Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Misguided EHR Replacement Decision | EMR and HIPAA

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. 

This post is part of the Breakaway Thinking blog post series which is sponsored by Breakaway Learning Solutions, a Conduent Company.
Almost every healthcare organization I meet is talking about how to get better adoption of their EHR software. They’ve implemented their EHR as part of a massive go live. Many are even doing fine with programs like meaningful use and are working on MACRA. However, they all realize that adoption of their EHR software be end users could be better than it is today.
During these conversations, it’s easy to see how some organizations slip into the thinking that if they replaced their EHR with a new one that somehow that would spur more adoption and EHR use by their end users. When you hear users complaining about EHR software, it’s easy to blame the software itself. This is a dangerous line of thinking because that’s just not how it works. Switching EHR software does little to improve adoption of EHR by end users. EHR adoption problems that exist with one EHR are likely to exist in any new EHR.
That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate reasons for you to switch EHR. There are many good reasons to switch EHR software including when your organization is bought out and you want to align EHR software or when your product is being sunset. These can be good reasons to switch EHR and there are many more. However, it’s usually a mistake to switch EHR when you don’t have a good strategic reason to switch and lack of adoption is not a good strategic reason to switch.
The most successful organizations I’ve seen are led by people who understand that EHR adoption is not a one time event, but is an ongoing process of workflow improvement, training, and process modification. The value an EHR can provide is extracted as organizations incrementally improve their use of the EHR. It doesn’t happen by accident or by happenstance. It requires thoughtful and well executed leadership.
The idea of replacing your EHR to improve EHR adoption and use is often just an easy way out from addressing the real reasons why EHR use in your organization is not optimal. When this happens, you’re still generally faced with the same hard challenges after replacing your EHR. Don’t fall into this trap in your organization. If there’s not a strategic reason to replace your EHR software, then don’t. Take the energy you’d have spent replacing your EHR and make a deeper investment in optimizing your current EHR usage. That investment will pay off far more than an EHR switch.
Learn more about the Breakaway Thinking blog series sponsor, Breakaway Learning Solutions, and download their FREE whitepaper “Leadership Insights: Gaining Value from Technology Investments.”

The Misguided EHR Replacement Decision | EMR and HIPAA

Monday, March 20, 2017

ATA Introduces An Interactive Exhibit At April Telehealth 20 Conference

Event Announcement for April .  As the telemedicine industry continues its upward growth, 

American Telemedicine Association is adding new features to its flagship conference, ATA 2017 Telehealth 2.0. The leading industry event takes place April 23-25 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

In addition to its host of other events, attendees can participate in the Experience Zone and Simulation Area tours, which enable attendees to test drive and interact with leading industry products and technologies. They also can celebrate their female colleagues while networking with thought leaders and industry experts following a Women’s Executive Panel.
While the final word is not yet out regarding the cost effectiveness,  nor on outcomes, this even will bring together many influencers and decision makers to determine the worth of telehealth. Telehealth in hospital and remote monitoring for postoperative and chronic care. may be more effective than for outpatient primary care visits.  A recent blog post on describes the uncertainty thus far.

Industry leading organizations featured in Telehealth 2.0 programming include AARP, Advanced ICU, Adventist Health System, the American Heart Association, American Well, Avera, Cerner, Cleveland Clinic, InTouch, Mayo Clinic, Ontario Telemedicine Network, The Good Samaritan Society, Teladoc, UMMC Center for Telehealth, UPMC, Ziegler, and Zipnosis, among others.   Among the conference’s other headliners are three-time Pulitzer Prize winning author Thomas L. Friedman and Kennedy Forum founder and advocate for mental health and brain research, the Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy.

ATA Introduces An Interactive Exhibit And Women’s Executive Panel At April Telehealth 20 Conference

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

EMR change cited as one of the reasons IBM Watson and MD Anderson collaboration failed -

Hindsight rarely requires focus.  Failure presents itself even as we march forward to the future with new innovations.

Poor planning even between two relative giants in their respective industries makes a big headline, especially when there was little hard evidence that artificial intelligence would catalyze a disruptive innovation in health care.

Several questions come to my mind.

Why did IBM choose a large multispecialty clinic such as MD Anderson?  Were they misguided by the aura of finding a cure for cancer ? Few details are forthcoming about the scope of cancers which were being studied or how Watson would analyze and use cognitive computer science.  Both sides have blamed each other for failure.  IBM charged MD Anderson with missing deadlines, changing mission, and switching EMRs in mid-stream.

Whether well planned in advance or not, implementing a new EMR is fraught with hazards while delivering health care.  This is well known from countless disasters, loss of operating efficiency, and impacting morale on the professional staff.

The recent dissolution of the partnership between IBM’s Watson and renown cancer research center MD Anderson has chipped away at some of the optimism for Watson as a viable player in the medical tech industry.  

