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For HIE Staffing, Connectivity, Data Integrity and Data Integration Positions Difficult to Fill

CHICAGO (November 4, 2014) – As health information organizations (HIOs) continue to mature and evolve, current staffing requirements must be studied to recruit and maintain professional talent.

This is the finding of a new study jointly published by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) and HIMSS, “Trends in HIE Organizational Staffing: A Deeper Look at Staffing Challenges.”  Survey participants offered insight into hiring practices for key health IT and health information management (HIM) roles within health information organizations (HIOs).

“As healthcare organizations become increasingly interconnected through health information exchange, it’s important for the industry to understand how to operate health information exchanges for best results,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, MBA, RHIA, CAE, FACHE, FAHIMA. “This survey will provide valuable insights for those who work in organizations that benefit from sharing health information.”

The 2014 survey focused on three types of positions–related to issues of connectivity, data integrity, and data integration–that were identified as difficult positions to fill.  Key findings from the survey include:

•Growing diversity and range of participants such as payers, behavioral health centers, nursing homes and accountable care organizations
•A shift away from HIOs existing as public entities and toward public/private organizations
•The three focus areas of connectivity, data integrity and data integration can refer to a wide range of job titles and responsibilities across HIO operations
• Some job titles are fluid across two roles such as Database Administrator, Interface Engineer and Project or Implementation Manager
• Education requirements for these roles were generally at the bachelor’s or master’s degree levels, with preference for Computer Science, Health IT, Telecommunications or HIPAA/Security concentrations
• Compensation for the three roles targeted in the 2014 survey was slightly higher than the salary ranges identified for all IT roles in the 2012 survey
• The top ongoing challenges in staffing include cost of living and location of HIO; industry competition for qualified candidates; competitive salary and benefits; and finding individuals with appropriate skill sets.  The HIE organization positions reported to have the highest rates of turnover were Data Administrator, HIE Implementation Manager, HIE Project Manager and Physician Liaison
• Respondents continue to use a combination of staffing approaches ranging from full-time and part-time employees to consultants and contractors
• Referrals are still the primary method for identifying HIE technology candidates, though additional sources such as external searches, recruiting firms and industry conferences or events were referenced by several participants
 
“With the continuous demand for qualified employees in healthcare settings, this updated research can help guide hiring managers and educate potential candidates interested in careers focused on connectivity, data integrity and data integration in an HIE setting,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS North America.  “The research also may lead professionals in healthcare or other fields to consider a career path in health IT based on current needs in the marketplace.”
 

Access the 2014 report through HIMSS and AHIMA.  For additional discussion on this topic, join the conversation in the HIMSS LinkedIn group and the AHIMA LinkedIn group.

The report is a follow-up to a 2012 survey also jointly published by AHIMA and HIMSS, “Trends in HIE Organizational Staffing: AHIMA/HIMSS Staffing Model Environmental Scan.”

Learn more about the research on the HIMSS Blog with a post from HIMSS and AHIMA.

About AHIMA

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) represents more than 71,000 educated health information management and health informatics professionals in the United States and around the world. AHIMA is committed to promoting and advocating for high quality research, best practices and effective standards in health information and to actively contributing to the development and advancement of health information professionals worldwide. AHIMA’s enduring goal is quality healthcare through quality information.www.ahima.org

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology. HIMSS is a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause. HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

November 4, 2014 I Written By

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

Disappointing Meaningful Use Data Prompts Industry Leaders to Urge HHS to Take Immediate Action

WASHINGTON, DC November 4, 2014 –  Healthcare leaders from across the nation today renewed calls for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to shorten the Meaningful Use (MU) reporting period in 2015 and provide more program flexibility, citing concerns with lower-than-expected Medicare numbers and continued reports detailing nationwide difficulty in meeting Federal guidelines for electronic health records (EHR) requirements.

According to newly released CMS numbers, less than 17 percent of the nation’s hospitals have demonstrated Stage 2 capabilities. Further, less than 38 percent of eligible hospitals (EHs) and critical access hospitals (CAHs) have met either Stage of Meaningful Use in 2014, highlighting the difficulty of program requirements and foretelling continued struggles in 2015.  And while eligible professionals (EPs) have until the end of February to report their progress, only 2 percent have demonstrated Stage 2 capabilities thus far.

Officials from the American Medical Association (AMA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) called the results disappointing, yet predictable.

