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Recruiters/Executive Search Firms Rated Most Effective Resource in Hiring Health IT Staff

With high demand for health IT workers projected to continue for the foreseeable future, the 2014 HIMSS Workforce Survey results find healthcare organizations consider IT recruiters/ executive search firms the most effective resource to meet hiring needs  

CHICAGO (August 21, 2014) – The high demand for qualified health IT professionals continues, as revealed in the 2014 HIMSS Workplace Study, conducted by HIMSS Analytics:

  • Over 84 percent of survey respondents reported their organization hired at least one staff member in the past year, a finding consistent with the 2013 survey (86 percent).
  • With hiring in 2014 expected to continue at the 2013 pace, 82 percent of survey respondents planned to hire at least one full time employee (FTE) in the next 12 months, a slight increase from the 79 percent of respondents planning the same in 2013.

To satisfy the demand for desired workers, the study discovered that healthcare employers use multiple approaches to recruit qualified IT professionals. Yet, respondents considered IT recruiters/executive search firms to be the most effective resource to leverage in meeting their hiring demands.

“The lack of local qualified health IT workers, whether real or not, is a very real concern for many. And in an industry in which recruiting workers away from other healthcare organizations is fairly common practice, IT recruiters and staffing agencies are clearly seen to be the most effective recruitment resource at a healthcare employer’s disposal,” said Lorren Pettit, vice president, research, HIMSS Analytics. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see the use of recruiters increase as a preferred recruitment resource as the demand for select IT professionals increases.”

Survey methodology:  HIMSS Analytics conducted this research in May-June 2014 with findings based on responses from 200 individuals representing healthcare providers, vendors and consulting organizations, a sample considered generally representative of the health IT staffing needs and experiences of these types of organizations operating in the United States.

Additional survey results include the following highlights.

Staff Needed:  Clinical application support staff (58 percent) is the most sought-after position provider organizations plan to hire in the next year, an increase from 34 percent, as reported in the 2013 survey results.

IT Layoffs: Even though the reported hiring of, or plans to hire, IT staff are quite high, the findings point to a 5 percent increase in staff layoffs between 2013 (8 percent) and 2014 (13 percent).

Outsourcing or Not:  Healthcare provider organizations expect to continue use of outsourced services in the next year; over two-thirds (70 percent) of respondents reported at least one area of anticipated outsourcing. Use of outsourced services decreased this year, since the 2013 survey found 93 percent of healthcare provider organizations planned at least one outsourced service.

“The 2014 HIMSS Workforce Survey provides positive insights for both experienced and entry-level healthcare professionals,” says JoAnn Klinedinst, vice president, professional development, HIMSS North America.  “The research results show the need for a variety of IT positions in healthcare, with providers who responded to the survey stating they would likely hire clinical application support staff, while vendor respondents said they would be most interested in field support staff. In addition, a higher percentage of organizations in 2014, compared to respondents to the survey in 2013, said they were interested in training current employees to fill needed positions or were willing to hire recent graduates.”

Read the 2014 HIMSS Workforce Survey report.

About HIMSS: HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology.

HIMSS is a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause.  HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Visit www.himss.org.

About HIMSS Analytics: HIMSS Analytics collects, analyzes and distributes essential health IT data related to products, costs, metrics, trends and purchase decisions. It delivers quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, IT companies, governmental entities, financial, pharmaceutical and consulting companies. Visit www.himssanalytics.org.

HIMSS Analytics is a part of HIMSS, a cause-based global enterprise that produces health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share the cause of transforming health and healthcare through the best use of IT.  HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

August 21, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Napier Healthcare Appoints Mohammad Shublaqas Director of Business Development

Singapore, July 29, 2014 – Napier Healthcare, a leading healthcare technology and services provider, has named Mohammad Shublaq as Director of Business Development for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Based in Riyadh, Mohammad will take the helm of Napier’s overall business expansion in the territory, covering the areas of Business Development, Sales, Alliance, and Customer Relations.

Mohammad has more than 20 years of professional track record in the Information Technology and healthcare domains in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He has held leadership positions at CSC Arabia Ltd., Omar K.Alesayi Communications and Space Services Co. Ltd., Abdullah Fouad Co.Ltd., and Al-Suwaidi Trading and Development. He possesses extensive expertise in the sales and delivery of healthcare solutions including Forensic Laboratories Information Management System, Population Health Management, Care Coordination, Healthcare Analytics, Radiology Information System and Cardiovascular Information System solutions.

“Napier’s foray into the Middle East has been gaining positive traction.With Mohammad’s leadership and industry expertise in the Saudi healthcare market, we are confident that Hospitals will have another viable world class solution. The addition of Mohammad’s leadership on board is a testament to our commitment to the Saudi market. Napier’s products run Hospitals in the US, Africa and Asia and are compliant with USA’s Meaningful Use requirements. Further, Napier’s partner ecosystem comprises world class consulting partners that help implement the best business practices gleaned from Hospitals all over the world.With globally acclaimed products and consulting services, Hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can now implement a world class platform with local expertise,” said Tirupathi Karthik, CEO of Napier Healthcare.

