Stage 2 Meaningful Use Will Make Medical Image Archiving in the Cloud a Necessity

Mitchell Goldburgh
Mitchell Goldburgh

Guest post by Mitchell Goldburgh, cloud clinical archive product manager, Dell.

Stage 2 meaningful use criteria require providers to make diagnostic reports and associated images accessible through a certified electronic health record. That presents a difficult hurdle for many hospitals, especially community hospitals that are not connected to a large health system. And with the plethora of EHRs in use across healthcare, the task may be difficult for some multi-hospital systems.

This is a watershed moment for many imaging practices, and Stage 2 requirements may be the factor that sends most imaging files to a vendor-neutral archive (VNA).

Knowing that Stage 2 will require facilities to integrate their medical images with EHRs, the best VNA providers have in place automated tools that can integrate these files with all of the major EHRs and with many of the smaller EHR vendors. The value of a VNA comes from local and remote content brought to EHRs with a consistent presentation of results and images at the point of clinical care. VNA solutions offer a global viewer with a common toolset to navigate documents and imaging content, thus simplifying the access and freeing users from the need to learn multiple application navigations.

As technology in imaging increases the complexity of data, the presentation of information consistently for non-imaging specialists within the accountable care group becomes crucial to “customer” satisfaction with the imaging services. But VNA software is only a part of the solution – an integrated model that simplifies delivery of content can best be achieved with a service delivery model enabled with cloud content management.

Archiving-as-a-service is the model for the future

So what does this model entail? A good vendor-neutral archiving solution enters the scenario once a clinical exam is reported. At that point, the job of the PACS is done. The exam file is transmitted to an on-site server (supported by your archiving service provider) that transforms it into a vendor-neutral format. Current files are stored on site for fast access and also uploaded to a secure cloud platform. At this point content notification occurs, informing external systems that the report and clinical imaging data are available. In this model clinicians can view content anywhere, from any device, either as a stand-alone application from the VNA or through the web-enabled EHR accessing the VNA.

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New Report Identifies Impact of Successful Cyber Attacks Against Healthcare Organizations

IDC Health InsightsIDC Health Insights announces a new report, “Business Strategy: Thwarting Cyber Threats and Attacks against Healthcare Organizations.” that features findings from the 2014 IDC Insights Cross Industry Cyber Threat Survey. The report is designed to gauge how financial services, healthcare provider organizations and retailers are responding to increasing cyber threats and the impact of successful attacks on business operations. The study also highlights how healthcare organizations are investing in their cyber strategy to protect their most valuable electronic assets.

Today’s healthcare organizations are at greater risk of a  cyber attack than ever before in part because electronic health information is more widely available today than in the nearly 20 years since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was passed in 1996. Cyber criminals view healthcare organizations as a soft target compared to financial services and retailers because historically healthcare organizations have invested less in IT, including security technologies and services, than other industries, thus making them more vulnerable to successful cyber attacks.

The value of health information, which can be used to commit medical fraud, is surpassing the value of social security and credit card numbers on the black market, thus increasing the attractiveness of stealing health information.

Key findings include:

  • After physical loss or theft of a laptop, mobile or portable device, malicious hacking or IT incident was the most common breach reported on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website. In 2013, 20 (out of 175) breaches related to hacking or an IT incident represented 9 percent of the individuals affected and 11.4 percent of the attacks.
  • All respondents of the 2014 IDC Insights Cross Industry Cyber Threat Survey reported that they had experienced a cyber attack in the past 12 months; 39.4 percent reported that they were attacked more than 10 times and 27.1 percent of the attacks were described as “successful attacks.”
  • Security is a top IT initiative for health care providers. In 2014, according to the 2014 IDC Global Technology and Industry Research Organization IT Survey, security and risk management technologies was the number 1 initiative (29.0 percent). In 2013, it was also the top ranked initiative (20.1 percent).
  • Approximately one out of four cyber attacks had an impact on normal business operations. The majority of respondents (52.2 percent) indicated that the shortest impact lasted less than an hour and 43.3 percent reported that the longest duration was between eight and 24 hours.
  • The overwhelming majority of healthcare executives reported that their spending on cyber threats increased (59.6 percent) or stayed the same (38.3 percent) over the last three years. On average, the increase for those respondents that reported an increase  was 14.8 percent.
  • Consumers highly value their privacy according to a recent 2014 IDC Insights Cross-Industry Consumer Experience Survey, but are not as confident that healthcare organizations were adequately protecting their data.  Concerned consumers are willing to end a healthcare relationship after a breach, including changing their care providers (21.6 percent) and changing health plans (5 percent).

