How Hospitals Can Extract Value from EHR Analytics

By Kathy Sucich, healthcare industry expert, Dimensional Insight

Kathy Sucich
Kathy Sucich

According to a new survey fielded by Definitive Healthcare and sponsored by Dimensional Insight, 90% of hospitals and health systems use the analytics component of their electronic health records (EHRs), with 49% using it exclusively or primarily for analytics. With such widespread use, the technology must be meeting the needs of hospitals and health systems, right?

(Wrong.)

The survey data shows that despite the fact that many hospitals are using EHR analytics, they are also challenged by the technology and give it middling rates when it comes to satisfaction. Let’s look at the survey results in more detail and examine where hospitals and health systems go from here.

Hospitals not highly satisfied with EHR analytics

The survey interviewed 108 healthcare leaders on their experience with EHR analytics. It also asked about their experience with analytics-specific platforms and in-house solutions to serve as a comparison point.

Overall, leaders ranked their satisfaction with EHR analytics as a 5.58 (on a scale of 0-10 with 0 being “extremely dissatisfied” and 10 being “extremely satisfied”). In-house solutions received a satisfaction score of 6.51 (17% higher) and analytics-specific platforms received a score of 6.69 (20% higher).

Leaders feel challenged by technology aspects of EHR analytics. For organizations that are using EHR analytics as their primary analytics tool, they feel challenged by:

Those that are not using EHR analytics cite similar technology challenges as the reason they are not using the component.

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Simple Ways To Improve Your Heart Health

Adult, Art, Group, Hands, Paint, PeopleGetting serious about your health is something everyone should do. Specifically, your cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Roughly 647,000 people die from it every single year.

That’s about one death every 37 seconds!

Those statistics are truly frightening, but they don’t have to be. There are things everyone can do to improve their heart health to lead a long and happy life. At first, it might seem like hard work, but it gets easier if you just keep at it. Another great thing is that it doesn’t take a lot of time.

So, you won’t have to worry about disrupting your work or interrupting that important criminal justice or master’s in business analytics online classes you’ve been taking. You just have to commit to improving your life and you’ll be on your way.

1. Get Moving

You already know the first thing you’re going to want to start doing is to get moving. According to the American Heart Association, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. If you prefer tougher workouts, aim for 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Don’t try to shove in all of the exercise in one day. Instead, you are going to want to spread it out over the week.

Here are some examples. Aim for 25 minutes of these types of exercises six days a week:

If you want to shorten the time you have to put in work, you can do high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This is when you alternate between high intensity and low-intensity intervals. These exercises will help you lose weight and build muscle, improving your heart health.

2. Eat This, Not That

If you are on a journey to get fit, the toughest part might be the change to your diet and knowing what you are eating. A heart-healthy diet is low in sodium and saturated fat.

According to the Mayo Clinic, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease by controlling your portion size and not eating until you feel stuffed. Make sure you are eating enough fruits and vegetables. You want to incorporate them into all of your meals and your snacks. Consider adding a vegetarian meal or two.

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How Tech Is Changing The Autism Landscape

The advantage of technology is that it bridges that gap where traditional services and products fail. The same goes for those on the autism spectrum who may need some additional assistance to tackle everyday tasks. About one in 54 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The availability of support and care is high on the priority list, as well as development. As it is, technology is making a difference in patient care thanks to informatics. For those with autism, access to better services is not only possible, it’s inevitable.

Improving Social Opportunities For those with Autism 

Just a few short years ago, the thought of attending university or social engagements might have seemed out of reach for those with autism. Apps specifically designed to provide continuous support to those with autism are equipping some with the peace of mind that they have the needed support to attend certain engagements.

From reminders through to personal and immediate telephonic support has seen those with autism successfully attend college and other stressors that may have previously been out of reach. A traffic-light system allows users to let their support person know their level of stress before or during an event, and will equip the support person with the level of attention needed to alleviate the stress. Users can also adjust their stressors and responses to certain situations in order to access more fine-tuned assistance.

Access To Calming and Soothing Tech 

Carers of children and teenagers with autism know that it’s not always easy to calm down an irate child. Emotional management skills are some of the last skills for those on the higher end of the spectrum to learn, which can lead to debilitating meltdowns and outbursts.

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The Rise of Digital Healthcare

A, I, Ai, AnatomyTechnology has changed a dramatic amount over the last ten years alone, and digital health is now ever-present. From telemedicine and health-related wearables to online medical providers and health resources, digital health is growing faster than ever.

Consumers are using digital resources to better manage their health levels, and medical facilities are using digital technology to track, manage, and improve the health of their patients. Now, patients do not even have to meet in person to get the treatments or advice they need.

Putting power back into the hands of the patient while giving doctors and medical professionals access to the tools and data they need; the rise of digital healthcare is something that cannot be ignored.

