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Health Management Technology News
  February 25, 2014
In this issue:
 

► CVS MinuteClinic to Transition to EpicCare

► Walgreen, UnitedHealth, Epic form Carequality

► CommonWell Health Alliance expands interoperability services

► HiMSS Update


CVS MinuteClinic to Transition to EpicCare

MinuteClinic, a division of CVS Caremark Corporation and the largest and fastest growing retail clinic provider in the United States, announced today that it will switch to the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) called EpicCare. MinuteClinic currently uses its own proprietary EMR.

"EpicCare's rich platform will allow us to continue to provide the highest quality of care and advance our services through a robust, world class EMR," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., president, MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer, CVS Caremark Corporation.

Epic -- the most widely used EMR in the U.S. -- will support MinuteClinic's evidence based model of care and facilitate connectivity with health care providers nationwide that currently use Epic, including many major health systems, hospital networks and physician groups currently affiliated with MinuteClinic. An estimated 274,000 physicians will use Epic and about 51 percent of the U.S. population will have a record in Epic when its current customer rollouts are complete. MinuteClinic's full deployment of EpicCare is expected to take 18 months.

"We've reached a point in the evolution of our clinical practice where a more advanced EMR that facilitates more immediate information sharing with other health care providers is needed," said Sussman. "MinuteClinic is expanding sites and services, having added over 350 clinics in the past three years. As we continue on our path of rapid growth to reach 1,500 clinics by 2017, EpicCare will take us to the next level by offering enhanced connectivity with other providers, more advanced patient portal capabilities, and key analytics to run our practice more efficiently and improve patient care."

MinuteClinic Chief Medical Officer Nancy Gagliano, M.D. expects EpicCare to help MinuteClinic further promote continuity of care with patients' primary care providers, including pediatricians, family practice physicians and internists.

"We've always been committed to comprehensive record sharing, whether it's done electronically when compatibility exists or by faxing a copy of the visit summary immediately following a clinic visit with patient permission," she said. "EpicCare will help us work more closely with physician practices as part of the medical home team, facilitate co-management of patients, and advance our mission to make health care more accessible, convenient and affordable for Americans."

Epic has scored highest in KLAS Ambulatory EMR rankings for large health systems (75+ physicians) for the last 15 years.

"Retail clinics play an important role in community-wide care delivery," said Carl Dvorak, Epic president. "Patients receive the most value in terms of quality, cost, and overall wellness when care is well-coordinated across disciplines and locations so we're glad to have CVS MinuteClinic join the nation's largest network of care organizations securely sharing patient information."

MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants specialize in family health care and can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions, skin conditions and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, pneumonia, pertussis and Hepatitis A & B are available at most locations. Walk-in camp, sports, college, DOT and other administrative physicals are available daily. In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help consumers identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Read the full The Wall Street Journal press release here ► 

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Walgreen, UnitedHealth, Epic form Carequality

How many organizations do we need to facilitate the electronic transfer of patient information from one health care provider to another? A few, it seems.

Healtheway, an organization which grew out of a government effort to enable health information exchange, launched Carequality. Its mission: to accelerate the sharing of patient data.

Only one year ago, a group of electronic health record vendors, led by McKesson MCK -0.02% and Cerner CERN +0.63%, formed CommonWell Health Alliance to connect their platforms. Epic Systems, a dominant vendor, swiftly denounced the move as a competitive play, and said it would not join. The company questioned the purpose of the alliance, when national interoperability standards already exist.

Epic has now joined forces with various health care players, many already on the board of Healtheway, to form Carequality. They include
more than twenty founding members, such as Surescripts, Walgreen WAG +0.3%, Kaiser Permanente, and Optum (UnitedHealth Group UNH +2.98%). “We represent not just vendors or health care providers, or payers, but all stakeholders,” says Mariann Yeager, Healtheway’s executive director. “This is a call for all stakeholders to participate.” The government has a seat at the table.

For years, vendors and their hospital clients locked up patient data for competitive reasons, but government legislation, including
the Affordable Care Act, quickly reconfigured the economics of health care. Payment reform, with reimbursement based on a patient’s outcome, instead of fee for service, necessitates the flow of patient information from one system to another. “What happened in the past few years, vendors were focused on grabbing doctors. The world has been grabbed. Now, it’s who’s going to provide better service, and better products,” says Harry Totonis, the outgoing chief executive of Surescripts.

