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"Thought Leaders"

Achieving the Quadruple Aim

pointer By Dr. Bill O’Connor CMIO and VP, Advisory Services, Orion Health,
Talk to almost any physician or nurse and ask them why they went into healthcare and what they like about their job. Most of them will tell you they just want to provide high-quality care, and they like most when they're able to do exactly that. It is time that we expand the Triple Aim to include the healthcare provider and enable these professionals to do what they do best.

Other Tags: None.

The Rx for better care: Undistracted doctors

pointer By Jonathon Dreyer, June, 2015
A commentary on how clinical language understanding technology can benefit clinicians.

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Achieving true quality improvement

pointer By Vicki Harter, Clinical Product Manager, Caradigm, April, 2015
A breakdown of how healthcare organizations can improve patient care by more effectively connecting technology, processes, clinicians and patients.

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Stage 2 was no failure

pointer By Naomi Levinthal, MA, MS, CPHIMS, Senior Consultant, The Advisory Board Company, March, 2015
A call for a shorter Meaningful Use reporting period.

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Viewing patient data holistically

pointer By Cristine Kao, Global Director, Healthcare Information Solutions, Carestream, February, 2015
A vision of a clinical data collaboration platform that identifies, manages and shares data efficiently with any authorized user.

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Genome technology

pointer By Matthew Hawkins, President, Sunquest, January, 2015
A description of the effectiveness of emerging genomic technologies relative to patient care.

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Telemedicine in small-town America

pointer By Bryan Coffey, Chief Executive Officer, Hamilton County Hospital, December, 2014
A case study of telemedicine's impact on a rural hospital.

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Bridging the IT and clinical engineering gap

pointer By Richard Neff, U.S. Head, GE Healthcare Services Division, November, 2014
An examination of the impacts of mobile devices on healthcare IT decision making.

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Choose your vendor/provider battles wisely

pointer By Becky Quammen, CEO, Quammen Health Care Consultants, October, 2014
An examination of vendor-provider tension in healthcare.

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Delivering on the promise of decentralized, community-based care

pointer By Lindsay Sanchez, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Citrix, September, 2014
A call for simplified communications in healthcare.

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Just give me a flight plan

pointer By Wes Wright, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Seattle Children’s Hospital, August, 2014
A CIO gives his thoughts on effective IT purchasing.

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Collaborating our way into interoperability

pointer By Michael Mancuso, CEO, Philips Healthcare Patient Care and Monitoring Solutions, July, 2014
A call to push toward greater interoperability.

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Healthcare's growing data opportunity

pointer By Christian Hartman, PharmD, MBA, FSMSO, June, 2014
A plan to use clinical intelligence to assist population health approaches.

Other Tags:  Population Health 

Transitioning to ICD-10

pointer By Ken Edwards, Vice President of Operations, ZirMed, May, 2014
A discussion of preparations needed for the transition to ICD-10

Other Tags:  ICD-10 

The risks of legacy processes in a changing ecosystem

pointer By Paul Calatayud, Chief Information Security Officer, Surescripts, April, 2014
A call for the healthcare industry to set its own credentialing standards

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Moving HIM to the forefront

pointer By Subbu Ravi, March, 2014
HIM is fundamental to proper business planning and data governance.

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Got speech recognition?

pointer By Juergen Fritsch, Ph.D., February, 2014
Free-form narratives make a splash in EHR physician documentation modules.

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Closing the EMR donut hole

pointer By Steve Hynes, president elect, AHIOS, and president, MRO; and Matt Rohs, past-president, AHIOS, and VP and GM, ROI Services at HealthPort, January, 2014
How to address the disclosure management gap in critical capabilities.

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E-prescribing controlled substances moves closer to reality

pointer By John Clark, December, 2013
When the DEA finalized its rule allowing controlled substances to be prescribed electronically in 2010, it established certain criteria that must be met.

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Choosing between public and private HIEs

pointer By Manish Sharma, November, 2013
It is imperative providers understand key differences between health information exchanges (HIEs).

