93 percent</strong> of health organizations say predictive analytics is important to the future of their business, with <strong>89 percent </strong>of providers currently using predictive analytics or planning to do so <strong>in the next five years</strong>. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH: </strong>Find out how predictive analytics applications are changing oncology.</em></a></p> <p>Neal says that the <a href="" target="_blank">Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology</a>, in partnership with the <a href="" target="_blank">University of California, San Francisco</a>, has already begun applying machine learning algorithms to predict outcomes for patients with kidney disease, helping to keep people healthy and cut costs. </p> <p>“With <strong>20 percent</strong> of Medicare’s budget going to the treatment of kidney disease, predictive modeling can provide clinicians with additional insights into the risks and benefits of treating patients earlier, with the goal of reducing the number of Americans developing end-stage renal disease,” Neal says.</p> <p>Though expectations around future capabilities remain varied, plenty of <strong>healthcare organizations are already seeing benefits from predictive analytics</strong> in the way of patient care. Here’s a look at a few of those instances.</p> <h2 id="toc_0">Penn Medicine Looks to Predictive Analytics for Palliative Care</h2> <p>Philadelphia-based healthcare system <a href="" target="_blank">Penn Medicine</a> began harnessing predictive analytics in 2017 to power a trigger system called <a href="" target="_blank">Palliative Connect</a>.</p> <p>The program gleans data from a patient’s electronic health record and uses a machine learning algorithm to develop a prognosis score. The generated score, which is <strong>based on 30 different factors</strong>, helps clinicians determine a patient’s likely prognosis over the next six months.</p> <p>The program ultimately works by “identifying patients who are at the highest risk of a bad outcome when they come into the hospital,” Dr. Katherine Courtright, assistant professor of medicine at the <a href="" target="_blank">Perelman School of Medicin</a>e at the <a href="" target="_blank">University of Pennsylvania</a>, explains. “It helps our palliative care team recognize those patterns and proactively reach out. It’s a proactive approach.” </p> <p><strong>Predictive analytics works particularly well for this type of patient identification</strong>, Courtright says, because it isn’t reliant on a clinician’s witness of warning signs. </p> <p>“We know one of the barriers to getting these services to seriously ill patients, particularly in a hospital setting, is the focus in hospitals on the acute problem,” says Courtright. “When clinicians are so busy, they’re focused on what the patient came in from. It’s hard to step back and see the whole person as a trajectory.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/jen-miller" hreflang="en">Jen A. Miller</a></div> </div> Tue, 08 Oct 2019 16:34:06 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42946 at Gulf Coast Healthcare Facilities Prep for Increased Possibility of Hurricanes <span>Gulf Coast Healthcare Facilities Prep for Increased Possibility of Hurricanes</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Mon, 10/07/2019 - 15:42</span> <div><p>Since El Niño has ended for this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center <a href="" target="_blank">reports</a> that conditions are even more favorable for <strong>an above-average Atlantic hurricane season</strong>. The <a href="" target="_blank">CPC</a> increased its forecast for an above-average season in August to <strong>a 45 percent chance</strong> (up from its <a href="" target="_blank">previous prediction</a> of <strong>a 30 percent chance</strong> in May), this time calling for 10-17 named storms, of which five to nine will become hurricanes and two to four will become major hurricanes.</p> <p>For Gulf Coast healthcare organizations, the growing odds of a major storm making landfall should serve as a stark reminder that disaster recovery plans need to be more than an afterthought. Yet for many organizations, that’s often what such plans turn out to be. </p> <p>A recent <a href="" target="_blank">disaster preparedness survey</a><strong> </strong>of<strong> 109 healthcare professionals</strong> from <a href="" target="_blank">DrFirst</a> found that almost <strong>70 percent</strong> of respondents were affected by more than two disasters in the past <strong>5 years</strong>. To make matters worse, almost half of the 109 respondents also believe their organization's disaster plan isn’t comprehensive enough to cover a variety of scenarios.</p> <p>A DR plan in healthcare should be as extensive as possible, especially considering the roles many such organizations play following a disaster. </p> <p>“Hospitals suffer probably twice as much from disasters as everybody else,” Al Berman, president of the <a href="" target="_blank">Disaster Recovery Institute Foundation</a>, previously <a href="">told <em>HealthTech</em></a>. “They have to deal with their own problems, and they have to deal with everyone else’s.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>BECOME AN INSIDER:</strong> Sign up for access to exclusive HealthTech videos, whitepapers and articles.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Organizations Find Ways to Test Their Disaster Recovery Systems</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">MD Anderson Cancer Center</a> is one organization that isn’t taking any chances when it comes to disaster recovery. Twice each year, the cancer care center shifts its IT production to its DR systems for a few days.