Posts in Category: health IT

Heart Attack Patients Get Faster Care When Medical Teams Use Smartphone Social Network System 

18-month study tracked 114 STEMI patients

New research shows that patients in need of a hospital transfer were treated 27 minutes faster when their medical teams used a smartphone app-based social network system (SNS) to set up the transfer, compared to medical teams who didn’t use the smartphone technology.

The research, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, monitored the time that patients with ST-elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) suffered from ischemia (reduction in blood supply) while they waited to have a procedure opening their blocked arteries. On nights and weekends, the treatment time reduction was even greater than during the regular work week.

One of the study’s senior researchers, Jin Joo Park, M.D., pointed out that there is a higher risk of death for patients who get to a hospital during off hours—a worldwide trend.

“Transferred STEMI patients rarely achieve timely reperfusion due to delays in the transfer process, especially when transferred during off-hours,” Park told Dicardiology.com. “The use of a smartphone SNS (Social Network System) can help to achieve timely reperfusion for transferred STEMI patients with rapid, seamless communication among healthcare providers.”

Over a period of 18 months, the study enrolled 114 STEMI patients who were transferred to Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. The transfers for 50 of the patients were completed using the SNS app, while the remaining patient transfers used a non-smartphone-based STEMI hotline. The transit times for both groups of patients were similar.

Click here to read the research letter.

 

Enhancing the EHR 

Why Department-Level Systems Remain Critical to Quality 

The need for Electronic Health Records (EHRs) has become widely accepted, and methods to accelerate hospital adoption are proving to be successful, albeit resource-and cost-intensive. While EHRs are highly useful tools for collecting certain kinds of information and making that information available widely across services, cardiovascular care is complex; the data generated by this care is equally complex; and therefore cardiovascular service lines require systems that can match this complexity.


 

Chris Winquist, LUMEDX President and COO, explains how the CVIS augments the EHR to provide CV services with the deep data needed for clinical and business excellence.

Publicly Reported Measures & the Need for Deep Data

Even with the rapid pace of innovations in treatments and technologies, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.(1) Unsurprisingly, today a large percentage of publicly reported quality measures are CV measures. Further, new value-based payment models are making up-to-date tracking and managing of performance ever more critical. Demonstrating quality of care delivered has never been more central to cardiac and vascular departments. 

How can a hospital best report, monitor internally and improve quality performance in key measures like Mortality, Complications, and Appropriate Use? With discrete, queryable data. This data must be:

  • Acquired at the point of care so workflow is efficient and data is of high quality 
  • Made accessible to providers across the care continuum so they can make fully informed treatment decisions
  • Reported to the registries
Getting Actionable Information

It's not enough to report to the registries once a quarter and then hope for the best. A high-performing facility must monitor and drill-down into its own data to investigate any problems and take action-as quickly as possible. For this, service lines need systems that can capture information as queryable data elements. And these systems need to integrate with all the devices and clinical systems at work in the service line (ECGs, Stress, Holters, cardiac ultrasounds, hemodynamic systems--to name just a few). 

A dedicated departmental system-one that integrates with clinical-modality systems and the EHR, and offers automated registry data collection and submission to the full suite of cardiac and vascular registries-is the only way for complex environments like cardiac and vascular services to get the data they need to measure and improve performance (clinical, operational) in a substantive way.   

LUMEDX HealthView CVIS Enhances the EHR and Supports Operational Efficiency

With more than 30,000 discrete, queryable data points, HealthView CVIS offers the depth cardiac and vascular departments need for optimal clinical and business excellence. We've developed a powerful data engine that brings insight to every aspect of CV suite operations by drilling into details and reporting on both trending and outlier situations. 

The HealthView CVIS also accepts and transmits relevant data from and to the EHR, so that the enterprise and the service line can operate at the highest levels of efficiency, facilitating best-quality care, improved performance and cost savings.

(1) Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics-2014 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2014;129(3):e28-e292.

Improving the Business Performance of Your Heart Hospital 

An effective CVIS strategy can improve the business performance of your hospital

The primary goal of any healthcare provider is to improve the lives of patients through effective treatment. However, because they are also businesses, hospitals have concerns that entail much more than this. To be viable in the long term, hospitals must manage their margins to fund their mission.
There are three main pillars of business concern for any hospital:

  • Clinical—health outcomes are measured with the goal of healthier patients leaving the facility.
  • Financial—the dollars must add up to keep the enterprise solvent.
  • Operational—staffing and facilities are measured against cost and need.

Ultimate success for a hospital demands strength in all three areas. It's incumbent upon clinicians and service line managers to work together to seek out efficiencies in each of them.


 

Praveen Lobo, VP Strategic Products

 
New Operational Realities

Payers' shift away from a fee-for-service model toward a value-based payment model demands that clinicians and administrators expand the above-mentioned pillars to include cost, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction.

