Family Pedigree Tool Uses FHIR to Access Web-Based Risk Service | David Raths | Healthcare Blogs Skip to content Skip to navigation

Family Pedigree Tool Uses FHIR to Access Web-Based Risk Service

October 28, 2016
| Reprints
Intermountain exec says FHIR-enabled EHRs could access external family health history repositories

After attending the HL7 genomics conference in Washington, D.C., last year, I wrote something about the frustration expressed there about the state of family pedigree tools within EHRs — and the limited capability of most EHRs to ingest structured family health information. At that meeting, Howard Levy, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said, “It is a tragedy that in 2015 we are talking about how poorly EHR vendors are doing with family history.” 

And Meg Doerr, principal scientist with Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks, said that the way family history is currently collected by providers leads to data that is not actionable. It is unstructured data and therefore unavailable to clinical decision support tools. She said many of the stand-alone family history software tools are ready to pull and push data to EHRs, but none has done it yet. “Nobody is doing it because of the lack of capability on the EHR side,” she said. It is difficult to find a place to put that structured family history in the EHR.”

Fast-forward a year and some progress is being made. At this year’s HL7 genomics meeting, several speakers described how tools such as a family pedigree are starting to be seen as “pluggable” apps and the EHR as a platform into which they fit. David McCallie Jr., M.D., vice president of medical informatics at Cerner Corp., described a future ecosystem in which app developers will use the FHIR standard and application programming interfaces (APIs) to fill in gaps in the EHR platform in complex areas that can’t be done adequately by the EHR vendors themselves. “Pedigree tools should be pluggable apps,” he said.

Many people may remain skeptical that such an ecosystem will develop anytime soon, yet McCallie mentioned that Cerner is working with the Cleveland Clinic to make its Family Care Path pedigree tool a SMART on FHIR app. Cerner already has six Smart on FHIR apps available to customers and six more will come online by the end of the year. Cerner also is working aggressively to make FHIR APIs available to all its customers in the coming year, he said.

The FHIR data model could ease the creation of pedigrees by actually linking family members found in the same health system EHR (although this raises thorny consent issues). It could also help integrate problems/conditions into the pedigree and reconcile conflicting data. And it could link to external family health history repositories or web-based risk services.

That is exactly what Intermountain Healthcare is piloting with its family health history tool.

As Grant Wood, senior IT strategist at Intermountain’s Clinical Genetics Institute, explained, the family health history tool in use at Intermountain creates a message in FHIR, which is sent to a web-based risk service (Hughes Risk Apps), which examines the pedigree and sends back a risk score. Right now the message coming back in HL7 Version 3 and is converted back to FHIR. But Hughes is planning to convert to FHIR, too, Wood said. As the risk score comes back, the Intermountain family health history tool sends the pedigree and risk data to the Cerner EHR using FHIR.

Wood notes that patient-entered family health history software tools should be linked to EHRs. On a side note, he likened the question of where to store a family history to one that is often asked about where to store genomic data generally. “When we think about genomic information, it is so big we don’t want that stored in a clinical data repository in the EHR. It needs to be externally linked. That should be true for family history also. You want to have one family history database and have all family members contribute to the same record.” If EHRs are FHIR-enabled, they can access the repository, he added.

Wood mentioned that the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health has developed a catalog of 23 family history tools. One called VICKY (VIrtual Counselor for Knowing Your Family History) is designed for patients and consumers with low health literacy. Developed by clinicians at Northeastern University and Boston University/Boston Medical Center, it features a virtual genetic counselor that collects family health history orally.

The Health IT Summits gather 250+ healthcare leaders in cities across the U.S. to present important new insights, collaborate on ideas, and to have a little fun - Find a Summit Near You!


/blogs/david-raths/ehr/family-pedigree-tool-uses-fhir-access-web-based-risk-service
/news-item/ehr/allscripts-sells-its-netsmart-stake-gi-partners-ta-associates

Allscripts Sells its Netsmart Stake to GI Partners, TA Associates

December 10, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
| Reprints

Just a few months after Allscripts said it would be selling its majority stake in Netsmart, the health IT company announced today that private equity firm GI Partners, along with TA Associates, will be acquiring the stake held in Netsmart.

In 2016 Allscripts acquired Kansas City-based Netsmart for $950 million in a joint venture with middle-market private equity firm GI Partners, with Allscripts controlling 51 percent of the company. With that deal, Allscripts contributed its homecare business to Netsmart, in exchange for the largest ownership stake in the company which has now become the largest technology company exclusively dedicated to behavioral health, human services and post-acute care, officials have noted.

