In the lobby of the Orlando World Center Marriott, the rhythmic patter of torrential rain washed across the glass ceiling in waves as thousands gathered for the second day of the eClinicalWorks and healow National Conference.
There are many ways to measure the changes in healthcare over the last 20 years — the dominance of EHRs, new technologies, and empowered patients. And many were on display during Friday morning’s Keynote Address at the 2019 eClinicalWorks and healow National Conference.
Topics: National Conference
Making real connections in a digitized world
We live in a digitized, globalized world driven by phones, apps, email, and who-knows-what technologies to come. Yet, as over 5,000 people gather in Orlando for Friday’s opening of the 2019 eClinicalWorks and healow National Conference, every one of us is excited to meet old friends, share our experiences, and make new connections — in person.
Why? Because #eCWNC19 is about making the personal connections that can be hard to forge in our fast-paced world.
British economist Ronald Coase, honored with a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1991, often wrote about the structure of organizations. One of his chief insights was that as the transactional costs of achieving specific goals increases, it makes sense to create organizations to meet those goals.
Coase’s idea is familiar to every medical practice that has gone from paper to Electronic Health Records. Tasks once done manually, at great cost and effort, can now be done electronically, cheaply, and automatically.
But Coase’s insight goes still deeper. Even in our information age, many businesses respond to new challenges with old techniques — they work harder and longer. When they fall short of their goals, they assume they aren’t working hard enough.
Topics: Electronic Health Records
After a long and stressful day, you finally sit down, kick back, and start up the new video game you picked up. A black screen accompanies a sprawling medieval-inspired score and the rhythmic clacking of a horse speeding across a cobbled street. You wait. A white bar appears and then crawls slowly across the screen. Your eyelids grow heavier. As you get up to shut off the console, the screen changes to an armored knight riding his horse in circles without your guidance. A second later, the screen buzzes out, the music swells, and the game shuts off.
Now, imagine if the functionality of the software you use affected patients in the same way as a broken video game.
Topics: Electronic Health Records
As the sun sets on a Friday night in the 1990s, voices and explosions from a movie trailer continue to loop in the background as you rush past a towering yellow gumball machine and prepackaged popcorn buckets. You tap your foot against the fading carpeted floor in nervous anticipation as you scan the brightly painted shelves for the newest release on VHS.
Video stores are dead. One of the major reasons why the rental video store market collapsed was their inability to adapt to evolving technology and customer needs. That being said, there are certain lessons that we can learn from the paradigm shift in the home-video viewing industry. Applying these lessons when choosing an EHR will keep your patients engaged and coming back to your practice.
Topics: Electronic Health Records
When you really think about it, healthcare is all about community. In a complex society, no individual or family is completely on their own. All of us need others to help ensure our health and welfare, whether they are family members, teachers, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, or mental health providers.
National Health IT Week, which runs September 23-27, is the perfect time to pause and think about the communities to which we all belong. This year’s theme, “Supporting Health Communities,” centers on numerous points of engagement pertaining to public health and Population Health.
As the Health IT Week website notes, each of the points demonstrates “how information and technology can transform health and create healthy communities.”
Topics: health outcomes
In late 1996, a group of Compaq and Netcentric executives gathered at an office park outside Houston and gave birth to a new idea: cloud computing. Technology would never be the same.
According to MIT Technology Review, Compaq’s 50-page internal analysis of ideas discussed at that meeting accurately predicted that enterprise software would transform into cloud services and that the future meant “application software is no longer a feature of the hardware — but of the Internet.”
Today, cloud computing fuels all kinds of businesses growth. Successful enterprises routinely align IT “infostructure” with business goals. If solutions aren’t nimble, scalable, secure, convenient, and low cost — they aren’t solutions at all.
During an April 2018 TED Talk in Vancouver, British Columbia, neuroscientist Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories, posed a question that should resonate with anyone who works in the fields of healthcare and technology: “What happens when technology knows more about us than we do?”
Crum is among the featured speakers at next week’s Health 2.0 Annual Conference in Santa Clara, California. Whether we like it or not, she told her TED Talk audience, advances in technology mean that we are “already sharing parts of our inner lives.”
One of the tasks of a healthcare IT company is to develop ways to creatively respond to the realities of our information-saturated age, ensuring that patients’ personal and medical histories are protected while enabling providers to use medical data to improve lives.
To thrive in today’s healthcare environment, practices need to understand how a rapidly changing market is making a subtle shift from patient-centric care to creating a customer-centric experience.
Thanks to brands such as Uber and Amazon, today’s healthcare customers are more tech-savvy and connected than previous generations. They expect instant results, delivered with five-star service. For example, according to Google, searches for “open now” are increasing while searches for “store hours” are declining.
The Economist calls it "time poverty" — the notion that there’s not enough time to do all the work we need to do. Against that backdrop, healthcare providers still need to find ways to connect.
In his classic “Economics in One Lesson,” Henry Hazlitt wrote: “The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.” 1
Change “economics” to “healthcare,” and you have a useful guide for medical practices challenged to deliver quality care while controlling costs: Think about long-term consequences for all.
Whether you’re cutting into a juicy steak or biting into a crisp apple, food safety metrics were established to keep you safe and feeling healthy. Meeting all of these requirements can feel overwhelming, so tools have been created to make the process easier and more efficient for food and beverage manufacturers.
The same could be said about quality measures in the healthcare system.
Dinosaurs get a bad rap. Conventional wisdom says they were cold-blooded, had small brains, and were incapable of adapting to rapid climate change following a cataclysmic asteroid impact. The lessons for businesses? Move faster. Work smarter. Adapt.
But let’s face it: Keeping up with the rapidly changing climate in the world of healthcare is hard. Regulations change, reporting requirements grow, and healthcare consumers demand high-quality, convenient, and affordable care — or they’ll potentially take their business elsewhere.
What’s a practice to do? How about learning from the dinosaurs!
The upbeat and warm sound of last year’s hit “Swingin’ Down the Lane” by Isham Jones fills the quiet of your parlor as you remove the stethoscope from your neck and lower the volume on your new radio. As you sit in a chair as angular as a Picasso, you pick up the latest copy of Radio News magazine and shake your head in wonder.
On the cover of the April 1924 edition of the magazine, three children are seated in front of a square system with two dials, a flaring horn, and a screen in the center of the contraption. With mouths wide open, the kids are saying “Ahh” as the image of a suited doctor equipped with robotic fingers like the metallic tentacles of the Martian ships from The War of the Worlds is projected onto a screen. Hugo Gernsback named this invention the teledactyl.sham Jones fills the quiet of your parlor as you remove the stethoscope from your neck and lower the volume on your new radio. As you sit in a chair as angular as a Picasso, you pick up the latest copy of Radio News magazine and shake your head in wonder.
As organizations are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their Electronic Health Record (EHR), many are beginning to make the switch for better healthcare IT. A recent Medical Economics’ study found 62% of practices have already switched EHRs at least once.
In a new EHR, the organizations are seeking increased efficiency and productivity, advanced functionality, unified solutions, and data analytics.
But ensuring success throughout the implementation process requires first understanding your practice’s actual needs and then working with a healthcare IT partner capable of meeting those needs quickly, efficiently, and affordably.