Category: Healthcare

Healthcare

HIMSS 2011 Wrap Up: Why ACOs are the push that will drive data – unstructured and structured – to work together

HIMSS 2011 Wrap Up: Why ACOs are the push that will drive data – unstructured and structured – to work together

Instead of putting my post-HIMSS evaluation to paper…err blog…right away, I let it simmer. I read every media outlet recap, rehash and regurgitation of the event. And, without surprise, the most popular three letters were ACO (accountable care organization). The excitement of ACOs at HIMSS was well-warranted – after all, the model could potentially revolutionize the way that healthcare is performed and achieved. But, although HIMSS is clearly a healthcare IT organization, I was a bit disappointed that the implications for healthcare IT were only mentioned in passing. Since I’m guessing I’m not the only one in this boat, here’s my evaluation of it, taken from media, attendee and analyst meetings. To start, let’s just say that if you thought “meaningful use” incentives were driving healthcare IT adoption, you haven’t seen anything yet. The proposed ACO model means that compensation is based on keeping costs down and improving outcomes. In other words, doctors would be thrilled to have consistent, accurate data that’s readily available. With all of these drivers in place, the ramifications are clear: the time has come that unstructured and structured data working together is an absolute must. As one of the analysts put it during a meeting we had at the show, “unstructured data is coming of age in healthcare.”
HIMSS Day 2 Recap: Mobile Isn’t Just About Receiving Information – It’s About Storing Information

HIMSS Day 2 Recap: Mobile Isn’t Just About Receiving Information – It’s About Storing Information

Across all industries, there’s no doubt that mobile is a hot topic. In the ECM world, we’re thinking about how we can keep those individuals that do much of their work away from a desk – claims adjuster, government field worker, etc. – as connected and as seamlessly involved in the process as possible. In healthcare, it’s usually the idea that a physician could use a mobile device similarly to how they use a pad of paper. But, with a device, it’s not only about inputting information, but also retrieving already stored content to make better decisions at the point of care. This idea came up regularly, both in conversations with attendees and the media. There are a lot of questions about whether this would ease or complicate what the IT folks are trying to accomplish – get the right technology in place and get physicians to use it. But, to the attendees of this year’s HIMSS, mobile also took on a different connotation.
HIMSS 2011 Day 1-Systems That Work Together Work for Healthcare

HIMSS 2011 Day 1: Systems That Work Together Work for Healthcare

The first day of HIMSS 2011 has come to an end, and it’s certainly been a much different feel than last year. Last year, it was about meaningful use of patient information. But today, attendees seemed to be focusing on a more actionable question – how? As one reporter that I spoke with put it, no one system is going to do it all. Healthcare organizations must realize this. Once they do, their priorities shift to focus on ensuring multiple systems work together. From the patient care perspective, this is where interoperability plays in a big way. I had the opportunity to visit the Interoperability Showcase yesterday, and my tour was focused on an event that happened that needed to be documented and archived in a static form. What struck me most in what the three vendors showed was what was implied – this is an optimal situation, and isn’t something that’s happening now universally when there is IT in place.
HIMSS Day 1, Part II: What About the Cloud?

HIMSS Day 1, Part II: What About the Cloud?

What’s my favorite part about HIMSS? You never know who you’re going to run into. Waiting for the hotel shuttle yesterday, I ended up having a conversation about the future of healthcare IT with none other than the founder of Quality Systems Inc. and NextGen, Sheldon Razin. Sheldon is the classic entrepreneur – he knows so much about a field – healthcare IT – and wants to share it with anyone who’ll listen. So, naturally, he lit up when I asked him, “What do you think is the future of healthcare IT?”
HIMSS 2011 Asks: What’s Next in Healthcare IT?

HIMSS 2011 Asks: What’s Next in Healthcare IT?

Every year, a major theme seems to pop out of the HIMSS Conference & Exhibition. And far after the show ends, it’s that theme that impacts the whole healthcare IT field, from the federal government to community hospitals to vendors. Before heading into the show, I catch up on what the healthcare IT influencers are saying to get a feel for what that powerful theme could be for the industry. And what better way to start than by getting into David Blumenthal’s head? His most recent blog post on the HealthITBuzz blog covered a lot. But what resonated with me was how it kept coming back to empowering healthcare providers with information. One excerpt stuck out the most: “In health care, as in so many industries, information plays a vital role. From diagnosis and treatment of an individual, to the allocation of health organization resources, and even real-time response to public health needs, decisions are guided by the available information…Effective patient care takes more than a good doctor—it takes coordination and a critical mass of data. Health IT provides the infrastructure to support those goals at a new level.” What? “Critical mass of data?” “Available information?” Whatever happened to meaningful use of information?
Best in KLAS rankings are out: Three trends in healthcare ECM software

Best in KLAS rankings are out: Three trends in healthcare ECM software

Every year at this time, KLAS, a healthcare IT analyst firm, releases vendor rankings within several technology categories, including what they call “Document Management and Imaging.” The rankings are based on vendor-specific customer feedback. But every year, when I open it and look at the data points, I wonder “vendor ratings are great, but what does this really mean for the state of healthcare ECM today?” So if you’ll indulge me, here are the three things that that I think stand out in this report: 1. It’s not document management and imaging anymore – it’s enterprise content management (ECM). This has always been a peeve of mine. While the report calls it “Document Managing and Imaging,” KLAS knows well that, today, ECM isn’t just scan, store and retrieve – it’s routing patient charts, integrating with an electronic medical record (EMR), etc. And, because ECM should be ubiquitous throughout the organization (for example, not just in the back office), it is therefore a long term, strategic investment. The market verified this in the report. One of the ratings was if the technology was a “part of long term plans.” The leaders in the report had very high marks here, including Hyland’s ranking where 100 percent said it was a part of long term plans (disclosure: I work for Hyland). 2. What’s increasingly becoming the most common point of entry for ECM in healthcare? Integrating with the EMR. In other industries, most of the paper and process pains are felt in accounts payable and human resources, so these areas often drive ECM strategies. But the customer comments in the report made it clear that, in healthcare, the priorities are elsewhere: the clinical side.
Investing for the long term: Putting the “E” in ECM

Investing for the long term: Putting the “E” in ECM

Have you heard the buzz around electronic health records? It’s all about the need to put the oftentimes paper patient records and data into electronic format. That’s all well and good, but what about the rest of the healthcare organization? Much like most businesses, there are administrative functions like HR and AP that also have plenty of processes and content that needs to be managed. While the media is only talking about the patient record side of things, I was relieved today when talking with a large healthcare delivery network. The woman I chatted with said that while they’re starting with ECM on the clinical side, one of their major requirements was choosing an ECM solution with the ability to extend to the rest of the organization.