Free Hospital EMR and EHR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to Hospital EMR and EHR for FREE!

Collaboration in Healthcare – President’s Day

Posted on February 19, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It’s President’s Day in the US which means a lot of people have the day off from work and school. Unfortunately, in healthcare it’s largely just another day. My heart goes out to each of you who have to work today.

I started a tradition of posting quotes from past US Presidents on President’s Day and so I’m going to continue that tradition today. I love the following quote from Woodrow Wilson. The principle of collaboration is so important and often forgotten by many companies and many healthcare organizations. It’s why I love social media so much. It opens doors to collaborations that would have previously been difficult to discover.

Happy President’s Day!

Are You Still Doing the Happy Dance for Your EHR?

Posted on February 16, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today I stumbled upon this video from 6 years ago with Flagler Hospital celebrating the implementation and launch of the Allscripts EMR in their organization. Here’s the video in case you’ve never seen it:

We’ve written previously about the value of these videos bringing the team at your hospital together. Any big project such as an EHR implementation is a challenging thing and it’s important to get your whole team involved and to have some fun in the process.

At the end of the video they hold up a sign that says Good Bye Paper. 6 years later, I wonder how they feel about this video and their EHR implementation. Would they still be doing the happy dance? Could they make another video celebrating their EHR?

I know a few organizations where they could. They’ve implemented the EHR effectively and are happy with how it works. Sure, they still have things they’d like changed, updated, modified, etc. However, they’re generally happy to be on an EHR over paper charts. Plus, there’s a whole generation of doctors now that don’t know the paper charts world and know no difference.

Unfortunately, there are many other hospitals that are cursing their EHR software. They might do a video about their EHR, but it would be a satire video about the challenges they still face using an EHR.

Where are you at with your EHR? Are you doing a happy dance or are you disappointed, frustrated, or upset with having to use an EHR in your hospital? Share your thoughts in the comments.

#HIMSS18 Mix Tape

Posted on February 14, 2018 I Written By

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

The annual HIMSS conference is the “Super Bowl” of HealthIT events. No other conference brings together as many HealthIT professionals, vendors and industry media in one place. The 2018 edition of HIMSS (#HIMSS18) is being held in Las Vegas NV and over 48,000 attendees are expected. Healthcare Scene is holding a whole series of open meetups at HIMSS18 where anyone can come and participate in the discussion so we hope to see you there.

For the past 3 years I have done something fun ahead of the conference. I asked a handful of industry experts and social media friends to choose a song that best represents healthcare and HealthIT. I published the resulting playlist along with their reasons for their selection. I dubbed it (excuse the pun) the #HIMSS Mix Tape.

Why a mix tape? Three main reasons:

  1. I’m a big comic book nerd and have been since I was a kid. In the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movies (which I’m a fan of) the hero carries around an old Sony Walkman and plays a mix tape that his mother made for him. My mix tape is a hat tip to these movies.
  2. Playlists are so 2000s. Mix tape has an exotic sounding quality to. Honestly which headline is more intriguing: HIMSS18 Playlist or HIMSS18 Mix Tape? Plus how to do you choose a graphic of a playlist?
  3. I have made one or two mix tapes in my day and there is a lost feeling of accomplishment you get when you painstaking cut songs together for a beach party, road-trip or for that special someone. The HIMSS Mix Tape is my attempt to re-live those youthful memories.

For past HIMSS Mix Tapes, check out these links:

This year, I decided to expand the Mix Tape to two volumes. Volume 1 is filled with songs chosen by fellow HIMSS18 Social Media Ambassadors (this is my 3rd year as a HIMSS SMA). Volume 2 is full of tunes from people I have become friends with because of HIMSS.

So without further ado, the HIMSS18 Mix Tape…please enjoy responsibly.

[Note: I put together this Spotify Playlist that has all the songs.]

