Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

Building a Patient-Centered Model of Care

Over the past several years, the health care system has been attempting to define and create a “patient-centered model of care.” Most health policy experts, much less health care professionals, can’t seem to agree on what constitutes a patient-centered model of care. I think that a patient-centered model is less about discussing the comprehensive services offered to patients and is more about putting the patient in the middle of the relationship. A true patient-centered model surrounds the patient and provides a true coordinated personalized system of care.

In examining U.S. health care delivery, rarely are the words “coordinated,” “personalized” and “system” used in the same sentence ― much less actually delivered to patients.
Primary care medical homes (PCMH) were first developed several years ago in an attempt to develop a patient-centered experience. Even those physicians currently practicing in the PCMH model indicate that there are issues associated …

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Capital Continues to Pump into Healthcare Technology, What this Means for Georgia

As the healthcare industry continues coming to grip with the recently passed Obamacare legislation, we must now move on with other issues of importance that are contributing to the ongoing expansion of the industry, as well as economic development through jobs and new business growth.  There is perhaps no better place to observe this growth and the valuable contributions to the overall healthcare industry than what is taking place in healthcare technology, or “HCIT,” as it is commonly referred to in the industry.

HCIT has frequently been referred to as the fastest growing segment of the healthcare industry measured by revenues and investment activity, and one of the most rapidly expanding sectors in the entire US economy.  And as the industry has speculated about the changes that will come from Obamacare for some time now, HCIT companies are being pursued as some of the most influential and well-positioned players that will play a critical role in making those policies …

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Sustainable Cost Reduction of Healthcare Delivery Requires an Aligned System

Healthcare providers from all setting of care (ambulatory, acute and post-acute) are feeling the constraints and reduction of healthcare reimbursement year over year. Reimbursement rates will continue to decline while healthcare demand grows. This is a burning platform requiring healthcare providers from all disciplines to look at their delivery and range of services, costs, utilization (supplies and resources) and associated clinical outcomes. The acute healthcare provider needs to take a leading role coordinating patient care across all the settings and help the delivery points of care (ambulatory and post-acute) understand their contribution, value, and associated costs. The acute care provider has the informatics and sophistication to measure the performance of each delivery point of care, provide feedback on clinical outcomes and associated costs. This information helps each organization assess their own practice patterns to make the appropriate adjustments in care …

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Innovate or Die: Why Healthcare Must Embrace Innovation

Lisa Crymes, Guest Blogger for Elizabeth Richards

Innovate or Die. Companies (and industries) which embrace innovation and creative thinking are typically more dynamic and more successful than those that don’t. And, that dedication to innovation can be the difference between success and failure.

We have all heard of companies such as Eastman Kodak and Research In Motion (RIM) which were once market leaders but failed to embrace innovation. Then, there are entire industries such as railroads or some manufacturing facilities which were committed to “business as usual” and were intent on continuing down the same path. Because of their commitment to the status quo, they missed the opportunity to innovate. And, as a result, these industries were ill equipped to deal with new and emerging competitors in the marketplace.

Healthcare has not typically embraced innovation in many areas and now must innovate or die. Which healthcare players are at risk of becoming extinct? …

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Pharmacists: An Answer to the Health Access Problem .. and More

Improved access to healthcare was one of the main selling points of federal health reform. ObamaCare places a great deal of importance on expanding coverage with a special focus on advancing health wellness, preventative services and primary care.

However, there is an underutilized healthcare resource which is available to everyone … now.

That underutilized and often untapped healthcare resource is your community pharmacist. In Georgia and most other states, pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professional.

From Dade County in the mountains of northwest Georgia to Camden County on the Georgia coast and from Maine to California, pharmacists are an untapped resource. Unlike physicians and hospitals which are usually located in more populated cities, community pharmacists are located in virtually every one of Georgia’s 159 counties and in most small communities throughout the US.