“Meaningful Use participation data released today have validated the concerns of providers and IT leaders.  These numbers continue to underscore the need for a sensible glide-path in 2015,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO.  “Providers have struggled mightily in 2014, in many instances for reasons beyond their control.  If nothing is done to help them get back on track in 2015, we will continue to see growing dissatisfaction with EHRs and disenchantment with Meaningful Use.”

CMS data required by Congress indicate that more than 3,900 hospitals must meet Stage 2 measures and objectives in 2015 and more than 260,000 eligible professionals (EPs) will need to be similarly positioned by January 1, 2015.  Given the low attestation data for 2014 and the tremendous number of providers required, but likely unable to fulfill, Stage 2 for a full 365-days in 2015, healthcare leaders have pressed for a shortened reporting period in 2015, mirroring the policy of 2014.

“The low number of EP attestations to date is clear evidence that physician practices and their vendor partners have faced significant challenges in meeting the more onerous Stage 2 requirements of meaningful use,” said Anders M. Gilberg, Senior Vice President, government affairs, MGMA. “Shortening the reporting period in 2015 is a much needed change if the program is to remain viable and is a critical step if the nation is to continue making progress toward the goal of interoperability.”

“We’re focused on transforming health and healthcare,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President of HIMSS.  “Meaningful Use Stage 2 and 2014 certified EHR technology are important drivers toward that outcome.  If CMS continues to require a full-year of Meaningful Use reporting for 2015, we anticipate that large segments of providers will no longer be able to participate in the program-which hinders our nation’s ability to improve the quality, safety, cost-effectiveness, and access to care.”

A coalition of national provider groups have repeatedly told CMS that a shortened reporting period will have a dramatically positive effect on program participation and policy outcomes sought in 2015.  Additionally, allowing flexibility in how providers meet the Stage 2 requirements, particularly related to Transitions of Care and View, Download, Transmit measures would also improve program participation.

“In addition to a shortened reporting period, CMS must end its one-size-fits all approach to achieve the goals of the Meaningful Use program, which are to create a secure and interoperable infrastructure,” said AMA President Elect Steven J. Stack, MD. “The AMA recently released a blueprint to outline ways to improve the Meaningful Use program, as well as a framework outlining eight priorities for more usable EHRs. We believe the stringent pass fail requirements for meeting Meaningful Use, combined with a tsunami of other overlapping regulations, are keeping physicians from participating in the Meaningful Use program.”

In response to a CMS final rule issued in September, provider groups sent a letter to Health and Human Service Secretary Burwell saying additional time would help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner.  Further, the group of nearly twenty national provider organizations said a shortened reporting period and flexibility on the Transitions of Care and View, Download, Transmit measures would serve as positive incentive for those who must seek alternative paths to MU in 2014 to continue their work in 2015.

“The agency’s decision to require a full-year of reporting using 2014 Edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) in 2015 puts many eligible hospitals and physicians at risk of not meeting Meaningful Use next year and hinders the forward trajectory of the program,” the letter states.

