Nationwide we are experiencing a new and alarming health concern, the significant rise in reports of severe lung disease which could be potentially linked to vaping and e-cigarettes.
For anyone who has been working in the healthcare IT industry over the past 15-18 years, including yours truly, we can all attest to the fact that interfaces – including the technology that facilitates them – have progressed from being important prerequisites for operational efficiency to mission critical elements for patient care and safety.
Your facility may be gearing up to integrate Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) into your existing physician order workflow, which is the program established to increase the rate of appropriate advanced diagnostic imaging services provided to Medicare beneficiaries. The mandate from CMS is that the program needs to be fully implemented by January 2021.
It's quite common for patients to move throughout their community seeing numerous physicians as part of their treatment plan. Connecting these provider practices with the hospital HIS system for seamless data exchange can prove to be challenging.
When discussing Meaningful Use with CIOs, I’ve received some comments that they pursued specific measures to meet the requirement, but they believe they’re not taking full advantage of the measure in their real-world, day-to-day workflow.
How do you get your industry information? Do you keep up with what's going on in the world of HIE? Or, do you only want to know about what's going on in your state? Either way, if you subscribe to industry publications, or set up Google alerts for "HIE" like I do, you probably couldn't help but notice all of the recent articles.
It can take super-human strength to meet all of your IT goals!
If you're like a lot of healthcare IT executives that I have spoken to lately, it seems that you need super-human strength to be able to tackle all of your healthcare IT priorities. It's nearly impossible for IT departments to get everything done that is asked for or required (either by the government, or other hospital executives).
This is due in part, to the overwhelming demands on healthcare IT departments, whether it be an increase in the complexity of regulatory requirements to move to value-based care in a short amount of time, achieving the holy grail of interoperability, the need for analytics, or the threat of cyber-security and managing patient privacy. The list can go on and on!
In the world of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), as with many other challenges in Healthcare IT, the regulations are constantly changing, and it can be hard for providers to keep up.
Let's take a look at state HIEs in particular. Many states are enacting legislation that will require connection to the state HIE. Do you know if your state is one of them?
Here's one example. The state of New York recently adopted the SHIN-NY regulation which, according to the April issue of the SHIN-NY Spotlight, "This regulation provides guidance on how SHIN-NY is operated. Additionally, the policy directs all Article 28 hospitals to connect to the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) on or before March 2017 and other regulated facilities in New York to connect by March 2018."
Connecting to an HIE and achieving true Interoperability are challenges CIOs face on a daily basis. This is evident based on the number of industry publications that cover this topic almost every day. It’s because the challenge of sharing patient data across disparate systems, and achieving interoperability, are very difficult things to accomplish. And every hospital’s situation is different, which contributes to the complexity.
Interoperability can mean many things.
Interoperability is one of those words that conjures up very different visuals for each of us. Paper cups attached by string, the WiFi router in your home, the towers and satellites that allow your text to be sent across the world in milliseconds, and the NASA space station, are all examples of interoperability.
In healthcare, it might mean electronically receiving the lab order from the doctor’s office, or aggregating and sharing in target-system-ese, the problems, meds, and allergies of every patient in Massachusetts.
Some might say the term interoperability is overused, but it’s shorter than saying, “take thousands of proprietary systems that were created as good ol', 'stand-alone, I don’t need anyone, I am king of the hill, you can’t boss me around,' and make them share information.”