Volume 1 – DJ SMA

Pushin’ Forward Back – Temple of the Dog. Chosen by Brian Eastwood, @Brian_Eastwood

Pretty self explanatory, but 2017 seemed like another year where health IT started to make progress but then had to take a step back and reassess where it had gone and where it wanted to go.

Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra. Chosen by Brian Mack, @BFMack

It is an affirmation of all that has been accomplished in the last year, and a tribute to the committed professionals, advocates, and stakeholders across the Health IT industry. Their positive contributions ARE having a significant impact on the quality of healthcare access, delivery, experience, outcomes, and affordability.

Westworld Season 1 Opening Credits – HBO. Chosen by Chuck Webster MD, MSIE, MSIS, @wareFLO

What about the 3D printing technology depicted? The drawing of three-dimensional muscles and sinews. And the artificial intelligence? Creative, problem-solving, communicating artificially intelligent beings? Which (who?) begin to learn, and perhaps surpass, their human creators? I can’t think of a short stretch of music more capturing emerging health IT themes and anxieties, from 3D printing to machine learning, to bridging software vs hardware divides, to reflecting on what is human about technology and what technology means for humanity.

What About Us – P!nk. Chosen by Colin Hung, @Colin_Hung

I chose this song as an anthem for: patients who have not been listened to; for caregivers who are suffering without support; for people + families dealing with rare diseases; for clinicians and other healthcare staff who are burned out; and for anyone who cannot get access to the care they need.

We are problems that want to be solved / We are children that need to be loved / We were willin’, we came when you called / But, man, you fooled us, enough is enough, oh

Street Life – The Crusaders & Randy Crawford. Chosen by Danielle Siarri, @innonurse

In healthcare people that live on the streets need more most care and their voice is not heard and this song just reminds me of the unseen patient. In the ED I would take care of prostitutes, IV drug users, pimps to homeless and the mentally ill that live on the streets. This song reminds me of them and the clinical staff that takes care of them.

North American Scum – LCD Soundsystem. Chosen by David Harlow, @healthblawg

This song sums up the dismay many of us feel with the current political situation. “I don’t know … where to begin …/ But in the end we make the same mistakes all over again/ Come on North Americans/ We are North American scum.” On the Health IT front, while there is surely progress being made, in a sense we are still making the same mistakes all over again. We could be farther along than we are towards achieving the quadruple aim if we would shed some of our chains, chief among them being the low level of interoperability enjoyed in the field.

Beautiful Day – U2. Chosen by Geeta Nayyar, @gnayyar

Despite this frustration with the constant rhetoric of the past few years, I hold on to the view that there is so much to be excited about in HIT. I really want to elevate the positive action happening right now all around us. Let’s work to move the conversations forward by highlighting the positive momentum happening in HIT – the developments that are making a difference, that unite rather than separate and those that are taking courageous first steps into new territory. We know what must be done, so let’s do it. This will be a beautiful day.

Sweet Dreams – Eurythmics (Ibiza Deep Summer Remix 2015). Chosen by Janae Sharp, @coherencemed

I like it because this year has seen good and bad in HealthIT – we’ve seen consolidation and progress and a lot of noise and it remains to be seen what will happen in the future. Also it’s a throwback from the old days of when ai first started getting traction. The original version is from the early 80s (timing isn’t exact) and then it’s been re-done before. So this time- we have a techno remix. Time will tell if it turns out to be life changing- in the meantime we have dancing.

All You Need Is Love  – The Beatles. Chosen by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, @healthythinker

For two reasons: (1) “There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made,” like health; and, (2) Love is the killer app. Just sayin’.

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Chosen by Linda Stotsky, @EMRAnswers

His song personifies our continued struggle for healthcare transformation, care coordination and usability. I am saying the same thing I’ve said for 15 years. But “I’ll stand my ground, no I won’t back down” until the healthcare paradigm changes – and improvements occur.

Dark Horse – Katy Perry. Chosen by Lygeia Ricciardi, @Lygeia

There are a lot of new entrants in the mix or on the horizon in healthcare and health IT these days: Amazon, Google, and Berkshire Hathaway, to name few. Industry lines are blurring every day—it’s a “perfect storm” to change things up in healthcare, and the dark horses joining the traditional race represent both the risks and opportunities of the unknown.

Mz. Hyde – Halestorm. Chosen by Matt Fisher, @matt_r_fisher

Healthcare and HealthIT certainly feel like there is a bit of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde going on. The goal of healthcare is to help people, but the dark side (at least to some degree) of regulation and missed expectations take away the focus from the positive. Which side will control? That remains an open question, though the positive is always striving to stay ahead.

Brave – Sarah Bareilles. Chosen by Max Stroud, @mmaxwellstroud

As the conversation across the nation grew around the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault, it resonated with those in our own community who have had similar experiences. Be brave.

With what you want to say / And let the words fall out / Honestly I wanna see you be brave

Ordinary Love – U2. Chosen by Nick van Terheyden, @drnic1

Probably like many people I feel like I’m in the Line of Fire [Junip]…”What you choose to believe in, Takes you as you fall, No one else around you, No one to understand you, No one to hear your calls”. In fact “This world at times will blind you, Still I know I’ll see you there” – Come a Little Closer [Cage the Elephant] but  “I found my nirvana in a friend of mine” with the edgy “H” [Lawrence Rothman]. But ultimately “the world I love, the tears I drop, To be part of the wave Can’t Stop” [Red Hot Chili Peppers] and I end up with Ordinary Love – U2

The sea throws rock together / But time leaves us polished stones / We can’t fall any further / If we can’t feel ordinary love

Despacito – Luis Fonsi. Chosen by Rasu Shrestha, MD MBA, @RasuShrestha

I wanted to choose a hit song from the past year; and just kept bumping into one Ed Sheeran hit after another. While I love his heart tugging melodies, I am going with another popular hit. Despacito means “Slowly”; and that essentially is how I feel we’re making, and will continue to make, progress in health IT. Getting health IT “right” needs to be a dance – rhythmic, upbeat, fun, purposeful and passionate. Yup, flip Despacito on and turn that bass up please!

Join Together – The Who. Chosen by Sean Erreger, @StuckonSW

I am attending HIMSS this year on mission to find out how tech can better facilitate interdisciplinary care. Looking forward to the knocking down silo theme of this song. “Do you really think I care, What you eat or what you wear…Won’t you join together with the band

Anticipation – Carly Simon. Chosen by Tamara StClaire, @drstclaire

Given the new administration in the US, we don’t really now all that’s going to happen. We have a good feel for what the current administration would like to have happen…but no one will actually know until after mid-term elections. And whatever will happen will impact all of healthcare.

Volume 2 – HealthIT Fresh Tracks

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Monks. Chosen by Regina Holliday, @ReginaHolliday

I chose this because you cannot go wrong when you quote Monty Python, I also feel that we smacking are heads on a regular basis in HealthIT.

Okay – The Piano Guys. Chosen by John Lynn, @techguy

There’s a lot of craziness in the world including in healthcare IT, but it’s gonna be ok.  With all the bad in the world, there’s also a ton of good things and good people that just don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Pumpin’ Blood – Nonono. Chosen by Melody Smith Jones, @TheSameMel

Because 2018 is a year of exciting beginnings for me. While fear is unavoidable in the face of true challenge, I feel in charge of my destiny. I also have this amazing Health IT community whistling along with me as our journeys merge and build from each other.

This is Me – Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman). Chosen by Jennifer Dennard @JennDennard

It’s my favorite movie right now. I’ve seen it twice and will likely see it a third time in the theater. The movie – and song – leave you feeling so empowered. Definitely resonates with the #healthITchicks community right now!

Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf. Chosen by Joe Babaian, @JoeBabaian

HealthIT is very much still out on the highway, looking for adventure! Many opportunities and sights to see as we find and amplify the best we find. Truly HealthIT is born to be wild and flying high – it’s up to us to keep collaborating and bring healthcare into the future!