“Healthcare spending is increasing in this region, an indication of the better standards of care and access to medicine. Behind healthcare trends lie massive opportunities for Napier. For example, Napier’s mobility and homecare technology empowers providers to deliver medical services to patients beyond the four walls of a hospital through remote monitoring via mHealth apps and telemedicine services. Napier’s Electronic Mobile Care System (eMCS) allows physicians and nurses to manage and access patients’ data on mobile devices while on the move to access patient history, record observations, schedule appointments, and prescribe medications. I look forward to spearheading the team to drive our best efforts to bring Napier’s innovative solutions to providers across the Middle East,” Mohammad commented on his new appointment.

# # #

About Napier Healthcare

With Napier’s Healthcare solutions, hospitals can run their end-to-end operations with complete visibility and control over costs. The Mobility, Analytical and Home Care solutions offered by Napier are today powering innovative healthcare delivery models worldwide.

Established in 1996, Napier’s software and services have helped midsized, large private and public sector hospitals transform the way they capture clinical information, streamline workflow, reduce medical errors and provide analytical insights. Headquartered in Singapore with presence in USA, India and Middle East, Napier’s solutions are in line with the latest global healthcare trends and standards such as the United States Meaningful Use certification and ISO 9001:2008.

For more information, visit www.napierhealthcare.com

July 29, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Consultant Development Program from Stoltenberg Consulting Yields Successful IT Projects for Hospitals at Significantly Lower Costs

More than 25 percent in savings realized by healthcare organizations for IT initiatives leveraging consultants from company’s development program

PITTSBURGH, July 22, 2014 – Stoltenberg Consulting, a leading healthcare information technology (HIT) consulting firm, today announced thirteen consultants having graduated from its Consultant Development Program to date. The program, designed to provide hospitals with first-time, certified consultants, continues to deliver cost-effective results to the company’s hospital customers. The consultants in the program, titled Consultant I’s, undergo rigorous training and work closely with Stoltenberg’s team of experienced consultants on projects.

The 2013 HIMSS Workforce Survey indicated that 31 percent of healthcare organizations had to place IT initiatives on hold due to staffing shortages with 43 percent citing the lack of a qualified talent pool as a challenge to appropriately meeting their staffing needs. The demand remains high for a capable workforce in the healthcare technology industry; to date, hospitals that have leveraged Consultant I’s have seen over 25 percent increase in cost savings on IT implementation projects, with the value and contributions of the consultants adding to an even greater overall ROI.

“Considering staffing shortages, limited budgets and a lack of qualified talent in the hiring pool, hospitals are clearly suffering from a shortage of effective IT skills and expertise on projects, without any ideal solution in sight,” said Sheri Stoltenberg, CEO, Stoltenberg Consulting. “The Consultant Development Program is able to address such challenges from every angle by providing cost-effective, highly competent team members that not only deliver the necessary results for hospitals at a critical time in healthcare, but also contribute to a strong job market that supports the advancement of health IT.”

Recent graduates of the Consultant Development Program gained considerable experience through direct involvement in implementation and optimization projects in hospitals around the country, allowing them to establish expertise in clinical, ambulatory, document management and financial areas. Overall, the Consultant I’s spent more than 2,000 hours in training for projects, nearly 9,000 hours on projects and over 15,000 hours serving the help desk service line from Stoltenberg, over the two-year program.

Said a graduate of the program: “There are very few paths in health IT that offer significant hands-on training and opportunities to young professionals. By working closely with a senior consultant from Stoltenberg, I was able to hone important skills at the end-user level while gradually developing experience with Soarian Clinicals Documentation building and CPOE. Programs that offer valuable lessons and opportunities, such as the Consultant Development Program, can be key in changing the perception of a career in health IT to be more attractive for young professionals.”

Previous graduates of the Consultant Development Program have become fully active team members, and in some cases, team leads on IT projects within hospitals across the country. Mentoring provided by senior consultants have allowed the Consultant I’s to far exceed expectations normally set for young HIT professionals.

“I started this program with minimal experience, but by the end, I had gained certain insights in health IT I may have otherwise only learned through multiple years in the industry. From formal vendor training for multiple certifications, to my time taking calls for a university healthcare system with the Stoltenberg Help Desk Service Line, the program greatly prepared me for working and genuinely helping end-users,” said another graduate. “The Consultant Development Program provides a rare opportunity to uniquely groom young HIT professionals for success and I look forward to seeing what is to come from the program in the future.”

To learn more about the Consultant Development Program, please click here or visit www.stoltenberg.com.

About Stoltenberg Consulting 

Founded in 1995, Pittsburgh-based Stoltenberg Consulting Inc. creates an environment for success by working with healthcare organizations to provide a variety of services including project management, implementation support and integration between systems. Members of the Stoltenberg Consulting team are consultants with extensive experience in both financial and clinical systems, averaging more than 15 years of direct on-site hospital experience. A two-time Best in KLAS Category Leader, Stoltenberg Consulting has grown rapidly to serve a client base of more than 200 preeminent healthcare organizations throughout the United States providing services for Siemens (Approved Partner), Epic (Preferred Partner), Cerner, McKesson, Meditech, NextGen and Allscripts customers. For more information call 1-888-724-1326 or visit www.stoltenberg.com.

