Majority of healthcare providers lagging in their digital health readiness

Failing to invest in the right technologies at the right time can eventually force patients to look elsewhere for their health services. U.S. healthcare providers understand IT modernization is now a necessity in today’s increasingly digital- and mobile-driven world. Yet many providers admit they are nowhere near ready to deliver the level of secure digital and mobile health offerings today’s consumers expect.

Failing to invest in the right technologies at the right time can eventually force patients to look elsewhere for their health services. Clinicians, physicians and key staff move on to more competitive health systems. In turn, an organization may be forced to fold. In fact, that’s already happening.

“The larger institutions are going to lead the way in innovation, and smaller ones will piggyback off those solutions,” said Bellrock Intelligence CIO-COO Charlie Wilson. Bellrock Intelligence makes data analytics software used by healthcare insurers and hospitals.

Wilson’s comments are part of a new HIMSS Media report that examines healthcare providers’ digital health readiness—and why so many remain reluctant to adopt mobile, cloud computing and data analytics solutions now commonplace in more advanced health systems.

Findings are based on a HIMSS model to help healthcare providers assess their own digital health readiness. Once built, researchers asked 220 healthcare IT decision-makers and influencers about their organizations’ technology plans. Their responses to an online survey were then scored and placed within the model’s digital health continuum.

Notification of protected health information breach

Essentia Health is notifying more than 1,000 patients that their protected health information may have been at risk when a former vendor of Essentia Health’s fell victim to a phishing incident.

Essentia Health is not aware of any actual or attempted misuse of this information, but as a trusted health care provider, it is important to us that our patients are made aware of this disclosure so they can take steps to protect themselves.

Essentia Health previously worked with a third-party vendor, Nemadji Research Corporation (aka “Nemadji”), to assist with billing services. To ensure prompt and appropriate delivery of these services, Essentia Health provided Nemadji with information about some of our patients.

Respecting its contractual obligations to Essentia and the strict federal privacy requirements imposed on third party vendors, Nemadji recently notified Essentia Health that patient information may have been compromised during an email phishing incident.

Steps are being taken to thoroughly investigate the incident and ensure that the privacy of patient information is maintained.

Essentia values the trust that our patients place in us. “Please be assured that Essentia Health is taking this incident very seriously,” says Julene Brown, Essentia Health Chief Compliance Officer. “Patient privacy is crucially important to us and we apply significant time and resources to safeguard all patient-related information. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our patients.”

More Than 40 Million Patients Can Access Their Clinicians’ Visit Notes Via Secure Portals at 200 …

BOSTON — OpenNotes announced today that more than 40 million patients using secure online patient portals can now access the notes written by their clinicians at 200 health systems across the U.S. and Canada.

As the OpenNotes movement continues to support the availability of fully transparent medical records, new studies show positive effects on diverse aspects of care, including communication, engagement, the use of medications, safety, and overall quality.

“Our most recent research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, shows that patients, particularly those from underserved populations, feel more engaged in their care and gain greater benefit from reading the notes their clinicians write,” said Catherine DesRoches, DrPH, Executive Director of OpenNotes, researcher in the Division of General Medicine at BIDMC and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “These are important and exciting findings because patients who read their notes report they are more likely to adhere to their treatment plans and medications, identify documentation errors, and follow through on tests and referrals.”

Helping OpenNotes reach the 200 health system mark, organizations recently offering patients access to their clinicians’ notes include: Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona, Asante in Oregon, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, Premier Medical Associates in Pennsylvania and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Ontario, Canada.

The overwhelming majority of patients with easy access to notes want such access to continue. “OpenNotes represents a significant paradigm shift for our system and for our providers,” said Lee David Milligan, MD, Senior VP and Chief Information Officer/Chief Medical Information Officer at Asante. “We now openly share clinical notes – including behavioral health notes – with patients in near real-time. Patients have expressed gratitude for being able to see their clinical assessment and plans of care. They have communicated that they appreciate being informed on issues central to their well-being.”

