Posts in Category: hospital management

Clinician mobile device use increasing as healthcare organizations struggle to protect data 

The number of clinicians who use smartphones and other mobile devices on the job is rising rapidly, and so is the number of facilities that have created mobile device management strategies to cope. "Organizations with a documented mobility strategy have nearly doubled, and in-house use of pagers has increased slightly during the past two years," according to Health Data Management.

Almost 90 percent of physicians surveyed reported using smartphones, while about half of nurses and other staff members use them. In response, more than 60 percent of hospitals surveyed have a documented mobile device strategy. (The survey, by mobile messaging service vendor Spok, included responses from about 550 hospitals.)
The leading mobile devices used in hospitals are:

  • Smartphones (78 percent)
  • In-house pagers (71 percent)
  • Wi-Fi phones (69 percent)
  • Wide-area pagers (57 percent)
  • Tablets (52 percent)

Security and privacy, of course, are huge concerns for those setting mobile device policy, leading some organizations to forbid clinicians to use personal devices for work-related communication. About 80 percent of surveyed hospitals with such policies cited fear of data breaches as the reason behind their rules. 

Click here to download the survey.
What's the mobile device policy at your organization? Share your thoughts with the LUMEDX community by commenting below. 

Medical Errors Are Made at an Alarming Rate 

How Integrated Systems Can Help 

Medical errors are dangerous, deadly, and all too common. Research published in The Journal of Health Care Finance found that these mistakes cost the United States $19.5 billion in 2008 alone. A 2016 study estimated that medical errors cause 251,000 deaths a year in the U.S., where they are the third-leading cause of death (after heart disease and cancer). 

To Err is Human, the groundbreaking report by the Institute of Medicine, found that nearly half of all deaths attributed to medical errors were preventable. What's even more disturbing is the limited improvement that has occurred since the publication of that 1999 report. "The overall numbers haven't changed, and that's discouraging and alarming," Kenneth Sands of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center told the Washington Post.


Mickey Norris, National Vice President of Sales for LUMEDX, discusses how a CVIS can help reduce medical errors.

Medical errors can obviously result from many factors. Some relate to process or people issues, such as the inability to read another physician's handwritten notes, verbal communication breakdowns between medical professionals, or delays in adding notes to a case after treatment occurs.

But many errors stem from the lack of having accurate, up-to-date, or complete information about a patient readily available to clinicians at the point of care. In most cases this is a technology problem, yet technology can also be the solution.

Technology Can Help Reduce Medical Errors

The best technology solutions take an analog process and make it more efficient and accurate through a digital solution. The same is true in healthcare. The effectiveness of patient treatment hinges on getting the right information in front of the right caregivers at the right time. And historically that has been a challenge because the data physicians need is often located in multiple systems. These systems don't always communicate with each other.

For example, a physician may check a pharmacy log to determine which medications have been administered to a patient. But the patient may have been given additional medications in the cath lab, which weren't documented in the same log. This lack of complete information could result in drug interactions or overdoses, or in simply repeating tests. Similarly, the results of tests conducted outside a hospital may not be immediately available to a physician in a hospital. 

Integrating critical patient data from multiple systems automatically, and making it accessible to physicians and clinicians where and when they need it, helps reduce medical errors and improve care overall. Indeed, by minimizing the "number of hands" and number of times information is entered into a system, data quality improves, as there are fewer chances of error. 

Integrating data also reduces costs, because integration minimizes duplicative manual work. Clinicians can spend less time entering redundant data into silo'd systems and more time working with patients. Complete, accessible, high-quality data and improved operational efficiency in CV care are critical to the financial success of a facility.

LUMEDX HealthView CVIS: Increase Efficiencies, Reduce Errors

LUMEDX HealthView CVIS has the ability to interface digitally with almost every point-of-care device in use, and is completely vendor-neutral. Our suite of clinical interfaces allows device and clinical system data-ECG, hemodynamic systems, PACS, cardiac ultrasounds and more-to be captured automatically so that physicians and clinicians always have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips. And our structured reporting applications and registry modules support improved workflow efficiency and clinical quality, while minimizing redundant data entry and the potential for human error. 