No – Meghan Trainor. Chosen by Sarah Bennight, @sarahbennight

As patients start demanding better experiences in healthcare like telemedicine, online record access, integration and collaboration between care team members, they have started saying NO when they don’t get what they want as informed consumers. My name is-NO! My address is-NO, my number is-NO, you should already know! Girl. if that facility doesn’t give you what you need, blah blah blah, just be like nah to the ah to the no, no no!

As Crazy As It Is – ZHU ft A Track & Keznamdi. Chosen by Sidonia Rose Swarm, @SidoniaRose

In order to infuse some much-needed chill reggae vibes into a chaotic HIMSS week, I thought “As Crazy As It Is” is a fitting choice. Most people in Health IT feel the red tape, long sales cycles, and integration hurdles make them “crazy” yet they stick around and could never abandon the frustrating yet fulfilling industry.

Despacito – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee feat Justin Bieber. Chosen by Jennifer Lannon, @HealthTechJen

I chose Despacito – because innovation and technology development and deployment happen very despacito (slowly!). I also chose it to bring a bit of fun flair into the HIMSS scene – and bring some Spanish-speaking & Latino/a culture, which in my experience is severely underrepresented among healthcare and technology leadership.

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons. Chosen by Dan Dunlop, @dandunlop

Welcome to the new age /  Welcome to the new age /  This is it… The Apocalypse

I like this song because it captures the tension I see in the Health IT space – and the divergent perspectives about Health IT. It is definitely a new age. But is it the Apocalypse? Is the future bleak or bright? Will IT enrich the work life of the physician or enslave them? Will IT free providers to spend more time with patients or disconnect them? This is the tension that this song evokes for me.

Heroes – David Bowie. Chosen by Mandi Bishop, @MandiBPro

It’s a reminder of our (health IT) youth, when we were invincible (and unicorns were everywhere). That was a heady feeling, and it gave us the inspiration and momentum to carry us through our rocky adolescence. Now that we’re older and wiser, we can find new – perhaps more effective and widely adopted – ways to be heroes…

Starman – David Bowie. Chosen by Andrew Richards @AndrewinTech

Things are changing and we are all going to have our minds blown by whats ahead. And…Elon Musk just sent a starman in a tesla into space!

digituRN – Ross Martin. Chosen by Ross D Martin, @RossMartin

Is it total self-promotion to offer an original song? [Editors note: Nope and I think the lyrics speak for themselves]

Enter Sandman – Metallica. Chosen by Nick Adkins, @nickisnpdx

Take my hand / We’re off to never never-land / Take my hand / We’re off to never never-land

Keep repeating that over and over and over……cuz that’s exactly what’s FINALLY happening in a BIG way this year with the industry getting WOKE! Go Apple, Amazon, JPM, Berkshire Hathaway, et al!

Too Close – Alex Clare. Chosen by Shereese Maynard, @ShereesePubHlth

Every year, I spend the year, trying to find synergy w/ vendors, whose product disappoints me on delivery. Prior to HIMSS, they usually beg, promote, and insists we get together. I’ve said it before; I’m still looking to be impressed.

Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who. Chosen by Gregg Masters @2healthguru

Because like clockwork we always do in healthcare.

 

Got a song that you think represents healthcare or HealthIT? Add it to the comments and it will become Volume 3!

Reasonable and Unreasonable Healthcare Interoperability Expectations

Posted on February 12, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Other than EMR and EHR, I don’t think there’s any topic I’ve written about more than healthcare interoperability. It’s a challenging topic with a lot of nuances. Plus, it’s a subject which would benefit greatly if we could make it a reality. However, after all these years I’m coming to some simple conclusions that I think often get lost in most discussions. Especially those in the healthcare IT media.