Now, this transaction represents an additional investment for GI Partners over its initial stake acquired in April 2016, and results in majority ownership of Netsmart by GI Partners.

According to reports, it is expected that this sale transaction will yield Allscripts net after-tax proceeds of approximately $525 million or approximately $3 per fully diluted share.

Founded 50 years ago, Netsmart is a provider of software and technology solutions designed especially for the health and human services and post-acute sectors, enabling mission-critical clinical and business processes including electronic health records (EHRs), population health, billing, analytics and health information exchange, its officials say.

According to the company’s executives, “Since GI Partners' investment in 2016, Netsmart has experienced considerable growth through product innovation and multiple strategic acquisitions. During this time, Netsmart launched myUnity, [a] multi-tenant SaaS platform serving the entire post-acute care continuum, and successfully completed strategic acquisitions in human services and post-acute care technology. Over the same period, Netsmart has added 150,000 users and over 5,000 organizations to its platform.”

On the 2018 Healthcare Informatics 100, a list of the top 100 health IT vendors in the U.S. by revenue, Allscripts ranked 10th with a self-reported health IT revenue of $1.8 billion. Netsmart, meanwhile, ranked 44th with a self-reported revenue of $319 million.

According to reports, Allscripts plans to use the net after-tax proceeds to repay long-term debt, invest in other growing areas of its business, and to opportunistically repurchase its outstanding common stock.

The transaction is expected to be completed this month.

More From Healthcare Informatics

/news-item/ehr/study-links-stress-using-ehrs-physician-burnout

Study Links Stress from Using EHRs to Physician Burnout

December 7, 2018
by Heather Landi, Associate Editor
| Reprints
More than a third of primary care physicians reported all three measures of EHR-related stress
Click To View Gallery

Physician burnout continues to be a significant issue in the healthcare and healthcare IT industries, and at the same time, electronic health records (EHRs) are consistently cited as a top burnout factor for physicians.

A commonly referenced study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2016 found that for every hour physicians provide direct clinical face time to patients, nearly two additional hours are spent on EHR and desk work within the clinic day.

Findings from a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association indicates that stress from using EHRs is associated with burnout, particularly for primary care doctors, such as pediatricians, family medicine physicians and general internists.

Common causes of EHR-related stress include too little time for documentation, time spent at home managing records and EHR user interfaces that are not intuitive to the physicians who use them, according to the study, based on responses from 4,200 practicing physicians.

“You don't want your doctor to be burned out or frustrated by the technology that stands between you and them,” Rebekah Gardner, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School, and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “In this paper, we show that EHR stress is associated with burnout, even after controlling for a lot of different demographic and practice characteristics. Quantitatively, physicians who have identified these stressors are more likely to be burned out than physicians who haven't."

The Rhode Island Department of Health surveys practicing physicians in Rhode Island every two years about how they use health information technology, as part of a legislative mandate to publicly report health care quality data. In 2017, the research team included questions about health information technology-related stress and specifically EHR-related stress.

Of the almost 4,200 practicing physicians in the state, 43 percent responded, and the respondents were representative of the overall population. Almost all of the doctors used EHRs (91 percent) and of these, 70 percent reported at least one measure of EHR-related stress.

Measures included agreeing that EHRs add to the frustration of their day, spending moderate to excessive amounts of time on EHRs while they were at home and reporting insufficient time for documentation while at work.

Many prior studies have looked into the factors that contribute to burnout in health care, Gardner said. Besides health information technology, these factors include chaotic work environments, productivity pressures, lack of autonomy and a misalignment between the doctors' values and the values they perceive the leaders of their organizations hold.

Prior research has shown that patients of burned-out physicians experience more errors and unnecessary tests, said Gardner, who also is a senior medical scientist at Healthcentric Advisors.

In this latest study, researchers found that doctors with insufficient time for documentation while at work had 2.8 times the odds of burnout symptoms compared to doctors without that pressure. The other two measures had roughly twice the odds of burnout symptoms.

The researchers also found that EHR-related stress is dependent on the physician's specialty.

More than a third of primary care physicians reported all three measures of EHR-related stress -- including general internists (39.5 percent), family medicine physicians (37 percent) and pediatricians (33.6 percent). Many dermatologists (36.4 percent) also reported all three measures of EHR-related stress.

On the other hand, less than 10 percent of anesthesiologists, radiologists and hospital medicine specialists reported all three measures of EHR-related stress.

While family medicine physicians (35.7 percent) and dermatologists (34.6 percent) reported the highest levels of burnout, in keeping with their high levels of EHR-related stress, hospital medicine specialists came in third at 30.8 percent. Gardner suspects that other factors, such as a chaotic work environment, contribute to their rates of burnout.

