Africa market – eMEDICS.org (YFORM Ltd) has come up with an innovating way of allowing users to convert their paper forms to mobile and start collecting data from anywhere instantly.
YFORM Ltd builds forms that are suitable for worldwide market and especially Africa. We share these forms with our clients through a form catalog. Using the app, team members can log in and start collecting data on mobile devices.
The aim of the technology is to collect data better including pictures, GPS locations, sketches, audio and video, with the platform working both online and offline.Africa is an economy that relies heavily on paper forms for 60 per cent of its processes. Another 20 per cent collect data in silos, are not integrated and face a huge challenge collecting data from remote areas with little or no internet connectivity,”
Moreover, paper-based data collection moves slowly, taking hours or days to get from the point of capture to the point of entry, and is also prone to damage and loss. YFORM Ltd aims to tackle all that.
The possibilities for YFORM Ltd, are unlimited.
“We can replace paper forms completely and be the gold standard for data collection in Africa,”
“It’s a huge market, and we have not even scratched the surface in Africa yet. We have a few contacts who have expressed interest in our product from other African countries, and also India.”Initially, YFORM Ltd struggled to understand how to implement its technology, and how to handle the extremely poor connections in remote areas. We eventually got the hang of it.
“Now all we struggle with is meeting the ever-increasing demands of our clients, always a good sign,”
“In five years we expect to be the data collection tool of choice for all NGO projects in Africa and endorsed by major NGO funders like USAID, the WHO, and the World Bank.”
ChinaBio® Partnering Forum is the premier life science partnering event in China. Held on May 18–19, 2016, in Suzhou, the event will attract biotech and pharma leaders from around the world along with hundreds of China-based developers of novel technologies for two days of productive partnering.
ChinaBio® Partnering Forum 2015 had more than 858 delegates from 435 companies and 22 countries, making it the largest partnering conference in China. The 2016 edition promises to be even better with top notch attendance from pharma and biotech companies as well as leading researchers from China’s top universities and institutes.
The conference also features partneringONE®, enabling delegates to efficiently identify, meet and network with companies from across the life science value chain.
Who will you meet?
Senior executives of leading China-based pharma and biotech companies
Senior management and business development executives from global biotech and pharma companies
Venture capitalists and other investors active in life science
With over one-third of the attendees being C-level decision makers, ChinaBio® Partnering Forum is the event to get partnerships started in China.
Profile of participants at ChinaBio® Partnering Forum 2015
Innovative companies, organizations or researchers interested in partnering their technologies or products, initiating strategic alliances, or tapping into the financing network are welcome to apply to present at the ChinaBio® Partnering Forum 2016.
A panel of industry experts will select the presenting companies. The panel will make each decision based on the company profile submitted in the partnering system, on the interests of the biotech industry, and the licensability of products or technology.
Presenting companies will be selected based on the corporate profile they have submitted.
Delegates of a presenting company other than the presenter will need to register separately and will be invoiced for the registration fee.
Your registration fee covers
Submission of up to 150 requests per company for one-to-one meetings during the conference
Access to all workshops, presentations, panel discussions and the exhibition area
Publication of your company and personal profiles on partneringONE®
Breakfast, lunch, snacks, coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages in the conference center
Evening networking events
Multiple attendee discount
Companies with three full-paying delegates will receive one complimentary ticket for the fourth attendee from that company.
Your company profile will be published in the password-protected Partnering section of the ChinaBio® Partnering Forum website.
Companies selected for a presentation will receive an invoice shortly after they have been notified of their assigned presentation slot. Payment must be made in advance of the event.
Please email Philipp Dormeier at email@example.com if you are registered and will not be able to attend the conference so that your partnering account can be deactivated.
We are sorry, but we do not allow refunds of paid registration/presentation fees for this conference. However, a paid registration is transferable to a replacement from your company.
Please note that no-shows will be billed for the full registration fee and, if applicable, the full presentation fee.
Primary care doctors now lose more than an hour a day to sorting through approximately 77 electronic health record (EHR) notifications, researchers at Baylor University found.
