Patrick Ney, VP, Anton/Bauer MPS When it comes to mobile systems, it’s all about power
One of the top criteria to achieve MU is a hospital’s ability to capture a patient’s health
information electronically in a standardized format. In order to do so, hospitals depend on mobile electronic devices. T is exchange of patient information at the bedside is critical, making it necessary to deploy the proper equipment and processes to ensure that no data is lost. Meanwhile, the hospital must evaluate the “business” behind the decisions they make. T ey must consider what devices should be deployed and how they constrain or support workfl ow. T e power system (battery) component is typically overlooked during planning and frequently adds the greatest constraint to a caregiver’s workfl ow. Without the proper power system, nothing else matters; the mobile devices simply will not work. It is imperative the chosen power supply system adequately
provides for a hospital’s fl eet of mobile devices while eliminat- ing workfl ow constraints. T e power supply vendor should evaluate a hospital’s technology and workfl ow requirements, recommend a system to fi t budget goals, insist on proving the concept before deployment and then follow through with support to ensure the hospital is satisfi ed with its purchase.
Ruby Raley, director of healthcare solutions, Axway MU Stage 2 means better patient portals We all know patient communications are front and center in the requirements for MU Stage 2 (MUS2), and that the primary certifi ca- tion criterion for EHRs is to provide an “online means to view, download and transmit” certain data
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to patients. Requirements call for online tools for patients to improve communication with their physicians and access their health records. In other words, providers need to implement patient portals on a fundamental level.
After a patient sees a physician, that patient should be able to access his or her health records within 24-48 hours. Although some healthcare providers have reached this stage, it’s not even close to standard practice across the country. Among the many reasons for delay, providers face a number of technological hurdles when providing patients access to their records, such as proper credentialing, data protection and management, and hacker-proofi ng their networks. Providers also need to keep the future in mind when build- ing these portals. We’ve entered a new mobile era, and we must enable access from patients’ chosen devices. Instead of simply meeting the objective to gain incentive funds, we actually have an opportunity to embrace the future and improve patient engagement with mobile capabilities such as appointment scheduling, reminders, and health and wellness tips. T e bottom line? Every patient has the right to a healthier
life. By building portals that meet MUS2 requirements, we can drive better patient engagement and communication, and ultimately achieve better patient outcomes.
Andrew Nieto, health IT strategist, DataMotion Direct messaging can eliminate costly interfaces In 2005, it was estimated that more than 80
percent of U.S. physicians documented a patient’s health, wellness and medical status on paper. Medical diagnostic and treatment technologies were advancing at fantastic rates. Yet, at this point in the 21st century, most physicians still chose to document the same way their forefathers did. Paper is a delicate tool subject to easy damage, loss and destruction. Modern EHR systems tried to address this, but adoption rates were limited. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina fl ooded New Orleans and an estimated 23,000 patients lost all documentation of their medical history. Demand for change rang loudly. T at change came with the passage of the HITECH Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Phase 1 of the HITECH Act, or as it is otherwise known,
MU Stage 1, was focused on physician adoption of EHR tech- nology. Today, EHR use has fl ipped with more than 80 percent using a qualifi ed EHR. MU and its associated ARRA funds represent the most eff ective catalyst for change the healthcare industry has ever experienced. In its current incarnation, MU Stage 2 is focused on the
exchange of information. T e Direct Project is one example of this exchange. MUS2, however, does not go far enough to promote real adoption. For example, meaningful utilization of Direct messaging will occur when providers adopt Direct messages as a tool for open dialog about all facets of patient care and wellness. Limiting the measurement of MUS2 to transitions of care only scratches the surface of the capabili- ties and opportunities that this technology can off er. Direct messaging has the capacity to eliminate costly interfaces to external sources, facilitate dialog across the entire care team and connect healthcare practices with accountable care orga- nizations (ACOs), health information exchange (HIEs) and patients.
Stacy Humphrey, Dimensional Insight Making your MU data useful Hospitals are now accumulating a growing
reservoir of standardized, clinical data as a result of implementing systems and achieving MU to meet the re- quirements of the EHR Incentive Programs. As hospitals move to the next stage of MU, where the focus shifts to using EHRs to improve patient care, leveraging EHR data will become increasingly crucial to attaining goals and performance targets. Tame the data. Stage 1 was an adventure for many provid- ers as they struggled to understand where data resided in their EHRs and adapt their clinical workfl ows to capture new data. As Stage 2 requirements drive further increases in standard- ization and data quality, opportunities will arise to use data in more meaningful ways. Business intelligence and analytics solutions can help reduce the time spent on data manipulation
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