HealthTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Healthcare en Are Telehealth Offerings Meeting Patient Expectations? [#Infographic] <span>Are Telehealth Offerings Meeting Patient Expectations? [#Infographic]</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/13/2018 - 12:11</span> <div><p>In early November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services underscored the shift toward remote care offerings by offering a reimbursement option for remote patient monitoring services in its <a href="" target="_blank">final 2019 Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program</a>. This is perhaps one of the best benchmarks for how <strong>telemedicine services are becoming more widely accepted</strong> at doctor’s offices and health systems across the country.</p> <p>There are plenty of merits to establishing ways for patients to connect virtually with their doctors. In both <a href="">rural</a> and <a href="">urban areas</a> alike, t<strong>elehealth can save patients time and money</strong>, while expanding their access to specialists and care in general.</p> <p>But a new survey from Deloitte of U.S. physicians and healthcare consumers finds provider telehealth offerings are lagging behind consumer expectations. While <strong>80 percent</strong> of consumers have tried or are willing to try virtual care options, just <strong>14 percent of providers</strong> have implemented telehealth technology, and another<strong> 18 percent</strong> will implement it in the next two years.</p> <p>Check out the infographic from Deloitte below to see what challenges still lie ahead for telehealth.</p> <p><em><a href=""><strong>DOWNLOAD:</strong> Learn more about the possibilities of telehealth to improve care!</a></em></p> <p><img alt="Virtual_care_infographic_MASTER_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Tue, 13 Nov 2018 17:11:45 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41771 at Healthcare Organizations Tap Remote Patient Monitoring to Manage Conditions in Real Time <span>Healthcare Organizations Tap Remote Patient Monitoring to Manage Conditions in Real Time</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/12/2018 - 12:08</span> <div><p>All patients mean to follow their doctor’s instructions, but once they leave the office of a healthcare professional, not all follow through.</p> <p>For example, women with pregnancy-associated hypertension are typically told by their physicians to follow up one week after being discharged from the hospital, then, like all women post-partum, again in four to six weeks. Compliance with those instructions, however, is far from ideal: Nationally, only <strong>30 to 40 percent</strong> of women go for the four- to six-week follow-up, which could affect women not just while they have infants, but for life.</p> <p>“Women who develop this problem are more likely later in life to develop either hypertension or other cardiovascular issues,” says Dr. Richard H. Beigi, chief medical officer of the <a href="" target="_blank">University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Magee-Women’s Hospital</a>.</p> <p>UPMC came up with a solution: remote patient monitoring, or RPM. Patients are given a way to have their medical status measured — in this case, using a blood pressure cuff — and then, through an app, have that reading checked and recorded with a qualified medical professional at a centralized monitoring system.</p> <p>“Generic instructions are not really tailored to where I am as a person and the context in which I’m consuming health services,” says Cynthia Burghard, research director at <a href="" target="_blank">IDC Health Insights</a>. “This can lead to poor compliance for behavior change that affects health for chronic illness and is costly.”</p> <p>Getting back to the doctor for check-ins, especially in rural areas, can be both inconvenient and expensive, which is where digital solutions can step in and increase patient engagement.</p> <p>It’s getting easier too as the adoption of smartphones and fitness-tracking devices become the norm; the <a href="">new Apple Watch even includes its own electrocardiogram monitor</a>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>DOWNLOAD:</strong> Learn more about how mobile tools are enabling the next generation of care!</em></a></p> <h2>Remote Patient Monitoring Ramps Up</h2> <p>In 2016, seven million people used remote monitoring and connected medical devices as part of their care. That number could jump to <strong>50.2 million in five years</strong>, and it is also estimated that RPM revenues will increase from <strong>$7.5 billion in 2016</strong> to more than <strong>$32.4 billion by 2021</strong>, <a href="" target="_blank">according to a recent report</a>.</p> <p>RPM is seen as a way to help patients who are both in great need and also have high healthcare costs, like those with chronic conditions, which affect <strong>six in 10 adult Americans</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">according to the RAND Corporation</a>; <strong>43 percent</strong> have more than one chronic condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also <a href="" target="_blank">estimates</a> that chronic conditions account for more the most deaths in the U.S. and are responsible for 90 percent of healthcare expenditures.</p> <h2>Centralized Monitoring with BYOD-Based Apps</h2> <p>Of course, remote patient monitoring means that <strong>data is coming back </strong><strong>in</strong>, and that it needs to be reviewed. That’s where centralized monitoring systems come in.</p> <p>“A lot of practices are licensing care management applications and managing a whole array of patient data coming in from remote patient monitoring,” says Burghard.</p> <p>They become a hub where appropriate medical professionals can take in data coming from patients (whether from one or multiple sources), review it and alert a patient that they need an intervention, whether it’s prescribing a new medication or calling 911 to get an ambulance to that patient. If the readings are normal, then it goes into the patient’s medical records and becomes another data point on an electronic monitoring record or electronic health record, or both.</p> <p>“<strong>It’s the data that’s really affecting the infrastructure</strong>,” says Burghard. “Devices are in the patient’s home. What do you do with the data when you get it so that you can take the actions that you need? That’s the infrastructure impact that I’m seeing in physician offices or hospitals or whoever’s got the dashboard.”</p> <h2>Telehealth Technology Makes Remote Patient Monitoring Easy</h2> <p>In the pilot phase of the UPMC study, <strong>57 women</strong> were given a blood pressure cuff and an app to put onto their own smartphones because “pretty much everybody these days has their own smartphone. It makes sense for someone to use their own because they’re used to it.”