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HIMSS Launches Value Score, Healthcare’s First International Quality and Value Measurement for Health IT

CHICAGO, Dec. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Today HIMSS®, a global voice, advisor and thought leader on transformation of health and healthcare through information technology (IT), announced the launch of the HIMSS Value Score, healthcare’s first international quality measurement for the value of health IT. The Value Score builds off of HIMSS’ Value Suite and HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM℠) and will help healthcare providers optimize and use IT to improve clinical and financial outcomes, and drive efficiencies in care.

The Value Score is the next generation of several HIMSS-developed standards and resources that have served as the leading health IT adoption models for providers over the last decade. For example, HIMSS Analytics’ EMRAM has helped hospitals and clinical practices track and benchmark their EMR adoption and utilization goals since 2005. The HIMSS Health IT Value Suite and Value STEPS™, released in 2013, have provided both a framework and vocabulary for providers to articulate their value strategy. Thousands of entries and more than 900 detailed case studies offer strategy, tactics and measures used to document value. C-suite leaders have continually turned to HIMSS for insights and guidance on how to optimally use IT to tackle the challenges of today and prepare for those to come. As the market continues to evolve, the Value Score will give providers a way to look at their entire organization and capture a 360-degree view of how they achieve value beyond the electronic health record.

“With the move towards value-based care, the international healthcare community can now look beyond initial adoption and toward a broader, all-encompassing way to measure the clinical and financial value of health IT,” said Stephen Lieber, President and CEO of HIMSS. “The Value Score is a combination of HIMSS’ core competencies and is the natural next step in the continual evolution towards better care and outcomes for patients and providers.”

HIMSS developed the guidelines for the Value Score and is currently refining the scoring algorithm across provider organizations in the U.S. and abroad, including HIMSS’ Davies Award winners and small critical access hospitals. The results for this initial pilot group will include actionable data sets and scores.

With over 50 years of experience and access to over one million experts worldwide, HIMSS has long been a trusted source and thought leader in developing a framework for health IT success and accreditation along with bringing the market together on common goals. Upon entering the next phase of technology and innovation, healthcare will need a new, truly universal standard and model for value – the Value Score will fill that void.

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a global voice, advisor and thought leader of health transformation through health IT with a unique breadth and depth of expertise and capabilities to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of health, healthcare and care outcomes. HIMSS designs and leverages key data assets, predictive models and tools to advise global leaders, stakeholders and influencers of best practices in health IT, so they have the right information at the point of decision.

Through its health IT network of over 1 million experts, over 200 knowledge exchanges and collaborations, including 60,000-plus members, HIMSS drives innovative, forward thinking around best uses of technology in support of better connected care, improved population health and low cost of care.

HIMSS is a not-for-profit, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois with additional offices in North America, Europe, United Kingdom and Asia.

December 3, 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.

HIMSS Analytics Releases 7th Annual Ambulatory Study

Chicago – October 12, 2015 – HIMSS Analytics released today the 2015 U.S. Ambulatory Practice Management (PM) & Electronic Health Record (EHR) Study.

HIMSS Analytics’ latest Essentials Brief provides a look at adoption trends dating back to 2009 when ambulatory practices began acquiring PM and EHR solutions at an increased rate due to the ARRA/HITECH Act. In addition to year-over-year analysis, the 2015 Ambulatory Study details the current landscape highlighting market share, market opportunity and organizations’ strategic plans.

“After tracking the ambulatory market since 2008, the 2015 ambulatory study shows what we feel is nearly universal adoption across the hospital and free standing ambulatory facility market.  This study not only shows current adoption levels, but suggests a limited replacement market,” says Research Director, Brendan FitzGerald.  “There has been movement within vendor market share, but it varies depending on physician practice size.  ”

Key findings of the Study include:

  • Unique Voice of Customer (VOC) from over 700 respondents
  • Year-over-year trending analysis of solution adoption
  • Over 80 percent of the ambulatory market has adopted EHR technology
  • Roughly 8 percent of study respondents plan to replace their current ambulatory solution

Several topics were explored in this research, including current adoption, plans to invest, market drivers, and strategy around practice management (PM) and electronic health record (EHR) solutions.

HIMSS Analytics Essentials Briefs are complimentary for hospitals and health systems, and are available for a fee to all other interested parties. To request a copy or view the Table of Contents please visit www.himssanalytics.org/research.

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.

October 12, 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.