“Information overload is of concern because new types of notifications and ‘FYI’ (for your information) messages can be easily created in the EHR (vs in a paper-based system),” the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.
Making the workload harder to endure, reading and processing these messages is uncompensated in an environment of reduced reimbursements for office-based care, according to the study.
Physicians are receiving these increasing amounts of notifications in EHR-based inboxes such as Epic’s In-Basket and General Electric Centricity’s Documents. The messages include test results, responses to referrals, requests for medication refills, and messages from physicians and other healthcare professionals.
The system is crying out for change the researchers wrote. “Strategies to help filter messages relevant to high-quality care, EHR designs that support team-based care, and staffing models that assist physicians in managing this influx of information are needed.”
What’s more, optimistic predictions that EHRs would improve patient care through better doctor-patient communications have not ubiquitously materialized.
“Unfortunately, we are far from this promise and now also grapple with the unintended consequences of EHRs,” Joseph Ross, MD wrote in an editorial accompanying the research.
In fact, electronic “paperwork” has burdened doctors and reduced the time for patient care.
Ross advocated that inbox notification capabilities be periodically reviewed to be sure EHRs are working in the best interests of patient care and not creating an unnecessary burden on physicians.
In addition, doctors should be reimbursed for time spent reviewing EHR notifications.
“Although many of these notifications are in the service of patients,” Ross wrote, “we need to be sure that physicians’ reimbursement, particularly for primary care physicians, is taking into account the full time needed to manage patients’ care.”
HIMSS16 – Experts say healthcare providers need to turn up the pressure on tech vendors to create more intuitive products.
By Mike Miliard, March 10, 2016
HIMSS16 – Electronic health record usability might not have been the hottest topic at HIMSS16 this past week – our polling shows big data and interoperability tied for that honor, with privacy/security just nudging population health for the second spot – but it was certainly top of mind for many.
The multi-day User Experience HIMSS16 Forum, for instance, explored the human factor and design choices that can directly impact the use and efficacy of health information technology, examining UX from the perspective of physicians, nurses, patients, vendors and more. Sessions gave voice to end-user frustrations, looked to tear down the barriers to innovation and tracked the clinical and financial return that can be gained from improved software interfaces.
In a provocative prime-time speech, meanwhile, Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt threw down the gauntlet: “I’m certainly not bashful about what we need to do better, and I’m not going to be bashful here, even in the face of some very good reasons for optimism, about ways we need to take our game up across the board.”
The health IT industry has done very well in the years since the HITECH Act, said Slavitt. “But we’re still at the stage where technology often hurts rather than helps physicians providing better care.”
To bolster his case, he rattled off a series of actual quotes from frustrated clinicians. One complained that in his EHR, “to order aspirin takes eight clicks; to order full-strength aspirin takes 16.”
Slavitt said at HIMSS16, CMS is newly committed to taking a “user-centered approach to designing policy.” He asked vendors to do the same, with a similar spirit of empathy: “Step back and look at what you don’t think is working, and make it better.”
In recognizing that health IT still “often hurts rather than helps physicians,” Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt said at HIMSS16 that the agency is newly committed to taking a “user-centered approach to designing policy.” He asked vendors to do the same, with a similar spirit of empathy: “Step back and look at what you don’t think is working, and make it better.”
‘Dissatisfaction with EHRs has been immense’
The rigors of federal policy requirements, combined with the suboptimal UX of many EHR products has left doctors and nurses feeling less like clinicians and more like clerks, said one chief medical information officer at HIMSS16. Ceaseless data entry is bad enough. But even worse when done through a clunky or dated user interface.
“Dissatisfaction with EHRs has been immense,” said George Gellert, MD, associate system CMIO at CHRISTUS Health. “Understandably, physicians are looking for release.”
Increasingly, many of them are finding it by using unlicensed medical scribes, who often have minimal training, as data-entry workarounds. If that poses obvious patient safety risks, it also hinders the progress of EHR product improvement, he argued.