These changes aren’t easy. Providers have long been paid based on quantitative measures: the number of procedures performed. New operational realities demand new ways of measuring the qualitative value of those procedures. Reimbursement is linked to these metrics, and hospitals must find ways to leverage their investments in data technology in order to maximize their financial opportunities.


Granular Data Brings Actionable Insights

Data is critical to the shift to VBP. For example, if we know that extubation within six hours improves patient outcomes, it makes sense to monitor that metric internally on an ongoing basis. When outliers crop up, data points gathered from across the treatment spectrum can allow us to understand why. Perhaps a different treatment was needed at the outset, or some other patient health factor influenced that measure.

Over time, granular data can allow us to understand which type of treatment is best for patient outcomes in that circumstance.

It is discrete, granular data that can help providers fine-tune their processes in order to improve patient outcomes—and of course patient satisfaction. This same kind of close analysis can be applied to reducing costs. But for all three new, expanded pillars, efficient data collection, management, and analysis are needed. 

LUMEDX HealthView CVIS collects more than 30,000 discrete data points—from point-of-care devices to physician reporting. The robust analysis and reporting engine provides meaningful insights in the areas of treatment options, clinical evaluation and training, and service line optimization. HealthView CVIS is an important addition to any heart hospital's electronic records system.  

The Best of Health IT News: Week of 4/18/16 

We've found the stories you won't want to miss!


ACA, population health will be game changers in next three years, say hospital execs

C-suite leaders predict that their most important areas of focus in the next three years will be high-value post-acute care networks and innovative approaches to care delivery, according to Premier Inc.'s spring Economic Outlook. The impact that the Affordable Care Act and population health management will have on care delivery is the reason these areas of focus will be so important, executives say. "About 95 percent said expanding high-value post-acute care networks is crucial to population health efforts," FierceHealthcare reports. "In addition, 94 percent said such networks are one of their greatest challenges."

ACC notifies 1,400 institutions of potential data breach

More than 1,000 institutions have been notified by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) that patient data from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) might have been breached. "After discovering the issue in December, the ACC found that four software development vendors who were testing software had access to NCDR patient data," reports Cardiovascular Business. "The data was copied between 2009 and 2010, and was included in one of more than 250 tables that software developers used in a test environment."

EHR fraud recommendations remain unimplemented, HHS Inspector General says

Warnings from the its Office of Inspector General have yet to prompt the Department of Health and Human Services to adequately address the issue of hospitals failing to employ safeguards and prevent electronic health record fraud and abuse via recommended tools already in place, according to the Inspector General. "The Inspector General's Office says that nearly all hospitals with EHRs had RTI-recommended audit functions in place, but that those functions were not being used to their full extent," FierceHealthcare reports.

The Most Innovative Trends and Technologies from ACC.16

DAIC Editor Dave Fornell takes a tour of some of the trends and interesting new technologies from the vendor booths on the expo floor at the 2016 meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). 

 

 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 3/28/16 

A sampling of this week's healthcare stories that you won't want to miss.

Female cardiologists remain underrepresented, report more work-life challenges than men

Two decades have brought little change for women in cardiology, according to a new study. Women account for only 20 percent of cardiologists who see adult patients, and are more likely than their male counterparts to face professional discrimination. 

Study eases concerns about antidepressants and cardiovascular risk

Patients who take antidepressants are not increasing their risk of arrhythmia, MI, stroke or transient ischemic attack, according to new study. Prior research had suggested a link between depression and negative cardiovascular outcomes.

ACC honors 18 people for their contributions to cardiology

Eighteen people have been selected for a Distinguished Award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The recipients will receive their awards on April 4 during the ACC’s annual scientific session in Chicago. 

Integrated approach slashes ER use for heart failure

One health system is using coordinated teams to cut emergency room visits and improve medication management for heart failure patients. A new blog post details how Geisinger Health System built on its record of care integration and coordination to address emergency and inpatient care for heart failure patients.

Can healthcare learn safety lessons from aviation model?

To reduce medical errors, providers should look to the skies, one physician writes. Following a 1977 airline disaster, the industry developed a "culture of safety" that could be worth emulating, writes David Nash, M.D., founding dean of Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University.

The Best of Health IT News: Week of 3/14/16 

Best workplace rankings, ACOs, and CEO turnover

Fortune releases annual list of best medical workplaces

Baptist Health South Florida, Southern Ohio Medical Center, and St. Jude's  Children's Research Hospital are among the 100 best places to work, according to Fortune. Fortune's annual list of the 100 best places to work included 11 hospitals this year, with Baptist Health South Florida in the No. 1 spot among medical workplaces. The rankings take into account workplace culture, benefits offered, and career paths, among other considerations.

