Author: Adroitent

7 conditions that are necessary for Interoperability

Interoperability in healthcare needs to be achieved for the effective use of digital technologies by the team of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, and healthcare providers. In this regard standards alone cannot achieve interoperability, there are several other conditions necessary for interoperability to happen as stated by McCallie, who also has served as a member of the Health IT Standards Committee since its beginnings in 2009.

The 7 conditions are as follows:

  1. A business process that requires standardization must exist
  2. A standard needs to be developed with repeated testing and validation
  3. A group of healthcare entities must use the standard for some business purpose
  4. A network architecture has to be defined that provides necessary security frameworks for data sharing
  5. A business architecture that manages the contractual and legal arrangements for data sharing
  6. A mechanism to govern if the participants are following network and business frameworks
  7. All the ancillary infrastructure (like directory services, certificate authorities, and certification tests) must be deployed in support of the standard

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Nurses utilize smartphones to boost efficiency and improve care

It’s not just doctors who use Smartphones at work, even nurses are adopting digital technologies at work. In some cases, hospitals provide mobile apps to nurses and in certain others, nurses themselves search for mobile apps that can improve their care effectiveness.
A survey conducted by InCrowd among 241 nurses showed that majority of the nurses are finding the digital health tools themselves through online searches. 95 percent of the respondents said they own a smartphone; 88 percent of these use a smartphone at work.
Many of the nurses stated that mHealth can enhance care; though it can never be substituted for a physician. How can apps be used to enhance care?

Smartphones could be used for

  • Fact checking, thus saving time for the nurses
  • Searching for medical information
  • Verification of medication and dosage

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Use of Digital Technologies on the rise

Owing to the meaningful use requirements under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, it’s imperative for physicians to adapt to the latest Digital Technologies. Achieving the triple aim of better patient care, improved health outcomes and reducing the overall costs through the use of digital technologies is the topmost priority. Doctors are looking at adopting mHealth technologies towards better care management.
Manhattan Research’s Taking the Pulse U.S. 2014 study indicates that 40% of physicians believe better health outcomes would be achieved if digital technologies are used to engage with the patients. The same doctors have also stated that they have started adopting digital technologies to communicate with their patients.
Another striking inference from the survey was that 47 percent of physicians who owned a smartphone used it to show patients images and videos, while 33 percent of doctors recommended the use mobile health applications by their patients.
As the healthcare industry progresses towards a value driven outcome based model, the use of technology in improving patients’ health at reduced costs is indispensable.

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mHealth – its effective application in chronic disease management

A survey was conducted by Telcare that revealed the role mHealth plays in chronic disease management.
mHealth is the application of mobiles to practice medicine and public health. mHealth application in the healthcare industry gives rise to a wide range of advantages for both the patients as well as the healthcare providers.
The poll was conducted among more than 2500 patients. It was revealed that majority of the patients were un-aware of the long-term effects of diabetes on the health of the patients. Another striking fact that was revealed in the survey was that majority of the respondents were not aware that United States spends more than $245 billion on diabetes related care. The survey indicated the knowledge gap that general public and people suffering from diabetes had.
To bridge the knowledge gap a system needs to be developed that provides meaningful data that providers can use for a better health management.
Patients prefer to rely on mHealth whether it is developing a new chronic disease management regimen by the healthcare providers or managing the disease themselves.

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It is time for a value driven outcome-based pricing model in Healthcare!

It is quite a paradox that citizens of one of the most developed nations of the world find healthcare almost out of their reach, sans insurance and sometimes even if they have insurance. For an average American family, healthcare costs have been devouring a larger share of their budget. In spite of health coverage, these costs are expected to soar higher.
Apart from patients, care providers are also feeling the pressure. While much is being done in a number of qualitative aspect of care delivery, there is an increased push on openness about the pricing of the healthcare services. Creating transparency about healthcare costs and pricing is expected to pave the way for lowering them. It is believed that such openness will push care providers to be more price-conscious and employers and insurance companies will, hopefully, restructure health coverage plans to suit the people’s needs and their budgets. Such change however needs an overhauling of the entire system. Healthcare costs are an amalgamation of several factors put together. Also, the current system of healthcare delivery is quite complicated in itself. Consequentially, accurate cost measurement is a major challenge.
An important factor that can bring about the change is the way we look at healthcare costs. Robert S. Kaplan and Michael E. Porter, in their paper published in Harvard Business Review, have highlighted the need to change the current systems of cost calculations. The duo strongly advocated for a need to shift from cost per service used model, to value driven outcome-based model.
The current cost-per-service model focusses on billing the patients based on the various services used from various departments. In the prevailing model while the care provider may be delivering more number of services, the actual value being delivered to the patient may not really change. Value, on the other hand, is measured on the basis of patient outcome achieved per dollar spent. The outcome-based-value model identifies the costs of all the resources needed to reach a certain outcome for the patient. The new system will look at Increase in the value of healthcare which would translate into better health care outcomes. More often than not, better outcomes would often go hand in hand with care-cycle cost. The focus would hence shift to better diagnostics, early detection, avoiding treatment delays.
The proposed system will be able to capture all the costs required to achieve the desired outcome. When that gets done, it will allow providers or payers to address essentially any queries on cost. The cost measure process would then include identifying the medical condition, defining the care delivery value chain, developing process map, gaining estimates for each process, estimating the cost of patient care resources, and eventually the total cost of patient care.
With more intuitive technology, this can be a game changing revolutionary shift that will not only bring down costs but can shift the way we look at healthcare today. The approach will be proactive instead of the reactive one we currently pursue.
A sign of an evolving industry is its ability to provide quality services or products at minimal costs. Greater transparency will not only create win-win opportunities but will also pull participation from all stakeholders to create quality healthcare services at affordable costs.

The current rage in healthcare sector – ‘population health’

HIMSS15 (largest health IT event in the industry) was held between Apr12 – 16, 2015 in Chicago, McCormick Place. The attendees to this event were healthcare professionals, clinicians and executives from around the world. The event was held to discover new ways to advance innovation in the healthcare sector in order to improve the outcome. Anyone who attended the event or followed the conversation can tell that population health is the next big thing. Every attendee was emphasizing population health in one form or another. However, the definition of population health is subjective.
The question on population health was posted to a hospital CEO and some technology vendors. Everyone had their own view on what population health is.
Summarizing all the definitions given, denotes population health as effectively managing the health needs of a defined group’s entire lifespan. This can be done by coordinating modern technologies to identify, prevent or effectively treat and manage chronic illness. Only impactful way of doing this would be without compromising on the standards of care.

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