I appreciate Health Management Technology's article on rugged computing devices and mobile health technologies for response and patient care during disasters, emergencies and in other extreme environments.
I like Vidyo and I like telestroke, so I'm really happy to see the two merge in Boston with the Partners HealthCare Telestroke Program; supporting 27 hospitals throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Exchanging health information requires individuals to grant permission for their records to move from one provider to another. The process of, and requirements for, obtaining individual consent for sharing information places more or less control of information use and disclosure in the individual’s hands, and can vary by types of information, duration of consent, and other variables. Differences in federal and state consent laws are often challenging for states, Health Information Organizations (HIO) and providers to reconcile, creating one of the major obstacles to smooth and regular electronic health information exchange (HIE).
As states and state designated entities begin collecting and exchanging electronic health information across state lines, they need to develop consent policies that comply with federal polices and align across state laws to ensure the adequate protection of health information while ensuring the information is available to providers to utilize in delivering care.
The risk manager in me appreciates that Christiansen's IT Law has released a report of their review of existing literature and nine case studies of HIOs and associations currently involved in HIE. The case studies identify various consent options utilized by organizations with existing HIE; serving as a collection of best practices.
The authors also created a Consents Toolkit, which is intended to support the development and implementation of consent processes consistent with the most stringent requirements of Federal and state law, from identification and assessment of applicable laws through their reconciliation into policy requirement, to a decision‐making process for identifying the consent policy which applies to a specific type of disclosure.
It took me a while, but I finally finished the book, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything. I thought I'd provide the list at the end of the book that describes how leaders can apply the principles in their business (healthcare organization). For your copy of the book, just go to the Amazon.com link in the left column, order and enjoy!
Take Cues from Your Lead Users
Build Critical Mass
Supply an Infrastructure for Collaboration
Take Your Time to Get the Structures and Governance Right
Make Sure All Participants Can Harvest Some Value
Abide By Community Norms and Create Conditions for Trust
Online health self-assessments are gaining in popularity. Not because I've seen a stat, but instead I see hospitals and other health organizations tweeting links more and more often. I also expect we will see increasing popularity of these offerings as individuals take a more active role in their healthcare and innovative organizations meet the evolving needs of their consumers.
Here are a few good ones. If you know of others, please leave a comment and include a link.
The Directive emphasizes three national preparedness principles:
An all-of-Nation approach, aimed at enhancing integration of effort across Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial governments; closer collaboration with the private and non-profit sectors; and more engagement of individuals, families and communities;
A focus on capabilities, defined by specific and measurable objectives, as the cornerstone of preparedness. This will enable more integrated, flexible, and agile "all hazards" efforts tailored to the unique circumstances of any given threat, hazard, or actual event; and
A focus on outcomes and rigorous assessment to measure and track progress in building and sustaining capabilities over time. The Directive calls for the development of an overarching National Preparedness Goal that identifies the core capabilities necessary for preparedness, defined as a spectrum of five broad efforts:
Prevention - those capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent, or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism;
Protection - those capabilities necessary to secure the homeland against acts of terrorism and manmade or natural disasters;
Mitigation - those capabilities necessary to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters;
Response - those capabilities necessary to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs after an incident has occurred; and
Recovery - those capabilities necessary to assist communities affected by an incident to recover effectively.
The Directive also calls for development of a National Preparedness System to guide activities that will enable the Nation to achieve the goal; a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness; and an annual National Preparedness Report to measure progress in meeting the goal.
This action recognizes that our national response to a wide range of events, from the 2009-H1N1 pandemic to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has been strengthened by leveraging the expertise and resources that exist in our communities. All of us can contribute to safeguard our Nation from harm, and we must continue to lean forward together to prepare for all hazards.
David Sayen, Region IX CMS Administrator, came to Ventura last week and presented on the vision of his department and accountable care organizations. Everything flows from their three aims:
seamless coordinated care
reduce per capita costs through improvement
improve population and community health
He described how transparency will increase with accountable care and we can expect to see more this occurring -- next with physicians. He also shared that will should expect to see much more about safety from CMS over the coming weeks.