 

July 24, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Quintiles Announces Agreement to Acquire Encore Health Resources

Acquisition Will Bolster Quintiles’ Expertise in Health-Information Analytics Services and Create Foundation for Expanded Services Suite

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As part of its continued efforts to strengthen and expand its service capabilities across the healthcare continuum, Quintiles today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Encore Health Resources (Encore). Encore is a leader in the health-information analytics and technology services industry focused on healthcare providers. Through its consulting services and solutions, Encore assists customers with a wide range of strategy, advisory, implementation, process-redesign, optimization, analytics and performance-improvement initiatives.

“Today’s announcement signifies the increasing importance of leveraging EHR and real-world information to inform our customers and improve their probability of success”

Founded in 2009, Encore has more than 300 employees located throughout North America, including approximately 250 consultants. Its primary business is focused on implementation and advisory services around electronic health records (EHR). The addition of these capabilities will enhance Quintiles’ EHR expertise, which is becoming increasingly important as biopharmaceutical customers, payers and providers focus on measuring outcomes based on real-world performance in terms of clinical effectiveness and value.

“Today’s announcement signifies the increasing importance of leveraging EHR and real-world information to inform our customers and improve their probability of success,” said Tom Pike, chief executive officer at Quintiles. “Encore has significant EHR expertise, strong relationships with many large U.S. provider networks and academic medical centers as well as experienced consultants, proven tools, and methodologies. It will be a key strategic addition for our business that will extend our services suite and allow us to work with Encore to strengthen its provider-focused solutions.”

Biopharmaceutical companies are increasingly interested in the “real-world” outcomes associated with their medicines to enable optimal market access. Encore’s expertise with hospitals and hospital information will help Quintiles extend its service offerings meaningfully for biopharmaceutical companies.

By joining Quintiles, Encore will be able to leverage Quintiles’ breadth and depth of capabilities as well as its global scale to accelerate Encore’s vision of enhancing clinical outcomes through data-driven performance improvement. Additionally, Encore can utilize the expertise of Quintiles’ 950 medical doctors, 900 Ph.D.’s, as well as its nurse educators and world-class biostatisticians to help hospitals and providers solve their most pressing population health challenges.

“Today is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Encore,” said Dana Sellers, chief executive officer, Encore. “Encore was founded with a focus on driving value through data to improve performance and clinical outcomes. I believe that this focus and our vision for the future align well with Quintiles. We will be joining a global leader, and we look forward to working together to help deliver further advancements in healthcare.”

The transaction, which is subject to standard and customary closing conditions, is expected to close later this quarter. Upon completion of this transaction, Encore will join Quintiles’ Integrated Healthcare Services segment and be known as “Encore, A Quintiles Company.”

Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on Quintiles’ 2014 earnings per share.

About Quintiles

Quintiles (NYSE: Q) is the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services with a network of more than 29,000 employees conducting business in approximately 100 countries. We have helped develop or commercialize all of the top-50 best-selling drugs on the market. Quintiles applies the breadth and depth of our service offerings along with extensive therapeutic, scientific and analytics expertise to help our customers navigate an increasingly complex healthcare environment as they seek to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of better healthcare outcomes. To learn more about Quintiles, please visit www.quintiles.com.

May 12, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

Dialysis Clinic, Inc., Selects Sandlot Solutions to Support Comprehensive End-Stage Renal Disease Care Initiative

New technology platform will aid a company-wide initiative to improve quality and care coordination across all facilities.

DALLAS and NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 14, 2014 – Sandlot Solutions, a leading community health interoperability and analytics provider, today announced the beginning of a five-year contract with Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI), a nonprofit corporation providing comprehensive care for patients with kidney disease.  Sandlot’s health information technology solutions will help DCI achieve effective clinical interoperability. The ability to exchange clinical data and share information across health systems will enable DCI to deliver exceptional care management and improved patient outcomes.  A certified Medicare dialysis provider operating in 28 states, DCI will implement two Sandlot modules, Sandlot Connect, for comprehensive data gathering and exchange, and Sandlot Dimensions, which combines a data warehouse with business intelligence tools.

“We are honored to partner with Sandlot Solutions to improve the coordination of care for our patients.  Currently many providers often operate in separate silos and are unable to see the care given by other providers to patients with kidney disease.  With our new partnership with Sandlot, different providers in each community will be able to obtain a better view of the overall care of patients with kidney disease and will be able to communicate in a secure manner as they partner to improve care for patients with kidney disease.  In addition, we will have the capacity to evaluate the cost of care and determine which of our new interventions are most effective at providing better care, at a lower cost to patients with kidney disease,” said Doug Johnson, MD, Vice Chairman of the DCI Board of Directors.

The technology solutions provided by Sandlot will also support DCI’s long-term goal of becoming a CMS ESRD Seamless Care Organization (ESCO).  ESRD patients make up 1.3% of all Medicare beneficiaries and nearly 7.5% of U.S. Medicare spending. This CMS initiative is designed to test new payment and service delivery models in order to achieve higher quality and more patient-centered care for the ESRD population.