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Give your EMR eyes and ears

pointer By Jay Deady, October, 2013
The real-time, location-system-enabled EMR supports the orchestration of care within and across departments.

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The endless potential of RTLS

pointer By Brian Sutter, Wasp Barcode Technologies, August, 2013
Asset management and real-time location systems save money, time and equipment.

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How to maintain security in the cloud

pointer By Oren Hamami, July, 2013
The cloud can actually be much more secure than on-site facilities.

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Benefiting from the changing nature of home visits

pointer By Kelly Monical, June, 2013
Utilizing home-visit programs to render more proactive care management.

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Abandoning ICD-10

pointer By Jonathan Handler, M.D., May, 2013
This CMIO supports letting go of ICD-10 in favor of SNOMED-CT or ICD-11.

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Meaningful, meaningful use

pointer By Brandon Savage, M.D, April, 2013
Moving beyond implementation to strategy and analysis to improve clinical processes.

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Identifying the most vulnerable devices to HIPAA compliance

pointer By Derek Brost, eProtex, March, 2013
Despite the hefty fines and potential risks of a security breach, there's still little understanding of repercussions in terms of data security, HIPAA compliance and patient safety.

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Healthcare's Triple Aim

pointer By Christopher Mathews, M.D., February, 2013
How technology is facilitating collaboration among members, providers and payers.

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Getting a handle on all that data

pointer By Matt Cicciari, Progress Software, January, 2013
Healthcare CIOs are increasingly turning to data-management applications to help them better handle the vast amounts of patient and compliance data stored on their systems.

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Building a stronger security team

pointer By Kate Borten, December, 2012
Taking advantage of free NIST resources to improve security, privacy and regulatory compliance.

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7 steps to MU success

pointer By Sheri Stoltenberg, November, 2012
Regardless of size and technology prowess, hospitals and healthcare organizations can prepare for emerging MU challenges by considering these steps.

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Integrate your security measures

pointer By Kevin Weeks, October, 2012
From medical records to video surveillance equipment, technology utilized across healthcare institutions is rapidly migrating to a centralized network.

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Insights from the office for civil rights

pointer By Mac McMillan, September, 2012
An inside look at the results of the first random HIPAA compliance audits.

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Meeting the ACO challenge head on

pointer By Matt Kuntz, August, 2012
Both payers and providers face complex technical and analytical challenges.

Other Tags:  Accountable Care Organizations 

Is your software bleeding?

pointer By Jeff Muscarella, July, 2012
The healthcare enterprise is investing more in software than ever before. This bodes well for the evolution of healthcare as a business and for quality of care – but it's not without significant cost risk

Other Tags: None.

How to choose the right tablet

pointer By Mike Stinson, June, 2012
With the ever-changing technology landscape and the explosion of tablet options, it's common for healthcare providers to be hesitant and even overwhelmed when it comes to deploying a mobile computing solution

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Popularity of mobile devices brings risk

pointer By Roman Yudkin, May, 2012
Physicians and other healthcare workers are increasingly bringing their personal smartphones and tablets into hospital, clinical and office settings to access electronic medical records (EMRs) and other highly sensitive information

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Developing standards for unstructured documents

pointer By Peter Bedell, Fujitsu Computer Products of America, April, 2012
Creating a strategy for managing unstructured documents does not have to be an onerous task.

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Motivating successful disease self-management

pointer By Katrina S. Firlik, M.D., March, 2012

Successful disease management is a team sport. However, there is one player...

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Launch EHRs with confidence

pointer By Becky Quammen, September, 2011
Use it or lose it. The phrase is especially apropos for healthcare providers...

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Critical care 24/7

pointer By Christina Thielst, FACHE, November, 2011
In healthcare today, we face a changing landscape of national health policy

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Lean strategies reduce bottlenecks

pointer By Brenda Joslyn, October, 2011

Workflow is when one action or event triggers the start of another action or event that...

