The people at eFax did a survey to look at the pulse of Healthcare IT. They have some interesting findings from their survey that they turned into an infographic. Not surprisingly, we still trust faxing in healthcare.
Today, HIMSS and AVIA released the 2013 Healthcare Provider Innovation Survey, which cites reduced costs, improved patient care and increased patient safety as the primary priorities for healthcare providers when implementing innovative initiatives.
They put together this infographic to display some of the results of the survey:
I’m always a fan of a company that uses a little creativity to promote what they’re working on. There’s nothing like giving someone a good laugh while also educating them on what you do. A great example of this just hit my inbox. It’s brought to us by CareTree in the form of a video called “CareTree Is Everywhere: Even at the North Pole!”
The video gives a humorous look at what it must be like for Mrs. Clause to deal with Santa Clause’s various health issues. My favorite part of the video is when Mrs. Clause refers to the healthcare exchanges and says, “They’re on the naughty list in case you were wondering.”
Enjoy the video below:
There are a lot of features and functions in healthcare IT that don’t get talked about very much. The reason they don’t get talked about is because they aren’t “sexy.” While many of the healthcare IT tasks that need to be done aren’t “sexy” to talk about, they’re extremely important if you want your end users to be happy.
Check out this post on Scary Health Care IT Upgrades We Don’t Talk About to see some of the less exciting, but incredibly important IT tasks that have to be done in healthcare. Much like it’s not very exciting to talk about SAN Upgrades or core switch firmware upgrades, you very rarely see someone talk about scanner maintenance. However, it can make your user’s IT experience miserable if you don’t handle it properly.
The reason most IT people forget about scanner maintenance is that they rarely have to scan much in their jobs. As an IT professional, you and your colleagues exchange information electronically and so while you might scan something on occasion, you aren’t scanning paper daily. With such a low scanning load, you usually don’t have a high volume scanner on your desk that needs to be maintained. Plus, even if you did, you wouldn’t scan enough to need to do maintenance. The opposite is true for many in healthcare who find themselves scanning paper into the EHR every day.
I admit that I know this to be the case, because I was the naive IT support person who didn’t realize that regular scanner maintenance was important. In fact, I didn’t discover this until my HIM staff started complaining about the scanner not working very well. That’s the other key to this problem. Unlike other maintenance, a poorly maintained scanner still works but just not very well. The scanner’s ability to feed in the paper, not jam, etc slowly deteriorates over time. So, the end user doesn’t usually ask for help until after they’ve dealt with the “finicky” scanner for months.
In most cases, it’s not the scanners fault at all. Instead, the problem is poor scanner maintenance. The great part is that this is an easy problem to solve. I won’t dig into the detail of how to maintain your scanner. Spend 5-10 minutes in your scanner’s book (find it online if you through it out) and it will tell you what you need to do. Also, not all scanners can be cleaned, but if you have a scanner like the Canon DR-C125 or equivalent, then a little maintenance keeps them running better.
The maintenance on a scanner is usually quite simple. You just clean out the inside and change out the rollers after so many scans (varies depending on the scanner). In many ways it’s like a car. You know what happens when you don’t change the oil in your car. It’s bad news. The same is true when you don’t maintain your scanner.
You don’t want to hear from the HIM or nursing staff when you forgot to “change the oil” on their scanner. That’s not pretty and often requires a box of donuts. The nice part is that with regular scanner maintenance, these scanners will last a long time under a heavy load. Do you practice good scanner hygiene in your organization?
Sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Inc. Canon’s extensive scanner product line enables businesses worldwide to capture, store and distribute information.
The following is a guest post by Dr. Deborah Peel, Founder of Patient Privacy Rights.
On November 12th, Abbott released his “We the People Plan” for Texas. Clearly he’s heard from Texans who want tough new health data privacy protections.
Topping his list are four terrific privacy recommendations for health and genetic data:
The federal Omnibus Privacy Rule operationalized the technology section of the stimulus bill. It also clarified that state legislatures can pass data privacy laws that are stronger than HIPAA (which is a very weak floor for data protections).
Texans would overwhelmingly support the new state data protection laws Abbott recommends . If elected, hopefully Abbott would also include strong enforcement and penalties for violations. Contracts don’t enforce themselves. External auditing and proof of trustworthy practices should be required.