First, we all know that it would be wonderful for all of your healthcare records to be available to anyone who needs them at any time and in any place and not available to those who shouldn’t have access to them. I believe that in the next 15 years, that’s not going to happen. Sure, it would be great if it did (we all see that), but I don’t see it happening.

The reasons why are simple. Our healthcare system doesn’t want it to happen and there aren’t enough benefits to the system to make it happen.

Does that mean we should give up on interoperability? Definitely not!

Just because we can’t have perfect healthcare interoperability doesn’t mean we shouldn’t create meaningful interoperability (Yes, I did use the word meaningful just to annoy you).

I think one of the major failures of most interoperability efforts is that they’re too ambitious. They try to do everything and since that’s not achievable, they end up doing nothing. There are plenty of reasonable interoperability efforts that make a big difference in healthcare. We can’t let the perfect be the enemy of better. That’s been exactly what’s happened with most of healthcare interoperability.

At the HIMSS conference next month, they’re going to once again have an intereroperability showcase full of vendors that can share data. If HIMSS were smart, they’d do away with the showcase and instead only allow those vendors to show dashboards of the amount of data that’s actually being transferred between organizations in real time. We’d learn a lot more from seeing interoperability that’s really happening as opposed to seeing interoperability that could happen but doesn’t because organizations don’t want that type of interoperability to happen.

Interoperability is a challenging topic, but we make it harder than it needs to be because we want to share everything with everyone. I’m looking for companies that are focused on slices of interoperability that practically solve a problem. If you have some of these, let us know about them in the comments.

Pilot Effort Improves EHR Documentation

Posted on February 9, 2018 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

Though EHRs were intended to improve medical documentation, in many cases they seem to have made documentation quality worse. Despite their best intentions, bogged-down physicians may resort to practices — notably excessive copy-and-paste usage — that turn patient records into bloated, unfocused data masses that don’t help their peers much.

However, a pilot program conducted by a group of academic medical centers suggests using a set of best practice guidelines and templates for progress notes can improve note quality dramatically. The pilot involved intern physicians on inpatient internal medicine rotations at UCLA, the University of California San Francisco, the University of California San Diego and the University of Iowa.

According to a related story in HealthData Management, researchers rated the quality of the notes created by the participating interns using a competency questionnaire, a general impression score and the validated Physician Documentation Quality Instrument 9-item version (PDQI-9).

The researchers behind the study, which was published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, found that the interns’ documentation quality improved substantially over the course of the pilot. “Significant improvements were seen in the general impression score, all domains of the PDQI-9, and multiple competency items, including documentation of only relevant data, discussion of a discharge plan, and being concise while adequately complete,” the authors reported. Even better, researchers said notes generated by the participating interns had about 25% fewer lines and were signed 1.3 hours earlier in the day on average.

One side note: despite the encouragement provided by the pilot, the extent to which interns used templates varied dramatically between institutions. For example, 92% of interns at UCSF used the templates, compared to 90% at UCLA, 79% at Iowa and only 21% at UCSD. Nonetheless, UCSD intern notes still seemed to improve during the study period, the research report concluded. (All four institutions were using an Epic EHR.)

It’s hard to tell how generalizable these results are. After all, it’s one thing to try and train interns in a certain manner, and another entirely to try and bring experienced clinicians into the fold. It’s just common sense that physicians in training are more likely to absorb guidance on how they should document care than active clinicians with existing habits in place. And unfortunately, to make a real dent in documentation improvement we’ll need to bring those experienced clinicians on board with schemes such as this.

Regardless, it’s certainly a good idea to look at ways to standardize documentation improvement. Let’s hope more research and experimentation in this area is underway.

The Full Spectrum of Information Governance – HIM Scene

Posted on February 7, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Information governance is such an important topic across so many areas of healthcare. It impacts almost every organization and quite frankly takes the full organization to buy in to ensure proper information governance. Doing it right is going to be essential for any healthcare organization to work efficiently and effectively in the future.