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Meeting REMS head on

pointer By Scot Walker, PharmD, MS, BCPS, August, 2011

The Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) program has taken center stage...

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When it matters most

pointer By John Thompson, July, 2011

Be it a coastal hurricane or live combat situation overseas...

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EHR benefits in action

pointer By Mark Dente, M.D., April, 2011

As the federal government's meaningful-use incentives dismantle the financial...

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Look up: The right EHR may be in the cloud

pointer By John Haughton, M.D., March, 2011

Buying an electronic health record (EHR) system now has potential risks and rewards. If providers adopt EHRs and are certified for meaningful use for at least 90 days...

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Building a solid infrastructure for ACOs

pointer By James K. Lassetter, M.D., February, 2011

Standard fee-for-service payment models will soon face what may be their most viable competition to date: accountable care. Established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010, accountable care organizations (ACOs) represent integrated care...

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Deadline ICD-10: Y2K all over again?

pointer By Greg Moore, January, 2011

The deadline set by the Department of Health and Human Services for U.S. health records systems to implement the International Statistical...

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So much data, so little time

pointer By Tony Cotterill, December, 2010

Healthcare organizations are in the throes of a data explosion. Government incentives — such as the HITECH provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

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Integrated health record can show meaningful use

pointer By Ravi Sharma, November, 2010

HMT1010_Ravi_SharmaMost physicians believe that, to show meaningful use and qualify for government incentives, they will need an electronic medical record (EMR) system. This may not be accurate, because several EMR systems on the market today may not certify as EHR Technology under meaningful use largely due to limitations of the client-server architecture. A new type of application known as an "integrated health record" (IHR), offered in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, may include all the necessary components to demonstrate meaningful use. The IHR provides better connectivity and discrete data in comparison to the capabilities of traditional EMRs. Considering the IHR's patient-centric data structure, which accepts information from multiple sources, and its decision support, the IHR may actually offer more to improve the quality-of-care coordination and patient safety than a traditional EMR.

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Patients seek meaningful use, too

pointer By Ryan Sorrels and Theresa McGillvray-Dodd, October, 2010
As providers race to accomplish "meaningful use" by the impending deadlines, attention is generally focused on integration, back-end processes and IT infrastructure. While this is certainly understandable given the effort that must take place in these areas, the patient's perspective is often overlooked. Despite the industry's focus on the ultimate benefits electronic health records (EHRs) provide, consumer support for the technology remains relatively low. According to a recent Harris Interactive survey, only 26 percent of respondents said they want their medical records digitized and only 40 percent believe they will result in more efficient care delivery. Providers can create a competitive advantage and increase the potential for a successful EHR implementation by directly involving the patient.

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Healthcare IT support: Recommendations for a critical need

pointer By Karl Graham, September, 2010

Today's advanced service desk professional should be able to provide assistance between the major IT platforms while simultaneously dealing with the usual clinical processes.

grahamWith the rapid deployment of complex IT implementations in healthcare, the need for enhanced IT support services has never been more urgent — and will only increase in the near future, particularly with ARRA requirements taking effect in 2011. It has never been truer that "meaningful use requires meaningful support."

In addition, the sophistication of current IT systems is increasing at an exponential rate. Whether developed in-house or partnered with a healthcare-specific provider, the need for an equally sophisticated support network is critical in the most literal sense. The focus should be on an enhanced help desk which is really more of a complete "service desk."

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Value of unstructured patient narratives

pointer By Jeffrey Barry, August, 2010

Current EHRs capture most information — patient demographics, medications and problem lists — as structured data, and often codify the details to support billing instead of clinical activities.

BarryCautionary tales of throwing the patient out with the paper — in technical terms, failing to fully utilize unstructured clinicians' notes in the EHR — are surfacing everywhere. In her April 22 New York Times commentary, Pauline Chen, MD, discussed the importance of the patient narrative, and the challenges of replicating nuances of care in current EHRs. A month earlier, Gordon Schiff, MD, and David W. Bates, MD, wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine that "free-text narrative will often be superior to point-and-click boilerplate in accurately capturing a patient's history."

