HIMSS organizers, in preparation of the annual conference and trade show, and as a way to rally attendees around several trending topics for the coming event, are once again asking the healthcare community how it feels about several key issues that are likely to resonate. As is often the case with this ongoing experiment, the folks in my position — those with a venue to voice their opinions who tell the rest of us what they think — pontificate on the potential impact of these trends.
Certainly, some of my fellow journalists are far better qualified than I to answer the questions posed by HIMSS with any level of authority. Therefore, I’ve given my small microphone to readers of this site so they can voice their opinions of the topics that conference goers are likely to hear about dozens of time while in Chicago.
This year HIMSS is asking what we feel will be the future of: the connected healthcare system, big data, security, innovation and patient engagement. Today, here, we focus on the future of the connected healthcare system, and what several insiders believe that future to be.
With that, enjoy and let me know if you agree with the following thoughts. If not, why; what’s missing?
We’re hoping that the electronic health records (EHR) interoperability movement follows a trajectory similar to that of e-prescribing. To start, as an industry, we have to universally acknowledge the value of interoperability within healthcare IT systems. Indeed, sharing data across systems can help to improve care quality and efficiency in the country’s health system and lead to success of value-based reimbursement models. However, all players – providers, payers, patients and vendors alike – need to truly embrace the value EHR interoperability, putting it above any proprietary concerns.
Then, we need to get to work. We must continue to develop and implement a wide range of standards and vocabularies. Through these, we will ensure that our data is in synch and that systems will always be speaking the same language. Perhaps most important, we need a National Patient Identifier, which will make it possible to match information to specific patients as they traverse the health system. And, while it might seem like doing all this work will take a long time, if we roll up our sleeves and do what’s required, the EHR interoperability story will be on its way to its own happy ending soon enough.
Jonathan Isaacs, executive vice president and general manager, surgery solutions, SourceMedical
It’s 3:00 a.m. and you wake up with an acute pain in your side that won’t go away — you head to the ER. The CT scan shows nothing — you head to the GI specialist. The doctor says to get an endoscopy — you head to the ASC. The endoscopy says you have a chronic condition that will need to be managed by you, your PCP, and even more specialists. Where does all that data live? Everywhere!
It’s a changing world out there. From cancer centers to freestanding Emergency Departments, healthcare organizations must deliver quality care at lower prices. But information collected at different points can fall through the cracks, putting the patient at risk. That’s why data interoperability is a critical issue.
The solution is not to put every entity in the healthcare value chain on the same closed, monolithic EHR that tries to do everything. We have seen time and again what happens when innovation is stifled and vendors become “too big to fail.” But by embracing connectivity standards, providers and patients alike can leverage best-in-class tools purposely built for specific treatments and outcomes. The easier it is, the higher the likelihood of success. And isn’t that the whole point?
In this series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.
Hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.
PatientKeeper provides workflow applications for physicians that transform hospital EHRs from what they typically are – a distraction or hindrance topatient care – into what they should be: an intuitive support system for physicians.
PatientKeeper, Inc. is a leading provider of healthcare applications for physicians. PatientKeeper’s highly intuitive software streamlines physician workflow to improve productivity and patient care. PatientKeeper’s CPOE, physician documentation, electronic charge capture and other applications run on desktop and laptop computers and popular handheld devices and tablets. PatientKeeper’s software integrates with many existing healthcare information systems to help provider organizations drive physician adoption of technology, meet Meaningful Use, and transition to ICD-10. More than 60,000 physicians across North America and the UK use PatientKeeper software.
PatientKeeper plays in two different market segments: (1) EHR optimization, and (2) revenue cycle optimization. In the former, we target 100+ bed community hospitals and hospital networks that rely primarily on affiliated physicians (vs. employed physicians) for patient admissions – clinicians whose loyalty (and business) must be “courted” and competed for – and which have not deployed or committed to an Epic EMR system. In the “Revenue Cycle Optimization” side of our business, we target physician practices of 25 doctors or more (but typically larger academic medical groups), and hospitals with a significant corps of employed physicians.
In this new series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.
Even as HIMSS Media has said that its employees will be making more of an effort this year to cover the tradeshow floor and its vendors and events, hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.
The Usability People
The Usability People provide user experience (UX) consultation and usability testing services to clients in the US and across the globe. We have helped “mom-and-pop” shops and Internet startups, healthcare software (EHR) vendors, enterprise organizations, universities and government agencies. We have more than 25 years of experience providing user experience consultation, usability testing and interface design services to businesses of all shapes and sizes. The Usability People have the experience, knowledge and passion for UX to help your website, mobile web or phone app delight users.
We like to tell people that we are cognitive ergonomists. That is that we take and apply the theories of psychology, specifically cognitive psychology, to the design and development of more usable software systems. We do this by helping development organizations better understand their users, and their users thinking. We work with software developers to design and test their systems to better match the workflow and mental models of those use the software every day.
EHR vendors that are seeking meaningful use Stage 2 certification are required to have a user-centered design process and to provide a report of a summative usability evaluation. We work with EHR vendors to help them understand their users, to design better software and provide the summative tests required for meaningful use Stage 2 certification.
Services and Products Offered
Safety-enhanced design (aka Usability) testing for meaningful use Stage 2 certification
User experience design, workflow, information architecture and wireframes for healthcare applications.
We conduct and report summative usability evaluations using the NISTIR 7742 Customized Common Industry Format Template for EHR usability testing suitable for presentation as the safety-enhanced design criteria portion of MU Stage 2 certification.
Usability issues with EHRs and user-centered design consultation.
Usability and user centered design typically has a 10 to 100 times return on investment. The savings typically are realized in reduced development costs, reduced training and documentation costs and reduced support costs. Usability in healthcare can also save a life.