Sandlot Solutions trustee, Fred L. Brown, 2014 inductee into Modern Healthcare’s Health Care Hall of Fame and Past Chairman of the National Kidney Foundation remarked: “I am delighted that Sandlot is working with Dialysis Clinic, Inc. to address the complex clinical challenges of patients who require essential dialysis treatment. Sandlot’s ability to create a comprehensive and longitudinal clinical view of a patient with kidney disease will undoubtedly lead to better care and quality of life.”

“Since its inception, DCI has been an innovator in the delivery of care to dialysis patients. DCI’s goal to become a CMS ESCO builds on this strong tradition and culture of quality improvement. At Sandlot, we are proud to partner with companies like DCI and see firsthand our technology’s role in changing healthcare. We look forward to working together to achieve DCI’s goals of better patient care and outcomes,” said Joseph Casper, CEO, Sandlot Solutions.

Sandlot Solutions and DCI began working together in March 2014. Today’s announcement marks the most recent collaboration between Sandlot Solutions and progressive healthcare providers, payers and accountable care organizations (ACOs) to improve the health of patients and communities while also bending the healthcare delivery cost curve.

About Sandlot Solutions

Sandlot Solutions, founded in 2006, is a leading provider of clinical interoperability and community health management solutions focused on: the exchange of clinical and claims data across the care community, population data analytics and enhanced care coordination. Sandlot provides the tools and technology that enable healthcare organizations to improve the quality of care, understand and manage risk, reduce costs, and transition to new business models. The configurable technology streamlines data-sharing and provides physicians with actionable patient information and analytics, within their existing workflow through a proprietary digital envelope, including prompts to proactively address gaps in care at the point of care.

Based in Dallas, Texas, Sandlot Solutions is jointly owned by Santa Rosa Holdings Inc. and North Texas Specialty Physicians (NTSP). For more information, visit www.sandlotsolutions.com.

About Dialysis Clinic, Inc.

Started in 1971, DCI is a nonprofit provider, caring for patients with kidney disease.  We currently care for 14,000 patients on dialysis in more than 215 clinics in 28 states.  DCI is the only leading dialysis provider to have remained under its own control since its founding. DCI has been recognized 11 years in a row by an independent government survey, the United States Renal Data System (USRDS), for having the lowest mortality and hospitalization ratios among national dialysis providers.  In addition, since inception DCI has allocated over $200 million to support research, education and other activities that benefit patients. Visit www.dciinc.org for more information.

April 14, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

National eHealth Collaborative’s HIE Learning Network Makes Significant Progress in Finding Solutions to Some of the Toughest Issues Faced By Industry Today

Workgroups recommend a formula for HIE sustainability, a framework for measuring interoperability, bundles of high value/low cost HIE services and critical success factors for supporting new payment and delivery models

Washington, DC (November 28, 2012) – The National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) Health Information Exchange (HIE) Learning Network today presented a groundbreaking set of suggested solutions for some of the most challenging HIE issues at the inaugural Technology Crossroads Conference.  These recommendations are the culmination of five months of work by a group of over 450 stakeholders.

“Health information exchange can improve healthcare quality and help to contain costs – something our health system is under enormous pressure to achieve.  Progress is being made to bring successful widespread HIE and all of its benefits to providers and patients nationwide, but challenges remain.  The NeHC HIE Learning Network has worked collaboratively to tackle tough issues and develop solutions that we hope will continue to advance HIE,” said NeHC CEO Kate Berry.

Created as a result of feedback from contributors to NeHC’s HIE Roadmap: The Landscape and a Path Forward, the NeHC HIE Learning Network launched in July 2012 by convening four workgroups: addressing variations in interoperability standards, phasing and prioritizing implementation of HIE services, HIE functions to support new payment and delivery models, and business models for sustainability.  An expert team of co-chairs led each of the workgroups, with overall strategic direction provided by an extraordinary group of national and regional health IT thought leaders.

“It has been eye-opening to serve on the NeHC HIE Learning Network Leadership Council and to see the dialogue and workgroups progress,” said Laura Adams, CEO, Rhode Island Quality Institute and member of the NeHC HIE Learning Network Leadership Council.  “HIE is an important function to enable improvements in healthcare outcomes and this work will help us continue to make progress in the right direction.”

The Business Models for Financial Sustainability workgroup conducted an in-depth study of the financial performance of HIE initiatives to identify and recommend strategies that can lead to financial sustainability.  The workgroup gathered detailed financial information from HIE initiatives serving 38 million people, produced an income statement representing the current financial position of the HIE community and compared a group of HIE initiatives that are currently profitable to those that are currently unprofitable.  The average profitable HIE realized a higher revenue from operations per capita due to a more aggressive pricing strategy, greater market share/penetration, and higher investment in product development.  The workgroup was able to define the magnitude of the “sustainability gap” and develop recommendations for how to address it.

