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What Will be Hospital CIOs’ Priorities in 2018?

December 20, 2017
by Heather Landi
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Hospitals CIOs plan to focus on electronic health record (EHR) integration and mobile adoption and physician buy-in, according to a survey conducted by Springfield, Va.-based Spok, a clinical communications solutions company, of College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) member CIOs.

The survey, conducted in June 2017, found that, across the hospital, 40 percent of CIO respondents said deploying an enterprise analytics platform is a top priority in 2018. Seventy-one percent of respondents cited integrating with the EHR is a top priority, and 62 percent said physician adoption and buy-in for securing messaging was a top priority in the next 18 months. What’s more, 38 percent said optimizing EHR integration with other hospital systems with a key focus for 2018.

Drilling down into mobile strategy, the survey asked respondents what’s driving their mobile technology selection—79 percent said secure messaging and communications among care teams, 60 percent said receiving alerts from clinical systems (nurse call, patient monitors, etc.) and 60 percent said critical test results alerts.

Looking at where healthcare organizations stand on having a mobile technology strategy to support clinical workflows, 65 percent of CIOs said they are working to bring mobile elements into a unified strategy and 38 percent said they are not developing a mobile care team strategy.

The survey also evaluated the progress healthcare organizations are making toward implementing a mobile strategy and it seems the overwhelming consensus was, “We’re working on it.” Only 30 percent of CIOs said they have implemented a mobile strategy for critical diagnostics result alerts, but 65 percent plan to have that implemented in three years. Fifty-nine percent said they have implemented a mobile strategy for medication administration, and 70 percent of CIOS said they will implement that in the next three years. Sixty-one percent plan to have clinical decision support alerts as part of a mobile strategy in three years and 71 percent plan to implement a mobile strategy for clinical documentation in three years. While only 20 percent of CIOs said they currently have a mobile strategy for care team assignments, 61 percent indicated they will have that implemented in three years.

According to 54 percent of survey respondents, mobile adoption and buy-in continues to be a challenge. What’s more almost half cited funding as a top challenge for rolling out secure texting. Asked how they gain buy-in, 80 percent said they include clinician representatives on the planning committee, and three-fourths said they develop internal champions.

CIOs also were surveyed about their investment decisions for communications-related technologies. Seventy-one percent of CIO respondents said they base their investment decisions on integrating with the EHR, and 69 percent said integration with other systems. Sixty-two percent of CIOs cited the ease of use for end users as a top factor in investment decisions and 57 percent said meeting clinician needs factored in their investment decisions.

Asked how they will measure success with communication-related technologies, two-thirds of CIO respondents said physician adoption rates and increased user satisfaction.

CIOs also are considering the patient perspective. Almost half (45 percent) of respondents indicated they’re evolving patient portals and half have added a Patient Experience Officer (or equivalent) to their team.

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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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