"To me, it's a signal to health care organizations that if they're going to 'fix' burnout, one solution is not going to work for all physicians in their organization," Gardner said. "They need to look at the physicians by specialty and make sure that if they are looking for a technology-related solution, then that's really the problem in their group."

However, for those doctors who do have a lot of EHR-related stress, health care administrators could work to streamline the documentation expectations or adopt policies where work-related email and EHR access is discouraged during vacation, Gardner said.

Making the user interface for EHRs more intuitive could address some stress, Gardner noted; however, when the research team analyzed the results by the three most common EHR systems in the state, none of them were associated with increased burnout.

Earlier research found that using medical scribes was associated with lower rates of burnout, but this study did not confirm that association. In the paper, the study authors suggest that perhaps medical scribes address the burden of documentation, but not other time-consuming EHR tasks such as inbox management.

 

Related Insights For: EHR

/article/ehr/hhs-studying-modernization-indian-health-services-it-platform

HHS Studying Modernization of Indian Health Services’ IT Platform

November 29, 2018
by David Raths, Contributing Editor
| Reprints
Options include updating the Resource and Patient Management System technology stack or acquiring commercial solutions

With so much focus on the modernization of health IT systems at the Veteran’s Administration and Department of Defense, there has been less attention paid to decisions that have to be made about IT systems in the Indian Health Service. But now the HHS Office of the Chief Technology Officer has funded a one-year project to study IHS’ options.

The study will explore options for modernizing IHS’ solutions, either by updating the Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) technology stack, acquiring commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions, or a combination of the two. One of the people involved in the analysis is Theresa Cullen, M.D., M.S., associate director of global health informatics at the Regenstrief Institute. Perhaps no one has more experience or a better perspective on RPMS than Dr. Cullen, who served as the CIO for Indian Health Service and as the Chief Medical Information Officer for the Veterans Health Administration

During a webinar put on by the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHERA), Dr. Cullen described the scope of the project. “The goal is to look at the current state of RPMS EHR and other components with an eye to modernization. Can it be modernized to meet the near term and future needs of communities served by IHS? We are engaged with tribally operated and urban sites. Whatever decisions or recommendations are made will include their voice.”

The size and complexity of the IHS highlights the importance of the technology decision. It provides direct and purchased care to American Indian and Alaska Native people (2.2 million lives) from 573 federally recognized tribes in 37 states. Its budget was $5.5 billion for fiscal 2018 appropriations, plus third-party collections of $1.02 billion at IHS sites in fiscal 2017. The IHS also faces considerable cost constraints, Dr. Cullen noted, adding that by comparison that the VA’s population is four times greater but its budget is 15 times greater.

RPMS, created in 1984, is in use at all of IHS’ federally operated facilities, as well as most tribally operated and urban Indian health programs. It has more than 100 components, including clinical, practice management and administrative applications.

Webinar

Driving Success at Regional Health: Approaches and Challenges to Optimizing and Utilizing Real-Time Support

Regional Health knew providing leading EHR technology was not the only factor to be considered when looking to achieve successful adoption, clinician and patient satisfaction, and ultimately value...

About 20 to 30 percent of RPMS code originates in the VA’s VistA. Many VA applications (Laboratory, Pharmacy) have been extensively modified to meet IHS requirements. But Dr. Cullen mentioned that IHS has developed numerous applications independently of VA to address IHS-specific mission and business needs (child health, public/population health, revenue cycle).

Because the VA announced in 2017 it would sundown VistA and transition to Cerner, the assessment team is working under the assumption that the IHS has only about 10 years to figure out what it will do about the parts of RPMS that still derive from VistA. And RPMS, like VistA, resides in an architecture that is growing outdated.

The committee is setting up a community of practice to allow stakeholders to share technology needs, best practices and ways forward. One question is how to define modernization and how IHS can get there. The idea is to assess the potential for the existing capabilities developed for the needs of Indian country over the past few decades to be brought into a modern technology architecture. The technology assessment limited to RPMS, Dr. Cullen noted. “We are not looking at COTS [commercial off the shelf] products or open source. We are assessing the potential for existing capabilities to be brought into “a modern technology architecture.”

Part of the webinar involved asking attendees for their ideas for what a modernized technology stack for RPMS would look like, what development and transitional challenges could be expected, and any comparable efforts that could inform the work of the technical assessment team.

 

 

 


See more on EHR

betebet sohbet hattı betebet bahis siteleringsbahis