Thought-critical, free-text physicians' notes are under threat. Current EHRs capture most information — patient demographics, medications and problem lists — as structured data, and often codify the details to support billing instead of clinical activities. The frequent use of the word "structured" in the definition for meaningful use released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) may further encourage and compound this trend.

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Eligibility screening a tourniquet for EDs

pointer By Mary Tackbary, July, 2010


Due to uncompensated care, many hospitals are losing money from their emergency departments (EDs). Eligibility screening can help reverse the trend.

Many uninsured patients do not know that they may qualify for a range of public and private healthcare programs. Screening ED patients to determine health-insurance eligibility for programs, such as Medicaid, and facilitating a patient's application to these programs, can provide hospitals with funds to cover otherwise uncompensated care. Allocating the necessary levels of staff and finances to address eligibility, however, is often not economically feasible — and will become less so in three years, when healthcare reform mandates take effect.

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Improve efficiency through technology

pointer By Bill Bartzak, June, 2010


The adoption of EMR technology holds the promise of improving processing times, patient care, information redundancy and records integrity.

A quick visit to any online practice-management buying guide reveals dozens of alternatives from companies whose products are designed to streamline the operations of today's healthcare practices. Whether single-tenant installed or multitenant systems built on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, the technology space has grown increasingly crowded as insurers and practitioners strive to operate more efficiently and deliver better patient care.

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Five steps to keep EMRs private

pointer By Saurabh Bhatnagar, May, 2010

Saurabh BhatnagarSimple ways exist for implementing technical safeguards to mitigate security risks, while becoming compliant and maintaining current levels of service.

Government-mandated migration to electronic medical records (EMR) brings with it inherent risks of healthcare information technology. Patient data in digital format is constantly at risk from intentional data manipulation or theft, accidental record access, and the ever-present risk of exposure to malware.

Other issues include the high cost of initial implementation, the logistical challenge that comes with necessary work-flow restructuring and the pressure to maintain current levels of service without interruption. Often, these issues pose significant challenges to business continuity and take priority over security — which can threaten compliance with HIPAA.

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Four ideas to improve staff management

pointer By Michael Meisel, April, 2010


The chasm between finance and nursing can be addressed with features and functions that safeguard the quality of patient care by optimizing appropriate and effective staffing.

Finance and nursing have different perspectives and priorities for hospital-information technology. This is particularly evident in the evaluation of enterprise work-force-management systems for staffing and scheduling. In fact, when it comes to staffing and scheduling, there is a chasm between finance and nursing.

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Hospital chooses SaaS for Web performance

pointer April, 2010

Monitoring service provides end-user analytics and assures the hospital of the availability of its physician-application site.

The opening of two hospitals in 2009 — expected to attract many new patients and prospective physicians — prompted a renewed focus on El Camino Hospital's Web operations. Specifically, the hospital needed to leverage its Web presence to better serve the needs of this growing number of patients and physicians, in a cost-effective, productive and brand-enhancing way.

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Software solutions can trim rising costs

pointer By Jim Catalino, March, 2010


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Cut telephony costs with appliances, SaaS

pointer By Sidney VanNess, March, 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.

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Reduce spending with care management

pointer 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.

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Is There Value in EHR Investment for HIEs?

pointer By Chris Stevens, product manager, Orion Health, February, 2010

The importance of electronic health records increases exponentially when made available throughout the healthcare community.

The delivery of healthcare relies on accurate, up-to-date patient information. Unfortunately, much of that information resides in individual stores of paper, electronic records, databases and files scattered across all of the systems of numerous stakeholders. This is where electronic health records (EHRs) and health-information exchanges (HIEs) shine, and why so much of the national discussion now under way about the need to cut costs and increase care focuses on the meaningful use of EHRs within and among providers.

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