12 rules for health tech startups

Last week Mark Cuban tweeted out 12 rules for tech startups and Jessica DaMassa challenged a bunch of people to respond for health care. VC and general health care wit Lisa Suennen came out with quite the list (she got to 13) but I thought someone ought to write the real rules…

  1. Never start a health tech company if you can sucker someone into giving you a real job

  2. When VCs at conferences say raising money isn’t a problem, throw a milkshake at them

  3. Never work with a technical co-founder who won’t give you the last M&M in the packet

  4. When a clinician wants to quit their job and co-found with you, remember that the good ones could be making $500K a year reading X-rays and be on the golf course at 4pm

  5. Do the 502 diet. Starve for 50 weeks of the year then eat and drink as much as you possibly can at HIMSS & JP Morgan parties when someone else is paying

  6. When the incubator/accelerator/matchmaker says that they “chose you from 700 applicants” remember that there are roughly 700 of them and every company applies to each one

  7. When you get the elusive partnership deal with the big hospital system, tech company or corporate, you’re going to expect to work at the speed of the startup and the scale of the corporate. It’ll be the reverse . (I stole this from Michael Ferguson at Ayogo)

  8. After your first few clients and funding rounds you’ll be losing money at a exponential rate that matches what you had for revenue on the hockey stick chart in your pitch deck

  9. Hopefully you’ll eventually be able to start making the money the health care way, by establishing a monopoly that can arbitrarily raise prices to the moon and stick it to your customers. If not, start prepping for the really big Oscar/Collective/Clover type round.

  10. Pray to whatever God you follow that Softbank is still in business when #9 happens.

  11. If after a decade or so of slog, you finally get the IPO, or semi decent exit, try to ignore the fact that the Instagram guys sold for $1 billion 11 months after they founded the company

  12. Hope that you can disrupt health care, but remember that UnitedHealth Group’s revenue is $220 billion and CMS spends $900 billion a year and they both appear mostly powerless to make anything better.

Physicians’ Well-Being Linked To In-Basket Messages Generated By Algorithms In Electronic Health …

How EHR Optimization Can Improve Prediabetes Screening

There are an estimated 84 million people in the United States living with prediabetes (higher-than-normal blood sugar level). The National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) has proven effective at coaching people to make lifestyle changes. Yet making referrals to DPP a regular part of clinical workflow has proven challenging. The American Medical Association, the Henry Ford Health System and Epic Systems have worked together on EHR optimization to improve the referral process.

In a June 26 presentation in Thomas Jefferson University’s “PopTalk” series, Kate Kirley, M.D., director of chronic disease prevention in the Improving Health Outcomes group at the AMA, described the effort at Henry Ford. Kirley, who serves as the lead clinician on the AMA’s diabetes prevention initiatives, began by noting that the DPP lifestyle coaching program method developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC has been shown to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 58 percent compared to placebo.

Prior to joining the AMA, Kirley was a practicing family physician and health services researcher at NorthShore University HealthSystem, and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Chicago. She says most primary care doctors are not yet screening patients for prediabetes in ways that are consistent with guidelines and are missing people who should be screened. Research suggests that fewer than 23 percent have ever made referrals to DPP, she said. “The role of physicians is to identify at-risk patients, document it in the EHR and tell their patients, then engage them in shared decision making about their treatment options, and then support them,” she says.

The AMA is working with healthcare systems and physician practices on their diabetes prevention strategies, including improving systematic screening and referral to DPP and also looking at where technology can support prevention, including EHR optimization and digital and mobile health solutions, she said

Kirley described a year-long effort working in partnership with Henry Ford Health System, a Michigan-based integrated health system, to optimize their instance of Epic to support clinical processes. This included adding some clinical decision support features, solutions to support patient engagement and bidirectional e-referrals to DPP.