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Meaningful Use and Beyond with the Cloud

W. Reed Liggin
W. Reed Liggin

Guest post by Reed Liggin, founder and president, RazorInsights.

Since the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was signed into law in February 2009, rural, community and critical access hospitals are turning to electronic health record (EHR) systems to receive significant incentive payments based on meeting meaningful use regulations. However, the impact on workflow makes achieving a return on investment (ROI) after implementation challenging. Additionally, the burden is placed on these hospital’s small IT departments to meet federally mandated deadlines such as meaningful use.

According to a 2014 HIMSS Analytics survey, 83 percent of healthcare providers are using cloud services. Compared to server-based networks, the cloud is especially beneficial to rural hospitals because of the lower upfront, implementation and maintenance costs, resulting in increased ROI. The cloud system’s pay-as-you-use method removes the need for expensive hardware, and the accessibility and security of patient records improves efficiency and patient care, allowing hospitals to prove they are meaningfully using EHR technology.

Implementation and Maintenance

Because of budgetary restraints, rural hospitals typically have outdated technology and some areas do not even have computers. Recently, I visited a hospital with only one computer on each floor and no EHR system in place at all. Because of this, these hospitals must implement user-friendly healthcare technology that is easily implemented across the network– even for clinicians with limited or no experience in a high-tech environment. This type of easy-to-use EHR systems not only improves patient care, but also helps hospitals qualify for federal incentive payments. However, time is running out. Hospitals only have one more year to receive incentives for being MU compliant. After this timeframe they not only won’t receive payments, but they will be penalized financially for not meeting regulations, which is especially detrimental to smaller hospitals.

Cloud-based solutions allow hospitals to deploy EHR systems quickly and at a lower cost. While server-based EHR systems can cost $40, 000 or more, a cloud network does not require any hardware to be installed on-site. Therefore, upfront, implementation and maintenance costs are much lower than a server-based solution. Less hardware means less opportunity for failure – thus, maintenance costs decrease drastically as the lifespan of a cloud-based system is much longer than a physical server solution.

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Chronic Care Management: How Physicians Can Increase Practice Revenue without Seeing More Patients

Dr. Seth Flam
Dr. Seth Flam

Guest post by Dr. Seth Flam, board certified in Family Practice and co-founder and CEO of HealthFusion.

CMS has some good re-imbursement news for primary care physicians for 2015: It has announced a new chronic care management program starting January 1 that will allow providers to bill for providing care management for patients with chronic conditions.

In other words, primary care providers can get paid for care they likely already provide.

With this new program, chronic care management can provide a good source of revenue for a practice, if designed, managed and billed correctly. Since a provider can bill $42.60 per patient per month, with a reasonable number of patients with chronic conditions in the practice, a provider can easily see revenue of more than $50,000 per year.