</p> <p>For most women who have hypertension during pregnancy, the condition goes away after they gave birth. In the pilot phase of this study, UPMC found that <strong>57 percent of participants were able to skip that first one-week appointment</strong> because they were already being monitored via their phones and a blood pressure cuff.</p> <p>UPMC also found that <strong>88 percent of women</strong> came back for their six-week post-partum visit, compared to <strong>30 to 40 percent</strong> nationally. UPMC has continued the study past the pilot phase and has now enrolled over <strong>200 women in the program</strong>.</p> <p>“The convenience is really important, as is the potential to have better real-time or near-real-time management of their conditions, and having a potential decrease in office visits,” says Beigi. The healthcare organization is also considering how it can use the same technology for gestational diabetes and other cardiovascular issues.</p> <p>“We see a<strong> very bright future</strong> on the use of this technology in certain conditions,” Beigi adds.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/jen-miller" hreflang="en">Jen A. Miller</a></div> </div> Mon, 12 Nov 2018 17:08:22 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41766 at As Healthcare Turns to ERP, It Also Turns to the Cloud <span>As Healthcare Turns to ERP, It Also Turns to the Cloud</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/09/2018 - 08:34</span> <div><p>Enterprises across all verticals have been slow to adopt cloud-based enterprise resource planning products. It is a market “in transition,” according to <a href="" target="_blank">Gartner’s latest ERP market guide,</a> with <strong>fewer than</strong> <strong>5 percent</strong> of enterprises hosting operational ERP deployments in the public cloud. Healthcare organizations are no exception. As they increasingly consider their ERP needs, however, they increasingly look to the cloud instead of on-premises products.</p> <p>“I want to get out of the data center business and get into the public cloud — and then into the private cloud,” says David Chou, chief information and digital officer at <a href="" target="_blank">Children’s Mercy Kansas City</a>, which is in the process of completing its ERP implementation. “The vendor community is moving that way. It creates speed,” he says. “It lets them scale and be agile. It offers flexibility that you don’t get in on-premises software.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>VIDEO: </strong>See how Mercy went from provider to cloud provider!</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">With ERPs, Providers Know the True Cost of Care</h2> <p>The term “enterprise resource planning” refers to the integrated, real-time management of core business processes such as <strong>cash flow, payroll, capacity planning and purchasing</strong>. For hospitals and health systems, ERP systems help eliminate financial data silos, as these organizations have traditionally managed revenue (from patients and insurance claims) and expenses (capital, labor, supply chain and so on) using disparate software systems.</p> <p>In many cases, competing business priorities kept hospitals from implementing an ERP system. A 2016 Black Book <a href="" target="_blank">survey</a> found that fewer than <strong>30 percent</strong> of hospitals had an ERP system in place. Investments in electronic health records, cybersecurity, the transition to ICD-10, population health management and analytics were all named as a higher priority than ERP, according to the survey. While <strong>30 percent</strong> seems low, it is not far from average: Software Advice <a href="" target="_blank">recently found</a> that only one-third of enterprises across major verticals use an ERP system, with another <strong>44 percent</strong> using disparate systems.</p> <p>Healthcare’s ongoing shift to value-based care has put pressure on hospitals to <strong>better understand the true cost of delivering care</strong>, whether it’s per individual episode of care or per disease state or diagnosis. This need for better insight into the cost of care, coupled with the obsolescence of the ERP systems that many hospitals had in place, has triggered interest in cloud-based ERP systems.</p> <p>“The back office has been neglected, but it’s come to the forefront now, and there’s a big influx of investment,” Chou says. “The back office is just as important as the EHR.”</p> <p>Organizations such as Children’s Mercy have several motivations for implementing an ERP system, Chou says. They may look for opportunities to improve supply chain efficiency and staff productivity, especially at times such as flu season when hospitals see a high volume of patients. They may reevaluate operating costs, especially if executives are considering a transition to value-based business models.</p> <p>ERP systems also support organizations that are in the process of merger, acquisition or affiliation, says Mary Kilmer, executive director of <a href="" target="_blank">Oracle Healthcare</a>. </p> <p>“A cloud-based holistic platform based on a single data model across finance, supply chain and human resources supports this emerging operating model and the assimilation of new entities with embedded cross-operational best practices,” Kilmer says.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>DOWNLOAD:</strong> See how hospitals are improving outcomes with next-generation patient engagement tech!</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">Cloud-Based ERPs Support the Future of Healthcare</h2> <p>Chou notes that cloud-based ERP systems from vendors such as Oracle, <a href="" target="_blank">SAP</a> and Workday are fairly new to the market, regardless of vertical. As a result, vendors face the challenge of making these products operational for <strong>clients currently using on-premises systems</strong>. </p> <p>“They’re on the decision-making cusp. They’re asking, ‘When do I go to the latest version, and is it ready for me?’” he says.</p> <p>One way that vendors are addressing this challenge is to support more strategic analysis in addition to traditional outcome management, Kilmer says. Such analysis can include an organization’s Medicare cost-to-charge ratio, its costs and margins for individual service lines, and the relationship between <strong>care costs and various quality metrics</strong>.</p> <p>“Analytics need to not just tell you what just happened, but what is happening now, and predict what will happen next,” Kilmer says. Embedding a range of technology into ERP systems, from machine learning to blockchain to chatbots, can further support organizations’ analytics efforts, she adds.</p> <p>The biggest motivation for a move to a cloud-based ERP system, though, is to make an investment with <strong>an eye to the future</strong>.</p> <p>If you have an older, on-premises product, Chou says, “You have to do something to be current — and the only product that you can buy that’s future-proof is on the cloud.