HealthTech - Technology Solutions That Drive Healthcare en Sanford Health Pulls In Outside Partners to Make the Most of Its Data <span>Sanford Health Pulls In Outside Partners to Make the Most of Its Data</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:08</span> <div><p>At <a href="" target="_blank">Sanford Health</a> in Sioux Falls, S.D., <strong>advanced data analytics</strong> facilitated by <a href="">a comprehensive data warehouse is improving patient care in unimaginable ways</a>.</p> <p>“We needed to <strong>centralize our data to have one source of truth</strong>,” Doug Nowak, senior executive director of enterprise data analytics at Sanford Health, told <em>HealthTech</em>. “Now we’re mining that data and are able to make informed decisions versus making gut decisions.”</p> <p>But Sanford Health isn’t approaching its data analytics efforts alone — and as a result, it’s getting the most information that it can out of its data. With the aim to improve care within its walls and elsewhere, the healthcare organization is also sharing its patient information with outside researchers.</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>Collaboration Leads to Innovation for Sanford Health</h2> <p>With an enormous amount of data rolling in at all times, viewing and analyzing it all has turned out to be too big of a job, even for Sanford Health’s <strong>60-person analytics team</strong>.</p> <p>“We have so much data that we are not able to look at it all internally,” says Emily Griese, Sanford Health’s director of population health. “We want to get it out to other researchers who can <strong>review the data from a different lens</strong> and then provide further insights.”</p> <p>To protect patient privacy, the raw data from Sanford Health is stripped of its personally identifiable information. Then Griese’s team uploads it to outside researchers through a secure data-sharing portal using FTP, she says.</p> <p>Sanford Health has <strong>collaborated with outside researchers on six projects</strong>, including one with South Dakota State University that focused on improving engagement with patients. That work helped the data analytics team to build an algorithm geared toward predicting patient no-shows, allowing hospital staff to intervene in advance.</p> <p>“Through a collaborative effort, our <strong>research has helped to shape what they’ve built</strong>,” she says.</p> <p><em>To learn more about how healthcare organizations are tapping analytics to make the most of Big Data, check out our feature article “<a href="" target="_blank">How Healthcare Organizations Build a Foundation to Harness Healthcare Analytics</a>.”</em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/wylie-wong" hreflang="en">Wylie Wong</a></div> </div> Thu, 16 Aug 2018 15:08:00 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41316 at How AI Lays the Groundwork for Tomorrow’s Healthcare <span>How AI Lays the Groundwork for Tomorrow’s Healthcare</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/15/2018 - 12:04</span> <div><p>In a <a href="" target="_blank">policy recommendation</a> passed this year by the American Medical Association, the organization lauds the potential of artificial intelligence in healthcare. Combining AI with human clinicians can advance care delivery “in a way that outperforms what either can do alone,” the AMA says.</p> <p>While such technology has been considerably hyped in recent years, the organization understands that with tempered expectations — and deployed in the right situations — <strong>AI can have a real impact on the industry</strong>.</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">AI Makes Radiology More Efficient</h2> <p>Many believe one of AI’s biggest impact areas will be radiology. A <a href="" target="_blank">report</a> published in August by Signify Research projects that the global market for machine learning in <strong>medical imaging will surpass $2 billion by 2023</strong>.</p> <p>Notable strides have already been made on this front. Researchers at the <a href="" target="_blank">Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Clinical Data Science</a> (CCDS) in Boston, for instance, have trained a deep neural network that <a href="">uses an integrated system designed for AI applications</a> to sift through a library of <strong>10 million radiology records</strong>. Experts expect the system will eventually be able to quantify biological tissue with more precision than a human.</p> <p>At the University of California, Los Angeles, radiologists used deep learning to build a chat system dubbed “virtual interventional radiologist” that can <strong>answer many standard patient care questions</strong> for attending physicians and other clinicians.</p> <p>Both tools hold promise for improving efficiency and assisting clinicians in providing better care, faster.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">AI Improves Cancer Screening and Cardiac Arrest Prevention</h2> <p>Other healthcare areas are poised to take advantage of AI, as well. For instance, AI <a href="">powers an innovative cancer-screening program</a> currently in beta known as Doctor Hazel. The technology uses deep-learning neural networks to screen and classify skin cancers with <strong>80 percent accuracy</strong>.</p> <p>Additionally, earlier this year, <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> <a href="" target="_blank">touted a new AI tool</a> developed by electronic health record vendor Epic and powered by Azure to help clinicians at <a href="">Ochsner Medical Center</a> in New Orleans predict, and potentially prevent, patient coding — cardiac or respiratory-arrest situations. In a <strong>90-day pilot last year</strong>, Ochsner reduced the typical number of codes by <strong>44 percent</strong>.</p> <p>What’s more, in a <a href="" target="_blank">post to his </a><a href="" target="_blank">cHealth</a><a href="" target="_blank"> Blog</a>, Partners HealthCare Vice President of Connected Health Joseph Kvedar notes that AI likely will be critical to overhauling the current caregiving model. He’s also pointed out that the <a href="">technology will help to enhance chronic care</a> as it matures.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Today's Artifical Intelligence Jumpstarts the Future of Care</h2> <p>A <a href="" target="_blank">report</a> published in December on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services by JASON, an independent research group, stated that AI is beginning to play a role in transformative changes in healthcare, but also noted “significant challenges” to the use of the technology, including acceptance of AI in clinical practice.</p> <p>Still, the AMA policy recommendation states that the organization will explore AI more closely, examining potential legal implications and encouraging education for physicians, medical students, healthcare professionals, administrators and patients.</p> <p>While AI use in healthcare is in its infancy, it’s important to <strong>lay the groundwork for tomorrow’s patient care</strong>.</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="/taxonomy/term/11311" hreflang="en">Jonathan Karl </a></div> </div> Wed, 15 Aug 2018 16:04:50 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41311 at Hyperconvergence Improves Care and Boosts Flexibility at Healthcare Organizations <span>Hyperconvergence Improves Care and Boosts Flexibility at Healthcare Organizations</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/14/2018 - 13:29</span> <div><p>When Clay Aiena took the reins as CIO of <a href="" target="_blank">StoneGate Senior Living</a> in 2016, he knew right away that the organization’s technology infrastructure needed an update. The existing data center was at its threshold, and the storage platform was maxed out as well.</p> <p>“We had an antiquated setup in our headquarters and a lot of issues with stability,” Aiena says. He warned that <strong>a heavy storm could knock out power and shut down the electronic health records</strong> being used across the 45 skilled nursing facilities the company manages in Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma.</p> <p>Initially, Aiena contemplated moving much of the Lewisville, Texas-based organization’s IT operations into a cloud-hosted environment, but the idea had never been fully developed.</p> <p>After considering ROI and total cost of ownership, Director of IT Operations Robert Wagner <strong>recommended replacing StoneGate’s onsite setup with a </strong><strong>colocated</strong><strong> solution in a hardened offsite data center</strong>. In addition, Wagner wanted to deploy a new family of hyperconverged appliances built on Lenovo’s enterprise systems, based on <a href="" target="_blank">IBM</a> <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">System x platforms</a> and powered by <a href="" target="_blank">Nutanix</a> software.</p> <p>The new data center went live in February. StoneGate is currently moving its production systems over, and Wagner says that Nutanix’s enterprise cloud platform will enable the organization to <strong>take a hybrid approach, including the use of public cloud resources</strong>, while simultaneously allowing it to remain in the hyperconverged system.</p> <p>StoneGate isn’t the only organization deploying data center solutions with growth in mind. Many healthcare industry facilities adopting HCI are also seeing benefits from <strong>simplifying infrastructure management and maintenance while accelerating provisioning</strong>.</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>Hyperconvergence Enables Scalability on Demand </h2> <p>Most notably, HCI helps healthcare organizations build up their core data centers to quickly respond to business requests for resources, says <a href="" target="_blank">Christian Perry</a>, who analyzes IT infrastructure for 451 Research.</p> <p>“There is no doubt that hyperconverged can help in a lot of ways,” he says.</p> <p>At <a href="" target="_blank">Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California</a>, HCI <strong>enables the organization to “web scale” on demand</strong>, says Director of Infrastructure Scott Voigts. “We can just add another block to provide more capacity. We don’t have to do those one-off solutions for each new application that comes into our environment now.”</p> <p>Keck began its hyperconvergence journey three years ago, with a goal of simplifying its data center environment. While it considered a traditional three-tiered architecture, Keck decided on HCI, Voigts says.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Raths-Wagner.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /><br /><span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 20.8px;">Director of IT Operations Robert Wagner says that StoneGate’s deployment of a Nutanix enterprise cloud will allow it to take a hybrid approach to storage.</span></p> <p>In choosing the latter, the organization deployed Nutanix’s <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">Acropolis Hypervisor solution</a> to support a <a href="" target="_blank">Citrix</a> virtual desktop infrastructure environment, which <strong>enables speedier logins for clinicians</strong>. While it takes about 60 seconds to initially log in, after that, it only takes a few seconds if the user logs out and taps back in properly.</p> <p>“If you imagine every time those providers have to log in each day, and each time they log in takes a couple of minutes, that accounts for fewer patients they get to see,” Voigts says. “By getting the login time down to one minute on the initial login and eight seconds on tap-in, <strong>we just freed up 52 seconds on each login that clinicians and staff can dedicate to some other task</strong>.”</p> <h2>HCI Improves Speed for Business Intelligence Teams </h2> <p>At StoneGate, the hyperconverged infrastructure will have a noticeable impact on the organization’s business, <strong>including business intelligence operations</strong>, Aiena and Wagner say. The BI team previously ran services in the data center and off a few laptops, which Aiena says was not a stable approach.</p> <p>“We are going to benefit from the performance and reliability boost,” he says. “We can build out <strong>redundant and faster BI repositories from our EHR environment within the </strong><strong class="gr-progress">hyperconverged</strong><strong> infrastructure</strong>.”</p> <p>Aiena adds that the setup enabled StoneGate to see more predictable costs.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Raths-elpunto.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>“You have to dig a layer deeper, especially when you are in a tight-margin business like ours,” he says. “For us, the numbers showed that hyperconverged made more sense for our workloads. That was a big eye-opener for me as a CIO.”</p> <p>Complementing the data center project, StoneGate, <a href="" target="_blank">with assistance from CDW</a>, standardized on higher-quality <a href="" target="_blank">Lenovo</a> PCs and laptops and began refreshing employee devices immediately. This allowed the end users to <strong>receive an instant boost in productivity and set up future data center improvements for success</strong>. StoneGate also installed <a href=";ctlgfilter=&amp;searchscope=all&amp;sr=1" target="_blank">HP switches</a> and is installing <a href="" target="_blank">Sophos </a>for firewalls at both its data center and facilities.</p> <p>“The partnership was a key part of helping us get started and stewarding us as we were putting together that portfolio of vendors we needed,” Aiena says.</p> <h2>Hospitals Can Simplify IT Architecture with HCI </h2> <p>When John Grieco joined the <a href="" target="_blank">University of Vermont Health Network</a> in 2016 as CTO, the hospital system operated seven separate data centers, each managed by its own IT organization.</p> <p>“One of the reasons I was hired was to <strong>create one cohesive IT department </strong>across the hospitals from a personnel perspective, as well as a physical infrastructure perspective,” he says. Grieco’s goal is to consolidate the seven data centers down to two. UVM Health Network is taking advantage of both converged (VxBlock) and hyperconverged (VxRack and VxRail) technologies from <a href="" target="_blank">Dell EMC</a>. Both merge networking, storage and computing into one cohesive delivery system.</p> <p>“We are working to take years of patchwork environments and move those workloads onto a simplified, cohesive reference architecture,” he says.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Raths-quote1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>The new setup will allow the UVM Health Network to <strong>offer its users a private cloud with the same look and feel they are used to with the public cloud</strong> — the same elasticity, access to data, and concept that the infrastructure is always scalable and up and running.</p> <p>It also enables the deployment of a central repository for imaging results. Instead of seven different imaging products or software packages, UVM Health Network<strong> now has one vendor-neutral archive</strong>. All images taken across the organization’s seven hospitals get copied into the repository.</p> <p>“Any image taken is now accessible instantaneously,” Greico says.</p> <div class="sidebar_wide"> <h3>Hyperconvergence Frees Up IT Staff Members' Time </h3> <p>Besides reducing complexity and speeding hardware provisioning, hyperconvergence <strong>allows IT leaders to deploy their teams in different ways</strong>.</p> <p>Prior to its implementation of Nutanix solutions, when Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California wanted to integrate 14 different storage arrays, Voigts says he needed to call on employees who had knowledge of each of those different solutions. Now, he says, <strong>that staff is free to work on other projects</strong>.</p> <p>“When you simplify the environment, you can reduce the number of people on the back end to support those things,” Voigts says. “It means there are fewer elements that you have to troubleshoot or implement.”</p> <p>Grieco’s vision is that in four years, his IT team <strong>will not spend nearly as much time in data centers</strong>. Previously, the health system had to update networking, storage and computing components all separately with different vendors, and it regularly experienced outages or put a lot of effort into keeping each one of those elements alive.