Annually: $511.20 per year per patient X 100 patients = $51,120 per year

(Assumes the provider bills for each patient 12 months out of the year)

But—there are very specific things providers need to know about the program, and particular requirements they need to follow in order to get paid. Here is a preview of some of the requirements:

  1. Identify chronic care patients who qualify.
  2. Eligible patients include those with two or more chronic conditions expected to last at least 12 months, or until death, that place the individual at significant risk of death, acute exacerbation/decompensation, or functional decline.
  3. Only one provider can bill for the chronic care management code for a patient in a 30-day period.
  4. The billing provider must have a signed agreement with the patient allowing them to bill for these services and detailing cancellation rights, co-payments and types of services.
  5. Among other things, the provider needs to supply 20 minutes or more of chronic care management services per patient per 30 day billing period.
  6. The provider will need to create a patient-centered care plan document compatible with the patient’s choices and values.
  7. The provider must provide either a written or electronic copy of the care plan to the patient.
  8. The provider will need to manage care transitions between and among health care providers and settings.
  9. Bill in accordance with CMS requirements using CPT code 99490, making sure the practice’s EHR software provides the information needed to manage and bill for this program.
  10. Begin the process of establishing practice processes and gathering patient agreements soon, although the program doesn’t go into effect until 2015.

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Analyst Firm IDC Reveals Insights and Healthcare Predictions for 2015

The International Data Corporation (IDC) Health Insights, as it reported on its webinar, “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Healthcare 2015 Predictions,” highlights  the healthcare predictions for 2015 based on the IDC FutureScape report, which provided organizations with insight and perspective on long-term industry trends along with new themes that may be on the horizon.

As healthcare costs rise, operational inefficiency will become critical at 25 percent of hospitals resulting in the development of a data-driven digital hospital strategy requiring budget in 2016.

Also, the following are several more predictions based on the firm’s insights and research:

  1. By 2015, 50 percent of healthcare organizations will have experienced one to five cyber attacks in the last 12 months with one out of three attacks deemed successful requiring healthcare organizations to invest in a multi-prong security strategy to avoid disruptions to normal operations and incurring fines and notification costs.
  2. Driven by the increased pressure to improve quality and manage costs, 15 percent of hospitals will create a comprehensive patient profile by 2016 that will allow them to deliver personalized treatment plans.
  3. By 2020, 80 percent of healthcare data will pass through the cloud at some point in its lifetime, as providers seek to leverage cloud based technologies and infrastructure for data collection, aggregation, analytics and decision-making.
  4. As a result of an increased focus on improving the consumer experience, 65 percent of consumer transactions with healthcare organizations will be mobile by 2018, thus requiring healthcare organizations to develop omni-channel strategies to provide a consistent experience across the Web, mobile and telephonic channels.
  5. To control spiraling healthcare costs related to managing patients with chronic conditions, 70 percent of healthcare organizations worldwide will invest in consumer-facing mobile applications, wearables, remote health monitoring and virtual care by 2018, which will create more demand for big data and analytics capability to support population health management initiatives.
  6. Building on continuing technology innovation and the increasing use of knowledge-based workflows and actionable analytics, more than 50 percent of big data issues will be reduced to routine operational IT by 2018, reducing the need for specialized IT resources to support big data.
  7. With increased dependence on external partners for outsourced services, more than 50 percent of health and life science buyers will demand substantial risk sharing by 2018 to ensure that service providers recognize their growing role in the process and delivering added revenues to high performers at the expense of satisfactory or lesser performers.
  8. As a result of increased pressures to deliver better outcomes of care more efficiently, payers implement newer reimbursement models for 35 percent of their payments to providers in NA and EU within the next 36 months resulting in related investments in quality measurement, payment and billing systems.
  9. By 2020, 42 percent of all healthcare data created in the Digital Universe will be unprotected but need to be protected, as use of data and analytics continues to proliferate and more stakeholders are involved in delivery of care.

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From Checklist to Culture: How to Protect Sensitive Data with Comprehensive Information Risk Management Practices

Bob Chaput

Bob Chaput, MA, CISSP, HCISPP, CRISC, CIPP/US, CEO and founder, Clearwater Compliance.

HIPAA-HITECH regulations have never been more strictly enforced, yet reported breaches continue to pile up in record numbers and data has never felt so unsafe. So, what gives? For one, it’s no secret to those who are paying attention that healthcare is the next cyber security battleground. We have entered an unprecedented era where cyber attacks are becoming more frequent and more sophisticated with every passing day. Medical ID theft is on the rise, and it seems hackers have healthcare squarely in their sights.

