Early in my blogging career, I wondered about the impact of EHRs on malpractice rates. I even spoke to a couple of friends who worked for carriers, but at the time it was a bit too early for anyone to really know where the risk would arise.
Fast forward from 2005 to 2013 and Health Data Management has a wonderful article in their October issue titled The Weight of the IT Evidence: Why EHRs won't reduce your malpractice premiums. The article is full of great advice that will help risk managers and providers better assess their risk. It covers plaintiff attorney strategies, provider shortcuts that create problems, limitations in the technology, e-discovery challenges. I can't repeat all of the details here, so please read the entire article.
When I first started blogging, one of my favorite topics was on health information exchange and RHIOs. It made sense because had been working with RHIOs and data exchange projects and there were still many questions among my peers about the exact definition, how to set one up and overcoming the challenges. One of my blogger friends even referred to me as the RHIO Queen and someone who reviewed my blog said I probably had a bit too much on RHIOs. But, I had written the book on establishing a RHIO.
Since then I've explored applications of other technologies and my path has taken me through telehealth, mhealth, portals and social. Today, some might say I have too many posts on social media.
So, it is with great pleasure that I return to my Health IT roots with this video on Medical Neighborhoods and the key role of health information exchange. What I like most is the blending of the tools that are needed for the future.
Click here for more on the Colorado Care Collaborative Organization.
The American College of Healthcare Executives is holding its annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership in just over two weeks (March 11 - 14, 2013). I'm attending and will sharing my thoughts on the good, bad and ugly of social media.
There are two session times available (Monday at 4:15 pm and Tuesday at 8:45) In addition, there will be a brief 20 minute "highlight segment" available for those who had planned to attend, but are no longer able. During the session we will explore legitimate and innovative uses of social media and mobile technologies that contribute to improved patient outcomes and enhanced experiences. We will also discuss the threats and strategies to manage risks and miminimize loss.
Yes, tweeting during my sessions will be permitted! Just include @ACHECongress in your tweets so those following highlights of the conference can find them!
If you are attending Congress this year, you may also be interested in coming to visit me at the book signing for the newly released second edition of Social Media in Healthcare: Connect Communicate Collaborate at 3:45 on Tuesday in the Bookstore. It is a big year for social media and healthcare leaders!
I, like Ash Shehata, have envisioned this and am so happy to see I'm not alone.
For the last two years I've been presenting a six-week online seminar exploring health information technologies for the American College of Healthcare Executives. This followed an invitation from them to write a column on technology for the 2007 issues of Journal of Healthcare Management and their willingness to publish my book on social media in 2010.
My journey into health information technology began in 2004 and at one time a blogger buddy referred to me as the "RHIO queen." Given my passion for hospital leadership and administration I still think it is funny that I developed expertise in this area and a title. However, back in 2004 I could see the importance of healthcare leaders understanding technology applications and was a bit frustrated that some of my peers weren't willing to learn.
I worked hard to catch up and keep up with my own learning, knocked on a few doors and maintained some patience. Today, I'm so pleased to see that healthcare leaders have taken a much more active role in developing their own understanding of the technologies and the importance of implementing the right tool for the right purpose and right auidence. More and more, they also recognize the importance of having a clear strategy and clean workflows before any applying technology tools.
Healthcare leaders play a crucial role and their decisions can instantly impact the spark of innovation and success of an implementation. That is why it is so important that they develop at least a baseline understanding of the technologies, risks and rewards.
Today we start the second six week seminar of 2012 and I look forward to working with a new group of healthcare leaders to envision innovative applications in their organizations for the benefit of our patients!
There is still time to register, so consider joining us! For more information Click Here!
This morning sent out a press release for Tower and also want to also share it with my blogosphere readers. As always, I'm interested in your thoughts and hope you will consider leaving a comment. (PDF Version of Press Release)
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the long awaited final requirements for State 2 Electronic Health Records Incentive programs. Included in the rules is an emphasis on patient engagement.
New rules specific to patient engagement include:
The ONC final rule complements the newly released CMS final rule and reflects their commitment to promote patient engagement and safety.
As hospitals and other providers prepare to comply, they must first acknowledge that this isn’t just an issue for their IT departments to address. Instead, attaining meaningful use of one’s electronic health records/systems for patient engagement will require the collective involvement and collaboration of disciplines from across the organization… clinical, operations, information services and communications/marketing.
