EHR and Health IT Consulting
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EHR and Health IT Consulting
Technical Doctor's insights and information collated from various sources on EHR selection, EHR implementation, EMR relevance for providers and decision makers
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Digital Health Funding On The Rise

Digital Health Funding On The Rise | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

The digital health industry is continuing its growth in record-breaking ways, as funding to the industry pushed past $6.5 billion in the first half of 2017, according to a recent report by StartUp Health. This year’s numbers are already well on their way to overtaking the annual totals of previous years.

 

As the digital health industry has continued to mature, interest from new investors has likewise grown. This was noted in Rock Health’s comprehensive Digital Health Funding 2017 Midyear Review, a report that analyzed US deals disclosed at over $2 million during Q1 and Q2.

 

Pull factors, such as (but certainly not limited to) Apple’s not-so-secret work on diabetes health tech, have contributed to investors seeing the industry as a more attractive, tangible marketplace. More investors are interested in the industry, and more importantly, they’re investing much more on average: seven out of the top ten deals this year so far have involved over $100 million each. Outcome Health, the company that set the largest digital health deal on record, came out with $500 million in funding earlier this year.

 

The widely accepted reality is that the health industry is taking an inevitable shift towards digital health aids. And as digital health technology advances, their use becomes more widespread, with hundreds of millions of potential users in some cases. Belief in this potential can be seen in this year’s top deals in digital health. As the health industry continues its transition towards digital health aids, and as digital health companies continue to develop pertinent, breakthrough technology, the industry is poised to continue its growth undeterred.

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Interoperability and the Future of Care Delivery - HITECH AnswersHITECH Answers

Interoperability and the Future of Care Delivery - HITECH AnswersHITECH Answers | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

The healthcare industry has done a remarkable job of replacing traditional paper charts with electronic health records (EHRs). Information that used to be sharable only by the most rudimentary means — it’s been said that fax machines lasted so long only because of healthcare — is now captured and stored electronically in a readily transmittable form.

That’s powerful stuff. Think of all the ways we as individuals move information electronically through email, online destinations, and the applications we access as part of daily life that would have been impossible less than two decades ago. That convenience is coming fast to health information, and the race is on to put that information to beneficial use through interoperability.

“EHR interoperability” can take many forms. It can refer to the ability of dissimilar EHRs to exchange health records, its most commonly understood meaning. It can also refer to the ability for EHRs to interact with dissimilar devices and with applications that are well beyond the realm of the health record itself. Interoperability is all of these things and more, coming together to advance care in ways that were unimaginable in the days of paper charting.

Interoperability among EHRs

In the first phase of electronification, health data was captured and stored in individual EHRs operating as providers’ personal information silos. The next task is to enable those EHRs to exchange patient data efficiently and securely with each other.

Meaningful use Stage 2 is a driving force in this aspect of interoperability. Stage 2’s consolidated clinical document architecture (C-CDA) requires EHRs to exchange diagnoses, allergies and medications in real time, a great first step (and another good reason to upgrade to a Stage 2-certified EHR). More complete information exchange is still needed, and the industry is making great progress in this arena, largely thanks to such cooperative initiatives as the CommonWell Health Alliance and Healtheway Carequality program. We should ultimately see all clinical data necessary for quality care shared among EHR systems, so it won’t matter whether a person is receiving care near home or while traveling across the country — his or her pertinent information will be available at the point of clinical decision-making in any location.

Interoperability with dissimilar devices and applications

Delivering patient data from one EHR to another is one piece of the interoperability puzzle; clinical information is often needed for decision-making beyond the reach of EHR-connected computers. Mobile devices are leading the way in putting patient data in the hands of providers wherever it’s needed via apps on tablets and smartphones. Patients also need remote access to health data, a role filled by the patient portal, which is fast growing in importance for patient engagement. As portals and EHR-to-EHR interoperability advance further, healthcare consumers will be able to manage information across multiple providers from a central location, just as today it’s possible to go online and personally manage finances by moving assets across accounts and institutions.

Interoperability with patient populations

The exchange of electronic health records with other EHRs, mobile devices and portals is all about individual care, which of course is tremendously important. Equally important is patient engagement for purposes of population health management, which occurs outside the walls of care facilities and patient appointments. Shifting payer models increasingly hold physicians accountable for outcomes, and tools that leverage EHR data are beginning to assist in that regard. We’re nearing an era in which each time a patient with a chronic condition makes an appointment, the provider will know whether or not that patient is overdue for a screening test, a foot exam or any other measure needed to fulfill a recommended preventive care program…and can administer that care at the same time.

These are just some of the ways interoperability is beginning to transform healthcare, and innovation is accelerating. In the not-too-distant future, “health IT interoperability” will largely be taken for granted, with information flowing in beneficial ways we can only dream of now — and as we are all consumers of healthcare, we’ll all benefit tremendously from breakthroughs to come.