Of course, cyber threats are only part of the equation. Healthcare organizations are even more vulnerable to insider breaches caused by the actions of their employees (both intentionally and unintentionally).

The simple truth is that information risks are growing faster than most organizations can adequately respond to them. And while most organizations are completing their compliance checklists, few have embraced a comprehensive approach to information risk management. A shift in terminology, philosophy and approach are all needed. And fast.

In response to a changing healthcare landscape; a stark increase in the threats posed to maintaining the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of healthcare information; and a shift in focus by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and other regulatory bodies from compliance to risk management, healthcare organizations need to fortify their capabilities around safeguarding sensitive data across their entire enterprise.

This includes ensuring you are aware of all information assets used to create, receive, maintain or transmit all sensitive data across your organization; the vulnerabilities of those assets; the various threat agents and the controls you currently have in place to safeguard those information assets from exploitation of those vulnerabilities by those threats.

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Must-Have Strategies, Tools and Mindsets for Efficient Healthcare Labor Management

Jenny Korth
Jenny Korth

Guest post by Jenny Korth, CMPE, director of Project Management and Support, Avantas.

As more patients are entering the healthcare system and organizations will need to be equipped with the right processes to ensure that care is delivered by the right person at the right time to prepare for this patient influx. Effective resource management in healthcare is trickier than in a lot of 24/7/365 industries. What makes it so is that there is not one specific blueprint to managing each hospital, or even each unit within a hospital.

Fluctuating volumes in addition to geographic location, patient and staff demographics, and differences in culture, both of the area and in the organization all play factors in making resource management in healthcare far from cut and dry. This being said, there are strategies that can be universally applied to all types of healthcare organizations (single-site hospitals, academic medical centers, multi-hospital metropolitan systems, large regional systems, and systems with extensive clinics operations) to ensure they have the staff they need to care for their patients, and are able to do so in a cost effective manner.

Key to the strategies I’ll outline below is the customization needed to meet an organization’s specific needs.

Proper Staff Size

This is the basic idea of having the right number, types and layers of staff to meet patient demand. It starts with a right-sized core staff. The “right size” will vary from unit to unit, but essentially it is the number that keeps staff working to their FTE without the need for excessive overtime, floating, or cancellations.

Relative to types and layers of staff, this is where contingency staffing sources (e.g., float pools) come into play. Depending on the size of the organization it could have as many as seven different types of contingency layering to fill in when staff are not available to take an assignment or when volume spikes. These layers can include an enterprise float pool, site-based scheduled float pool, site-based PRN pool, unit-based PRN Pool, core staff in extra shifts and overtime (although this should be used sparingly), agency, and travelers. While agency and travel staff can sometimes have a negative connotation, the fact is that by maintaining relationships with the highest quality staffing organizations in your city, you will experience reduced costs, improved coordination of resources, and, with the proper contractual stipulations, prevention of agency recruitment of your core staff members.

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PwC’s Health Research Institute Issues Report: Next Few Years Will be Crucial for Health Systems

PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) releases a new report, Healthcare delivery of the future: How digital technology can bridge the gap of time and distance between clinicians and consumers. The report reveals a shift in attitudes among clinicians, suggesting an increased openness toward using digital technology, and offers detailed recommendations for how healthcare companies, clinicians, and new entrants can harness developing technologies to benefit patients and the industry.

“Digitally-enabled care is no longer nice-to-have, it’s fundamental for delivering high quality care,” said Daniel Garrett, health information technology practice leader, PwC US.  “Just as the banking and retail sectors today use data and technology to improve efficiency, raise quality, and expand services, healthcare must either do the same or lose patients to their competitors who do so.”