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/brian-eastwood" hreflang="en">Brian Eastwood</a></div> </div> Fri, 09 Nov 2018 13:34:41 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41746 at Your Healthcare Organization’s Been Hacked: Now What? <span>Your Healthcare Organization’s Been Hacked: Now What?</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26806" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">daniel.bowman_26806</span></span> <span>Thu, 11/08/2018 - 08:51</span> <div><p>Last month, health insurer Anthem agreed to pay the Department of Health and Human Services $16 million and take <strong>“substantial corrective action”</strong> as part of a settlement for HIPAA violations uncovered following cyberattacks that exposed health information for close to 79 million people.</p> <p>According to HHS, the company <strong>failed to take adequate measures to guard itself against hackers</strong>. “We know that large healthcare entities are attractive targets for hackers, which is why they are expected to have strong password policies and to monitor and respond to security incidents in a timely fashion or risk enforcement by OCR,” HHS Office for Civil Rights Director Roger Severino said in a <a href="" target="_blank">statement</a>.</p> <p>Consider the last part of that statement: OCR expects Anthem and all other healthcare entities to not only monitor for potential attacks, but also <strong>react swiftly and decisively if a hacker gets through the cracks</strong>.</p> <p>While much time is spent discussing how organizations can take steps to stay ahead of such attacks, <strong>incident response in the aftermath of an attack is just as critical</strong>.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Cybersecurity-report_EasyTarget.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> <h2>Shore Up Your Post-Breach Communication Plan</h2> <p>Organizations can <strong>optimize incident response</strong> in several ways. For instance, entities such as health systems can develop notification templates to determine ahead of time whom to contact, when and how following a breach. The <a href="" target="_blank">HIPAA Breach Notification Rule</a> calls on covered entities to notify affected individuals, HHS and sometimes the media “without unreasonable delay” and no more than <strong>60 days after a breach is discovered if 500 or more individuals are affected.</strong></p> <p><strong>Internal communication</strong> about an event is equally vital. While not everyone required to be notified internally may need to take action, they very well could need the information for use at a later time.</p> <h2>Inform and Educate Staff to Improve Response Times</h2> <p>In that same vein, <strong>education must not be ignored</strong>. Communicating to staff about a specific incident is informative, but teaching employees about the proper ways to both identify and respond to an attack is necessary as well.</p> <p>Additionally, it’s important for organizations to <strong>know which steps they plan to take for different outcomes</strong>. In some instances, certain pieces of hardware or software may need to be removed. Having a flexible strategy for who must do what and how, not only can potentially save time, but it could prevent further damage.</p> <p>A <strong>post-incident review</strong> is also a critical component of a healthy incident response plan. While hindsight is 20/20, determining what went wrong and when, what lessons were learned and how the response could have been more effective can help to improve preparation against potential future attacks.</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 the <a href="" target="_blank">#WellnessIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="MonITor_logo_sized.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/jeremy-weiss" hreflang="en">Jeremy Weiss</a></div> </div> Thu, 08 Nov 2018 13:51:12 +0000 daniel.bowman_26806 41736 at How Providers Can Tap Technology and Mine Data to Advance Value-Based Care <span>How Providers Can Tap Technology and Mine Data to Advance Value-Based Care</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/9856" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eli.zimmerman_9856</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/07/2018 - 10:24</span> <div><p>Healthcare organizations that are participating in value-based care arrangements through government and private payer contracts and as accountable care organizations have long known that using technology and data to improve care is key to success. But getting there hasn’t been easy. </p> <p>Value-based care — a model that ties reimbursement payments to the quality of care a healthcare organization provides — rewards organizations for keeping populations of patients healthy. An alternative to fee-for-service reimbursement, which pays providers based on how many patients they treat, successful value-based care programs aim to improve quality and patient experience while <strong>reducing costs and focusing on prevention</strong> and population health. </p> <p>The concept goes back to the often-maligned HMO movement, but it got a makeover in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act: The Centers for Medicare &amp; Medicaid Services, or CMS, has been pushing it ever since. But many healthcare organizations are still struggling to either get up to speed or keep up their momentum. </p> <p>In a <a href="" target="_blank">study by Quest Diagnostics</a> reported this summer, physicians and health plan executives agreed healthcare has made little progress toward value-based care since last year: More than two-thirds <strong>(67 percent)</strong> of physicians and health plan executives said the U.S. still has a fee-for-service system. And only <strong>39 percent</strong> of physicians said electronic health records provide all the data they need to care for their patients, according to the study.</p> <p>“We talk about value-based care, but for the life of me it still looks like we’re still doing pay-for-volume,” says Charles Christian, vice president of technology and engagement at the <a href="" target="_blank">Indiana Health Information Exchange</a>. “There is this chasm between volume-based reimbursement and value-based reimbursement that we have to figure out how to jump. I haven’t seen a good roadmap to how we’re going to get to paying for quality.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM </strong></em></a><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>HEALTHECH</strong></em></a><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>:</strong> Mobility tools drive patient satisfaction!</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">How Data Can Support — and Stymie — Value-Based Care Efforts</h2> <p>One of the difficulties of participating in value-based care programs, as physicians in the Quest survey noted, is having the right data to not only support efforts to provide high-quality care to patients but also to measure and report quality results to CMS and other payers. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Atrius Health</a>, which is made up of <strong>32 physician practices</strong> with more than <strong>800 doctors</strong> across Massachusetts, participates in CMS’ Next Generation ACO model, in-state Medicaid ACO and has risk-based contracts with private payers, each with their own quality measures and quality reporting requirements.</p> <p>“One of the challenges of quality reporting is just how many metrics there are across different quality requirements,” says Craig Monsen, chief medical information officer of the nonprofit organization. “It can feel sometimes like the quality metrics are a distraction from what I went into medicine for — which is to help people, not report on them.” </p> <p>Atrius takes advantage of the fact that value-based contracts usually include <strong>a menu of quality measures</strong> that best align with its patients’ needs and its own priorities from year to year, Monsen says. </p> <p>“Part of it is just identifying our priorities. Part of it is, once we’ve identified our priorities and the metrics we are looking to drive, we have the challenge then of extracting that information,” he says. “We definitely benefit from our technology,” he adds, including its Epic EHR and the Linguamatics natural language processing tool. </p> <p>Another challenge to implementing value-based care and reporting quality measures is that, even as healthcare organizations have become more adept at gathering and using data, the <strong>volume of it continues to grow</strong> at an overwhelming pace, Christian says. </p> <p>“We’ve gotten better at being able to deal with coded data to enhance the care process but also to help manage populations. But it’s gotten a whole lot more difficult to manage, I think.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>DOWNLOAD:</strong> Mobile tools improve patient satisfaction and deliver ROI!</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">How Technology and Data Can Power Value-Based Care Efforts</h2> <p>Managing that data by optimizing EHRs, making data more accessible and insightful and reducing the complexity of quality measurement reporting are <strong>critical to </strong><strong>accelerate</strong><strong> the transition to value-based care</strong>, Dr. L. Patrick James, chief clinical officer of health plans and policy at Quest Diagnostics, <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. </p> <p>“First, however, it's clear that health plan executives and physicians need to better align around a shared vision of how technology and data can improve patient care," he said.</p> <p>Indeed, there’s opportunity at the intersection of <strong>technology, workflow </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> people</strong>, Monsen says. The key is to “figure out that interface of technology workflow or processes and people’s roles and responsibilities to deliver what we’re driving toward, which is better patient care,” he says. </p> <p>“Value-based care is an evolving concept for healthcare providers,” adds Shruthi Parakkal, a transformational health consultant at Frost &amp; Sullivan, which is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. “Healthcare authorities should not lose sight when finding key performance indicators for a pay-for-performance-model that, while it can be metric-driven, they should be able to account for non-cost-related metrics, such as patient satisfaction and physician efficiency.”</p> <p>Technology and data that engage patients can help organizations <strong>keep up with the demand</strong> of caring for populations of patients, she says. </p> <p>“Digital health will play a major role in clinical decision support and for evidence-based care delivery — and this will help to measure value beyond cost and efficiency,” Parakkal says. “To improve quality of care and achieve <strong>cost efficiency, care coordination and patient engagement</strong> is critical. Patients will have an increasing role to play in self-management, wellness and prevention, chronic disease management, follow-up and monitoring. For this, they will have to be engaged by hospitals beyond the basic patient portal to offer communication with physicians.”</p> <h2 id="toc_2">How to Engage Patients with Their Own Health</h2> <p>Beyond-the-basics digital health tools to aid engagement and communication include <strong>wearables, apps </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> at-home medical devices</strong> that can send and receive data to and from providers; telehealth and remote consultations; and patient awareness tools such as wellness apps and online platforms that educate patients about their health conditions. Even online scheduling can help, Parakkal says. </p> <p>“In the long term, an integrated healthcare ecosystem that connects patient-generated data to hospital-generated data will be critical,” Parakkal notes.</p> <p>Emerging value-based care technology trends include artificial intelligence, machine learning and Big Data. But it’s not which technology healthcare organizations use to engage patients and improve outcomes, according to Parakkal: It’s <strong>how organizations deploy those tools</strong>. </p> <p>“For providers to offer maximum value to patients, clinical decision support will be critical. For patients to be an integral part of the value equation, self-management is critical. Data sharing securely is also critical,” she says.</p> <p>“There is a huge hype over technology or only digital health taking over the care delivery. I personally believe it will be <strong>man and machine that will generate maximum value</strong>,” she says. “Digital health will increasingly play a role of healthcare augmentation — supporting physicians to deliver the best outcomes.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/gienna-shaw" hreflang="en">Gienna Shaw</a></div> </div> Wed, 07 Nov 2018 15:24:22 +0000 eli.zimmerman_9856 41731 at LeadingAge 2018: Why Senior Care Organizations Must Prioritize Technology Initiatives <span>LeadingAge 2018: Why Senior Care Organizations Must Prioritize Technology Initiatives</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/06/2018 - 14:01</span> <div><p>Technology use among seniors is higher than it’s ever been, according to the <a href="" target="_blank">Pew Research Center</a>. In a report published last year, Pew found that the share of <strong>seniors who owned smartphones doubled from 2013 to 2017</strong>. The report also found a rise in tablet ownership and social media use among seniors.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>JOIN THE CONVERSATION:</strong> Follow @CDW_Healthcare on Twitter for continued LeadingAge 2018 coverage!</em></a></p> <p>Much like the residents it serves, the senior care industry and its use of technology continues to evolve every day, a concept that was on full display at the <a href="">LeadingAge 2018</a> conference in Philadelphia last week. In particular, organizations and senior care leaders shared how technology has shifted from being a luxury to a necessity for keeping residents happy, healthy and active.