Epic EHR Switching Video from Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC)

We’re back with another Fun Friday video (and a bonus story) to prepare you for the weekend. This week’s Fun Friday video comes from Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC) doing a parody of a Hamilton song, “Right Hand Man,” as part of their switch to Epic. The production quality is really quite amazing and I love the choice of Hamilton. Check it out:

Now for a fun little story. I showed one of these EHR go-live videos to the Healthcare IT and EHR course I taught in Dubai. The majority of attendees were from Saudia Arabia with a few from Kuwait and UAE.

Well, the attendees loved the video. I asked them how well creating a video like this would go over in their hospitals. They all laughed and shook their heads. Certainly, the cultures are quite different. However, I did find it interesting that just as many people in the middle east were taking selfies as the US. Maybe the human desire isn’t all that different.

I don’t expect any of my students in the workshop to do anything like the above video. However, the concept of bringing your team together in an effort like what it takes to create this video is a powerful idea that could be applied regardless of culture.

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Measuring Population Health ROI Is Still Tricky

Over the past few years, health systems have made massive investments in population health management technology. Given the forces driving the investments are still present – or even closer at hand – there’s every reason to believe that they will continue.

That being said, health leaders are beginning to ask more questions about what they’re getting in return.  While systems may have subjected the initial investments to less scrutiny than usual, having accepted that they were critically necessary, many of these organizations are now trying to figure out what kind of return on investment they can expect to realize. In the process, some are finding out that even deciding what to measure is still somewhat tricky.

Many healthcare organizations started out with a sense that while investment returns on pop health management tech would take a while, they were in the knowable future. For example, according to a KPMG survey conducted in early 2015, 20 percent of respondents believed that returns on their investment in population health IT would materialize in one to two years, 36 percent expected to see ROI in three to four years and 29 percent were looking at a five+ year horizon.

At the time, though, many of the execs answering the survey questions were just getting started with pop health. Thirty-eight percent said their population health management capabilities were elementary-stage, 23 percent said they were in their infancy and 15 percent said such capabilities were non-existent, KPMG reported.

Since then, health systems and hospitals have found that measuring – much less realizing – returns generated by these investments can be complicated and uncertain. According to Dennis Weaver, MD, a senior consultant with the Advisory Board, one mistake many organizations make is evaluating ROI based solely on whether they’re doing well in their managed care contracts.

“They are trying to pay for all of the investment – the technology, care managers, operational changes, medical homes—all with the accountable payment bucket,” said Weaver, who spoke with Healthcare Informatics.

Other factors to consider

Dr. Weaver argues that healthcare organizations should take at least two other factors into account when evaluating pop health ROI, specifically reduction of leakage and unwarranted care variation. For example, cutting down on leakage – having patients go out of network – offers a 7 to 10 times greater revenue opportunity than meeting accountable care goals. Meanwhile, by reducing unwarranted variations in care and improving outcomes, organizations can see a 5 percent to 10 percent margin improvement, Weaver told the publication.

Of course, no one approach will hold true for every organization.  Bobbie Brown, senior vice president with HealthCatalyst, suggests taking a big-picture approach and drilling down into how specific technologies net out financially.

She recommends that health organizations start the investment analysis with broad strategic questions like “Does this investment help us grow?” and “Are we balancing risk and reward?” She also proposes that health leaders create a matrix which compares the cost/benefit ratio for individual components of the planned pop health program, such as remote monitoring and care management. Sometimes, putting things into a matrix makes it clear which approaches are likely to pay off, she notes.

Over time, it seems likely that healthcare leaders will probably come to a consensus on what elements to measure when sizing up their pop health investments, as with virtually every other major HIT expense. But in the interim, it seems that figuring out where to look for ROI is going to take more work.

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Hyperledger Adds Change Healthcare as Premier Member

SAN FRANCISCO, May 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Hyperledger, a collaborative cross-industry effort created to advance blockchain technology, announced today at Consensus in New York that Change Healthcare has joined as a Premier Member of the project. One of America’s largest healthcare IT companies, Change Healthcare is the first healthcare organization to join at the top membership level. As a Premier member, Change Healthcare, CTO Aaron Symanski will join the Hyperledger Governing Board.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Change Healthcare as a Premier member,” said Hyperledger Executive Director, Brian Behlendorf. “Their expertise and global reach is sure to be a huge asset, as we continue to bring the community together to advance open blockchain tools and services for healthcare and various other industries.”