Peyton Manning Slated as Closing Speaker at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, the NFL’s only five-time Most Valuable Player and a 14-time Pro Bowl selection, will be the closing keynote speaker at HIMSS16. He takes to the podium at 1 p.m. PDT, on Friday, March 4, 2016. The HIMSS Conference & Exhibition ranked as the largest medical conference in North America during the first half of 2015 (Trade Show Executive, September 2015).

Peyton Manning has earned his place among the greatest quarterbacks in league history as the active leader in nearly every statistical passing category.

In each of his three seasons with Denver, Manning has led the Broncos to an AFC West Division title and a first-round playoff bye. During that time, he ranks first in the NFL in regular-season wins, passing touchdowns and completion percentage.

Named 2013 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated, Manning’s season ended with a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII, making him only the third quarterback in NFL history to lead multiple teams to a Super Bowl.

For his actions off the field, Manning was honored as the recipient of the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award and the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2005 as well as the Bart Starr Award in 2015.

Manning serves as a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and The Pat Summit Foundation Advisory Board. He and his wife, Ashley, established the PeyBack Foundation in 1999 to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk.
HIMSS16
In Las Vegas, HIMSS16 includes more than:

  • 43,000 attendees,
  • 300 education programs,
  • 1,300 exhibiting companies, and
  • daily networking opportunities and programs.

Attendees can develop their own personalized agenda using all of these resources, as they continue to transform health through IT. Education sessions and exhibitions on the show floor provide valuable information on topics

“After a week of education, exhibition and networking at HIMSS16, our attendees will look forward to the closing keynote session with Peyton Manning. Known for his achievements in football and humanitarian efforts, Manning brings a valuable perspective that we want to hear,” said Carla Smith, MA, FHIMSS, CNM, executive vice president, HIMSS North America.

October 6, 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.

HIMSS Survey Finds Two-Thirds of Healthcare Organizations Experienced a Significant Security Incident in Recent Past

Healthcare Organizations Implement New Technology and Personnel to Stay Ahead of Cyberattacks

CHICAGO (June 30, 2015– Cybersecurity was identified as an increased business priority over the past year according to 87 percent of respondents in the newly released 2015 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey (http://www.himss.org/2015-cybersecurity-survey). Two-thirds of those surveyed also indicated that their organizations had experienced a significant security incident recently. Released at the Privacy and Security Forum, held in Chicago from June 30-July 1, this research reflects the continued cybersecurity concerns by healthcare providers regarding the protection of their organizations’ data assets.

“The recent breaches in the healthcare industry have been a wake-up call that patient and other data are valuable targets and healthcare organizations need a laser focus on cybersecurity threats,” said Lisa Gallagher, Vice President of Technology Solutions, HIMSS. “Healthcare organizations need to rapidly adjust their strategies to defend against cyber-attacks. This means implementing threat data,incorporating new tools and sophisticated analysis into their security process.”

The survey of 297 healthcare leaders and information security officers across the industry also found that at least half of respondents made improvements to network security, endpoint protection, data loss prevention, disaster recovery and IT continuity. Despite the protective technologies available, most respondents felt only an average level of confidence in their organizations’ ability to protect their IT infrastructure and data.

Key findings from the survey include the following:

  • Respondents use an average of 11 different technologies to secure their environment and more than half of healthcare organizations surveyed hired full time personnel to manage information security
  • 42 percent of respondents indicated that there are too many emerging and new threats to track
  • More than 50 percent of information security threats are identified by internal security teams
  • 59 percent of survey respondents feel the need for cross-sector cyber threat information sharing
  • 62 percent of security incidents have resulted in limited disruption of IT systems with limited impact on clinical care and IT operations
  • 64 percent of respondents believe a lack of appropriate cybersecurity personnel is a barrier to mitigating cybersecurity events
  • 69 percent of respondents indicated that phishing attacks are a motivator for improving the information security environment
  • 80 percent use network monitoring to detect and investigate information security incidents
  • 87 percent of respondents reported using antivirus/malware tools have been implemented to secure their healthcare organizations’ information security environment

In addition to the findings above, survey respondents found the following as the top ways security incidents were identified and the impact they had on their organizations:

To download the complete 2015 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey, please visit: http://www.himss.org/2015-cybersecurity-survey

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 58,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 640 corporations and 400 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.

June 30, 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.

HIMSS Submits Comments on CMS Meaningful Use Stage 3; 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria

Focused on better health through the best use of information technology, HIMSS points to critical components of the draft regulations and suggests improvements to advance the secure and consistent digital exchange of patient health information.      