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> <h2>Taking a More Business-Focused Approach to Tech Deployment</h2> <p>While discussing what the future of IT in senior care will look like, <a href="">several CIOs</a> also talked about how they’re building up their infrastructures to meet increased business demands. Peter Kress, senior vice president and CIO for West Point, Pa.-based Acts Retirement-Life Communities, said his organization has moved much of its infrastructure to a public cloud while downsizing its data center.</p> <p>“My personal opinion is that the <strong>public clouds are the most scalable, most secure, </strong><strong>best supported</strong><strong> environments</strong> to be in right now,” Kress said. “That could change again in the future — pendulums always swing — but that will never again mean that we’re building out and managing internal infrastructure.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, John Couture, CIO of Des Moines, Iowa-based <a href="" target="_blank">Lifespace Communities</a>, said his organization plans to move toward Infrastructure as a Service so he and his IT team can focus more on higher-value and complex projects and initiatives that will improve the company’s ability to compete in the marketplace.</p> <p>“I did not grow up in technology. I actually came from the business side and financial services,” Couture said. “I’ve always believed that<strong> business strategies drive technology</strong>. The challenge is that technology is advancing so quickly.”</p> <h2>Improving Social Connectivity for Seniors</h2> <p>Technology’s role also continues to grow in terms of combatting loneliness. For instance, Diana Delgado, chief operating officer for Lakewood, Colo.-based <a href="" target="_blank">Eaton Senior Communities</a>, discussed how a program that distributed iPads to residents helped to improve their connections to family and friends thanks to <strong>improved access to social media</strong> and <strong>increased community socializing</strong>.</p> <p>Katie Wade, associate director for <a href="" target="_blank">Well Connected</a>, a community of outreach staff and volunteers for adults over age 60 that is part of Covia, a group of senior communities based in the Bay Area in California, <a href="">talked about the impact that videoconferencing tools have had on seniors in terms of socializing</a>. Well Connected provides seniors with access to <strong>more than 70 social</strong> groups via phone or videoconference weekly, and the vast majority of the content shared is produced by participating individuals, Wade said, an environment that helps to provide seniors with more of a sense of self-worth.</p> <p>“There are so many people who don’t have access to all the amazing creative aging programs that are happening,” Wade said. “Technology is a way that we can make that more accessible.”</p> <h2>Don’t Make Assumptions About Seniors’ Technology Knowledge</h2> <p>One of the conference’s overarching themes was not making assumptions about the capacity of seniors to understand and use technology. Bill Rabe, CIO for Skokie, Ill.-based <a href="" target="_blank">Covenant Living Communities and Services</a>, said that one of the biggest complaints he receives from residents is when the Wi-Fi has gone down.</p> <p>“There are some people who have as many as <strong>10 devices in their </strong><strong>apartments</strong>, when you talk about printers, smart TVs and all of those other devices,” Rabe said.</p> <p>To that end, he said, it’s important to have a scalable network environment that can support a growing number of tools as more and more seniors demand wireless access.</p> <p>Meanwhile, <a href="">Michael Gray and Jennifer Griveas of The Eliza Jennings Senior Care Network</a> in Olmsted Township, Ohio, talked about how engaged seniors have been at cybersecurity training sessions they provide to residents.  </p> <p>“They come with great questions, sometimes more sophisticated than a lot of people expect of older adults,” Griveas said.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Check out our event page for other articles from LeadingAge 2018</a>. Follow us on Twitter <a href="">@CDW_Healthcare</a>, or the official LeadingAge Twitter account, <a href="" target="_blank">@LeadingAge</a>, and join the conversation using the hashtag <em><a href=";src=typd" target="_blank">#LeadingAge18</a></em>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/dan-bowman" hreflang="en">Dan Bowman</a></div> </div> Tue, 06 Nov 2018 19:01:38 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41726 at When It Comes to Telehealth, Embrace Complexity and Ambiguity <span>When It Comes to Telehealth, Embrace Complexity and Ambiguity</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:03</span> <div><p><strong>Six words</strong> from a discussion with a healthcare CEO have stuck with Krista Stadler, <a href="" target="_blank">St. Luke’s Health System</a>’s senior director of telehealth services, for <strong>14 years</strong>: “Passion for complexity, tolerance for ambiguity.” She wrote the phrase on a sticky note and has kept it on her desk ever since.</p> <p>“That is telehealth in a nutshell,” Stadler says. “There’s no book out there, and even if there were, it would be outdated in two months because it’s <strong>a rapidly evolving environment</strong>.”</p> <p>Stadler ticks off a list of challenges:</p> <ul><li>Scheduling visits with remote physicians and patients</li> <li>Adapting workflows for clinic nurses</li> <li>Prechecking equipment to ensure it’s fully operational</li> <li>Managing health records</li> <li>Establishing compliant billing policies and consent processes across facilities</li> <li>Guaranteeing compliance with HIPAA</li> </ul><p>“Technology, although complex, is the easy part,” says Stadler. “It is the building of processes that support the use of the technology that provide an additional level of scrutiny to ensure a safe, compliant and reliable program for the patient and provider.”</p> <p>Indeed, telehealth adoption is still relatively low, with the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) <a href="">annual Most Wired survey</a>, released earlier this month, finding that just <strong>38 percent</strong> of the <strong>600 IT executives </strong>surveyed are using their patient portals to conduct virtual care visits.</p> <p>“While this may seem low compared to adoption of other capabilities, it is actually high given that virtual care is still developing and few patients have participated in it,” the report notes. “The progress of virtual care may indicate that the industry is approaching around-the-clock connectivity as telehealth enables clinicians to provide more direct, more accessible care.”</p> <p>But this picture of <strong>24-hour care</strong> won’t materialize until some of the more stubborn issues plaguing telehealth are tackled.