Free EHR, EHR and Healthcare IT Newsletter Want to receive the latest updates on EHR, EMR and Healthcare IT news sent straight to your email? Get all the latest EHR News for FREE!

Logicalis Healthcare Solutions Asks CIOs: What Is Your Telehealth Strategy Missing?

Solution Provider Explores Five Critical Considerations for an Effective Telehealth Design

NEW YORK, May 16, 2017 – Telehealth has long been a standalone endeavor for many healthcare organizations and something that has been kept completely separate from discussions about electronic health record (EHR) optimization. But according to  Logicalis Healthcare Solutions, the healthcare-focused arm of Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), there is a significant – and often overlooked – interrelationship between telehealth, imaging, and EHR optimization that healthcare IT pros need to address when striving to attain a more mature, clinically-integrated, program-based telehealth solution.

“At Logicalis, we talk to a lot of healthcare CIOs and IT professionals.  And while the clear majority are thinking about and planning ways to optimize the significant investments their organizations have made in electronic health record systems, they know they’re missing some pieces of the puzzle,” says Ed Simcox, Healthcare Practice Leader, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions.  “Telehealth is one of those missing links. What few people are talking about today is the correlation between telehealth, smart image retention practices, and the optimization strategies that can maximize their returns on EHR investments.  Making telehealth a more integral part of their clinicians’ daily workflow, capturing and marrying telehealth images to each patient’s electronic health record, and making those images more easily referenceable in the EHR so they can be accessed as needed and shared across a patient’s entire care team will allow the organization to deliver a better and more affordable level of care.”

Five Critical Telehealth Considerations

For a mature telehealth solution to be truly transformational, it must be user friendly, automated and capable of leveraging integrated electronic patient information.  Whether an organization is just ramping up with telehealth or is reviewing an existing program, it’s important to look for any missed opportunities to integrate telehealth into the overall healthcare experience. To help, the healthcare IT experts at Logicalis are offering a downloadable white paper, “How to Design and Implement a Successful Telehealth Program for Your Organization,” and have identified five commonly missed considerations for effective telehealth strategies.

1.      Collaboration: Telehealth solutions are healthcare solutions enabled by technology, not a standalone solution. To eliminate the barrier between telehealth and healthcare, making the two become one practice, telehealth must be fully integrated with the healthcare organization’s EHR. That includes every aspect of the telehealth experience from scheduling to sharing clinical notes – and importantly – storing telehealth images and marrying them to the patient’s electronic record.

2.      Image Integration: In any patient encounter, there is the possibility that a variety of clinicians may need to consult one another on the patient’s care. This underscores the importance of integrating multidisciplinary images – including the clinical opinions offered based on those images – for each member of the care team to access and review.

3.      Finding Images: Unless telehealth-acquired images are properly catalogued and married to the patient’s electronic health record, they won’t be available when needed. No one will know they exist or where to find them, and they won’t be available for current opinions or longitudinal analyses. This means additional images and scans will need to be performed, exposing the patient to potentially unnecessary radiation, inconveniencing the patient and, of course, needlessly increasing costs.

4.      Documentation: When telehealth images are not stored or married to the EHR, some disciplines may not be able to charge for their consults.  As a result, today, across a wide spectrum of specialties, it is becoming commonplace for healthcare organizations to require the retention of images their physicians use to render any professional opinion – telehealth included. Additionally, if a lawsuit should occur, without properly stored images accompanying clinical notes, there will be no visual support for the clinician’s opinion.

5.      Best Patient Outcomes: Having a patient’s complete medical history on hand is vital in delivering favorable patient outcomes; since those records must include both clinical notes and images obtained via telehealth to be truly complete, the entire healthcare community must ask itself: If we don’t have the right patient history – including all relevant data – can we make the right diagnoses?

A Clinical Example

Imagine an instance in which an ophthalmology practice is providing telehealth consultations to smaller community hospitals about diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic patients need to be assessed for retinopathy annually. Rather than visiting the ophthalmologist in person, the patient’s primary care physician acquires ophthalmic images using a device connected to his cell phone, then transfers the images to an ophthalmologist for assessment. The ophthalmologist then receives the images and renders his opinion.

Who stores the images? Both doctors? And how are they stored – on a thumb drive? A server? If they aren’t married to the patient’s EHR, the images won’t be available for year-to-year comparisons, something which provides caregivers with a much more robust picture of a patient’s health and any changes taking place over time.

Perhaps the diabetic patient’s endocrinologist would also like to see the images. To enable this kind of effective image sharing, each practice needs a logical way to retain and easily retrieve the images as well as each clinician’s notes and opinions to provide a better continuum of care. This is only one example of many illustrating the “missing link” between effective telehealth strategies and EHR optimization.

About Logicalis

Logicalis is an international multi-skilled solution provider providing digital enablement services to help customers harness digital technology and innovative services to deliver powerful business outcomes.

