Hayes' Healthcare Blog

Why Healthcare Technology Innovation Must Consider the Patient Story

Posted by Jeff Liddell on May 17, 2017 at 9:00 AM

By Jeff Liddell, Harmony Healthcare IT Consultant, Licensed Social Worker, Emergency Psychiatric Services High Reliability Organization Coach

The buzz and excitement surrounding last month’s NCAA Basketball Tournament provided another example of how the Road to the Final Four has become an annual community ritual encompassing people of all ages and backgrounds. Everyone, it seems, follows the action with brackets in hand as the field is whittled down from 68 to one National Champion – this year North Carolina.

The enormity of the event can be overwhelming, but as I followed the action I was most inspired by the individual stories of these college players - some of them beginning in faraway places like Poland, Africa, and Germany. While the victorious Tarheels cut down the nets amid a shower of blue and white confetti, many of the player stories had already begun to fade away.

Something similar is happening in the healthcare industry. The exhilaration surrounding the innovations in healthcare technology has taken center stage – sometimes at the expense of the stories of the patients the technology is meant to help. As industry leaders, we can’t be dazzled to the point where the patient story is lost beneath the waves of technology sweeping healthcare today. In an environment of mergers and acquisitions, consolidations and the tsunami of new technology and challenges to deliver care, we must be vigilant in ensuring that the patient remains the focus.

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Topics: healthcare IT, patient experience, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series

From Boardrooms to Exam Rooms: 4 Strategies to Enhance Frontline Engagement in Continuous Improvement

Posted by Henry Bernstein on April 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM

By Henry (Hank) Bernstein, DO, MHCM, FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and Shannon Cleary, BA, Research Assistant, Cohen Children’s Medical Center of NY

It is well known that a key objective in the evolving healthcare landscape is improving outcomes. To meet that goal, many organizations are embracing the tenets of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Triple Aim – improving the health of populations, enhancing the patient experience, and reducing the cost of care.

Achieving success in these tenets requires implementing practice improvement. Traditionally, individual members of clinical teams haven’t been eager to participate in practice improvement programs, largely due to heavy clinical and administrative workloads. However, to accomplish meaningful, productive change, providers on the frontline must be involved in the development and implementation of any practice improvement initiative.

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Topics: physician training, improve patient satisfaction, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series

Driving Cultural Transformation: Bringing an Innovative Mindset to Healthcare

Posted by Mark Long on February 15, 2017 at 9:00 AM

By Mark Long, Group Vice President, Digital Innovation, Providence St Joseph’s Health

During my time at NASA, Zynx Health, several startups and Amazon I learned a thing or two about innovation. The key lesson is best summed as “Success is not delivering a project or product; success is learning how to make your customers great at what your customers care about.”  This has been written about by many other thought leaders including Steve Blank (Customer Development) [1], Kathy Sierra (Making Users Awesome) [2], and Eric Ries (The Lean Startup) [3].  It’s grounded in a learning culture.

The healthcare industry is going through a transformation driven by many forces including changes in regulations, risk and price structures, and consumer expectations set by other industries. Technology is playing an increasingly important role in healthcare, but the answer is not to focus on the development of more tools and apps for their own sake. Instead success will come from an iterative learning process that leverages technology to focus on new ways to improve the lives of our patients, members, and providers.  

When we committed to digital innovation at Providence St. Joseph Health, we vowed we were not going to be a passive player in the healthcare transition game. We were determined to lead this revolution and reinvent healthcare along the lines of our mission.  Many Pacific Northwest organizations have reinvented industries such as Boeing, Microsoft, Costco, Nordstrom, Starbucks, REI, and Amazon. Now it’s our turn. 

After several years on the front lines of the revolution, Providence has identified four key concepts that we feel are essential for traditional healthcare organizations to disrupt the way they deliver services and stay relevant.

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Topics: healthcare transformation, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series

Leveraging the EHR as a Building Block for 3 Key Healthcare Initiatives

Posted by Brent Magers on January 25, 2017 at 9:00 AM

By Brent D. Magers, FACHE, FHFMA, CMPE, Executive Associate Dean and CEO, Texas Tech Physicians

With the advent of Electronic Health Records (EHR) in the late 2000s came rampant resistance. Meaningful Use requirements forced healthcare organizations to begin implementing an EHR but many were unhappy about it. As we transition from fee-for-service to value-based care – from volume to value – and move from current state to MACRA, adoption of EHRs has become both necessary and nearly universal.

As of 2015, nine out of 10 office-based physicians had adopted an EHR.  As of March 2016, more than 90 percent of hospitals eligible for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program have achieved meaningful use of certified health IT.[1] Overall, 96 percent of hospitals have adopted CEHRT.[2]

However, near universal adoption doesn’t necessarily translate to 100 percent acceptance. When it comes to incorporating an EHR, many providers have undergone the five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally now, to grudging acceptance. Like death and taxes, EHRs are here to stay and will remain an integral component of the healthcare landscape of the future.

The reality is that EHRs are essential if we hope to meet the overriding goal of providing better healthcare outcomes at reduced costs. EHRs form the basic building block for much of what needs to be accomplished in healthcare. Here are three key initiatives that rely on EHRs for their ultimate success.

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Topics: EHR optimization, evidence based medicine, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series, population health, patient engagement

2017 Predictions from Healthcare Leaders Across the Country

Posted by Thought Leaders on December 28, 2016 at 9:00 AM

In this special edition of our Healthcare Leaders blog series, we have asked some of the country’s leading experts to give us their predictions for 2017. From analytics to consumer engagement to interoperability, we get a glimpse of best guesses on what is sure to be an interesting year.