I Written By

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

Defining the Business Case for Interoperability and Health Information Exchange

CHICAGO (September 9, 2014) – Even with many competitors within an industry, it is in the interest of all industry participants to have a core culture of functionality that is interoperable. With this philosophy in mind, The Business Case for Interoperability and Health Information Exchange sets the transformational stage for healthcare reform with a strong connection between health information exchange and interoperable exchange of patient health data.
The newer model of sustainability would be supported by a realignment of financial and policy incentives to support HIE, according to the white paper. This approach shifts away from the current system of provider incentives to purchase and implement EHRs and toward rewarding those vendors and stakeholders within the health marketplace who actively design for interoperability and demonstrably prove its value in practice.
“The imperative of health information exchange is now, but in the drive to move from EHRs to information exchange, several tasks still lay ahead. 
“HIMSS envisions a world where we move from static data to a liquid interoperable future, but to advance interoperability toward this goal, there are still challenging tasks ahead. Many of these tasks will require consensus building within the healthcare industry and the development of new policies, laws and ideas that have not yet been conceived or imagined. 
“Each task toward recognizing the business value of HIE also requires an understanding of the problems of the current status quo within health information technology, and a change in the U.S healthcare system to a “culture” of interoperability.” 
The Business Case for Interoperability and Health Information Exchange, p. 18
“This report serves as a primer on our country’s growing national focus on health IT, prompted by President Bush’s 2004 executive order declaring EMR availability by 2014.  It provides a history from where we’ve come and identifies the challenges ahead for HIE, healthcare integration and interoperability,” said HIE Community member Charlie Rogers, CEO, CoreHealth Technologies Inc.
 “While it is too early to say, initial indicators see interoperability and health information exchange bringing value to healthcare in terms of outcomes, quality, patient engagement and other factors that indicate the investment is paying off,” said  Keith Salzman, MD, IBM, and member of HIMSS Clinical and Business Intelligence community.
“The connection between health information exchange and interoperability continues as a primary focus for HIMSS through the Interoperability Showcase – held around the world each year – as well as our tools and resources on health IT standards and interoperability. This new white paper extends our vision of better health through IT and demonstrates support for the Office of the National Coordinator’s current 10-year vision of establishing interoperable health IT networks,” says Joyce Sensmeier MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, Vice President, Informatics, HIMSS North America.
• Download the white paper on the HIMSS’ website.
• Watch a video on the HIMSS YouTube channel featuring John Loonsk, MD, FACMI, HIMSS Interoperability Maturity Model committee member, discussing the importance of adoption of interoperability and health IT.
About HIMSS
HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology.
HIMSS is a cause-based, global enterprise producing health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world. Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause. HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
September 9, 2014 I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional survey results include the following highlights.

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

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

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

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

Read the 2014 HIMSS Workforce Survey report.

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

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

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

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

August 21, 2014 I Written By

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

HIMSS Analytics Honors TriHealth Hospitals with Stage 7 Award and Associated Ambulatory Clinics with Stage 7 Ambulatory Awards

The HIMSS  Stage 7 Awards honors ambulatory facilities operating in a paperless environment and representing best practices in implementing EHR 

CHICAGO (Aug. 4, 2014) – HIMSS Analytics awarded four TriHealth hospitals with  Stage 7 Awards, and 131 of its associated ambulatory clinics, located throughout Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, 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 first quarter of 2014, only 3.1 percent of the more than 5,400 U.S. hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Award, and only 4.54 percent of the more than 24,200 ambulatory clinics in the HIMSS Analytics® Database received the Stage 7 Ambulatory Award .

“We are thrilled to be one of a small number of hospitals in the country to achieve this high level of technological integration and honored to be the only adult hospital in Cincinnati to do so,” said John Prout, TriHealth president and chief executive officer,. “The HIMSS Stage 7 designation underscores our commitment to patient-centered clinical quality and safety through the use of advanced clinical information systems. The site visit with the HIMSS Analytics officials gave us an opportunity to share our experiences and to recognize our staff and physicians for their work with our patients.”

TriHealth, one of the fastest-growing health systems in Greater Cincinnati, has more than 500 doctors and 11,000 other employees. It operates four hospitals (Good Samaritan in University Heights, Bethesda North in Montgomery, Bethesda Butler in Hamilton and TriHealth Evendale) and more than 130 other locations.

“This is an excellent deployment of an enterprise EHR that proved to be transformational,” said John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, executive vice president HIMSS Analytics.“TriHealth has been an early adopter of technologies that are just beginning to become mainstream.  This is truly an organization that enthusiastically embraces technology to support their core mission.”

TriHealth will be recognized at the 2015 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition onApril 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.

August 4, 2014 I Written By

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

In Response to ICD-10 Delay, WEDI Proposes Aggressive Transition Roadmap

Medicare and Medicaid readiness transparency, expedited testing and expanded education identified as high-priority needs

RESTON, Va. — June 05, 2014 — The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), the nation’s leading nonprofit authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, submitted a letter to the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlining a high-level ICD-10 transition roadmap. The letter, written in response to the recent one year ICD-10 delay mandated by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, details the impact of the postponement on healthcare stakeholders and defines recommended action steps to minimize continued disruption to the healthcare industry.

In the letter, several action steps are detailed including:

  • Ensure Medicare and Medicaid readiness transparency
  • Expedite, supporting and expanding industry testing
  • Expand provider education and support
  • Target outreach to non-covered entities
  • Conduct or support limited pilots
  • Establish clear milestones and track readiness

“WEDI and our industry partners believe that these recommendations provide a framework that we can work towards in order to ensure the successful ICD-10 transition,” said Devin Jopp, Ed.D., WEDI president and CEO. “It is critical that HHS work with private industry to establish credibility in a new compliance date by focusing on critical issues such as readiness transparency, comprehensive testing, and augmented education. Absent these actions, we are concerned that implementation of the code sets will continue to be protracted, adding needless administrative burden and cost to the industry.”