Integrated health technologies have a bright future, HIMSS survey says

The trend toward connectivity within healthcare systems has a positive future, according to the 2016 HIMSS Connected Health Survey. More than 50 percent of hospitals surveyed reported using at least three connected technologies, and many plan to improve engagement and quality of care by implementing additional technologies.

ACOs serving sickest patients may be penalized under proposed new benchmarks

A Harvard department of healthcare policy analysis "shows such wide variation in baseline spending levels  from one ACO to the next that any future benchmarking efforts, including those performed within single given  regions, must roll out parity measures only gradually—or pay the price in the form of participation falloffs," HealthExec asserts. That’s because transitioning to a common payment model using average regional fee-for-service spending as the basis for the benchmark for all ACOs in an area would probably discourage less efficient organizations—including those serving sicker-than-average populations—from continuing in ACO programs (especially in two-sided risk contracts) if the model were implemented within a few years of participation.

High hospital CEO turnover reported

Upheaval in the healthcare industry may be keeping CEO turnover rate high. This is the third year in a row that the turnover rate has been 18 percent. "ACHE President and CEO Deborah Bowen blamed ongoing organizational consolidation, Baby Boomer retirements, internal transfers within healthcare systems and the emergence of new models of care for the high turnover rates," Fiercehealthcare.com reported.

Posted by Monday, March 14, 2016 12:09:00 PM Categories: careers data electronic health records health information technology health IT hospitals

This Week in Cardio and Health IT News 

EHR developments, top hospitals list, and more

Here are some of this week's top stories in cardiology and health IT.

Big names in healthcare pledge to facilitate interoperability, EHR accessibility

The Obama administration has announced an agreement to increase interoperability by top U.S. health information technology developers and many of their larger customers. Signing on to the pledge--which requires signees to ease patient access to electronic health records--were Allscripts, Athenahealth, and Cerner Corp., among others. About 90 percent of U.S. hospitals use at least one of the vendors who signed on. 

Top 100 Hospital List released by Truven

Truven Health Analytics has released its list of the 100 top hospitals in the United States. In researching the hospitals, Truven discovered a trend toward reduced expense per patient among the majority of top-performing hospitals. This year's trend appeared for the first time in the awards' 23-year history. 

More patients survive when hospitals adhere to cardiac arrest protocol

Hospitals that closely followed recommended care protocols after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) had the highest survival rates. That's the conclusion of a new study published in JAMA Cardiology, which found that more than 24,000 lives could be saved annually if all hospitals operated at the level of the highest-scoring provider. 

Payer-provider collaborations called key to improved patient outcomes 

Payers and hospitals must overcome their differences to reduce readmissions, according to a special report by FierceHealthcare.com. "As providers increasingly move toward value-based care models, they must work with their counterparts in the payer sector to coordinate care and prevent readmissions," the report says. "But the transition is proving bumpy in some cases due in part to the historic mistrust between payers and providers."

Questioning whether readmission rates are a reliable care quality measure

Hospital readmission rates are not an outcome, but a measure of utilization, says one Harvard School of Public Health professor. He pointed to new federal research demonstrating that hospitals don't use observation status as a way to create the appearance of decreased readmissions, which had been a concern prior to the research. Readmission rates can decline for a number of reasons, including difficulty in being readmitted or better hospital-to-patient communication, he says.

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 2/22/16 

Security breach, telehealth, and Obamacare

LUMEDX does the research for you! Here are some of the top stories in healthcare this week.

Security: Hospital pays ransom to get its data back from hackers

Security experts are concerned that a Southern California hospital paid a $17,000 ransom in bitcoins to hackers who infiltrated and disabled its network, saying that agreeing to the ransomers' demands could set a bad precedent. The hackers had encrypted the hospital's computer network and demanded the ransom to provide a digital decryption key to unlock it.

Healthcare could be major issue in presidential race

The future of U.S. healthcare--especially Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid--will be determined in this year's presidential election, and the candidates are offering starkly different visions. Democrat Hillary Clinton would uphold and expand the Affordable Health Act, while her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, would replace it with a single-payer system. Republican Donald Trump expressed support for some facets of the ACA, while Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz vow to end it.

51 hospitals settle with Justice Department in ICD case

The Department of Justice has reached settlements with 51 hospitals that allegedly improperly implanted implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in Medicare patients. The department said it had reached settlements worth a total of more than $23 million with hospitals in 15 states for allegedly improperly implanting the cardiac devices.

Forbes blogger predicts expansion of concierge healthcare model

An opinion piece in  Forbes suggests that hospitals should consider offering concierge healthcare. The concierge model could help financially struggling providers by making them more attractive to wealthier patients who will pay for expedited access to high-caliber physician talent.

Experts call Zika 'the scariest virus since HIV'

As experts learn more about the mosquito-borne Zika virus, they are becoming more alarmed. The American Council on Science and Health referred to Zika as  "possibly the scariest virus since HIV" because it is carried by hard-to-escape mosquitoes and causes serious birth defects.