HealthView CVIS also complements established workflows. It 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. It's an important addition to any heart hospital's electronic records system, turning it into a robust and dynamic dataset where new information is added in near real-time. Fresh, relevant data that enables better medical care is a critical step in reducing medical errors. 


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 Cardio and Health IT News: 4/14/16 

News stories you won't want to miss!

Higher patient ratings equal fewer readmissions, lower mortality

The scores patients assign their hospitals appear to correspond with the quality of the hospitals' patient outcomes, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers analyzed the scores patients assigned to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' star-rating system for more than 3,000 hospitals. Hospitals' star ratings were inversely proportional to their rates of death within a month of discharge. 

Hospitals reap $1.6M from specialists, including cardiologists

While the average primary care physician is generating less income for hospitals ($1.4 million in 2016 versus $1.56 million in 2013), that’s offset by specialist doctors, whose contribution to hospital revenues jumped 14% to $1.6 million, compared with $1.42 million three years ago. Among specialists, orthopedic physicians bring in the most business ($2.75 million each), followed by invasive cardiologists ($2.45 million) and neurosurgeons ($2.44 million.

5 ways make employees happy in a healthcare workplace

Healthcare organizations named to Fortune's 20 Best Workplaces in Health Care share a sense of camaraderie and pride in their work, and offer lessons to other hospitals and systems that strive to create a positive work environment that can attract and retain the best talent. The winning organizations overcame the natural hierarchy of a healthcare organization to create a friendly, emotionally supportive workplace where coworkers feel as though everyone is equal and they can count on coworkers to support them.

Heart, vascular department at Aurora St. Luke’s receives top accreditations

Building on its rich history as the premier heart hospital in Wisconsin and a global destination for heart care, Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center has received two prestigious accolades from the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE). Both acknowledgments from ACE reinforce Aurora St. Luke’s positioning as a global leader in cardiovascular excellence.

Momentum building for national unique patient IDs

As digitization of the healthcare system increases, issues around data exchange and medical records exchange make patient identification more challenging than ever. In the absence of a unique patient identifier system, doctors use a patient’s name and birth dates to identify them, and there can be hundreds or thousands of identical or similar names and dates in EMR systems. Get it wrong, and a diagnosis or treatment may be missed — sometimes with dire consequences.

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 Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 3/7/16 

Readmissions, Obamacare, and more

CMS targets hospital readmissions after CABG 

A proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would penalize hospitals that perform an index coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and then have an unexpected 30-day readmission, even if the patient was discharged from a different hospital. "The proposed CABG 30-day readmission measure includes Medicare beneficiaries who are 65 years old or older who at the time of the index admission had been enrolled in a Medicare fee-for-service program for at least 12 months," Cardiovascular Business reports. "CMS intends to add CABG to its readmissions reduction program in 2017."

Most support keeping, building on Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) continues to have public support, with 36 percent of those surveyed saying it should be expanded, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. That's the position advocated by presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Nearly a quarter of respondents would like to see a single government plan, as advocated by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, while 16 percent would repeal the ACA and not replace it. Repealing the act and replacing it with a Republican alternative was favored by 13% of respondents.

Analysis: U.S. health spending wouldn't be substantially decreased by price transparency

"Menu-izing the costs of care doesn’t turn the average American into a skilled healthcare shopper, but don’t blame the consumer," says Health Exec. "While some 43 percent of U.S. healthcare spending does indeed go into 'shoppable,' non-emergent care—everything from flu shots and blood tests to colonoscopies and electively timed surgeries—only around 7 percent of out-of-pocket spending goes to such services. The result, according to a new analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute, is that the healthcare system as a whole wrings little cost benefit out of the push for price transparency."

Cardiovascular risk increases with heavy alcohol consumption

Drinking alcohol is associated with higher cardiovascular risk immediately after consumption, according to systematic review and meta-analysis. "After 24 hours, there was a lower risk for moderate drinkers," Cardiovascular Business reports. "But the risk increased in heavy drinkers for the following day and week."