Read the full Forbes press release here ► 

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CommonWell Health Alliance expands interoperability services

CommonWell Health Alliance (the "Alliance") – the health information technology (HIT) vendor-led interoperability effort – announced today that Tenet Healthcare Corporation (NYSE: THC), with 77 hospitals in 14 states, has signed a letter of intent to use the Alliance services. This comes two months after the announcement that participating providers from Chicago; Elkin and Henderson, NC; and Columbia, SC joined the initial launch of CommonWell's interoperability services.

"We are excited to expand the rollout of CommonWell's interoperability services – another step forward in making patient data available for providers, regardless of where care is administered," said Jeremy Delinsky, chairman of the board for the CommonWell Health Alliance and chief technology officer, athenahealth. "CommonWell remains firmly committed to advancing interoperability across health care; we are encouraged by the support of Tenet, as well as by the progress of all live service sites."

As CommonWell moves into the next phase of its service launch, the Alliance looks forward to working with Tenet to bring the system onto its patient identification and matching, record locator, and document query and retrieval services.

"Tenet is committed to advancing technology with our hospitals and health care networks to ensure we're providing the right information when and where it's needed, enabling our providers to increase the efficiency and accuracy in care delivery and improve the quality of care in the communities we serve," said Bo McPartland, Tenet's vice president of IS Planning and Analytics. "We look forward to working with CommonWell in breaking down the health data silos that exist today."

Providers Involved in Initial Launch Are All "Live" and the Services and Use Case Specifications are Published

This news comes on the heels of another milestone for CommonWell. All sites named in December's initial launch announcement have now been live and operational with the Alliance's services for two to four weeks. They are now able to enroll patients into CommonWell's service, identify whether other provider participants have data for a patient who is enrolled in the network when the patient is at their setting of care, and transmit data to another provider that has consent to view data on that enrolled patient.

CommonWell Health Alliance has subsequently published the services and use case specifications that provide detailed information on the initial core services, standards and workflow that allow the CommonWell members to embed the services created by the initial service provider, RelayHealth.

Read the full press release here ► 

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Vocera launches new brand and smartphone solutions at HIMSS14

Vocera Communications, Inc. (NYSE: VCRA), the leading provider of integrated, intelligent communication solutions for mission-critical mobile environments, today announced the launch of several new solutions and a new corporate brand at HIMSS14 in its booth (#5751) and in the show's Intelligent Hospital in the ED, OR, Step Down and Labor & Delivery areas. Highlights at this year's event include:

Vocera Collaboration Suite: The industry's only HIPAA-compliant voice and secure texting smartphone application that features call by role, group, and broadcast capabilities, and integrates with over 50 clinical systems. The solution offers intelligent communication on iOS(TM) and Android(TM) devices whether inside or outside of the hospital. In conjunction with the Collaboration Suite, Vocera offers a turnkey smartphone deployment and management kit that includes an extended battery pack, a docking station for storage and charging, and a Mobile Device Management (MDM) application for smartphone management.

Vocera Alarm Management: Following the acquisition of mVisum announced on January 13, 2014, Vocera is demonstrating its latest alarm management technology. With alarm fatigue being an area of focus by the Joint Commission, the Vocera Alarm Management solution is both timely and relevant. The unique, patented, FDA-cleared alarm technology acts as a secondary alarm notification system and provides clinical context, including waveforms, like ECGs, and vital signs, offering decision support and insight into the criticality of every alarm.

Vocera Care Experience: Purpose built to dramatically improve patient experience, Vocera Care Experience is a closed loop communication system that spans the entire care continuum with six distinct modules:

  • Vocera Good to Go® Patient Discharge Communication: Live discharge instructions are recorded and made available for patients, families and other care providers to review any time using any device. This solution helps drive usage of patient portals, reduce readmissions and improve HCAHPS scores.
  • Care Calls: Care Calls streamline patient follow-up calls and workflows using best practice checklists, risk stratification information, and recorded discharge instructions.
  • Performance Analytics: Multi-dimensional dashboards identify gaps in communication, compliance and performance for each patient, per department, enterprise wide, and across the continuum of care.
  • Care Rounds: Care Rounds Measure and manage patient experience during a hospital stay in real-time to evaluate gaps and deploy improvement interventions.
  • PCP Notifications: Patient updates are sent by the hospital via text and/or email to primary care physicians to keep them up-to-date on their patients' care.
  • SNF Communication: Patient discharge notifications along with recorded care instructions are sent to skilled nursing facilities, ensuring a safer care transition.

