Tag Archive | "healthcare"

d.health Summit 2015 Explores How New Innovations Can Improve The Healthcare Of Seniors


d.health Summit 2015 Explores How New Innovations Can Improve The Healthcare Of SeniorsThere have been numerous technological, legal, and clinical development in the healthcare field over the last few years. While it can be said that this is true for any period of time, the technological advances over the last few years have taken things to a whole new level.

It is for this reason that the d.health Summit 2015 will be focusing its attention on how these new advances can improve the quality of healthcare for aging Americans. The one-day summit will bring together healthcare providers, technology experts, finance experts, and public policy developers to discuss the impact of how the most recent advances can improve the quality and delivery of healthcare for our seniors.

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Major Money Raised for Low Income and Rural Community Healthcare


Major Money Raised for Low IncomeRural communities are in need of help in many areas. One area currently being addressed is in the realm of healthcare assistance. Across the United States, there is manpower and desire to assist, but not the technology to get it done fast and efficiently.

In 2011, President Obama ordered the creation of the White House Rural Council Initiative. This group, led by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), was established to help rural doctors and medical facilities find financing and enable them to afford healthcare information technology.

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Rebooting Meaningful Use to Address Better Care, Not Better Reporting


 The proposed rules for Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 3 were just released by both CMS and the ONC.  Many writers have commented on these rules, and this blog post is not a commentary about the rules.  As always, I recommend readers go to John Halamka’s blog. Instead, I want to comment about the whole process.  Let me start by saying that I am a strong believer in the concept of the Meaningful Use program.  It is well known that healthcare in the United States is tremendously expensive, yet does not provide the levels of quality of care and patient safety that should be achievable with this outlay.  The thought that fostering the use of electronic medical records (EMRs) would improve both cost, as well as quality and safety issues, is probably valid —although it should be noted that all of the countries that show better outcomes at less cost have lower adoption of EMRs than is the current state of the U.S.  There is some information that the implementation of EMRs has improved outcomes, and most of these improvements have come from the vastly improved safety process of computerized order entry and -e- prescribing systems.  I believe there are three issues that need to be addressed before use of technology is going to further improve healthcare in the U.S. What are the new MU rules trying to accomplish?  The MU rules are trying to improve quality and safety, and incorporate the generally true concept that “you cannot improve what you cannot measure.”  In reality, quality and safety are difficult to define, let alone to measure. As a result, most of the measurements are of proxies — processes that are believed to improve outcomes.  In the modern world, the evidence supporting these processes changes faster than the rules do.  As a result, EMRs are being designed to collect data that may not be relevant by the time this data capture actually is enabled. Who is making the rules?  MU rules are being devised by teams of “experts” who are knowledgeable, dedicated, highly intelligent, and who tend to pursue agendas based on their own experience in, and with, healthcare. Unfortunately, these people do not represent typical patient, nor are they busy healthcare providers.  For instance, when we surveyed patients on their feelings towards their physicians and healthcare experience, they expressed a strong desire for uninhibited communication with their clinicians and guarantees of privacythat EMRs are, in many ways, interfering with.  And studies have shown clinicians are increasingly frustrated by EMRs, which have become data entry tools rather than vehicles to record and communicate the patient story. Are the rules in touch with the current state of technology?  At the time of the initiation of the HITECH Act, speech recognition was just coming into its own, and natural language processing (NLP) for healthcare was still a nascent technology.  These technologies are now mature, but are not being implemented as well as they could be.  EMRs are filled with defined fields that need to be filled with specific data elements and have constantly decreasing places where actual narrative can be entered.  It is time to re-think this process so that clinicians can use tools and technologies, such as speech recognition, to tell the patient story in a flowing narrative format, and let NLP assume the burden of extracting data from the narrative.  Employing the clinician as a data-entry clerk makes no sense given these technologies.  I truly believe that EMRs have the potential to improve quality and safety in healthcare.  I also truly believe that the current Meaningful Use process has lost its way.  It is time for a “reboot” that focuses on ways to make EMRs usable both for patients and for clinicians, rather than serving as tools for data collection, transmission, and analysis.The following is a guest contributed post from Dr. Reid Coleman of Nuance.