Major markets could see mega-regional healthcare systems

Consolidation is a trend expected to continue in the healthcare industry, according to Fierce Healthcare. The trend, with increased leverage and revenues, has led to the creation of super-regional system in several large markets. "In Chicago, consolidation reached a crescendo in 2014 when fully integrated health system Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Winfield, Illinois' Cadence Health finalized a merger, with Northwestern expanding to include four hospitals under the deal," reported Becker's Hospital Review. Since then, Northwestern has expanded its reach, finalizing a deal with KishHealth in Dekalb, Illinois. The system now boasts six hospitals and more than 4,000 workers.

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 Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 2/1/16 

Trending topics in HealthIT

Leave the researching to us! LUMEDX surveys the top healthcare and health IT stories of the week.

Healthcare economics: Basing healthcare decisions on Medicare data might not be best practice

A recent study found that the correlation between total spending per Medicare beneficiary and total spending per privately insured beneficiary was 0.14 in 2011, while the correlation for inpatient spending was 0.267. “What that suggests is that policy for Medicare doesn’t necessarily make better policy for the privately insured,” one researcher told Health Exec.

Reducing readmissions among minorities: 7 population health strategies

A new guide from Medicare gives hospitals methods for addressing ethnic and racial healthcare disparities in readmissions. The guide comes amid increasing concerns about racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare outcomes, and frustration about federal penalties that some say unfairly punish providers in high-risk communities. 

Sharing of medical-claim data would be allowed under proposed #CMS rule

"Some medical data miners may soon be allowed to share and sell Medicare and private-sector medical-claims data, as well as analyses of that data, under proposed regulations the CMS issued," Modern Healthcare reports. "Quality improvement organizations and other 'qualified entities' would be granted permission to perform data analytics work and share it with, or sell it, to others, under an 86-page proposed rule that carries out a provision of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015" (#MACRA). 

Federal gender pay equity rule: What will it mean for healthcare industry?

Nearly 80 percent of hospital employees are women. How might they be affected by President Obama's recent announcement that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will begin requiring companies that employ 100 or more people to report wage information that includes gender, race, and ethnicity?

The price of healthcare miscommunication: $1.7B and nearly 2,000 lives

New research shows that healthcare miscommunication has cost nearly 2,000 lives, and was a contributing  factor in 7,149 cases (30 percent) of 23,000 medical malpractice claims filed between 2009 and 2013. Communication failures were also to blame for 37 percent of all high-severity injury cases.

Physical fitness can decrease mortality risk following first heart attack

Being physically fit may not only help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, but may also decrease the risk of mortality following a first heart attack, according to a new study. The study used multivariable logistic regression models to assess how exercise affected the risk of mortality at 28, 90, and 365 days after a heart attack.

 

Top health IT and healthcare stories: Week of 1/18/16 

Cybersecurity, population health, reducing readmissions, and more

Leave the researching to us! LUMEDX surveys the top healthcare and health IT stories of the week.

Mobile health apps particularly vulnerable to hacking

Although most executives believe their applications are secure, eight out of 10 mobile health applications are open to HIPAA violations, hacking, and data theft, according to a new study.

FDA advises medical device manufacturers on cybersecurity

The Food and Drug Administration has issued draft guidelines that outline how medical device manufacturers can prevent cybersecurity threats. In addition to incorporating controls in device designs, makers must also consider ongoing improvements because risks could occur over the devices’ lifecycles.

How to improve population health management

“The sickness, hospital-centric model of healthcare, which has been in place in this country since the mid-1960s, is giving way to an ‘anywhere care’ model that centers on population health management,” according to Executive Insight, which lays out four leadership imperatives to improve population health management.

Reducing readmissions and mortality centers on identifying risk factors

Better coordination between hospitals and post-acute care facilities could decrease the number of patient readmissions to hospitals, and could also reduce mortality rates. A new study by researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine identified specific risk factors that led to hospital readmissions. Almost 50 percent of those readmissions happened within two weeks of patients’ being released from hospitals.

Population health management for older patients

Hospitals are making changes in certain departments and service lines with the needs of older patients in mind. From the emergency department to the OR, healthcare organizations are looking at new ways to treat the aging population.


 

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