Hyperledger aims to create common distributed ledger technology that enables organizations to build and run robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions. Since the beginning of 2016, Hyperledger has grown to more than 140 members that span various industries including finance, healthcare, the Internet of Things and Aeronautics, among several others. Hyperledger is committed to helping the healthcare industry realize the full potential of open source blockchain technologies and as such kicked off a Healthcare Working Group last October that has grown to more than 425 technologists and executives.

“Blockchain is a promising and exciting new technology for secure online transactions,” said Aaron Symanski, CTO, Change Healthcare. “But it’s crucial that healthcare leaders step up to champion innovation to help take blockchain from its early implementations to tomorrow’s healthcare IT solutions. I look forward to collaborating with Hyperledger members to help develop an open, distributed ledger technology that makes secure and safe financial interoperability work better in healthcare and beyond.”

To see a full list of member companies, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/about/members. If you’re interested in joining Hyperledger as a member company, please visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/about/join

About Change Healthcare

On March 2, 2017, Change Healthcare and McKesson announced the closing of their transaction to form a new healthcare technology company.

The new company is called Change Healthcare. Change Healthcare is inspiring a better healthcare system. Working alongside our customers and partners, we leverage our software and analytics, network solutions and technology-enabled services to help them improve efficiency, reduce costs, increase cash flow, and more effectively manage complex workflows. Together, we are accelerating the journey toward improved lives and healthier communities. Learn more at www.changehealthcare.com.

About Hyperledger
Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance blockchain technology by addressing important features for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing and Technology. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger as a Collaborative Project under the foundation. To learn more, visit:https://www.hyperledger.org/.

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Vendor Involvement in Online Communities – Caution but Proceed Forward

At the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit #HMPS17 (May 8-10 in Austin TX), I presented alongside Dan Dunlop @dandunlop President of Jennings and Cindy Price Gavin @cindypricegavin, Founding Executive Director of Let’s Win! Sharing Science Solutions for Pancreatic Cancer. The three of us will discuss Online Communities

The same week on the #hcldr tweetchat we asked the community for opinions on vendor involvement in online healthcare communities:

  • Should healthcare vendors join online communities or stay clear?
  • Should online communities like #hcldr #lcsm #LupusChat or #bcsm be accepting of sponsorships or would they lose too much credibility?

These questions generated a lot of discussion and a variety of viewpoints were shared.

In general, most people were favorable to vendors participating in online communities – as long as they didn’t try to push their products/services while interacting with community members.

One particularly interesting viewpoint was shared by Ken Gordon @quickmuse:

Ken’s point is well made: people want to connect with people, not faceless company avatars. In an online community, members want to interact with other members and get useful information. So if a company wants to participate, one easy path to success is to allow individuals from the company be the participant not the company account itself. The company “wins” twofold with this approach. First, employees will feel valued and trusted since the company is allowing them to express themselves online. Second, the company will gain goodwill be seen by the association to active members who are contributing to the conversation.

There are plenty of great examples from both the #hcldr and #HITsm communities. Just look at @TextraHealth, @OchoTex, @burtrosen, @MandiBPro, @drnic1 and @techguy – each represents the company they work for/at AND contributes to the community as unique individuals. They are all trusted individuals and by extension we look upon the organizations they represent more favorably.

One of the most important factors to vendor involvement in an online healthcare community is disclosure. This was brought up several times when #hcldr discussed the second question:

Many recommended that community leaders establish clear guidelines for how sponsorship money would to be used and to publish what vendors could expect/not expect in return for their $$$.

Other practical advice for community administrators and hosts included:

Personally, I believe vendors SHOULD get involved in online healthcare communities – even if just to listen to what their target audiences are saying. They could learn so much just by seeing what topics are being discussed and the frustrations people are experiencing. Product marketers and developers would have a field day with all the information being shared online.

One word of caution though – when vendors do decide to participate, they need to realize that many in the community will be very skeptical at the start. Online communities are typically outgrowths of individual passions and interests. As such, corporations can be viewed by many as “invaders” into a private space. So caution…but please proceed forward.

