The usability of health IT is big news these days. Despite spending $28 million on incentives to encourage the adoption of electronic health records (EHR), provider response to EHRs is mixed: Users say they interrupt workflow and impact doctor-patient interactions, among other issues. Much of the blame can be attributed to usability, which a HIMSS EHR Usability Task Force defined as follows:
In March of this year Apple added another arrow to its quiver of mobile health innovations: the ResearchKit. The cousin to the previously released HealthKit, ResearchKit does for medical research what Apple has done for communications, entertainment, application distribution, music and more: it completely changes the game with simple, efficient, easy to use tools.
At Nebraska Medicine, technology innovations bring with them opportunities to enhance patient care. The ability to integrate patient images with synchronized and simultaneous audio and video has Nebraska Medicine’s telehealth coordinator Kyle Hall looking at new ways to implement telehealth and mobile devices, such as iPads and Google Glass, at clinics and hospitals.
Written by Kyle Hall, Telehealth Coordinator at Nebraska Medicine
Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) 2015 Focus
Past HIMSS Annual Conferences have focused on management and integration of enterprise health information management systems, which bring together as much patient data from as many locations as possible. At this years HIMSS conference I saw a significant increase of attention on a new area of health IT that was previously under the the radar: Telemedicine. It’s official, telemedicine has invaded HIMSS.
This February the FDA released updated guidance on mobile medical applications for the first time since 2013. This new guidance offers insight into the agency's plans for regulating the rapidly growing number of applications that turn smartphones and tablets into health care devices. While the agency is taking a hands off approach to consumer-focused applications, such as those that track fitness levels or weight, it will continue to closely review and regulate software that transforms mobile technology into devices for diagnosis and treatment.
For the third year in a row, Calgary Scientific has provided ResolutionMD® medical image-viewing technology for the Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR) Annual Meeting. Each year, our presence at the meeting has expanded, and the society is finding new ways to use interactive image-viewing at the meeting to enhance the experience for its members.
Navigating the Demands of Modern Medical Certification
The explosion of online learning is fundamentally changing education for current and future doctors. Today’s online tools, combined with the growing use of mobile devices, have spurred development of innovative, high quality online continuing medical education (CME) offerings. With 24/7 access to CME, time-pressed medical providers now have options for managing increasingly demanding licensing and certification requirements.
Fragmentation of care is a major flaw in the current health care system. One of the goals of health care reform is to remedy that fragmentation by improving patient care coordination. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), for example, require that providers understand how their patients are using health care services and communicate with other providers about their patients’ care. Experts agree that one key element of coordinated care is direct, peer-to-peer communications which has largely disappeared from today’s health care delivery environments. (1)
Hospital systems across the country are looking for ways to operate more effectively and efficiently in the wake of sweeping changes created by the Affordable Care Act. Mergers and acquisitions offer one road for hospitals to cope with this new healthcare climate. In 2012 there were 105 hospital mergers, a 100 percent growth rate over hospital merger numbers from 2005 to 2006. Indicators show this trend continuing: mergers and acquisitions increased 10 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to first quarter 2013. This provider consolidation has created giant hospital systems, some of which rival Fortune 500 companies in size, with equally large health IT infrastructures.
What will the average patient have in common with Angelina Jolie in the near future?
Like Jolie, who in 2013 opted for a double mastectomy based on a positive test for the BRCA1 gene, patients will make critical health care decisions based on access to and understanding of their health care data. This shift of power from doctor to patient is the topic of Eric Topol, MD’s new book “The Patient Will See You Now.” In it Topol writes that Jolie “symbolizes the new era of medicine, whereby access to critical information about oneself, leads to the individual’s empowerment to make a pivotal choice that determines one’s fate.” (1)