“If you insert a scribe permanently between the physician and the EHR, and the physician totally disengages from using the EHR, you are going to have a significant deceleration of technological advancement because there’s no market pressure,” said Gellert at HIMSS16.
As problematic as UX often still is, many IT vendors have made big design and usability improvements in recent years, as a direct result of pointed and specific clinical feedback – including at CHRISTUS, where docs and nurses now enjoy an updated EHR made better thanks to the health system’s commitment to capture “every single physician complaint” and relay them to its vendor.
Market pressure works, said Gellert, and a rising sub-industry of scribes could be counterproductive as doctors’ dissatisfaction comes to a boil.
At least scribes still engage with technology, in contrast with one New York Times item that garnered a bit of attention in health IT circles this past December. “In Age of Digital Records, Paper Still Carries Weight,” was the headline.
The good news? We’ve come a long way in a short time: “In 2009, fewer than 10 percent of hospitals had any kind of electronic medical records,” wrote Abigail Zuger, MD. “By 2014, 75 percent had at least a basic system.”
The bad news? That “rushing” has led to some severely problematic products that often have care providers gnashing their teeth in frustration. Or, sometimes, making use of workarounds that defeat the purpose of well-meaning federal policies such as the Affordable Care Act and meaningful use.
“Paper has become our lingua franca, our fallback and standby,” wrote Zuger. “In our new digital universe, we have peculiarly seen a retro explosion of paper. We may no longer write paper prescriptions, but we fax or hand-deliver paper versions of our electronic dealings routinely now. When you don’t know what electronic language the receiver speaks (and you never do) you go with paper.”
While her primary complaint was about systems’ lack of interoperability, it’s a safe bet that she and many of her colleagues would add poor usability to their list of EHR gripes.
That dissatisfaction is getting worse, not better. A study published this summer by the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians found that physicians are more frustrated with EHRs than they were five years ago.
Forty-two percent of respondents said their EHR system’s ability to improve efficiency was “difficult or very difficult.” Some 72 percent said the same about its ability to decrease workload.
We saw similar feedback in HIMSS16 Healthcare IT News’ first-ever EHR Satisfaction Survey this past fall. In addition to numerical scores, we also asked for anecdotal feedback from more than 400 people who took the poll. Opinions such as “not very intuitive,” “cumbersome” and “too many clicks” cropped up over and over again.
‘Limited in their understanding of people’In his landmark book, The Design of Everyday Things, Don Norman, director of The Design Lab at University of California San Diego wrote:
“The reasons for the deficiencies in human-machine interaction are numerous. Some come from the limitations of today’s technology. Some come from self-imposed restrictions by the designers, often to hold down cost. But most of the problems come from a complete lack of understanding of the design principles necessary for effective human-machine interaction, Why this deficiency? Because much of the design is done by engineers who are experts in technology but limited in their understanding of people.”
Of course, in healthcare IT there are other challenges. EHR vendors would probably love to have all their products look as sleek and intuitive as the latest iOS release. But they also have to ensure they check all the boxes to comply with certification criteria from the Office of the National Coordinator – all 560 detailed pages of the 2015 Edition.
“I know some people inside big EMR companies who want to do excellent design, but in an organization that’s owned by IT, it’s difficult for even a design advocate to have their voice heard and affect the process,” Amy Cueva, co-founder of the design-centric Health Experience Refactored conference, told Healthcare IT News in 2013.
Meaningful use spurred uptake, of course, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the end-users are looking at EHRs with joy in their hearts.
“You don’t have to pay people to use Facebook or Google or their iPhone,” Cueva said. “They use it because it’s valuable and meaningful and it gives them something they can’t get anywhere else.” In many cases there was too much of a rush to get hospitals online – to the point where many were “just sort of throwing software out there,” she said.
That’s changing, thankfully, as more and more efforts are being made industry-wide to make EHRs easier to use and perhaps a bit better-looking. One of those ONC certification criteria, after all, is that vendors employ a user-centered design process when developing their tools, and report the results of usability testing.