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Real-Time Health Systems (RTHS) and Experiential Wayfinding

The following is a guest blog post by Jody Shaffer from Jibestream.

You have probably heard about Real-Time Health Systems (RTHS). This is a game-changing trend among healthcare providers where the delivery of healthcare is transforming to a more aware and patient-centric system. Providers are leveraging technology to get pertinent information to decision makers as quickly as possible empowering them to make more informed decisions in real-time. Facilities that are amenable to change will remain strong in competitive markets, while those who are reluctant to adapt will fall behind.

As we entered this new era in healthcare, providers are faced with a series of challenges. Smart medical devices are transforming the healthcare dynamic as medical data and information is produced and multiplying at an exponential rate, yet it’s use has not been keeping pace. This data overload has created a significant obstacle for healthcare providers to overcome. There is also intense pressure to create a consumer and patient experience that is dynamic, accessible and engaging.

So the question is, how can healthcare providers quickly process and interpret copious amounts of data into a digestible format for immediate patient consumption while internalizing and translating the same data into operational intelligence?

The answer lies in evolving to a paradigm that is situationally aware and patient-centric in both operations and management. Not only is this pivotal in successfully achieving a RTHS, it ensures that healthcare providers connect, communicate and collaborate more effectively than they have in the past.

When looking to achieve a Real-Time Healthcare System, there are four primary phases that need to be addressed:

Phase 1 – Collecting data

Phase 2 – Processing data

Phase 3 – Translating data into intelligence

Phase 4 – Utilizing/sharing data

The final two phases are essential for healthcare providers to excel in this changing market dynamic and meet increasing patient expectations.

To yield valuable intelligence, data needs to be presented with situational context. Raw data is in itself useful for analytics, but can only be leveraged to create spatial awareness when augmented with location-based data.

Consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of real-time access to information from mobile devices and apps, and healthcare is no exception. Through a combination of location-aware technologies, hospitals can eliminate some of patient’s biggest frustrations fostering a more positive patient experience across the continuum of care.

Mobile apps, digital maps and interactive kiosks leverage connected technologies to help create a more familiar and engaging environment promoting an effortless and seamless patient experience.

Experiential wayfinding, made available through these technologies, form the foundation for enhancing patient experience, which is paramount to the success of a healthcare organization. Experiential wayfinding reduces the complexity of indoor spaces by anticipating where people are going and what they are looking for. It can be used to direct visitors to a facility and identify parking availability nearest their desired location. Once there, it can be used to guide visitors to destination(s) within a facility using turn-by turn directions making it easy and less stressful to get where they need to go.

An integrated platform can also enable proactive interactions engaging patients before, during, and after hospital visits. The use of mobile messaging to deliver contextual content based on a patient’s location and profile help create a more pleasant and efficient patient experience. Prior to a visitor’s departure to a hospital, the facility’s mobile apps can share information such as appointment delays or traffic delays to take into account on the way there. Mobile messaging also enables facilities to communicate with visitors by sending appointment reminders, context-aware messages, preparation guidelines, post-care instructions, and more. Another application of this can save patients the frustration of intolerable wait-times when a hospital is stretched beyond capacity by sending notifications to offer a change of appointment or alternate appointment location.

Location awareness and spatial context benefit both patients and healthcare providers alike. For clinicians and healthcare teams, this translates to accelerated productivity facilitated through visibility, the streamlining of processes resulting in the elimination of inefficiencies, minimizing staff interruptions, and a balance between resources and demand.

When managed properly, a RTHS enables healthcare providers to improve patient satisfaction and outcomes by leveraging the vast amount of data made available through connected computers, technologies and medical equipment across hospitals, clinics, and patient homes.

By merging the location dimension into healthcare systems, providers are able to bring order to complex data. Through geoenrichment and data visualization, providers can improve patient experiences and outcomes, uncover previously unseen data patterns, realize workflow efficiencies through connected technologies and enrich business insights leading to better more actionable decisions.