And, pharmacists are very knowledgeable healthcare professionals. After college, …

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A tweet here, a tweet there . . . many uses of Twitter in healthcare

I’m sure most of you have heard of Twitter, the microblogging social media service that allows users to send and view up to 140 characters.  Unless a “tweet” is protected (whereas only registered users of a certain group can see the information), “tweets” are otherwise public and available real-time to anyone.   Once you sign up for a Twitter account, you can “follow” people, organizations, government offices, and even the White House.  Some of you might have heard of Twitter being used by celebrities to put forth information about their “excursions” . . . while others might have heard how effective of a tool it was during several recent Mid East revolutions (in Egypt and Tunisia, for example).  Suffice it to say, Twitter also actually has several implications in healthcare.  In fact, as a free platform that is easily accessible and managed in desktop and mobile environments, Twitter has several diverse applications within an organization.

As a …

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The Year of the mHealth Evolution

NOTE:  Written by guest columnist, Marcus Gordon, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Atlanta Medical Center

If 2011 was the year of the mHealth “Revolution” then 2012 will become known as the year of the mHealth “Evolution” – that is, the actual deployment of mobile (and wireless) devices on a mass scale to track, monitor, and influence health decisions. The tipping point has arrived. . .

Evolution can be defined as “a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action, as in a machine.” The confluence of players and participants in the game – physicians, patients, providers, payers, technology companies, device companies, etc. – have all come together for a singular purpose – to make it easier and more effective for a patient to take control of their own health. The ubiquity of mobile devices in a healthcare setting has fostered the rapid development of a wide variety of initiatives aimed at allowing patients to track …

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The Quiet Revolution

I spent some time last week at the mHealth Summit in Washington DC and walked away with an incredibly favorable impression.  Unbeknownst to most consumers and even some industry experts, a quiet revolution is occurring in the world of mobile technologies in health. 

Last month I spoke of the value of telehealth in my blog post.  Telemedicine has an incredible opportunity to improve health outcomes and change the way health is delivered to the patient.  The use of the cell phones for health, in particular, is proliferating and producing break-throughs at an unbelievable pace.   

Eric Topol, MD, a keynote speaker at the conference, noted several examples of where cell phones are changing the way medicine is practiced today.  Specifically, he noted one mobile application (Zeo) that measures how you sleep at night and the amount of REM you are actually getting.  Another mobile application (AliveCor) can use an iPhone to diagnosis a heart attack.  Even for him as a …

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The Direction of the U.S. Healthcare Services

The delivery of U.S. healthcare services is going through a profound change. Yet this change is occurring in the background and not apparent to the general public. The driving force behind this change is payment reform to healthcare providers for medical services delivered. The underpinning of this change is the reduction of cost in the delivery of healthcare services to make it more affordable. The initial step of payment reform has been the reimbursement models of Bundled Payments and Accountable Care Organizations. These new forms of reimbursement are forcing healthcare providers (hospitals, physicians and other care delivery services) to re-examine and redefine the delivery of services and working relationships. The changes being initiated are positive and took something extreme like payment reform to push organizations to look at how healthcare is delivered and make changes in the manner business is done. The outgrowth of these changes will be positive for our society by …

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Creating 21st Century Solutions in Healthcare

At the Center for Health Transformation, we are working hard to create a 21st Century Intelligent Health System that can save lives and saves money for all Americans. However, it seems like every time we make a little progress, we must overcome a new challenge.

Take electronic prescribing and electronic medical records (EHRs).  Both rely on cutting-edge technology to provide better healthcare for patients.

We know that e-prescribing and EHR systems are safer and more cost effective than paper prescriptions and paper health records.  The state and federal governments are even creating incentives for doctors and hospitals to move away from traditional paper.

And, it is working. We are seeing more and more physicians making significant investments of time and resources as they embrace electronic systems.  According to Surescripts which provides the infrastructure for e-prescribing, by the end of this year, more than half of the prescriptions issued in our nation …

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