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association took a look at UCD processes at 11 unnamed vendors, seeking to understand the challenges and opportunities for better design practices.
“Our analysis demonstrates a diverse range of vendors’ UCD practices that fall into 3 categories: well-developed UCD, basic UCD, and misconceptions of UCD,” wrote AMIA officials – noting that the latter category might refer, say, to the mistaken belief that responding to end-users’ requests and complaints qualifies as user-centered design.
“Specific challenges to practicing UCD include conducting contextually rich studies of clinical workflow, recruiting participants for usability studies, and having support from leadership within the vendor organization,” according to AMIA.
Dishearteningly, the researchers found some respondents still didn’t see the business case for investing in UCD processes. It even found that some smaller EHR vendors didn’t even have any usability experts on their staff.
But there’s evidence that many are moving in the right direction. In December, for instance, the EHR Association and American College of Physicians joined forces for a workshop to discuss ways to improve EHR usability – enlisting clinicians, developers and usability experts to explore ways to improve the experience.
“The workshop also included a ‘design-a-whirl’ where the group rotated through examples of different techniques for obtaining and validating clinician feedback during the development process, which was an important opportunity for the attending clinicians to learn more about the software development life cycle,” according to a brief in Politico.
Meanwhile, a recent report looking at EHR usability and clinical decision support called upon AHRQ research to explore ways improved health IT interfaces – websites, apps, dashboards – can lead to better patient care.
It’s “promising that electronic health records and clinical decision support tools are rapidly being implemented in hospitals and clinics nationwide,” wrote Thomas McGinn, MD, chair of medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, in the study’s introduction.
But implementing EHR and CDS into clinical workflow “continues to be challenging,” he added. Poor integration runs the risk of “substantially reducing adoption and use.”
Lately, there has been some movement toward thinking a bit more closely about the clinical users of these technologies. ”It is believed that thoughtful systems engineering approaches, including consideration of user experience and improvements in user interface, can greatly improve the ability of CDS tools to reach their potential to improve quality of care and patient outcomes,” wrote McGinn.
Exploring topics such as UX and system redesign, EHR-based visualization tools and integration patient-reported data, the multi-part study aims to spur some rethinking about the ways EHR decision support is presented to clinicians.
“We are at the very early stages of the science of usability,” wrote McGinn. “Much more research and funding is needed in this area if we hope to improve the dissemination and implementation of evidence in practice.”
“The reasons for the deficiencies in human-machine interaction are numerous,” writes design guru Don Norman. One of the biggest, he says, is that “much of the design is done by engineers who are experts in technology but limited in their understanding of people.”
Quality Reporting – Nearly 75 percent say they waste time and money with measures that aren’t clinically relevant.
By Mike Miliard
March 08, 2016
Medical practices spend an average of 785 hours per physician and $15.4 billion annually reporting quality measures to Medicare, Medicaid and private payers, according to a new report in Health Affairs.
The study, led by researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, looked at the quality reporting efforts of primary care, cardiology, orthopedic and multi-specialty practices, polling 1000 of them (250 of each type), drawn at random from the membership rolls of the Medical Group Management Association.
Their findings suggest that, while “much is to be gained from measurement, the current system is unnecessarily costly, and greater effort is needed to standardize measures and make them easier to report,” researchers said.
Practices reported spending 15.1 hours per week per physician wrangling quality measures — 2.6 hours each week for physicians, with the rest of the work going to nurses or medical assistants. About 12 of those hours were spent logging data into medical records solely for quality reporting.Some 80 percent of practices said they spend more time managing quality measures than three years ago. Almost half said that’s become a significant burden. But just 27 percent thought those measures necessarily correlated with quality care.
Beyond the time invested, the dollars add up too. Weill Cornell researchers found that practices spent $40,069 per physician each year on quality reporting – totaling $15.4 billion annually.
“The cost to physician practices of dealing with quality measures is high and rising,” researchers said.