Arlington, VA (May 29, 2015) – On Thursday, May 28, HIMSS submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services on  the Meaningful Use Stage 3 proposed rule and the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria.  The two letters, sent to Acting CMS Administrator, Andrew Slavitt, and National Coordinator for Health IT, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, respectively, strongly urge CMS and ONC to:

  • Decrease the prescriptive nature of the EHR Incentive program,
  • Increase focus on the substantial capabilities established earlier in the program, and
  • Reduce complexity in the 2015 Certification Criteria.

HIMSS voiced its continued support for the Meaningful Use Program as a tool to positively transform health and healthcare in the United States. Identifying meaningful use as a “critical tool for enabling healthcare transformation,” the response cites HIMSS Analytics data – collected annually on all non-federal US hospitals, and more than 30,000 tethered US ambulatory facilities – that “70% of hospitals have made a positive progression in the advancement of their EHR capabilities over the last five years, with over 60% of ambulatory facilities showing similar progress in the last three years.”

HIMSS reiterated its long-standing commitment to interoperability:  “HIMSS is committed to a culture in which IT is fundamental to transforming healthcare; improving quality of care, enhancing the patient experience, containing cost, improving access to care, and optimizing effectiveness of public payment.”

The full comments on HIMSS response to the CMS Meaningful Use Stage 3include:

  • HIMSS remains strongly committed to making the Electronic Health Record Incentive program less prescriptive and more focused on encouraging and assisting providers to take advantage of the substantial capabilities established in Meaningful Use Stages 1 and 2, including interoperability.
  • HIMSS applauds a proposal in the NPRM for a single definition of Meaningful Use starting in calendar year 2018, no matter when a provider began to participate in the EHR Incentive Program.
  • HIMSS supports the work being done by CMS to align the EHR Incentive Program with other CMS quality reporting programs that also use certified health IT.  HIMSS believes such efforts will lessen the burden on providers.
  • HIMSS is committed to ensuring patient safety remains paramount to the development, implementation, and wide-spread use of health IT systems.
  • HIMSS reiterates its long-standing assertion that 18 months is the minimum length of time needed between the final rules on Meaningful Use, certification, and standards, and the start of any stage of Meaningful Use.  An 18-month timeline allows stakeholders to help educate and prepare providers on the upcoming new stage.  The current timeline for transitioning to Meaningful Use, Stage 3 in 2017 and 2018 does not include 18 months.

The full HIMSS comments  on the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria include:

  • ONC must address the overall complexity of the 2015 Edition Certification Rule by reducing the total number of criterion, as well as the standards and functionalities included.
  • HIMSS acknowledges that ONC and CMS attempted to reduce the complexity of the requirements for the 2015 edition certification criteria and Meaningful Use Stage 3 in their respective NPRMs for this cycle.  However, given all the new requirements included in this NPRM, HIMSS urges ONC to reconsider the requirements needed for the 2015 edition certification criteria and consider approaches to minimize and simplify the options presented.
  • HIMSS remains cautiously supportive of ONC’s efforts to establish innovative certification and testing programs that utilize health IT.  Certification in support of a Learning Health System must be specific, carefully planned, focused on the areas that have the greatest impact on interoperability, and closely aligned with programmatic goals.
  • ONC or another agency should establish the programmatic goals before commencing with any certification program associated with the effort.  It is important that certification criteria be closely evaluated and aligned with the functionalities necessary to meet the goals of the program in question as the move continues beyond EHR-specific certification.
  • HIMSS supports greater harmonization and alignment across the programs covered by certification.
  • HIMSS supports the idea of including the level of adoption and maturity among standards as an important consideration when evaluating inclusions for certification programs.

HIMSS will continue to monitor the progress on CMS Meaningful Use Stage 3 program and the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria. Look for updated information at the Policy Center on the HIMSS website. 

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 58,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 640 corporations and 400 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.

May 29, 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.

Ambir Technology Introduces Innovative Solutions for Capturing and Harnessing Patient Information at HIMSS15 Annual Conference & Exhibition

Chicago, April 9, 2015—Ambir Technology, an industry leader in digital capture and document management solutions, introduces new solutions at HIMSS15 Annual Conference & Exhibition April 12-April 16 in Chicago for capturing, transferring and managing patient information. Visitors to the Ambir Technology booth (number 2819) will see demonstrations on how the new solutions can impact operational efficiency and productivity.

