KLAS & Interoperability Measurement Advisory Team hold inaugural meeting

OREM, Utah – Feb. 4, 2016 – Aiming to continue and expand the output of the Keystone Summit, the newly established Interoperability Measurement Advisory Team will drive improvement through ongoing measurement of interoperability. Goals for the team include research tool oversight and adaptation, communication of efforts and progress, and advocacy for appropriate measurement standards.

This effort is supported by the freshly inked advisory team mission statement, which is “To effect accelerated advancement in the creation, optimization, and ultimate adoption of impactful interoperability through the measurement of provider experiences. The team will provide insight into and oversight of KLAS’ efforts to measure industry progress, focused especially on provider satisfaction with the utility of exchanged information and vendor support and progress.”

“Research collection for the 2016 interoperability study is already underway, targeting the experience of clinical end-users in receiving data from valued partners outside their system,” said Tim Zoph, committee chair. “What an amazing opportunity we have as a newly formed advisory team to hold ourselves as providers and vendors accountable for evaluating our own progress and developing a measurement tool to ultimately ensure successful interoperability efforts.”

The creation of the advisory team stems from the 2015 KLAS Keystone Summit, where a group of healthcare providers and EMR vendors came together to consider and ultimately recommend a process for measuring the impact of interoperability efforts. The following members represent a unique gathering of cross-industry leaders working together to strengthen collaboration toward interoperability:

Tim Zoph, Chair        Northwestern Medicine (retired)
Bob Cash, Facilitator        KLAS
Bob Barker            NextGen
Dennia Clarke            Allscripts
Peter DeVault            Epic
Darren Dworkin        Cedars-Sinai Health System
John Glaser            Cerner
Edward Glynn, MD        HCA Healthcare
John Halamka, MD        Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Stan Huff, MD            Intermountain Healthcare
Howard Landa    , MD        Alameda Health System
Dan Nigrin, MD        Boston Children’s Hospital
Brian Patty, MD        Rush University Medical Center
Shantanu Paul         Greenway
Donna Roach            Via Christi Health – Ascension
Bob Robke            Cerner
Doran Robinson        athenahealth
Hoda Sayed-Friel        MEDITECH
Nimesh Shah            McKesson
Steve Starkey            MEDHOST
Micky Tripathi            Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative
Helen Waters            MEDITECH
Jon Zimmerman        GE Healthcare

About KLAS
KLAS is a research and insights firm on a global mission to improve healthcare delivery by enabling providers to be heard and counted. Working with thousands of healthcare professionals and clinicians, KLAS gathers data on software, services and medical equipment to deliver timely reports, trends and statistical overviews. The research directly represents the provider voice and acts as a catalyst for improving vendor performance. For more information about KLAS or to view our reports, visit www.klasresearch.com

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HIMSS Puts Optimistic Spin On EMR Value Data

After several years of EMR deployment, one would think that the EMR value proposition had been pretty well established. But the truth is, the financial and clinical return on EMRs still seems to be in question, at least where some aspects of their functioning are concerned.

That, at least, is what I took from the recent HIMSS “Value of Health IT Survey”  released earlier this month. After all, you don’t see Ford releasing a “Value of Cars Survey,” because the value of a car has been pretty much understood since the first ones rolled off of the assembly line more than a century ago.

Industry-wide, the evidence for the value of EMRs is still mixed. At minimum, the value proposition for EMRs is a remarkably tough case to make considering how many billions have been spent on buying, implementing and maintaining them. It’s little surprise that in a recent survey of CHIME members, 71% of respondents said that their top priority for the next 12 months was to realize more value from their EMR investment. That certainly implies that they’re not happy with their EMR’s value prop as it exists.

So, on to the HIMSS survey. To do the research, HIMSS reached out to 52 executives, drawn exclusively from either HIMSS Analytics EMRAM Stage 6 or 7, or Davies Award winning hospitals. In other words, these respondents represent the creme de la creme of EMR implementors, at least as HIMSS measures such things.

HIMSS researchers measured HIT value perceptions among this elite group by sorting responses into one of five areas: Satisfaction, Treatment/Clinical, Electronic Information/Data, Patient Engagement and Population Management and Savings.

HIMSS’ topline conclusion — its success metric, if you will — is that 88 percent of execs reported at least one positive outcome from their EMR. The biggest area of success was in the Treatment/Clinical area, with quality performance of the clinical staff being cited by 83% of respondents. Another area that scored high was savings, with 81% reporting that they’d seen some benefits, primarily in coding accuracy, days in accounts receivable and transcription costs.

