Tag Archives: Health IT

My Wish List for HIMSS15: Bring Documentation into the Health IT Conversation

For the past two years, I have been fortunate to attend the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in both New Orleans and Orlando. HIMSS puts on a massive event for about 38,000 people, so it’s definitely a great place to learn and network around the newest technologies, trends, and solutions in healthcare information technology. HIMSS15 kicks off in Chicago on April 12, and although I am unable to attend this year, I’ve been thinking about the conversations and ideas I hope will be generated by the organizers, presenters and attendees. Continue reading

Three Strategies to Fund Sustainable State IT Data Projects

Escalating healthcare costs have persuaded many states to redesign their Medicaid payment systems. Most of them are also developing innovative uses of their client data to help reduce Medicaid costs and improve health. The projects range from alternative payment models to all-payer claims databases, often funded by grants. Continue reading

Interoperability Matters: The ONC Interoperability Roadmap and Standards Advisory

Healthcare reform has been a hot topic over the past few days and health information technology (HIT) is at the hub. Last week, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) released a Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap¹, setting the goal to exchange and use “a common set of electronic clinical information at the nationwide level by the end of 2017.” Also, President Obama highlighted the Precision Medicine initiative² which included funding for ONC to support the development of interoperability standards, and CMS announced that Medicare payments are moving towards a model based on value and care coordination rather than volume and care duplication (and it is well known that lack of interoperability underlies the latter)³. Continue reading

Top 5 Report Creation Annoyances in Radiology

It’s about productivity and accuracy – anything else is a distraction

Guest blog by Dr. Arnold Raizon, MD, a physician consultant with 3M ChartScriptMD for Radiology.

One of my biggest frustrations as a radiologist is dealing with the quirks of the software tools I must use to create my reports. Some applications look like they were not really created from the ground up for radiology use, but merely a collection of patches over generic software that frustrate busy radiologists like me. Let’s examine in more detail some of the common annoyances that hinder radiologists’ ability to stay productive and, more importantly, how to address them.

Continue reading

ONC Leaders on Ensuring Data Quality

On February 26 I was fortunate to attend a summit on “The Decade of Health IT” at the HIMSS 14 conference in Orlando, FL. The summit was sponsored by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) and featured a panel discussion made up of the current and three former National Coordinators for Health Information Technology. As part of the dialogue, audience members were invited to tweet questions for the panel concerning the future of HIT. I asked a question concerning data quality and want to share the response with you.

This was my initial question:Jill Devrick, Tweet 1

It generated a discussion among the panelists, which I recorded. Here’s how the panel conversation played out: Continue reading

ONC: Transforming Health Care, One Connection at a Time

Last week I was fortunate to attend the annual meeting of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT) in Washington, DC. The theme for the day was “Transforming Healthcare One Connection at a Time,” indicating a focus on how HIT is impacting the healthcare delivery system through innovation and interoperability.

The agenda for the meeting included remarks from the new National Coordinator, Karen DeSalvo, as well as appearances by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of State for Health of the United Kingdom, Jeremy Hunt (via webcast), and the Acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak. All of these heavy hitters spoke broadly about HIT and its impact. DeSalvo cited her experiences in New Orleans, recalling, “(Hurricane) Katrina brought home to me that the EHR is not just an important tool in health care delivery, but also in public health.” 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

When patients can’t read: Accounting for socioeconomic disparities in risk adjustment

Several years ago, I asked the nurse to speak privately with one of my patients. I sensed that I was missing a key piece of information in my communication with this patient, a poorly controlled diabetic. Within minutes, the nurse came out of the examining room and reported that my patient was in tears, having acknowledged to the nurse that she was illiterate.

There is no question that illiteracy is a key barrier to health. Many have documented the devastating impact that it can have on chronic disease control [1]. For my patient, illiteracy led to and exacerbated low self-esteem and lack of confidence in her ability to manage her diabetes. The nurse and a dietician did intensive work with my patient to establish workarounds to her illiteracy. While her illiteracy didn’t improve due to intellectual disability issues, over time her level of activation and empowerment—the confidence and skills needed to manage her illness—rose dramatically and led to almost perfect diabetes control. Continue reading

Making Use of Data

In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell writes about Dr. Brendan Reilly’s work at Cook County Hospital in Chicago from back in the late 1990s. At that time, the hospital was stretched thin, running low on resources and struggling to deal with roughly 250,000 patients coming through the Emergency Department every year. Patients routinely waited hours to be seen. One of the hospital’s key struggles was determining which patients coming into the Emergency Department with complaints of chest pain were actually having a heart attack and thus required expensive, resource-intensive care.

It’s an interesting case study if you get a chance to read it, but I’ll just give a brief summary here. Dr. Reilly used work that had been done from back in the 1970s by a cardiologist named Lee Goldman. Goldman took the data from hundreds of cases and ran it all through a computer program to identify what kinds of symptoms and clinical findings actually predicted a heart attack. Continue reading

Big Data and Clinical Meaning

Read any healthcare journal or newsletter and you’re likely to find a discussion about “big data.” As industry experts weigh in on what constitutes big data and how best to use it to improve healthcare, two important questions must be asked: Is the data clinically meaningful? Is the objective realistic?

A recent issue of Medical Care featured a lead commentary by Greg de Lissovoy, PhD, that trumpets the accomplishments of big data in a study reported in the same issue. In the article “Identifying Patients at Increased Risk for Unplanned Readmission,” researcher Elizabeth Bradley, PhD, and her co-authors describe the Rothman Index (RI), a predictive analytic tool that they claim is able to predict readmissions at the individual level. Continue reading