</p> <p><em><a href=""><strong>MORE FROM HEALTHTECH:</strong> Millennial expectations are pushing the shift to virtual care!</a></em></p> <h2>Reimbursement Proves a Top Challenge for Telehealth Programs</h2> <p>One of the most complex issues is reimbursement. <a href="" target="_blank">MainStreet Family Urgent Care</a>, in Alabama, is in the planning stages for rolling out what it refers to as micro clinics in more far-flung areas of the state. Standard clinics have five or six exam rooms, two or three medical assistants and a nurse practitioner; by comparison, the micro clinics will be about half that size and employ just a registered nurse trained to conduct diagnostics such as X-rays and lab tests, print prescriptions and otherwise facilitate instructions from a remote physician.</p> <p>The challenge, however, is getting insurance or Medicaid coverage with no provider onsite.</p> <p>“<strong>Cost is a huge factor</strong>,” says Betsy Stewart, MainStreet Family Urgent Care’s marketing director. “It’s basically what’s limiting us.” MainStreet is considering making micro clinics a self-pay option, but that’s particularly difficult in the economically depressed rural areas that the clinics aim to serve.</p> <p>As a <a href="" target="_blank">Telehealth Center of Excellence, the University of Mississippi Medical Center</a> is working to create a standard of best practices and build the research body around telehealth.</p> <p>“We’re trying to find out what works, what doesn’t work, how people can grow these programs and <strong>build programs that really work for the patient</strong>,” says Michael Adcock, executive director of UMMC’s Center for Telehealth.</p> <p>For more on how healthcare organizations are tackling telehealth challenges, check out our feature: <a href="">Technology Helps Providers Go the Distance to Bring Care to Rural Patients</a>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/melissa-delaney" hreflang="en">Melissa Delaney</a></div> </div> Mon, 05 Nov 2018 17:03:18 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41721 at CHIME Fall Forum 2018: Culture Change at Halifax Health Gives Innovation a Big Boost <span>CHIME Fall Forum 2018: Culture Change at Halifax Health Gives Innovation a Big Boost</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/26806" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">daniel.bowman_26806</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/02/2018 - 12:19</span> <div><p>Six years ago at Florida-based <a href="" target="_blank">Halifax Health</a>, <strong>constant turnover in the IT department</strong> left systems and infrastructure fragmented, and perpetual understaffing left teams scrambling to keep up with the workload.</p> <p>“We had no trust from our organization. We had low adoption as we tried to push things to our users. Our infrastructure was up and down like a yo-yo,” said Halifax Health’s Vice President and CIO Tom Stafford, speaking at the 2018 <a href="">CHIME Fall Forum</a> in San Diego this week.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>JOIN THE CONVERSATION:</strong> Follow @CDW_Healthcare on Twitter for continued CHIME Fall Forum 2018 coverage!</em></a></p> <p>One of the worst things, said Stafford, was that <strong>the turnover rate was 30 percent</strong> — which meant three IT staff members exited the organization every two months. “That turnover rate causes lots of issues in the IT department because work never goes away,” said Stafford. And by shunting the extra workload onto well-performing staff members, the organization was essentially punishing its hardest workers, fueling resentment and causing them to eventually exit the team as well.</p> <p>“We were in a really bad spot,” said Stafford.</p> <p>Today, the attrition rate in the clinical IT department is <strong>less than 6 percent</strong>, and it has been named one of the “Best Places to Work in IT” by <em>Computerworld</em> three times thanks in part to a <a href="">major IT overhaul</a> that’s cut downtime dramatically; upgraded servers, storage and wireless networks; and driven forth initiatives that have allowed doctors and nurses to improve care and simplify workflow.</p> <p>What changed? <strong>The culture</strong>, said Stafford.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>DOWNLOAD:</strong> See how hospitals are improving outcomes with next-generation patient engagement tech!</em></a></p> <h2>A Culture of Service Makes Room for IT Innovation</h2> <p>Change swept through the IT department in the form of a leadership organizational shift, and with that came the idea that the <strong>IT teams should be looking to the clinicians</strong> for tech cues.</p> <p>With this new mantra in mind, IT forged ahead, first eliminating its strategy documents and replacing them with <strong>four core objectives: customer service, maintaining operational stability, improving the operation and safeguarding patient data</strong>.</p> <p>“The idea behind these objectives was: If I make the road wide enough and I allow people to work within those boundaries and against these four objectives, they’re doing the right thing at the hospital and it provides empowerment, too,” said Stafford.</p> <p>To get the department acquainted with the hospital, the IT team was also sent out to do ‘<strong>IT Rounding</strong>,’ or to visit departments on a bi-weekly basis to become acquainted with the people they were serving.</p> <p>“On our tech side, <strong>it connected everybody</strong> to how the things they do on our infrastructure actually help patient care,” said Stafford.</p> <p>Halifax Health also began <strong>mapping out an infrastructure refresh cycle</strong>, with a five-year plan in place that would allow the department to replace the organization’s underlying IT systems “with the right equipment at the right time.”</p> <p>“We stay up because we can replace the right gear at the right rates. But then another really cool thing happened, which is that <strong>staff satisfaction went up</strong>,” said Stafford. This is because instead of constantly patching up old systems, IT staff can do what they do best and look for improvements or introduce new services, always expanding their own knowledge and growing in their own careers without having to leave Halifax.</p> <p>“You can do a lot of great things when people stick around,” said Stafford. “Instead of just Band-Aiding things together, <strong>we get to work on quality of service</strong> and improving the speeds of all the systems in the hospital.”</p> <h2>Staff Stability Cultivates Innovation in Clinical Efficiency</h2> <p>The change in leadership principles and culture have had <strong>tangible results in services and patient satisfaction</strong> throughout the hospital. One “innovation win,” according to Stafford, is a service piloted and improved by the IT department that calls on data to identify immediately when a patient might be developing sepsis, providing “predictive and prescriptive” alerts to caregivers, who can catch and treat the issue right away if necessary.