On the other end of the scale, execs had to admit that few of their clinical staffers are satisfied with their EMRs. Only 29% of execs said that their EMR had increased physician satisfaction, and less than half (44%) said their nurses were more satisfied. If that isn’t a red flag I don’t know what is.

Admittedly, there are positive results here, but you have to consider the broader context for this study. We’re talking about a piece of software that cost organizations tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars, upon which many of their current and future plans rest. If I told you that my new car’s engine worked and the wheels turned, but that the brakes were dodgy, fuel economy abysmal and the suspension bumpy, wouldn’t you wonder whether I should have bought it in the first place?

Posted in EMR ROI, Healthcare CIO, Hospital CIO, Hospital EHR Vendor, Hospital EMR, Hospital EMR Vendor, Hospital Financial Management, Hospital Healthcare IT, Hospital IT Budget, Hospital IT Systems, Revenue cycle management | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on HIMSS Puts Optimistic Spin On EMR Value Data

Patient Identification and Patient Matching A Million Dollar Challenge

Healthcare Scene recently had the chance to sit down with a panel of experts on patient identification and patient matching. In this interview we talk over the challenges associated with matching patients in healthcare and the damage that’s done when you don’t match the right patient. We also talk about the solutions to the patient identification and matching problem including the impact a national patient identifier would have on the problem. Finally we talk about CHIME’s $1 million National Patient ID challenge.

Here’s a look at those who participated in the discussion:

If you’re interested in the challenge of patient identification and patient matching in healthcare, then you’ll enjoy this discussion:

Also, after the more formal discussion we take some questions from the live audience in what we call the “after party.” Along with discussing Beth Just’s new alter ego, we also dive in deeper on the topic of patient identification and matching:

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Healthcare Providers’ Analytics Needs Remain Ahead of Vendor Capabilities

Chilmark Research’s latest report finds that the pace of development of analytics solutions has yet to match the pace set by rapidly changing payment models.
 

Boston, MA, February 3, 2016 -Chilmark Research’s latest report, 2016 Analytics for Population Health Management Market Trends Report, reveals that vendor solutions are not keeping pace with the accelerating demands of a rapidly transforming industry. While vendors continue to make progress in the functional evolution of their analytics solutions, healthcare organizations (HCOs) struggle with the complexity of their data management requirements and embedding analytical insights into clinical workflows in support of strategic initiatives. This extensive update to the 2014 edition builds on Chilmark’s comprehensive review of available solutions to serve the analytics needs of HCOs to enable their Population Health Management (PHM) strategies. The report also presents a new model for understanding the value chain for clinical analytics across the enterprise.

The most important driver underlying strong growth in data analytics is the move to alternative payment models, often referred to as value-based reimbursement (VBR). Future financial success in the VBR realm requires HCOs to effectively manage risks, utilization and costs while concurrently improving quality and optimizing outcomes. Today, however, HCOs must straddle the two different payment regimes of fee-for-service (FFS) and VBR. Analytics solutions are currently focusing on helping HCOs maximize revenue (hitting quality targets) and leverage traditional FFS reimbursements (closing care gaps). A secondary objective is to help HCOs reduce medical costs (variability) and unnecessary utilization (readmissions reduction and low-acuity, non-emergent utilization).

The report points to an important, ongoing challenge – incorporating analytics into existing workflows. While vendors have made progress with analytics functionality, workflow integration ultimately keeps analytics out of the hands of clinicians who could benefit most from insights at the point of care. Today, clinicians typically exit their EHR, toggling to a clinical portal for analytically-derived insights.

Another notable finding is the relatively rapid progress made by EHR vendors in the last year. Vendors such as Cerner, Epic, and eClinicalWorks have added functionality and seen strong adoption by their customers. Independent vendors are not standing still. They continue to enhance their solutions and acquire new customers, staying one step ahead of the EHR vendors on functionality. EHR vendors, however, hold the advantage of existing customer relationships and often better ability to embed insights into clinician workflow.

According to Jody Ranck, Chilmark analyst and co-author of the report, “We still see much of the analytics market in an immature stage of development. A major obstacle is a lack of sound governance and data curation strategies that enable health care organizations to leverage their data and analytics capabilities across the entire data analytics value chain. The market is at a pivot point where we will need to see more Chief Analytics Officers and the rhetoric of ‘data-driven organizations’ manifested in reality.”

