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An Open Forum for EMR, EHR, HIT and HIPAA Related Information

Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:20:00 +0000


Designing for the Whole Patient Journey: Lumeon Enters the US Health Provider Market

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:20:00 +0000

Lots of companies strive to unshackle health IT’s potential to make the health care industry more engaging, more adaptable, and more efficient. Lumeon intrigues me in this space because they have a holistic approach that seems to be producing good results in the UK and Europe–and recently they have entered the US market.
Superficially, the elements of the Lumeon platform echo advances made by many other health IT applications. Alerts and reminders? Check. Workflow automation? Check. Integration with a variety of EHRs? Of course! But there is something more to Lumeon’s approach to design that makes it a significant player. I had the opportunity to talk to Andrew Wyatt, Chief Operating Officer, to hear what he felt were Lumeon’s unique strengths.
Before discussing the platform itself, we have to understand Lumeon’s devotion to understanding the patient’s end-to-end experience, also sometimes known as the patient journey. Lumeon is not so idealistic as to ask providers to consider a patient’s needs from womb to tomb–although that would certainly help. But they ask such questions as: can the patient physically get to appointments? Can she navigate her apartment building’s stairs and her apartment after discharge from surgery? Can she get her medication?
Such questions are the beginning of good user experience design (UX), and are critical to successful treatment. This is why I ...Read more

Smart Diagnosis Humor – Fun Friday

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:32:49 +0000

It’s Friday and so it’s time for a little fun and humor to get your weekend started. This cartoon was shared by the one and only Eric Topol. As usual, it’s going to make some people really uncomfortable. However, it also illustrates a fascinating opportunity. Especially when you look at it from a crowdsourcing type of perspective. If you have the right crowd it’s a powerful idea even if this is illustrated in a pretty funny way.

Reducing diagnostic errors :-)@speedbumpcomic
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) April 19, 2018

GDPR and Why U.S. Healthcare Providers Should Care

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:20:52 +0000

The following is a guest blog post by Steven Marco, CISA, ITIL, HP SA and President of HIPAA One®.
The European Union (EU) has drafted guidance to give citizens more control over their personal data, so what does this mean for U.S. based healthcare providers?
On May 25, 2018, the EU will roll out General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new set of rules that is similar in nature to HIPAA compliance for EU countries. The effort to create GDPR started years ago in January 2012, when the European Commission began working on plans to create data protection reform across the EU so that European countries would have greater controls in place to manage information in the digital age. Additionally, GDPR aims to simplify the regulatory environment for businesses so both European citizens and businesses can benefit from a digital economy.
Being that GDPR has not yet taken effect, there are aspects to this new framework that are difficult to fully understand and define at this time yet we do know that U.S. companies DO NOT need to have business operations in one of the 28-member states of the EU to be impacted by GDPR. The new set of rules will require organizations around the world that hold data belonging to individuals who live in the EU to a high ...Read more

London Doctors Stage Protest Over Rollout Of App

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 15:31:56 +0000

We all know that doctors don’t take kindly to being forced to use health IT tools. Apparently, that’s particularly the case in London, where a group of general practitioners recently held a protest to highlight their problems with a telemedicine app rolled out by the National Health Service.
The doctors behind the protest are unhappy with the way the NHS structured its rollout of the smartphone app GP at Hand, which they say has created extra work and confusion among the patients.
The service, which is run by UK-based technology company Babylon Health, launched in November of last year. Using the app, patients can either have a telemedicine visit or schedule an in-person appointment with a GP’s office. Telemedicine services are available 24/7, and patients can be seen in minutes in some cases.
GP at Hand seems to be popular with British consumers. Since its launch, over 26,000 patients have registered for the service, according to the NHS.
However, to participate in the service, patients are automatically de-registered from their existing GP office when they register for GP at Hand. Many patients don’t seem to have known this. According to the doctors at the protest, they’ve been getting calls from angry former patients demanding that they be re-registered with their existing doctor’s office.
The doctors also suggest that the service ...Read more

The Power of Story – #HITsm Chat Topic

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 23:01:36 +0000

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 4/20 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by @DesignInHealth (led by Kijana-Knight Torres), Burt Rosen (@burtrosen), and the #WTFix team on the topic of “The Power of Story”.

We are within one month of What’s the Fix? happening on May 17, 2018. What’s the Fix? (#WTFix) is a movement and an event that Healthsparq started in 2017 to help the industry learn from people. Most health care conferences focus on industry insiders talking to each other. What’s the Fix? highlights real people with real stories of overcoming health care challenges and driving change to the system as a result. The conference is about being human, being empathetic, and using story telling as a way to drive change in an industry that really needs help.
For the 2018 event, we’re excited to be accredited by Patients Included and to welcome new partners the Design Institute for Health at Dell Medical School. You can join the conference virtually for free, and new this year, we’ll also offer workshops on May 16th. If you LOVE the topic of story and want to learn more… One of the workshops is led by Kijana-Knight Torres of the Design Institute for Health is: “Lead with the Story: How to capture hearts, change minds, and inspire action.”
So let’s talk about the power of story.
There ...Read more