As part of its research, HRI surveyed 1,000 industry leaders, physicians, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, including members of the board of the eHealth Initiative, finding that caregivers and consumers share similar views on how digital technology can:

  • Put diagnostic testing of basic conditions into the hands of patients:  About 42 percent of physicians are comfortable relying on at-home test results to prescribe medication.
  • Increase patient-clinician interaction:  Half of physicians said that e-visits could replace more than 10 percent of in-office patient visits, and nearly as many consumers indicated they would communicate with caregivers online.
  • Promote self-management of chronic disease using health apps: 28 percent of consumers said they have a healthcare, wellness, or medical app on their mobile device, up from 16 percent last year.  Roughly two-thirds of physicians said they would prescribe an app to help patients manage chronic diseases such as diabetes.
  • Help caregivers work more as a team: Nearly half of consumers and 79 percent of physicians believe using mobile devices can help clinicians better coordinate care.

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Health IT Startup: Optimized Care Network

Brian Slusser, CEO, Optimized Care Network
Brian Slusser, CEO, Optimized Care Network

The Optimized Care Network (OCN) is a provider of digital healthcare that merges high tech with high touch. OCN’s technology enables medical providers to digitally connect with patients in a life-like manner that is changing the delivery of medicine via non-traditional sites of care. Their highly equipped digital exam room, which includes a specially trained, registered nurse, is the 21st century model for digital healthcare with a personal touch.

Elevator Pitch

OCN’s digitally personalized technology makes it easier than ever for patients to connect with the most qualified medical expert anywhere in the world.

Founder’s story

Brian Slusser is the CEO of Optimized Care Network. He brings decades of healthcare industry experience and successful entrepreneurship into this new venture.

Imagine every world-class specialist available in one office. That’s what Slusser did when he began formulating the concept of OCN. He realized he could assemble a digital healthcare platform that focused on delivering convenient and affordable patient care without geographic boundaries. No longer does a patient have to drive for hours or wait weeks for an appointment with a specialist. They simply make an appointment online and go to their local CareSpace.

Marketing/promotion strategy

OCN actively engages in healthcare discussions with other thought-leaders and innovators in the industry. For instance, OCN recently participated in TEDMED’s the Hive in Washington, D.C. and Slusser served on a featured panel at athenahealth’s More Disruption Please Conference. Opportunities like this give OCN the chance to share our CareSpace services with other forward-thinking entrepreneurs and companies who are also focused on improving the state of health care. We employ brand journalism and social media tactics to help expand our reach to providers and patients. Participation in community events that bring together providers and potential patients is also part of the strategy. Open houses will be held to allow patients to see the CareSpace for themselves before a medical need arises. This will provide a level of familiarity and comfort when they do need to see an OCN provider.

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Ramped Up HIPAA Enforcement: A Government Myth or Reality?

Jay Hodes
Jay Hodes

Guest post by Jay Hodes, president, Colington Consulting.

A little more than a year ago the former Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Leon Rodriquez, referred to covered entities that did not realize they have business associate relationships in place. He went on to say that some business associates did not know that they were actually business associates. Rodriquez stressed it was both the responsibility of the covered entity and the business associate to understand this relationship does exist.

Regarding ramped up HIPAA enforcement and compliance, Rodriquez indicated future audits will be narrower in scope and include more organizations than ever before. Covered entities and their business associates also will be audited under the new permanent program, and audits will focus on vulnerabilities that could change year to year as new issues arise.  This appeared to be the start of an intended awareness program and fair warning.

With Rodriquez’s departure to Homeland Security in June, it seemed like the task of continuing the drum beat message of ramped up HIPAA enforcement fell to Linda Sanches.

Sanches is OCR’s senior health information privacy advisor. In that position, she oversees the HIPAA security and breach notifications audit program and may know a thing or two about the direction OCR wants to take with future audits. Sanches recently spoke at the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Privacy and Security Forum. However, she did not provide any striking revelations or critical insights about these new audits, just more of what the industry seems to know already, that these audits are coming.

Much like Rodriquez did in the past, Sanches spoke more in generalities than specifics. She indicated OCR was looking at a broader view of the entire healthcare industry as possible criteria for selection of who would be targeted for an audit. Using the National Provider Identifier (NPI) database is a method being considered to select entities like hospitals, practices and dental providers for audits.

