Is the Drive to Coordinated Care Coming at a Price for Patients?

October 22, 2014     Gabriel Perna
A recent study in JAMA from researchers at the University of California at Berkeley found that the trend of hospitals and health systems consolidating medical groups and physician practices is increasing costs for the patients. And here I thought bundling services lowered costs...

Maryland ACOs Find Data Integrity Key to Progress

October 21, 2014     David Raths
MedChi Network Services (MNS), a subsidiary of the Maryland Medical Society, operates three Medicare Shared Savings Program Advance Payment ACOs, and has learned some lessons about the importance of data integrity to the overall mission of ACOs

ROI Important to the VNA?

October 20, 2014     Joe Marion
In a recent conversation with Jeff Timbrook, global vice president of healthcare, Perceptive Software (, the subject of an ROI analysis came up with respect to the vendor neutral archive (VNA). Jeff was curious as to whether ROI analyses come...

Amid a Building Crisis, Could Clinical Decision Support Tools Make a Difference in Managing the Ebola Outbreak?

October 17, 2014     Mark Hagland
As developments move forward rapidly in the growing Ebola crisis in the U.S., could the leveraging of strong clinical decision support tools make a difference in patient care organizations?

Navigating Through the Muddy Interoperability Waters

October 16, 2014     Rajiv Leventhal
Early last week, KLAS research released a much-anticipated report on provider organizations’ journeys towards greater EHR interoperability. The study’s results might make things murkier at first, but a deeper look helps gain some perspective.

Can Technology Inadvertently Make It Harder For Doctors, Nurses to Communicate?

October 14, 2014     David Raths
With a $1.6 million grant from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, researchers at the University of Michigan will investigate how communication technologies are being used in hospitals and where common failures occur.

Pioneer ACO Results: A Big Numbers Salad Right Now

October 10, 2014     Mark Hagland
What do the first- and second-year Pioneer ACO Program results just published by CMS really mean?

Hey Physicians, There’s No Getting Away from Emailing Patients

October 10, 2014     Gabriel Perna
A new study in Health Affairs confirms what we’ve known for a while. Physicians should consider secure electronic communications with patients as part of their job description.

One Hospital’s Readmissions Reduction Intervention: Strong Program, Little Impact

October 9, 2014     John DeGaspari
A recent study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco demonstrates how difficult it is to reduce readmissions—especially given the diverse patient populations served by safety-net hospitals with limited resources. In a telephone interview, Margot Kushel, M...

A Debate Worth Pondering: Will Data Protection Liability Insurance Be a Game-Changer for Providers?

October 7, 2014     Mark Hagland
During Monday's CHIME/iHT2 LEAD Forum Event on Cybersecurity, an interesting discussion of the role of liability insurers in data security processes in provider organizations

Readmissions: The Numbers Are In, and They Are Dramatic for Hospitals

October 4, 2014     Mark Hagland
The folks at the Kaiser Health News service have done a phenomenal job in examining what’s going on with Medicare readmissions penalties on hospitals, and the numbers are in—and they are dramatic for hospital leaders nationwide.

Ebola, Epic, the New York Times, and the Culture of Accountability

October 3, 2014     Gabriel Perna
In the era of hyperbolic news, electronic health record (EHR) workflow issues have been dragged into Ebola virus panic as one particular vendor is put under a microscope.

How Can Health Research Data Infrastructures Be Sustained?

October 1, 2014     David Raths
Many of the projects involving patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research will need to find long-term business models to continue. A special issue of the eGEMS Journal looks at the sustainability issue.

Death of the Desktop

September 29, 2014     Pete Rivera
When we get home, the last thing we want to do is sit down in front of a computer. The whole “keyboard/mouse” thing seems like we are at work or away from the rest of the family.

‘Patient 3.0’—Empowering Patients as Partners

September 26, 2014     John DeGaspari
What is Patient 3.0, and what does it suggest about how the doctor-patient relationship can be made better? This was the theme of the keynote address delivered last week by Paul Tang, M.D., a practicing internist and chief innovation and technology officer at the Palo Alto...

Shared Experiences: Similar Lessons Learned Across Beacon Communities

September 26, 2014     Gabriel Perna
This week's announcement that three more Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are leaving the program will bring out the naysayers and cynics in droves. But let's take a step back and think positively for a change.

Critical Access Hospitals Band Together for Analytics

September 25, 2014     David Raths
Small, rural hospitals need to study their patient data trends but often lack the resources to invest in systems and informatics personnel. But with HRSA's help, some critical access hospitals are starting to pool their resources to create analytics platforms.

Old Imaging Equipment: Source of PHI Compromises?

September 23, 2014     Joe Marion
A recent conversation with a colleague raised a very relevant point that I had previously not thought much about. What policies are in place relative to protecting PHI for used equipment? I have been in conversation with a few sources to identify if there are any industry...

A Glass Half-Empty Or a Glass Half-Full? Parsing the ACO Evidence in Real-Time

September 21, 2014     Mark Hagland
Is there a proper place on the spectrum between cynicism and optimism at which to rest, when it comes to assessing last week’s publication by CMS of ACO program results?

My Patient Portal Experience: Underwhelming So Far

September 21, 2014     David Raths
My first experiences with hospital and specialist patient portals have not been as satisfying as I would have hoped. Isn’t it going at it backwards to tell patients that there is almost nothing of value available yet on the portal but that they should use it anyway because it...
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