Why Physician Practices Need a MIPS Expert on Staff

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 16:39:42 +0000

The following is a guest blog post by Marina Verdara, Sr. Training Specialist for CMS Incentive Programs, Kareo.
Healthcare providers go to school to learn how to care for patients, and that’s what they do best. However, billing processes, performance-based payment adjustments, and payment incentives are typically not included in this education. Being responsible for today’s regulatory complexities and workload may not have been what providers envisioned for their career. And it’s taking a toll. Nearly half of physician practices spend more than $40,000 per full-time physician per year on complying with Medicare payment and incentive programs, according to an MGMA survey. These costs factor in loss of physician productivity and staff training needs, along with IT expenses.
Independent practices must find a way to streamline the CMS incentive program reporting process. One important way to do this is by designating a “MIPS expert” among your staff. This could be your lead clinician or another manager who has oversight of patient encounter documentation.  While 2017 reporting is done, now is the time to specify the MIPS expert so they can ensure compliance throughout all of 2018.  Don’t wait until 2018 is done to specify your MIPS expert.
MIPS Recap
In 2015, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new goals for value-based payments in Medicare that changed ...Read more

Thoughts on Privacy in Health Care in the Wake of Facebook Scrutiny

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:28:36 +0000

A lot of health IT experts are taking a fresh look at the field’s (abysmal) record in protecting patient data, following the shocking Cambridge Analytica revelations that cast a new and disturbing light on privacy practices in the computer field. Both Facebook and others in the computer field who would love to emulate its financial success are trying to look at general lessons that go beyond the oddities of the Cambridge Analytica mess. (Among other things, the mess involved a loose Facebook sharing policy that was tightened up a couple years ago, and a purported “academic researcher” who apparently violated Facebook’s terms of service.)
I will devote this article to four lessons from the Facebook scandal that apply especially to health care data–or more correctly, four ways in which Cambridge Analytica reinforces principles that privacy advocates have known for years. Everybody recognizes that the risks modern data sharing practices pose to public life are hard, even intractable, and I will have to content myself with helping to define the issues, not present solutions. The lessons are:

There is no such thing as health data.

Consent is a meaningless concept.

The risks of disclosure go beyond individuals to affect the whole population.

Discrimination doesn’t have to be explicit or conscious.

The ...Read more

Why I Didn’t Choose Your Healthcare Organization

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 14:47:10 +0000

The following is a guest blog post by Chelsea Kimbrough from Stericycle Communication Solutions, as part of the Communication Solutions Series of blog posts. Follow and engage with them on Twitter: @StericycleComms

I recently had a bad healthcare experience. I received functional care, but I wasn’t cared for. As in, I’m fairly certain my doctor didn’t know my name when she walked into the room or when she left it. To her, I was another patient in a crowded schedule. To me, it was a rushed, impersonal experience that left me with absolutely no desire to trust my wellbeing in her hands.
As someone who is familiar with the healthcare space, I’m the first to admit that finding a new provider is hard work – and finding one that meets each of your communication expectations is even harder. But after that appointment, I was more than up for the challenge.
It’s important to note that I’m a proud millennial who is accustomed to the service and support provided in other industries. When I wanted to make a dinner reservation last night, I did it via a mobile app. When I needed a great blazer to wear to a conference, I requested one in my clothes subscription box. I am an all-access-at-all-hours type of person. So when it came time ...Read more

How to Evolve Healthcare Conferences in the 21st Century – #HITsm Chat Topic

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:17:06 +0000

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 4/13 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Steve Sisko (@shimcode) on the topic of “How to Evolve Healthcare Conferences in the 21st Century”.
The general purpose of a conference is to bring people together in one place where they can discover and share information, insight and ideas on a specific theme. And then, hopefully, leave the event with energy and focus. Our brains can only take in a limited number of stimuli at any given time. With 1000’s and even 10’s of 1000’s of attendees – and 100’s or as many as 1,000 exhibitors at some events – today’s conference attendee can easily end up leaving a conference exhausted and overwhelmed.
But what really makes a good conference? Is it the content itself? The people who present the content? The location and venue of the conference? The atmosphere of the conference? The social events and opportunities for networking? Or something else?
Like with everything in life, different individuals have different needs and wants. And with advancements in presentation, collaboration and communication technologies, there are new options for enhancing and extending the conference experience. With an ever-increasing number of conferences, forums and events throughout the year, conference organizers MUST evolve if ...Read more

Should Apps with Personal Health Information Be Subject to HIPAA?

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 17:18:04 +0000

The following is a guest blog post by Erin Gilmer (@GilmerHealthLaw).
With news of Grindr’s sharing of user’s HIV status and location data, many wonder how such sensitive information could be so easily disclosed and the answer is quite simply a lack of strong privacy and security standards for apps.  The question then becomes whether apps that store personal health information should be subject to HIPAA? Should apps like Grindr have to comply with the Privacy and Security Rules as doctors, insurance companies, and other covered entities already do?
A lot of people already think this information is protected by HIPAA as they do not realize that HIPAA only applies to “covered entities” (health care providers, health plans, and health care clearininghouses) and “business associates” (companies that contract with covered entities).  Grindr is neither of these. Nor are most apps that address health issues – everything from apps with mental health tools to diet and exercise trackers. These apps can store all manner of information ranging simply from a name and birthdate to sensitive information including diagnoses and treatments.
Grindr is particularly striking because under HIPAA, there are extra protections for information including AIDS/HIV status, mental health diagnoses, genetics, and substance abuse history.  Normally, this information is highly protected and rightly so given the potential for discrimination. The privacy laws ...Read more