While information governance impacts everyone in healthcare, I have to give credit to AHIMA and their HIM professional community for leading the way on the topic of information governance. A great illustration of this leadership is in the AHIMA Information Governance Adoption Model Competencies (IGAM):


*Thanks to HIM professional, Katherine Downing for sharing it on Twitter.

I think a lot of people that work in a hospital and healthcare system don’t recognize a lot of these areas of information governance. At least they don’t look at them from that lens.

My favorite part of this model is that it starts with creating the right information governance structure and the strategic alignment. If you don’t get the right people assigned as part of their job to work on information governance, it will never happen. Plus, if you don’t realize how information governance aligns with the organizations priorities, then you’ll fall short as well.

How far along are you in your information governance efforts? Have you incorporated all of the above elements into your information governance strategy? We’d love to hear your experiences, insights, and perspectives in the comments.

If you’d like to receive future HIM posts in your inbox, you can subscribe to future HIM Scene posts here.

Yale New Haven Hospital Partners With Epic On Centralized Operations Center

Posted on February 5, 2018 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

Info, info, all around, and not a place to manage it all. That’s the dilemma faced by most hospitals as they work to leverage the massive data stores they’re accumulating in their health IT systems.

Yale New Haven Hospital’s solution to the problem is to create a centralized operations center which connects the right people to real-time data analytics. Its Capacity Command Center (nifty alliteration, folks!) was created by YNHH, Epic and the YNHH Clinical Redesign Initiative.

The Command Center project comes five years into YNHH’s long-term High Reliability project, which is designed to prepare the institution for future challenges. These efforts are focused not only on care quality and patient safety but also managing what YNHH says are the highest patient volumes in Connecticut. Its statement also notes that with transfers from other hospitals increasing, the hospital is seeing a growth in patient acuity, which is obviously another challenge it must address.

The Capacity Command Center’s functions are fairly straightforward, though they have to have been a beast to develop.

On the one hand, the Center offers technology which sorts through the flood of operational data generated by and stored in its Epic system, generating dashboards which change in real time and drive process changes. These dashboards present real-time metrics such as bed capacity, delays for procedures and tests and ambulatory utilization, which are made available on Center screens as well as within Epic.

In addition, YNHH has brought representatives from all of the relevant operational areas into a single physical location, including bed management, the Emergency Department, nursing staffing, environmental services and patient transport. Not only is this a good approach overall, it’s particularly helpful when patient admissions levels climb precipitously, the hospital notes.

This model is already having a positive impact on the care process, according to YNHH’s statement. For example, it notes, infection prevention staffers can now identify all patients with Foley catheters and review their charts. With this knowledge in hand, these staffers can discuss whether the patient is ready to have the catheter removed and avoid related urinary tract infections associated with prolonged use.

I don’t know about you, but I was excited to read about this initiative. It sounds like YNHH is doing exactly what it should do to get more out of patient data. For example, I was glad to read that the dashboard offered real-time analytics options rather than one-off projections from old data. Bringing key operational players together in one place makes great sense as well.

Of course, not all hospitals will have the resources to pull something off something like this. YNHH is a 1,541-bed giant which had the cash to take on a command center project. Few community hospitals would have the staff or money to make such a thing happen. Still, it’s good to see somebody at the cutting edge.

How Mobile Computer Carts Reduce Errors and Increase Efficiency

Posted on February 2, 2018 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Andy Lurie, Director of Marketing and Partner Relations at Add On Data.

Mobile computing carts have been a mainstay in the hospital environment since the electronic medical records (EMR) mandate took effect in the United States. To show meaningful use of electronic health records in the healthcare environment, facilities across the nation have adopted mobile computing carts as the primary means of addressing EMR at the point-of-care. Mobile carts offer better ergonomics and productivity than tablets or mobile devices.