</p> <p>Another example is a system that seeks to <strong>lower the waiting time in the emergency department</strong>.</p> <p>“Our ED is really large, it’s <strong>99,000 square feet and 102 rooms</strong>, so you don’t know what’s going on from one end to the other. So, we put in a system that really watches patient flow and alerts our users to solve problems,” said Stafford.</p> <p>The system <strong>aims to improve operational efficiency throughout the hospital</strong>, cleaning open beds, for example, in order to improve patient flow and cut back waiting time.</p> <p>These are just two of the many innovation wins that Stafford hopes to achieve as he works to <strong>cultivate seamless clinical efficiency</strong> throughout Halifax Health, bolstered by a dedicated IT team.</p> <p>“We couldn’t have done any of this if we didn’t get a stable workforce,” said Stafford. “<strong>If you have a stable workforce you can do intra-operability</strong> — interoperability too — and that’s going to give you clinical efficiency. And — the most important thing — our caregivers can spend more time with their patients.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Keep this page bookmarked</a> for articles from the event. Join the conversation by following us on Twitter <a href="" target="_blank">@CDW_Healthcare</a>.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Fri, 02 Nov 2018 16:19:21 +0000 daniel.bowman_26806 41716 at CHIME Fall Forum 2018: 7 Steps to Get Started with Digital Healthcare <span>CHIME Fall Forum 2018: 7 Steps to Get Started with Digital Healthcare</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Thu, 11/01/2018 - 16:50</span> <div><p>For the New York-based <a href="" target="_blank">Hospital for Special Surgery</a>, one of the top orthopedic hospitals in the country, digital health has become a way of life. This is according to Jamie Nelson, senior vice president and CIO for IT at HSS, who spoke about the hospital’s many digital health initiatives during the <a href="">2018 CHIME Fall Forum</a> in San Diego this week.</p> <p><em><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>JOIN THE CONVERSATION:</strong> Follow @CDW_Healthcare on Twitter for continued CHIME Fall Forum 2018 coverage!</a> </em></p> <p>A few of these initiatives include harnessing the power of data following the hospital’s recent electronic health record implementation, introducing digital solutions that interact with the EHR to create a more comprehensive view of care as they also optimize the patient experience.</p> <p>As HSS leaps forward with digital transformation, Nelson acknowledges that it is a <strong>sea change from traditional care models</strong> and requires thinking through a new healthcare business model that includes digital health revenue streams. She also knows that getting started is possibly the most difficult part for busy CIOs.</p> <p>To help organize this process, Nelson offered a <strong>seven-step list for CIOs</strong> seeking to jump-start their own digital health initiatives.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>DOWNLOAD:</strong> See how hospitals are improving outcomes with next-generation patient engagement tech!</em></a></p> <h2>1. Define ‘Digital’ for Your Organization</h2> <p>“<strong>What is ‘digital’ for your organization?</strong>” asked Nelson. It might seem like a question with a simple answer, but often stakeholders have very different ideas about what it means.</p> <p>For HSS, Nelson notes that at a recent board retreat “it took us half an hour to define ‘digital.’ Doctors had one opinion, IT folks had another, marketing had another, board members had another.”</p> <p>Nailing down an organization-specific definition is a key foundational move for the digital care journey.</p> <h2>2. Define the CIO’s Role in Digital Health</h2> <p>As digital health takes hold, data becomes a major aspect of the healthcare organization, meaning that organizations should consider <a href="">whether or not they need a chief digital officer</a> or if current staff will fill that role.</p> <p>“We’d all like to be the CDO. But, you know, I haven’t done this in retail, and maybe you need to bring somebody in from another industry that’s made a lot of advances,” said Nelson. “And <strong>if there is a CDO, what’s your relationship?</strong>”</p> <h2>3. Position IT to Use, Support and Exploit Digital Tools</h2> <p>IT teams will have the biggest role in making new healthcare tech a reality, but they will also be using these tools regularly and need to be well positioned to do both.</p> <p>“Think multiplatform, think Internet of Things, APIs, artificial intelligence, blockchain: <strong>Do you have the technical infrastructure</strong> to attempt to make these a possibility?” asked Nelson.</p> <h2>4. Acquire IT Talent In-House</h2> <p>It’s no secret that tracking down and retaining talent is a challenge for healthcare CIOs, but it’s extremely important that organizations find a way to do so.</p> <p>“<strong>Talent is the key here</strong>,” said Nelson, but finding employees with the skill set necessary to push innovation further won’t be easy. It also means that as CIOs begin the hiring process, they need to ask several questions: “Are you going to hire in? Are you going to take your own staff? Are your interface people now going to become API people? Do your server administrators now become API administrators? Are you going to take the time and the money to train them?”</p> <h2>5. Be Customer-Obsessed</h2> <p>Not only should the customer be central, but the move to digital health also means that organizations will need to <strong>define who exactly the customer is</strong>. “Is it the patient? Is it the consumer? We’re one of those industries where our customer varies depending on who you talk to,” said Nelson. But once the customer is defined, the customer needs to be “right up front in everything you do,” said Nelson.</p> <h2>6. Measure Digital Success Early and Often</h2> <p>Will you be measuring the success of digital health initiatives based on market share? Will you be implementing a subscription model for digital tools? These are the types of considerations CIOs must pursue in order to continue to justify digital health programs.</p> <p>“Really quantifying so that you can <strong>measure return on investment </strong>on these expenditures is important,” said Nelson.</p> <h2>7. Make Digital Health Programs Count</h2> <p>It’s important to have an end goal for these initiatives that really <strong>makes</strong><strong> a difference</strong> to the healthcare population.</p> <p>“You want to develop something that isn’t a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘need to have,’” said Nelson. “You want consumers and patients using your digital tools all the time, as part of their daily routine.”