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CMS Releases First Ever Hospital Compare Star Ratings

Comparison Ratings that Help Consumers Compare and Choose Among Hospitals

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the first time introduced star ratings on Hospital Compare, the agency’s public information website, to make it easier for consumers to choose a hospital and understand the quality of care they deliver. Today’s announcement builds on a larger effort across HHS to build a health care system that delivers better care, spends health care dollars more wisely, and results in healthier people.

The Hospital Compare star ratings relate to patients’ experience of care at almost 3,500 Medicare-certified acute care hospitals. The ratings are based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) measures that are included in Hospital Compare. HCAHPS has been in use since 2006 to measure patients’ perspectives of hospital care, and includes topics like:

•           How well nurses and doctors communicated with patients

•           How responsive hospital staff were to patient needs

•           How clean and quiet hospital environments were

•           How well patients were prepared for post-hospital settings

“The patient experience Star Ratings will make it easier for consumers to use the information on the Hospital Compare website and spotlight excellence in health care quality,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, Acting Principal Deputy Administrator for CMS and Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality. “These star ratings also encourage hospitals and clinicians to strive to continuously improve the patient experience and quality of care delivered to all patients.”

The Hospital Compare ratings are just one example of how CMS is committed to helping consumers make informed health care decisions. The Nursing Home Compare site already uses star ratings to help consumers compare nursing homes and choose one based on quality. Physician Compare has started to include star ratings in certain situations for physician group practices, and CMS recently added star ratings to the Dialysis Facility Compare site to help to make data on dialysis centers easier to understand and use. Star ratings are planned for Home Health Compare later this year.

These ratings continue to move the health care system toward the Affordable Care Act call for transparent, easily understood and widely available public reporting. They also are a part of the Obama Administration’s Digital Government Strategy by providing content in customer-centric ways.

Consumers will now see 12 HCAHPS Star Ratings on Hospital Compare, one for each of the 11 publicly reported HCAHPS measures, plus a summary star rating that combines or rolls up all the HCAHPS Star Ratings. These star ratings will be updated each quarter.

For more information on today’s announcement, please visit here:

http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-04-16.html

For more information about the HCAHPS Survey please visit the official HCAHPS On-Line Web site, here:  www.HCAHPSonline.org.

April 16, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Logicalis US: Image Management is One of Healthcare CIOs’ Toughest Tasks

Solution Provider IDs Five Core Components in an Effective Enterprise Imaging Strategy

NEW YORK, March 24, 2015 – Gathering, storing, accessing, and analyzing a rapidly expanding volume of patient images is one of the most complex IT tasks in today’s healthcare environments. These images tell a patient’s clinical life story, and with the recent proliferation of affordable digital technologies such as point-of-care ultrasounds, digital cameras and medical/surgical scopes, images in varying formats are being produced in record numbers by a variety of service lines outside of radiology – including surgical services, dermatology and pathology.  According to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), the key to managing these images is to develop a comprehensive enterprise imaging strategy that addresses five core components and to do so, in a standardized, vendor neutral way.

“Developing a thorough enterprise imaging strategy is quickly becoming one of the most important things a hospital CIO can do,” says Kim Garriott, Principal Consultant, Healthcare Strategies, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions.  “Medical imaging is so much more than just capturing and storing X-rays and ultrasounds; it’s a multi-modal discipline that gathers images from a variety of sources and makes them readily available to clinicians through the patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) regardless of the underlying technology used to obtain them. Imaging gives clinicians information they need to enhance patient outcomes, and having that technology available, from a business perspective, can result in increased reimbursements from insurance and Medicare.  Beyond the obvious quality of care issues, hospitals that aren’t taking the steps necessary to move their imaging management practices to the next level risk regulatory infringements and compromised data security making the development of an enterprise imaging strategy one of the most important tasks in healthcare IT.”