“Helping healthcare providers efficiently capture and manage patient information is a cornerstone of Ambir Technology’s product development,” said Mike O’Leary, CEO of Ambir Technology. “Today, our signature pads, ID card scanners and document scanners assist many practices in capturing information. At HIMSS 2015, we are introducing new, innovative solutions to push the envelope in regard to patient information capture, transfer and management, boosting office operational efficiency and productivity in meeting Meaningful Use Requirements.”

Ambir nForm  Ambir nForm solution enables totally paperless, convenient and secure capture and transfer of forms and signatures through the Ambir 410x wired tablet and iOS or Android tablets.

The groundbreaking tablet-based solution is available immediately as a yearly subscription. In addition, Ambir introduces Ambir nForm 410x. This dedicated tablet features a larger screen area than signature pads currently on the market.

nForm is easy to use and practices can use existing forms—no requirement to purchase special or customized forms.

Users simply send forms and documents to the Ambir 410x, iOS or Android tablet using the Ambir Document Printer print driver or through nForm Connect (to which users can upload and save their own forms), input information and upload the forms using their scanning application or as a PDF file to their information management solution. There is zero integration needed to use nForm with commercially available EHR or document management applications as it employs nForm by Ambir Technology TWAIN driver known for its plug-and-play ability.

New Generation Sheet-Fed Document and Card Scanners Ambir’s new generation scanners open new doors in operational ease, maintenance, and provide real time solutions for capturing and organizing information by doing more at capture—in office and mobile applications.

The new scanners consist of four models:

  • Ambir ImageScan Pro 490 ix Scanner is a duplex document and card scanner. It scans both sides of a document in about 10 seconds.
  • Ambir ImageScan Pro 687ix Scanner is a duplex card scanner for scanning two-sided identification cards, scanning both sides of a card in approximately 3 seconds.
  • Ambir ImageScan Pro 667ix Scanner is a simplex card scanner for scanning one side of an identification card in about 3 seconds.
  • Ambir TravelScan Pro 600ix Scanner is a simplex document and card scanner designed for mobility and speed. It scans one side of a document in approximately 10 seconds.

The scanners come with AmbirScan Lite Capture Software, elevating document and ID card scanning to a true information capture and management solution by enabling users to save scanned information as PDF, TIF and JPEG files, automatically saving the files to any folder on a computer and/or popular cloud services including Box, DropBox, Evernote and Google Drive.

Having one button operation, the scanners are easy to use.

All are USB port-powered, eliminating the need to find an electrical outlet or carry an AC adapter and enhancing the ability to work wherever and anywhere. They are Energy Star compliant.

Featuring lightweight, compact designs, the scanners are ruggedly constructed for continuous use. In addition, all models have a Kensington Lock Slot to keep them securely on desks or mobile carts. The scanners feature flip-open tops to give unrivaled access for thorough and quick cleaning of the transport area.

All are factory calibrated, requiring no calibration upon installation providing high-quality image quality right out of the box —simply plug in the scanner, install the drivers and start scanning.

The scanners have industry standard TWAIN drivers to provide quick installation and compatibility with thousands of commercially available electronic healthcare record solutions.

For information about Ambir Technology products and solutions, access www.ambir.com.          

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About Ambir Technology

Ambir Technology, Inc. is an industry leader in digital capture and document management solutions. Combining professional-grade ID card and document scanners, unique digital imaging software and expert-level customer service, Ambir provides their customers with comprehensive, enterprise-level business solutions. Specializing in the healthcare, legal and financial sectors, Ambir helps organizations reduce costs, increase productivity and strengthen data security. For more information, visit www.ambir.com.

April 9, 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.

Healthcare IT Leaders Continue to Expect Budget Increases in 2015

TEKsystems’ Review of Three Year Trends Illustrates Rolling, But Positive Budget Expectations; Operational Issues Cited as Biggest Challenges to Success

Hanover, Md. – April 6, 2015 – Leading into HIMSS15, TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today highlighted results that explore the current state of IT operations at healthcare organizations. The findings identify key objectives and challenges for healthcare IT teams, the skills most needed to meet those demands, as well as expectations for spending and confidence. The data is gleaned from information captured within TEKsystems’ 2013–2015 annual IT forecasts as reported by IT leaders (CIOs, IT VPs, IT directors, IT hiring managers) at healthcare organizations.