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What I Learned at PointClickCare Summit 2014

Mike Wessinger

I recently had the opportunity to attend PointClickCare’s annual user summit held in Orlando. Though the senior care market is not one I’ve spent a great deal of time covering, senior and long-term care are deeply interesting to me. There are several reasons for this interest: Seniors are becoming the largest population segment in the US and that has serious ramifications ranging from politics to economics, and because I’m interested in alternative care models. And, in some way, senior care effects all of us.

There are a number of differences between senior care and ambulatory or in patient, but the technology needs are still overwhelming and great. Senior care facilities across the US face tight budgets, extremely high levels of employee turnover and technology challenges, but the care they provide is still important, as is how the information they collect on behalf of their patients is similar to other sectors.

According to Mike Wessinger, CEO and co-founder, “PointClickCare’s goal is to enrich the lives of care providers through technology that will help them better care for their residents in ways that are effective and efficient.”

Dave Wessinger

PointClickCare’s primary reason for being is to deliver electronic health record and practice management solutions, but the company has an eye on mobile delivery, where both Mike and brother David Wessingner, CTO and co-founder, feel the future of health IT lies.

Mobile is king for its ability to deliver health data quickly and where needed, as well as to alleviate stress and confusion of overwhelmed healthcare employees.

Hospitals, too, are overwhelmed. Data flowing in from various systems often goes unnoticed or unpackaged, a particular troubling problem for the senior population. When there’s a patient transferring in from a senior home to a hospital for emergency care, a health record of some kind may accompany them. A fully loaded paper chart may only be shuffled through and details lost.

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AMA Calls for Penalties to be Removed from the Meaningful Use Program

In a new policy approved at the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Interim Meeting, physicians continued to call for penalties to be halted in the meaningful use program. Physicians feel that full interoperability, which is not widely available today, is necessary to achieve the goals of electronic health records (EHRs) — to facilitate coordination, increase efficiency and help improve the quality of care.

The new policy comes on the heels of the recent release of new attestation numbers showing only 2 percent of physicians have demonstrated Stage 2 meaningful use. In response to the new figure, the AMA joined with other healthcare leaders to urge policymakers to take immediate action to fix the meaningful use program by adding more flexibility and shortening the reporting period to help physicians avoid penalties.

“The AMA has been calling for policymakers to refocus the meaningful use program on interoperability for quite some time,” said AMA president-elect Steven J. Stack, M.D. “The whole point of the meaningful use incentive program was to allow for the secure exchange of information across settings and providers and right now that type of sharing and coordination is not happening on a wide scale for reasons outside physicians’ control. Physicians want to improve the quality of care and usable, interoperable electronic health records are a pathway to achieving that goal.”

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The Unlikelihood of Permanent SGR Reform During the Lame-Duck Session

Ken Perez
Ken Perez

Guest post by Ken Perez, vice president of healthcare policy, Omnicell.

“Hope springs eternal” is a phrase from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Man: Epistle I, written in 1733. For some reason, right now hope is in full bloom in Washington, D.C. for physician groups, such as the American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association, which are pushing for passage of a permanent repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR), also known as a “doc fix,” prior to the congressional recess that will start in mid-December.

The points that are being made by physician groups are not new. There is the spectre of a 21.2 percent reduction in Medicare physician fees effective April 1, 2015, when the current doc fix expires, and nobody wants such a drastic reimbursement rate cut to occur. Also, because of moderating healthcare costs, the most recent Congressional Budget Office estimate of the cost of holding payment rates through 2024 at current levels is “only” $131 billion, near the low end of the CBO’s historical range. And last, earlier this year, a number of permanent SGR reform bills enjoyed bipartisan and bicameral support.

In spite of all these valid points, the case for fixing the SGR this calendar year, as opposed the first quarter of 2015, does not seem compelling or possible, due to both political and fiscal realities.