Digital Healthcare for the Individual

Consumers have access to more technology than ever before, and that’s good news for those in the healthcare sector. Now that consumers can easily buy a wide range of wearable technologies, they can monitor their health levels from anywhere, and provide their doctors with detailed information. Going further than external wearables like fitness trackers, we have also seen pacemakers with their own dedicated monitoring apps.

This unprecedented level of data gathering is proving vital for catching early signs of health issues. The health industry is being forced to keep up the pace of tech innovation simply because of the wide range of benefits that those new technologies bring.

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Improving First Responder Calls and Patient Monitoring One Live Stream at a Time

By Dave Stubenvoll, CEO, Wowza Media Services.

Dave Stubenvoll

The scale of the coronavirus pandemic is impacting every facet of daily life. As COVID-19 continues its global spread, authorities are restricting large gatherings of people and enforcing stay at home protocols. This crisis is forcing us to adapt to a “new normal,” and technology is taking center stage to help us through the transition.

Among the advances easing this burden are live streaming technologies. The rapid adoption of live streaming continues to grow with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a large number of companies are using this technology to improve their day-to-day operations.

In fact, as the popularity and usefulness of video delivery over the internet grows, reports reveal that live streaming has already attracted 47% more users than this time last year. Through the influx of telehealth, remote learning, remote video conferencing and canceled events, live streaming has become a versatile — and essential — tool that is changing the way we stay in contact with others, particularly in the age of social distancing.

Live streaming is gaining in popularity across many different industries. Until the advent of live streaming technologies, 911 operators only had one source of information to assess an emergency situation: the caller. Now, thanks to advances in live streaming technologies, 911 operators are empowered with unprecedented access to emergency situations via live video.

Carbyne, a technology company that delivers actionable data from connected mobile devices to emergency communications centers, uses live streaming to enhance critical response capabilities. Through the combination of real-time video and location data, Carbyne provides emergency personnel with a more accurate assessment of the scene before they arrive, reducing emergency response times by more than 60%.

While Carbyne’s technology has proven beneficial across the globe for several years, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional benefits to the technology. Carbyne is effectively able to remotely evaluate potential COVID-19 cases and forward potentially infected individuals to medical professionals via telehealth services while maintaining HIPAA compliance.

Additionally, the Carbyne platform has been used in some cities to help track COVID-19 cases, delivering a heat map that details coronavirus-related calls so the municipality can better allocate resources and prevent the disease from spreading. As one hotspot hit hard by the virus, New Orleans uses Carbyne’s COVID-19 service to manage emergency calls and help individuals who have contracted the virus contact telehealth professionals instead of flooding emergency rooms. Carbyne has been fielding 70% of the city’s emergency calls, a majority of which were related to COVID-19 symptoms.

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Preserving Cyber Hygiene During COVID-19

By Grant McCracken, head of security operations, Bugcrowd.

For some time now, COVID-19 has dominated every aspect of civilian life. The global workforce, healthcare systems, and international news cycles have all been impacted by the pandemic, which wreaked havoc in every area of what was once normal life.

COVID-19 is top of mind for cyberattackers too. The combination of the financial downturn and universal chaos creates the perfect storm for criminals looking to make a quick buck. At the end of the day, attackers run their own businesses too and we should always expect assailants to capitalize on chaos. Targeting healthcare systems, hospitals and workers on the front line are no exception, especially given the mass influx of patients at hospitals, longer work hours and general uncertainty.

Financial gain is the strongest motive for cybercriminals and healthcare is already a vulnerable target; healthcare assets are exceptionally attractive by default, with sensitive information, delicate infrastructure and the fact that these systems cannot experience downtime.

Just last month, the WHO reported a five-fold increase in cyberattacks on its employees. Around 450 WHO email addresses and passwords were leaked, as well as information of thousands of people currently working on COVID-19 responses. Since then, the agency has begun to relocate affected systems to a more secure arrangement, including the utilization of a safer authentication process. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

In late March, a group of attackers impersonated WHO staff in emails and targeted civilians in attempts to obtain donations to fraudulent COVID-19-based nonprofits. While the source of the attack was not confirmed, it is possible that an accomplished hacking group called DarkHotel was behind the attack, according to a Reuters report.

On top of that, attacks across industries have spiked exponentially. Google observed more than 18 million malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 a day during the first week of April and Zscaler reported a whopping 30,000% increase in COVID-19 themed phishing incidents, malicious websites, and malware attacks since January 2020.

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Key Strategies For Minimizing Risks While Embracing COVID-19 Telehealth Expansion

Doctor, Online, Medical, Chat, Pharmacy, Consultation

By Heather Annolino, senior director healthcare practice, Ventiv.