</p> <p>Now, Dell EMC <strong>upgrades the framework once a year as a managed service</strong>. “All that time, measured in thousands of hours, I would argue, is where we now are gaining time to move to IT at the bedside — working to improve how patient care is happening,” Grieco says.</p> </div> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/david-raths" hreflang="en">David Raths</a></div> </div> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 17:29:42 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 41306 at Q&A: Great Lakes Health’s Doug Dietzman Touts Data Sharing in Times of Crisis <span>Q&amp;A: Great Lakes Health’s Doug Dietzman Touts Data Sharing in Times of Crisis</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/09/2018 - 14:12</span> <div><p>The flow of information in a safe, secure and efficient manner is paramount to the delivery of high-quality healthcare. Grand Rapids, Mich.-based <a href="" target="_blank">Great Lakes Health Connect</a> (a health information exchange, or HIE, that counts <strong>129 hospitals</strong> across the state as participants) offers tools and services to help healthcare organizations connect and share data for both everyday patient care and broader population health efforts.</p> <p>“We want to make sure that when we as individuals move from place to place, from a healthcare standpoint, our data can follow us wherever we go,” says Doug Dietzman, executive director for GLHC, which currently holds information for<strong> 9.8 million people</strong> in its master person index.</p> <p><em>HealthTech</em> spoke to Dietzman about data security and storage, GLHC’s biggest challenges, the benefits of HIEs, and the organization’s ongoing efforts focusing on the <strong>opioid crisis and clean water.</strong></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><span style="color: #c74037;">HEALTHTECH:</span> How are you ensuring the privacy and safety of patient data?</h2> <p>Really focusing on <a href="" target="_blank">HITRUST</a> [Health Information Trust Alliance] certification has been big for us to show our partners that privacy is top of mind for GLHC. We conduct <strong>quarterly internal security assessments</strong>. We also have our corporate and administrative domain completely separate from our healthcare domain, so if something happens on the corporate side, a hacker can’t leak over and gain access into the clinical side of the house.</p> <p>We’re also focused on deployment of electronic safeguards like <strong>firewalls, data encryption </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> monitoring solutions</strong>. Nobody is mandated to work with us, and we have to be able to demonstrate that we’re doing everything we can possibly do at the highest level to keep the information secure.</p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">HEALTHTECH: </span>Can you speak about the tools that enable data exchange with so many partners?</h2> <p>From a storage standpoint, we use <a href="" target="_blank">Dell EMC</a> solutions. We run on a virtual server environment with <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco UCS</a>.</p> <p>We work out of <strong>two </strong><strong>colocated</strong><strong> data centers</strong>, and our health connect platform is highly available between them; if it goes down, it’s immediately picked back up. We used a lot of Cisco networking solutions to build that out. We intentionally built the infrastructure incrementally, so we won’t have to do a big “rip and replace” in the future. We can continue to just add on other pieces as necessary.</p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">HEALTHTECH:</span> You recently announced a collaboration with the University of Michigan focused on the opioid crisis. What is GLHC’s role in the effort?</h2> <p>A lot of the information that’s been used to try and define where there are hot spots — where there are issues — tends to be very dated, back-end claim data or other data that has been sitting around for a while. What the university is trying to do with this project is to <strong>review more real-time data</strong>.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-QA-Bowman-Quote.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 20.8px;">Photography by Logan Zillmer</span></p> <p>What we provide specifically is connections to many of the hospitals throughout the state. We’ve got the admissions, discharge, transfer and encounter data that’s coming out, so we’re enriching that. We’re looking for specific diagnosis codes and other information that would suggest that something is related to an opioid event, and then we’re delivering that transformed data into the <a href="" target="_blank">University of Michigan Acute Care Research Unit</a>’s repository, and also helping them with other data they receive.</p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">HEALTHTECH:</span> In 2016, GLHC committed $250,000 to connect all healthcare providers in Genesee County in response to the lead contamination of drinking water in Flint. What’s being done to continue to support those impacted by the water crisis?</h2> <p>A core part of our investment was to hire somebody from Flint to be on the ground to help us drive things. That person continues to work there and focus on the community. The other core part was to pay electronic health record interface costs to vendors. We’ve done dozens of those with more than <strong>100 organizations</strong> in that region.</p> <p>We’re also developing and delivering reports on a regular basis that show who visited the emergency room multiple times in the previous month, then working with providers, Medicaid health plans and others through the Greater Flint Health Coalition to try to figure out how to intervene with those patients.</p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">HEALTHTECH:</span> What are the biggest challenges on a day-to-day basis?</h2> <p>One of the main challenges is trying to keep up with the changes in this industry from technical, regulatory and business standpoints. Another is <strong>managing through hype</strong>.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-QA-Bowman-Quote2.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>There is such an interest in trying to find the shiny object or <strong>silver bullet</strong> that’s just going to make everything work. A lot of what we do is pretty boring, blocking and tackling hard connectivity work between systems, and sometimes I think that gets lost a little bit in the idea that we have standards now and so it should just all work.</p> <h2><span style="color: #c74037;">HEALTHTECH:</span> Can you speak to the importance of HIEs in connecting disparate organizations during crisis situations, such as natural disasters?</h2> <p>The use of <strong>HIEs should really be baked into emergency plans</strong>. We plan stockpiling beds, medications, gauze, but we often don’t think ahead when preparing for emergencies about the need to <strong>stockpile data</strong>.</p> <p>If and when people in our communities get spread to the wind, or even sent to other states, there is an ability to be able to have that data ready to follow them, and care for them.</p> <p>Our approach is getting the data to the right place at the right time.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/dan-bowman" hreflang="en">Dan Bowman</a></div> </div> Thu, 09 Aug 2018 18:12:29 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41291 at Network Management Tools Help Providers Head Off Bottlenecks <span>Network Management Tools Help Providers Head Off Bottlenecks</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/09/2018 - 09:38</span> <div><p>As part of a recent expansion, Batesville, Ark.-based <a href="" target="_blank">White River Health System</a> upgraded its wired and wireless LANs, enhancing its ability to support more than <strong>4,000 connected devices</strong>.</p> <p>While the modernization provided WRHS clinicians a vehicle to improve patient care delivery, Director of Information Systems Jeff Reifsteck knew more work was necessary. An inability to closely monitor the organization’s entire network environment and act on problems in real time could put patient privacy and safety at risk.