“Healthcare leaders will need to be strategic and put every decision in the context of the patient experience. Having an effective patient strategy will lead to happy customers, staff and a healthcare organization exceeding their business objectives” said Dr. Sue Sutton, CEO at Tower, a patient experience consulting group based in Los Angeles, California.
The approach required is one of re-defining patient engagement across all touchpoints, both physical and virtual, to positively transform the patient’s experience – as perceived by the patient. “The research tells us where the patients are going, but institutions aren’t paying attention. If the approach taken doesn’t actually engage patients, the organization won’t meet the meaningful use criteria and they may actually lose some patients to healthcare providers who have implemented more patient-centered engagement strategies“, added Dr. Sutton.
Enterprise portals can facilitate electronic access by making information within existing systems available in a more patient-friendly manner. The portal helps accomplish the goal of compliance with the MU criteria, but it does so at the same time it can accommodate additional features and personalization for enhanced engagement and a better patient experience. Ultimately, this is what will lead to improved outcomes – the ultimate goal of meaningful use.
CMS will audit healthcare providers who are participating in the meaningful use program and will focus in on those who show substantial noncompliance. For detailed information, see
Posted at 10:31 AM in Health Information Exchange/RHIOs, Health Information Technology and Telehealth, Healthy Children and Families, Hospitals, Personal Health Records, Social Media & mHealth, Workplace Health and Wellness | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The shift to more digital healthcare environments means that health IT disaster recovery planning is even more critical than it was in the past. Not long ago, Health Management Technology had an article that does a nice job of taking readers through the planning process; including identifying critical systems applications and prioritizing those for order of restoration... in advance.
A good resource focusing on the front end, from the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, covers issues of cybersecurity and continuity of operations planning for IT disaster events. It does a nice job of reviewing risk assessments, identifying potential points of entry (including those implantable medical devices) and addressing mobile device risks.
The Department of Homeland Security is offering to conduct onsite Cyber Resilience Reviews (CRRs) of hospitals and details are outlined in a fact_Sheet and list of FAQs. If you are in California and want additional information, call the Cal EMA in the Office of Infrastructure Protection at 916 845-8893.
Just in case you are wondering my best practices for today are in green!
Posted at 08:00 AM in Disaster & Emergency Preparedness, Health Information Exchange/RHIOs, Health Information Technology and Telehealth, Hospitals, Social Media & mHealth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Building Out Your Health IT ROI - The Value to the Enterprise and the Patient This latest article for HIMSS Clinical Informatics Insights explores how enterprise portals can help hospitals tie disparate systems together, so that the data and information already being collected can be used (meaningfully). Going beyond the typical departmental information systems, it also addresses the accommodation of non-traditional Health IT technologies, such as, remote monitoring, telemedicine and social networking technologies.
Earlier this year I was invited by the eHealth Initiative to participate in a focus group for PwC Health Research Institute's newly released report entitled, “Social media likes healthcare: From marketing to social business.” It included both consumer and industry surveys.
The report finds that social media activity by hospitals, health insurers and pharmaceutical companies is miniscule compared to the activity on community sites. While eight in 10 healthcare companies (as tracked by HRI during a sample one-week period) had a presence on various social media sites, community sites had 24 times more social media activity than corporate sites.
Highlights from the consumer survey found:
Findings from the surveyed eHealth Initiative members include:
As I often advise, it is important to include a social media strategy in your hospital's plans for engaging patients and consumers. The plan should include a balance of engagement on community and corporate sites, as well as, promote innovation for applying the technologies as solutions to clinical challenges.
The Annual Healthcare IT Conference of the SoCal Chapter of HIMSS is coming up quickly on April 4th in Los Angeles. It is a great networking and learning event for healthcare professionals, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to meet some of those who are new to the health IT workforce.
I believe we all realize that as the industry moves to electronic health records, patients' PHI is more susceptible to exposure. Last year, in an article on the cost of data breaches, I referenced the a project of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and 100 industry leaders who were tackling the big question what can healthcare organizations do to better protect patients' information?
They first needed to understand the value of patient protected health information and then could develop a method for healthcare organizations to estimate breach costs, so they can make appropriate investments to better protect PHI security. The result is their report: The Financial Impact of Breached Protected Health Information: A Business Case for Enhanced PHI Security.
It includes tools to estimate the overall potential costs of a data breach to an organization, and provides a methodology for determining an appropriate level of investment needed to strengthen privacy and security programs and reduce the probability of a breach. A detailed example of costing a PHI breach using the PHIve method is also provided.
