By Dr. Michael Blackman, medical director, population health and analytics, Allscripts.
As healthcare delivery continues to evolve, healthcare technology needs to be there to support it. But, how will technology facilitate healthcare as we move forward?
Healthcare accessibility, especially for certain populations, continues to be problematic. The expansion of telemedicine has the potential to improve access, especially for populations that have difficulty accessing care, such as those with mobility or transportation issues.
Additionally, looking from a primary care standpoint alone, a fair percentage of patient visits can be conducted remotely while continuing to insure care quality. Telemedicine can extend a clinician’s reach by freeing up office time for those who gain extra benefit from being seen in person. However, the technology must support both the clinician and patient interaction, while not creating new barriers.
Potential barriers can come not just from factors implicit in the technology, but from the way it is implemented as well. For example, simple things such as a clinician needing to turn his or her back to a patient to access the system disrupts the clinician/patient relationship. Workflow considerations need to be front and center for all technology-related changes.
Leverage what you have – especially the data
There’s continually a desire to pursue the next shiny object, the next buzzword, the next big technology. But it comes down to why? What are you trying to accomplish with new technology that you can’t already do today? If it serves a strategic goal, then the new technology may be highly beneficial, but have you optimized what you are using now?
Electronic health records (EHRs) and other healthcare technology have brought us a plethora of data, but how many of us are using this data effectively?
The original goal of capturing data in EHRs was to improve care. We need to use that data to understand and improve care delivery. Sometimes that requires new technology, but whether one is using new technology or not, improving care requires a change in the way business is conducted.
Are AI and machine learning the future of healthcare?
Both AI and machine learning are likely to be integral components of healthcare’s future, but the underlying culture and business framework supporting these technologies will determine if we are able to get the most from them. Differences in organizational culture and business processes often explain why some succeed and others fail using the same technology.
James Smith is a blogger with Centra Care, an urgent care center in Tampa.
Healthcare services from across the world are teaming to create better facilities for patients. This is leading to the better and faster provision of seamless patient care with fewer medical errors and improved quality of healthcare while allowing for lower costs.
Accountable organizations are increasingly turning information technology to deliver quality care to patients while ensuring that an unnecessary duplication of services is avoided. Collaboration is key to getting the maximum effectiveness from IT led healthcare solutions, for all stakeholders involved.
Health IT has made it possible for healthcare providers to better accomplish stellar patient care through the safe use of health information while also sharing them confidently.
The evolving protected and private electronic health records are making health information available electronically as and when needed. The result is significant improvements in the quality of care. IT collaborations also help reduce the distances between care providers and patients, improving workflow and services delivered.
Here are the latest IT related collaborations in the world of healthcare.
Medtronic and American Well
Announced in October 2017, this collaboration seeks to bring about an exciting new revolution in telehealth and the way it is used to facilitate chronic, comorbid patients.
Together the companies will provide patient with reliable access to American Well’s telemedicine solutions, using the video-enabled platforms provided by the Medtronic Care Management Services. Information gathered from these remote patient monitoring systems will also be given to clinicians registered with the American Well service.
All in all, this IT led collaboration aims to enhance patient access to healthcare, and clinicians’ access to relevant information easier.
CVS Health and Epic
This exciting new initiative has a very ambitious goal. When CVS Health collaborates with Epic’s Healthy Planet services, the result is prescribers with more power. The collaboration aims to get access to information and analytics that will give prescribers additional resources to find lower cost drugs for their patients.
The resulting platform also aims to gain valuable information and insights into dispensing patterns and medication observance.
The definitive goal of this collaboration, however, is a lot more versatile. It will enable prescribing healthcare providers to find cheaper alternative medication and figure out if the patient’s insurance covers it. Also, pharmacists will get better information regarding medicines so they can make better-informed decisions regarding patient care plans.
Allscripts and Zocdoc
Another exciting new IT-related collaboration in the field of healthcare happened between the scheduling software maker Allscripts and Zocdoc the online scheduling platform for healthcare providers and clinicians.
The API based integration is making it possible for patients to book appointments online with their preferred physicians. The services are available to new and existing practices that are using Allscripts or Zocdoc.
The result will hopefully lead to maximum effectiveness of the physician’s time. It will also improve the efficiency of the office staff while also improving access to healthcare, creating a more connected and streamlined experience for patients.
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.
Allscripts is a leader in healthcare information technology solutions that advance clinical, financial and operational results. Our innovative solutions connect people, places and data across an Open, Connected Community of Health. Connectivity empowers caregivers to make better decisions and deliver better care for healthier populations.
Allscripts is one of the largest public companies focused exclusively on healthcare information technology and does business in eleven countries. Our full suite of population health solutions build on the power of our robust suite of Clinical and Revenue Cycle core products. We deliver the portfolio flexibility to work with all major EHR applications in the market today and enable our clients to deliver better outcomes. Allscripts differentiates itself through a comprehensive focus on connectivity, collaboration and innovation.