</p> <p>To that end, WRHS is also upgrading its network management suite with solutions from <a href="" target="_blank">Extreme Networks</a>. The setup provides Reifsteck with peace of mind that the organization can stay ahead of the curve in terms of potential bottlenecks and cyberthreats.</p> <p>“By adding new tools for gathering and analyzing network data, we have the <strong>visibility to identify problems in real time</strong>, usually before end users even report them,” he says.</p> <p>WRHS isn’t alone when it comes to making such upgrades. Hospitals throughout the country are making enhanced visibility a key consideration when revamping their networks for better performance and security, and ultimately for <strong>higher levels of patient care</strong>.</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">Tap Digital Transformation with Granular View of Performance</h2> <p>Zeus Kerravala, a principal analyst at ZK Research, calls the network “<strong style="font-size: 15px;">the building block of digital transformation</strong><span style="font-size: 15px;">” in every industry, including healthcare.</span></p> <p>However, all too often, IT officials struggle to achieve full performance potential because of blurred vision. Nearly half the network managers across all sectors have no confidence that they know about all the devices connected to their networks, he says.</p> <p>“Visibility is the first step — and one of the most important ones — for network optimization,” Kerravala says.</p> <p>To gain visibility and dynamic management capabilities, WRHS’s technicians rely on the Extreme Management Center, a central console that integrates with a suite of network optimization tools. One of the most important is ExtremeControl, a network access controller, says Matt Stone, network administrator.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Joch-quote.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11px; line-height: 20.8px;">Photography by Dero Sanford</span></p> <p>“That enables us to change device settings dynamically, rather than by physically touching everything,” he says. “It allows us to make adjustments a lot faster than when we had to walk or drive to the relevant closet.”</p> <p>Another component of the hospital’s setup is <a href="" target="_blank">ExtremeAnalytics</a>, which displays detailed information about network traffic patterns. Wesley Evans, a hardware solutions manager at WRHS, says the tool allows the organization’s IT team to see performance at a granular level and troubleshoot problems without having to sort through extensive log files. For instance, when the network recently experienced a communications slowdown after being flooded with <strong>4 terabytes of data</strong>, the IT team was quickly able to determine that a misconfigured software application was the culprit.</p> <p>“It gives us <strong>real-time statistics</strong> about application and network response times for a complete picture of what end users are experiencing,” he says.</p> <p>“We would not have identified that problem so quickly without analytics,” Stone adds.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Data Throughput Gets a Boost with Wireless Upgrades</h2> <p>When IT officials at <a href="" target="_blank">Lorien Health Services</a> felt a similar drive to gain new insights into their network operations, they focused on modernizing their wireless infrastructure.</p> <p>The slowness of Lorien’s previous generation of wireless devices caused nurses and other staff to unexpectedly be dropped from the networks, leading to frustration and lost productivity, says Michael Bowman, a network engineer with the skilled nursing facility, which has <strong>14 locations</strong> throughout the Baltimore area.</p> <p>Legacy equipment wasn’t the only culprit. The brick and cement facilities also made it difficult to provide reliable Wi-Fi coverage where it was needed.</p> <p>To overcome these problems, the IT team <strong>upgraded the Wi-Fi network</strong> with <a href="" target="_blank">Aruba’s Mobile First Network suite</a>, which enhances visibility through <strong>Simple Network Management Protocol</strong> monitoring. In addition, Bowman worked with engineers from Aruba to heat map each facility and determine the optimum number and placement of access points and controllers. The upfront work paid off, as the network can now support as much as a gigabit of data throughput, triple its previous capacity.</p> <p>Just as important, <strong>Aruba RADIUS authentication</strong> provides single sign-on capabilities, which means staff no longer have to reauthenticate when they move throughout a facility and connect with different access points.</p> <p>The suite helps Bowman monitor network performance and maintain tight security.</p> <p>“We can analyze any log data or run standard reports to quickly see <strong>performance trends</strong> or areas where there may be <strong>network interference</strong>,” he says. “If there’s channel interference, the technology tells me where the problem is, down to the IP address of the individual access point and its physical location in the facility. Then, I can just switch the channel or do some other adjustment to overcome the issue.”</p> <p>The solution also sends email alerts at the first sign of suspicious activity. “If there’s a new device that’s trying to connect, we can authenticate it or decide that it should be blocked,” Bowman says.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Better Network Management Ensures HIPAA Compliance</h2> <p>As part of its network management strategy, <a href="" target="_blank">Sentara Healthcare</a> (an integrated, not-for-profit system that operates <strong>12 hospitals and hundreds of care facilities</strong> in North Carolina and Virginia) uses a software-defined segmentation solution that not only helps it to better control its networks, but also enhances security. It allows administrators to dynamically define and apply policies as the mix of devices changes.</p> <p>“People have been talking about network segmentation for so many years, it was easy to assume that everyone was doing it,” says Daniel Bowden, vice president of information security at Sentara Healthcare. “But that’s just not the case.”</p> <p>The health system uses <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco</a> DNA Center, which includes <strong>Cisco</strong><strong> IOS XE 16</strong>. The solution provides programmable interfaces for visibility into <strong>application performance</strong> and the <strong>behavior of switches and routers</strong>.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Joch-elpunto.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>In addition, <strong>Cisco Software-Defined Access</strong> lets Sentara administrators enforce segmentation policies, a significant change from earlier, hard-wired segmentation techniques where an individual had to manually change the IP addresses to alter segments.</p> <p>“We just create the policies and profiles and then apply them to the network,” IT Director Chad Spiers says.</p> <p>The security implications of dynamic network segmentation are significant for healthcare organizations, the Sentara executives say. If hackers successfully breach a networked medical device, for example, segmentation gives the IT staff a way to limit the outbreak to a small part of the network.</p> <p>“<a href="">Network segmentation</a> is one of the most important things you can do to mitigate risk,” Bowden says.</p> <p>WRHS’s team is also adding segmentation to its toolbox, implementing <strong>Extreme’s Information Governance Engine</strong> to analyze its networks for signs of regulatory noncompliance issues. The solution will help officials achieve the security and privacy goals that HIPAA addresses and, almost as significantly, reduce the burden of preparing for audits.</p> <p>While the improvements in network visibility may make life easier for the IT staff, the big winners ultimately are the clinicians, Reifsteck says.</p> <p>“When clinicians aren’t worrying about the performance and reliability of their networked devices and applications, they’re able to <strong>focus more on caring for patients</strong>,” he says.