Healthcare Imaging’s Five Core Components
Logicalis Healthcare Solutions’ imaging experts have identified five core components that, when properly addressed within the healthcare system’s enterprise imaging strategy, will result in improved coordination of care, increased satisfaction among clinicians, improved patient engagement, streamlined operational costs, and stronger regulatory compliance:

  1. Acquisition: Healthcare IT pros must discover the technologies and clinical workflows used to acquire medical images across as many as 40 service lines before developing their EMR optimization plans.
  2. Storage: Keeping medical images on hand involves more than just storing them; it also requires an in-depth disaster recovery plan and whole-system monitoring to ensure those images are both available and secure 24×7.
  3. Access: Until now, physicians have accessed medical images in a variety of cumbersome ways ranging from portals to unsecure CDs and other portable media delivered directly by the patient into the doctor’s hands.  What doctors want – and are beginning to expect – is to have the patient’s entire medical image library available through their EMR and accessible for viewing regardless of device or source of acquisition.
  4. Sharing: The ultimate goal is for a variety of clinicians to be able to collaborate, securely sharing a patient’s images both within the same healthcare provider and between providers regardless of where those images reside.
  5. Analytics: Clinicians also need to be able to analyze medical images and the associated meta-data in a thoughtful, patient-centric way that leads them to new diagnoses and treatment plans that can benefit both the individual patient as well as a larger patient population as a whole.

Want to Learn More?

About Logicalis
Logicalis is an international IT solutions and managed services provider with a breadth of knowledge and expertise in communications and collaboration, data center and cloud services, and managed services.

Logicalis employs over 3,800 people worldwide, including highly trained service specialists who design, specify, deploy and manage complex IT infrastructures to meet the needs of almost 6,000 corporate and public sector customers.  To achieve this, Logicalis maintains strong partnerships with technology leaders such as Cisco, HP, IBM, CA Technologies, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of $1.6 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific and is one of the leading IT and communications solution integrators specializing in the areas of advanced technologies and services.

The Logicalis Group is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg and London AIM Stock Exchanges, with revenues of approximately $6 billion.

March 24, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

96 Percent Of Healthcare Providers Say Their Infrastructure Is Not Fully Prepared To Leverage Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, Social To Optimize Their EMR

Survey indicates healthcare providers plan to enhance security, improve application performance, and invest in cloud 

Alexandria, Va., October 13, 2014 – MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of health and government IT, today announced the results of its new study, “FutureCare:  Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, and Social Optimize the EMR.”  The report, sponsored by EMC Corporation, explores how FutureCare-enabling technologies (cloud, Big Data, mobile, and social) are driving profound change and how deployment of these tools can help optimize Electronic Medical Records (EMR) for improved patient care coordination.  The report reveals that while many providers have implemented or plan to implement these technologies in the next two years, 96 percent of healthcare organizations say their infrastructure is not fully prepared for the evolution of their EMR today.

Health IT leaders have started to adopt FutureCare-enabling technologies.  Two-thirds of healthcare providers run EMR applications in the cloud, with the majority currently using private cloud models (49 percent), followed by hybrid and public clouds (35 percent).  Healthcare providers are also using Big Data and analytics in conjunction with their EMR with 50 percent saying Big Data is helping them to reduce readmissions and track and evaluate patient outcomes more effectively.  Providers are also using Big Data to conduct cost/benefit analysis to reduce project risk (46 percent), manage clinical and IT staffing levels (38 percent), and prescribe preventative care (24 percent).

Mobile and social technologies are also starting to make an impact on healthcare providers.  Fifty-seven percent of health IT leaders say mobile has become an important tool in viewing real-time patient information as caregivers work toward making more informed patient care decisions.  Additional mobile use cases include clinical notifications (46 percent), ePrescribing (41 percent), and patient communication and reminders (38 percent).  Fifty-four percent of organizations are also using social in conjunction with their EMR to facilitate secure collaboration; 52 percent are communicating with patients and sending medication/follow up reminders; and 31 percent are collecting data from wearable technology.

