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Accenture: Internet of Health Things Could Lead To Big Cost Savings for Orgs

May 11, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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If healthcare organization leaders don’t take full advantage of the Internet of Health Things (IoHT), they could risk missing out on substantial cost savings, according to findings from a new Accenture report.

For the report, Accenture commissioned an online survey of 77 healthcare payers and 77 healthcare providers in the U.S. The survey aimed to understand the current position of respondents with respect to the use of IoHT technologies and tools, and find out what investments they were making and where. Organizations included in the survey had annual revenues of more than $50 million and sample job titles were C-suite, mainly CEO and CIO. Accenture defines IoHT as “the integration of physical and digital worlds through objects with network connectivity in healthcare.”

Accenture officials further noted that connected devices using the Internet of Health Things “are beginning to transform healthcare delivery. By introducing more connectivity, remote monitoring and information gathering, IoHT can encourage better use of healthcare resources, more informed decisions, a reduction in inefficiencies or waste and the empowerment of health consumers.”

What’s more, according to estimates, the value of IoHT will top $163 billion by 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.1 percent between 2015 and 2020.1 Within the next five years, the healthcare sector is projected to be first in the top 10 industries for Internet of Things app development.

Key research findings included:

--The majority (73 percent) of healthcare executives agree that IoHT is poised to create disruptive change within three years, however, less than half (49 percent) think their organization’s leadership understands what IoHT could mean to their organization.

--By not realizing the potential, healthcare leaders are risking loss of benefits other organizations have realized through use of IoHT, for example, driving improved customer attraction/retention, and medical and administrative cost savings through:

  • Remote patient monitoring: The vast majority of providers (88 percent) and payers (81 percent) who have applied IoHT services reported at least moderate improvement in consumer attraction/retention.
  • Wellness and prevention programs: Nearly half of providers (42 percent) and payers (45 percent) who have applied IoHT services reported achieving extensive medical cost savings from their wellness and prevention IoHT programs.
  • Operations: Approximately one third of payers (33 percent) and providers (31 percent) who have applied IoHT services reported realizing extensive administrative cost savings from their operations IoHT programs.

The report noted, “Providers and payers have already demonstrated value through IoHT—but they need to continue investments to better understand where programs are successful to prepare for future scaling. They need to measure effectiveness beyond the technology and then build on those areas of effectiveness quickly to offer value across the business. By demonstrating the benefits and best practices, providers and payers can strengthen business cases, encourage adoption and drive interoperability.”

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LabCorp Joins Apple Health Records Project

November 5, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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LabCorp, a provider of clinical laboratory and end-to-end drug development services, has announced that it has enabled Apple’s Health Records feature for its patients.

This iPhone feature aims to make it easier for LabCorp patients to access their LabCorp laboratory test results, along with other available medical data from multiple providers, whenever they choose, according to officials.

In January, Apple announced that it would be testing the Health Records feature out with 12 hospitals, inclusive of some of the most prominent healthcare institutions in the U.S. Since that time, more than 100 new organizations have joined the project,  according to Apple.

LabCorp test results are viewable in the Apple Health app for LabCorp patients who have an account with the company, and enable integration with the Health Records app. In addition to their LabCorp test results, patients will have information from participating healthcare institutions organized into one view, covering allergies, medical conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vitals.

Patients will receive notifications when their data is updated, and the Health Records data is encrypted and protected with the user’s iPhone passcode, Touch ID or Face ID, according to officials.

“LabCorp on Health Records will help provide healthcare consumers with a more holistic view of their health. Laboratory test results are central to medical decision making, and broadening access to this information will help patients take charge of their health and wellness, and lead to more informed dialogues between patients and their healthcare providers,” David P. King, chairman and CEO of LabCorp, said in a statement.

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HIMSS Analytics Introduces Infrastructure Adoption Model for Health Systems

October 25, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal, Managing Editor
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HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, announced the introduction of the Infrastructure Adoption Model, or INFRAM, which is designed to measure the technical infrastructure used within a health system.

The INFRAM focuses on five technical subdomains, allowing organizations to benchmark how their infrastructure operates within the following areas: mobility; security; collaboration; transport; and data center.

Similar to HIMSS Analytics’ well-known Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, or, EMRAM, the INFRAM is an eight-stage model (0 – 7) that allows healthcare IT leaders to map the technology infrastructure capabilities required to reach their facility’s clinical and operational goals, while meeting industry benchmarks and standards.  The final stage, Stage 7, guides organizations towards optimized information integration, contextualization and orchestration essential for the delivery of higher order local and virtualized care processes.

For reference purposes, Stage 0 on the model represents that an organization does not have a VPN, intrusion detection/prevention, security policy, data center or compute architecture. Stage 3 signifies that an organization has an advanced intrusion prevention system, while Stage 5 represents having video on mobile devices, location-based messaging, firewall with advanced malware protection, and real-time scanning of email hyperlinks.

HIMSS officials note that by identifying specific benchmarks for organizations to reach before they go live with EMR, systems, the INFRAM aims to ensure that a health system’s infrastructure is stable, manageable and extensible. Through this, organizations can ideally improve care delivery and create a pathway for infrastructure development tied to business and clinical outcomes.

 “The INFRAM is a welcome addition to our maturity model suite and addresses a longstanding need – guiding healthcare organizations in securely implementing the infrastructure with which their EMRs are built upon,” Blain Newton, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement. “We have seen health systems engage with advanced clinical applications, only for them to ‘glitch’ under infrastructure that isn't powerful enough to support their tools. With the INFRAM, healthcare providers can develop a detailed, strategic technology plan that defines their organization's current state, desired future state, and each stage in between to achieve their clinical and operational goals.”

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Clinical Team Communication and Data Access in the Palm of Your Hand

Thursday, October 25, 2018 | 1:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. CT

Eisenhower Health, a west coast-based Magnet Hospital, implemented an enterprise-wide solution enabling mobile communications and collaboration across all care teams, linking the entire enterprise, advancing its communications capabilities, creating access to an enterprise directory, and improving care team response and turnaround times.

Additionally, the system provided extensive and comprehensive reporting with data analytics showing where and to what extent response improvements were made, but also providing the information the hospital needed to better utilize the system and make adjustments to improve results.

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