Integrated Solutions: Vocera will also demonstrate its new direct integration with the Hill-Rom NaviCare Nurse Call system to provide a critical communication link between hospital patients and their care teams. Information about this integration will be available in the Vocera booth #5751 and live demonstrations will be provided in the Hill-Rom booth #1503 at HIMSS14. The integration of NaviCare Nurse Call with the Vocera platform, including the Vocera B3000 Communication Badge and the Vocera Collaboration Suite for iPhone and Android(TM), automates the clinical environment and enables instant communication, real-time information, and consolidated alerts. When a patient presses the nurse call button, the request is delivered directly to staff within an assigned Vocera role or group.

New Vocera Brand: The Company also unveiled today at HIMSS the new Vocera brand. The new brand reflects the mission of Vocera as the leader in providing integrated, intelligent communication solutions for mobile, mission-critical workers that need intuitive, meaningful and timely communication and workflow, regardless of device used, job function or location.

Read the full press release here ► 

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25th annual leadership survey demonstrates the positive impact of health IT

Today, at the HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, HIMSS published the results of the 25th Annual 2014 HIMSS Leadership Survey, which highlights the journey of health IT over the past 25 years. The Survey examines a wide array of topics crucial to healthcare leaders including IT priorities, issues driving and challenging technology adoption and IT security.

One of the most notable findings from this year’s Survey concerns the perceived impact financial resources are having on IT implementations. While a majority of the survey participants (65 percent) reported IT budget increases – which is likely a contributing factor to the transition to a paperless environment—a lack of adequate financial resources now tops the list of barriers to successful IT implementation. This is a shift from the past two years when the primary IT challenge was insufficient and untrained staffing resources.

As with previous years, this year’s Survey continues to explore the progression of healthcare organizations from paper-based systems to a near paperless environment where medical data is fluidly and securely shared between providers. This year’s respondents suggest that government efforts to encourage providers to adopt health IT initiatives across the country – such as Meaningful Use (MU) – have been successful. For example:

  • Over 90 percent of survey respondents have already qualified for Stage 1 Meaningful Use;
  • Approximately three-quarters expect to qualify for Stage 2 in 2014; and
  • Nearly all respondents expect to complete their conversion to ICD-10 by October 2014.

“It is refreshing to see how much progress providers have made in the past 25 years when it comes to integrating health IT into their patient care strategies,” said Lorren Pettit, Vice President of Market Research for HIMSS Analytics. “It is clear that healthcare reform initiatives are paying off and we hope that these findings will validate the ROI of health IT so that we may continue down this path of a more cost-effective, efficient healthcare system that engages the patient.”

Read the full HiMSS press release here ► 

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athenaCoordinator enterprise to advance connectedness across inpatient facilities, outpatient caregivers, and patients

athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and care coordination, today announced a new service for hospitals and health systems, athenaCoordinator Enterprise. Leveraging a cloud platform architecture, athenaCoordinator Enterprise is a first-of-its-kind clinical integration and patient access service designed to help hospitals and health systems connect and track care seamlessly across settings, networks, and disparate health information technology (HIT) systems.

Through a combination of clinical integration and patient access services, athenaCoordinator Enterprise delivers a full suite of capabilities not found as part of any of today’s inpatient EHR systems. athenaCoordinator Enterprise can be overlaid across multiple HIT systems to enable providers to share clinical briefings with providers using different EHRs, an essential capability since a significant amount of care is referred by out-of-network providers. Unlike conventional approaches, athenaCoordinator Enterprise does not require upfront capital investment, the need to purchase extra software or add-on modules, or, most importantly, the need to displace current HIT systems.

