The challenges and pathways to creating a unified framework for capturing, distributing and accessing clinical information
Cristine Kao, Carestream Health
What is interoperability in healthcare? Interoperability can be described as a well-functioning central nervous system, coordinating the enterprise’s many roles and tasks toward a common end: the well-being of each patient.
But when communications are slow, incomplete, or missing between any two entities — patients and providers, primary-care physicians and specialists, central and remote locations, and so on — the timeliness and quality of patient care can suffer. Many other parts of the total healthcare ecosystem can be affected as well: costs can rise, resources can be allocated inefficiently, and opportunities for constructive collaboration can be lost.
Information generated by different systems, on different networks and for different purposes becomes far more useful when a unified framework is in place for capturing, distributing and using the information. Ideally, with the appropriate security credentials, any individual user or collaborative team should be able to interact with the information they need, in the format they prefer, on their choice of device.
Why is interoperability important to healthcare?
Every stakeholder in the healthcare delivery process stands to benefit from interoperable systems built on interoperability standards that deliver collaborative transparency and efficiency. These stakeholders include patients who want to take more active responsibility for their own health; primary care physicians and specialists who are seeking meaningful collaboration, without information gaps, delays, or redundancies that could compromise quality; and providers in remote and rural areas who need the ability to share clinical images and data with centrally located specialists. Continue reading
Articles include: healthcare providers need multiple firewalls to protect patient data; radiologists need to establish a role on cancer treatment teams; a HIMSS/SIIM paper offers key features to consider when selecting an enterprise image viewer; 3D imaging helps diagnose 1.7-million-year-old cancer; and an Alzheimer’s vaccine could be available in five years.
Hack of Banner Health highlights the need for more firewalls – Health Data Management
A cyber attack at Banner Health that provided access to the information of 3.7 million individuals is a wake-up call to other provider organizations. Many hospitals only have a perimeter firewall used to provide protection for moving in and out of the core network. At Banner, the food and beverage system in the cafe that was used to ring up sales (often made with a credit or debit card) was attacked, and that opened the gate to the system’s network. This demonstrates the need for multiple firewalls across the organization. Continue reading
Top news includes clinical decision making, EHRs and personalized recommendations in healthcare
This week’s articles include: radiologists playing a more active role in clinical decision making; use of EHR and CPOE systems create added clerical work for doctors; new systems can deliver a doctor’s personalized recommendations to patients to enhance compliance; a color-coded, user-friendly dashboard that tracks ER exams allows medical staff to better monitor patients; and companies are experimenting with ways to reach lower-income patients through apps, text messaging and video conferencing.
Radiologists Take On Bigger Role in Diagnosis – Wall Street Journal
At one of the top radiology departments in the country radiologists are now playing an active role in helping clinicians make medical decisions for their patients. Radiologists at NYU Langone Medical Center provide their analysis of imaging studies (via computer screen) as medical staff make their rounds in pediatric intensive care units, where frail patients are imaged daily to monitor their progress. The initiative to involve radiologists in making treatment decisions is led by Michael Recht, chairman of the radiology department, who oversees more than 200 physicians
EHRs are making things harder for physicians – DotMed Healthcare Business News
Physicians who used an EHR and CPOE were 30 percent less likely to be satisfied with clerical burden, according to a Mayo Clinic physician who was the lead author of a study. Doctors spend hours placing orders for patient procedures such as imaging exams and lab tests and are also spending more than 10 hours a week using the EHR on nights and weekends, according to the study. Continue reading
Big data needs the right health IT infrastructure to live up to its potential
Cristine Kao, Carestream Health
There is a rising expectation that the application of “big data” in health IT will revolutionize the delivery of healthcare services across the globe. To achieve its potential, each healthcare organization must build an infrastructure that allows big data to work within its enterprise by:
- Handling large volumes of data and support very high speed data transfers,
- Deploying a management system that can handle varying data types and sources, verify the quality of captured data and address the inconsistency of some data; and
- Maximizing value by applying the clinical insights gained from data into practical uses that can drive the quality of care.