The report is available to subscribers of the Chilmark Advisory Service or may be purchased separately. For more information, visit www.chilmarkresearch.com/reports. Direct inquiries for purchase should be addressed to Sean Campbell atsean@chilmarkresearch.com.

About Chilmark Research
Chilmark Research is the only industry analyst firm focusing solely on the most transformational trends in healthcare IT. We combine proven research methodologies with intelligence and insight to provide cogent analyses of the emerging technologies that have the greatest potential to improve healthcare. We do not shy away from making tough calls, and are respected in the industry for our direct and thoughtful commentary. For more information visit: www.chilmarkresearch.com

Vendors Profiled: The Advisory Board Company, Aetna ActiveHealth, Aetna HDMS, Arcadia Healthcare Solutions, Caradigm, CareEvolution, Cerner Corporation, Conifer Health Solutions, eClinicalWorks, Epic Systems Corporation, Geneia LLC, Health Catalyst, HealthEC, IBM Watson Health, McKesson, Optum, Oracle, Orion Health, Premier, Inc., SAP, Tableau, Transcend Insights, Truven Health Analytics, Verisk Health, Wellcentive, Inc.

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Health App Millionaires

The market research firm research2guidance put out this really interesting graphic of the profiles of mHealth companies. Although I find it even more interesting that they grouped the mHealth apps into Millionaires and Low Earners. Take a look:

mHealth App Millionaires Chart

The motivation section of the chart is what is most scary. The low earners want to help people and reduce costs. The mHealth millionaires want to increase sales and improve brand awareness. Is this disturbing to anyone else. I think there’s a balance of the two that can be achieved. What are your thoughts and experiences?

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Are You Prepared For Healthcare Ransomware?

Earlier this month, a Texas hospital was hit with a particularly loathsome virus.  Leaders at Mount Pleasant, Tx.-based Titus Regional Medical Center found out on January 15 that a “ransomware” virus had encrypted files on several of the medical center’s database servers, blocking access to EMR data as well as the ability to enter data into the system.

In this kind of attack, the malware author demands a financial ransom to be paid for freeing up the data. TRMC didn’t disclose how much money the attacker(s) demanded, but it may have been an immense sum, because the hospital apparently thought that bringing in pricey security consultants and enduring several days of downtime was preferable to paying up. Although, they also probably realized the slippery slope of paying the ransom and also there’s no guarantee those receiving the ransom money will actually permanently fix the problem.

It would be nice to think that this was just a passing fad, but researchers suggest that it’s not. In fact, US victims of ransomware reported losses of more than $18 million in 14 months, according to an FBI report issued in June.

According to one news report, the average ransomware demand is about $300 per consumer. The amount demanded goes up, however, when business or government organizations are involved. For example, when a series of small police departments in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Tennessee were hit with a ransomware attack tying up their key databases, they ended up paying between $500 to $750 to get back access to their data. One can only imagine what a savvy intruder familiar with the life-and-death demand for health information would charge to free up an EMR database or laboratory information system data store.

But the threat isn’t just to enterprise assets. Not only are hospital enterprise network attacks via ransomware likely to increase, these exploits could take place via wearables or medical devices in 2016, according to technology analyst firm Forrester Research. Such attacks don’t just use medical devices to reach databases; Forrester predicts that some ransomware attacks will disable the medical devices themselves.

Given how important mobile technology has become to healthcare, it’s worth noting that ransomware is increasingly targeting mobile devices as well. For example, a recent strain of Android virus known as Lockdroid ransomware is now afoot. While it has no direct healthcare implications, one of the things it does is threaten to send a user’s browsing history to friends and family unless they pay the ransom. The victim, who may get tricked into allowing malicious code to gain admin privileges on their device, could end up having their personal data — and perhaps data from an EMR app — sent wherever the attacker chooses.

It seems to me that the ransomware threat will push healthcare organizations to mirror their core data assets in new and heretofore unheard of ways. HIT departments will have to bring disaster recovery methods and network intrusion defenses to prevent the worst possible outcome — a hack that kills one or more patients — and quickly. Meanwhile, if a company specializing in protecting healthcare firms from ransomware doesn’t exist yet, I suspect one will exist by the end of 2016.

Posted in Hospital EHR, Hospital Electronic Health Record, Hospital Electronic Medical Record, Hospital EMR, Hospital Healthcare IT, Hospital HIPAA, Hospital IT Systems, Medical Devices, Mobile Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Are You Prepared For Healthcare Ransomware?

