Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Health Reform Regardless of the Supreme Court’s Decision

Legal experts and political pundits are filling the airwaves and newsprint with their thoughts on what will happen to federal health reform (ObamaCare) when the US Supreme Court rules later this month (NFIB v Sebelius). What will happen to the individual mandate? Will they strike down the entire law? What about insurance coverage for my 24-year old college student?

All that speculation aside, there are common sense reforms that are being implemented today — in the private sector — without 2,700+ pages of Congressional mandates.

Let’s pick three areas where we can make a difference NOW: 1) Accelerate a Patient-Centered Model of Care; 2) Support the migration to Health Information Technology (Health IT) by Physicians and Hospitals; and 3) Demand Disclosure and Transparency of Healthcare Quality and Price Measures.

We should accelerate the development of a patient-centered model of care. When providers put the patient at the center of the relationship and do what is in the …

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Do you know how your patients find you?

A patient who lives in a major metropolitan area such as Atlanta has many excellent choices about where they choose to receive their care. There are a plethora of orthopedic surgeons, hospitals, and rehab centers – many of which provide great care. The market is very competitive. This is a definite win for the patient; but what is the effect for providers? In a cluttered market, it has become increasingly challenging for providers to distinguish themselves and their services. Which leads us to the matter in question – Do you know how your patients find you?

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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? Which …

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Can Hospitals Bully Physician Practices to Use their EHR?

If the Affordable Care Act stands as-is (and it likely will, at least for accountable care), providers have a significantly higher burden to provide a full range of care to their patients. Their scope is broadening from providing care to an individual patient to that of an entire population. In order to deliver on the promise of improved, coordinated care (while also being expected to lower costs), providers are re-evaluating how information is shared across their overall care network. In particular, more attention is being focused on how technology be used for cost and quality metrics, provider network management, and care management.

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Teamwork, Health Systems, HIT and the Chair

Day to day we are striving to clearly understand how EHRs and other health Information technology affects the workflows of provider practices and healthcare systems. The implementation of the technology is a start but the adoption is the more difficult part. Each practice is its own healthcare system. Whether it is efficient or a poorly run operation, it’s still a system with workflows. How do we optimize the workflow within the practice system? Just what is the template?

Teamwork. Well I guess we can’t stop there so let’s say successful teamwork. Actually there is no template that fits all situations, systems, and workflows. However, good teamwork among stakeholders can be a foundation for success in any system. Health Information Technology does not come out of the box ready for prime time. It does not adapt to the user, the user must adapt to the technology in most cases. That is why we train and upgrade and work with vendors to develop a highly functional product which is …

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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 healthcare marketer, I’ve found …

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The Path of Least Resistance….or Fiduciary Responsibility

Are those broken eggs in your basket? It’s a great time to check!

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FDA Impact on Health Information Exchanges

The bi-partisan Federal policy incentivizing healthcare providers to adopt, upgrade and implement electronic medical record systems is fostering Health Information Exchanges (“HIE”) throughout the United States. The HIEs are developing at local and national levels to exchange patient information between providers regardless of the patient or provider’s location. Among other benefits, HIEs generally permit a patient living in a remote region to receive consultations from specialists without leaving his or her home because the patient information may be electronically exchanged between providers and made available through the HIE. The value of an HIE varies depending upon how many sources of information are being exchanged and the region that it is serving. Depending upon the sources of the information, the HIE structure may also trigger additional regulatory controls.

Electronically exchanging data requires either a regional or national database to maintain patient …

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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 their …

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Balancing Life and the New Technology

Technology does many great things in our lives but  “Technology overload” may lead to some unhealthy results. Maybe I should say information overload facilitated by technology. I recently read  new information on Cyberchondria which may be the star wars version of hypochondria. People, including me, use the Internet to search for their symptoms and find diagnosis without any professional direction. When you think about how often physicians can misdiagnose patients imagine how often an untrained or trained person can misdiagnose themselves.

Cyberchondria is defined in Wikipedia as “the unfounded escalation of concerns about common symptomatology based on review of search results and literature online”. Studies have confirmed that Americans are using the Internet more than ever to search for information on all sorts of things including their health. While little Johnny is looking up his home work on the Internet, Mom is looking up her symptoms on some web based health site. The …

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