Our customers cross industries and geographical regions; our focus is to engage in the dynamics of our customers’ vertical markets including financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, and to apply the skills of our 4,000 employees in modernizing key digital pillars, data center and cloud services, security and network infrastructure, workspace communications and collaboration, data and information strategies, and IT operation modernization.

We are the advocates for our customers for some of the world’s leading technology companies including Cisco, HPE, IBM, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa. It is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the AIM market of the LSE, with revenues of over $6.5 billion.

For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.

May 16, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Logicalis Global Survey: Digital Brings Fresh Challenges for Three-Fourths of CIOs

Solution Provider Says Distributed IT, Shadow IT Departments, and Data Security Risks Are Top of Mind for IT Leaders as Businesses Respond to Threats from Digital Disrupters Worldwide

NEW YORK, October 24, 2016 – A new study by Logicalis, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), examined the significant challenges facing CIOs worldwide as they enable businesses in every market segment to respond to threats posed by digital disrupters like Uber and Airbnb.  The 2016 Logicalis Global CIO Survey, now in its fourth year, polled over 700 CIOs worldwide. According to the survey, distributed IT, shadow IT departments and data security are among the biggest issues facing CIOs today. Download a copy of the report, “Digital Enablers: The Challenges Facing CIOs in an Age of Digital Transformation,” here: http://ow.ly/sRjQ305o2f1.

The Logicalis study also revealed that the pace of digital transformation is gathering speed with 73 percent of firms around the world, to some extent, now calling themselves “digitally enabled.” Overall, the survey showed that digital adoption conforms to an innovation bell curve in which:

  • Digitally enabled innovators, or digital disrupters, now account for 7 percent of businesses.
  • Early adopters comprise 22 percent of businesses worldwide.
  • An early majority accounts for 45 percent of firms, while 22 percent fall into the late majority category.
  • And laggards, or those not digitally enabled at all, account for just 5 percent of businesses around the globe.

“This speaks both to the huge benefits that digital transformation brings,” says Mark Rogers, Chief Executive Officer, Logicalis Group, “but also to the scale of the challenge posed by digital disrupters and early transformers – while such a rapid transformation almost certainly means big changes for CIOs and IT departments.”

Big Challenges for CIOs

This rapidly changing environment does indeed pose big challenges for CIOs, the survey found.  CIOs have, for instance, less control over IT spending than ever before – 40 percent of CIOs now say they make 50 percent or fewer of their companies’ IT spending decisions.

This trend is also reflected in the frequency with which CIOs are bypassed altogether – with line of business buying technology without involving IT at all.  The proportion reporting that this happens often, very often or most of the time has risen from 29 percent in 2015 to 39 percent in 2016.

Distributed IT and the Shadow IT Department

One result of this loss of control is a move away from centralized IT, with more and more CIOs now operating in “distributed” IT environments.  Perhaps surprisingly, this decentralization of IT, which is a natural extension of “shadow IT,” is no longer seen as subversive, however, and is instead viewed as a positive and essential element of digital transformation.

For example, though the vast majority of CIOs (83 percent) report that line of business departments now employ IT people whose role is to support business function-specific software, applications and cloud services – essentially acting as shadow IT departments – CIOs seem content to work with them.  In fact, more than one-fifth of the world’s IT leaders (22 percent) report working with these “shadow IT departments” on a daily basis, while 41 percent report doing so at least weekly.

“The challenge for IT departments and CIOs is to find ways to support these specialists effectively,” says Vince DeLuca, Chief Executive Officer, Logicalis US, “securing the infrastructure, applications and vital data without stifling the ‘shadow innovation’ their skills support.”

Security Challenges

Together, the combination of the Internet of Things (IoT), distributed IT, and the increased pervasiveness of applications into the very core of the business – along with an ever-evolving threat landscape – represents a perfect security storm.

As a result, the CIOs surveyed cited security as far and away the biggest challenge related to the increased use of cloud services.  More than three quarters (78 percent) pointed to security as a challenge, with related issues like data sovereignty (47 percent) and local data regulations (37 percent) coming in second and third.

Looking at security threats in more detail, CIOs expect the prevalence of increasingly sophisticated threats (61 percent) to be the No. 1 issue for the next 12 months, while issues like ransomware and corporate extortion were highlighted by more than half (56 percent).

Looking Outside for Help

The sheer range of issues facing CIOs as a result of their organizations’ digital transformation means the pressure to hand off day-to-day technology management, to focus on strategy, and to reframe IT departments as internal service providers is now greater than ever.

In response, CIOs are increasingly seeking partner-led and partner-delivered services.  This year, one-fourth (24 percent) of the CIOs surveyed say they outsource most (more than 50 percent) of their IT, while the number outsourcing none or just 10 percent of their IT has dropped dramatically – falling respectively to 9 percent (compared to 13 percent in 2015) and 19 percent (compared to 26 percent in 2015).