Key findings from the data include:

Expectations for IT Budget Growth Decrease in 2015; Yet Confidence Continues to Increase

  • Fifty-one percent of respondents expect their organization’s healthcare IT budget to increase in 2015, down from 68 percent that said the same entering 2014, and returning to levels seen entering 2013 (52 percent). Thirty-eight percent expect IT budgets to stay the same, a significant increase over 2014 (23 percent) and similar to levels of 2013 (41 percent).
  • Sixty-four percent are confident in their IT department’s ability to satisfy business demands in 2015, an increase over the 59 and 58 percent that felt confident heading into 2014 and 2013, respectively. Ten percent indicated they are unconfident in 2015, the same percentage as 2014 and down from 2013 (13 percent).
  • TEKsystems’ Take: Expectations for budget increases began to normalize last year. Following the ICD-10 extension by Congress, IT leaders felt less pressure to seek additional funding to meet those deadlines. Confidence has continued to grow even as budget increases have leveled out, now that organizations have core personnel in place or have developed other plans, such as outsourcing, to address workload concerns.

IT Support Aligns with Business Challenges; Focus Is on Improving Operations and Efficiency

  • From 2014 to 2015, operational issues (81 percent) moved up from No. 2 to No. 1 as the biggest organizational challenge. Risk management (79 percent) dropped from No. 1 to No. 2. These were followed by revenue (67 percent) in third, workforce management (59 percent) in fourth and customer attraction, retention and satisfaction (22 percent) in fifth, maintaining their previous rankings.
  • Over the last three years, operationally focused areas (e.g., improving efficiency, reducing costs, improving existing IT applications and infrastructure, and managing risk) have all been cited within the top five business objectives that most need IT support.
  • In 2015, improving efficiency (49 percent) was cited as the top objective followed by reducing costs (42 percent), improving existing IT applications and infrastructure (37 percent), managing risk (34 percent) and delivering operational results (29 percent).
  • TEKsystems’ Take: Now that healthcare organizations have identified the biggest challenges facing them in 2015, they are working to align IT support priorities to address those challenges.They have laid the foundations for their large IT initiatives and must shift focus to ensure that they are implementing new projects and establishing best practices in a way that allows them to make the most of existing investments. Increasing efficiency and making the most of these implementations will better position them to take on other projects in the future.

Most Impactful Technology Trends Include Business Intelligence (BI) / Big Data, Security, Mobility, Consumerization and Cloud; Expected Spending Increases Mirror These Areas

  • Over the last two years, healthcare IT leaders listed BI / Big Data, security, mobility and consumerization of IT / BYOD as the top four trends impacting their organizations.
  • From 2014 to 2015, BI / Big Data (61 percent) moved up from No. 4 to No. 1, security (54 percent) moved from No. 3 to No. 2, while mobility (42 percent) dropped from No. 1 to No. 3 and consumerization of IT / BYOD (38 percent) dropped from No. 2 to No. 4. Cloud computing (31 percent) increased from No. 6 to No. 5.
  • The majority of healthcare IT leaders expect to see spending increases in security (70 percent), mobility (61 percent), BI / Big Data (60 percent) and cloud (55 percent).
  • TEKsystems’ Take:These expectations for spending increases make sense considering that security, mobility, BI / Big Data and cloud are all cited as the most impactful areas and tend to have some interdependencies. These areas play a large part in how healthcare organizations can increase operational efficiency and risk management.

Hands-on Roles Still Most Critical For Success, Also Most Difficult to Fill with Exceptional Talent

  • “Doers” continue to be cited as the most critical positions for an organization to achieve success. In 2014 and 2015, project managers, help desk / technical support and programmers and developers were cited within the top four roles most critical to enabling success.
  • From 2014 to 2015, project managers (51 percent) moved up from No. 2 to No. 1 and help desk / technical support (47 percent) moved from No. 3 to No. 2, while programmers and developers (45 percent) dropped from No. 1 to No. 3. IT managers (40 percent)—the only “leader” position in the top five—moved from No. 7 to No. 4 and software engineers (37 percent) moved from No. 6 to No. 5.
  • In terms of the most difficult roles to fill, project managers rank as the No. 1, climbing two spots up from No. 3 in 2014. Security (No. 2), programmers and developers (No. 3), software engineers (No. 4) and architects (No. 5) also ranked within the top five most difficult positions to fill. BI (ranked No. 11 in 2013) ranks as the sixth most difficult position to fill, down from No. 5 in 2014.
  • More than half of healthcare IT leaders expect salary increases for project managers (55 percent), software engineers (53 percent) and programmers and developers (52 percent). Approximately one-third (34 percent) expect increased salaries for help desk / technical support.
  • TEKsystems’ Take: It’s not surprising that project managers and programmers and developers remain in the top four most difficult positions to fill, as these staff members are in the trenches ensuring that organizations continue to make the most of their IT investments to increase ease of use and efficiency. This value translates into greater expectations for salary increases as organizations seek to retain their developed talent.

