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February 2010 Features

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  Pioneers


Increasing ROI from EMR/CPOE

 By Wolters, February 2010

Trusted clinical content and advanced decision support drive outcomes.wolterskluwer

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tagged:    Pioneers


  Thought Leaders


Cut telephony costs with appliances, SaaS

 By Sidney VanNess, February 2010

Sidney VanNess

Appliances, free software and software-as-a-service offerings all provide feature benefits, as well.

Telephone consultations constitute 10 percent to 20 percent of all primary-care interactions, up to 80 percent of after-hours care, and account for more than one quarter of all medical decisions in some sub-specialties. Though phone interactions are characterized by a greater probability of malpractice lawsuits than face-to-face interactions, providers document fewer than 30 percent of phone interactions and most commonly rely on medically untrained phone operators to screen and relay messages to on-call providers.


Tagged:    Thought Leaders


  Pioneers


Nursing’s role in computerization

 By Fotine D. O’Connor, RN, M.N., February 2010

 Fotine D. O'Connor, RN, M.N.

Will nurses serve the computer or will the computer serve nursing? This may well be the question for nurses and the industry to answer in this decade.

Acceptance of computers in hospitals will be greatly influenced by whether nurses, the largest population in the healthcare field, accept them on friendly terms. That may depend on how well the industry helps nurses identify, define and meet the needs of nurses through computers.


Tagged:    Pioneers


  Thought Leaders


Reduce spending with care management

 By Elizabeth Hart, February 2010

Elizabeth Hart

Business-process management software enables the automation of goal-directed processes across people and systems, and continuously monitors patient events.

Today, cost concerns are greater than ever. With the rise of consumerism, individuals also are becoming more involved in their own healthcare decisions. Both patients and physicians alike are viewing health plans more as allies and also as important sources of critically needed healthcare data.

Fortunately, technology has changed, and the industry now has the tools it needs to quickly deploy new cost-cutting approaches and broaden its role as "health and wellness" facilitators. In addition, many health plans have already been using this technology to gain administrative efficiencies. Now, plans need to turn that power to clinical activities.


Tagged:    Thought Leaders


  Viewpoint


The pain of change

 By Ken Anderberg, Publisher/Editorial Director, February 2010

Changing an organization's processes usually is a difficult task. People are used to the way "things have always been done" and often are reluctant to try something new — such as accepting technology solutions they are unfamiliar with. It's called "human nature" and a not-unexpected response when the subject of electronic medical records (EMR) is broached.

Staunch objections to EMRs generally have centered on either lost productivity or costs, mostly the latter. The HITECH Act addresses the cost issue by providing billions of dollars for electronic records implementations, but getting $44,000 back from the feds for a system that might cost a physician's office $150,000 does not necessarily create strong demand to move from paper to electronic records. Now, however, a number of EMR vendors and several large hospital systems are lending a hand.


Tagged:    Viewpoint


  Hospital Information Systems


Health plan installs care-management platform

 February 2010

HMT

The continued use of manual processes raised a real concern for program changes and tracking with newer and more robust state and federal regulations.

Community Health Plan (CHP) in Washington faced several challenges that needed to be addressed in order to achieve its goal of deploying a patient-centric delegated care-management system. For years, care managers at CHP used multiple, disparate systems for case management (CM), disease management (DM) and utilization management (UM) — resulting in information silos. Without an integrated system, there
was a lack of evidence-based clinical pathways to ensure consistent care planning and management of patients. As a result, data collection was not robust, tracking was inadequate and reporting was not streamlined.


Tagged:    Hospital Information Systems


  EMR / EHR


Standardize order sets for improved care

 February 2010

HMT Healthcare system replaces time-consuming review process with a content-management system for developing and maintaining evidence-based order sets.

In the spring of 2008, Aurora Health Care experienced tremendous growth and was set to launch two healthcare facilities. The creation, adoption and maintenance of clinical order sets within the hospitals and clinics at Aurora was time consuming and inefficient. The process for summarizing clinical evidence, creating, reviewing and standardizing order sets, particularly in reaching a consensus among the physicians, was slow.


Tagged:    EMR / EHR


  Infrastructure


Medical center balances network needs

 February 2010

HMT

Grove Hill's new cabling infrastructure supports both its bandwidth and flexibility needs in a single solution.

A common dilemma for IT professionals is selecting a network infrastructure that can offer future-proof support of the organization's most bandwidth-intensive applications and users without over compensating for less speed-critical connectivity needs. A healthcare organization could install multiple channels of varying cable types and performance levels or, as Connecticut-based Grove Hill Medical Center did — choose a single cabling solution.