Chiron Health Releases Telemedicine Insurance Rules Engine and Reimbursement Guarantee

Chiron Health announced that the company has released an industry-first telemedicine insurance Rules Engine and Reimbursement Guarantee. This advanced set of telemedicine billing and reimbursement tools helps physician practices overcome the most common barrier to telemedicine adoption.

Austin, TX – February 3, 2016 – Chiron Health, Inc., a leading provider of HIPAA-compliant video visit and reimbursement services, today announced that the company has released the industry’s most advanced set of telemedicine software billing and reimbursement tools.

“Video-based telemedicine is a rapidly emerging standard of care for many types of routine consultations, yet reimbursement complexity has remained the largest obstacle to broader telehealth adoption by physician practices,” said Andrew O’Hara, Founder and CEO of Chiron Health.

To combat this roadblock to telemedicine adoption, Chiron Health has released a set of tools that automate the billing and reimbursement process—removing the burden from office staff to manually check telemedicine eligibility nuances and exceptions. The Chiron Rules Engine initiates a telemedicine insurance eligibility check each time a video visit is scheduled by automatically pulling the patient’s insurance information from the clinic’s practice management system.

By checking the patient’s insurance information against a proprietary database of state telemedicine reimbursement mandates and payer-specific nuances, Chiron Health is able to make an accurate determination of the patient’s eligibility for telemedicine reimbursement. In addition, the Chiron Rules Engine gets smarter with each eligibility check performed, pushing new rules to all clients through its cloud-based technology—ultimately cutting down on frustrating denials.

“Given the effectiveness of the Chiron Rules Engine, we’re also proud to offer the Chiron Reimbursement Guarantee,” said O’Hara. “If we verify a patient’s eligibility and a claim is later denied, our team will work to resolve the issue—if we can’t get it resolved, we’ll reimburse the claim ourselves.”

Chiron Health’s advanced billing and reimbursement tools guide practices through the complexities of telemedicine reimbursement and get physicians paid faster.

About Chiron Health, Inc.
Chiron Health is the only platform designed to get physician practices fully reimbursed for secure video visits. The company’s extensive knowledge of telemedicine regulation and reimbursement allows Chiron to guide practices through the complexities of telemedicine. The result? Guaranteed reimbursement. For more information, visit www.chironhealth.com

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Tips For Young Healthcare Executives Managing Older Experienced Staff

These days, it is not uncommon to see fresher and younger talents tackle management positions and working together with the more experienced and older colleagues. The number of executives that hold high corporate ranks while still in their 20s-30s has impressively grown through the years, despite the fact that seniority is generally a determining factor for promotion opportunities. This shifting corporate culture may bring about many different challenges to organizations, since younger CEOs and executives may struggle with supervising their employees, who are 10-20 years their senior. These older employees could feel discomfited when reporting to their younger employers and having to take directions from them. Nonetheless, there are several strategies that I have used in these situations, which may assist in bringing harmony and balance to these relationships.

Be clear with what you expect
Only the head of the department will be able to set the tone for the culture of the organization. It is the head of the department who will determine what will and will not be tolerated among the employees and the leadership team. As a young leader, whether you are the CEO, CIO, COO, CXO, or any other head of the department, you must be clear with the expectation and directions. Act like the leader of the department or of your team and communicate as much as possible to avoid any ambiguity.

Communicate consistently
One way of establishing better rapport with the older employees is to develop an understanding about their motivations, working attitude, needs, and values. To gain understanding, it is important that the employer and employees have regular conversations. A clear understanding of the employees’ motivations is critical for you to develop the organizational strategy. Your management strategy for an employee who is two years away from retiring is going to be a whole lot different from that for an employee who still has another ten or more years ahead of them before retirement.

However, as the head of the department, I believe that it is important to put the organization as a whole first before individual team members. In this regard, you should still strive to do what is best for both parties and always sympathize with the employee by putting yourself in their shoes and treating them the same way that you would like to be treated if the situation was reversed.

Address their weaknesses supportively
Younger executives should not be afraid to acknowledge the older employees’ weaknesses in a supportive manner. While it may be a widespread belief that older employees are likely to resist learning new things and are less likely to succeed in the digital era, I believe that this is a misconception. From my experience, there are actually a number of older workers who are more than eager to embrace new technologies. You will be able to encourage and assist such older employees to adapt to the new digital generation and be more comfortable with the technological changes by supporting them through use of manual demonstrations, tutorials, and various training programs.   Give these employees the benefit of the doubt and be patient, while assisting and insisting upon their endeavor to engage in learning and applying new technologies in this digital era. The experience must be a positive one to motivate any individual to change.