Vast Majority Expect Staff Salaries to Rise; More Than Two out of Five Expect Full-time and Contingent Hiring Increases

  • Seventy-three percent of healthcare IT leaders expect overall IT salaries to increase in 2015, up from 69 percent who said the same in 2014. The remaining 27 percent expect salaries to stay the same, with no respondents expecting salary decreases.
  • Forty-three percent of healthcare IT leaders expect hiring for full-time IT staff to increase (a decrease from 44 and 50 percent in 2014 and 2013, respectively), while 52 percent expect hiring to remain the same. Just 5 percent expect to see a decrease.
  • Forty-two percent of healthcare IT leaders expect hiring for contingent IT staff to increase (a drop from 48 and 52 percent in 2014 and 2013, respectively), while 52 percent expect hiring to remain the same. Only 6 percent expect to see a decrease.
  • TEKsystems’ Take: As more work is done to make the most of investments in BI / Big Data, security, mobility and consumerization of IT / BYOD, organizations will need to at least maintain their full-time and contingent workforces in order to cultivate efficiency and make progress. While retaining top talent by increasing salaries will be a key tactic, new staff will need to be brought on as projects expand.

“Last year, we saw an early surge in the numbers of healthcare IT leaders expecting to see budget increases due to the overarching mandate to meet the former ICD-10 implementation deadline and to get new healthcare technology initiatives off the ground,” said Ryan Skains, executive director of TEKsystems Healthcare Services. “We are seeing those numbers level out as organizations not only make headway on the projects they have begun, but as they increasingly become confident in their staff’s expanding expertise and ability to meet major deadlines. Moving forward, the focus will be on refining systems and processes to increase efficiency and growth opportunity.”

TEKsystems’ Ryan Skains is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey or to schedule an interview, please contact Rick McLaughlin at TEKsystems@daviesmurphy.com.

About TEKsystems®

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy over 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals—while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

April 6, 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.

High Hopes, Unfulfilled Promise: Healthcare Organizations Looking Beyond Portals for True Patient Engagement, HIMSS Analytics Survey Finds

Not Content with ‘Checking the Box’ for Meaningful Use, Respondents Seek Engagement Strategies to Enhance Health of the Community, Build Patient Loyalty

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 6, 2015 (HIMSS Booth 961) — Healthcare organizations are embracing patient engagement through strategies and investments centered on patient portals, according to a new study on the state of patient engagement by HIMMS Analytics, a global research and analytics firm. However, healthcare leaders question whether their current trajectory will lead to the increased patient involvement required to improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs, the survey found.

Patient engagement is dominating healthcare headlines. To get beyond the buzz, HIMSS Analytics conducted a study on the state of patient engagement commitment and investment at healthcare organizations across the U.S. The research consisted of an online quantitative survey of executives from 114 healthcare organizations and a qualitative focus group that involved nine of these leaders.

An executive summary of the study will be available at HIMSS 2015, Chicago, April 13-15, at InterSystems Booth 961.

HIMSS Analytics defines patient engagement as “an organization’s strategy to get patients involved in actively and knowledgeably managing their own health and wellness and that of family members and others for whom they have responsibility. This includes reviewing and managing care records, learning about conditions, adopting healthy behaviors, making informed healthcare purchases, and interacting with care providers as a partner.”

The study, sponsored by InterSystems, found that the top drivers for patient engagement are to enhance and improve the health of the community (77 percent), the quest to build brand loyalty for patients (77 percent), and meeting meaningful use requirements (60 percent). However, these strategies might not be “fully baked,” according to the focus group participants. Indeed, some participants questioned their patient engagement plans.

“We don’t really have a true patient engagement strategy, just a portal project,” said one executive. Another chimed in to say, “We say we have a patient engagement strategy, but it is really just part of other strategies – wellness, health improvement, population health.”

Such comments are a cause for concern, according to Joe DeSantis, Vice President of HealthShare Platforms, InterSystems, who pointed out that while leaders say they have a strategy, they may be moving forward with only a tactical plan.

“Even if organizations have a vision for real patient engagement, many are consumed with checking the boxes for meaningful use,” DeSantis said. “Unfortunately, a patient portal based on a single EHR is not enough to move patient engagement forward. Engagement needs to span the entire care continuum. The short-term focus on meaningful use has often been at the expense of long-term strategic goals.”

Who Owns Patient Engagement?