Just before HIMSS12, I learned about BYOD/BYOT (Bring Your Own Device/Technology). Evidently, businesses and some healthcare organizations are encouraging, or allowing their employees, to use their latest and greatest (personal) mobile gadgets (smartphones, tablets, etc) to connect into their information systems.
Now, it may seem that this policy will help reduce equipment costs and allow employees to use the latest technology, but it makes my Mobile Governance and Tablets in Healthcare posts even more important reads for healthcare leaders. Why, because the organizations may find themselves paying out much more for costs associated with data breach assessments, reporting, fines, liability, etc.
Additional findings include:
My hope is that these organizations (especially the 8% allowing full access to their network and the 15% without a policy) have already implemented the necessary safeguards to protect their systems and personal health information from accidently beaches, malicious attacks and HIPAA violations.
It has taken me a while to catch up and recover from being at HIMSS12 last week, but I've finally had a chance to sit down and reflect on what I saw and learned during that busy week. So below are my higlights:
But, the absolute best part of the week was finally meeting several of my blogger friends in person! Talking with them in person gave us a chance to bring our relationship full circle. Some I just met this past year, but I've known two since first starting to blog in 2005 -- @hospitaltony and @techguy.
Posted at 05:19 AM in Disaster & Emergency Preparedness, Health Information Exchange/RHIOs, Health Information Technology and Telehealth, Healthy Children and Families, Hospitals, Social Media & mHealth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The San Diego Beacon eHealth Community is one example of how we are starting to see the convergence of health information exchange (HIE) and social media technologies. They recently shared the details of their pilot study, which is designed to use SMS technology to improve childhood immunization rates. Highlights include:
In addition, the involvement of a cell phone (mHealth) also makes this another great example of the convergence of telehealth and HIE.
Posted at 04:49 AM in Health Information Exchange/RHIOs, Health Information Technology and Telehealth, Healthy Children and Families, Hospitals, Social Media & mHealth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Not long ago, I read an article reporting that 1 in 5 Americans are using social media for healthcare information. It made me wonder if hospitals are calculating their market share -that is, the portion of those info seekers in your service area(s) who are accessing online information sponsored by your organization, rather than that of a competitor or sites that may have questionable trustworthyness.
Then, over the weekend I picked up on a tweet about efforts to smack down ROI. Basically, some in social media, not necessarily in healthcare, are promoting an anti-measurement agenda. My feeling is that we in healthcare must measure our performance. If it is important that we measure for evidence-based medicine, outcomes, patient satisfaction, compliance with regulations, improving quality and performance, managing risks, reporting, effective and efficient use of resources and more; then it is important that we measure the performance of our social media applications.
So this takes me to actually leveraging the technologies and learning to use social media in our healthcare environments and a couple of new resources that can help us all keep up with the rapidly evolving world of social media.
While at HIMSS last week, I came across two new social media white papers. The first is the Health IT Social Media Primer from HL7 Standards. It answers questions like "what do I need to know?" and "what should I tweet?", presents some important "how to" details and also reviews newer social media channels like Google+ and Quora (a question & answer forum).
The second is a new white paper from the HIMSS Social Networking Work Group, Healthcare "Friending" Social Media: What Is It, How Is It Used, and What Should I Do? It also reviews recent social media developments, but I found the reference to there being 787 hospitals on Foursquare, but less that 10% having claimed their listing to be most interesting. It reminds me of the teen patient who started a Facebook page in his childrens hospital's name, so he and the other patients could connect and support each other anytime.
I was also happy to see that the HIMSS workgroup included the example an HIO delivering virtual education for electronic health information exchange (HIE). And, I can't be more pleased that they also referenced my work. The topical review is publically available.
So, hospitals, do me a favor and:
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for Stage 2 meaningful use has been posted and it outlines the next stage of meaningful use for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs, which are administered by CMS.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's (ONC's) NPRM was delivered to the Federal Register on February 22 at the same time as the CMS NPRM, and the policy is finalized. Additional news about the ONC proposed rule will be released once it is posted and the rules will publish on the same day.
CMS has developed a fact sheet to give providers an overview of the rule and how Stage 2 expands upon Stage 1 of meaningful use.
I'm co-chair a workgroup for HIMSS to prepare comments related to governance issues in the NPRM. I'll also contribute to an American Telemedicine Association group review. So, feel free to share any issues that you see.
To learn more about meaningful use visit the CMS EHR Meaningful Use Overview web page.
The conference is a great opportunity to hear from National and California leaders on HIEs, EHRs and Meaningful Use, wireless health IT applications, development of the HIT workforce and job search strategies, and accountable care organizations. It is also a perfect networking event.
