Staying Ahead in a Technology-Driven Field

Since patient care and well-being is at the center of Rockdale’s mission, attracting the best and brightest clinicians in the region is an important effort for us. Part of distinguishing ourselves from our competitors is providing the resources and advanced technological support clinicians want. In fact, to support this shift, we formed the Information Technology Physician Engagement Group in 2013 to identify exactly what were the technology priorities for our physicians:

  • Improved cellular service
  • Improved physician Wi-Fi
  • Single sign-on access
  • Mobile technology for better efficiency

Continue reading

Cerner/Siemens and Blue Shield/Blue Cross: What Happens Next?

15240276_s

The industry is buzzing over the news that Cerner is buying the health information technology business unit of Siemens. The Siemens acquisition is the most recent high-profile example of consolidation that is taking place in all sectors of healthcare.

The consolidation trend is not new, of course. Providers reacted first, by aligning as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and clinical integration (CI) networks during the past five years. Then the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) accelerated the need for collaboration, forcing providers to acquire additional acute care and post-acute care facilities as well as physicians’ offices. This consolidation trend was the first to expose the obvious lack of interoperability amongst vendors.

Continue reading

Data-Driven Evaluation of Mobility’s Impact

nextgov-mediumHealthcare is rapidly evolving, and more than ever, hospitals are under extreme pressure to continuously identify ways to improve performance and justify every expense. In this type of environment, technological innovation alone will not prove sufficient. Instead, making sure technology is successfully implemented and processes are streamlined to ensure adoption and maximize value becomes the currency of improvement.

Continue reading

What’s Critical to Critical Care

CriticalCare_4cThe ICU and its workforce play a central role in health systems’ – and patients’ – overall health, with the department accounting for 10 percent of total in-patient beds and 30 percent of in-patient costs. Six million Americans are admitted to the ICU each year. At the same time, critical care is taking a big hit from the physician shortage, with a projected short-fall of up to 22 percent by 2020. Compounding this, ICUs are facing increased cost pressure and scrutiny with regard to patient safety and quality. In ICUs, serious errors occur in 150 of every 1,000 patients and adverse events occur in 81 out of every 1,000 patients.

Continue reading

The Promise of Mobility: A Cardiac Surgeon’s Perspective

ImageWhen I talk to fellow clinicians at Sequoia Hospital who are now using mobility to monitor labor and delivery patients, or view ECGs in near real-time, the reactions are uniformly positive. They praise the ability to make faster, informed assessments based on the information they access on their smartphones or tablets and the workflow improvements.

However, from a surgeon’s point of view, the most exciting developments are just starting to happen. Incorporating mobility throughout the cardiac care continuum and providing constant monitoring of patients anytime or anywhere is the real game-changer. Because we are most interested in the total care of the patient, continuity is crucial – and mobility enables this in ways that were never possible before.

Continue reading

CommonWell Health Alliance – Big Stride or Baby Steps?

baby-steps1You’ve all heard my thoughts on mobility as the critical lynchpin for healthcare to achieve true clinical transformation. And, that one of the longest standing and most stubborn barriers to mobility is the lack of true interoperability across systems and devices from multiple vendors in any health system.

So during HIMSS13 back in March, I was interested to hear that some EMR vendors were joining together in the CommonWell Health Alliance to integrate their systems. It was encouraging to see these EMR vendors talk about opening up and becoming more compatible with each other – something that health systems have demanded, but that vendors’ proprietary attitudes and competition for market share have prevented. Like most of the industry, I’ve been curious to see how the Alliance would unfold and if the outcome could be experienced immediately since healthcare organizations cannot afford to wait. The need for action is NOW. Continue reading

Dignity Health Guest Post: The Provider View of Mobile Interoperability

dignityDignity Health is one of the five largest health systems in the U.S., with a presence in 17 states and expertise and services around a number of key specialties. In the Arizona service area, we’re widely known for our work in neurology and neurosurgery. And it’s been just within the last year or so that I’ve come to understand how mobile technology has the ability to improve and extend care so that more patients across our system can benefit from our services.

While Dignity Health offers its clinicians a range of useful IT solutions, we made it our goal to remove the gap that existed between where clinical data resides and how to deliver that data to the right clinician when they need it most. By doing so, we were able to eliminate a host of challenges for clinicians – most notably, the frustration around delays in getting the information we need to diagnose, treat and spend more time with patients. I’ve seen how a mobile-based solution that can pull data from any system can easily dissolve that gap, so physicians can make better decisions and ultimately provide better care wherever they are. Continue reading

Making it Real: A Physician’s Pathway to Clinical Transformation

PathwayEveryone in the industry would likely agree that “clinical” or “care transformation” has been a popular buzz-term for the past several years. Most also agree that interoperability barriers and data silos need to be broken down to achieve it. But there are several issues that are critical to improve the way physicians work before hospitals and health systems will see the kind of transformational change that’s necessary to make the most of technology enhancers while preserving the human element of patient care. Continue reading

Are We There Yet?…Almost

Road_14The interoperability challenge has plagued hospitals and health systems for longer than any of us care to admit. The topic still elicits eye-rolls and cringes from everyone from health care reporters to CIOs – and who can blame them? The industry has largely over-promised and under-delivered when it comes to vendors “playing nice in the sandbox,” integrating systems and making data across the continuum available in a simple and cost-effective way. Continue reading