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How Vendor Neutral Archives (VNAs) Are Changing The Medical Landscape

By Devin Partida, technology writer and the Editor-in-Chief of the digital magazine, ReHack.com

Devin Partida

The healthcare industry, like many other sectors today, is becoming increasingly digitized and data-driven. This transition into a digital landscape comes with various benefits but can complicate some matters as well. As medical trends lean toward digitization, solutions for accessibility and interoperability are essential.

On average, healthcare organizations manage 8.41 petabytes of data, up 878% since just four years ago. At the same time, most of these organizations experience at least one data disruption a year. The medical industry needs better data management, and vendor neutral archives (VNAs) provide it.

VNAs give medical facilities an interoperable solution for data access. Here’s a closer look at how these solutions are changing the industry.

Increasing Data Accessibility

VNAs are one of the most promising healthcare trends today because they address one of traditional systems’ most glaring flaws — inaccessibility. A VNA is an archiving system that stores and consolidates data from across all departments in a facility. Thanks to their neutrality, VNAs can store nearly any kind of file and work on any system.

Vendor-specific systems make it challenging for staff to access data from different departments. With these approaches, doctors have to use various platforms to view different files, which can take precious time. The time doctors spend trying to access all the different data they need is time spent away from tending to patients.

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How COVID-19 and Telehealth Are Affecting Healthcare Compliance

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By Devin Partida, technology writer and the Editor-in-Chief of the digital magazine, ReHack.com

The coronavirus pandemic has caused massive changes around the world. As people adjust to the new normal, they may notice some differences associated with COVID-19 and telehealth. Here’s an in-depth look at those changes.

Telehealth adoption rising

United States government officials announced changes in mid-March that dramatically increased access to telehealth in the nation. The changes included allowing providers to use everyday technologies to connect with patients, offering more telehealth treatment coverage to Medicare beneficiaries and making such options available at lower costs than traditional appointments.

The increased access and provider flexibility are temporary, intended to remain only for the duration of the country’s health emergency. However, some people believe the changes could bode well for telehealth in general, such as by giving adoption of the technology a sustained boost.

Analysts at Frost & Sullivan predict a 64.3% year-over-year growth increase for the telehealth sector this year. The researchers mentioned the need for social distancing as a central factor influencing the surge. However, they cautioned that the telemedicine industry contains an ecosystem where numerous parties affect adoption rates and healthcare compliance standards.

Medical practices can increase income through telehealth visits

Many people avoid face-to-face treatments now due to the risk of virus transmission. However, even before COVID-19 became a threat, people faced other obstacles that made in-person care more complicated, such as a lack of transportation or mental health struggles that made them nervous in public.

Jason Popp, a partner at Alston and Bird’s healthcare litigation group, pointed out how making telehealth more accessible introduces more revenue streams for medical facilities: “When the pandemic started, physicians in practices were seeing big changes because they couldn’t see patients anymore.”

Popp continued, “Now they’re quickly adapting to the change. Otherwise, they’ve got limited revenue because patients aren’t coming to clinics or certain facilities. It’s been a bit of a wake-up call to practitioners who were previously kind of opposed to telehealth. Now they’re seeing there are immense benefits. After the pandemic, many will continue to provide telehealth.”

A temporary telehealth waiver connected to the coronavirus pandemic expands access to people beyond rural areas. Popp viewed that regulatory change as the most significant and hopes Congress will eventually make it permanent. Other parties familiar with telehealth say the sector is scaling up so rapidly that reverting to pre-COVID-19 healthcare compliance standards would prove difficult.

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