Behind the Scenes: Preparing for a RTHS Transition

  • Digitization of Space (converting CAD/DWG map files to SVG)
    Before data can be presented in the context of a map, healthcare providers need to digitize their space. This provides a scalable platform for plotting data to support multiple use cases.
  • Connect core systems and data
    Leveraging technology that offers interoperability allows for seamless integration of core systems and data
  • Connect assets and people
    Create situational awareness by connecting to assets and people
  • Connect maps to data with Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS)
    Look for a solution that offer a technology agnostic architecture to calibrate maps Indoor Positioning
  • Implementation
    Make all this available by extending solution to patient and nonpatient hospital workflows

About Jody Shaffer
Jody Shaffer is an experienced marketer with more than 13 years in the software industry. Jody currently leads the marketing department at Jibestream, an award-winning company specializing in indoor mapping and location intelligence solutions. The company’s platform provides developers with the tools to build custom map-enabled applications unlocking the full potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). Jibestream’s platform can be found implemented in hospitals and health care facilities across north America.

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Healthcare Analytics are the Problem. Applied AI is the Solution.

The following is a guest blog post by Gurjeet Singh, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Ayasdi.

The combination of electronic medical records, financial data, clinical data, and advanced analytics promised to revolutionize healthcare.

It hasn’t happened.

The common excuse is that healthcare wasn’t really prepared for the enormity and complexity of the data challenge and that, over time, with the next EMR implementation, that healthcare will be positioned to reap the benefits. Unfortunately, the next generation of EMR, or the one after that, isn’t going to solve the problem.

They problem is on the analytics side.

Healthcare analytics are still driven by a question-first approach. The start of our analytics journey still begins with the question.  The challenge is which question? The more data we have at our disposal, the more potential questions there are and the lower the likelihood that we will ask the one that generates new value for the patient, the provider, or the payer. Even when we are successful in asking the right question, we have engaged in a confirmatory process – we have confirmed something we already knew.

Some will suggest that predictive analytics solves the problem, but it too is hypothesis driven – just in a different way. With predictive analytics, the set of variables selected, the choice of algorithms are, in effect, guesses as to what will produce the best outcome.

Ultimately, both approaches are flawed.

We need a new approach that surfaces trends we humans haven’t even considered, and that delivers a host of meaningful insights to clinicians before they even ask any questions. We need technology solutions that combine the best qualities of human intelligence (artificial intelligence) with the best computing capabilities that exceed human ability (machine learning).  When these technologies are operationalized systematically across an enterprise, it’s called Applied AI.  Applied AI is here to replace healthcare analytics, and we all stand to benefit.

Five Keys to Applied AI

Applied AI has already begun driving care improvement, cost-reduction, and improved clinical and financial decision-making across the healthcare enterprise – and the entire healthcare continuum. Applied AI is not a concept, but a series of intelligent applications that target discrete healthcare problems from clinical variation to population health. These intelligent applications have a collection of capabilities that make them intelligent – of which all need to be present. Let’s look at those capabilities:

DiscoveryIntelligent applications need to support both unsupervised and semi-supervised discovery. These capabilities are quite rare but serve as the foundation for our efforts to move past hypothesis driven inquiry. In practical terms, this means that an intelligent application considers all the data and all the possibilities within that data to detect the patterns, groups or anomalies that elude traditional approaches. Using their own systems of records, including EMRs, financial data, patient-generated data, and socio-economic data, healthcare organizations can automatically discover groups of patients that share unique combinations of characteristics. These groups can then be used to tailor and personalize diagnostics and care paths, for example. Alternatively, healthcare organizations may also discover unique patterns or outliers within their claims data to aid in member retention or preventing fraud or waste. This type of holistic discovery is unique to AI and improves prediction and makes operational insights possible.

Predictions Intelligent applications must also be able to predict the future with high accuracy. Holistic discovery enables even better predictive models through the unbiased creation of groups or the identification of patterns. Superior prediction gives healthcare organizations foresight into the future needs, costs, disease burden, and risks of patients. For example, intelligent applications can determine the groups of patients projected to have the highest escalation of costs over time, as well as other outcomes such as the conditions likely to appear for each group, and an individual’s predicted change in utilization. Predictions can be made across multiple targets and are multi-faceted, considering all factors whether they’re health- or non-healthcare-related occurring outside of the healthcare system.