The proposed rules for Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 3 were just released by both CMS and the ONC.  Many writers have commented on these rules, and this blog post is not a commentary about the rules.  As always, I recommend readers go to John Halamka’s blog. Instead, I want to comment about the whole process.

Let me start by saying that I am a strong believer in the concept of the Meaningful Use program.  It is well known that healthcare in the United States is tremendously expensive, yet does not provide the levels of quality of care and patient safety that should be achievable with this outlay.  The thought that fostering the use of electronic medical records (EMRs) would improve both cost, as well as quality and safety issues, is probably valid —although it should be noted that all of the countries that show better outcomes at less cost have lower adoption of EMRs than is the current state of the U.S.  There is some information that the implementation of EMRs has improved outcomes, and most of these improvements have come from the vastly improved safety process of computerized order entry and -e- prescribing systems.

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Posted in Healthcare, Healthcare ITComments (1)

Thanks to Microsoft, TV White Space is Being Used to Deliver Remote Healthcare in Botswana


Thanks To Microsoft—TV White Space Is Being Used To Deliver Remote Healthcare In BotswanaNow that Botswana has made the move to digital TV, it has freed up analog space traditionally known as TV white space. Microsoft has stepped in and is using this white space to deliver broadband Internet to some of the more remote areas throughout Africa.

In the country of Botswana, MedCity News notes that Microsoft has partnered with the University of Pennsylvania Perlman’s School of Medicine, Botswana’s Ministry of health, the US agency for International Development, and NetHope to launch a telemedicine pilot program throughout three rule communities.

The pilot program allows residents who live in rural areas of Botswana, the ability to access remote healthcare via life video conferencing through white TV space—all without having to travel the long distance to the capital city of Gaborone. Two of the most common uses for this method of telemedicine are to screen for cervical cancer, and to identify dermatological signs of HIV and AIDS.

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Healthcare Needs a Pick Me Up in Modern Mobile Communications


Healthcare Needs a Pick Me Up in Modern Mobile CommunicationsIn recent years, there have been huge advancements in communications throughout the medical world. However, these advances are showing limited effectiveness. The reason? Only one-third of medical professionals have been willing or able to embrace these new advances.

One particularly important advancement is the ability to access medical records electronically by only entering short, simple information. Others include the ability to meet electronically with a doctor, receive prescriptions and test orders remotely, and manage post-hospital care and follow-ups for medical professionals. These are just a few of the communications wonders now possible via tablets, smartphones, and computers. However, with not enough people utilizing these advances, major disadvantages are still present in the medical world.

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Phyzit Helps Improve Relationships with Doctors and Patients


Phyzit Helps Improve Relationships with Doctors and PatientsHow many times have you heard this scenario? You or a loved one is hospitalized and extra care will be required to ensure full recovery. However that extra care is not properly communicated, or implemented. Such scenarios causes an excessive amount of unnecessary medical care, a higher medical bill then necessary, or worse, a return trip to the hospital.

These concerns are what Arkansas Children’s Hospital pediatric urologist, Stephen Canon, decided to tackle with the creation of Phyzit. Canon realized that between incorrect coding, improper communication, and overworked employees, costly issues were happening with both doctors’ offices and the patients who were trying to heal.

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Healthcare Doesn’t Have to Remain Stuck Behind the Technology Eight Ball


Healthcare Doesn’t Have to Remain Stuck Behind the Technology Eight BallThe following is a guest contributed post by Morris Panner, CEO of Medical Image exchange DICOM Grid

The value of bringing technology into healthcare is apparent to most everyone. Digitizing data promises to place the control of medical records into the hands of the patients, while data analytics hold the potential to improve the speed and quality of clinical decision-making.

Yet, many healthcare organizations continue to struggle to adopt new technologies.

Long after industries, such as financial services, and retail and marketing, have moved to electronic systems, healthcare has continued to muddle through a largely paper-based record-keeping system. However, healthcare organizations – like many other industries –are seeing an explosion in the amount of generated data, and they continue to struggle when it comes to effectively managing this overwhelming wealth of information. Much of this information remains siloed in databases that lack real-time connectivity and the context of real-time events.

Despite the undeniable virtues of interconnected and collaborative healthcare, a large number of current health IT systems are simply not built to support such a concept.

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