“On top of the obscene waste of billions of dollars each year on quality measures, the most alarming thing about this study of MGMA member practices is that nearly three-fourths of the groups reported being measured on quality measures that are not clinically relevant,” said Halee Fischer-Wright, MGMA’s president and CEO, in a statement.
“The vast majority also stated current measures are useless for improving patient care,” she added. “This study proves that the current top-down approach has failed. It serves no purpose to have over three thousand competing measures of quality across government and private initiatives.”
While care quality is essential and reporting standardization is critical, “if measures don’t improve patient care, it’s an exercise in futility,” said Fischer-Wright. “As the largest contributor to the problem, the federal government needs to get out of the business of dictating patient care through wasteful mandates and create simplified systems to support medical practices in improving quality across the country.”
As HIMSS16 in Las Vegas this past week, officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services emphasized that quality measures would continue to be a key component in CMS’ reimbursement programs.
Kate Goodrich, MD, director of CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards, said new payment rules under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, or MACRA, would reimburse physicians based on a composite performance score factoring in quality measures (30 percent), resource use (30 percent), clinical practice improvement activities (15 percent) and meaningful use of information technology (25 percent).”Our intent is to have a single, unified program,” she said, while acknowledging the need for flexibility and avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach: “We know physician practices are very different from one another.”
Earlier in the week, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said the agency has been listening more intently than ever to physician feedback, working with those on the front lines to understand their pain points.
He cited actual quotes from physicians, including one who said, “Most of what I’m doing during the day is entering data into the EHR.”
While offering few policy specifics, Slavitt seemed to indicate that’s a message that’s resonating with CMS. Doctors are “not describing problems we don’t know how to solve,” he said. “Job one is to bridge the gulf between our public policy work and what’s actually happening with patient care. That has to become an integral part of how we do things.”
EMR, MarketWire – Opportunity for Primary Care Physicians to Fully Embrace EMR Functionalities
EMR (Electronic medical records) among Canadian primary care physicians continues to grow, but the use of advanced functions that support improved patient care varies, according to the Commonwealth Fund’s 2015 International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians.
Initial survey results released in December 2015 revealed that EMR use among Canadian primary care physicians tripled in the past nine years (73 per cent versus 23 per cent). New analysis released today includes provincial EMR adoption rates, benefits being realized and advanced use patterns.
“In a relatively short period of time, the rate of EMR adoption and use in Canada has reached strong levels,” explained Lynne Zucker, Vice President, Canada Health Infoway. “What we see in the Commonwealth Fund survey results is that here and globally there is opportunity to further advanced EMR use to fully realize the benefits to patients and the health care system.”
Most provinces saw growth in EMR use since the previous survey in 2012. Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario continue to have the highest adoption rates in Canada. Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan experienced the highest increases in EMR uptake by primary care physicians since 2012.
Physicians with EMRs report the ability to better manage their patients’ care compared to physicians operating without an EMR:
79 per cent of physicians with EMRs report that they are able to generate a computerized list of patients by diagnosis compared to 20 per cent without an EMR
70 per cent can generate a list of all medications taken by an individual patient compared to 17 per cent without an EMR
62 per cent are able to produce a list of patients overdue for tests or preventative care compared to those without an EMR at 11 per cent
Canadian primary care physicians using EMRs are more likely to use some functionalities that support patient care and less likely to use others, when compared to the 10 country average from the Commonwealth Fund survey. For instance:
They are more likely to:
Receive and review data on patients who received recommended preventive care (41 per cent versus 36 per cent internationally)
Receive reminders for guideline-based interventions and/or screening tests (34 per cent versus 30 per cent)
They are less likely to:
Receive alerts and reminders for potential problems with medication doses or interactions (55 per cent versus 76 per cent internationally)
Track all laboratory tests ordered until results reach clinicians (34 per cent versus 51 per cent)
Send reminders to patients for regular preventive or follow-up care (22 per cent versus 48 per cent)
Additionally, the survey also highlighted two areas of digital health that present significant opportunities to provide further value to Canadians:
Information exchange: 19 per cent of primary care physicians say they can electronically exchange patient clincial summaries with doctors outside of their practice
Consumer services: 15 per cent of primary care physicians say they offer patients the option to email them about medical questions or concerns and 11 per cent offer patients the means to request an appointment or referral online
Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) co-invested with most of the provinces and territories in Canada to encourage EMR use in community-based physicians’ offices. Many EMR systems are also connected to electronic health record (EHR) systems outside the practice, which provides access to valuable clinical information, such as lab results, medication information, or hospital discharge reports. As of September 30, 2015, over 19,000 community-based physicians and/or nurse practitioners are benefitting from Infoway EMR investments.