JustificationAn intelligent solution must justify its predictions, discoveries, and actions in a transparent way so human operators feel confident to act upon its recommendations. For example, a healthcare app may reveal differentiating characteristics of patient risk trajectories, what factors make them high or low-risk, and descriptions of individual factors that lead to variation in cost and quality. Justification is key because without a thorough understanding of the “why” behind predictions, organizations are unable to adopt AI into day-to-day decision-making.

Action An intelligent system that is not effectively operationalized will become less intelligent over time. Actionable information that guides and augments human decision-making is what makes AI a part of daily operations. For these systems to deliver optimal value they need humans in the loop providing feedback and governance. Whether it be a recommended care path or a detailed risk profile, intelligent applications allow organizations to collaborate on the best actions tailored for each patient population, or to physicians or organizations. Across the care continuum, within health systems and health plans, this allows them to better assess individuals and the best course of care, and more confidently prescribe care and programs for each individual.

LearningIntelligent applications “learn” to improve predictions over time. As more and more data is analyzed, the technology learns from these complex data points to improve predictions over time. Whether it be claims, medical records, or socio-economic data, AI taps into these data points to generate more accurate, personalized predictions that continuously improve. Further, intelligent apps learn the impact of actions over time to support and continuously improve decision making.

Applied AI in action

A large hospital system decided it wanted to reduce clinical variation across its enterprise to improve outcomes for all patients. It implemented machine intelligence, including unsupervised machine learning techniques that run algorithms using the system’s own data—not benchmarks—to uncover actionable insights. The technology correlates and analyzes electronic medical record and financial data including treatments prescribed, procedures performed, drugs administered, length of stay, and costs per patient. The goal was to discover and refine clinical pathways that are optimized to drive higher quality of care and lower costs.

The machine intelligence solution identified a group of orthopedic surgeons who consistently had better outcomes among their knee replacement patients. These patients had shorter hospital stays and shorter time to ambulation than other total knee surgery replacements across the system. The solution also told clinicians why:  these doctors prescribed a unique, not widely used medication at an earlier postsurgical time than their peers. The medication reduced patients’ pain so they could get out of bed and walk around sooner – improving their outcomes and reducing costs.

Clinicians hadn’t previously known to look for variation based on what medication was given post-operatively. But machine intelligence identified a pod of doctors with better outcomes that were statistically significant. By comparing very large numbers of data points, the solution quickly uncovered why.  Now the hospital system has operationalized these best practices throughout their hospitals, lowering costs for knee replacement by more than 5 percent, and reducing pain for patients.

The last piece of the puzzle – AI applications

As healthcare organizations increasingly see the value of Applied AI, they may worry that more robust technology means greatly increased technical headcount to manage this strategy. But an important component of a successful Applied AI strategy is that it leverages the unique capabilities of both machines and humans. Hiring a dozen data scientists won’t make the most of the human intelligence within your organization. That’s because these new data scientists likely would not have the subject matter expertise needed to recognize and deploy the meaningful insights that surface. Meanwhile, the people who are the best suited to learn from the data, domain experts, usually do not have an interface to read data themselves. Subject matter experts typically only interact with data using rudimentary applications like PowerPoint or Excel.

So, the last key to a successful Applied AI strategy is to wrap the results of machine learning and artificial intelligence into business-facing applications. These applications can be customized for the types of insights they uncover, such as the optimal way to perform surgical procedures. It’s critical that the results of machine learning and machine intelligence actually make it to clinicians, instead of ending up siloed somewhere in the IT department. The successor technology to healthcare analytics must not only be more powerful and more precise, it must also be more user-friendly.

What’s Next

Healthcare analytics simply aren’t living up to their promise. We can wring our hands, we can wait, we can soldier on with insights that only marginally move the needle to improve outcomes and lower costs. Or we can combine artificial intelligence with powerful machine learning to turn enormous datasets into business insights that really matter. Then we can deliver those insights, via easy-to-use business applications, to the best clinician minds, to operationalize this machine intelligence approach across the enterprise. That’s Applied AI, and it’s a bright future.

About Gurjeet Singh
Gurjeet Singh is Ayasdi’s Executive Chairman and co-founder. As the Executive Chairman, he leads a technology movement that emphasizes the importance of extracting insight from data, not just storing and organizing it.