“As digital innovation accelerates, the winners will create new customer experiences, make faster and better decisions through smarter collaboration, and create new digital business models and revenue streams securely,” Rogers says. “CIOs and IT leaders can play a leading role in enabling that innovation, drawing on skills from insightful partners to help shape their businesses and lead their sectors through the application of digital technologies.  I am delighted that Logicalis is already helping clients to plan their digital journeys, releasing the creativity that runs through their workforces and using digital technology to deliver outstanding results.”

About Logicalis

Logicalis is an international multi-skilled solution provider providing digital enablement services to help customers harness digital technology and innovative services to deliver powerful business outcomes.

Our customers cross industries and geographical regions; our focus is to engage in the dynamics of our customers’ vertical markets including financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, and to apply the skills of our 4,000 employees in modernizing key digital pillars, data center and cloud services, security and network infrastructure, workspace communications and collaboration, data and information strategies, and IT operation modernization.

We are the advocates for our customers for some of the world’s leading technology companies including Cisco, HPE, IBM, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. It is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the AIM market of the LSE, with revenues of over $6.5 billion.

For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.

October 24, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Logicalis Healthcare Solutions Asks CIOs: Do Your Physicians See Telehealth as a Primary Way to Practice Medicine?

Solution Provider Says Integrating Telehealth into Existing EHR Solutions Encourages Clinician Adoption

NEW YORK, August 9, 2016 – The market is ripe for the rapid expansion of telehealth services as technological capabilities increase and user acceptance – particularly among digital natives like millennials – grows. According to experts, however, there is a key factor still standing in the way of widespread telehealth adoption: Clinicians accustomed to practicing medicine in a traditional face-to-face setting are finding it difficult to incorporate telehealth into their daily workflow.  According to Logicalis Healthcare Solutions, the healthcare-focused arm of Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), as important as it is to ensure patients are comfortable using telehealth, it is equally important to ensure physicians and their staff see telehealth as part of their regular workflow.  The best way to do that, Logicalis experts say, is to leverage the healthcare organization’s existing electronic health record (EHR) system, an application that is already a central part of clinicians’ everyday experience.

“The application environment for telehealth is really what will make or break telehealth adoption among clinicians,” says Ed Simcox, Healthcare Practice Leader, Logicalis Healthcare Solutions. “Organizations that are able to leverage the existing EHR, which is already vital to the physician’s experience during in-office visits, and augment that with well-integrated, third-party capabilities that enhance the telehealth visit will create an easy-to-use application environment that clinicians will embrace.”

Integrating Telehealth into Clinicians’ Daily Workflow

There are four important steps CIOs can take to ensure clinician buy-in of a new telehealth program.  The key, according to Logicalis Healthcare Solutions experts, is to address these steps in the early stages of telehealth planning before any design or implementation takes place.

  1. Incorporate the Existing EHR: By relying on the existing EHR as the core application providing the portal for patient interaction as well as an integration point for scheduling, clinical notes documentation and the prescription of medications, solution providers can help create a virtual experience that not only emulates the physician’s in-office routine, but encourages clinicians to see telehealth as a primary way to practice medicine rather than an outlying service that happens to be offered but is not fully integrated into the practice.
  2. Tightly Integrate Third-Party Applications: Some aspects of the telehealth experience will naturally be tied to the EHR from the start – electronic appointment setting, for example, may be done from the EHR’s secure patient portal.  Other aspects – such as a “virtual waiting room” – will need to be provided by an application outside of the EHR solution, yet must be seamlessly integrated into the EHR functionality to give physicians and their staff a streamlined user experience that feels as similar to an in-person visit as possible.
  3. Make Use of the Familiar: Each step in the telehealth process should follow the same pattern of patient interaction and employ the same terminology – waiting room, intake/evaluation, examination, checkout, prescription, documentation – that clinicians are already accustomed to in face-to-face patient encounters. Experts agree, the more “normal” the experience feels for both patient and staff alike, the more likely telehealth is to be embraced by all.
  4. Avoid Duplicated Work Efforts: To make the best use of telehealth and to encourage clinicians to make it a part of their daily workflow, it is also important to ensure that there is no duplication of data entry along the way.  Everything in a well-oiled telehealth solution should be automated and streamlined. Consider the checkout process, for example. Since telehealth patients will schedule appointments online through a secure patient portal, they can also input their billing and payment information at the same time; this means there is no need for a manual check-out step at the end of the encounter. When the visit with the physician is over, the appointment simply ends saving both the patient and the facility additional time and resources as the visit comes to a close.

Want to Learn More?

About Logicalis

Logicalis is an international multi-skilled solution provider providing digital enablement services to help customers harness digital technology and innovative services to deliver powerful business outcomes.

Our customers cross industries and geographical regions; our focus is to engage in the dynamics of our customers’ vertical markets including financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, and to apply the skills of our 4,000 employees in modernizing key digital pillars, data center and cloud services, security and network infrastructure, workspace communications and collaboration, data and information strategies, and IT operation modernization.

We are the advocates for our customers for some of the world’s leading technology companies including Cisco, HPE, IBM, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.

The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. It is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the AIM market of the LSE, with revenues of over $6.5 billion.

August 9, 2016 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.