IT Forefront

The latest on health care technology and digital-enabled strategy

Digital health systems: A foundation for IT-powered innovation

Jim Adams, MBA , Andrew Rebhan August 3, 2017

In early July, Rock Health and StartUp Health each released reports on digital health funding for the first half of 2017, both of which show positive trends for digital health investment.

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Set your EHR on FHIR

Greg Kuhnen July 28, 2017

From the earliest days of electronic health records, data exchange has been a challenge. Existing exchange standards have either been too loose, requiring expensive customization for every new connection, or too complex for productive use at scale.

A new standard, Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR), is helping to bring us closer to a world where information flows seamlessly across system boundaries. While FHIR is still a young and evolving standard—it was only promoted out of "draft" status in March 2017 —it has won widespread backing from health IT vendors for its ease of use and coverage of a wide range of health care integration needs. That near-universal enthusiasm is surprising given that, unlike many previous standards, FHIR is not mandated by any regulatory program or incentive scheme.

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What my brother's fatal hospital stay taught me about EHR optimization

by Rob Barras, Senior Vice President, Clinovations July 19, 2017

Rob Barras

I've been in health care IT for more than 25 years, but no amount of experience can prepare you for a personal health crisis. Yet, there are lessons in these moments that can teach about health care and the role of technology.

In September 2015, I lost my 40-year old brother, Paul, to a hospital-acquired condition. He'd collapsed on a soccer field from a heart attack. A teammate, an Army Reserve medical technician, administered CPR. Emergency responders arrived and continued CPR, while transporting him to the nearest community hospital. From there, he was medically evacuated to the closest trauma center.

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The bad news about CMS's planned delay to the EHR upgrade mandate

Naomi Levinthal July 6, 2017

CMS last month in its much-anticipated 2018 Quality Payment Program (QPP) rule proposed to delay the deadline for when Medicare providers must complete their 2015 Edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) upgrade.

Originally, CMS had planned to require all QPP participants (i.e., those in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) tracks), to use only 2015 Edition CEHRT in program year 2018. 

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Go phish: How to build a human firewall to protect against phishing

by Ernie Hood and Allyson Vicars June 21, 2017

In health care, we've seen a huge spike in social engineering style cyberattacks, most particularly in phishing—in which hackers send an email disguised as a trustworthy entity to induce individuals to reveal information such as login credentials or sensitive data for malicious purposes.

A Bitglass study of HHS's Wall of Shame—where the department publishes all breaches that affect 500 or more patients—found that 68% of the records breached in 2014 resulted from a lost or stolen laptop, but in 2016, a staggering 98% of records compromised were due to hacks.

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The 7 health IT presentations you won't want to miss in 2017

Jim Adams, MBA June 7, 2017

Our annual Health Care IT Advisor National Meeting series will kick off this September in Marina del Rey, California, where we'll gather health IT leaders from across the country to review our latest research and network with peers.

This year, our series—which will also be coming to Chicago and Washington, D.C.—will focus on "no regrets" priorities that organizations should focus on amid uncertainty in health care.

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How to evaluate mobile health apps for high-risk patients

Peter Kilbridge May 24, 2017

Today's health care consumer in search of mobile health applications has numerous choices, ranging from fitness trackers to disease-specific apps that monitor and track patient data.

Unfortunately, there are few mechanisms for evaluating these apps to determine whether they are clinically useful, user-friendly, safe, and secure.

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This 1 step can almost guarantee a smoother go-live experience

by Rodrigo Martinez, MD and Dan Clark, RN, MBA, Clinovations May 17, 2017

About a year ago, we were helping an academic medical center on the East Coast with clinical documentation improvement, department-by-department. Our experience with the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) sheds light on what it takes to have a successful health IT go-live event.

"Emotionally-sensitive" can be used to describe any inpatient department, but the NICU probably tops the list of high stress and emotionally draining environments. And it takes very special clinicians to serve the infants in the NICU and their families. The last thing a clinician in the NICU needs is one more thing to worry about. 

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