“We read and hear frequently that HIEs lack a sustainable business model and are failing.  The Sustainability workgroup collected and analyzed HIE financial information and can state with confidence that it is premature to conclude that health information exchange is ultimately doomed.  Based on this groundbreaking work, we know the level of revenue and investment at which HIE sustainability should be achievable.  Further, it is clear that some HIEs are progressing toward sustainability,” said Jeff Rose, Venture Partner, ICG Group, Inc. and Co-Chair, NeHC HIE Learning Network workgroup on Business Models for Financial Sustainability.

Achieving interoperability between inter-related software systems in a way that does not require steep technical interface costs is also a major challenge.  The NeHC HIE Learning Network workgroup on Addressing Variations in Implementation of Interoperability Standards reviewed current interoperability efforts, identified gaps, and recommends that the industry come together to develop consensus on a method for defining and measuring interoperability.  The key conclusion was that doing so would ultimately lead to better coordinated efforts and accelerated progress in reaching the ideal state of interoperability.

“With the increased focus on HIE in Meaningful Use Stage 2 and potentially more in Stage 3, and an ever-increasing need to ‘do more with less,’ it is time to determine whether the standards and tools we have developed thus far are actually meeting interoperability objectives.  There is much work being done in this area, but as an industry, we have yet to measure progress.  If we do not start to measure, how will we know that we are truly moving forward in making a difference for our patients and providers?” said Richard Wang, Director, Product Marketing, RelayHealth and Co-Chair, NeHC HIE Learning Network workgroup on Addressing Variations in Implementation of Interoperability Standards.

The NeHC HIE Learning Network workgroup on Best Practices for Prioritizing and Phasing Implementation of HIE Services worked to identify options for how HIEs should prioritize and phase implementation of technology infrastructure and exchange services.  The workgroup recommends that HIE organizations first clearly understand the needs of their community and consider whether a comprehensive set of HIE services is required.  In communities that need a full set of HIE services, the workgroup recommends implementing a series of high value bundles of services built on the lightest possible technology infrastructure.  In communities that may not need comprehensive services, the workgroup recommends possible niche strategies that fulfill a specific need, such as offering HIE services to support meaningful use, respond to a specific government or market requirement such as Social Security disability determinations or Veterans Administration benefits determinations, or support transitions of care.

“Depending on the needs of community stakeholders, HIE initiatives can do a lot or a little.  But regardless of the strategy that best serves the community, offering high value, low cost services is critical to success.  The recommendations of the workgroup on Prioritizing and Phasing Implementation of HIE Services are on point with WHIE’s philosophy to start simple, demonstrate value and then move forward,” said Kim Pemble, Executive Director, Wisconsin HIE (WHIE) and Co-Chair, NeHC HIE Learning Network workgroup on Best Practices for Prioritizing and Phasing Implementation of HIE Services.

Economic pressures, health reform, and a healthcare system that is transitioning from “pay for volume” to “pay for value” are driving the establishment of new payment and delivery models and HIE will be a critical foundation of these new models.  The NeHC HIE Learning Network workgroup on HIE Functions to Support New Payment and Delivery Models recommends that in addition to providing basic, but critical, care coordination services (e.g. results delivery, continuity of care summaries, immunization reporting), HIEs should be prepared to provide analytic tools, including business intelligence and comparative analytics, and to develop the infrastructure necessary to perform quality reporting and referral processing.  The workgroup has also outlined a set of characteristics and actions that are necessary for HIEs seeking to support new models.  Some of these characteristics include a focus on providing timely, usable and valuable data that can drive decision making and behavior change; open, transparent and trustworthy governance that encourages competitors to share data; services that are patient-centered and easy for providers; and serving as a collaborator to bring together broad stakeholder groups involved in exchanging both clinical and non-clinical data to support whole patient care.

“HIE is a critical component to transform healthcare.  New payment and delivery models are still evolving, as is the role of HIEs in supporting them.  That said, the New Models workgroup believes HIEs can be an important enabler of healthcare transformation,” said Jeri Kirschner, Federal Health Liaison, Orion Health and Co-Chair, NeHC HIE Learning Network workgroup on HIE Functions to Support New Payment and Delivery Models.

In addition to the presentation of findings and recommendations at the HIE Learning Network symposium at the Technology Crossroads Conference, each NeHC HIE Learning Network workgroup has prepared a detailed whitepaper documenting their work, including the process, landscape, survey analysis, conclusions, recommendations and case study examples that bring the recommendations to life.  These whitepapers will be released in conjunction with a deep dive webinar on the findings of the workgroups during the week of December 3, 2012.  Additional information on this webinar will be available soon.

Specific information on each workgroup’s project scope, work plan, leadership and stakeholder participation is available on the NeHC website at http://www.nationalehealth.org/hie-learning-network/#workgroups.

About National eHealth Collaborative

National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) is a public-private partnership that accelerates secure and meaningful use of health IT through education and stakeholder engagement to advance health and transform healthcare.  Through its NeHC University online education program, its Consumer Consortium on eHealth patient engagement initiative, and its ongoing study of critical success factors for health information exchange through the HIE Learning Network, NeHC works to educate, connect and encourage healthcare stakeholders in efforts to promote the successful deployment of health IT and health information exchange nationwide.

NeHC is a cooperative agreement partner with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC).