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Topics: interoperability, Healthcare Analytics, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series, consumer engagement, 2017 Predictions

Driving Audit Productivity and Efficiency: 5 Key Steps

Posted by Susanna Partrick on November 30, 2016 at 9:00 AM

By Susanna Partrick, Senior Privacy and Compliance Administrator, Weill Cornell Medicine

Nearly eight out of ten healthcare internal auditors in a recent survey by PwC believe risks are increasing. As a result, almost nine out of ten say they have gone through or will soon be involved in significant business transformation. The conclusion is that these increased risks and transformative changes in the healthcare industry will require internal auditing to change as well.[1]

Unfortunately, few healthcare organizations are able to add resources during a time of shrinking revenue and tightening margins. To meet this increased demand, therefore, those of us responsible for the internal compliance program functions must find ways to be more efficient with the resources we do have.  Doing more with less has become an inevitable mantra for compliance auditing groups in healthcare organizations striving to minimize overall risk.

The concepts of productivity and efficiency are often viewed negatively – as simply buzzwords to wring more output from overworked staff. That doesn’t have to be the case. A huge part of our responsibility as leaders is to work cooperatively with our teams to improve the amount of work being performed by optimizing their skills, our processes, and the technology under our control.

Here are five key steps you can take to improve the productivity and efficiency of your compliance audit team.

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Topics: healthcare compliance, Audits, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series

On the Road with John Halamka, Healthcare IT Observations

Posted by John Halamka on November 9, 2016 at 9:00 AM

By John Halamka, MD, CIO, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and co-chair of the national Healthcare IT Standards Committee.

Over the past few months, I’ve been in England, China, Denmark, New Zealand, and Canada.

Each of them is rethinking their healthcare IT strategy and is not entirely satisfied with past progress.  

I’m often asked by senior government officials to help harmonize IT strategy at the country level. That I can do. I’m also asked to discuss the US Presidential campaign, but that defies rational explanation.

I frequently say that healthcare IT issues are the same all over the world.  Here’s a few common observations:

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Topics: healthcare IT, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series

DSRIP: A Major Step Toward Reinventing Medicaid

Posted by Kelly Barland, CIO on October 12, 2016 at 9:04 AM

By Kelly Barland, Chief Information Officer, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, New York City

The pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continue to be debated, but one point appears to be beyond dispute: the ACA has significantly contributed to the explosive growth of the Medicaid program. In FY 2015 – the first full year of ACA coverage expansion – enrollment and spending in Medicaid across the 50 states and DC increased by an average of nearly 14%.[1] Combined federal and state spending for Medicaid was more than $500 billion in 2015 and is projected to reach $750 billion by 2020.[2]

Many initiatives are being implemented to help stem the rising costs and improve patient outcomes including increasing the value and quality in managed care contracts, instituting home health for individuals with chronic conditions, and testing innovative delivery and payment models.

One of the more promising efforts has been the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program (DSRIP). Rolled out in 2010-11 in California, Texas, and Massachusetts followed by New Jersey and Kansas, in 2012, DSRIP originally focused on funding for safety net hospitals and resulted from negotiations between HHS and the states on how to pay for hospital care. The program has evolved into a way to initiate payment and delivery system reforms and provide the states with funding to support hospitals and other providers in changing methods of providing care to Medicaid beneficiaries.

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Topics: Medicaid, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series, DSRIP, ACA

3 Ways Technology Must Show Up in the Consumerization of Healthcare

Posted by Don Lewis, VP/CTO, Group Health Cooperative on September 21, 2016 at 9:00 AM

In a recent survey, eight out of 10 consumers believe taking a greater, more active role in their healthcare is a positive. Nearly nine of 10 reported feeling a need to be more proactive in managing their own healthcare.[1] The sea change that has since washed over the healthcare industry over the past few years has only served to strengthen those opinions.

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Topics: healthcare IT, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series

The 21st Century Revenue Cycle Leader: 3 Key Factors for Success in the Evolving Healthcare Environment

Posted by Steven M. Wagner, PH.D., M.P.A, on August 17, 2016 at 9:00 AM

By Steven M. Wagner, PH.D., M.P.A, Executive Director Medical Practice Income Plan; Clinical Instructor in Health Policy, Finance and Administration, Department of Medical Education, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center El Paso at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, faculty instructor for Independence University, and Research Fellow at the Centers for Healthcare Research in the School of Advance Studies for the University of Phoenix.

Healthcare leaders need to look at the bigger picture of healthcare reform rather than narrowly focusing on its separate components. Fragmented legislation and grants led us to where the healthcare industry stands today, and only integrating networks of components in healthcare can lead us to successful reform. Success means that healthcare becomes accessible and affordable with or without insurance to all payors, quality outcomes take into account the functional and holistic health of the patient, and patients are satisfied and feeling well.

The hard reality is that in the end, everyone in the industry will be dealing with less revenue because the over-arching goal for the US government is cost containment. Only when leaders take all the changes into account will we, as an industry, be able to facilitate truly beneficial change. To make that happen, revenue cycle leaders need to be able to integrate cost, quality, and access into our routine processes of patient care, frequently analyze outcomes including the patients’ self-perceived health statuses, and develop actionable solutions.

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Topics: revenue cycle management, value-based care, Hayes Thought Leadership Blog Series

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