Gurjeet developed key mathematical and machine learning algorithms for Topological Data Analysis (TDA) and their applications during his tenure as graduate student in Stanford’s Mathematics Department where he was advised by Ayasdi co-founder Prof. Gunnar Carlsson.

Gurjeet is the author of numerous patents and has published in a variety of top mathematics and computer science journals. Before starting Ayasdi, he worked at Google and Texas Instruments. Gurjeet was named by Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of their 40 Under 40 in 2015.

Gurjeet holds a B.Tech. from Delhi University, and a Ph.D. in Computational Mathematics from Stanford University. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife and two children, and develops multi-legged robots in his spare time.

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Logicalis Healthcare Solutions Asks CIOs: What Is Your Telehealth Strategy Missing?

Solution Provider Explores Five Critical Considerations for an Effective Telehealth Design

NEW YORK, May 16, 2017 – Telehealth has long been a standalone endeavor for many healthcare organizations and something that has been kept completely separate from discussions about electronic health record (EHR) optimization. But according to  Logicalis Healthcare Solutions, the healthcare-focused arm of Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), there is a significant – and often overlooked – interrelationship between telehealth, imaging, and EHR optimization that healthcare IT pros need to address when striving to attain a more mature, clinically-integrated, program-based telehealth solution.

“At Logicalis, we talk to a lot of healthcare CIOs and IT professionals.  And while the clear majority are thinking about and planning ways to optimize the significant investments their organizations have made in electronic health record systems, they know they’re missing some pieces of the puzzle,” says Ed Simcox, Healthcare Practice Leader, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions.  “Telehealth is one of those missing links. What few people are talking about today is the correlation between telehealth, smart image retention practices, and the optimization strategies that can maximize their returns on EHR investments.  Making telehealth a more integral part of their clinicians’ daily workflow, capturing and marrying telehealth images to each patient’s electronic health record, and making those images more easily referenceable in the EHR so they can be accessed as needed and shared across a patient’s entire care team will allow the organization to deliver a better and more affordable level of care.”

Five Critical Telehealth Considerations

For a mature telehealth solution to be truly transformational, it must be user friendly, automated and capable of leveraging integrated electronic patient information.  Whether an organization is just ramping up with telehealth or is reviewing an existing program, it’s important to look for any missed opportunities to integrate telehealth into the overall healthcare experience. To help, the healthcare IT experts at Logicalis are offering a downloadable white paper, “How to Design and Implement a Successful Telehealth Program for Your Organization,” and have identified five commonly missed considerations for effective telehealth strategies.

1.      Collaboration: Telehealth solutions are healthcare solutions enabled by technology, not a standalone solution. To eliminate the barrier between telehealth and healthcare, making the two become one practice, telehealth must be fully integrated with the healthcare organization’s EHR. That includes every aspect of the telehealth experience from scheduling to sharing clinical notes – and importantly – storing telehealth images and marrying them to the patient’s electronic record.

2.      Image Integration: In any patient encounter, there is the possibility that a variety of clinicians may need to consult one another on the patient’s care. This underscores the importance of integrating multidisciplinary images – including the clinical opinions offered based on those images – for each member of the care team to access and review.

3.      Finding Images: Unless telehealth-acquired images are properly catalogued and married to the patient’s electronic health record, they won’t be available when needed. No one will know they exist or where to find them, and they won’t be available for current opinions or longitudinal analyses. This means additional images and scans will need to be performed, exposing the patient to potentially unnecessary radiation, inconveniencing the patient and, of course, needlessly increasing costs.

4.      Documentation: When telehealth images are not stored or married to the EHR, some disciplines may not be able to charge for their consults.  As a result, today, across a wide spectrum of specialties, it is becoming commonplace for healthcare organizations to require the retention of images their physicians use to render any professional opinion – telehealth included. Additionally, if a lawsuit should occur, without properly stored images accompanying clinical notes, there will be no visual support for the clinician’s opinion.

5.      Best Patient Outcomes: Having a patient’s complete medical history on hand is vital in delivering favorable patient outcomes; since those records must include both clinical notes and images obtained via telehealth to be truly complete, the entire healthcare community must ask itself: If we don’t have the right patient history – including all relevant data – can we make the right diagnoses?