In development of the ICD-10 Transition Roadmap, WEDI convened an industry ICD-10 Summit on April 30, 2014 in Reston, Va, that featured participation of more than two hundred industry stakeholders. The Summit was a collaborative event co-sponsored by the Professional Association of Healthcare Office Management (PAHCOM), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

Read the full letter and learn about the developments from WEDI’s ICD-10 Summit which influenced this communication to HHS.

About WEDI

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency, and reduce costs of our nation’s healthcare system. WEDI was formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and was designated in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS. WEDI’s membership includes a broad coalition of organizations, including: hospitals, providers, health plans, vendors, government agencies, consumers, not-for-profit organizations, and standards development organizations. To learn more, visit www.wedi.org and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

June 5, 2014 I Written By

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

Most Regional Extension Centers Plan to Remain Open for Business

CHICAGO (April 30, 2014) – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) introduced Regional Extension Centers (RECs) into the healthcare lexicon with these state-based and regional organizations designed to help eligible providers achieve meaningful use (MU).

Funding for RECs from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) ends at the close of 2014, but respondents to the 2014 HIMSS Regional Extension Center Survey indicated they will continue to do business.  Results show:

  • 85 percent of respondents indicated they did not expect to close their doors;
  • 28 percent of the 36 executive respondents reported their funding ran out before the end of February 2014;
  • About three-quarters (72 percent) had applied for a no-cost extension of their ONC funding;
  • Nearly half are creating strategic partnerships with other organizations in their service area; and
  • Almost half reported that they have received state funding to maintain operations.

Conducted in December 2013 and January 2014, the survey included 39 respondents representing 37 REC organizations.  Almost half of the respondents (46 percent) said they were President/Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of the REC with another 13 percent of respondents noted they were the REC Director. Other respondent titles included Director of IT/IS, VP of IT/IS, Manager of IT/IS, Chief Information Officer or staff-level IT/IS.  In addition, respondents are from 35 states with at least one respondent from all nine US census regions.

“According to our results, the survey respondents understand the need for and value of collaborative efforts with other RECS and organizations to support and be part of the services they offer,” says Lisa Gallagher, vice president, technology solutions, HIMSS. Gallagher explained that 92 percent of the respondents indicated they are focused on financial sustainability for their REC, with various funding options and educational support from ONC/CMS cited to help maintain the services offered.  “The survey respondents also offer a positive outlook for their REC as they continue focus on future endeavors.”

By the Numbers…Regional Extension Centers 

  • 147,000 providers now enrolled with a REC.
  • More than 124,000 (of these 147,000 providers) are now live with an EHR; 70,000 have demonstrated meaningful use.
  • 872 critical access hospitals/SRHs received incentive payments for meaningful use.

Sourcehttp://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/regional-extension-centers-recs

Read the complete report of the 2014 HIMSS Regional Extension Center 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 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share this cause.  HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

May 1, 2014 I Written By

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

The Personal Connected Health Alliance Launches with Goal to Improve Health and Wellness through Connected Technologies

Continua Health Alliance, mHealth Summit and HIMSS partner to enable individuals to better manage their health and wellness, anytime and anywhere

WASHINGTON D.C. – (APRIL 17, 2014) – The Personal Connected Health Alliance, an international non-profit organization established by Continua Health AlliancemHealth Summit and HIMSS to represent the consumer voice in personal connected health, formally launched today. PCHA will build upon the global reach, leadership and resources of its founding organizations, to ensure that personal connected health technologies, such as smartphones, mobile apps, sensors and personal health tracking devices, are user-friendly, secure and can easily collect, display and relay personal health data. The Alliance’s work will generate greater awareness, availability and access to plug-and-play consumer-friendly personal health technologies that empower people to better manage their health and wellness, anytime and anywhere, in an increasingly connected world.

“As healthcare delivery evolves and brings care beyond hospital walls to where we live, work, learn and play, individuals are being called upon to engage more intimately with their own health and wellness,” said Jeremy Bonfini, Executive Vice President, PCHA. “The Personal Connected Health Alliance aims to facilitate the development and widespread availability of user-friendly personal health devices, mobile apps, sensors and other connected health technologies, putting consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to their own health.”