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A secret shopper’s perspectives on the EHR and clinical workflow 

A secret shopper’s perspectives on the EHR and clinical workflow  | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

As someone who has practiced medicine using both paper and electronic records, and someone who's been focused on the health tech scene for the past 20 years, you might think I've seen it all. Indeed, during my 35 year career in medicine and tech I've traveled the world and learned a lot about healthcare, clinical practice and the intersection between medicine and technology. However, there's nothing like being a secret shopper to get a little reality check on where things stand with electronic health records and clinical workflow.

 

For the past couple of months, and likely continuing for most of the next year, I am charged with helping a family member through treatments for an all-too-common medical problem--cancer. That means I am accompanying my family member through diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and eventually medical monitoring and follow-up. Let me tell you, there's nothing like being in the trenches of a patient care experience to see how far we've come, and how far we still need to go to fix healthcare.

The hospital and health system we are visiting uses one the major EHR solutions. However, even within the same institution, departments seem anything but connected. When we have multiple appointments on the same day in different departments, we are still filling out paper forms asking the same questions in every department we visit. Worse yet, even when we make our second or third visits to those departments we are again presented with forms to fill out. Wouldn't it be better to fill out that information on a tablet device or kiosk and make it available to all departments at once? Wouldn't it be better on subsequent visits for us simply to review the information on an electronic screen and edit or update it as needed? Where's the single version of the truth?

 

In the exam room I've noted how much time clinicians and support staff are spending in front of the computer, rather than with the patient. The only doctors not doing this are the super-specialists who foist most of that burden on scribes or other members of their support staff. Furthermore, the computers in the exam rooms are mounted to a wall or sitting on a counter, often forcing the user to have his or her back to the patient. Clinicians must assume a kind of sideways posture with head bobbing back and forth between the machine and the patient. Where are the mobile devices--the laptops, tablets, and smartphones? Has anyone really given a thought to the importance of mobility in clinical workflow?

Then there's the clinical user interface that looks like it came from the dark ages. It took one of our providers about ten minutes just to key in an order for a durable medical supply and print it out for our insurance company. The user interface to the institution's patient-facing portal is equally bad. A web-savvy teenager could likely do better. Today's portals need to look and work more like Facebook or LinkedIn than something from the dawn of the Internet.

Another inefficiency I have observed isn't so much about bad tech as stupid billing mandates. Even when visiting different physicians in different departments on the same day, during each visit staff enter the exam room to take and document vital signs. Over and over again the thermometer and blood pressure come out, even though vital signs were just taken and documented 30 minutes ago in a different department. I finally asked why this was necessary only to be told that unless it is done the physician will not be paid. Has anyone considered what this totally unnecessary and duplicative workflow is costing our hospitals and health systems in wasted staff time? Let's stop the insanity.

By now, I'm sure you are thinking I've grown old and crotchety. I probably have. But please future generations of software developers, EHR vendors, regulators, and others; can't we do better for our clinicians and patients? I'm sure we can.

If you would like to become more familiar with the work Microsoft is doing in health and the healthcare industry (in cloud computing, mobility and devices, productivity and collaboration, and advanced analytics) please contact your account executive or visit Microsoft in Health.

Bill Crounse, MD      Senior Director, Worldwide Health         Microsoft 

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iPad & iPhone EHR Medical Records Apple Touch ID

iPad & iPhone EHR Medical Records Apple Touch ID | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

Apple now introduced the biometric “Touch ID” onto the new iPad, latest iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3.  Touch ID is also on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

What is Touch ID? Touch ID is a little biometric finger print reader on the new iOS devices:

  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Mini 3
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus

With Touch ID, you can now do more with just the touch of a finger, you can log in and verify identity in logging into apps. Touch ID is that little metal ring around the home button on the new iOS devices.

With the introduction of “Touch ID” onto the new iPad we have added something amazing. With three taps you can get into a medical record. You will touch once with Touch ID to get into the iPad, tap the drchrono EHR app, once the app is launched, then with Touch ID, get into their EHR. Only three taps, no typing a passcode.

This video show off Touch ID in action:

This feature was also added to the onpatient Personal Health Record.

This video shows off Touch ID on the PHR in action

 

The great thing about Touch ID is that it only takes a few minutes to setup. To setup Touch ID EHR follow this video, this video applies to all iOS devices with Touch ID, in the video I am showing how you can use an iPhone 6 to setup Touch ID EHR, it is the same for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3:

I spoke about Touch ID a number of months ago, it is now a reality and changing the world.

The amazing thing about Touch ID is that people sometimes forget password and pin codes. This changes the game even more of touch technology in healthcare.



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