Cloud, Big Data, mobile, and social technologies impact business and clinical workflows by improving data access, enhancing patient care, and reducing costs.  To reap these benefits, health IT leaders expect 2015 IT spending to increase for all four areas – cloud, Big Data, mobile, and social.  As a result of FutureCare technology investments, U.S. hospitals expect to save billions in annual IT spending.  By 2016, healthcare providers anticipate:

  • Big Data can help them save 21 percent of their annual IT budget, or $7.2B
  • Cloud can help them save 20 percent of their annual IT budget, or $6.9B
  • Mobile can help them save 16 percent of their annual IT budget, or $5.5B
  • Social can help them save 11 percent of their annual IT budget, or $3.8B

Working within their IT budget constraints, healthcare providers will prioritize areas of focus based on hospital and Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) deployment status and goals.

When asked how prepared their infrastructure is for the evolution of the EMR, just four percent of respondents stated that they are already prepared – 96 percent have more work to do.  To optimize the EMR and ensure the infrastructure can support further growth, health IT leaders say they will enhance security systems (47 percent), improve application performance (38 percent), invest in cloud solutions (31 percent), and modernize backup and recovery solutions (31 percent).

“It’s clear that cloud, Big Data, mobile, and social technologies can positively impact patient care delivery, population health, and achieve improved levels of fiscal efficiency,” says David DeAngelis, healthcare general manager, EMC Corporation.  “EMC is committed to enabling healthcare providers to build a trusted hybrid cloud infrastructure as the foundation for FutureCare technologies and improve patient care diagnosis and treatment.”

“Accurate diagnosis is the first step on the journey to a cure,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk.  “The healthcare industry needs to change its IT diet to ensure better healthcare outcomes for America.”

The MeriTalk study is based on an online survey of 151 hospital IT decision makers, conducted in August 2014.   The report has a margin of error of 7.95 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

Download the “FutureCare:  Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, and Social Optimize the EMR” infographic today at:  www.meritalk.com/futurecare.

About MeriTalk

MeriTalk is an online community and go-to resource for government and healthcare IT issues – www.meritalk.com.  MeriTalk hosts a series of Exchange communities in Big Data, cloud computing, data center consolidation, mobility, and cyber security.  In addition, MeriTalk develops research studies, manages events, builds applications, and routinely testifies on the Hill on IT and workforce issues.

October 13, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Fundamental Shift Seen in Healthcare Acquisition and Affiliation Strategies

(June 22, 2014, Las Vegas) Acquisitions and affiliations are now being driven more by strategy than by financial need, according to new research released today at the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA’s) 2014 National Institute in Las Vegas.

While traditional acquisitions—in which a weaker healthcare system is acquired by a stronger one—still occur, the trend is shifting toward mergers and acquisitions that take place between financial equals, according to the report. These are value-focused acquisition and affiliation strategies, geared toward improving the quality or cost-effectiveness of care, as opposed to dominating markets.

Affiliations that improve value for patients and other care purchasers are likely to be well received,” said HFMA president and CEO Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA. “When a merger or acquisition happens for the right reasons, everybody wins.”

Interviews with consultants and provider organizations actively pursuing these strategies revealed several key drivers and defining characteristics of acquisition and affiliation activity in the healthcare provider marketplace today:

  • Key drivers include improving operational efficiencies, creating clinically integrated care delivery networks, and accessing sufficient populations for population health management.
  • Many acquiring organizations are not interested in adding acute inpatient capacity. As a result, the other assets a hospital-based system can bring may be equally or more important than the hospital itself.
  • Financially troubled hospitals are becoming less attractive acquisition targets.
  • For affiliation and acquisition purposes, the distinction between not-for-profit and for-profit status is lessening in importance, although religious affiliations of not-for-profit systems still pose roadblocks for some partnerships.
  • Some organizations are pursuing innovative models that are characterized by the parties involved as combinations rather than mergers.