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/alan-joch" hreflang="en">Alan Joch</a></div> </div> Thu, 09 Aug 2018 13:38:27 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41286 at Providers Need to Listen, Learn and Adapt to Change for Clinical Communication Success <span>Providers Need to Listen, Learn and Adapt to Change for Clinical Communication Success</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/08/2018 - 17:49</span> <div><p>Think about how clinicians and staff at your organization communicate with each other. Is it easy and efficient, or fraught with complications?</p> <p>A <a href="" target="_blank">recent survey</a> conducted by Spyglass Consulting Group finds that many clinicians today are <strong>overwhelmed by communication challenges</strong>, from outdated overhead paging and traditional pager systems to continuous device alerts and a plethora of incoming voice and text solutions. Respondents also say that EHR-based messaging tools often are poorly designed and fail to integrate within their regular workflow.</p> <p>Additionally, <a href="" target="_blank">80 percent of hospitals surveyed by technology vendor</a> Imprivata have expressed concern about the difficulties associated with communicating and working with members of multidisciplinary teams.</p> <p><a href="">Collaboration among healthcare professionals</a>, particularly as it relates to patient care, should not be this burdensome.</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>Update Your IT Arsenal to Meet Today's Care Challenges</h2> <p>Many organizations are taking steps to avoid those pitfalls. Take <a href="" target="_blank">Parkland Health &amp; Hospital System</a> in Dallas: Following a move to an 862-bed, <strong>2.1 million-square-foot </strong>facility a few years ago, <a href="">the health system updated its arsenal of mobile tools</a>, including new hardware and cloud-based solutions.</p> <p>Meanwhile, <a href="" target="_blank">Mary Washington Healthcare</a> in Fredericksburg, Va., <strong>transitioned more than 1,000 clinicians</strong> last year to a secure text messaging platform. The move helped to streamline what previously had been a multistep communications process that was time-consuming for users. <a href="">Chief Medical Information Officer David Yi says</a> that the effort has made collaboration among his staff “much faster and more effective.”</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Voices-Halloway-pullquote.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>According to Spyglass, <strong>90 percent of the hospitals</strong> it surveyed are making “enterprisewide investments in smartphones and secure mobile communications platforms.” Seventy-three percent of respondents say they have already developed or are developing mobile-specific strategies to that end. </p> <h2>Organizations Turn to Telehealth to Improve Resources</h2> <p>Providers also increasingly are leveraging telehealth technology to optimize collaboration between clinicians and improve the timeliness and quality of care. According to a <a href="" target="_blank">survey</a> published last fall by law firm Foley &amp; Lardner, <strong>75 percent</strong> of respondents currently offer or plan to offer telehealth services. In the <a href="" target="_blank">same survey three years</a> earlier,<strong> 87 percent</strong> of respondents said they did not expect a majority of their patients would be using any of their organization’s telehealth services by 2017.</p> <p>Companies such as <a href="" target="_blank">Access Physicians</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Avera eCARE</a> both <a href="">offer remote support to healthcare organizations</a>. Both help rural facilities care for patients, while also providing clinicians the opportunity to learn new procedures by working alongside remote specialists. They also provide intensive care unit, emergency room and hospitalist services to care organizations throughout multiple states.</p> <p>Additionally, <a href="" target="_blank">Project ECHO</a> (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) <a href="">connects physicians with one another via video technologies</a> with a goal of training primary care clinicians to provide specialty care services. </p> <p>Organizations must <strong>continuously update their clinical communication strategies</strong> to optimize care delivery. </p> <h2>Constant Updates Keep Care Team Communication Fresh</h2> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">research published in <em>JAMA Internal Medicine</em></a>, <strong>better communication between healthcare teams</strong> could help to greatly reduce hospital readmissions.</p> <p>It all starts at the top with engaged and attentive leadership and good planning. Listen to your clinicians and staff to learn about their needs and what tools and strategies could be most effective.</p> <p>Including end users in the process of a solution deployment will likely help <strong>reduce pushback and improve uptake</strong>, and, more important, the quality of patient care.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11526" hreflang="en">Christine Holloway</a></div> </div> Wed, 08 Aug 2018 21:49:40 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41281 at How Healthcare Organizations Build a Foundation to Harness Healthcare Analytics <span>How Healthcare Organizations Build a Foundation to Harness Healthcare Analytics</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:24</span> <div><p><a href="" target="_blank">Sanford Health</a>’s leaders have prescribed a new kind of medicine to improve patient health: advanced data analytics. The Sioux Falls, S.D.-based healthcare provider centralized its data by building a virtual data warehouse, while a team of employees worked on information governance by developing standard definitions for healthcare terms, making data from different business and clinical applications usable for analysis.</p> <p>Now Sanford Health is building algorithms that enable the <strong>44-hospital, 291-clinic health system</strong> to predict patient behavior and outcomes, such as potential appointment skipping. It’s going one step further by also deploying prescriptive analytics, which provide recommended actions, such as best practices for convincing patients to show up for appointments.</p> <p>“We needed to centralize our data to have one source of truth,” says Doug Nowak, senior executive director of enterprise data analytics at Sanford Health. “Now we’re mining that data and are able to <strong>make informed decisions versus making gut decisions</strong>.”</p> <p>More and more healthcare providers have started investing heavily in data analytics for research, as well as to gain insight into their business and clinical operations and improve patient care and population health efforts.</p> <p>Cynthia Burghard, a research director with <a href="" target="_blank">IDC Health Insights</a>, says analytics adoption is still in its early stages in healthcare, but that it’s growing rapidly because it allows organizations to provide more efficient and effective patient care, which is critical as the industry transitions from fee-for-service to value-based pricing.</p> <p>“The business model in healthcare used to be ‘I do something, I get paid for it,’” she says. “The business model now is ‘I better do the right thing; otherwise, I won’t get paid.’ The only way to know how to do the right thing now is with data.”</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">Sanford Health Unifies, Virtualizes Data to Speed Access</h2> <p>Data analytics adoption has grown the past few years as electronic health record vendors have added such capabilities to their product portfolios. Stand-alone software vendors that specialize in artificial intelligence also are offering <strong>healthcare-specific analytics applications</strong>, making it easier for providers, particularly smaller hospitals, to implement analytics, Burghard says.</p> <p>Some organizations, like Sanford Health, are more do-it-yourselfers, building their own algorithms and piecing together technology, such as data warehouses and visualization tools.