About the NeHC HIE Learning Network

The NeHC Health Information Exchange (HIE) Learning Network is a group convened by National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) to collaboratively develop and recommend solutions for some of the biggest challenges faced by those implementing electronic health information exchange.  Born out of feedback from expert contributors to NeHC’s HIE Roadmap: The Landscape and a Path Forward (released in April 2012), NeHC kicked off the HIE Learning Network in July 2012.

December 20, 2012 I Written By

Jefferson Radiology Deploys Just Associates’ Repair™ for Ongoing MPI Maintenance

Remote management service improves data integrity by speeding identification, elimination of duplicate and overlaid patient records

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Nov. 26, 2012 – Just Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in data integrity and data quality solutions for healthcare organizations, announced today that Jefferson Radiology will deploy its Repair™ remote master patient index (MPI) management service.

Part of the firm’s comprehensive outsourced patient identity management suite, Repair leverages Just Associates’ highly trained staff and proprietary IDMaster® Duplicate Workflow Software for cost-effective ongoing management of the duplicate validation and reconciliation process. Jefferson Radiology will rely on Repair to maintain the integrity of its patient database, which contains approximately 750,000 records as well as an additional 26,000 referring provider entries.

“Data integrity is Just Associate’s core business. As such, we are confident they have the expertise to deploy effective record-matching, duplicate elimination and audit processes to ensure the integrity of our patient database,” said Michael Quinn, CTO, Jefferson Radiology. “Repair also eliminates the need for us to dedicate internal resources, which are better utilized elsewhere, to the complex task of reconciling duplicate patient records.”

Based in East Hartford, Conn., Jefferson Radiology is the largest radiology private practice group in Connecticut and includes 10 private offices and affiliations with seven regional hospitals. Its fellowship-trained physicians are supported by a sophisticated business and technological infrastructure and offer the full spectrum of diagnostic imaging and interventional services. This includes cardiovascular, neuroradiology, oncology, pediatric, orthopedic imaging and women’s services.

Utilizing Repair provides Jefferson Radiology with several significant benefits over internal MPI management, including:

  • An experienced team providing efficient duplicate validation and resolution seven days a week
  • Ongoing monitoring to prevent new duplicates and other issues from negatively impacting data integrity
  • Elimination of backlogs, overflows and staffing challenges, such as turnover and leave time, that impact productivity levels
  • Significant cost savings or cost-neutral expenses by eliminating the need to  recruit, train and retain qualified internal staff
  • A more accurate count of unique patients to accelerate compliance with several key meaningful use criteria

“A duplicate-free patient database is crucial to Jefferson Radiology’s ability to provide quality care,” said Beth Just, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA, Just Associates’ CEO and president. “By leveraging Repair and our data integrity expertise, Jefferson Radiology ensures its clinicians have continuous access to accurate patient information, eliminating unnecessary costs and enhancing patient care and safety.”

About Just Associates, Inc.

A recognized leader in health information data integrity and management, Just Associates, Inc. (www.justassociates.com) is a healthcare data integration consulting firm that delivers superior value to its clients through improved data integrity. Just Associates has the process expertise and systems knowledge to deliver tailored, value-added solutions that improve clients’ financial outcomes and business processes, support delivery of quality patient care, and meet the expectations of diverse stakeholders through improved data integrity.

December 3, 2012 I Written By

Sharecare and the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance Join Forces to Advance Connected Health Innovations

Coinciding with the annual mHealth Summit, Sharecare and the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA) announced today a unique partnership that will help advance awareness for mobile and wireless health technologies in a joint effort to empower consumers with the tools to better manage their health and wellbeing.

Together, Sharecare and the WLSA will collaborate on interactive initiatives and co-develop content and events to elevate the dialogue between, and collaboration among, all players in the healthcare ecosystem. Additionally, the partnership will deepen and broaden their relationships with healthcare technology professionals and connect consumers with key experts to answer their questions about the health innovations of today and in the future.

As Digital Health Leaders Gather at the mHealth Summit, Partnership Advances Awareness of Mobile and Wireless Health Technologies

Atlanta, GA – December 3, 2012 – Aligned in their commitment to improve people’s health locally and globally, Sharecare and the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA) today announced a strategic partnership to collaborate on interactive initiatives and co-develop content and events to elevate the dialogue between, and collaboration among, all players in the healthcare ecosystem. The partnership will focus on advancing understanding, development and adoption of wireless and online health technologies and how they are increasingly supporting positive health and lifestyle change.

“Wireless technologies are fast becoming a defining factor in the delivery and management of personal   healthcare on a local and global level by simplifying the way vital patient information is collected and leveraged,” said Jeff Arnold, chairman and CEO of Sharecare. “By aligning Sharecare’s expert social platform with the WLSA’s thought leadership, membership and community, we can help individuals and medical professionals gain a deeper understanding of how wireless technology will advance medical treatments, procedures and care.”

Through the partnership, Sharecare and the WLSA will deepen and broaden their relationships with healthcare technology professionals and connect consumers with key experts to answer their questions about the health innovations of today and in the future. The key goal of the partnership is to empower patients to better manage their own health and wellbeing by using the best new tech-enabled products, applications and services. Additionally, Sharecare and the WLSA will work together to increase consumer access to digital health technologies and provide educational initiatives on how to manage one’s health responsibly with personal data and direct communications to physicians in real-time via wireless, remote care.