In this environment, hospitals can anticipate working much more closely and in coordination with community resources. This reminded me of Chapter 11 (4th Edition), Prevention and Non-Acute Services, in The Well-Managed Healthcare Organization. It so rightly points out that the issues facing a healthcare organization, such as hospitals, are more likely to be those of coordination and extension of access than of supplying major unmet needs.
If you are a healthcare leader who wants to prepare for ACOs, just brush off your copy of Mr. Griffith's book and read Chapter 11, again!
I finally had a chance to read a book I picked up at HIMSS11 titled eHealth Patterns in the 21st Century. I didn't get very far before I found something I just have to include on my blog. They did a great job on wording it, so if you don't mind, I'll just copy and paste. The take home message is that we in healthcare need to get ready for a new kind of older adult/senior citizen!
"In less than a decade, all 78 million of the baby boomers will be between the ages of 51 and 70. The majority of these boomers are long in time, rich in assets and ready to spend discriminately during their golden years. This is a generation accustomed to asking for and getting what it wants. Boomers are, in fact, the most demanding consumers history has ever known―and that, in and of itself, may be a major problem for health care (BabyBoomer-Magazine, 2009).
The boomers are now entering the age of high healthcare utilization en masse. Research shows that boomers are skeptical of the traditional offerings of the healthcare industry. They are not the typical "silver generation." For example, roughly three-quarters of boomers say they proactively use the Internet to seek out information about their health conditions. Compared to the preceding generation, fewer boomers trust the recommendations of doctors or believe that physicians take the time to find the best solutions for individual patients (McKinsey Global Institute, 2007)."
Great healthcare leaders will recognize that a new set of tools will be required to engage their customers going forward. Just notice the slope of the curve on the graph below for those age 50 to 64 - our next set of seniors.
I've been having the readmissions pull-out from H&HN Magazineon my desk for a few weeks. The data and information includes some starting points for improving your hospital re-admission rates and avoiding the penalties that are coming.
I thought the stat on patients readmitted within 30 days who had not visited a physician between discharge and readmission (50%) to be a bit of a surprise. I also like the self-portrait checklist and other resources provided.
One suggestion I have is for hospitals to be more engaged with their community partners, such as, home health and SNFs. It really is about looking at this from a community-wide approach and understanding the caregiver processes outside of the hospital that impact re-admission rates.
The Center for Technology and Aging is a great resource for papers and funds to benefit aging in place. Their latest paper on mHealth technologies does a wonderful job painting the picture of how these tools allow for continuous, pervasive healthcare anytime, anywhere. In other words, how we can continuously monitor health conditions and provide access to health information outside of the physician's office and hospital, but also outside of the patient's home.
Some of the key stats include:
42% of older adults are somewhat or very interested in tracking health measures using mobile technologies
39% of older adults are interested in sharing information with a health professional using mobile technologies
individuals 50- to 64- years-old have experienced a dramatic increase in utilization of social networking (7% in 2005 to 42% in 2010)
Lately, it seems music and healthcare go together. I've found another example for all of you out there who have ever had a bad project, or been savy enough to stay away. This one is from the hospital laboratory - enjoy!
HealthBlawg has nine great rules for healthcare organizations to live by and remain HIPAA compliant. It is a nice brief review of what we all really should already know, but reminders can be so helpful! Thanks, HealthBlawg!
County Health Rankings is a site that allows users to view and compare counties on key indicators of health. I'll excuse the fact that they overlooked reference to the parishes of the great State of Louisiana, because this is such a wonderful resources.
I noticed my tri-county area seems to have a similar ranking and attribute the lead by San Luis Obispo to it's beauty and wide open spaces. Next I'll check out the parishes of my youth, but I have to admit I'm a little afraid of what I might see. Hopefully, Governor Jindal is right and I'll be wrong!