</p> <p>About two and a half years ago, Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft announced an initiative to turn the health system into a <strong>data-driven organization</strong>. Nowak oversaw the transition and spent two years building the foundation.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Wong-Quote.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>He <strong>consolidated different data analytics teams</strong> throughout the organization into a unified, <strong>60-person team</strong>. Then, a data governance committee created uniform definitions of healthcare terms. That’s important because Sanford Health previously had, for instance, 20 different definitions for “in-patient.”</p> <p>“If someone asks for a report, we may have to get data from 15 different systems, so <strong>all the terms have to match</strong>,” Nowak says.</p> <p>He used <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco Data Virtualization</a> (now owned by TIBCO Software) to create a virtual data warehouse that links together the health system’s different applications, such as patient data from its EHR, the general ledger and other clinical systems. Sanford Health’s analysts work closely with operations staff to learn what kind of data they need, then provide it nearly instantaneously through SAP tools.</p> <p>Today, the organization’s executives and staff use <a href="" target="_blank">SAP’s Lumira</a> visualization tool to access a dashboard that provides <strong>20 views of real-time financial and operations data</strong>. The data analytics team moves information from the data warehouse into a SAP HANA database. That allows for faster access because it stores data in memory and not on hard drives.</p> <p>When users launch Lumira to view the dashboard, the tool grabs the information from HANA in <strong>3 seconds</strong>, rather than the <strong>45 to 60 seconds</strong> it would take if the data were accessed directly from the data warehouse.</p> <p>“<strong>Users get the data they need at a moment’s notice</strong>,” Nowak says.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">CHI Taps Data to Prioritize Quality and Safety</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Catholic Health Initiatives</a> (CHI) in Englewood, Colo., is also using analytics to become a data-driven health system. It has improved patient outcomes at its hospitals over the past three years, including <strong>reduced mortality rates and post-surgery complications</strong>.</p> <p>CHI had a robust enterprise data warehouse when Jim Reichert, vice president of clinical analytics, moved to the corporate office in 2013 to lead the organization’s clinical analytics effort. But while CHI’s hospitals fed data into the warehouse, only small amounts were normalized, standardized and usable.</p> <p>After establishing a data governance structure and standardizing on analytics tools, Reichert and his team began providing executives and hospital leaders monthly reports that track <strong>23 metrics for quality of care</strong>, patient safety and patient engagement. They receive a score for each metric and their results are measured against national benchmarks from the <a href="" target="_blank">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network</a> and two private firms.</p> <p>“Our overall goal is to get to the <strong>75th percentile for our quality,</strong> safety and patient experience measures against those data sources,” Reichert says.</p> <p>CHI’s efforts have worked. For example, from 2014 to March of this year, heart failure mortality at its hospitals dropped 24 percent, while post-operation complications, such as hip fractures, <strong>decreased 79 percent</strong>.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Nationwide Children's Hospital Predicts the Future with Analytics</h2> <p>At <a href="" target="_blank">Nationwide Children’s Hospital</a> in Columbus, Ohio, a team of <strong>six data scientists</strong> works with the hospital’s <strong>25-person</strong> research information systems team to improve clinical support using analytics. The heart of its effort resides on an enterprise data warehouse built with Oracle software, says Simon Lin, the hospital’s chief research information officer.</p> <p>In one project, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is testing a homegrown algorithm that can <strong>predict which children are in danger of deteriorating fast </strong>and will need to go to the intensive care unit.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Wong-elpunto.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>The hospital’s <strong>Vitals Risk Index</strong> uses an algorithm that takes five vital signs, (heart rate, respiratory rate, systolic blood pressure, body temperature and oxygen saturation) as well as the patient’s oxygen support level, and makes an assessment objectively through a computer model, says Tyler Gorham, the lead data scientist on the project.</p> <p>In testing, the algorithm was able to identify <strong>39 percent</strong> of patients who would require cardiopulmonary resuscitation two hours before the actual event occurred. It’s an improvement over the hospital’s existing assessment method, which requires medical staff to take children’s vital signs and make a subjective assessment; that method identified just <strong>24 percent</strong> of at-risk patients two hours before an event.</p> <p>“Right now, the stats show it’s effective,” Lin says. “We’re testing it, and if it works, we’ll explore how to replicate the success elsewhere.”</p> <div class="sidebar_wide"> <h2 id="toc_3">Hadoop Cluster Lays the Groundwork for Personalized Medicine</h2> <p>Nationwide Children’s Hospital has invested <strong>$500,000</strong> in server and storage hardware to build a Hadoop cluster that will serve as the foundation for personalized medicine, says Lin.</p> <p>It creates the <a href="" target="_blank">Genome Archiving and Communication System</a> (GACS), a first-of-its-kind data warehouse capable of housing up to one million genomes of children in the future, he says.</p> <p>Traditional relational databases are too slow, Lin says. But in future years, GACS will be able to query the database and obtain answers in milliseconds. For example, physicians today typically receive a PDF clinical summary of a patient’s genome. Soon, they’ll be able to get more granular data by searching the patient’s genome for a specific variant.</p> <p>That will allow physicians to not only uncover diseases in children, but also <strong>target the best therapies for individual patient’s genetic profiles</strong>, Lin says.</p> </div> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/wylie-wong" hreflang="en">Wylie Wong</a></div> </div> Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:24:23 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41276 at Complementary Upgrades Help Hospitals Get the Most out of EHR Deployments <span>Complementary Upgrades Help Hospitals Get the Most out of EHR Deployments</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/07/2018 - 12:39</span> <div><p>When <a href="" target="_blank">MD Anderson Cancer Center</a>’s IT team researched options to replace its homegrown electronic health records system, it learned that vendors recommend virtualizing the EHR application for <strong>ease of management and performance consistency</strong>. But the provider didn’t stop there.</p> <p>“We decided if we were going to do it, we might as well get the benefits of virtualization for the entire clinical desktop,” says Chuck Suitor, associate vice president and CTO for the Houston organization, explaining that the organization deployed a <a href="" target="_blank">VMware Horizon View</a> virtual desktop infrastructure across <strong>8,000 thin clients</strong>.</p> <p>That choice — along with other upgrades and implementations to support the Epic EHR installation, including switching to all-flash storage and <a href="" target="_blank">Intel</a> servers running Linux — proved to be almost as beneficial as the EHR itself, says Suitor, who believes that hospitals embarking on similar journeys must focus on care outcomes and patient safety first and foremost.</p> <p>“Rather than just keeping costs as low as possible, our goal was a quality implementation,” he says. “You’re paying enough for EHR software; don’t go cheap on the infrastructure. Get the best deal that you can, but implement the infrastructure that you need so that patients can get the entire value from the software.”</p> <p>As hospitals around the country reap the benefits of modern EHRs, many are finding that improvements to the rest of the infrastructure can extend the reach of their new solutions and optimize overall operations.</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">MD Anderson Phases EHR Deployments</h2> <p>The most important infrastructure upgrades to support an EHR implementation, aside from the EHR itself, are those that <strong>provide staff with access to medical data anywhere</strong>, using the device of their choice, says Gregg Pessin, a research director in healthcare delivery at Gartner. That’s why, for instance, VDI and EHR projects are tied so closely to one another, he says.</p> <p>Because MD Anderson’s EHR upgrade morphed into such a comprehensive project, Suitor’s team implemented the technology in phases but went live with everything on a single day, in <strong>March 2017</strong>.</p> <p>First came the VDI project, for which it deployed both <a href="" target="_blank">VMware</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Citrix</a> solutions, in accordance with enterprise licensing agreements, as well as <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco UCS B240 M4</a> servers and <a href=";searchscope=all&amp;sr=1&amp;w=T" target="_blank">Dell EMC XtremIO storage</a>. Monitors and keyboards were equipped with built-in fingerprint and archiving e-readers to enable ID card tap-and-go login.</p> <p>MD Anderson also purchased <a href="" target="_blank">Code CR1400</a> barcode scanners, <a href="" target="_blank">Topaz SigLite</a> card scanners, <a href="" target="_blank">Ergotron</a> carts and <a href="" target="_blank">Zebra</a> portable barcode printers. Before the upgrade, Suitor’s team didn’t receive many performance complaints, but staff expressed frustration about operational limitations because they couldn’t take advantage of modern patient safety and convenience features. That changed after the upgrade.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Delaney-elpunto1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>For instance, barcode administration ensures that patients are being <strong>administered the right medications at the right time </strong>and dosage. “That helps prevent medication errors,” Suitor says. “That’s a major feature we didn’t have before.”</p> <p>From research to go-live, the organization collaborated with Epic and CDW, the latter of which <strong>worked with vendors to resolve issues as they arose</strong>. For instance, when MD Anderson needed more barcode readers than were available in the U.S., CDW secured extra devices from China quickly enough to <strong>keep the project on schedule</strong>.</p> <p>Most of the issues, however, had less to do with technology than with organizational change. The goal was for the upgrades to be so seamless that they simplified, rather than complicated, staff and clinician workflows.</p> <p>“We wanted to make it so the technology was a nonevent,” Suitor says, “so the staff could focus on the change necessary to modernize the operations of the institution.”</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Baptist Health Builds an EHR Foundation for the Future</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Baptist Health</a> has used Cerner’s EHR for more than <strong>10 years</strong>, but originally, it was only for basic pharmacy, lab and nursing documentation, which CIO Steve Miller jokingly calls “EHR lite.”</p> <p>The Montgomery, Ala.-based hospital had ambitious plans. It began a computerized physician order entry (CPOE) utilization to improve patient care and qualify to meet <strong>federal EHR regulations</strong>, but with weekly outages, staff could barely complete basic tasks.</p> <p>The network would drop connectivity while nurses scanned patient wristbands. Nurses couldn’t even play online training videos for fear it would crash the network.</p> <p>“That’s how bad it was from a stability standpoint,” says Mallary Myers, Baptist Health’s system vice president of operational improvement and innovation.</p> <p>While stability and performance were the primary drivers behind the organization’s network infrastructure upgrade, leadership also recognized that such an installation was necessary to achieve its strategic plan — adding wireless technologies such as oximeters, IV pumps, alerting and Voice over IP.</p> <p>“We wanted to do something that not only solved the short-term pain but really set a foundation for the future,” says Miller, who’s employed by Cerner but serves as Baptist Health’s CIO.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Delaney-Quote_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>The organization selected <a href="" target="_blank">Cisco</a> for the <strong>18-month</strong>, <strong>$7 million</strong> project, adding all new equipment in its facilities, including 300 <a href="" target="_blank">Nexus</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Catalyst</a> switches, <strong>120</strong> wiring closets, <strong>1,200</strong> wireless access points and a new network with full redundancy in <strong>two data centers</strong>. It also laid new fiber optic and CAT 6e Ethernet cable.</p> <p>Baptist Health went live with the new network in 2016. It has since added new wireless tools to the infrastructure, such as pulse oximetry, smartphones, patient monitors and secure messaging.</p> <p>New technology, such as smart pump programming, infusion management, specimen collection and documentation in patient rooms with workstations on wheels, has made a profound difference in clinical workflows and patient safety. “You can’t do that if you don’t have a reliable infrastructure,” Myers says.</p> <p>And instead of three to four minutes to log in to each device, it now takes a minute and a half the first login of the day, then a <strong>few seconds</strong> on each new device.</p> <p>“When you think about going from four minutes every time you move from computer to computer to now <strong>10 seconds</strong> — that has <strong>huge</strong> impact,” Miller says. “We don’t want the technology to get in the way of care. We want clinicians to focus on patients, not worry about the wireless network.”</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Mount Sinai Taps a Strong IT Support System for EHR</h2> <p>Preparing infrastructure for an EHR rollout is always complex, but as <a href="" target="_blank">Mount Sinai Health System</a>’s Kristin Myers embarks on her<strong> fifth Epic hospital installation</strong>, she knows the drill.</p> <p>Myers, senior vice president of IT at the New York organization, undertook her first Epic implementation in 2006. After the health system’s merger with Continuum Health Partners in 2013, she has steadily added to her list of projects, including two hospitals that went live this March. Next up is Mount Sinai Brooklyn, followed by a new hospital in downtown Manhattan and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.</p> <p>To achieve the benefits of EHRs — better <strong>care continuity, shortened hospital stays, reduced readmissions</strong> — the IT supporting the system must be stable and have near <strong>100 percent uptime</strong>. “If you deploy an EHR on existing infrastructure, you are placing your transformation project at risk,” she says.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Feat-Delaney-elpunto2.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>If a workstation loses connectivity with the wireless network, the physicians, nurses and other providers will become increasingly frustrated. “You need to make technology as efficient as possible for the physicians and nurses and not introduce barriers,” Myers says. “The adoption is impacted if the infrastructure is not completely stable and it doesn’t support the workflow.”