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 2/15/16 

Don't miss out on this week's top stories


CMS and health insurers announce alignment and simplification of quality measures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and America's Health Insurance Plans (the health plans' trade group)  announced that they have agreed on seven sets of clinical quality measuresThe standardized measures are designed to help payers and consumers shopping for high-quality care. "These measures support multi-payer alignment, for the first time, on core measures primarily for physician quality programs," according to the CMS. This work is informing the CMS’s implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

Supreme Court: What will happen to healthcare cases after Justice Scalia's death?

A number of healthcare-related cases are in limbo following the death of conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 12. "The court is weighing a case about data sharing with potential implications for insurers and state healthcare reform efforts," Modern Healthcare reports. "Another case has the potential to reduce—or increase—the number of False Claims Act suits brought against healthcare providers and other companies." Also before the court is a case involving the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. 

CMS anticipates giving out $7.7 billion in ACA reinsurance payouts

Healthcare insurance companies could receive as much as $7.7 billion as part of the Affordable Care Act's reinsurance program. Reflecting data from the 2015 benefit year, the payouts are to be issued this year. "The Affordable Care Act created the temporary, three-year reinsurance program to protect insurers during the early years of the new individual marketplaces," according to Modern Healthcare"Insurers pay into the reinsurance pool, and those funds are then paid out to health plans that had members with extremely high medical claims." 

Still stalled: Federal healthcare rule that ties Medicare, Medicaid payments to disaster-preparedness plans

A proposed federal rule that would require healthcare facilities and hospitals to create emergency-preparedness plans in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding is stalled in the Office of Management and Budget, undergoing a legally required review. It would affect more than 68,000 providers, according to a New York Times news analysis."Industry groups have been critical of the time and expense they said would be involved in steps such as test backup power generators more frequently and for longer periods, or to pay staff overtime during drills," according to FierceHealthcare.com.

Harvard researchers say PCI readmission metric could be model

A model for improving the quality and value of cardiology care may be found in a pilot program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR), according to Harvard researchers. The program evaluated and reported risk-adjusted 30-day readmission rates after PCI. "The researchers noted that preventing readmissions could improve the quality of care and reduce costs for cardiology patients," according to CardiovascularBusiness.com.

 

The Best of HealthIT News: Week of 2/8/16  

Population health, Obamacare, and cost containment

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the healthIT community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

Companies Form New Alliance to Target Healthcare Costs

Hoping to hold down the cost of healthcare benefits, 20 large companies—including American Express, Macy’s  and Verizon—have come together to use their collective data and market power. Members of the new alliance will share data about employee healthcare spending and outcomes, possibly using the data to change how they contract for care. "Some members say they could even form a purchasing cooperative to negotiate for lower prices, or try to change their relationships with insurance administrators and drug-benefit managers," Yahoo news reports.

Federal Insurance Marketplace Signs Up Millions of New Obamacare Users

The Obama administration reports that approximately 12.7 million new patients signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or automatically renewed their policies during Obamacare's third annual open enrollment season. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told the New York Times that the signups show that “marketplace coverage is a product people want and need.” Most of the plan selections were for people in the 38 states—more than 9.6 million—who used the federal website, HealthCare.gov, the Times reported. The other 3.1 million people were enrolled in states that run their own marketplaces.

Healthcare Economics: Court Allows Some Hospitals to Save Money by Classifying Themselves as Both Rural and Urban

While an earlier Health and Human Services (HHS) rule had barred both urban and rural classifications at once, a new federal appeals court ruling removed the barrier for dual hospital classification. The recent court decision applies only to hospitals within the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but some hope that—combined with an earlier similar decision in a different circuit—the 2nd Circuit Court's ruling will inspire HHS to change the regulation across the country. "The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows hospitals to classify themselves as rural (which providers typically leverage for discounts on drug purchases) while also classifying themselves as urban, (an important factor to attract qualified clinicians)," according to Reuters. 

Population Health: Hospital-based Wellness Centers Are Changing the Healthcare Model

Wellness centers housed in hospitals are helping communities prioritize preventive care and management of chronic conditions. The centers are part of the population health management model that focuses on preventing illnesses rather than simply treating them when and if they occur. The idea is to get patients to seek treatment before their conditions worsen, thus easing the burden on emergency rooms and acute care centers—and saving money.

Cost Control: Surgical Safety Checklists Can Save Lives and Reduce Hospital Stays

Surgical safety checklists—if implemented correctly—can save time, lives, and money. After the checklists were implemented, one study found, the average length of a hospital stay dropped from 10.4 days to 9.6 days. In addition, the checklists led to a 27 percent drop in the risk of death following surgery. Proper and consistent implementation is critical, however, for the checklists to work.

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