</p> <p><a href="">Keep this page bookmarked</a> for articles from the event. Join the conversation by following us on Twitter <a href="">@CDW_Healthcare</a>.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Thu, 01 Nov 2018 20:50:07 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41711 at CHIME Fall Forum 2018: Push Notifications Simplify Nurse Workflow at Phoenix Children’s <span>CHIME Fall Forum 2018: Push Notifications Simplify Nurse Workflow at Phoenix Children’s</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/22746" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="juliet.vanwagenen_22746">juliet.vanwage…</span></span> <span>Thu, 11/01/2018 - 10:52</span> <div><p>These days, there’s hardly a soul out there manually checking their social media accounts, email or messaging services. Nudge notifications have taken over, alerting us in real time when something is new or needs our attention. As health systems everywhere <a href="">arm themselves with smartphones, tablets</a> and <a href="">secure messaging services</a>, there’s a chance to use the same principles to streamline healthcare.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Follow @CDW_Healthcare on Twitter for continued CHIME Fall Forum 2018 coverage!</a></p> <p>Already, <a href="" target="_blank">Phoenix Children’s Hospital</a> in Arizona has put <strong>nudge notifications and automated text messages</strong> to work with the aim of making the lives of one particularly busy group of individuals a bit easier: nurses.</p> <p>The hospital has designed an interface that automatically triggers nudge notifications when specific events occur in the electronic health record, alerting nurses to important patient information at the right times.</p> <p>“What we’re trying to do is perfect what a lot of healthcare organizations are doing today,” said David Higginson, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, speaking at the <a href="">2018 CHIME Fall Forum</a> in San Diego this week. While communications between providers and patients are still mostly manual today, reliant on calls back and forth, the team has found that there is a way to <strong>automate much of this communication</strong> using the information and tools already at their disposal.</p> <p>“We don’t want the input just to come from a monitor or something that’s connected via an interface. We’ve got <strong>information that’s in our EHR in real time</strong> that we want to then package up and provide in a useful way, so that people not only have knowledge of what’s going on, but they can <strong>take an action on it</strong>,” Higginson said. “How can we inform people of what’s happening around them by pushing the notifications to them rather than logging into the EHR and making a phone call?”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em><strong>VIDEO: </strong>See how Phoenix Children's prioritized patient satisfaction with an iPad in every room!</em></a></p> <h2>Nudge Notifications Make Nurses’ Lives Easier</h2> <p>Phoenix Children’s is already using these push notifications in a variety of ways that are <strong>measurably improving the care-delivery process</strong>.</p> <p>One way is notifying surgeons about rescheduled surgeries. While procedures are often rescheduled the day of surgery for a variety of reasons, surgeons often don’t get the information in time — meaning the surgeon doesn’t have ample time to prep the patient and often causing delays or cancellations.</p> <p>“In our organization, we were relying on phone calls to get that information, because even though the surgery schedule was available online the nurse never thought to go check the schedule online,” said Higginson. “So, we scanned the surgery schedule every minute, found a chain for the same day and sent the notification using the vendor’s API directly to the nurse saying, ‘Hey, the surgery moved up.’”</p> <p>While this may seem trivial, it has already had an impact.</p> <p>“In the first week, this <strong>caused three surgeries not to be delayed or </strong><strong>cancelled</strong> because the patient wasn’t ready,” Higginson notes.</p> <p>The organization has also deployed these same notification tactics to remind nurses to provide patients with the medications they brought into the hospital upon discharge, something that’s often forgotten and can end up costing the patients hundreds of dollars if the medication is thrown out before they can return for it.</p> <p>Phoenix Children’s wants to go further, with notifications for nurses that alert them to<strong> open shifts</strong> and to remind them to clock in or document medication administration. Higginson notes the organization is also seeking to offer nudges to providers that can <strong>prompt them to seek alternate paths for patients</strong> that might be awaiting certain tests before discharge, scheduling them for outpatient procedures or tests instead of keeping them in the hospital for days awaiting a single test.</p> <h2>Automated Texts Keep Patients in the Loop</h2> <p>But this isn’t the only way automatic notifications are coming into play. Phoenix Children’s has developed automated texts for both clinicians and patients to keep them better informed of the care process.</p> <p>For clinicians looking for a better way to know when a patient is ready to see them, the hospital has developed a way to text that a patient is ready and waiting.“For doctors that love it, this is a lifeline because they <strong>get the message in real time </strong>and they don’t need their admin or nurse running around to let them know,” said Higginson.</p> <p>For patients in the emergency department who often wait hours without knowing when they’ll be seen, the hospital has developed automated texts for them as well. Patients in the emergency department who sign up for text information get a welcome text as well as an update every <strong>30 minutes</strong> they are waiting to assure them the hospital is still aware of their need for attention. Texts also alert them to when clinicians are able to see them and usher them through the process, explaining next steps along the way.</p> <p>This is far from all that the hospital has done and will do with automated notifications for providers and patients alike. Higginson wants to make plain, however, that it doesn’t take a huge amount of time, effort or any fancy technology to make these sorts of notifications a reality.</p> <p>“This is not artificial intelligence, machine learning or Big Data,” said Higginson, noting that the system is actually just an SQL query paired with an API. “<strong>This is very easy to do</strong>, and you can do it yourself.”</p> <p><a href="">Keep this page bookmarked</a> for articles from the event. Join the conversation by following us on Twitter <a href="">@CDW_Healthcare</a>.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="/sites/" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"><a href="/author/juliet-van-wagenen" hreflang="en">Juliet Van Wagenen</a></div> </div> Thu, 01 Nov 2018 14:52:39 +0000 juliet.vanwagenen_22746 41706 at