Is this the beginning of a national trend? I think so. The more people know about today’s health IT, the more they will reject electronic systems and data exchanges designed for the hidden use and sale of sensitive personal health data.
Props to @healthcarewen for pointing out this awesome healthcare conference logo for the 2013 Oklahoma Association for Home Care and Hospice Annual Conference & Trade Show:
If you love that logo, you’ll love the conference brochure even more.
I was recently introduced to an interesting new offering in the healthcare IT space that’s trying to help facilitate the physician – pharma sales rep relationship called RxVantage. It’s always been an awkward dance between the two groups and so it’s interesting to see a company focused on facilitating the relationship. Pharma reps can bring a lot of value to a doctor when it comes to information on a new drug and access to samples for their patients. However, those reps can also be a drain on their day to day activities unless they’re managed well. This video from RxVantage is a funny look at the challenge:
I’ll admit that I’m no expert on the pharma sales rep business, but I’ve seen first hand the challenge of their job and doctors trying to juggle that relationship. I think RxVantage is an interesting way to try and facilitate the relationship between the two groups.
With pharma reps having more and more challenges and roadblocks to their relationship with doctors, it’s interesting to see a proactive way to manage that relationship. Plus, this provides a simple way to track your relationship and interaction with each provider. In some ways it’s almost like a CRM for pharma sales reps, but largely driven by the physician practice.
I’m sure we’re looking at more and more regulations when it comes to the relationship between pharma and doctors. Finding a way to manage that relationship a midst the changing regulations is going to be important.
As I wrote about in my post about the Digital Health Conference in NYC post on EMR and HIPAA, I’ll be attending the conference again this year. In that post I also offered a 20% registration discount for those who want to attend. If you’re planning to attend, you’ll want to register today or tomorrow since early bird pricing for the event ends on 9/20/13.
I’m particularly excited to hear George Halverson, CEO of Kaiser speak at the event. I’ve never heard him in person and there’s little argument that Kaiser has done some things that no one else in healthcare has done. This is particularly true in the healthcare IT space. I just hope it goes beyond just telling us the same superlatives we’ve already heard about Kaiser and health IT (ie. the mass adoption of the portal by their patients).
Of course, I’m also most excited to network with the people who attend the event. The Digital Health Conference is a unique opportunity because there is a sprinkling of the usual health IT conference crowd together with a lot of local providers and healthcare leaders. Not that I’m against the great discussions I have with the usual health IT conference crowd, but it’s nice to get a number of new perspectives as well.
I also won’t be surprised if we put together another tweetup at the event. Last year’s tweetup was done in the pouring rain, but was really enjoyable. Hopefully local NYC resident @healthcarewen puts one together again.
Today, HIMSS made an announcement of the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite. In its essence, HIMSS has collected a series of health IT use cases and good experiences that healthcare has experienced using health IT.
The HIMSS Health IT Value Suite has more than 500 cases demonstrating 56 different health IT benefits. That’s a good number of use cases and experiences. One of the most compelling parts of this is the first hand quotes by doctors about the benefits they have seen using health IT. There’s little more powerful to a doctor than another doctor’s testimonial.
The challenge I have with the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite is that most doctors already look at HIMSS as the Healthcare IT cheerleaders as opposed to an unbiased source of health IT information. In fact, while doctors love to hear from their peers, that peer recommendation will likely be reduced if it’s coming from a HIMSS product offering.
I think it’s unfortunate that the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite didn’t include the negative health IT use cases as well as the good ones. By only including the positive ones, they diminish the credibility of the suite. It’s almost as if they act like health IT couldn’t have negative impacts. Doctors know better and will discount any source that doesn’t provide the full view of the impacts of health IT.
To make the HIMSS Health IT Value suite even better, they should share both the benefits and risks of health IT. A lot can be learned by seeing use cases where health IT didn’t benefit a clinic. Those health IT failures can be used to teach how not to do health IT and what could be done differently to avoid those negative results.
I do find interesting the infographic that HIMSS put out about the STEPS (Satisfaction, Treatment/Clinical, Electronic Information/Data, Prevention/Patient Education, Savings) definitions they created to classify the benefits of health IT. You can see it by clicking the image below.
What do you think of the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite?