Compliance with regulations is a non-trivial task and the ability to have legal guidance with regulations is valuable. Take a look at the following link for your Jumpstart legal guidance and assistance with HIPAA Survival Guide products.
Wow, never thought I would see the day that an IT Periodical would speak to the costs of healthcare...
According to Mike Miliard, Managing Editor of Wired Magazine, he spoke about a presentation by Andy Grove, former Chairman and CEO of Intel corporation, speaking via Skype at the first annual "WIRED Health Conference: Living By Numbers," issued a call to arms to free healthcare data, making his case for radical price transparency in medicine.
This call to "Free the Data" was also a major theme at the HealthDataPalooza in DC earlier this year. Why the call to free health data? "The industry, "plays a gigantic game of Blind Man’s Bluff, keeping patients in the dark while asking them to make life-and-death decisions. The odds that they will make the best choice are negligible and largely depend on chance. Patients need to have data, including costs and their own medical histories, liberated and made freely available for thorough analysis."
Making the data public is not a new concept. On CMS's website, you will find a variety of "Compare Initiatives" that are intended to inform the public with quality data about caregivers, physicians, hospitals and other healthcare agencies. A part of the National Quality Strategy is to inform the consumer with quality data to enable informed choices about their health care.
Recently the ONC posted on the Health IT Buzz Blog about the "challenges providers face in achieving Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHRs)."
The concept of "useability" has long been known in other industries where new technology or applications enter the workplace. Some time ago I wrote about usability of health IT, however I expanded the definition to include a few more "E-bilities" as shown in the following graphic contained in the post: Part 4 of The Value of the Internet for Improving Healthcare.
This is the last post in the series and it focuses on capabilities, or "e-bilities" of technology to improve healthcare. Regardless of the mode of use (e.g. email or internet), technology must be easy to use, secure, reliable, and accessible.
For the past year, the SHARPC-Project 1 has focused on making use of technology easier for clinicians. One ONC staff member, Jacob Reider, MD had some interesting comments that focused on "The User Experience." His comments spanned the continuum of User Experience with a framework for how tools and/or applications can/should evolve.
Functional (it does what it is claimed to do) Reliable (it works consistently) Usable (it works in a way that is consistent with the user’s expectations) Meaningful (it does something important or valuable) Pleasurable (it is enjoyable to use)
So, I will end with one thought. Even if the system meets "Useability" standards for clinicians, achieving quality health data analytics still requires that accurate, timely and quality data is entered into the EHR avoiding the Garbage In-Garbage Out phenomenon.
"Medicare Releases Patient Safety Ratings For Hospitals" October 17, 2011 by Jordan Rau, KHN Staff Writer,
Medicare released a new edition of their Hospital Compare website. New data evaluates hospitals on how often their patients suffer complications. This is a new effort to compare facilities on hospital safety ratings, including incidence of medical error and patient harm.
To find a hospital on the site, type in the city and state, click on the hospital name and then select the "Patient Safety Measures" tab at the left. Hospital Compare also gives patients the option of choosing several hospitals at once. The new data covers the period between October 2008 and June 2010.
Hospital Compare was originally designed to help consumers evaluate hospitals when they are planning an inpatient stay, however, it has not been widely used by patients. The American Hospital association's Vice President, Nancy Foster said, "We believe the data is fairly seriously flawed in the way it's calculated. When inaccurate data is out there, it both misleads the public and generates a lot of activity that is unproductive in the hospital."
It is hoped that this new version will provide more accurate insight for clinicians and consumers of health care services.
S.S. Jones, R. Koppel, M.S. Ridgely, T.E. Palen, S. Wu, and M.I. Harrison. Guide to Reducing Unintended Consequences of Electronic Health Records Prepared by RAND Corporation under Contract No. HHSA290200600017I, Task Order #5. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Rockville, MD. August, 2011.
This guide is a resource designed to help clinicians anticipate, avoid, and address problems that can occur when implementing and using an electronic health record (EHR). Taken from the page above, the contents are grouped by Modules as shown below:
Module I: Introduction to Unintended Consequences
EHRs offer many advantages, but even the most experienced implementers can face unexpected difficulties. This module provides an overview of the kinds of issues that might arise during implementation.
Module II: How to Avoid Unintended Consequences
Unintended consequences are unpredictable, but much can be learned from the experiences of other EHR implementers and users. Adhering to best practices for selecting, implementing, and using your EHR will help you avoid unintended consequences. This Module is divided into two sections: the first section will be more useful to organizations that have not yet implemented an EHR, and the second section will be more useful to current EHR users.
Module III: Understand and Identify Unintended Consequences
In the previous Module we presented information and tools for choosing, implementing and using an EHR. The tools and information in Module II can help you avoid unintended consequences; however, even if you use these practices, there will still probably be unintended consequences associated with EHR implementation and use. In this Module we will present a framework that will help you understand why unintended consequences occur, in order to help you prepare to identify and address them.
Module IV: Remediate Unintended Consequences
Module III provided tools and information to help you understand and identify unintended consequences. In this Module we provide you with tools and information that will help you pinpoint the specific causes of your EHR-related problems and that will help you remediate them.
The course also contains an Appendix with Case Examples, a Glossary, External Resources and Acknowledgements.
Two days ago, Jennifer Prestigiacomo posted information on the blog at Healthcare Informatics about upcoming Top Tech Trends and a few interesting ideas about mobile patient applications.... I believe this trend is growing and will soon surpass expectations on use of technology at the point of care...
Below is a conceptual map that describes how I see point of care applications advancing...
We have grown from email to social media as the means to connect virtually with friends and family. Now that trend is moving into the "business" community. In fact, many hospitals across the nation are creating social media sites to share and promote healthy behaviors with the community at large.
And... not only are individuals connecting with each other, and with healthcare services, we are taking them "on the run" with iPhone applications that can take mobile ECG readings, or vital signs measurements that are sent to physicians..
Wow... This is the new world of 21st Century Medicine... HITECH 'aint high tech enough! LOL
In 1999, Tom Ferguson, MD, came up with the term “e-patients” to describe individuals who are equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged in their health and health care decisions. He began work on a white paper, commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to describe this new development.
In 2000, Lee Rainie and I wrote the Pew Internet Project’s first health report, The Online Health Care Revolution, using the phrase “health seeker” to describe someone who used the internet for health information.
Just to remind you of the sea change we’ve been through, in the year 2000:
46% of American adults had access to the internet (now: 74%)
5% of U.S. households had broadband connections (now: 66%)
25% of American adults looked online for health information (now: 61%)
Listen to Susannah Fox, e-Patient Dave, and others discuss opportunities on Blog Talk Radio which aired 9/1/2010 entitled, "E-patients, Cyberchondriacs, and Why We Should Stop Calling Names"
The "Cell Revolution" and ubiquitous internet advances in technology are expanding communications paths among all citizens (of the world). Physicians and their move toward Smartphones, with access to patient records, is a step forward in the advancement of technology for healthcare. Having the right access, for the right clinicians, about the right patients, and at the right time (real-time) all contributes to improvements in the way healthcare can be delivered. I suggest that it can also improve patient health outcomes with the ability to make clinical decisions in real-time and access to medicine's best practices.
Why do I say that improvements in telecommunications can improve healthcare delivery? Just watch this 15 minute video from TED: Ideas worth spreading, where Clay Shirky describes the history and future of tele-communications. He speaks about history's one-to-one communication pathway through various media that has now evolved into a many-to-many communication path. He speaks about the effectiveness of the evolved communications paths using real world examples.
I just finished watching the first of several videos on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website (AHRQ) and I was quite impressed. Thought I would share the link.
Navigating the Health Care System
Video Advice Columns from Dr. Carolyn Clancy
Patients who are involved in their health care get better quality care and better results. These videos on Navigating the Health Care System feature Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Director Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., encouraging patients to ask questions of their doctor, nurse or pharmacist and to speak up if they have concerns about medications, tests, or procedures.