The research findings are detailed in Acquisition and Affiliation Strategies, which was based on a series of interviews conducted by HFMA in early 2014. Innovative approaches developed by AllSpire Health Partners; Dignity Health; Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Minnesota-based Health Partners and Park Nicollet Health Services are among those profiled in the report. The report also addresses legal and regulatory issues and identifies key considerations for organizations that are considering value-focused strategies for affiliation and acquisition. To download the full report, visit hfma.org/valueproject.

About HFMA  
With more than 40,000 members, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is the nation’s premier membership organization for healthcare finance leaders. HFMA builds and supports coalitions with other healthcare associations and industry groups to achieve consensus on solutions for the challenges the U.S. healthcare system faces today. Working with a broad cross-section of stakeholders, HFMA identifies gaps throughout the healthcare delivery system and bridges them through the establishment and sharing of knowledge and best practices. We help healthcare stakeholders achieve optimal results by creating and providing education, analysis, and practical tools and solutions. Our mission is to lead the financial management of health care. hfma.org

 

June 22, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

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 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

EHRs, ePrescribe, and a Snow Storm

“I DON’T WANT TO THINK WHAT THE ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE.”

BIRMINGHAM, AL — February 14, 2014 — With much of the East Coast dealing with unusually disruptive winter weather, a story out of Alabama shows just how much technology can help patients and medical professionals —  after hundreds of them were caught by surprise when a snow storm hit the South late last month.

“When the snow started falling outside The Kirklin Clinic, we had no idea it would become as bad as it did,” said Wendy Tissier, director of Clinical Informatics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System.

Many UAB staff, Tissier included, were among the thousands of people in Alabama unable to get home the night of the storm.  Staff stayed in the clinic overnight — some for multiple nights. More than 200 patients stayed as well.

Many patients and staff members were on prescriptions.  However, many thought they would be home that night and did not bring enough medication to outlast the storm. The UAB Health System uses Cerner technology in its hospitals and physician practices, which Tissier says made a big difference.

“Thankfully, we had electronic health records and a stocked pharmacy,” she said.  “We quickly looked up medications and dosages for our stranded patients and staff and were able to fill them for many in need.”

With the technology, patients were able to get needed medication in spite of the crippling storm.  “I don’t want to think what the alternative would be,” Tissier said.

Cerner Media Contact: Rebecca Gegg, (816) 982-7366  rebecca.gegg@cerner.com, Twitter: @CernerPhysician

University of Alabama- Birmingham Media Contact: Jim Bakken, (205) 934-3887,

mailto:jimb@uab.edu

 

February 18, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Encore Health Resources CoreANALYTICS Architecture Receives 2014 EHR Certification

HOUSTON – January 17, 2014Encore Health Resources announced today that its CoreANALYTICS® 1.0 architecture – a set of integrated analytical tools that help drive continuous health-system performance improvement – has been listed on the federal government’s Certified Health IT Product List website as compliant with the ONC 2014 Edition criteria as an EHR Module.  The CoreANALYTICS EHR certification formally occurred on November 27, 2013 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®), an ONC-ACB, in accordance with the certification criteria adopted by the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The ONC 2014 Edition criteria support both Stages 1 and 2 meaningful use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

CoreANALYTICS is a set of integrated analytical tools that, coupled with Encore services, helps to drive continuous health-system performance improvement through the application of “smart, skinny data,” or an Encore approach that focuses on capturing just the data required to solve specific problems.

“We believe this certification confirms that Encore’s CoreANALYTICS software tools are poised to assist health systems meet and exceed thresholds for the quality and performance measures required to qualify for U.S. Government EHR Meaningful-Use incentive payments and avoid associated penalties – as well as manage emerging, at-risk government and commercial payment models” said Sherie Giles, Partner for Research and Development, Encore Health Resources. “CoreANALYTICS comprises a uniquely comprehensive solution that transforms data generated by EHRs as well as financial and operational systems, into actionable intelligence for proactive management of patient populations, quality, and costs.  This helps providers navigate through and beyond challenges posed by the healthcare industry’s rapid shift from fee-for-service to fee-for value care-delivery and reimbursement models.”

