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On the 3rd Day of #HITChristmas … Kelly Benning from Halo Communications

Posted on December 15, 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.

Note: In case you missed the other 12 Days of #HITChristmas, you can start with the first day here along with the story behind #HITChristmas or read all 12 days here as they are published.

On the 3rd Day of #HITChristmas we’re excited to feature, Kelly Benning from Halo Communications.

Tell us a little about Halo Communications for those not familiar with the company.

Clinical communication and collaboration are the keys to better patient care and outcomes. One of the biggest challenges health systems continually face is poor and outdated communication technology – where analytics, security, reliability, speed and accuracy are all lacking.

Halo changes all of that. Providing fast delivery of actionable information across the acute and ambulatory environments, patients receive care faster, which leads to reduced length of stays and readmission rates. Better communication results in fewer errors, providing high patient and care team satisfaction.

What are some examples where the Halo Communications platform has improved patient care?

100% of our clients would buy from us again. We are extremely proud of this achievement! We know Halo improves a myriad of outcomes, so we typically begin helping organizations focus on the areas first that are an obvious impediment to patient care, such as pagers.  Halo replaces outdated pagers for providers and teams resulting in faster time to treatment, and importantly higher levels of provider and nurse satisfaction. The Halo platform allows providers to send and receive text messages that include complete patient information. The information provided means hospitalists can take action immediately to assist the patient. No need to call the operator for more details. And, no risk that there will be confusion about which patient needs care.  Pager replacement improves workflow efficiency and patient safety by reducing delays in care and ensuring treatment of the right patient at the right time.

Halo Communications seems to have a special place in their hearts for nurses.  For example, you’re hosting a “Most Interesting Nurse in the World” contest.  Where does this appreciation for nurses come from?

Jose Barreau, MD, founded Halo Communications because he wanted a better means of real time, mission critical communication between providers and nurses as well as between nurses or even nurse to patient, all from one easy to use platform. Dr. Barreau is passionate about nurses because he knows they are the backbone of real time patient care, which he witnessed each day in his oncology practice. When he noticed nurses carrying multiple devices and using multiple platforms to make calls or texts, combined with the amount of time they were spending in the EMR, he knew there had to be better solution. A solution which reduces nursing burnout and gives nurses more meaningful time with their patients.

What makes Halo Communications special in a pretty crowded healthcare communications space?

Halo is a clinical communications platform featuring Messaging, Voice and Alerts, powered by on-call Scheduling and Teams. As the only clinical collaboration company founded by a clinician, its sophisticated technology keeps the clinical experience at the forefront of mind, meaning we don’t hijack clinician and nursing workflows. And, because Halo is cloud based it is interoperable, highly configurable and scale-able for healthcare systems.

What can the healthcare IT community do to help Halo Communications?

The way healthcare organizations buy technology is primarily departmental, which leads to buying technology that is difficult to scale, pay for and manage. We see IT vendors, consultants and industry experts still focused on projects with tightly defined scopes, with one departmental buyer and one departmental defined end-user. While this does reduce risk for the healthcare systems, it also unfortunately leads to poor outcomes as they can never achieve the results that a true enterprise wide clinical collaboration platform can achieve.

IT vendors, consultants and industry experts can help healthcare systems focus on technology that is easiest to deploy, scale and maintain, which means system wide implementation and adoption. We have to help clients learn to assess risk better and take bigger risks that result in higher rewards associated with enterprise wide technology solutions.  We all need to help healthcare see the big picture.

Be sure to follow all of the 12 Day of #HITChristmas.

On the 2nd Day of #HITChristmas … Monica Stout from MedicaSoft

Posted on December 14, 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.

Note: In case you missed the other 12 Days of #HITChristmas, you can start with the first day here along with the story behind #HITChristmas or read all 12 days here as they are published.

On the 2nd Day of #HITChristmas we’re excited to feature, Monica Stout from MedicaSoft.

Tell us about yourself and MedicaSoft.

I’m Monica Stout and I’m the Michigander Marketing Director at MedicaSoft. I have a 2.5-year old who keeps me on my toes and have traded my (breakable) vintage glass collections for LEGOs, monster trucks, and board books. I came to MedicaSoft 3.5 years ago from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) where I was a consultant at the US Department of Veterans Affairs for many years. MedicaSoft is a healthcare IT software company specializing in an HL7 FHIR-based product offering spanning an open API platform, personal health record, electronic health record and reporting & analytics. We are also an accredited HISP. MedicaSoft took a look at some of the vexing problems in healthcare and designed software to solve those problems with open, modern, interoperable, and user-friendly software.

