ACO Success Needs Robust Health IT and Information Sharing Infrastructure

Posted by Jonathan Draper on Mon, Nov 16, 2015

Coordinated Care Model

In early 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that 50 percent of payments will be made through alternative or value-based payment models by 2018. One way for providers to implement value-based care is through an Accountable Care Organization, or ACO, a coordinated care model initiated by the Affordable Care Act in 2010. ACOs are networks of providers, including primary care, specialty practices, hospitals, pharmacies, imaging and diagnostic centers, that come together to lower costs and deliver better care through care coordination.

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FAST Act Will Bring Timely Telestroke to Urban and Suburban Stroke Patients

Posted by Randy Rountree on Mon, Oct 26, 2015

Bipartisan Push to Expand Medicare Coverage of Telestroke Will Save Lives and Money

In the U.S., someone has a stroke every 40 seconds and stroke is the fourth leading cause of death. [1][2] While 94 percent of these strokes occur in urban or suburban areas, these victims still don’t get the fast access to medical treatment that is critical to survival. Despite being located closer to hospitals and clinics, these patients still face the same barriers to care that their rural counterparts experience, including lengthy travel times and lack of access to stroke specialists.

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Tags: Telehealth Solutions

Better Information with New ICD-10 Codes is Giving Patients a Better Chance

Posted by Greg Girard on Fri, Oct 16, 2015

ICD-10 Increases Diagnostic Codes by 500 Percent, Radiology Included

On October 1 version 10 of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, or ICD-10, officially launched in the United States. Mandated by the World Health Organization, ICD is an international standard for diagnostic and other healthcare related codes that “governments, providers and consumers can use as a common language.” (1) The new set of codes replaces ICD-9, in use for more than 30 years, with codes that provide much-needed information for everyone involved in patient care to make better treatment decisions.

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Tags: Blog

Telehealth: The Road to Care Delivery that Significantly Lowers Costs

Posted by Randy Rountree on Wed, Sep 30, 2015

Telehealth gaining momentum

The past year has seen marked growth in telehealth offerings for consumers. Online services, retail clinics and payers have moved forward with investments and partnerships that are expanding the market of virtual visit offerings. Today consumers can access healthcare online through their smartphones, tablets or a kiosk at a retail clinic. And despite continued regulatory wrangling over Medicare telehealth reimbursement, private payers and many state Medicaid programs are moving forward with paying for telehealth visits. [1]  Paired with increased evidence of its ability to lower costs and improve care, these developments are forming a solid foundation for telehealth’s eventual widespread use.

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Tags: Telehealth Solutions

Reaching Across the Globe with Accreditations for Safe Diagnosis On-The-Go

Posted by Kyle Peterson on Wed, Sep 16, 2015

Ensuring the safety of clinical tools

Imagine you are an ER doctor treating a patient with a serious femur fracture, a potentially fractured neck or a serious heart condition. You’re reviewing a series of patient images on your iPad to determine just how bad the situation is and to make your treatment decisions. Then you discover the image viewing app you’re using doesn’t have the necessary FDA Class II clearance for diagnosis and treatment decisions. So you shut down your iPad, walk 10 minutes to find a PACS workstation, log in, search for your patient’s images and then make your treatment decision, right?

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Tags: Accreditation, Mobility

Calgary Robot Surprises Pediatric Patients at Nebraska Medicine

Posted by Kyle Hall on Thu, Aug 27, 2015

Written by Guest Author, Kyle Hall, Telehealth Coordinator, Nebraska Medicine

When we discovered that one of our technology providers, Calgary Scientific, had a DoubleRobotics robot just like ours, we hatched an idea. In my role as telehealth coordinator, I am always looking for ways to connect people over distances with technology. With the two Doubles, one in Omaha and the other in Canada, I saw an opportunity to bring some fun via telepresence to our bravest patients, the kids on the pediatric oncology ward.

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Tags: Mobility, Community

Mobile EHRs Expand Features with Integrated Mobile Image-Viewing

Posted by Greg Girard on Fri, Aug 14, 2015

In a recent survey of 6000 ambulatory care physicians, 70 percent said they plan to adopt mobile versions of their electronic medical record (EMR) software by the end 2015.[1] As the adoption rate of mobile EHRs grows, vendors are also expanding their offerings with integrated features, including mobile image-viewing, to increase the efficiency and productivity of their offerings. Offering anytime, anywhere access is particularly critical in today’s complex patient imaging environments which typically include a patchwork of PACS.

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Tags: Blog

Ready or Not, Mobile Health IT is Here to Stay

Posted by Greg Girard on Thu, Jul 30, 2015

Smartphone Access to Patient Data is a Question of When, Not If

Using smartphones and tablets for clinical patient care is rapidly becoming the new normal for providers. Until recently, most were using their devices for research or communicating with colleagues, in other words non-clinical applications. In just one year, the percentage of physicians using mobile devices to manage patient care -- ordering prescriptions, accessing records, ordering tests or viewing results -- has grown from 8 to 31 percent.[1] That's an almost three fold increase between 2013 and 2014. Among those most likely group of smartphone users are ER doctors, obstetrician-gynecologists, general and orthopedic surgeons and radiologists. Today, mobile tech is rapidly transitioning to a tool for clinical care delivery.

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Tags: Blog

Supporting Modern Healthcare Delivery with Secure Mobile Health IT

Posted by Greg Girard on Fri, Jul 24, 2015

At healthcare institutions across the country security breaches have become an epidemic of their own. Most recently, a break-in at the UCLA Health System may have compromised the addresses, Social Security numbers, medical records and ID numbers of as many as 4.5 million people. [1] In this environment, health IT and security administrators are increasingly reluctant to open their networks to mobile access. "Security is the biggest barrier to using mobile health IT," confirms Randy Tebbs, Information Systems Analyst at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, UT.

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Tags: Blog

Cardiac CT Emerging as Mainstream Diagnostic and Screening Tool

Posted by Randy Rountree on Thu, Jul 16, 2015

First Online Training Demoed at Las Vegas Gathering of Over 1000 Cardiac Image Experts

Imaging is rapidly becoming a standard element in the screening and diagnosis of heart patients. Anyone heading to the ER with chest pains today may find themselves being sent for non-invasive imaging for diagnostic purposes instead of to a "cath lab." With the development of faster, 3D imaging doctors now have a wealth of information from patient scans, eliminating the need in many cases for more invasive techniques to rule out heart disease. Of course the decision on whether to send a patient for cardiovascular computer tomography (cardiac CT) or to the cath lab depends on their risk profile, but for many patients cardiac CT offers faster, less expensive diagnosis that gets them out of the ER in less time.

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Tags: Blog