</p> <p>“<strong>Actually doing it is the only way to know for sure that it works</strong>,” says Charles Suitor, associate vice president and CTO for the Houston organization. “The process teases out little things that would have gone wrong if you’d just waited for a disaster to try out your system.” </p> <p>For example, a DR system might work flawlessly when it’s initially deployed, but subsequent updates, architecture changes and the addition of new applications can throw a wrench in the works.</p> <p>“Just because you validate the system once,” Suitor warns, “doesn’t mean it still works years later.”</p> <p>Real-world tests such as these not only ensure that the DR system works as expected but also <strong>offer IT and clinical staff valuable hands-on experience</strong> switching over to the system. This way, when a disaster does occur, it’s not their first rodeo. </p> <p>Sometimes, however, the experience of a major storm is <strong>the only way to reveal the weaknesses in a DR plan</strong>, which can allow an organization to recalibrate its processes.</p> <p>“Most recently, Hurricane Dorian allowed us the opportunity to prepare and implement at full scale,” says William Walders, CIO of nonprofit community health system <a href="" target="_blank">Health First</a> . “Thankfully, the storm issues were minor in Florida, and we only had some minor connectivity issues. However, it provided exposure to new personnel and allowed our veteran staff an opportunity to knock the rust off their processes and expertise.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>READ MORE: </strong>Discover how disaster recovery in the cloud differs from online recovery.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Look to the Cloud When Skies are Cloudy</h2> <p>MD Anderson Cancer Center is heavily invested in its two offsite data centers, which is why it hasn’t yet started using public cloud for disaster preparedness. But for many other healthcare providers, <a href="" target="_blank">a cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)</a> makes sense — especially in light of some recent trends.</p> <p>Over the past few years, <strong>the cost of DRaaS solutions has declined significantly</strong>. Many DRaaS solutions also now let customers tier their workloads, so mission-critical ones get replicated first and fast, rather than running everything all at once. And when there’s not a storm in sight, DRaaS provides an additional layer of protection against man-made disasters such as ransomware.</p> <p>Regardless of whether a healthcare provider uses DRaaS or owns offsite data centers, neither of those systems should be considered the ultimate solution when it comes to a DR plan.</p> <p>Senior care organization <a href="" target="_blank">Lifespace Communities</a> has <strong>expanded its disaster preparedness plan to include a hotline</strong>. This key piece allows the Des Moines, Iowa-based organization to communicate seamlessly with staff, residents and their families in its coastal communities, providing them with critical information as hurricanes approach.</p> <p>“Residents, team members and family members can call the hotline to get hourly updates about where the storm is and what we’re doing to protect the residents,” says John Couture, IT vice president. “They also can find out how to get in touch with their loved ones if, say, the phone in the resident’s apartment is out.”</p> <p>As for Health First, <strong>the organization has adopted multiple providers and technologies</strong> to manage even everyday network issues.</p> <p>“The ‘last mile’ is the least reliable,” Walders says. Lapses in network connectivity from power outages caused by storms are important to consider, as are those that can be caused by everyday occurrences, such as rodents chewing on wires or construction equipment damaging connections.</p> <p>“We've added cellular and satellite for voice and are dabbling with the idea of leveraging them for tertiary circuits, but current bandwidth constraints don't make this viable at scale,” Walders says. “We're all anxious to see what the future could hold with <a href="">5G</a>.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/12366" hreflang="en">Tim Kridel</a></div> </div> Mon, 07 Oct 2019 19:42:52 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42941 at How Hospitals Are Using AI to Detect and Treat Sepsis <span>How Hospitals Are Using AI to Detect and Treat Sepsis</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/04/2019 - 14:29</span> <div><p>Responsible for <a href="" target="_blank">more than 270,000 annual deaths</a> in the U.S., <strong>sepsis claims a life in this country every two minute</strong>s. The condition, which arises from the body’s inflammatory response to infection, costs over <a href="" target="_blank">$27 billion in hospitalizations</a> each year. </p> <p>Despite advancements in understanding and managing sepsis, the fight is far from over. This is why an evolved strategy using predictive technology is critical.</p> <p>By leveraging patient data, artificial intelligence is helping healthcare organizations <strong>identify patients in the early stages of sepsis</strong>. With the help of machine learning, custom dashboards to display risk scores and automatic alerts that notify caregivers of potential trouble, an AI-guided approach allows clinicians to get in front of the condition and even predict an adverse event.</p> <p>Since introducing a sepsis warning system in 2017, Fishersville, Va.