Let’s Challenge Outdated Perceptions of Women in Health IT

womanAt first glance, one might think that healthcare is a female-dominated industry. After all, women make up 80 percent of healthcare workers[1]. However, the truth is not so simple. In 2014, only 40 percent of executive roles in healthcare were held by women. Complicating this even further is the fact that on the business-to-business (B2B) side – particularly in newer industry sectors like healthcare IT – women are still finding their footing in leading roles.

Even as more women take on leadership roles today, old ways of thinking still remain. Since healthcare IT is a newer industry, we still have some ground to make up. Perhaps we should start by first acknowledging that an issue exists before we can successfully address it.

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Propelling Your Business Dream into a Successful Reality

pen-idea-bulb-paperWhen growing a startup, there are typically three main areas of focus: sales, operations and the back office. By nature, the DNA of most entrepreneurs – including but not limited to those in healthcare – leads them to focus most of their attention on sales. This often results in a common challenge for entrepreneurs: the fixation on sales means they are not looking at the whole picture. Entrepreneurs all share the passion and vision regarding their company’s key audiences, particularly who will buy their products and how much they will sell. However, the operations and back office teams are needed as well to help drive an entrepreneur’s product to that world-changing next level. Continue reading

Election 2016: Get Ready for a Healthcare Revolution

whitehouseFor over a year, the US has spent much of its time wondering who would be the next Commander-in-Chief, and what the implications would be with a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump presidency. Now that we have our answer – that Donald Trump will be leading the nation for at least the next four years – people across all industries are wondering how a new administration will impact their business.

What exactly will this new administration mean for healthcare IT? The space is relatively bipartisan. People on both sides of the aisle realize that technology can enable better patient care in a cost-effective way and has the ability to be far-reaching, providing better care options to those in rural areas. But there’s no doubt that the most recent election will drive some changes in 2017.

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Using Technology to Stop Hemorrhaging Data

health-records-digitizationIn healthcare, we talk a lot about how we can use data to improve patient care. We discuss the importance of interoperability, the need for more data to be available to physicians, and how data can help physicians spot an issue with a patient they otherwise may not have caught.

What we don’t often discuss is the degree to which care settings can impact the need to effectively capture and make sense of data.

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No Stone Unturned: The Need for Nonstress Tests for Preventing Umbilical Cord Accidents

stonesOctober is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, which is intended to increase awareness about the tragic causes of infant death.

I served in the United States Army for nine and a half years. I was deployed twice to Afghanistan and once to Africa. I served first as an intelligence analyst and then as combat camera working with an infantry unit when I was injured and medevac’d out.

I never imagined that the greatest challenge I would face in my life would be at home.

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Surfing the Wave of Healthcare Change

wave-2Healthcare is constantly evolving, and healthcare IT in particular is undergoing more change now than at any other point in history. Health systems trying to ‘ride the wave’ of change may often feel like they are implementing updates, only to face a new regulation, technology, or best suggested practice that shakes up the process yet again. While it is challenging to stay current, health systems looking to stay relevant need to constantly re-evaluate their processes and whether they are as efficient as possible. While these organizations can’t always predict what comes next, the triple aim of reducing costs, improving outcomes, and enhancing patient satisfaction, provides a solid framework for thinking ahead.

So how do you know where you are on the healthcare wave?

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Marketplace Rationalization: It’s Healthcare IT’s Turn

mergers-and-acquisitionsAny market that experiences a boom of innovation and creates transformative start-ups has a typical lifecycle. It often starts with deregulation, followed by start-ups popping up and creating a market of many competitors with novel but often similar products who find short-term success. At some point, however, the competition becomes too fierce, and not everyone can survive. Some business strategies, products, and operations will find long-term success, while others will not.

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The Promise of Mobile Health App Innovation

matt's hearingThis week, I had the privilege to present at the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Hearing that took place in Washington, DC. As part of the “Disrupter Series: Health Care Apps” hearing, leaders in the healthcare industry discussed how mobile applications are disrupting the ways in which doctors and patients engage in the health care system and impact the affordability, accessibility, and delivery of care.

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Patient-centric Approaches to Data are Great…Except When They’re Not

infrastructureIn a variety of recent private and panel discussions with health and policy leaders, I’ve heard encouraging talk around interoperability through open and available application programming interfaces (APIs). Public comments by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt indicate there is sincere commitment to making this a reality.

While this momentum seems promising, when Meaningful Use Stage 3 is mentioned – particularly its requirements for making data available to patient facing applications – I see the potential for unintended and terrible consequences for clinician workflows.

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Making Sense of The Joint Commission’s Change of Heart on Secure Texting

secure textingIn May, The Joint Commission announced that it was changing its five-year-old ban on texting, stating that effective immediately health care organizations may now allow orders to be transmitted via text message.

The topic of ‘secure messaging’ has long been a polarizing topic within the health care industry. Some industry veterans are against it – they question whether this method of communication truly can be secure. Others believe that allowing physicians to issue orders via text messaging is just a matter of time, as there are great tools now available that are HIPAA compliant and provide the security and audit trail needed to make this workflow improvement. I am in the latter group.

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