“The WLSA bridges the gap between the technology, healthcare and consumer sectors and between industry, academia, government and foundations. While we connect these global communities to accelerate the development of better solutions for health problems, we must also engage and empower individuals to use them. Success in achieving our mission will come from partnering with like-minded people and organizations who believe that managing one’s health and wellness is our personal responsibility,” said Robert McCray, president and CEO of the WLSA. “A grassroots approach can have a global impact, which is why we are proud to partner with Sharecare – a forward thinking, action-oriented organization that is forging a path in personal health and wellness responsibility.”

As one of the many collaborative projects of the partnership, Sharecare and the WLSA will produce a dynamic and innovative video series featuring interviews with today’s foremost luminaries and leaders driving healthcare innovation over the next decade. “HealthMakers 250: Conversations on the Leading Edge” will launch in early 2013 and consist of a robust online repository of more than 2,000 HealthMakers interviews on Sharecare.com’s existing video channel.

About Sharecare

Sharecare is a health and wellness social media platform that connects people with top-ranking experts, ranging from doctors and specialists to hospitals, healthcare companies and health-conscious consumers. The power behind the site’s unique Q&A format is its collective wisdom, providing health-seeking consumers with answers reflecting multiple expert perspectives – greatly simplifying the search for quality information. Created by Jeff Arnold and Dr. Mehmet Oz in partnership with Harpo Productions, Sony Pictures Television and Discovery Communications, Sharecare allows people to ask, learn and act upon questions of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice – simply said, sharing care. Launched in 2010, Sharecare is based in Atlanta, GA.

About Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA)

The Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA) is a trade association dedicated to improving health globally by accelerating the development of connected health solutions.  Its members and affiliates include global companies and start-ups, foundations and providers, scientists, and policy makers. The WLSA is committed to accelerating the adoption of connected health to create value, improve health and wellness for consumers, caregivers and all sectors of the life sciences and technology ecosystem. WLSA members and affiliates are creating wireless and connected health innovations to simplify the management of chronic conditions, preempt disease and improve lives around the world.

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Dell Helps Centegra Health System Streamline Management of Clinical Imaging Data

Dell announced that Centegra Health System is utilizing Dell’s Unified Clinical Archive(UCA) solution to address its long-term storage needs with an application-neutral, secure, cloud-based archive.

Currently Centegra Health System generates some 233,000 images per year.  With Dell’s flexible UCA solution, Centegra will store images long-term in the Dell Cloud Clinical Archive while maintaining five years’ worth of images on-site for instant access. The cloud archive stores two copies of every image at geographically separate locations, providing an efficient disaster recovery strategy without the need to maintain and manage a second data center.

According to David Tomlinson, Centegra’s CIO, “With the vendor-neutral archive and the ability to support both DICOM and non-DICOM data, Dell has greatly simplified medical image management for Centegra.  We expect to see significant cost savings with Dell’s pay-as-you-go pricing model, as well as better control of our long-term storage infrastructure and data management costs.”

ROUND ROCK, Texas, Nov. 19, 2012 — Centegra Health System has selected Dell’s Unified Clinical Archive (UCA) solution to manage its growing archive of diagnostic images.

Centegra, a two-hospital system with multiple clinics serving northern Illinois, needed to consolidate existing Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) for cardiology and radiology, and was seeking a way to reduce or eliminate the costs associated with migrating images and adding hardware to meet growing storage capacity demands. Centegra also wanted to future-proof its medical image archive and retain the strategic freedom to switch imaging applications as needed. Currently the health system generates some 233,000 images per year.

With Dell’s flexible UCA solution, Centegra will store images long-term in the Dell Cloud Clinical Archive while maintaining five years’ worth of images on-site for instant access. The cloud archive stores two copies of every image at geographically separate locations, providing an efficient disaster recovery strategy without the need to maintain and manage a second data center.

Based on its recent analysis of the enterprise imaging informatics market, Frost & Sullivan recognized Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences with its 2012 North American Company of the Year Award, noting that “Dell’s Unified Clinical Archive has set the standard for cloud-based enterprise-wide management of medical images.”

The Dell Cloud Clinical Archive is now managing more than 78 million clinical studies and more than 5.4 billion diagnostic imaging objects, and supporting more than 800 clinical sites in one of the world’s largest cloud-based, vendor-neutral medical image archives.

Since 2008, Centegra has also been engaged in a full IT outsourcing relationship with Dell Services. Dell Services manages and maintains a sustainable infrastructure IT environment to support Centegra’s growing organization. Through this partnership, Dell Services provides application management, infrastructure management, project management, datacenter hosting and service desk capabilities. Dell’s healthcare consulting team is also providing Centegra with skilled staff, strong best practices, and a proven delivery model for the implementation and optimization of its McKesson Paragon information system.