The Commonwealth Fund’s 2015 International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Doctors findings are based on responses from primary care physicians in 10 countries, including 2,284 Canadian physicians. The survey was conducted between March and June 2015.
The Commonwealth Fund provided core funding with co-funding from the following organizations: Bureau of Health Information; Health Quality Ontario; the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Canadian Institute for Health Information; Canada Health Infoway; le Commissaire à la santé et au bien-être du Québec; la Haute Autorité de Santé; the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Maladie des Travailleurs Salariés; BQS Institute for Quality and Patient Safety; the German Federal Ministry of Health; the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport; the Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, Radboud University Nijmegen; the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services; the Swedish Ministry of Health and Social Affairs; the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health; and The Health Foundation.
About Canada Health Infoway
Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through our investments, we help deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinicians. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government.
For health monitoring, most respondents believe doctor-recommended mobile devices can help them manage care between visits.
By Jessica Davis
Regarding monitoring their health, the vast majority of Americans say they would welcome using technology and mobile devices for it, according to a recent study by the Society for Participatory Medicine, a nonprofit membership organization focused on patient engagement.
The study found 84 percent of survey respondents felt tracking blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, physical activity and other data with a user-friendly mobile device between provider visits would help to better manage their health. Thanks for mobile monitoring apps.
“The important findings from the survey show patients really want to partner with physicians,” said Daniel Z. Sands, MD, co-founder, co-chair of the Society for Participatory Medicine.
“It’s not a typical service industry, like the car wash model of healthcare where the patient cruises through the system,” he added. “Providers need to engage patients, and patients want it.”
In fact, 77 percent of survey respondents felt it was both important for themselves and their healthcare provider.
ORC International interviewed more than 1,000 Americans on behalf of the Society for Participatory Medicine and found 76 percent of respondents would use a clinically accurate and easy-to-use monitoring device; 81 percent would be more likely to use a device if their provider recommended it, and 57 percent would like to use the device and share the information with their provider.
“I think many physicians believe patients just want to come in for their visits, but don’t really want to engage in their healthcare,” said Sands. “The participatory method is really important, but the question is, do physicians want to have a partnership?”
“If we get it right, we have the opportunity to leverage technology to help patients contribute to their health information without coming into the office,” he added. “This information is valuable to patients and to providers. It’s an important tool to get healthcare outside of the office.”
According to Sands, it’s a change in mindset for many providers that medical schools are attempting to combat. But it’s challenging in the constraints of a medical practice to transition to this type of care. Further research must be done on physicians to determine their issues and thoughts.
Wireless sensors and Mobile stroke units among key advances that will transform industry.
Wireless sensors will transform the Healthcare industry and eMEDICS.org is part of this transformation. We found an interesting article regarding this hot topic, written by Jessica Davis on January 07, 2016, Twitter: @JessiefDavis
The Affordable Care Act’s new payment models have hospital leaders searching for effective ways to reduce costs, while increasing care quality. As the 2016 technology market will be inundated with innovations, ECRI Institute has released its annual list of the top technologies, many pointing the way toward value-based care.
“Hospital leaders have to deal with a lot of new technology issues – and demands from different departments in their facilities,” said Robert P. Maliff, director of ECRI’s applied solutions group, in a press statement. The list is meant to assist leaders attempting to update and implement new technology.
ECRI takes an “evidence-based” approach in their assessments of healthcare innovations over the course of the year, officials say.