Tap their experience
Notwithstanding the above, older employees who choose to remain in the work place, even if they are approaching retirement age, also have a lot to offer to the department. They may be able to provide the younger leaders with valuable information and insight from their years of experience in the field. Having their experience tapped through executive mentoring in which the older colleagues are offering guidance and advice on certain cases could help you shape better strategies. Everyone has a story to tell and a lesson to teach that may be valuable for any leader, young or old. In turn, this form of communication could make the older employees feel appreciated and motivated.

Find balance and harmony
Notwithstanding the above, as a young leader, you still need to be clear with the older employees that, while you are giving value to their experience, you are still the leader of the team and the ultimate decision-maker. This requires a delicate balance between strength and sensitivity – specifically, a balance between being a strong leader and a sensitive mentor.

There are many approaches younger leaders can take to work well and successfully with older employees in a department. Some of these approaches have already been enumerated above. However, no matter what strategies are adopted, the key to being an effective young leader is to treat all employees with respect and dignity, while maintaining your authority. This way you will be able to ensure balance and harmony in your department, which will result in a strong work culture and successful operations in the business.

If you’d like to receive future health care C-Level executive posts by David in your inbox, you can subscribe to future Health Care CXO Scene posts here.

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EHR, What’s Next?

EHR Whats Next with Dana Sellers
With the announcement that meaningful use is going to be replaced (Not to be confused with meaningful use is dead like many claimed.) along with a maturing of the EHR market, I thought it might be time to ask the question, EHR, what’s next? This discussion should include how to better leverage your current EHR investment, but also look at what other investments organizations should be making to get the most out of everything that’s happening in healthcare IT. On Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 11:30 AM ET (8:30 AM PT), I’ll be sitting down with Dana Sellers, CEO of Encore, A Quintiles Company to talk over what’s next for EHR and healthcare IT.

You can join my live conversation with Dana Sellers and even add your own comments to the discussion or ask Dana questions. All you need to do to watch live is visit this blog post on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 11:30 AM ET (8:30 AM PT) and watch the video embed at the bottom of the post or you can subscribe to the blab directly. We’ll be doing a more formal interview for the first 30 minutes and then open up the Blab to others who want to add to the conversation or ask us questions. The conversation will be recorded as well and available on this post after the interview.

With an amazing depth of experience, Dana’s been through a wide variety of healthcare IT cycles. I can’t wait to hear Dana’s thoughts on what’s going to happen with meaningful use, how can healthcare organizations better leverage their EHR investment, where are we really seeing analytics and other buzzword worthy terms breaking through, and what other technologies are on the horizon that will improve healthcare? Please join us Thursday and share your experience as well.

If you’d like to see the archives of Healthcare Scene’s past interviews, you can find and subscribe to all of Healthcare Scene’s interviews on YouTube.

Posted in Healthcare Leadership, Hospital EHR, Hospital Electronic Health Record, Hospital Electronic Medical Record, Hospital EMR, Hospital Healthcare IT, Meaningful Use | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on EHR, What’s Next?

Video Interview with Helen Waters, VP at MEDITECH

Healthcare Scene was lucky to sit down with Helen Waters, VP at MEDITECH, to talk about the EHR market and MEDITECH’s place in that market. Plus, we dive into the culture and history of MEDITECH and how it’s changed. We also explore MEDITECH’s plans around innovation, integration, and value along with MEDITECH’s efforts to deploy cloud and mobile solutions. Finally, we had to talk about healthcare interoperability. We hope you’ll enjoy this wide ranging interview with Helen Waters:

After the formal interview we did above, we allow people watching live to be able to ask questions and even hop on camera to offer their insights or ask questions of Helen in what we call the “after party.” In this “after party” discussion we talk to Helen about her thoughts on the changing healthcare reimbursement landscape and what MEDITECH is doing to prepare for it. We also talk about integrating telemedicine into MEDITECH. I also ask Helen about MEDITECH’s views on EHR APIs.

We hope you’ll enjoy this look into EHR vendor, MEDITECH.

Posted in EHR, EHR Videos, Electronic Health Record, Electronic Medical Record, EMR, EMR Videos, Healthcare IT | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Video Interview with Helen Waters, VP at MEDITECH