A Clinical Example

Imagine an instance in which an ophthalmology practice is providing telehealth consultations to smaller community hospitals about diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic patients need to be assessed for retinopathy annually. Rather than visiting the ophthalmologist in person, the patient’s primary care physician acquires ophthalmic images using a device connected to his cell phone, then transfers the images to an ophthalmologist for assessment. The ophthalmologist then receives the images and renders his opinion.

Who stores the images? Both doctors? And how are they stored – on a thumb drive? A server? If they aren’t married to the patient’s EHR, the images won’t be available for year-to-year comparisons, something which provides caregivers with a much more robust picture of a patient’s health and any changes taking place over time.

Perhaps the diabetic patient’s endocrinologist would also like to see the images. To enable this kind of effective image sharing, each practice needs a logical way to retain and easily retrieve the images as well as each clinician’s notes and opinions to provide a better continuum of care. This is only one example of many illustrating the “missing link” between effective telehealth strategies and EHR optimization.

About Logicalis

Logicalis is an international multi-skilled solution provider providing digital enablement services to help customers harness digital technology and innovative services to deliver powerful business outcomes.

Our customers cross industries and geographical regions; our focus is to engage in the dynamics of our customers’ vertical markets including financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, and to apply the skills of our 4,000 employees in modernizing key digital pillars, data center and cloud services, security and network infrastructure, workspace communications and collaboration, data and information strategies, and IT operation modernization.

We are the advocates for our customers for some of the world’s leading technology companies including Cisco, HPE, IBM, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa. It is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the AIM market of the LSE, with revenues of over $6.5 billion.

For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.

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Enhance Your Conference Experience with Social Media

The Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit #HMPS17 has come to a close and I am reminded again of the power that social media has to enhance the whole conference experience. Pre-mobile, as an attendee, you could count on making 10-20 contacts during a conference…more if you really “worked the room” at the social events. Today it is entirely possible to meet 50+ new people at a conference by leveraging social media before and during the event.

At #HMPS17 I saw many examples of how social media has changed the attendee dynamics at conferences. I watched a group of 5 Instagram users meetup at the hotel restaurant (I’m pretty sure some food pics were taken!). I also saw two different groups of Facebook friends head out for a night on the town together. Of course, the #hcldr community had a meetup in the hotel lobby that attracted 8 people – 5 of whom came to the hotel just for the meetup (Thanks for driving 2hrs from Houston @JoeBabaian!)

During the conference itself I ran into at least 20 other people that knew from social media. All of these were first-time meetings (or what I call meeting old friends for the first time). This degree of networking would have been very difficult in the era before social media. You would have had to attend the same conference consistently for a number of years in order for people to get to know you. I would encourage fellow marketers and salespeople to get active on social media. There simply is no better accelerator for business relationships.

Since #HMPS17 spanned a Tuesday, I had the rare opportunity to organize a group session for the weekly #hcldr chat. Four of us gathered together and participated in the tweetchat while physically sitting beside each other. If you’ve never done this or seen it, it does look very strange. People are staring at their devices, madly typing and barely talking. Then all of a sudden someone will make a comment out loud about a tweet they have read and everyone chimes in with a verbal comment. Usually these side conversations last 1-2 minutes and then people go back to their devices. A few minutes later it happens again.

Through the one we held at #HMPS17 I now have two new friends: Alexis Todd and Tori Benick of UltraLinq. It was truly wonderful to see how much they enjoyed their first tweetchat. Dan Dunlop @dandunlop (who was the other in-person participant) commented to me how especially energizing it is to hear new perspectives and to see how excited newcomers get when they discover how educational a tweetchat can be.

If you are in healthcare marketing or involved with sales to healthcare organizations, I would really encourage you to join the conversations happening on social media. It doesn’t matter the social platform you choose – just pick one and dive in. Not only will you take your healthcare conference experience up a notch, but you as well as your organization will benefit through the connections you make.

See you on Twitter.

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Predicting Readmissions, Longitudinal Record, and Physicians’ Time

Here’s a quick look around the Twittersphere and a few topics that stood out to me that I think might be of interest to you.

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I’ve been following algorithms like this for a while and they’re really starting to come into their own. This type of predictive technology or predictive analytics if you prefer is going to really change how we manage patients in a hospital. If done right, it can help us become proactive instead of reactive. This will require us to change a lot of processes though.