The ONC HIT Certification Program certifies that EHR Modules meet one or more – but not all – of the 2014 Edition criteria approved by the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) for either eligible provider or hospital technology.

“CCHIT congratulates companies successfully achieving EHR technology certification,” said Alisa Ray, executive director, CCHIT.  “These companies are now able to make their products available to providers wishing to adopt health IT to demonstrate meaningful use and earn federal incentives.”

CoreANALYTICS 1.0’s certification number is CC-2014-100098-1.  ONC HIT certification conferred by CCHIT does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

CoreANALYTICS 1.0’s modular certification qualifies the technology as capable of supporting achievement of meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. The technology is also differentiated by its analytics engine – included in the certification — which enriches information through proven data derivation and measure calculations, successfully demonstrated compliance criteria for Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) and Utilization Measures (Core/Menu Set).

CoreANALYTICS 1.0 met the following certification criteria and clinical quality measures: § 170.314(c)(1), capture and export; 170.314(c)(2), incorporate and calculate; § 170.314(c)(3), electronic submission; § 170.314(g)(2), automated measure calculation; and § 170.314(g)(4) quality management system.  It also met the following clinical quality measures:  CMS55v2, CMS71v3, CMS72v2, CMS73v2, CMS91v3, CMS102v2, CMS104v2, CMS105v2, CMS107v2, CMS108v2, CMS109v2, CMS110v2, CMS111v2, CMS114v2 and CMS190v2.

Additional costs incurred may include:  Software License Agreement; Implementation fees per source system, including install, training, and source system connectivity; any client costs necessary to bring hardware to recommended configuration.

About Encore Health Resources

Encore Health Resources is one of the most successful consulting firms in the health information technology (HIT) industry.  Founded in 2009 and led by Encore CEO Dana Sellers and President Tom Niehaus, the company provides consulting services and solutions that assist its expanding client base with a wide range of HIT strategy, advisory, implementation, process-redesign, and optimization initiatives.  Encore focuses on capturing the right data at the right time, establishing analytical capabilities that meet the evolving information and reporting needs of healthcare providers to document and improve clinical and operational performance. For more information, please visit http://encorehealthresources.com/.

About CCHIT

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501©3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and is authorized by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) as a certification body (ONC-ACB).  CCHIT is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a certification body for the ONC HIT Certification Program for electronic health record (EHR) technology and accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an accredited Testing Laboratory (ATL) to test EHRS.  More Information on CCHIT and its programs is available at http://cchit.org.

January 16, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

CHIME Partners with Next Wave Connect to Foster Online Engagement Among Healthcare Professionals

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—October 10, 2013—The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has signed a letter of intent to partner with Next Wave Connect, Inc. Next Wave CONNECT is the first healthcare industry-specific enterprise social networking application to connect healthcare professionals and peers from across healthcare organizations, providing participants with a place to collaboratively solve the industry’s toughest challenges. The letter of intent was finalized during the CHIME13 Fall CIO Forum in Scottsdale, Ariz.

CONNECT offers a cloud-based collaborative environment that includes professional facilitation and support services for members via a network of Community Managers and Community Advisors.  CONNECT’s Advisory Council Experts (ACEs) are well-known, experienced, and accomplished healthcare professionals who will assist members as they work together to crowd-source solutions and best-practices.

In keeping with CHIME’s goal to advance the role of CIOs and other senior healthcare IT leaders through education, collaboration and advocacy in support of improved health and healthcare in our communities, CONNECT is a social platform that will enable CHIME members, CHIME Foundation representatives, and other relevant stakeholders to engage with each other in meaningful discussions in real-time.

“CHIME is excited to begin working with Next Wave Connect,” says CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO. “With a mutual interest in guiding the healthcare industry forward, CHIME and Next Wave Connect intend to transform the way leaders collaborate and problem-solve together using the tools of social media.”

