Author Archives: JaeLynn Williams

20 days, 12 hours, 8 minutes, and 21 seconds….

That’s the current countdown to ICD-10, ticking away as I sit and write this blog post. By the time it’s posted, we’ll be even closer. And for every day, in every minute of each of those remaining hours, all of us at 3M Health Information Systems are working to help you, our customers, succeed as you make the transition.

Like you, we have worked for years to prepare for what will finally happen on October 1. Our mission has always been to develop ICD-10 products and services that would be ready when our customers needed them. Virtually every department within HIS has contributed to what has been a massive undertaking, and the work reflects thousands of hours invested by 3M HIS employees. Continue reading

The ICD-10 delay: Three steps to take right now

The death of the October 2014 implementation date for ICD-10 unfolded faster than the plot of a 30-minute sitcom. It started in the House of Representatives on a Wednesday when a provision to delay ICD-10 was quietly attached to bill H.R. 4302, also known as the SGR “doc fix” bill, and it was all over by the following Tuesday when President Obama signed the bill into law. If you blinked, you missed all the action.

Hospitals, payers, providers, and vendors have all invested millions of dollars and countless hours over the past several years getting ready for the transition, and then without notice someone moved the finish line – to October 1, 2015 maybe? Those hospitals who prepared early feel like they are paying a penalty for acting in good faith, while those who procrastinated are feeling vindicated and hopeful ICD-10 will never happen. Continue reading

Will Population Health Management Drive Innovation? It Depends on the Data

If you need a coronary artery bypass graft, India might not be the first place you’d think of to have the surgery done, but you might want to think again. A coronary bypass graft in the U. S is likely to cost $88,000 dollars. The same treatment in a JCAHO accredited hospital in India only costs $9,500. Both the U.S. and India meet world-class quality standards, so why does the surgery cost so much less in India? It’s simple: Innovation in the healthcare delivery process.

A recent Harvard Business Review article studied seven hospitals in India that are delivering world-class care at a fraction of the cost in the U.S. These hospitals are able to deliver affordable, high quality care largely because they have adopted a hub-and-spoke model for delivery. They concentrate the most expensive equipment (PET scanners, cyberknives, and cyclotrons) and specialized physicians in the Hub. In the spokes, they keep general practitioners and lower cost equipment. Patients are diagnosed and care plans are created in the hub, and the treatment is delivered in the regionalized spokes. Continue reading

Customer Connections: The Spark of Innovation

This past week, I gave a tour of our Innovation Center to one of our newest employees, a recent college graduate. During the experience, she remarked, “I like the feeling of being in the Innovation Center. It makes me feel like I work for a company that is doing really cool things.” I had to smile, because we designed the 3M Innovation Center to do just that: create conversations between 3M experts, industry experts, and customers to identify unmet needs, so we could create “cool things.”

We opened the first Innovation Center in Salt Lake City in 2010. The economy was struggling and the Healthcare Reform bill had just passed, which accelerated the transformation of health IT, similar to the shift from analog to digital. The healthcare landscape was changing and changing quickly, so we invited our customers to join us in the Innovation Center for joint strategy sessions. Continue reading

Now More Than Ever, We Need Ethics in Healthcare IT

When I was a little girl, my mother had a book of two-minute talks for children. These talks were simple, and taught a quick moral lesson in a short poem or story. There is a line from one poem that was about appropriate behavior that I still think of sometimes. The line was, “What if everyone did just like you, and slammed the door like a dinosaur?” Every time that I am tempted to stay in my lane and merge at the very last minute or not return my grocery cart to the corral in the parking lot, that line pops into my head, and I think better of my behavior. Several events in the past few weeks have led me to believe that it might not hurt to have every vendor in healthcare IT memorize this poem, and think twice before they do some of the things they do.

The healthcare industry is one of the last to make the shift from analog (paper-based systems) to digital. As a result of healthcare reform, this transformation is happening quickly. The good news is that the availability of digitized data has opened up the landscape for new solutions and innovation. The bad news is that it can be hard for customers to discern the differences between vendor solutions. …

To continue reading, check out the personal blog of JaeLynn Williams, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Client Operations for 3M Health Information Systems.

Moving Forward: Three Ways to Drive Data Innovation

Remember those wish lists you came up with over the holidays, those resolutions you swore you were going to do in the New Year? Well, it’s February, which means if you haven’t already, it’s time to put those New Year’s resolutions to work. The same thing goes for the healthcare IT industry. Last month, Healthcare IT News asked me what I would most like to see happen in healthcare IT in 2013—my wish list for the industry. If I had time and space, my full list would probably stretch out the door, but for now, here are the top three changes I hope to see put in motion this year: Continue reading

Is there a lesson for healthcare in the Apple misstep with Google Maps?

The front page of Sunday’s Wall Street Journal covered Apple CEO Tim Cook’s apology to customers last Friday. In his blog post, Mr. Cook said he was “extremely sorry for the frustration [the mapping software] had caused customers,” and he assured them that Apple was working to correct the issues.

Apple pulled the Google maps software from their iPhone and iPad devices and replaced it with Apple maps software. Apple is synonymous with innovation and has what seems like limitless resources. It makes sense for Apple and others to assume that they could do maps just as well as Google, if not better. But Apple didn’t know what it didn’t know, and as a result, the map marker for Stockholm was placed several miles north of Stockholm. Hindsight shows that there was more complexity in the details of building reliable mapping software than they understood at the outset. Continue reading

Creating Innovation at HFMA and Beyond

Like all of you, I was riveted to the news on that January day in 2009 as the astonishing video of an airbus jet landing in the Hudson River played across the screen.  With only seconds to spare, Captain Sully Sullenberger’s years of training, his quick thinking, and his ability to inspire his crew spelled the difference between success and failure. While Sully’s career in the Air Force and 40 years of flying experience had certainly prepared him for that moment, what truly made a difference that day was his courage and his ability to lead when faced with an extraordinary challenge.

As the keynote speaker today at the HFMA annual conference in Las Vegas, Captain Sullenberger  reminded those of us in the audience that aviation and medicine are both high-stakes professions with little margin for error.  He pointed out that we have zero tolerance for airline fatalities because hundreds of lives are lost in an instant due to a single error and it captures public attention, but we tolerate losing hundreds of thousands of lives each year due to preventable medical errors in healthcare. Why?  Perhaps because these tragic losses of life are less visible, happening one person and one family at a time—with relatively little public attention.  He characterized healthcare as “islands of excellence in a sea of systematic dysfunction.” Continue reading

Interoperability: Why Can’t Accessing Health Records Be as Easy as Using an ATM?

One of life’s little pleasures is that you can travel anywhere in the world, put your bank card into an ATM machine, and withdraw money in the currency of that country.  It seems magical, and it sets the standard for interoperability of data. On the other hand, one of life’s frustrations is that you can’t move from state to state, from one insurance carrier to another, or even from a hospital to the one across the street, and seamlessly access your personal health record.  Ever wonder why transferring health information is so much harder?

Healthcare by its very nature is much more complex than financial transactions. When clinicians are trying to determine what to do for a particular patient, the information could come from many sources. It could come from information systems in imaging services or the laboratory, from the patient history and physical exam, or from devices such as bedside monitors. These different information sources “talk” in different terms and codes, called terminologies. Continue reading