“We present hospital leaders with unbiased guidance to support informed decision making and help them understand how new innovations will affect care delivery,” said Diane C. Robertson, ECRI’s director of health technology assessment, in a statement. The topics and trends it expects will most affect healthcare over the next year:
1. Mobile stroke units. MSUs use specially-outfitted ambulances and staff members, in conjunction with telemedicine to perform blood tests, CT scans and TPA tests before the patient arrives at the hospital.
2. Medical device cybersecurity. Most healthcare IT leaders integrate stringent security features for network infrastructures and EHRs – but not for their mobile devices. As many devices are attached to patients’ EHRs, C-suite members must perform threat assessments and know the devices and software connected to crucial patient data.
3. Wireless wearable sensors. As an increasing number of consumers turn to wellness apps, devices and wearable sensors, healthcare officials must learn how to utilize this data to reduce hospital stays and readmissions for those with serious and chronic conditions.
4. Miniature leadless pacemakers. Next-generation pacemakers are 10 percent of the size of conventional pacemakers and are designed for only one heart chamber. It’s more effective than traditional models, but only ideal for 15 percent pacemaker patients.
5. Blue-violet LED light fixtures. These lights provide continuous environmental disinfection technology to kill harmful healthcare-related bacteria – a major cause of morbidity, mortality and increased healthcare costs in the U.S.
6. New high-cost cardiovascular drugs. Three newly-approved homecare cardiovascular drugs are expensive compared to standard-of-care medications, but short-term data has lauded efficacy.
7. Changing landscape of robotic surgery. The robotic surgery landscape is rapidly changing; vendor competition is set to explode in early 2016 with a switch from mainframe to tablet-type programs.
8. Spectral computed tomography. Spectral computed tomography will reenter the health tech conversation due to new tools and increased marketing. The tool builds on traditional CT scans by adding depth to the physiologic function of soft tissue with a dual-layer detector.
9. Injected bioabsorbable hydrogel (SpaceOAR). Approved for prostate cancer patients, SpaceOAR is designed to protect tissue and healthy organs from radiation treatment. Currently there is limited reimbursement for this product’s use, but studies have shown the barrier to be highly effective.
10. Warm donor organ perfusion systems. New technology provides warm perfusion of lungs and hearts to eliminate the issue that two-thirds of organs are never used by hospitals, as viability deteriorates harvesting, preserving and transporting.
Mobile and Cloud among top EHR trends to watch in 2016, consultant says, By Jessica Davis, Associate Editor
Mobile and Cloud solutions in the market for electronic health records, is predicted to be worth about $35.2 billion by 2019, the steady rise of data has increased the need to strengthen the software to make data more accessible, reduce errors and increase the ease of use.
“You have two driving forces – demand and technological capabilities,” Cathy Reisenwitz, a researcher with software firm Capterra, told Healthcare IT News.
For many years, EHRs have been “aimed at satisfying regulators, not just what clinicians want or need,” she said. That’s changing, though, as developers work more to make health records more appealing to end users on both sides of the doctor/patient relationship. Better mobile interfaces, for instance, are “clearly desired by patients and physicians.”
Reisenwitz laid out four EHR and other health IT trends the industry can expect to see in 2016.
1. EHRs are moving toward the cloud. Start-up costs for EHRs can prove burdensome for some institutions, while cloud-based tools offer minimal start-up costs and can make better use of providers’ current resources. The cloud also enables better continuity of care and easier software updates. In the coming year, more and more EHRs will offer cloud services.
2. EHRs will improve the patient portal experience. Though patient portal usage got off to a slow start, it’s been steadily gaining momentum. More providers will both offer and promote patient portals. Some may even have patients use the portals during office visits to begin getting their data into the system. And patients will start to see their value.
3. Telemedicine will finally find its stride. The telemedicine market is forecasted to exceed $30 billion in the next five years, as providers increasingly see the need to reach seniors and patients in rural areas. The mass adoption of wearables will promote telemedicine, as well, especially when patients are willing to share device data with providers.