-based <a href="" target="_blank">Augusta Health</a> has witnessed <a href=";utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=HDM_EHRs%2B%27-%27%2B08262019&amp;bt_ee=EnGVB5MhBlubuPNRKtJxfugJKoPvIHoostW2iDJi95mlJzGjCkDiYojoc%2BV31Tq0&amp;bt_ts=1566835421103" target="_blank">a decrease in mortality rates</a> from sepsis, <strong>saving an estimated 282 lives</strong> as a result. This drop in mortality rates is promising news and could prompt wider deployment of the tools.</p> <p>Augusta’s warning system is able to examine patients’ vital signs via their <a href="">electronic health records</a>, recognize familiar warning signs of sepsis onset and alert clinicians and staff if abnormalities arise.</p> <p>A number of healthcare organizations are doing the same by <strong>adopting or building upon existing AI models</strong> to help combat sepsis. Here’s a look at some notable recent efforts.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Find out how AI is helping predict and prevent senior falls.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Duke University Hospital Builds an AI Sepsis Monitoring System</h2> <p>Sepsis can swiftly progress to organ failure and eventually to septic shock, which <a href="" target="_blank">has a mortality rate</a> of roughly <strong>50 percent</strong>. </p> <p>It’s one reason the <a href="" target="_blank">Duke Institute for Health Innovation</a> has <a href=";utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=HDM_Daily_Morning+Rounds%2B%27-%27%2B09032019&amp;bt_ee=AEKuPPA4QIAWm5dYs2fGG1VRMTBxuIy0tn53TIxcvvWOpr0VRtcLzqS%2Bsk67X%2F01&amp;bt_ts=1567504356955" target="_blank">developed Sepsis Watch</a>, an AI system that identifies early symptoms of sepsis. The system, which launched at <a href="" target="_blank">Duke University Hospital</a> in November 2018, is trained via deep learning and analyzes over <strong>32 million data points</strong> to evaluate a patient’s condition in real time — and, if findings dictate, alert the hospital’s rapid response team. </p> <p>Response teams must make the call on executing next steps but they don’t have to do so alone. Sepsis Watch can guide nurses through the first three hours of care administration, walking them through a checklist of recommended treatment steps ranging from blood tests to medications. </p> <p>The pilot phase of the system was completed in May of this year and was successful. Since then, <strong>the healthcare system has expressed intent to expand the tool</strong> to other care settings within Duke’s hospital system and eventually to other hospitals.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>READ MORE:</strong> Where does AI automation fit into health data security?</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Sentara Healthcare Expands Data Points to Improve AI Model</h2> <p>In an effort to stop patients from contracting sepsis, <a href="" target="_blank">Sentara Healthcare</a> recently deployed a <a href="" target="_blank">new AI system</a> to analyze roughly <strong>4,500 pieces of electronic health record data</strong>. The tool collects a patient’s EHR data — with details such as heart rate, blood test results and body temperature — and puts it through an algorithm to assess the likelihood of developing the condition.</p> <p>Sentara’s new detection system closely examines the relationship between data points to more accurately predict future outcomes. </p> <p>When a patient is deemed high risk, <strong>the system is designed to alert the clinicians</strong> listed on the patient’s chart. It also suggests appropriate next steps, which could include more frequent monitoring of vital signs or cleaning a patient’s bronchial pathways to prevent pneumonia.</p> <p>Earlier this year, the Norfolk, Va.-based healthcare system launched an initial attempt at a sepsis alert system that uses nine data points to alert doctors and nurses when a patient is at risk for the life-threatening condition. Dr. David Mohr, Sentara’s vice president of clinical informatics and transformation, <a href="" target="_blank">tells Medical Xpress</a> that the new system “goes way beyond” the previous iteration by notifying clinicians well before the patient develops the condition.</p> <p>Despite the long-standing challenges of sepsis, the <strong>implementation and refinement of AI systems are offering clinicians a new level of support</strong>. Not only will this reduce healthcare costs, it will enable truly lifesaving care.</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="" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/dennis-morley" hreflang="en">Dennis Morley</a></div> </div> Fri, 04 Oct 2019 18:29:22 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42936 at 3 Ways Interoperability Can Improve Patient Care <span>3 Ways Interoperability Can Improve Patient Care</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/03/2019 - 13:54</span> <div><p>As technology continues to evolve, healthcare organizations gain access to improved tools and better information. And while such progress offers clear advantages to providers, data generated by this new technology is <a href="" target="_blank">continuously being siloed</a> by archaic electronic health record systems, thwarting much of the potential positive impact. </p> <p>Modern day patients <a href="" target="_blank">expect their health data to be readily available</a> as they move from one provider to the next, and <strong>some of the nation’s largest tech companies indicate that they’re working toward a solution</strong> that would make this possible: healthcare interoperability. </p> <p>In <a href="" target="_blank">a recent joint announcement</a> from Amazon, <a href="" target="_blank">Google</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">IBM</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Oracle</a> and Salesforce, the tech giants voiced support for healthcare interoperability. While this announcement alone shows that the concept is a growing focus for the industry, <a href="" target="_blank">a 2019 SAP white paper</a> surveying 100 healthcare executives notes that <strong>52 percent</strong> of respondents agree that data sharing is poised to have the greatest impact on patient experience.