Politically, as the name implies, lame-duck congressional sessions are not known for legislative productivity. Chip Kahn, CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals, commented, “I believe that the lame-duck session is going to be limited to measures that are either emergencies like Ebola or must do’s to keep the government open.” Similarly, Tom Scully, former CMS administrator under President George W. Bush, opined in Modern Healthcare that there is “1 in 10 million” chance of a permanent SGR repeal passing during the lame-duck session.

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Complications May Be to Blame for Some EHR Miscommunications, Perhaps Even in the Dallas Ebola Case

John Backhouse
John Backhouse

Guest post by John Backhouse, executive director of the Omni Program, Information Builders.

Patient data resides in many systems and in multiple locations, which requires adept coordination and collaboration to deliver quality healthcare. However, sometimes pertinent data slips through the cracks – as demonstrated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Dr. Daniel Vargi of Texas Health Resources explained the breakdown in EHR miscommunication in a recent CNN interview: “While we had all of the elements of information that were critical to understand a potential diagnosis of Ebola, the way we built them into our clinical process – not only the process of gathering the information but then communicating the information between caregivers – was not as front-of-mind as it should have been.”

This gap in information sharing needs to be bridged, especially to mitigate risk when dealing with significant diseases such as Ebola. It is critical that healthcare systems obtain a 360-degree view of patients, and achieve EHR interoperability.

Providers wrestle with EHR technology to enter patient information that is often never reconciled with patient history or existing data on countless other data sources including ancillary services, and other healthcare organization’s electronic medical record (EMR) system.

The HITECH Act (2009) initiated governmental incentives and penalties designed to nudge healthcare to adopt certified EHR technology for better patient outcomes. As of 2013, 59 percent of acute care hospitals (non-federal) have adopted at least a basic EHR system with clinician noted.

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Dell Insights Show How Midsize Orgs Are Adopting Security, Cloud, Mobility and Big Data Solutions

Dell unveils findings from its first Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI), uncovering how organizations truly using security, cloud, mobility and big data to drive success. The market research surveyed more than 2,000 global organizations and found that security is the biggest concern in adopting cloud, mobility and big data. Furthermore, while 97 percent of organizations surveyed use or plan to use cloud and nearly half have implemented a mobility strategy, big data adoption is trailing as approximately 60 percent of organizations surveyed do not know how to gain its insights.

“We know that security, cloud, mobility and big data are the top IT priorities in all industries, but we need a deeper understanding of the practical realities of how companies are using these technologies today and what, if anything, is preventing them from unleashing their full potential,” said Karen Quintos, chief marketing officer, Dell. “This research cuts through the hype and provides a clearer roadmap for how Dell can enable our customers to thrive.”

“Despite mounting security risks and increased reliance on the Internet and technology to run their businesses, many small and midsize organizations are underprepared to deal with today’s security threats, let alone those of the future,” said Laurie McCabe, partner, SMB Group. “These companies know that disruptive technologies like cloud, mobility and big data can drive innovation and create competitive advantage. But it’s often difficult for them to take a strategic approach and overcome security concerns in order to fully harness the potential.”

Security Concerns Are Creating Big Barriers
The Dell GTAI found that IT decision-makers still consider security the biggest barrier for expanding mobility technologies (44 percent), using cloud computing (52 percent) and leveraging big data (35 percent). While security concerns are holding organizations back from further investing in major technologies, a lack of readily available security information is similarly preventing organizations from being prepared during a security breach. Only 30 percent of respondents said they have the right information available to make risk-based decisions, and only one in four organizations surveyed actually has a plan in place for all types of security breaches.

The security barrier becomes even more serious as the C-suite becomes less engaged. Only 28 percent of organizations polled have a C-suite mindset that is fully engaged with security initiatives. However, in organizations where executive leadership is involved in security, confidence is markedly increased. Among organizations that are very confident in their security, 84 percent of senior leaders are fully or somewhat engaged, compared to only 43 percent of senior leaders at organizations who are not confident in their security.

Other significant Dell GTAI security findings include:

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