The mission of PCHA is to promote the adoption, standardization and appropriate regulation of personal connected health devices and systems in order to empower individuals to better manage their health and wellness from anywhere, at any time, with stronger links between consumers, their social networks and providers. Additionally, PCHA aims to nurture the technology ecosystem necessary to facilitate “big data” in healthcare. PCHA will continue to develop and publish industry standards for interoperability of personal connected health devices, via the Continua Design Guidelines and certification programs.

“Our Board of Directors is very pleased to join with mHealth Summit and HIMSS to create a strong and dynamic voice to advance personal connected health technologies,” added Clint McClellan, Board President Chair, Continua Health Alliance. “The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, recently ratified the Continua family of standards as the defacto global connected health standard for plug-and-play interoperability to create an easily accessible, user-friendly and secure network of personal connected health devices and systems. We are currently working with governments around the world, including Denmark, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and the UK, that are developing implementation plans for groundbreaking national connected health initiatives for their citizens based on Continua’s Design Guidelines.”

The Personal Connected Health Alliance will unite the continuum of care across the healthcare ecosystem, and bring together a unique combination of domestic and global expertise, along with resources focused on personalized health solutions that meet individuals’ lifestyle needs. Each participating organization – Continua Health Alliance, mHealth Summit and HIMSS – will bring a unique perspective to the Alliance, providing a holistic view and approach to promoting the advancement of healthcare technologies that focus on consumers.

“The Personal Connected Health Alliance, in cooperation with the mHealth Summit and Continua, will continue driving the industry forward by generating a new knowledge base around the personal connected health space, providing a strong and united voice on policy, regulatory issues and government relations, and advancing education and awareness for the widespread adoption of personal connected health technologies,” said Rich Scarfo, Vice President, Personal Connected Health Alliance  and Director, mHealth Summit. “The mHealth Summit – the industry’s leading event focused on mobile and personal health topics – will continue to provide an important platform for the industry, and will be expanding its presence to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.”

To learn more about the Personal Connected Health Alliance, visit: www.pchalliance.org.

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About the Personal Connected Health Alliance

The Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA), a global, non-profit organization, is a collaboration between Continua Health Alliance, mHealth Summit and HIMSS, focused on engaging consumers with their health via interoperable personalized health solutions that meet their lifestyle needs. PCHA is an independent HIMSS organization, combining the dynamic membership and expertise of Continua, and the networking and reach of the mHealth Summit and global mhealth events, with the global access and leadership of HIMSS to bring greater focus on personal connected health technology. Representing the consumer voice in personal connected health, PCHA brings together a unique combination of domestic and global resources focused on personalized health solutions that meet the needs of consumers throughout their lives. Visit www.PCHAlliance.org.

About Continua Health Alliance

Continua Health Alliance (Continua), an international not-for-profit industry group, is the leading organization convening global technology industry standards to develop end-to-end, plug-and-play connectivity for personal connected health. Continua is dedicated to the development of Design Guidelines and test tools to expedite the deployment of personal connected health devices and systems that will empower information-driven health self-management and facilitate the incorporation of health and wellness into the day-to-day lives of individuals. Continua is a pioneer in establishing standards-based guidelines and security for connected health technologies such as sensors, remote monitoring devices, tablets, gateways and smart phones as well as networked and cloud solutions through its Guideline releases. The Alliance’s activities include a certification and brand support program, events and collaborations to support technology and clinical innovation, and outreach to employers, payers, governments and care providers. With over 200 member companies reaching across the globe, Continua’s Board of Directors feature leading technology, medical device and health care industry leaders and service providers: Fujitsu, Intel, Oracle, Orange, Partners HealthCare Center for Connected Health, Philips, Qualcomm Life, Roche Diagnostics, Samsung Electronics, Sharp and UnitedHealth Group. For more information visit: www.continuaalliance.org.

About the mHealth Summit

The 2014 mHealth Summit, the global convener of the expanding mobile health ecosystem, explores the disruptions, challenges and opportunities of the expanding integration of mobile and wireless technologies into the healthcare system, and in consumer and patient engagement, for the delivery of better health outcomes. The 6th Annual mHealth Summit will take place December 7-11, 2014, in Washington, D.C. Focusing on four fundamental platforms – technology, business, research and policy, the mHealth Summit is presented by HIMSS, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, the mHealth Alliance and the Foundation for the NIH. For more information, visit www.mhealthsummit.org; and follow at @mhealthsummit or #mHealth14.

