All the talk about whether or not healthcare organizations will adopt cloud solutions is much ado about nothing – the simple fact is that they already have adopted cloud solutions and the trend will only accelerate.
The typical hospital IT department is buried under the burden of supporting hundreds of legacy and departmental systems, the multi-year implementation of at least one if not more enterprise electronic health record applications to meet the requirements of meaningful use, all the while contending with a conversion to ICD10 and a litany of other never-ending regulatory and compliance mandates. And this is happening in an economic climate of decreasing reimbursements and flat or declining IT budgets. (more…)
I had the privilege to be invited to testify to the Health I.T. Policy Committee workgroup on the topic of data quality back in November. I’ve been an advocate for the work of the committee for years and am constantly impressed with the considerable insight and genuine passion they bring to their work. The opportunity to testify, however, was my first opportunity to actually participate in the policy-making process and it certainly was both a learning opportunity for me, as well as a chance to share my thoughts on the important topic of data quality. (more…)
The widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) is a key objective of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. With the pervasive use of EHRs, an enormous volume of clinical data will be readily accessible that has previously been locked away in paper charts. The potential value of this data to yield insights into what works in healthcare, and what doesn’t work, dwarfs the benefits of simply replacing a paper chart with an electronic system. There’s appropriate enthusiasm that this data is going to be a veritable goldmine for enterprise data warehousing, business intelligence, and comparative effectiveness research. However, there are other, equally valuable, uses for this data to enhance clinical decision-making and improve the value of healthcare spending. Simply having instant access to large volumes of data that span thousands or tens-of-thousands of physicians, hundreds-of-thousands of patients and millions of encounters, offers an unparalleled opportunity to increase the quality and lower the cost of healthcare. (more…)
I’ve been advocating for years that replacing the paper chart with an electronic system is not the value of the EHR, but rather collecting data that can be used to understand and improve care. So I was very pleased to see Dr. John Showalter’s blog address this very issue – making a compelling case with real-world examples where wisdom derived from data has made demonstrable improvements in healthcare quality and corresponding reductions in cost. (more…)
As a routine matter of delivering care, billing for services and operating their hospitals and physician practices, healthcare providers deal with patient’s protected health information all day, every day. Dealing with the data becomes routine and it’s easy for sometimes onerous security and privacy policies and procedures to be overlooked. While we’d all like that not to be the case, delivering healthcare (and getting paid for it) is a hugely complex undertaking and focusing exclusively on human processes and calling for constant vigilance and attention to detail can only go so far. (more…)
Through the HITECH Act, the federal government is providing billions of dollars of incentive payments to healthcare providers to adopt certified electronic health record systems. However, realizing the full value of these investments is in jeopardy due to the pervasive data quality problems that currently exist within many healthcare provider organizations. Next week David Loshin, President of Knowledge Integrity and me are hosting a wide ranging discussion on healthcare data quality: what it is; why it matters so much; how we got in the mess we’re in; and what can be done to make things better moving forward. (more…)
I had the good fortune to work in the information services department at UMass Memorial Healthcare for several years prior to joining Informatica. It was pretty clear when I was there that the investments UMass Memorial was making in information systems was the future direction of healthcare everywhere, and that the lessons being learned there had applicability across the broader healthcare market. Since joining Informatica, I have had the opportunity to meet with a wide cross section of our healthcare customers and prospects, and I can confirm that this is in-fact absolutely true. A good case in point is the recent discussion I had with Karen Marhefka, Associate CIO at UMass Memorial, about the challenges of poor data quality and the adverse impact this can have on migrating existing data to new applications. (more…)