</p> <p>But the larger issue is that <strong>interoperability is not necessarily easy to implement</strong>. A <a href="" target="_blank">recent report from the Center for Connected Medicine</a> shows that fewer than 4 in 10 health systems are successfully sharing their data with other systems. For many organizations, a mix of cloud APIs and interfaces poses the main challenge to achieving true interoperability.</p> <p>Still, <a href="" target="_blank">Healthcare IT News</a> reports that nearly <strong>75 percent</strong> of healthcare organizations have at least reached the most basic level of interoperability, which suggests the industry is making some headway. Widespread interoperability in healthcare may remain a sizable challenge, but <strong>the concept promises major benefits</strong>. Here’s a look at three of them.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Laying the foundation for IT innovation in healthcare.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">1. Reduced Medical Errors</h2> <p>Medical errors now account for approximately <strong>9.5 percent</strong> of deaths in the United States, <a href="" target="_blank">according to an analysis of medical data</a> published in Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. The analysis also states that medical error rates are significantly higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries, which makes finding a solution to reduce them even more pressing.</p> <p>Interoperability offers organizations ways of preventing medical error deaths by making it possible to share data across systems and applications. This allows care providers to have a better understanding of how and why these errors occur and empowers them to take action.</p> <p>Still, <strong>simply standardizing data within a single healthcare system isn’t enough</strong>. To fully enable physicians to reduce errors, interoperability must happen externally across healthcare organizations — not just departments in a single organization. </p> <p>“Partial data only leads to partial insights,” Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst for <a href="" target="_blank">ZK Research</a>, <a href="">tells <em>HealthTech</em></a>. A lack of patient information, he notes, can ultimately mean the difference between knowing about a patient’s pre-existing condition and making an unintended fatal error. </p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/andrew-steger" hreflang="en">Andrew Steger</a></div> </div> Thu, 03 Oct 2019 17:54:38 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42931 at Q&A: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s Patricia Sengstack on Nurses and Tech <span>Q&amp;A: Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s Patricia Sengstack on Nurses and Tech</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/rickyribeiro-3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">andrew.steger_ofuW</span></span> <span>Thu, 10/03/2019 - 08:42</span> <div><p>As frontline caretakers, <strong>nurses rely on a wide range of technologies</strong> to enhance patient care. </p> <p>Which is why they should be a part of equipment purchasing decisions that can directly affect their work, says Patricia Sengstack, an associate professor of nursing at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. </p> <p>“There are more of us than any other healthcare provider,” notes Sengstack, who is also a nursing informatics executive at Vanderbilt’s medical center and a past president of the American Nursing Informatics Association. “I think because nurses tend to be quiet and not as vocal as we could be — and should be — <strong>we don’t get enough attention</strong>.”</p> <p>Fortunately, that is changing. Sengstack is helping enhance an already collaborative culture at Vanderbilt, where nurses are encouraged to share ideas that can shape the use of existing tools as well as devices yet to be developed. The approach mirrors Sengstack’s core executive philosophy: Don’t make decisions without nurses at the table.</p> <p>She recently spoke with HealthTech about that valuable connection.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Learn how mobile technologies boost patient and clinician satisfaction.</a></em></p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">HEALTHTECH:</span> Overall, how often are nurses involved in making technology decisions?</h2> <p>My answer would be not nearly often enough. I remember one of my informatics teachers saying, “You need to <strong>have the people who are going to be using the system directly involved with decision-making</strong> regarding selection and design, or you’ll have a hard time being successful.”</p> <p>I think places are starting to get better and developing forums of shared governance. I’ve been one of the leaders in developing that structure for nurses and technology at Vanderbilt. We went to a new <a href="">electronic health record</a> in 2017, for example, so when our analysts take any changes to the people that handle the configuration, they say, “Wait a minute — has this gone through the nursing committee?” I do a little fist pump and say, “Yes, OK. Very good.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/kevin-joy" hreflang="en">Kevin Joy</a></div> </div> Thu, 03 Oct 2019 12:42:54 +0000 andrew.steger_ofuW 42926 at