Patient engagement initiatives often lack definitive leadership. According to the survey, multi-departmental/multi-role committees are the most common owners of an organization’s patient engagement strategy (26 percent). Other owners of the strategy include the chief marketing officers (15 percent), followed by chief information officers (10 percent) and CEOs (8 percent).

These strategy owners might not have the financial wherewithal to effectively move initiatives forward. The roadblock: Spending on patient engagement is spread across organizations – with information technology typically buying the tools, ambulatory departments paying for the costs for program administration, and marketing shelling out the money for promotions, positioning patient engagement as a brand loyalty strategy.

“I am coming to the conclusion that maybe we don’t actually have an organizational strategy around patient engagement if we have not set up a budget that owns all aspects of it,” said one of the surveyed executives.

Patient Engagement Tools

Even in the absence of a cohesive financial strategy, information technology departments are turning to patient portals as their go-to tool for patient engagement. Their reasons for adopting portals are varied: 71 percent of respondents who have an engagement strategy are using portal technology to meet current minimum meaningful use requirements for functionality and data sharing from a single source; 54 percent are using portals that offer a combination of patient services, technology and content; and 51 percent are using portals as a configurable, interoperable information exchange platform with data sharing from multiple sources. Overall, about two-thirds of these respondents are using portals provided by their electronic health record (EHR) vendors.

Not surprisingly, focus group participants expressed concerns about their portal solutions. “Most portals don’t really align well with the definition of patient engagement,” one leader said. “They are great for convenience, but they don’t actually help people manage chronic diseases, improve their health, or give them resources they need to move toward healthier behaviors. Most of the tools out there just don’t deliver on that promise.”

To fully engage patients, leaders are looking for next-generation portals to offer the functionality that will enable patients to become partners in their own care. More specifically, they are seeking functionality such as e-visits or e-consultations (80 percent), interoperability across multiple providers (70 percent), health evaluation and coaching (70 percent), and tele-visits (50 percent).

“Game-changing patient engagement will give patients timely, comprehensive information enabling them to partner with their care providers – and to truly manage their health,” DeSantis concluded.

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.

About InterSystems
InterSystems develops advanced software technologies that enable breakthroughs. With a passion for excellence and a focus on client success, InterSystems provides data management, strategic interoperability, and analytics platforms used in healthcare, financial services, government, and dozens of other industries. InterSystems also offers unified healthcare applications, based on its core technologies, that deliver on the promise of connected healthcare. Founded in 1978, InterSystems is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), with offices worldwide. Its products are used daily by millions of people in more than 100 countries.  Visit InterSystems.com.

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.

HIMSS Analytics Honors Sutter Health with Stage 7 Award and Associated Clinics with Stage 7 Ambulatory Awards

CHICAGO (March 3, 2015) – HIMSS Analytics awarded Sutter Health’s Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, Calif. with a  Stage 7 Award, and its Palo Alto Medical Foundation clinics throughout the Bay Area with Stage 7 Ambulatory Awards.

Stage 7 Award: HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. There are eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications. The final stage, Stage 7, represents an advanced patient record environment. The validation process to confirm a hospital has reached Stage 7 includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and former or current chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments.

Stage 7 Ambulatory Award: Developed in 2011, the EMR Ambulatory Adoption Model provides a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for ambulatory facilities owned by hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database.  These facilities include physician practices, clinics, outpatient centers and specialty clinics. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), ambulatory facilities can review the implementation and use of IT applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

During the fourth quarter of 2014, only 3.6 percent of the more than 5,400 U.S. hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Award, and only 6.21  percent of the more than 30,000 ambulatory clinics in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Ambulatory Award.

“This Stage 7 recognition from HIMSS Analytics serves as testament to the hard work and commitment of our dedicated physicians, nurses, clinicians, allied health professionals and information services staff.  It is both acknowledgement and validation of our continuing commitment to provide the safest, highest quality care and comfort to those we serve,” said Jon Manis, senior vice president and chief information officer, Sutter Health.

Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest-quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient-safety technology.

“Sutter Health’s EHR implementation is a star example for California and the west coast. The health care network expertly involves its medical staff to drive clinical transformation across its hospitals and care centers—all enabled by a comprehensive EHR system. Its care centers consistently use the EHR technology, showing strong system governance and well-delivered education,” said John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics.

Sutter Health will be recognized at the 2015 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition on April 12-16, 2015, in Chicago, Ill.

Visit the HIMSS Analytics web site for more information on the Stage 7 award and Stage 7 Ambulatory Award.

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.

March 3, 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.

