EHR TechnologyThis week’s articles include: a study that finds advanced EHRs can reduce adverse effects; the opportunity for radiologists to participate in value-based healthcare models; increased use of telehealth technology by substance abuse treatment providers; tweaks to PACS workstation software that could help radiologists cope with the data deluge; and a nationwide analysis of electronic health records that has uncovered several previously unknown risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

Patients with fully electronic health records experienced fewer adverse events, such as hospital-acquired infections, according to a study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and published in the Journal of Patient Safety.

Improve population health. Optimize the patient experience. And cut costs. That, of course, is the “Triple Aim,” the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s boiled-down

This week’s articles focus on: automated email messaging to engage patients in their own care; five healthcare trends to watch in 2016; why the IT transformation is creating a growing need for CIOs; adding an annual pledge for healthcare facilities that participate in the Image Wisely program; and the move to spend more healthcare IT dollars on analytics, patient engagement, customer relationship management and cybersecurity.

A healthcare startup made a wild pitch to Cara Waller, CEO of the Newport Orthopedic Institute in Newport Beach. The company said it could get patients more engaged by “automating” physician empathy and told Waller Diagnostic Reading, Patient Engagementits messaging technology would improve their satisfaction and help keep them out of the hospital. High satisfaction scores and low readmission rates mean higher reimbursements from Medicare, so Waller was intrigued. So far, she’s been surprised at patients’ enthusiasm for the personalized—but automated—daily emails they receive from their doctor.

[caption id="attachment_2181" align="alignleft" width="115"] Cristine Kao, Global Marketing Manager, Healthcare IT, Carestream[/caption] Patient engagement measures have the potential to be one of the most transformative aspects of reform on the quality of care, but but we must recognize the challenge they pose to a provider’s IT

[caption id="attachment_1881" align="alignleft" width="85"] Doug Rufer, North American Business Manager, RIS, Healthcare Information Solutions, Carestream[/caption] The final measures of stage 2 meaningful use start the 2nd chapter in changing the way all specialties will practice medicine.  For radiology, incorporation of patient images into the patient's clinical

[caption id="attachment_1287" align="alignleft" width="150"] Mary Tierney, VP, Chief Content Officer,TriMed Media Group[/caption] Earlier this month CMIO Magazine unveiled a new name, Clinical Innovation + Technology, and website, Clinical-Innovation.com. Our new focus mirrors healthcare’s technology-fueled transformation where C-suite executives are tasked with blending clinical and technological innovations to

David Magboulé

David Magboulé, Marketing Manager, Carestream Health Spain and Portugal

Despite the current economic problems affecting the healthcare market in Spain, everyone involved in the decision making process agrees on the need to invest in innovation to take us in the right direction. In this particular case, new technologies will play a crucial role in speeding up and improving the work of medical teams. In turn this will have a direct impact on improving diagnostics and will help lead to a better quality of life for patients and better patient care.

To tackle these challenges, a new concept has recently been introduced at national level. Derived from the application of the use of new technologies in the health system,  La Evaluación En Red (Network Evaluation) is an agency network set up to evaluate healthcare technologies and disseminate information to simplify the decision making process in the Spanish National Health System .

In Spain, the average life of diagnostic equipment in hospitals, such as CT scans or MRIs, is approximately 10 years.  For radiology rooms it is 8 or 9 years. Often medical equipment continues to be used past this timeframe as many hospitals do not have the financial resources to buy new equipment. For that reason it is a priority to get the message across that the implementation of new technology is a mid-long term investment and not a cost, and one that will have a direct impact on the improvement of the service, diagnostics and the quality of patient care. In that sense, our country is an international leader in the implementation of information technology in the healthcare sector, ahead of countries like Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Singapore or the United States. Our country is focused on how to make it easier to share patient information between organizations, which will then have a positive impact in preventing medical errors, reducing healthcare costs and reducing paperwork.

Of course there is a long way to go when it comes to the use and application of new technologies in the healthcare sector. One example that we can take as a reference point in Spain is the Agency for the Evaluation of Healthcare Technology in Andalucía, whose principal task is to provide quality information to help citizens to get involved in the decision making processes and promote an evaluative culture among healthcare professionals. At a European level there is also a global evaluation network run under the auspices of the Health Technology Assessment International association (HTAI), which over the last few years has become a benchmarking tool for healthcare managers and helps in the prioritization of healthcare resources and the adoption of new technologies.

It is truly necessary to create a culture of evaluation throughout Spain, using comparative models to raise awareness and to enable an appropriate response to global needs without losing the local perspective. This balance is essential, especially when it comes to evaluating technologies. The creation of a national agency will help with the decision to renew technology in hospitals and drive technology standards in all healthcare centres at a national level. The Evaluation Agency will also allow healthcare providers to make decisions on matters of healthcare technology that will help to optimize resources and improve the quality of patient care.

This long term investment in innovation should be the strategic vision of a healthcare model that goes beyond companies and public bodies to position the country as a reference at an international level.

A Spanish version of this post is available. 

[caption id="attachment_3018" align="alignleft" width="100"] Sean P. Reilly, Publisher, Imaging Technology News and Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology[/caption] Editor's Note: This is a guest-post by Sean P. Reilly of Imaging Technology News and Diagnostic and Interventional Cardiology.  It has been interesting to monitor news outlets and social media since

Boris Alvarez

Boris Alvarez, project consultant, Medical Technology School, Universidad San Sebastián

Editor’s Note:  Boris Alvarez, project consultant for Medical Technology School, Universidad San Sebastián , in Santiago Chile, shared his thoughts with us on the difference between public and private healthcare, digital x-ray technology and the importance of continuing education and networking.

Q: Having lived in both the United States and Chile, can you give us a snapshot of the differences you see in planned healthcare reforms?

In my opinion, healthcare reforms in both countries address the need to achieve better access to care, especially for those more vulnerable citizens.

On one hand, the USA has been the most important country in the development of technologies for the whole world. This is increasing healthcare costs by transferring research costs to American patients. The US government expects to use strategies that reduce healthcare prices for the population with fewer alternatives to pay for it.

In contrast, the Chilean government is addressing healthcare access through a framework that allows public and private investment to give access to better technology to the people who can not afford it.

I think the biggest challenges for healthcare institutions are in their capacity to adapt to the new scenario. In the American case, institutions must be able to fit their cost structure in order to be more competitive. In the Chilean case, institutions must follow the technologic vanguard, in spite of the limitations in budget of the Chilean market.