I'm excited for the opportunity to return to my roots in Health IT and participate on the HIE panel. Register here to join us at the Center for Healthy Communities at the California Endowment near downtown Los Angeles on April 4, 2012 from 8am to 4pm. I hope to see you there!
Will from Redwood MedNet sent me a powerful video from Health Information Partnership for Tennessee. The video will help consumers learn and understand more about why health information exchange is important. In the video, I was pleased to see an old RHIO friend, Dr. Mark Frisse.
There is a surprising twist near the end, so please watch and learn!
CHIME and eHealth Initiative have joined forces to create a Health Information Exchange (HIE) Guide for CIOs. The guide looks to be fairly comprehensive, starting with the background of HIE and continuing to key contract elements with a Health Information Organization (HIO).
I'd also recommend that CIOs explore the toolkits, checklists and other resources being developed by the HIMSS HIE Committee and Workgroup. And this includes the book, Guide to Establishing a RHIO with its review of collaboration and the legal entity and governance models.
If you still have questions after exploring these resources, or need assistance with administrative and governance issues, you can always leave a comment or contact me directly.
I participated in this morning's Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast. Gartner, the technology research giant, brought together some wonderful speakers who shared information that I feel is important to healthcare -- especially at this moment in time. The issues will have major revenue implications for vendors (perhaps leading to service changes) and could delay current and planned IT initiatives (EHR adoption, HIE, etc) of healthcare organizations.
The floods in Thailand in October of 2011 severely impacted fabrication facilities and this has lead to a shortage of hard drives. It is predicted that it will take at least until the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2012 for the industry to get back to meeting demand. There is some uncertainty about this timeline.
One lesson that comes from this situation is to have multiple geographic locations for the manufacturing of components to help prevent business disasters like this one. In this case all of our (the world's) eggs (hard drives) are manufactured in one basket (Thailand).
PC and software spending is down due to the downturn in the economy. But, there was one bit of good news that I pulled from the discussion on software. Spending on software (tools) for collaboration is increasing. Companies are investing in technologies that will help them stay competitive and this means tools that will help their employees collaborate will reduce the need to bring on additional people.
Now, I've been seeing this in other industries and have started to see it trickle into healthcare. With health reform upon us, I hope my friends in the hospital start thinking a little more out of the box and how they too can leverage collaborative tools (aka social media) to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace.
A look ahead at healthcare data points to increased risks, regulatory expectations and reputational fallout. So it was a pleasure that I could contribute to a list of the top 10 trends for 2012 in healthcare data. And, I really do appreciate so may news organizations carrying the story.
My hope is that by increasing awareness of the risk among both healthcare providers and consumers, the necessary safeguards will get implemented. The top 2012 predictions in healthcare data are:
See PR Newswire for the complete release.
My guest blog post for Health IT Exchange made it onto their list of top 7 community blogs of 2011. Telehealth, the cloud and BI — oh my! includes my post on the importance of connecting health IT with disaster planning and others addressing some of my favorite topics - telehealth, meaningful use, health information exchange, the cloud and medical devices.
Their list of top 2011 blogs also also includes something new for me - voice commands on mobile devices. I've been watching my teenage daughter, who has a form of dyslexia, speak into her new phone (Christmas present) to text her friends. It has gotten me thinking...
To all of my readers, I wish you a very happy and healthy new year!
Posted at 09:00 AM in Disaster & Emergency Preparedness, Health Information Exchange/RHIOs, Health Information Technology and Telehealth, Hospitals, Social Media & mHealth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Ponemon Institute has released their study findings on hospitals and patient privacy and the results seem to confirm my fears from a few months ago when I looked at the cost data breaches. The wake-up call comes straight from the study intro:
Our study found that the number of data breaches among healthcare organizations participating in the 2010 and 2011 studies is still growing—eroding patient privacy and contributing to medical identity theft. On average, it is estimated that data breaches cost benchmarked organizations $2,243,700. This represents an increase of $183,526 from the 2010 study despite healthcare organizations’ increased compliance with federal regulations.
Other highlights include:
The good news is that healthcare organizations have improved by having more trained and knowledgeable staff and better policies and governance. And, this has likely contributed to the decrease from 41% to 35% in respondents who say data breaches are discovered by patients.
It really is time for consumers, policy makers and providers to pay attention before we find ourselves having to give up ground on the progress we have made to date. If you are interested in my thoughts about managing the risks of mobile devices you should read my recent post on Tablets in Healthcare.