According to Forbes, MD Anderson invested $62 million dollars in the project, and Watson didn’t live up to the expectations of such a large investment. To those involved, the Watson project was the one at MD Anderson that missed deadlines, had projects that continually shifted focus, and one that promised pilot programs which never happened. To top it all off, MD Anderson changed their EMR management system rendering all of the work done by Watson obsolete.

Why did MD Anderson chose to change an EMR during an innovative 'artifical intelligence exploration ?

A spokesperson for MD Anderson told that publication that:
“When it was appropriate to do so, the project was placed on hold … As a public institution, we decided to go out to the marketplace for competitive bids to see where the industry has progressed.”
This is not an auspicious time to invoke new unproven technology, when reimbursements are questionable and government continually stirs the pot with political health technology.  Revenue Cycle is the heartbeat of health systems, and providers.  The details are buried somewhere in the acccounts receivable, capital expenditures and impaired efficiency.

No brainer for simple folk.

EMR change cited as one of the reasons IBM Watson and MD Anderson collaboration failed - iMedicalApps

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Top Artificial Intelligence Companies in Healthcare to Keep an Eye On - The Medical Futurist

Artificial Intelligence has to and will redesign healthcare

No one doubts that artificial intelligence has unimaginable potential. Within the next couple of years, it will revolutionize every area of our life, including medicine. Although many have their fears and doubts about AI taking over the world, Stephen Hawking even said that the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. However, I am fully convinced if humanity prepares appropriately for the AI-age, artificial intelligence will prove to be the next successful area of cooperation between humans and machines.
We already experience a very primitive form of AI when we chat online with vendors, customer service representatives, the interaction can be as simple as a greeting or a multi-step inquisition about a product, model number and the problem your are encountering.  The power of this simple tool allows one employee to be able to manage five or more chats.  It is preprogammed with a script not unlike a simple macro in a word processor.

True artificial intelligence is a result which is more than the sum of input/output, calculations or what is stored in memory. It requires creativity, imagination and true cognition.

Despite the hype it will be some time until true AI is with us.  Our current level of technology is probably not going to yield the result.  We hear about Quantum computing which may be more like what is needed.

Just look at this picture taken in a Hungarian hospital in the capital city, Budapest. The personnel manages patients’ appointments MANUALLY on a huge black board, and I do not even want to comment on the index-card holder. The whole scene is rather from an early 20th century hospital than a healthcare institution way in the second decade of the 21st century.

In reality what we use is a computerized data base, SQL and a search engine...a far cry from artificial intelligence, not AI.

It is obvious that such systems are unsustainable, and artificial intelligence could offer help. And some entrepreneurs already realized the huge transformative as well as financial potential in medical AI. Researcher Frost & Sullivan said artificial intelligence systems will generate $6.7 billion in global revenue from healthcare by 2021, compared with $811 million in 2015. The market is truly booming, hence start-ups grow out of nowhere like mushrooms. So, let me introduce you to companies which are on the best way to democratize healthcare through artificial intelligence. It is truly worth keeping an eye on them, since they are great partners in building a more transparent and effective healthcare.

1) Google Deepmind Health

Recently, the AI research branch of the company launched its Google Deepmind Health project, which is used to mine medical records in order to provide better and faster health services. These words are not just empty phrases; Google Deepmind is able to process hundreds of thousands of medical information within minutes. Although research into such data-harvesting and machine learning is in its early phase, at the moment Google is cooperating with the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to improve eye treatment.
Google DeepMind Health - Artificial Intelligence Companies in Healthcare
Also, Verily, the life sciences arm of Google’s umbrella corporation, Alphabet is working on its genetic data-collecting initiative, the Baseline Study. It aims to use some of the same algorithms that power Google’s famous search button in order to analyse what makes people healthy. This also includes experimenting with disease monitoring technologies, including a digital contact lens that could detect blood sugar levels.

2) IBM WatsonPaths

IBM Watson launched a project called WatsonPaths in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. WatsonPaths consists of two cognitive computing technologies that can be used by the AI algorithm, Watson, which are expected to help physicians make more informed and accurate decisions faster and to cull new insights from electronic medical records (EMR)

And there are many other small but innovative companies in the market about to release their prospective AI contributions.


Disrupting Medical Imaging

CloudMedX Health



Bay Labs

Speeding up biological and drug development from years to weeks 


Recursion Pharmaceuticals

Whole Biome


Deep Genomics


The number of like-minded companies encompasses a wide variety of data analytics and free thoughts. The possible applications are inumerable.  Market place demand and evolution will take several years or even a decade to transform AI into something useful.

.Top Artificial Intelligence Companies in Healthcare to Keep an Eye On - The Medical Futurist