As hospitals are working vigorously to address the health care needs of its patient population during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are unintentionally leaving themselves and their patients exposed to cybersecurity risks.

Measures implemented to protect workers and patients, including expanded use of telehealth and telemedicine, remote work and bringing new equipment such as ventilators online can leave data exposed, and institutions vulnerable to hackers and scammers. These cyberattacks can affect supply chains and the ability to leverage healthcare data from the COVID-19 pandemic for use in the future for other crises.

In March 2020, the Office for Civil Rights announced it would not enforce penalties for HIPAA noncompliance against providers leveraging telehealth platforms that may not comply with privacy regulations. This measure rapidly expanded the use of telehealth and telemedicine over the past several weeks, allowing providers to utilize videoconferencing platforms, including WebEx, Zoom and Skype.

The use of telemedicine improves patient access and assists with alleviating the additional burden on healthcare systems by limiting in-person care during the COVID-19 pandemic. If any incidents do occur, they should be entered into the facility’s health care risk management/patient safety software system. This technology is designed to help healthcare organizations see all of their data in one place, making it easier to learn from the incidents through analysis. While doing that now might be difficult, it is essential to capture this data to improve preparation for the next disaster and prevent patient harm.

Although telemedicine presents a lower risk from a risk management perspective, it is still important to provide consistent processes and protections to mitigate potential threats. During these uncertain times, telemedicine is the best option for providers to continue treating select segments of their patient population, as well as triage potential COVID-19 cases. Whether health care organizations are looking to expand (or even begin) the use of telemedicine capabilities, it is crucial to outline best practices for consent, credentialing, and security and privacy to assist with mitigating potential risks.

Here are a few strategies facilities should consider:

Security and Privacy

Under normal circumstances, healthcare facilities have difficulty bringing key equipment online securely. As facilities are currently working tirelessly to address COVID-19 patients’ needs in addition to continuing to provide care to non-COVID-19 patients, there is a potential increase of security risks as additional medical equipment and medical IoT devices integrate into the network.

By investing in and deploying cybersecurity procedures and protections, including backup and downtime procedures, healthcare facilities can reduce the risk of potential phishing and ransomware attempts. These measures should include ensuring all practitioners are using communication apps recommended by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights and secure telephone connections as well.

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Opportunities and Changes For Doctors with COVID-19

It is clear that there have been some massive changes throughout our country with the recent events that are happening in our country and throughout the world. These changes are having a direct impact on every industry and hitting every company which is why we wanted to take a moment to respond to these events and how they are affecting you, your policies, and our company.

We first want to extend our thanks to all of the health care professionals around the world who are on the front lines battling this disease. We value your courage and are thankful for your service. Unfortunately, something like this forces us to see our mortality and makes insurance needs a bit more important.

Overview

  1. Changes with How Doctors Research and Buy Disability & Life Insurance
  2. Changes that Insurance Companies have made for Life & Disability Insurance
  3. Opportunities & Advantages that are Available for Doctors
  4. How will this Affect You as a Doctor

Changes to Research and Buying Disability and Life Insurance for Doctors

A lot has changed a lot of how we research and buy everything. Amazon’s very busy this time. In fact they come to my neighborhood almost every day, it’s incredible. Due to these changes and social distancing guidelines, a lot of traditional advisors who meet with clients face to face to close their doors because they don’t have the capacity or the ability to do things online. Now, you’re finding fewer and fewer advisors out there who can actually help you to research and buy disability and life insurance.

Another major change we’ve seen is many educational events being canceled, things like lunch and learns or the types of educational sessions you might have there and your program, even dinners and things like that sponsored by financial planners. A lot of these things are obviously going by the wayside because you can’t really do that anymore. This is taking away some of the opportunities you have to learn about these important financial decisions you have to make.

Your opportunities to learn and to have someone help you on these decisions are becoming fewer and far between. You have to be able to understand that online is a great place to shop and compare quotes for disability and life insurance, but you have to be particularly savvy at it. There are people online who tried to persuade doctors by the wrong kind of policies, whether intentionally or unintentionally. There are probably people who are actually trying to get into online sales of these types of products who maybe shouldn’t be there. It is important to be careful that you’re with someone who can really do a good job educating you and helping you take care of things online.

The main things to look for when shopping online for insurance are:

An independent broker

A broker is someone who isn’t a representative of any one company. They’re independent of any company insurance company, they’re kind of between you and the insurance company are coming to advocate for you. They will help you to shop and compare and do it in an unbiased way.

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How Chatbots Are Relieving Pressure On Healthcare Systems and Saving Lives During COVID-19

Chatbot, Bot, Assistant, Support, Icon

Chatbots have come of age. And they’ve come a long way from the clumsy pop-ups once deployed on websites to generate leads. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, the latest generation of chatbots are more clever than ever and are increasingly playing a role in the global fight against COVID-19.