Mobile computer carts aren’t just a means of satisfying the new meaningful use requirements for EMR however, they’re becoming vital aspects of workflow optimization and error reduction strategies at healthcare facilities everywhere. Hospitals that initially overlooked the practical benefits of satisfying the EMR mandate are now benefiting from fewer recording errors in patient records, more accurate medication administration, and enhanced worker productivity. Keep reading to find out how!

Mobile Computer Carts Help Care Providers Get More Done

It’s easy to imagine how the introduction of mobile workstations to the healthcare environment has enhanced productivity, especially for the nurses and physicians that use this equipment daily. Here’s what a workflow for patient visits might have looked like before the introduction of mobile workstations:

  1. The nurse visits the patient’s room.
  2. The nurse interviews the patient and conducts any relevant assessments (blood pressure, vitals, etc.)
  3. The nurse visits the medication/equipment room to get materials needed by the patient.
  4. The nurse returns to the patient and administers treatments.
  5. The nurse returns to the stationary workstation located at the nurse’s station.
  6. The nurse records the patient’s condition and documents the treatment provided.
  7. The nurse is ready to visit a new patient.

With mobile computer carts, nurses can reduce many of the walking steps in this process. Basic medical supplies and medications can be stored securely in the drawers of a mobile computing cart, reducing the need for trips to supply rooms. The nurse can also update patient records at the bedside, eliminating the need to repeatedly return to a stationary workstation throughout their shift. A 10-20% reduction in the time taken for a patient visit represents massive productivity gains for an organization.

Mobile Computer Carts Reduce Errors in EMR Recording

EMR recording errors are an insidious and completely unnecessary cause of adverse outcomes for the patient, but they’re a sad reality of an inefficient workflow that separates the processes of patient care from the process of documentation.

We all trust our healthcare providers to provide attentive and conscientious care for each patient, but it’s easy to imagine how documentation errors can occur. Nurses who routine to a stationary workstation between patient visits may sometimes find that computer occupied, meaning they have to wait before documenting the most recent interaction. Sometimes nurses encounter distractions on their way to document a patient interaction – it could be a medical emergency, an urgent request from another staff member, a disruptive patient or visitor, or anything else.

Nurses and physicians need to be accountable for accurately documenting every interaction they have with patients, and this is best achieved with mobile computer carts. Mobile carts ensure the presence of an available workstation at the point of care, ensuring that patient care is documented as it happens and without delay. This reduces data entry errors and enhances patient safety.

Mobile Computer Carts Help Ensure Secure and Accurate Medicine Administration

Mobile computer carts have been used effectively to ensure the security, accuracy, and timeliness of medication administration in hospitals. Carts can be customized with secure drawers for holding medication, as well as bar-code scanners that nurses use to correctly identify patients and match them with the appropriate medications. The combination of medication verification software and organized storage of patient medications virtually eliminates the possibility of patient medication errors.

A study that assessed adverse drug events (ADEs) found that each hospital experiences a medication error every 22.7 hours and every 19.73 admissions. Miscommunication and “Human Factors” have been identified as leading factors contributing to these mistakes, along with similar labeling on medications and patient name confusion. Using bar-code scanners and software to match patients with their proper medications reduces these errors and ultimately saves lives by addressing sources of error that are inherent to the manual administration of medicines in the hospital setting.

Conclusion

While the implementation of mobile computer carts in the healthcare environment is important for satisfying the EMR mandate, hospitals should not overlook the real opportunities to generate and capitalize on the other benefits of mobile carts. Effective usage of mobile computing carts reduces errors and increases hospital efficiency, helping facilities reduce their costs and improve patient safety and health outcomes.

The 4 P’s of Innovation in Health Science

Posted on January 31, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

You’ll never meet anyone that loves health data science more than Prashant Natarajan. He literally wrote the book on the subject (Check out Demystifying Big Data and Machine Learning for Healthcare to see why I mean literally). He recently gave a presentation on the 4 P’s of Innovation in Health Science which included this slide:

Sadly, I couldn’t find a recording of his presentation. However, this slide puts health data science in perspective. Prashant boiled it down to 4 simple points. The problem is that too many healthcare organizations are unable to really execute all 4 P’s in their health science innovation efforts.