Healthcare Leaders Praise Reintroduction of the Flex-IT Act

Strong, Bipartisan Support for Increasing Meaningful Use Flexibility

ANN ARBOR, MI, January 12, 2015 – Healthcare leaders praised the reintroduction of the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill granting the nation’s healthcare providers additional flexibility in meeting Meaningful Use (MU) requirements through a shortened reporting period in 2015. Swift action by Congress is needed to help providers already in the 2015 reporting year for Meaningful Use, several healthcare organizations said today.

Officials from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), American Hospital Association (AHA), American Medical Association (AMA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) applaud the leadership shown by bill sponsor Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) and a bipartisan list of original cosponsors, including Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), Ron Kind (D-WI-03), Glenn Thompson (R-PA-05) and David Scott (D-GA-13).

“We commend the leadership demonstrated by a bipartisan group of House Members on this critically important issue,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO. “With such across-the-isle support, Congress has underscored how fundamental this program is to the future of healthcare in the U.S.

“While CHIME remains committed to the success of Meaningful Use, and to making sure improved patient care is the program’s lasting legacy, we believe significant changes are needed to address increased dissatisfaction with EHRs and growing disenchantment with the program,” Branzell added. “This bill, if passed, would begin that much-needed course correction.”

The Flex-IT Act was introduced in September 2014, following a national joint call to action last year. The new Flex-IT Act of 2015 would adjust the Meaningful Use reporting timeline, giving providers the option to choose any three-month quarter for EHR reporting in 2015.

“America’s hospitals are strongly committed to the adoption of EHRs, because of their potential to increase the quality of care and reduce costs for patients,” said Rick Pollack, Executive Vice President of the American Hospital Association. “The health care field is faced with many major challenges and changes, all hitting at the same time. We need to be practical and responsible in terms of implementation timetables. That’s why hospitals need flexibility. This legislation is a positive first step toward ensuring the program is a success, and America’s hospitals look forward to working to achieve its passage.”

“Our nation needs a more efficient, cost-effective and patient-centered healthcare system. HIMSS applauds the efforts taken by these Congressional leaders and fully supports the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act of 2015 as essential to giving providers and hospitals a realistic chance to meet the 2015 Meaningful Use requirements,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS North America

According to the latest data available from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), more than one-third of hospitals expected to demonstrate Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2014 had to file for a hardship exception or meet Stage 1 requirements again. In 2015, CMS data indicate more than 3,900 hospitals and 260,000 physicians will have to meet Stage 2 requirements. However, CHIME estimates that more than half of these EHs will likely seek further hardship exceptions or face penalties in 2015. And with CMS estimating that more than 257,000 EPs will receive penalties in 2015, the likelihood of robust physician participation is doubtful.

“We greatly appreciate the willingness of this bipartisan group of legislators to address this critical issue,” stated Anders Gilberg, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, for the Medical Group Management Association. “Stage 2 of Meaningful Use has proven extremely challenging and, absent this reporting flexibility, a significant number of physicians will be unable to participate in the program and unfairly penalized. Passage of the Flex-IT Act is a critical step to allow physician practices to continue down the pathway of effective adoption and use of EHR technology,” added Gilberg.

“We are pleased with renewed efforts to provide greater flexibility in the Meaningful Use program and hope that this is the first of several steps to make the program work better for physicians and other providers so that the full potential of these technologies to improve care and value can be realized,” said American Medical Association President-Elect Steven J. Stack, MD.

In October 2014, the AMA unveiled their Meaningful Use blueprint, outlining several recommendations meant to improve participation in the EHR Incentive program. Among the high-level recommendations, AMA officials urged that policymakers adopt a more flexible approach for meeting Meaningful Use to allow more physicians to successfully participate; better aligning quality measure requirements including reducing the reporting burden on physicians and helping relieve them from overlapping penalties; and restructure EHR certification to focus on key areas like interoperability.

“As some of the earliest adopters of certified electronic health records technology, family physicians have demonstrated their belief that interoperable EHR – like primary care itself – is an essential component of a higher-quality, lower-cost health system,” said Robert Wergin, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “However, as family medicine continues to do its part in building the EHR infrastructure – a massive undertaking – CMS should not set benchmarks so high that it discourages participation in the program. We applaud Reps. Ellmers and Kind for introducing the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting Act, which will allow eligible physicians to achieve Meaningful Use of EHR by reporting for a three-month period in 2015. The American Academy of Family Physicians believes this flexibility will help physicians stay on track in building an EHR system that works.”

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 140 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.chimecentral.org.

January 12, 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.