4. EHRs are going mobile. More and more providers want to provide medical care from their smartphones, and more patients want to access data through mobile devices. To accommodate this need, EHRs will will offer better mobile design and functionality. Scheduling and patient chart updates will align with prescribing functions on mobile devices, as well.
Providers will need to overcome some hurdles for these trends to take hold, Reisenwitz said, noting that, at the moment, “there’s a huge space where the data isn’t able to be fully utilized, as it’s unstructured or poorly structured; therefore not easily accessed nor interoperable.”
The other big EHR challenge is cybersecurity, she added, stoking fears that are preventing even wider acceptance of mobile and cloud platforms.
Sees HIPAA as ‘an opportunity to strengthen privacy policies’
Jessica Davis, Associate Editor
Jessica Davis is Associate Editor of Healthcare IT News.
Triple-S Management Corporation has agreed to settle potential HIPAA violations with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights to the tune of $3.5 million, after repeatedly failing to put safeguards in place for its beneficiaries’ PHI.
In addition, the San Juan, P.R.-based insurance holding company will implement a robust corrective action plan to correct its HIPAA compliance deficiencies, an effort that’s already been initiated.
OCR has offered technical assistance to help with the corrective plan and will continue to work with the OCR to gain HIPAA compliance.
To obtain good-standing, Triple-S must create a risk analysis and risk management plan; a process to evaluate and address environmental or operational changes affecting PHI security; policies and procedures to facilitate HIPAA compliance and a training program for all TRIPLE-S workforce and business associates.
“Triple-S is committed to protecting the privacy and security of its beneficiaries’ health information and implementing the corrective action plan entered into with OCR,” said TRIPLE-S President and CEO Ramon M. Ruiz, in a press statement.
“We are pleased with the agreement and regard it as an opportunity to strengthen our privacy policies. We have appreciated OCR’s technical assistance to date and look forward to our collaboration in the future,” he added.
Just 25 percent of healthcare institutions with an official mobile messaging platform use internal, company-authorized tools, a new report shows. The rest make use of consumer apps that don’t offer the security needed to comply with regulations, such as HIPAA.
“We are seeing a rapid adoption of mobile messaging in healthcare as the industry looks to work faster, improve patient care and reduce wasteful spending,” said Anurag Lal, CEO of Infinite Convergence Solutions, the mobile messaging developer that sponsored the study.
“The problem,” he added in a press statement, “is that many healthcare institutions are not aware that the messaging apps and services that are popular for daily personal use do not follow the administrative, physical and technical safeguards that HIPAA requires.”
he study found that only 8 percent of healthcare institutions prohibit consumer messaging apps for employee communication – perhaps unsurprising given employees in the healthcare industry use mobile messaging more frequently than voice calling for colleagues with whom they communicate most frequently.
More than half (51 percent) of respondents say their company doesn’t have an official mobile messaging platform. Of those, 83 percent say their company doesn’t recommend a mobile messaging platform. Of the 17 percent who say their company does recommend one, iMessage and Skype are most commonly cited.
Of that 51 percent, moreover, 92 percent would use a company-wide mobile messaging platform, if the company decided to implement one; 64 percent say it would make communication easier at their job.
Meanwhile, of the 49 percent of respondents who say their employer has an official mobile messaging platform, 24 percent have an internal, company-created app, 16 percent have GChat, 11 percent use WhatsApp.
“We’ve found that 91 percent of healthcare employees use mobile messaging at least a few times per week for business communication,” said Lal, in a statement. But while HIPAA and other government rules require strict security measures, “our study finds that the vast majority of healthcare institutions are not using mobile messaging services that are compliant with these regulations,” said Lal.
“Healthcare employees communicate inherently sensitive information,” he said. “Healthcare institutions need to get serious about meeting their employees’ needs and providing a secure, internal messaging platform that not only allows HIPAA compliance, but also replaces outdated communication systems, like pagers, in order to increase productivity and serve patients faster.”