</p> <p>Roughly <strong>15 percent</strong> of more than <strong>900 IT employees</strong> at Mount Sinai are dedicated to Epic installations and support the optimization. The first thing they do when embarking on a new rollout is a complete walk-through of the hospital. They look at network closets, workstations, scanners, existing medication carts, emergency power and clinical equipment, such as vents and monitors. They test the wireless network to ensure that it’s ubiquitous.</p> <p>The goal, Myers says, is for as much of the infrastructure as possible to meet Mount Sinai’s standards, which include Citrix to connect PCs to the EHR, Zebra barcode scanners and <a href="" target="_blank">Samsung</a> monitors for digital whiteboards.</p> <p>“There are going to be areas that need to be customized for a particular workflow at each facility, but as a general rule, we try to standardize,” she says. “It’s really important because that’s how there is a standard of care that is consistent throughout the health system, where physicians can use the system at multiple hospitals, and from a technology perspective, you are able to <strong>leverage a centralized support model</strong>.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/melissa-delaney" hreflang="en">Melissa Delaney</a></div> </div> Tue, 07 Aug 2018 16:39:59 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41271 at 5 FAQs to Fuel Provider Mobile Deployments <span>5 FAQs to Fuel Provider Mobile Deployments</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:20</span> <div><p>Provider organizations increasingly turn to mobile tools to enhance staff productivity and improve the ­quality of care delivered. But such efforts <strong>involve more than just the use of smartphones or tablets</strong> by ­clinicians and staff.</p> <p>Here are answers to some common queries about deployment:</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. How should hospitals approach security for mobile tool deployment?</h2> <p>Federal penalties can be severe when failures occur, so make sure that<strong> security, acceptable use </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> BYOD policies</strong> are in place, along with training and policy reinforcement. Identity management solutions are also advisable, especially in a BYOD environment.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">2. How can increased mobility in healthcare organizations benefit patient engagement?</h2> <p>Enabling network access for patient devices for scheduling, facility navigation, records access, communication and web browsing can go a long way toward enhancing outcomes. The easier it is to obtain and manage healthcare information, the <strong>more engaged patients</strong> will be.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">3. What devices are best suited for different staff and caregivers?</h2> <p>In many cases, commercial, off-the-shelf devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks are fine. Solutions<strong> specifically designed for healthcare</strong> are also available, with the advantages of locked-down, mission-specific functionality, management and security.</p> <h2 id="toc_3">4. What are typical MDM needs for healthcare facilities?</h2> <p>Mobile device management needs include configuration optimization, system and app software updates, integrity management and backup. For full regulatory compliance, additional security provisions may be required and usually are implemented by the specific solution applied.</p> <h2 id="toc_4">5. What does increased use of mobile devices mean for a healthcare organization’s ability to utilize cloud-based services?</h2> <p>The cloud makes it easy to <strong>deploy, scale, collaborate and customize</strong> mobile functionality rapidly, reliably and anywhere it’s required.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/craig-j-mathias" hreflang="en">Craig J. Mathias</a></div> </div> Tue, 07 Aug 2018 13:20:30 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41261 at How Health IT Executives Can Transform into Business Leaders <span>How Health IT Executives Can Transform into Business Leaders</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Thu, 08/02/2018 - 22:13</span> <div><p>Every day, healthcare grows by leaps and bounds when it comes to technology advancements. And as organizations complete the move from paper charts to electronic health records and deploy more sophisticated connected medical devices, IT leaders must <strong>ensure the correct personnel </strong><strong>are</strong><strong> in place</strong> for digital success.</p> <p>Simultaneously, however, they also must focus on the bigger picture: organizational growth, budget management and solutions vetting.</p> <p>No doubt, ensuring that technologies are HIPAA-compliant and practical for patient care are critical responsibilities. But modern technology leaders — CIOs, CISOs, IT directors and others — can’t rely on digital know-how alone; they also must <strong>blend business smarts with their enthusiasm and IT skills</strong>.</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">Leverage Your Staff for Tech Expertise</h2> <p>Throughout my career, I have held many roles. Starting out as an IT technician with a few ­specific certifications, I often leaned on the solutions I knew best and was most ­comfortable with to solve problems large and small.</p> <p>But as my career has grown and I’ve transitioned from a frontline technician to an <strong>IT leader responsible for daily operations</strong>, I’ve had to step outside of my comfort zone and vet solutions based on advice from my colleagues.</p> <p>Leveraging their knowledge of specific technologies and individual areas of expertise, they often serve as advocates for bleeding-edge and emerging tools that might benefit an organization, but may not necessarily fit the budget or cater to a specific issue.</p> <p><img alt="Q0318-HT-Voices-Melwani-pullquote.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> <p>Technology executives must learn to analyze all solutions, both those they know and those with which they are less familiar. Evaluating tools critically and working with your staff to understand implementation challenges can make or break the success of a project and, to a broader extent, your role as a leader.</p> <p>Such experience can help ensure that all solution reviews are productive, not presumptive, and that tool selection is balanced. This helps to establish that the best interests of the organization — and most important, the patient — are top of mind.</p> <h2 id="toc_1">Never Lose Sight of the Patient Perspective</h2> <p>Another way health IT executives can <strong>evolve as leaders</strong> is by putting themselves in the patient’s shoes. Think about what technology features would mean the most to you during a hospital visit: Is privacy a top concern? Easy access to information? Streamlined ­processes for registration?</p> <p>It’s not enough to merely think about how to ease your own frustrations as an employee; you must also consider how to satisfy the individuals you serve, as well as their family members. How will updates and implementations impact their experience?</p> <p>Patient safety and satisfaction should always be <strong>top priorities</strong>.</p> <h2 id="toc_2">Be Ready to Adapt to New Technology</h2> <p>Finally, IT leaders must also <strong>work closely with the user stakeholders</strong> most impacted by their decisions on the front line of patient care: the clinicians.</p> <p>Poor technology usability and workflow can create frustration for staff who work day in and day out with vulnerable patients. It’s up to us as executives to optimize productivity and minimize potential errors.</p> <p>Provider technology executives have a responsibility to critically analyze solutions and strategies that meet the patient care, operational and financial needs of their organizations, and then use that knowledge to deploy technology appropriately.</p> <p><strong>The most successful leaders are adaptable</strong>; they can adjust paths based on the factors around them, and are willing to listen to and trust their staff, colleagues and patients.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/taxonomy/term/11656" hreflang="en">Anil Melwani</a></div> </div> Fri, 03 Aug 2018 02:13:58 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41256 at