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Is a longitudinal health record possible in any format? I’m beginning to think that it’s a pipe dream that will never happen. At least not with our current documentation requirements.

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I find time studies like these very interesting. However, the thing I hate about them is that we don’t have a time study from before implementing EHR software so we could compare how a physician used their time before EHR and after. No doubt over 50% of their time being spent on documentation and not face-to-face with the patient feels bad. However, how far off was this from where we were in the paper world?

Looking at the chart, prescription refills can be faster in an EHR. Secure messages can be faster with an EHR since you’re not playing phone tag which was the process before secure messages. Telephone encounters were likely the same. That leaves just the progress notes as the one thing that could be more time consuming in an EHR than the paper chart. How much more is the real question. Paper chart progress notes weren’t all that fast either. That’s why stacks of paper charts that weren’t completed were always sitting on physicians’ desks.

I guess the core question I would ask is, “Are EHRs the reason doctors hate medicine, or are the ongoing regulations and requirements that have been heaped on doctors the real problem?” My guess is that all this documentation overheard that’s being required of doctors was a problem in the paper world, but has been exacerbated in the EHR world. What do you think?

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Modernizing Medicine Announces $231 Million Equity Investment from Warburg Pincus

Financing to Support Growth and Advance Innovation for Surgical and Medical Specialties

BOCA RATON, Fla. and NEW YORK – May 10, 2017 – Specialty-specific health information technology leader Modernizing Medicine, Inc. today announced that funds affiliated with Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing, have made a substantial investment of $231 million into the company to provide liquidity to existing shareholders, fund further expansion and support future strategic endeavors.

Founded in 2010 by Daniel Cane and Dr. Michael Sherling, Modernizing Medicine is at the forefront of providing intelligent, medical technology. The company’s award-winning flagship product EMA™, is a mobile, cloud-based, specialty-specific electronic health record (EHR) system that is used by thousands of specialty practices nationwide.

Modernizing Medicine’s success can be attributed to its development of technology to support the unique needs of physicians in surgical and medical specialties. With the premise that it was easier to teach physicians how to code software rather than for engineers to learn medicine, Modernizing Medicine hired practicing physicians to build EHR software. The results of this model and time-saving features such as adaptive learning and automated outputs supported by structured data collection have been embraced by physicians. The company now offers a full suite of products and services to empower physicians including Practice Management, Revenue Cycle Management, Telehealth for dermatology, Analytics and more.

With the latest round of funding, the company anticipates pursuing certain strategic initiatives, that may include automation of prior authorization workflows, deployment of an eCommerce platform, investment in data exchange and reconciliation to help practices move clinically relevant data effectively throughout the evolving ecosystem of a patient’s healthcare experience and improvement of access to healthcare via telemedicine.

Modernizing Medicine is also pleased to welcome Fred Hassan, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus and the former CEO and Chairman of Schering Plough and Executive Chairman of Bausch & Lomb, and Amr Kronfol, Principal, Warburg Pincus, to its Board of Directors.

“We expect this infusion of capital from Warburg Pincus to be instrumental in advancing our mission to transform how healthcare information is created, consumed and utilized to increase efficiency and improv outcomes,” said Daniel Cane, CEO and co-founder of Modernizing Medicine. “Warburg Pincus brings deep experience in the healthcare technology sector and this investment can help further our growth, bolster innovation and support our clients.”

“Modernizing Medicine’s innovative, market-leading technology is used by thousands of specialty practices and ambulatory surgery centers and is focused on improving both business and treatment outcomes,” said Amr Kronfol, Principal, Warburg Pincus.

Andrew Park, Principal, Warburg Pincus, commented, “We see meaningful opportunities for the company’s continued growth and acceleration of existing products and initiatives, and we look forward to partnering with Dan, Michael and the entire management team.”

Evidence of the company’s success is the announcement that the dermatology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, plastic surgery and urology EHR systems were each ranked #1 by Black Book™ on the Physician Practice & Ambulatory Solutions lists. This is the seventh consecutive year that the gGastro™ gastroenterology EHR system ranked first, and the fourth consecutive year that the EMA™ dermatology EHR system earned the top spot. Read the press release here.

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