About HIMSS

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

 

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

April 22, 2014 I Written By

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

Health Care DataWorks Applauds Cedars-Sinai for Attaining HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Designation

Lends Expertise to Implement an Enterprise Data Warehouse to Assist in Compliance With Stage 7 Requirements

Health Care DataWorks (HCD) takes great pleasure in congratulating its technology partner, world-renowned academic medical center Cedars-Sinai, for achieving Stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM). Stage 7 represents an advanced and paperless patient record environment, and is the highest designation awarded by EMRAM.

A leading provider of business intelligence solutions and healthcare analytics, HCD partnered with Cedars-Sinai last year to implement HCD’s KnowledgeEdge™ Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) to capture and analyze data. HCD’s solution played an important role in Cedar-Sinai’s use of its data warehouse to generate normalized patient care data and to comply with EMRAM requirements for Stage 7.

“Less than three percent of hospitals nationwide have achieved Stage 7, we are proud of our doctors, nurses, and all of our staff who played such a vital role in helping us to be recognized with this honor,” said Darren Dworkin, SVP and CIO at Cedars-Sinai. “We recognize that HCD’s EDW enabled us to reach this high level more quickly than we anticipated. Our use of analytics gives us a competitive and quality advantage as we support the sharing and use of data to improve the delivery of patient care.”

HCD’s KnowledgeEdge brings together the existing silos of data and unifies them into a data model built specifically for healthcare organizations. Through the use of accelerators such as pre-built dashboards, applications and reports, organizations can quickly empower their users with the data they need for critical decision making. The solution includes all of the software, hardware and services required to implement an EDW in a fraction of the time and cost required to build one.

“To reach Stage 7, a hospital or health system must prove they are using data warehousing and mining techniques to effectively capture and analyze data to use in improving their performance, quality of care and patient safety,” said Richard Gibson, MD, one of the three surveyors HIMSS Analytics sent to Cedars-Sinai to conduct the Stage 7 survey. “In the case of Cedars-Sinai, it was abundantly clear to us that the data warehousing solution they have in place is doing just that.”

In Stage 7, the hospital is truly paperless. Clinical information can be readily shared with other hospitals, ambulatory clinics, sub-acute environments, employers, payers and patients via standard electronic transactions.

“Cedars-Sinai has long been a pioneer in health information technology. It is a privilege to partner with the organization in implementing an EDW and contribute to the attainment of this designation,” said Jason Buskirk, CEO of HCD. “This is a critical time for health IT. Hospitals and other eligible providers have until 2015 to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EMR technology before being penalized. We are pleased that HCD can offer a solution to assist organizations in attaining this goal. We congratulate Cedars-Sinai for joining the exclusive corps of hospitals who have reached Stage 7.”

Health Care DataWorks, Inc.
Health Care DataWorks, Inc., a leading provider of business intelligence solutions, empowers healthcare organizations to improve their quality of care and reduce costs. Through its pioneering KnowledgeEdge™ product suite, including its enterprise data model, analytic dashboards, applications, and reports, Health Care DataWorks delivers an Enterprise Data Warehouse essential for hospitals and health systems to effectively and efficiently gain deeper insights into their operations. For more information, visit http://www.hcdataworks.com.

March 19, 2014 I Written By

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

Statement from CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell FCHIME, CHCIO and CHIME Board Chairman Randy McCleese FCHIME, CHCIO

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) welcomes CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner’s announcement this morning, acknowledging the need to provide relief for our nation’s providers.  Such relief is vitally important for the future success of Meaningful Use, as ICD-10 deadlines and continued shifts in payment policies demand an ever-increasing amount of IT and workforce resources.  If the expansion of the office’s EHR Hardship Exceptions provides the kind of relief the industry desperately needs, CHIME pledges to assist policymakers in every way possible.  Should CMS choose to define the new hardship exceptions in a way that does not address the core concerns of our industry we will continue to seek the kind of flexibility that nearly 50 national healthcare organizations communicated to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on February 21, 2014.

Policy leaders at CHIME pledge to continue their work with CMS and ONC to chart a course that drives interoperability and patient engagement, and facilitates delivery transformation.  It will be CHIME’s highest policy priority to ensure that providers receive the kind of relief they need in order to deliver quality care.

February 27, 2014 I Written By

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