With our extensive community-powered network of caregivers and organizations, our unique Open architecture connects both clinical and financial data across every setting: from the provider to the hospital to post-acute settings and even the patient’s home. Our healthcare technology innovations connect caregivers across the spectrum with information and insights, resulting in better outcomes.
The term “patient engagement” has emerged as this year’s buzz phrase much the same way “patient portals” were a couple years ago and even similar to “electronic health records” and “meaningful use” before that. Volumes of articles, case studies, white papers and educational sessions have been dedicated to the topic of patient engagement and even at this years’ annual HIMSS conference patient engagement as a topic discussed was the rule and not the exception. With every step through the maze of booths in Orlando it seemed as if the words – “patient engagement” — were whispered and shouted from every direction.
Patient engagement is now synonymous with health IT, yet the topic is proving to be one of healthcare’s stickiest wickets because no matter whom or how many people you ask there seems to be a different response or definition to the term and how it is achieved.
With all of this uncertainty and confusion about patient engagement, I set out to see if I could define the term by asking a number of health IT insiders what they thought “patient engagement” meant, or what it meant to them. Their insightful and educational responses are what follow.
CSC announces that it is pursuing the anticipated multi-billion dollar U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Healthcare Management System Modernization (DHMSM) contract with Allscripts and HP. The CSC-led team intends to deliver a secure, enterprise-wide information technology (IT) solution that joins multiple disparate military health information systems into a single, open, interoperable and extensible platform that seamlessly connects patients and providers.
“As a practicing physician in the Navy and civilian sector, I personally understand the importance of this initiative and am honored for the opportunity to extend my experience and expertise in DoD mission and medical knowledge to this team,” said Dr. Robert M. Wah, CSC chief medical officer and current American Medical Association president. “CSC is the world’s largest health systems integrator. As such, we know that secure access to actionable data, system usability and agility will be critical to the program’s success. Together with our teammates, we will deliver a solution that improves care of military beneficiaries and keeps our fighting force strong and fit. We intend to provide to military members and their families the same outstanding service that they deliver to our nation on a regular basis.”
CSC will apply its leading commercial, government and global health technology experience to quickly and successfully deliver next-generation solutions that improve health outcomes. Allscripts, with one of the largest client bases in healthcare, will provide its comprehensive, integrated and interoperable electronic health record solution. Allscripts’ open architecture will enable DoD to innovate care anywhere while easily maximizing the reuse of systems and data as well as leveraging the full spectrum of future technological advancements. Allscripts clients are among the largest and most advanced healthcare organizations in the world including The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, North Shore-LIJ Health System, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
HP brings domain expertise in healthcare IT, developed from its 50-year history of providing innovative solutions for Military Health, VA, Health and Human Services (HHS), commercial healthcare organizations and state government health agencies. Each year, HP technology and services touch more than 200 million patient lives and are used to perform 2.8 billion healthcare transactions that deliver quality care around the globe. Its world-class IT will provide DoD with industry-leading products and services designed for the future.
Paul M. Black, president and chief executive officer of Allscripts, issued the following:
Day 2 at HIMSS14 was much the same as day 1: Lots of walking, talking and great meetings with great organizations. I can’t thank enough vendors like Verisk Health, Omnicell, Amazing Charts and SAS for the great information they’ve shared, and for the perspectives about the market, trends and what’s ahead (and what’s behind).
Electronic health records are now foundational, and in many cases, they’ve lost their sex appeal. Though there’s an obvious and huge presence by them here, this year’s HIMSS doesn’t seem to have the same energy around the technology, from my point-of-view, that they did two or three years ago, for obvious reasons. Though their importance is still great, as we all know, other issues are taking center stage. ICD-10 is the obvious elephant in the room.
“Risk” is the biggest buzz word I’ve heard here in Orlando. I’ve heard it dozens of times. “Patient engagement” seems overcooked, according to those I’ve spoken to; an aspirational concept, yes, but actionable in an an entirely different story. Lofty goals and strategy, fewer practical best practices approaches for proceeding.
Patient engagement has only just begun, or at least is just developing past its infancy, and I look forward to seeing how it matures as a concept. Remember, just a couple years ago, those with vested interest claim patient portals would solve the ever elusive patient engagement issue. Portals clearly have not done so. Why would they? I remain skeptical that the actual patient is at the heart of this conversation rather how a systems can implement “best practices.” We’ll see, I suppose.
That said, HIMSS14 remains a wonderful experience and I’m glad to be here and meeting some wonderful people. I look forward to what today brings. Likely, more walking!
AirStrip provides a complete, vendor and data source agnostic enterprise-wide clinical mobility solution, which enables clinicians to improve the health of individuals and populations. With deep clinical expertise and strong roots in mobile technology and data integration, AirStrip is empowering the nation’s leading health systems as the industry continues to evolve to new business models, accountable care and shared risk. Based in San Antonio, Texas, AirStrip allows health systems to unlock the full potential of their existing technology investments with a complete mobility solution that provides access to critical patient data across the care continuum. AirStrip is backed by investments from Sequoia Capital, Qualcomm, Inc., Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and the Wellcome Trust. AirStrip’s customers includes HCA, Texas Health Resources, Vanguard Health Systems (part of Tenet Healthcare Corporation), Dignity Health and Ardent Health Services.