“CONNECT takes the possibilities of online engagement to a higher level,” says Next Wave Connect CEO Drex DeFord, FCHIME, CHCIO.  “CHIME is precisely the type of forward thinking organization to help bring the health IT industry together to solve real and meaningful issues and challenges.”

About Next Wave Connect

Next Wave Connect is a wholly-owned social networking application company of Next Wave Health, based in Houston, Texas. Next Wave Connect (CONNECT) is the first healthcare industry-specific, smart social networking application, connecting healthcare professionals and peers—of all types, from across healthcare organizations—giving them a place to collaboratively solve the industry’s most challenging problems. For more information, visit www.nextwaveconnect.com.

About CHIME

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 95 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

October 10, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

First 8 Health IT Vendors Receive Certification Under New Program Launched by IHE USA and ICSA Labs

Pilot Program Aimed at Addressing Interoperability of Many Software and IT Systems in Healthcare Industry

CHICAGO, Ill. — A healthcare certification program — launched early this year to help address one of the industry’s most challenging issues, the incompatibility of many software and IT systems – has certified the first group of health IT products.  Under the pilot program, a joint initiative of IHE USA andICSA Labs, the products met rigorous testing requirements for security and interoperability.

The certified products are offered by eight health-IT vendors: Baxter Healthcare Corporation, B. Braun Medical Inc., CareFusion Corporation, Corepoint Health, Greenway Medical Technologies Inc., Hospira Inc., InterSystems Corporation and Masimo Corporation.

Products were tested and certified to meet requirements in the IHE Patient Care Device or IHE IT infrastructure domains (more info here) – which specify capabilities related to medical device interoperability, clinical-document sharing, patient identification, audit logging and security.

The certification by IHE USA, a nonprofit organization formed in 2010 to drive adoption of standards of interoperability in healthcare, also builds on specifications of the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.  As a result, the certification gives purchasers of health IT products independent third-party verification that products are suitable for health data exchange and function as intended.  In this way, healthcare professionals can have timely and secure access to health information, leading to improved overall patient safety.

The certification program was announced at the 2013 IHE North American Connectathon in January. The initiative stemmed from a growing concern among healthcare IT organizations that today’s software, medical devices and IT systems are often incompatible, making the secure sharing of health data a complicated and expensive endeavor.

“Products that are certified for IHE USA interoperability bring tremendous value to the entire healthcare ecosystem,” said Joyce Sensmeier, president of IHE USA and vice president of informatics at HIMSS.  “As an industry, we need to set a high bar if we are to rise to the challenge of transforming our healthcare system.  For the health IT vendors that have achieved IHE USA certification, this means their integration capabilities go beyond minimum federal requirements to deliver more robust, high-quality, standards-based products.”

The IHE USA Certification Program aims to expand beyond traditional electronic health record systems to include domains such as patient-care devices, lab, radiology, cardiology, dentistry and eye care.

“IHE USA Certified products benefit purchasers, system developers and, ultimately, patients,” said Amit Trivedi, healthcare program manager at ICSA Labs. “There is a dizzying array of products and systems to choose from, and IHE USA Certification by ICSA Labs can be a differentiating factor to make a more informed decision when selecting the right health IT product to implement.”

The certification program will expand by utilizing virtual testing events this fall, leading up to the 2014 IHE North American Connectathon to be held Jan. 27-31 in Chicago.

For more information on certification and IHE USA Certified products, visit www.icsalabs.com/ihe.

About IHE USA

IHE USA is a not-for-profit organization established in 2010 that operates as a deployment committee of IHE International®. The mission of IHE USA is to drive adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care through innovation, standards profiling, testing, education and collaboration. IHE USA improves the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery by supporting the deployment of standards-based electronic health record systems, facilitating the exchange of health information among care providers, both within the enterprise and across care settings, and enabling local, regional and nationwide health information networks in the United States, all in a manner consistent with participation in IHE International, Inc. Visit www.iheusa.org for more information.