Grove Hill Medical Center offers services ranging from routine check-ups to the latest diagnostic imaging. Home to more than 70 physicians, Grove Hill covers 19 medical specialties, including cardiology, oncology, orthopedics and radiology, as well as housing administrative and patient-service offices. When Grove Hill began the upgrade to its network cabling infrastructure, it did so with a wide range of network applications, users and challenges in mind.


Tagged:    Infrastructure


  Special Feature


Medical group goes paperless

 February 2010

Mike Soler, IT systems and support manager for Florida's Intercoastal Medical Group (IMG), says his organization has already transitioned to paperless operations. His group serves the residents of Florida's Sarasota and Manatee counties with six locations specializing in everything from neurology to orthopedics, family practice to internal medicine, and gynecology to cardiology. The group also operates a weekend clinic at its Hyde Park, Fla., location for patients unable to wait for acute, non-emergency medical care from their regular physicians.

IMG handles 85,000 lab tests, studies 80,000 images and logs more than 255,000 patient visits in a given year. The clinics needed a system robust enough to reduce errors and ensure excellent care.


Tagged:    Special Feature


  Hospital Information Systems


Medical center automates storage with cabinets

 February 2010

HMT

The ultimate challenge was balancing two fundamental regulations — a requirement that drugs in the OR be immediately and readily available, and another necessitating medication security at all times.

One of the most logistically challenging areas of the hospital for medication distribution is the operating room (OR). This is particularly true for institutions such as the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), with service lines that necessitate 24/7 OR capabilities.


Tagged:    Hospital Information Systems


  Hospital Information Systems


Technology can cure RAC audit concerns

 By Susan deCathelineau, February 2010

HMT

Many providers have found that content management lends itself to automating transactions and managing content in a single location.

Healthcare providers are used to processes. From billing to patient registration to accounts payable, they operate under rules and regulations, policies and procedures. Audits are processes, too. The recovery audit contractor (RAC) program, for example, is an audit. It starts with a record request from the auditor. Upon receipt of the request, the provider has a strictly enforced 45-day deadline to respond. Once the response is received, the RAC can deem an overpayment occurred. Then, the provider has the option to appeal the decision.


Tagged:    Hospital Information Systems


  Hospital Information Systems


Revenue cycle streamlined

 February 2010

Memorial Hermann is one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in Texas, serving the greater Houston area through 11 acute-care hospitals, a large network of affiliated physicians, and numerous specialty programs and services. Its system-driven centralized model involves the coordination of several work processes and products, including billing, coding, pricing and contracting.

"We use a monthly operations review process, designed to identify performance variances and define preemptive actions," says Helen Powers, system executive for revenue operations, decision support and Medicare profitability for Memorial Hermann. "All business operations are reviewed on how well they achieve the health system's overarching goals of quality, operational excellence, customer satisfaction and growth. Under this model, the revenue-operations department carefully manages cash flow and days in accounts receivable."


Tagged:    Hospital Information Systems


  Hospital Information Systems


Computer-assisted coding: the secret weapon

 By Mark Morsch, February 2010

HMT

CAC does not eliminate the need for medical-coding professionals to be involved in the coding process, but it can make them more productive and accurate.

Technology has finally arrived that is radically changing the process of medical coding in health-information management. Computer-assisted coding (CAC) automatically generates medical codes directly from clinical documentation. With CAC technology, healthcare organizations can streamline their revenue-cycle processes while becoming more compliant with the increasingly complex payer and quality reporting requirements.


Tagged:    Hospital Information Systems


  Special Feature


Filmless & Paperless

 February 2010

HMT

Olathe Medical Center overcomes technical, political and organizational hurdles to deploy one of the nation's first integrated radiology and cardiology PACS.

Many healthcare organizations advocate bringing cardiology and radiology image-management functions together, but the technology and challenges can be daunting. Olathe Medical Center was no different, but in the face of these obstacles, this Kansas community medical center had a vision of including each patient's images in a single patient jacket — one reliable image-management solution easily accessible from any PC, whenever required for patient care.


Tagged:    Special Feature


  Products and Services


Credential management system

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


Radiation oncology imaging system

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


DVR supports CIF resolution

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


Testing process automated

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


Two-sided dual display

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


On-demand digital copies

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


Touch-screen laser printer

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


Pharma supply protection

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


Ethernet solution suite

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


Interactive pen display

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services


  Products and Services


Multiscreen KVM

 February 2010


Tagged:    Products and Services