Quotes

“With the vendor-neutral archive and the ability to support both DICOM and non-DICOM data, Dell has greatly simplified medical image management for Centegra,” said David Tomlinson, Centegra’s chief information officer. “We expect to see significant cost savings with Dell’s pay-as-you-go pricing model, as well as better control of our long-term storage infrastructure and data management costs.”

“The ever-growing volume of clinical imaging procedures is demanding more storage on multiple systems, and hospitals require technology solutions that can do more than simply store electronic patient data,” said James Coffin, Ph.D., vice president and general manager of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences. “Dell is pleased to be working with Centegra to tailor a long-term image archiving solution that meets their unique needs.”

Learn more: Visit www.dell.com/UnifiedClinicalArchive or stop by booth #8908 at RSNA 2012, the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, Nov. 25-30 in Chicago.

About Centegra Health System

Centegra Health System is committed to meeting the healthcare needs of the residents of greater McHenry County and to making services available in multiple and convenient locations, including hospitals in McHenry and Woodstock, Immediate and Physician Care Centers, Centegra Sage Cancer Center, Health Bridge Fitness Centers and more. As the region’s leading healthcare provider, Centegra Health System continues to bring the latest treatments and technology, along with the skills of nearly 4,000 medical professionals, to meet the needs of the growing McHenry County community. For more information on Centegra Health System visit centegra.org, search Centegra Health System on Facebook and Twitter or call 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347).

November 28, 2012 I Written By

PIH Health Hospital Taps Just Associates’ Repair™ for Outsourced MPI Maintenance

Remote monitoring service speeds identification, elimination of duplicate and overlaid patient records for improved data integrity

CENTENNIAL, Colo. – Oct. 16, 2012 – Just Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in data integrity and data quality solutions for healthcare organizations, announced today that it will deploy Repair™ at PIH Health (formerly Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital) to provide the facility with remote master patient index (MPI) management services.

Part of the firm’s comprehensive outsourced patient identity management suite, Repair leverages Just Associates’ highly trained staff and proprietary IDMaster® duplicate workflow software for cost-effective ongoing management of the duplicate validation and reconciliation process. Previously, the firm provided comprehensive MPI clean-up services to PIH Health in preparation for deployment of an enterprise-wide electronic MPI system that receives and links patient information between PIH Health Hospital and approximately 101 primary care and specialty care physicians and 23 advanced practice professionals.

“Just Associates was instrumental in ensuring the integrity of patient data in our MPI and all downstream systems. That experience and their familiarity with PIH Health’s systems made the decision to turn ongoing MPI maintenance over to them an easy one,” said Lois Miller, RHIA, director of health information management, PIH Health. “Not only will Repair ensure rapid elimination of any new duplicates, but its business intelligence tools and the expertise of the Just Associates team will allow us to target resources to ensure any weaknesses in training, workflows and processes are addressed.”

Utilizing Repair provides PIH Health with a number of significant benefits over internal MPI management, including:

  • An experienced team providing efficient duplicate validation and eradication seven days a week
  • Ongoing monitoring to prevent new duplicate records and other issues from negatively impacting data integrity
  • Elimination of backlogs, overflows and staffing challenges, such as turnover and leave time, that impact productivity levels
  • Significant cost savings or cost-neutral expenses by eliminating the need to recruit, train and retain qualified internal staff
  • A more accurate count of unique patients to accelerate compliance with several key meaningful use criteria

“A duplicate-free MPI is crucial for an effective data integrity strategy,” said Beth Just, MBA, RHIA, FAHIMA, Just Associates’ CEO and president. “The power of Repair coupled with our data integrity experts will ensure that PIH Health’s clinicians have access to accurate patient information, which will help drive patient safety and quality care.”

About Just Associates, Inc.

A recognized leader in health information data integrity and management, Just Associates, Inc. (www.justassociates.com) is a healthcare data integration consulting firm that delivers superior value to its clients through improved data integrity. Just Associates has the process expertise and systems knowledge to deliver tailored, value-added solutions that improve clients’ financial outcomes and business processes, support delivery of quality patient care, and meet the expectations of diverse stakeholders through improved data integrity.

About PIH Health

PIH Health is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) regional healthcare delivery network that was founded in 1959 by volunteers who went door to door with coffee cans to raise funds to build a local healthcare facility. Over 50 years later, PIH Health has maintained that same sense of community and family-like culture where patients are the top priority, and employees and volunteers are proud to be affiliated with such an organization. PIH Health serves residents of LA and Orange Counties, as well as the San Gabriel Valley area, offering a wide range of services, including utilization of primary care teams to provide general medicine and preventative care, access to emergency and urgent care, home health services and hospice, and a network of over 180 specialists in accessible and welcoming neighborhood locations. PIH Health is committed to remaining at the forefront of healthcare advances, including technology, equipment and top-notch facilities and amenities to benefit patients and staff alike. Its highly trained and compassionate physicians, nurses, clinicians, staff and volunteers work tirelessly and collaboratively every day to be the communities’ health and wellness partner. Those who are interested in supporting PIH Health in carrying out its charitable purpose are invited to make an in-kind gift by visiting PIHHealth.org and clicking the “Donate Now” button or calling the PIH Health Foundation at 562.698.0811 Ext. 14120.

November 21, 2012 I Written By