About ICSA Labs

ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon, offers third-party testing and certification of security and health IT products, as well as network-connected devices, to measure product compliance, reliability and performance for many of the world’s top security vendors.  ICSA Labs is an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited, and a 9001:2008 registered organization. ICSA Labs is an NVLAP Accredited Health IT Testing Lab and ANSI-accredited, ONC-Authorized Certification Body for the Office of the National Coordinator’s Health IT Certification program. Visit www.icsalabs.com for more information.

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with nearly 99 million retail connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 181,900.  For more information, visit about.verizon.com.

July 16, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.

Coder Academy Launched to Train and Place Healthcare Professionals for ICD-10

New Partnership between TrustHCS, Career Step and HIM Connections Educates All Levels

July 1, 2013, Springfield MOTrustHCS announced the launch of a new coder academy designed to prepare coding professionals of various levels and new, novice entrants to the field. The TrustHCS Academy brings the strength of three companies together to meet the nationwide increase in coding demand associated with ICD-10.  TrustHCS coding educators prepare new students and seasoned coding professionals to enter the field and by increasing their knowledge and related ICD-10 skills.  Career Step delivers proven, on-line curriculum, and HIM Connections places trained and certified students—a critical component of the program’s launch.  The announcement was made by Torrey Barnhouse, President, TrustHCS.

“The healthcare industry has endured a persistent 30% deficit in coding staffing,” mentions Barnhouse.    Results of a recent industry study co-sponsored by the AHIMA Foundation and TrustHCS, indicate this gap will continue to increase by an additional 23% as a result of ICD-10 implementation. “Our Academy helps to meet this demand,” he concludes.

Career Step’s proven on-line content is the backbone of the TrustHCS Academy.  The Career Step curriculum boasts an 86% first-attempt pass rate for those sitting for the Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) certification.  This is in comparison to an industry average 67% first time pass rate for the certification.

In addition, HIM Connections helps with student job placement.  The TrustHCS Academy will work closely with HIM Connections to connect academy graduates with industry needs.  HIM Connections contracts with numerous Human Resource and Health Information Management (HIM) Directors across the United States for staffing needs specific to medical record coding and HIM.

The first cohort of TrustHCS Academy students have already signed up to tackle the curriculum.  This group includes the general public with no coding or HIM background and coding professionals with various backgrounds and levels of coding knowledge.

About TrustHCS

TrustHCS is a health information management (HIM) services and revenue cycle consultancy firm for healthcare providers. TrustHCS protects the revenue integrity of health providers through affordable, on-demand remote coding, coding compliance, audit, cancer registry and educational services. TrustHCS is an early adopter of learning partnerships for ICD-10 and offers a unique, cost-effective set of educational modalities for hospitals, clinics and physician practices nationwide, TrustHCS ensures correct clinical coding, delivers effective coding compliance programs, conducts audits and supports cancer registries. For more information, visit www.trusthcs.com.

About Career Step

Career Step, a premier healthcare education company offering career-focused education and corporate training, has trained nearly 90,000 students, has 160 partnerships with colleges and universities nationwide, and provides training for several of the most respected healthcare employers in the nation. Career Step is committed to improving lives and advancing the business goals of its clients and partners through its curriculum and services. The company’s training programs are currently focused in healthcare, administration and technology.  More information can be found at www.careerstep.com or 1-800-246-7836.

About HIM Connections

HIM Connections is a results-driven staffing and recruitment firm specializing in HIM. The company quickly locates qualified, credentialed and experienced HIM professionals to fill hospitals’ HIM staffing needs; short-term or long-term. The company saves time for their customers by presenting fully-vetted candidates, building relationships with passive candidates, and offering flexible service options for staffing and recruitment of HIM professionals. For more information, visit www.himconnections.com.

July 5, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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 and LinkedIn.