At HCI, we rely on our readers to help make our stories deeply useful and effective. Please take a close look at the lineup below. If you are a C-suite technology leader, consultant or analyst interested in participating, please send me an e-mail. Inquiries regarding these stories are welcome until April 17.
And, as always, if you’ve got other story suggestions for us, let me know.
Anthony Guerra, Editor-in-Chief
For years, Epic Systems has been the "quiet, stalking giant" of healthcare IT, racking up more and more hospitals, medical groups and health systems as customers while carefully trying to stay out of the limelight as much as possible. So what's the secret to the success of this "quiet company"? HCI is working on an in-depth profile of what has become one of the most-remarked-on, yet perhaps still least-understood success stories in healthcare IT in the past decade.
When the children of actor Dennis Quaid nearly died from a medication error, it was big news. Though “the five rights” of medication administration are standard operating procedure these days, mistakes in medication administration are still frequent. In our three part series “Closing the Loop” HCI will talk to hospitals that have made those errors a thing of the past — and find out if it was IT or process changes that made all the difference. Part One will examine the initial patient encounter and find out if CPOE is a threshold for success at reducing errors — and the importance of integration back into an EMR. In the following months, we’ll also look at the pharmacy link piece of the chain and, lastly, bedside medication administration.
Hospitals using IT for revenue cycle management have seen improvements in their cash flow. But how well are they integrating with the EMR? Most say for the billing information to be optimized, the two systems need to communicate. HCI examines the biggest roadblocks to integration, and what some hospitals are doing to make that integration work. Is it IT or process that holds the key to success in this field? We take a look.
The benefits of utilizing real time location systems (RTLS) to provide clinicians with rapid information about the location and status of mobile medical equipment have been well-documented. Some hospital facilities, however, are leveraging RTLS’ capabilities for another key function: infection control. With the capabilities offered by some products to track assets and identify equipment that has come into contact with contagious patients, RTLS is helping hospitals more effectively control the spread of infections. HCI looks at the ramifications of this new functionality and examines where and how it can be most effectively used.
According to the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the number one root cause of infant abductions is unmonitored entry and exit points. As part of its 2007 Environment of Care standards, JCAHO requires that hospitals develop and implement a proactive infant abduction prevention plan and consider implementing options for controlling access to the nursery such as swipe-card locks, keypad locks, entry point alarms or video surveillance, in addition to deploying an infant security tag or abduction alarm system. HCI examines what types of systems are being put in to place in hospitals to insure that these infant safety requirements are being met.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities involved in replacing first-generation PACS and RIS systems with second-generation ones? What are the issues involved in creating real integration between these image management systems and core EMR and CPOE systems? What are the best strategies for working with vendors in the replacement area? If you have experiences to share in this important area of activity, we'd like to hear from you.
With RHIO efforts using distributed networks slow to get off the ground in some areas, a few regions are working on a different model — health record banking. After a two-year research process, the nonprofit Louisville Health Information Exchange (LouHIE) is set to launch the Health Record Bank of Greater Louisville, offering free health record banking services for all, beginning with medications and medication reconciliation. The state of Oregon is launching the Health Record Bank of Oregon to provide a secure exchange of current medical information for Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) clients. Dr. William A. Yasnoff, former senior advisor on the National Health Information Infrastructure at HHS, has formed a Health Record Banking Alliance, and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. and U.S. Reps. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. and Dennis Moore, D-Kan., have proposed legislation to create health data trusts (Independent Health Record Trust Act of 2007). What’s behind this movement? Why have Louisville and Oregon chosen to do this now? What are the pros and cons of this approach for hospital and health system CIOs? How do these groups envision their efforts integrating with other HIE players? What are some objections? What are some policy considerations they had to take into account?