Allscripts delivers the insights that healthcare providers require to generate world-class outcomes. The company’s Electronic Health Record, practice management and other clinical, revenue cycle, connectivity and information solutions create a Connected Community of Health for physicians, hospitals and post-acute organizations.
Axial’s products improve the quality of patient care, and reduce the cost of providing it, by credentialing the most qualified providers, delivering point of care decision support tools, and utilizing a 360-degree cloud-based predictive model to stratify risk and quantify outcomes. Axial furthers the IHI Triple Aim of driving healthcare value by developing cost-effective, quality-based treatment pathways combined with seamless IT and workflow integration.
The market for electronic health and health records (EHRs) is set to experience rapid growth over the coming years, with EMR peer group value estimated to climb from approximately $10.6 billion in 2012 to $17 billion by 2017, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.8 percent, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s new report estimates that McKesson had the largest healthcare information technology software and services revenue in 2012, with $3,300 million, placing it as the EHR market leader. McKesson is followed by Cerner and Allscripts, which achieved revenues of $2,666 million and $1,477 million, respectively.
According to GlobalData, this rapid EHR market growth is because of incentives offered under the American Relief and Recovery Act of 2009, which delivers opportunities for providers to transform unstructured, paper-based data into electronic digitized information that can be shared across the entire care industry.
If you love drama, there may be no better time than now to be in health IT. Specifically, the CommonWell Health Alliance movement – spearheaded by vendor giants Allscripts, Athenahealth, Cerner, Greenway and McKesson — to promote health information exchange.
However, as we all know, the one giant in the room not to be invited to the dance, Epic, is crying foul.
EHR review sites seem to have taken hold. Press releases and announcements galore, they proliferate the web like nearly other consumer review-based site. In the latest round, one of the newest sites, EMR-Matrix, essentially announced its existence and that its staff and leadership would be present at one of healthcare’s largest tradeshows – HIMSS.
What better a place to try to sell its product where the very companies that it will likely hold hostage through its so-called independent review will be present.
According to the company’s release, “The new website offers a way for doctors and health systems to evaluate, test and read reviews of electronic medical record software systems, as well as provide feedback on their own experiences with their existing EMR and practice management systems. Unlike other sites, EMR-Matrix is user content driven and strives to provide the most candid feedback possible about each EMR system.”
I absolutely believe that the (free) market needs dedicated resources that help consumers find the best products at the best prices while exposing a company’s weaknesses and touting its greatest successes, but I’m not in favor of sites bent on trying to manipulate the system.
I may be in the minority, but I don’t believe in review sites, and I don’t use them. Too often, the reviews are skewed toward the negative, the sounds of the blathering loudmouth without a better venue to employ turns to the web and spouts off. They do almost nothing to keep me from experiencing something I want to experience. Certainly, I don’t believe an un-vetted review site about electronic health records is going to do much to sway my opinion one way or another about the quality of a product being professionally produced by a software vendor, but it may sway the opinions of others.
Essentially, the site is taking the business model that Software Advice utilizes and is trying to position itself as another unbiased source of information that also uses aggregated customer reviews to provide the “true” sentiment of a system and its capabilities.
If nothing else, this is just another form of KLAS, which I’ve always been suspect of. Based on my experiences in house at an EHR vendor, I’ve seen the data used to compile the reports and with the conclusions these types of reports drawn, there is a great deal left to the imagination. Companies – Allscripts is an example – that choose not to subscribe to the KLAS and, therefore, forgo receiving the KLAS reports should earn everyone’s respect. They don’t bow to the peer pressure of inclusion and they understand that for the most part, the reports or worth far less than the paper they’re printed on (even though vendors pay upwards of $60,000 to see them). Nevertheless, the data in the reports are suspect and thin, and given the strangle hold KLAS has on vendors, to not subscribe is virtual suicide for the vendor (Allscripts is big enough not to have been too deeply affected, though its products are never anywhere near the top of the rankings in the KLAS reports).
That said, EMR-Matrix and others that come along might do more damage than good. If nothing else, in my opinion, at face value, they seem to be out to capitalize on the market. Let’s hope the consumers of health IT and EHRs see through this thinly veiled attempt, but there’s still some skepticism on my part that this will be the case. My blogger colleagues have agreed with me so I hope those in the market for a new EHR will actually do a little shopping around and testing rather than simply relying on a site such as this.
Unfortunately, some of the collateral damage of a site like this is like that of a “bad” restaurant — once the review hits the web, it pretty much lives there forever. For people like me in PR, and those around me who are actually dedicating their lives to developing what we believe are good, solid, high-quality products to better healthcare, physician’s practices and patients’ lives, we lose because of sites like this. We’re the ones who lose sleep. We’re the ones that lose our jobs. We’re the ones who lose – because of a site that’s pairing the information provided with those seeking it, as relevant.