Can Health IT’s Newest Ideas Reduce Cost, Improve Quality and Facilitate Patient Engagement?

February 26, 2012
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Billed as ‘the most comprehensive and authoritative knowledge event in healthcare IT today’, the HIMSS12 Annual Conference commenced this week.  Borrowing from the success of the TED conferences, the event was kicked-off by Twitter cofounder and innovator, Biz Stone.  Careful to point out that his purpose was not to deliver healthcare social media strategy, he instead left the audience with the notion that the health care industry could expand its reach by embracing entrepreneurial humanitarianism. In keeping with this sentiment, Intel’s Global Director of Innovation, Eric Dishman and Innosight Institute’s Executive Director, Jason Hwang MD, noted that healthcare IT is the conduit for improved access, heightened collaboration and faster decision-making.  And while technology can bring physicians, patients, payers and other necessary healthcare organizations together, IT alone will not lead to better patient care.

Last but not least, in a MedCity News interview from the conference, Lisa Suennen of the Psilos Group, reiterated the need for healthcare start-ups to, “(not only) find technologies that engage the consumer, provider and payer altogether in a system in order to make a difference, (but also) be able to demonstrate concrete measures of cost savings and return on investment.”  Most telling, she also mentions, “there is a lot of (technology) to collect and preview data…but not much in terms of taking it from a pragmatic standpoint to make an operational difference”. Aha, score one for process improvement AND technological advancement.

Based on Information Week’s Marianne Kolbasuk McGee HIMSS12 preview, it will be intriguing to determine which of the following newest health IT ideas will successfully reduce cost, improve quality and facilitate patient engagement.  Here are my favorites.  With many more available for review at the conference, what were yours?

  • MyHospital24/7 Telemedicine Platform – MyHospital24/7, from Consult A Doctor, is a turn-key suite of telemedicine services configurable for hospitals and health systems. The telemedicine platform, which will debut at HIMSS, allows hospitals to offer their patients telemedicine access via phone, email, or video to their employed and affiliated physicians, or to Consult A Doctor’s national network of certified physicians. The platform includes an integrated physician and patient dashboard that enables adaptable workflow and business logic.
  • Shareable Ink – helps healthcare organizations transition from paper documentation to electronic records using an enterprise cloud-based platform that incorporates “natural input tools,” including iPads and digital pen and paper technology. Using a specialized ballpoint digital pen, clinicians can continue to fill out forms and other documents manually. The pen records every stroke and transmits the data to Shareable Ink’s data center, where it is processed, converted to digital data and transferred to the healthcare provider’s e-health record system. Built-in analytics give hospitals and physician practices insight into their operations–from a clinical, quality, and efficiency standpoint.
  • Capsule Technology’s Neuron – a medical device integration platform to capture vital signs, Neuron has an intelligent touch screen designed to manage bedside connectivity and workflow for higher and lower acuity, and fixed and mobile environments. Capsule Neuron also has a field upgradeable design for flexibility and scalability. It can be used with RIFD to manage a healthcare enterprise’s future connectivity needs, including smart pump connectivity and encounter reporting.
  • PatientSafe Solutions’ PatientTouch – a mobile care product that enables healthcare providers to coordinate people, processes, and data in real time. PatientTouch delivers Positive Patient Identification (PPID) workflows, clinically contextual communications,and configurable care interventions via a single, easy-to-use device running on the Apple iPod touch. The product is configurable to hospital policies and procedures for medication administration, nursing intervention, clinical documentation, and communication.
  • Summit Express Connect 9 – the latest iteration of Summit Healthcare’s interface engine, an interface consolidation tool for healthcare organizations. The new version emphasizes ease-of-use with a new feature called Summit APEX Mapper, which allows general IT staff to design, filter, and map complex interfaces. Healthcare organizations can leverage EC 9 to support a range of interoperability initiatives, including connecting their hospital information systems to third-party ancillary systems; integrating with physician offices; connecting to health information exchanges and regional health information organizations; and laying the integration foundation required in order to achieve Meaningful Use.
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