No doubt each of these 4 P’s is challenging, but the most challenging one I see today is the first P: People.

I’m not sure all of the ways that Prashant addresses the people problem, but it’s somewhat ironic that people is the biggest problem with health science innovation. I see the challenge as two fold. First, finding people who have the health science mindset are hard to find. Competition for people with these skills is fierce and many of them don’t want to get into healthcare which is complex, regulated, and often behind.

The second major health science challenge revolves around the people who collect, aggregate, and enter the data. It’s easy for a front line person to not care about the downstream effects of them entering poor quality data. Not to mention being consistent in what you enter and how you enter it.

It’s somewhat apart of human nature for us to jimmy rig a solution to the problem we face. Those workaround solutions wreaked havoc downstream in your data science efforts. I recently heard the example of a hospital always choosing Mongolian for some setting because it was a setting that would never be used otherwise. The culture of the hospital just knew this is what to do. Once the data scientists started looking at the data they wondered why this Mongolian population kept coming up in their results. Every healthcare organization has their “mongolian” workaround that causes havoc on data science.

What do you think of these 4 Ps of Innovation in Health Science? Is there something missing? Do you see one of these as more important than another?

Apple Trials Tech Offering Patient Access To Their Health Records

Posted on January 29, 2018 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or www.ziegerhealthcare.com.

In recent times, tech giants have been falling over themselves in a race to offer consumers the best access to their health data, including even dark horses like Amazon. And it’s little wonder – it’s become increasingly obvious that he who controls patient health data access controls a critical sector of the entire healthcare industry.

The most recent stake in the ground comes from Apple, whose latest update to its Health app allows customers to see their medical records on their iPhone. The Health Records section of the Health app, which comes with the release of the iOS 11.3 beta, collects FHIR-based records from multiple sources and makes them available through its Health Records section.

The patient data display will pull together patient data from various healthcare organizations into a single view. The data will include lists of allergies, conditions and medications taken, immunizations records, lab results on procedures and vital sign information. When providers published new information, iPhone users will be notified.

To conduct its Health Records beta test, Apple has partnered with a number of high-profile health systems and hospitals, including Johns Hopkins Medicine; Cedars-Sinai; Penn Medicine; Geisinger Health System; UC San Diego Health; UNC Health Care; Rush University Medical Center; Dignity Health; Ochsner Health System; MedStar Health and OhioHealth.

As part of its launch, Apple told the New York Times that unless consumers specifically choose to share it with the company, it will never see the data, which will be encrypted and stored locally on the iPhone.  A recent (if unscientific) poll suggests that consumers trust Apple with their health data more than other top tech vendors, so this reassurance may be enough to ease their fears.

But security is hardly Apple’s biggest concern. How does the tech colossus expect to profit from its health data investments?  When I break the issues down, it looks like this:

  • Unlike hospitals and clinics, which can expect medium- to long-term ROI when patients manage their health better, Apple doesn’t deliver care.
  • Apple might want to sell anonymized aggregated patient data, but as far as I know, the company would still have to get patient permission, and that would be an administrative and legal nightmare.
  • If Apple or its competitors have some vision of selling access to the patient, good luck with that. Providers have a hard time attracting and keeping patients with nifty technology even if those patients live in their backyard.

While I could be missing something major, from what I see, Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon and the rest are engaging in a series of preemptive patient data land grabs. My sense is that none of them know exactly what to do with this data, they’ll be damned if they’re going to let their competitors get there first.

That said, many in the industry are suggesting that this move is just another effort by Apple to sell more iPhones. The question I ask is how valuable will the information be to the patients? Certainly the beta hospitals and health systems are large and have a lot of data, but how is this going to scale down to the smaller providers? If you don’t have these smaller providers, then you’re going to be missing some of the most important health data.