Chatbots on the Front Lines

You might not expect to find chatbots on the front lines of a public-health crisis, but multiple hospitals and health organizations have recognized their value at a time when all human hands are on deck. Take Hyro’s COVID-19 Virtual Assistant, for example, this free AI-powered, corona-focused chatbot answers questions, parses responses, poses follow-up queries of its own, triages symptoms and addresses patients’ concerns while sharing important information from the CDC and WHO.

The Hyro COVID-19 Virtual Assistant can be embedded on websites, call centers, and apps, allowing patients to freely interact with it via voice and text using their own natural language. In essence, this data-driven virtual assistant assumes the role of a human point of contact, relieving strain at a time when health organizations are increasingly overloaded. Hyro, a member of Microsoft’s Partner Network, has been entrusted by a number of healthcare facilities including New York’s Montefiore Hospital, the Austin Regional Clinic, and Ohio’s Fisher-Titus Medical Center. The tech startup has made the plug-and-play chatbot completely free for the purposes of combatting the outbreak.

How Chatbots Are Sparking Conversation

This isn’t the only example of a chatbot being integrated into the typical patient journey: developers such as Txtonomy and Orbita and have created similar conversational AI tools to help combat the rampant spread of misinformation related to Covid-19 and support medical professionals in screening patients and educating worried citizens. The UK government introduced a special WhatsApp chatbot for the same reasons. Could this be an insight into the future of healthcare: clinical smart-bots handling preliminary inquiries, screening and funnelling patients accordingly, introducing efficiencies in testing and treatment?

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Why It’s Mission-Critical For Healthcare IT To Provide Continuous Delivery In This Current Environment

By Guljeet Nagpaul, chief product officer, ACCELQ.

COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on the U.S. and the world.

Cases and deaths continue to rise as major global economies slide into recession – or worse.

One rare, but burgeoning area of positive growth in the pandemic is telehealth. Medical services and data shares electronically has stood tall during the current health crisis.

According to data from Mordor Intelligence, the global telehealth market will grow to an estimated value of $66 billion by 2021.

Telehealth is particularly growing in data-intensive healthcare industry sectors like record-keeping, telehealth sessions and virtual, video-based doctor appointments, and the surging e-prescription sector, where physicians are increasingly able to issue prescriptions via a mobile app.

The healthcare industry is also experiencing a rise in digital epidemiology tools, chatbot systems, EHR guidance tools and rapid-response COVID-19 testing kits, among other digital-based solutions.

These tools are increasingly needed by health care practitioners to stem the COVID-19 tide – and any delays getting them into health professionals hands is a delay that coronavirus caretakers and patients can’t afford to take.

A Need for Testing and Quality Assurance

Still, even at a time of pandemic, those delays are only all too real – and the problem often lies in the archaic structure of the health care sector.

Case in point. While the coronavirus crisis has driven the need for new digital tools that have fueled a health care system transformation, the bureaucratic rigidity the health care still exists. Even as digital tools recast the entire health industry model, old problems remain, especially in the centralized and technologically inefficient modes of data management.

That’s where good data software testing and quality assurance come into play, in the form of test automation. As automation becomes the software development standard for revenue-minded companies, regular testing is required to make sure productivity and security activities are above board, and is critical in getting the digital healthcare products and services out the door and into hospitals and care centers as quickly as possible.

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How Hospitals Can Extract Value from EHR Analytics

By Kathy Sucich, healthcare industry expert, Dimensional Insight According to a new survey fielded by Definitive Healthcare and sponsored by Dimensional Insight, 90% of hospitals and health systems use the analytics component of their electronic […]

Continue

Simple Ways To Improve Your Heart Health

Getting serious about your health is something everyone should do. Specifically, your cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Roughly 647,000 people die from it every single year. […]

Continue

How Tech Is Changing The Autism Landscape

The advantage of technology is that it bridges that gap where traditional services and products fail. The same goes for those on the autism spectrum who may need some additional assistance to tackle everyday tasks. […]

Continue

The Rise of Digital Healthcare

Technology has changed a dramatic amount over the last ten years alone, and digital health is now ever-present. From telemedicine and health-related wearables to online medical providers and health resources, digital health is growing faster […]

Continue

Improving First Responder Calls and Patient Monitoring One Live Stream at a Time

By Dave Stubenvoll, CEO, Wowza Media Services. The scale of the coronavirus pandemic is impacting every facet of daily life. As COVID-19 continues its global spread, authorities are restricting large gatherings of people and enforcing […]

Continue

Preserving Cyber Hygiene During COVID-19

By Grant McCracken, head of security operations, Bugcrowd. For some time now, COVID-19 has dominated every aspect of civilian life. The global workforce, healthcare systems, and international news cycles have all been impacted by the […]

Continue