“With athenaCoordinator Enterprise, we’re disrupting the way things have been done across hospitals and health systems to make them fundamentally better, and to take on some of the greatest challenges and complex work that hospitals and health systems face today,” said Todd Rothenhaus, M.D., chief medical officer, athenahealth. “We’re introducing a completely new and robust offering that combines the muscle of cloud-based software, crowd-sourced knowledge from more than 50,000 providers across the U.S., and a team of service experts that together can make care coordination work at a level no integrated health care network has achieved.”

athenaCoordinator Enterprise combines the power of cloud-based software, knowledge, and services to offer hospitals and health systems a fully supported, end-to-end way to activate patients, coordinate care, and analyze the clinical and financial impact of that care:

  • Activate Patients – Through supporting services, athenaCoordinator Enterprise empowers hospitals and health systems to gain insight into a broad scope of patient populations so that patients in need of care can be identified, contacted, and brought in—regardless of what EHR their primary care physicians use. Whether a patient is in need of routine well visits or chronic disease management, the athenahealth service team works to schedule what is necessary through a combination of email, text, and phone engagement. athenaCoordinator Enterprise also delivers a Best in KLAS patient portal, so patients can gain a full view into their clinical information and financial responsibility. Additionally, athenaCoordinator Enterprise takes on the heavy lifting of getting patients ready for arrival—meaning an athenahealth service team does pre-certification and pre-registration, issues patient reminders, and provides insight to the patient on payment requirements and more.

Read the full press release here ► 

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Humanscale displays ergonomic healthcare solutions at HIMSS14

Bringing ergonomics to the point of care, Humanscale will showcase a number of innovative healthcare solutions at HIMSS14, February 23 – 27, 2014. In an effort to help transform health through IT, Humanscale creates products that optimize comfort, patient-caregiver interactions and productivity in every healthcare environment.

At HIMSS14, attendees will be able to experience a family of ergonomic healthcare solutions that are changing the way care is delivered, including:

  • -V/Flex accommodates 98% of caregivers in comfortable working postures, providing superior ease of use and satisfying nearly any healthcare application.
    • Features exceptional cable management to limit the spread of infection
    • Uses a wide range of flexible arms, including Solo that holds a monitor and a keyboard on one arm, to facilitate patient-caregiver interactions
    • Can be used with a 57” or 37” track for the ultimate in height adjustability
  • -V/Desk allows caregivers to interface with their technology while accessing their hard copy documents, such as charts.
    • Features a resilient nylon work surface with a keyboard tray beneath that slides in and out, as well as a mouse holder
    • Saves space with ease by enabling caregivers to move the unit out of the way when not in use, and the unit can be folded up within close proximity to the wall
    • Can be used with all of Humanscale’s technology wall stations
  • The HealthPoint technology cabinet serves as an unobtrusive touch point for caregivers in corridors.
    • Reduces infection-control concerns with flat, crevice-free surface
    • Adheres to hospital regulations with four-inch depth
    • Resists scratches and glare with acrylic screen

Read the full press release here ► 

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Posiflex TX4200E: new multipurpose mini-PC controller with Wi-Fi now available

Posiflex’s new TX4200E is a small industrial PC multipurpose controller that runs virtually any software to drive digital signage, kitchen control configurations, PC replacement, surveillance systems, point-of-purchase displays, point-of-sale and service, and  wired or wireless vending or kiosk applications. Powered by a Dual-core Intel Atom D2550 CPU 1.86 GHz with 4GB of DDR RAM for fast-task processing, the TX4200E has the power and expandability to serve virtually any purpose. With a VESA bracket, the TX4200E can easily be mounted behind a monitor or HDTV, discreetly hidden from view. This makes it a simple and effective way to turn any VESA-compliant display or TV into a full-featured PC or digital signage unit. The TX4200E’s aluminum housing is fanless and ventless for quiet, cool, trouble-free operation.

Although a common application for the TX4200E is a PC replacement, what is not common is that it’s built on commercial-class embedded operating systems and CPUs to ensure years of trouble-free operation. Its small footprint with Wi-Fi capability allows the TX4200E to be used for anywhere integration, including easy wall-mount installation in small, tight spaces and in unobtrusive locations to maximize scarce countertop space. The controller also boasts a variety of I/O port configurations, low power consumption, HDMI, and flexible options such as powered 24V USB, Wi-Fi and 64GB SSD.

Doyle Ledford, VP of Sales at Posiflex, notes, “The TX4200E is a small-form-factor PC that delivers a powerful combination of both video and data, and it offers optional Wi-Fi expandability for anywhere computing. The TX4200E, along with six USB ports, a cash register port, four com ports and an optional powered 24V USB, provides wide ranging expandability and scale.”

Read the full press release here ► 

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►  READ ALL NEWS AT HEALTHMGTTECH.COM

 
 
 
 
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Imaging Solutions

Meet with Merge at HIMSS And Discover Advanced Interoperability

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   February  2014  HMT digital book

 
 
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