Tucked between large metropolitan centers on the East Coast, Berkshire Medical Center serves a population of about 130,000 people across 1,000 square miles of western Massachusetts. Clinicians there have launched a health information exchange (HIE) using dbMotionTM Solution, proving that small communities can harness big data. At Population Health University, our recent annual user conference, we gained insights from Berkshire’s Chief Medical Information Officer Mark Snowise, MD. “In a small community like ours, if we want to progress, we had to find some way to get everyone connected and talking to each other,” he said. Launching the Berkshire HIE Three years ago, the hospital approached the broader healthcare community with a plan to improve data sharing. Initially the hospital hoped to align the various providers by using the same electronic health record (EHR). The hospital-based practices and several community practices […]

Unity Health System (Rochester, NY) is home to one 346-bed hospital, more than 70 ambulatory sites, one home health agency and three nursing homes. While it’s had electronic health records (EHRs) at its ambulatory sites since 2004 and in the hospital since 2006, Unity wanted to improve its connectivity. It set strategic priorities to enable better clinical integration, analytics and care coordination. The answer was a Health Information Exchange (HIE) called u.Net Connect, powered by dbMotion. The goal is to provide access to relevant clinical information to improve patient care, patient engagement and overall efficiency. The system went live in October 2012. John Glynn, senior vice president and CIO, and Phyllis Larder, RN, MSN, clinical informatics analyst, shared Unity’s experiences at a recent dbMotion client conference. These tips are helpful if you’re about to embark on an effort to drive […]

0 comments

In EHR Adoption, Patience is a Virtue

A recent RAND study featured in the January issue of Health Affairs suggests that we are slow to achieve the cost-savings promise of health information technology. Authors suggest this is because the systems are not used widely enough, interconnected or fully embraced by the physicians who use them. It’s true that U.S. healthcare hasn’t achieved the savings predicted by groups like RAND themselves (whose models were over-aggressive and questioned at the time by experts in the Congressional Budget Office). But the recent study still concluded that adoption presents the potential to save more than $80 billion annually.  Unfortunately, like the first RAND study published in 2005, this one takes the complex issues challenging healthcare providers, software developers and regulators alike and boils them down to simplistic analysis that ignores the size of the change we are collectively affecting here. Big […]

A story I recently heard about a 4-year-old boy in Kentucky has reinvigorated my thinking about the need for a national clearinghouse of healthcare data. The model is already successful in the financial industry; we just need to implement it in healthcare to benefit patients. When you apply for a credit card, buy a house or take out a loan, the first thing your financial institution does is look at your credit report. It’s a check of your financial health to make sure it’s in your best interest – and the bank’s – to give you a line of credit. Your credit history is available because all financial institutions (with a few exceptions) send standardized data to credit reporting agencies. They cooperate because as an industry they know it benefits all lenders and consumers to make good decisions about credit […]

Innovative workflow solutions play a key role in the deployment of connected healthcare. Two industry thought leaders recently got together to discuss their experience in this area: Rick Schooler, Vice President and CIO of Orlando Health in Orlando, FL (CHIME/HIMSS CIO of the Year) Martin Kleinbart, Chief Strategy Officer at Citrus Valley Health Partners near Los Angeles Listen in as Schooler and Kleinbart discuss their connected healthcare objectives and how, despite their differences in size and geography, they are overcoming common challenges. Here’s some background on the two organizations and how they’re using Allscripts Community Record powered by dbMotion to help coordinate care across their enterprises. Citrus Valley Health Partners (CVHP) operates three non-profit community hospitals, a 10-bed in-patient hospice and a robust home health program. It has approximately 1,000 affiliated physicians. CVHP will use Allscripts Community Record to distribute, […]

0 comments

Stage Two: Let the Debate Begin!

Many of us who are close to healthcare IT regulation will soon be heads-down reviewing, analyzing and generally mulling over the Proposed Rule on Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program, now that CMS is set to release it.  On top of late nights and a headache or two, there is one other thing we’re bracing for: the Great Debate as to whether CMS – with significant input from others – did a good job or missed the mark.  No matter what is in the Rule, some will argue that the proposed measures are too difficult, while others will insist CMS didn’t go far enough.  It’s clear we can expect significant back-and-forth on the appropriate balance of the Rule’s many elements – the thresholds, the quality measures, the requirements for data connectivity, privacy elements, and how best to measure patient engagement in […]