You were recently named as a partner on the VA EHR Project with Cerner.  Tell us about your involvement in that project.

Yes, we are really excited to work with Cerner and the VA on this important initiative. At MedicaSoft, we have long expertise with VA health IT systems and expertise in industry health information exchange and data interoperability. We are looking forward to participating as a Cerner team member as they roll out their EHR in an environment where exchanging health information between VA and community care providers is increasingly important. Expect to hear more about the Cerner/VA project in 2019 as the project gets underway!

What’s a patient story that epitomizes the impact of the work that MedicaSoft is doing?  

There’s a common thread we hear from patients, especially patients dealing with complex medical diagnoses and conditions, that they have so much information and no single source of truth or place to put all of their health information that can be easily accessed and shared with their care team. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear of hundreds upon hundreds of pages of health data that patients are forced to carry back and forth to appointments. This is an area where MedicaSoft provides tangible benefits to patients. All of a patient’s health data can be loaded into MedicaSoft’s PHR, HealthCenter, and it’s there to share (electronically) and provide a complete medical history to whomever the patient chooses.

You also provide the PHR for the Delaware Health Information Network.  Tell us about that and what services you offer them.

The Delaware Health Information Network (or DHIN) is a health information exchange that serves all acute care hospitals, major laboratories and radiology facilities, skilled nursing facilities, and medical providers in Delaware and several surrounding areas such as Maryland and Washington, D.C. DHIN utilizes our PHR/patient portal, HealthCenter, which is branded “Health Check Connect” for DHIN provider practices. DHIN also uses our open NXT Platform to manage all of its clinical and claims data.

Is interoperability real or is it talk?  Can you share any numbers that help us get an idea of how much interoperability is happening?

Interoperability is real. It’s hard to put numbers on it, but healthcare providers and payers are moving beyond the talk to real applications that require the secure exchange of reliable, usable clinical and claims information. Putting those applications into play is why we all talk about interoperability. At MedicaSoft, we “walk the walk” by providing a platform that harmonizes data and makes it available in an open, standards-based way. That means that using our platform lets you integrate applications from any vendor, or build them yourself, with the assurance that they all access high quality data. The open platform approach is the way of the future!

Some recent numbers in ONC in October showed that the industry as a whole has a long way to go when it comes to interoperability, but this is a good start –

41% of hospitals reported they were able to engage in all four functions of interoperability (electronically finding, sending, receiving, and integrating data from outside their own organizations) in 2017. Numbers are increasing each year:

2014: 23%

2015: 26%

2016: 29%

2017: 41%

What can the healthcare IT community do for you and MedicaSoft?

The healthcare IT community has already done so much for me in providing such great collegial relationships and friendships over the past couple of years. #HITMC, #HITsm & #HCDLR are phenomenal Twitter communities comprised of smart, thoughtful, motivated individuals really striving to improve healthcare. As far as helping MedicaSoft, continuing to connect us to folks who need our products or services is always super helpful as is helping us get out the word about the great (new) work we’re doing at our company.

Be sure to follow all of the 12 Day of #HITChristmas.

The FHIR Backpedal, Voice Interfaces, OpenNotes, and Complacency – Twitter Roundup

Posted on December 6, 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.

Let’s take a quick trip around the Twittersphere and share some of the best healthcare related tweets we’ve seen recently. Plus, we’ll add a little commentary for each tweet as well. We hope you’ll add your commentary on Twitter with @healthcarescene and in the comments.


This might be a media back pedal. Everyone I’ve talked to that really understood FHIR has always said that the FHIR standard was not the end all be all interoperability solution. In fact, they specifically noted its limitations. Of course, that didn’t keep many outlets from reporting FHIR as the cure all. Glad to see they’re finally reporting on FHIR accurately. It’s good, but not a cure all interoperability solution.


Anyone that’s heard Colin Hung speak knows this is going to be a great webinar. Voice search and voice interfaces have become extremely popular. If you want to learn how they’re impacting healthcare, sign up for Colin’s webinar.


Powerfully simple story.


I think Aimee underestimates the power of complacency. However, I hope she’s right since long term complacency will feel really bad.