What are the key components for eliminating waste and improving efficiency and customer satisfaction while strengthening the bottom line? That’s the focus of a white paper released by Naperville, Ill.-based Impact Advisors, which provides insight for boosting the value of electronic health records (EHRs). The paper identifies optimization opportunities for provider organizations, as well as steps they can take to achieving those goals.
I recently had a conversation with Marcus Cheatham, Ph.D., health officer with the Mid-Michigan District Health Department in Stanton, on some of the challenges he sees in public health. In addition to his work directing the public health department, Cheatham is co-chair of the Joint Public Health Informatics Task Force (JPHIT), a consortium of public health associations focused on improving public health through informatics, health IT and information exchange.
Cybersecurity threats have certainly been front-and-center in the news lately. The latest in a Hit Parade of large corporations to acknowledge a breach, Sony Pictures, has reached the international stage with the reported involvement of North Korea. As noted by HCI Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland, the Sony Pictures incident is evidence that hackers from increasingly sophisticated sources, including hostile foreign governments and criminal syndicates, are presenting escalating data security threats—have the healthcare industry is in their sights.
At a time when vast amounts of data are improving the quality of care in remarkable ways, the provider organizations that are charged with obtaining, storing and exchanging that data are facing a very high bar when it comes to keeping that data secure. For that to happen, an effective data governance program is crucial.
Process improvements in hospitals are a big challenge, and one that requires more than technology to make an impact: it also takes executive commitment and employee participation to make a real difference. Case-in-point: Beaufort Memorial Hospital, a 197-bed community not-for-profit hospital in Beaufort, S.C. The hospital, which is located about midway between Charleston, S.C. and Savannah, Ga., averages 10,000 inpatient discharges, over 50,000 ED visits and 200,000 outpatient visits per year.
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.D., professor of general medicine at UCSF and a senior author of the study, suggests some promising approaches that hospitals can consider, and says that data analytics can go a long way in helping help hospitals identify at-risk patients.
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 Medical Foundation (PAMF), at the Health IT Summit in New York City, sponsored by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation, also known as iHT2.
How secure are provider organizations from cyber crime? That was the focus of a lively panel discussion on Monday, September 15, in New York, which was part of the Health Information Executive’s Guide to Cyber Security, presented by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) in partnership with the Institute for Health Technology transformation (iHT2).
There are certainly major strides being made when it comes to developing consumer health applications to engage patients in taking an active role in their own care. The latest, as noted by Healthcare Informatics Senior Editor Gabe Perna this week, comes from Apple, which, during its iOS8 presentation, announced its Health app and HealthKit system that allow various health apps to be integrated and to communicate. Apple has also reached collaboration agreements with Mayo Clinic and, reportedly, with Epic Systems as well.
The term “Big Data” is everywhere in healthcare, and is often viewed as the key to improving outcomes while reducing costs. Yet some caution that Big Data I not a magic bullet that will translate to better healthcare. It is possible to be data rich but information poor, according to Richard Averill, senior vice president of 3M Health Information Systems. The real value of data is in providing real-time information—the right information at the right time—in specific applications that enable better decisions, he says.