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Editor's e-Note
Needless to say, COVID-19’s tentacles have enveloped health care. Disruptions are par for the course. As providers adjust, they are met with added HIT challenges from systems that lack interoperability, intuitiveness, and speed.

This month’s E-News Exclusive focuses on how physicians have responded to these swift changes in an effort to better manage the situation. Where does a “mobile” EHR fit into the equation?

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Optimizing HIT to Prepare for the Next Patient Surge
By Christopher Maiona, MD, SFHM

The merits of preparation have been espoused for centuries. From Confucius (“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure”) to Alexander Graham Bell (“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”).

No doubt, great minds and leaders across the ages have recognized the importance of getting ready for whatever may come next. And when undertaking such preparations, it is vital to account for obstacles that are right under one’s nose. (As Gandalf says in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, “It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculation, if you live near him.”)

In health care in 2020, we have met the dragon, and its name is COVID-19. It is vital that we prepare well to effectively meet the demands of the next patient surge, whether it’s related to the COVID-19 pandemic (very likely) or some other medical crisis (inevitable). And part of preparation includes ensuring a hospital’s HIT infrastructure is not just up to par, but anticipates the needs of a stressed system.

As telehealth becomes the norm for much outpatient care, population health issues make national headlines daily, and public health officials are the new rock stars, it is clear that health systems must hit the gas on certain mission-critical IT initiatives.

Full story »
Products & Services
CAREMINDr Throws Lifeline to Physician Practices Struggling Due to COVID-19
CAREMINDr, which delivers mobile-enabled remote patient monitoring (mRPM) solutions that give doctors the ability to check in on patients in between face-to-face visits, announces the launch of RPM Connect, a turn-key program that offers physicians an off-site administrative and technical support team to launch and sustain mRPM services. The no-upfront-cost program helps generate much-needed monthly reimbursements to sustain medical practice revenues, while also providing better patient care for patients with chronic diseases. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to remotely monitor and manage patients with chronic and other at-risk conditions has increased exponentially. CAREMINDr’s RPM Connect program offers small, independent practices access to off-site support teams that collect and monitor patient data from CAREMINDr’s mobile app, which patients input from home medical devices and surveys. The information is assembled into CAREMINDr REVIEWER, an online portal for the patients’ physicians, where nonnormal responses are clearly flagged for follow-up. Medical practices can be reimbursed by their patients’ insurance for the remote monitoring, as well as clinical interventions based on the collected data, under chronic care management, remote physiologic monitoring, and other related CPT codes to generate revenue at a time when it is desperately needed. RPM Connect is now available in select regions in the United States. Learn more »

AHIMA Adds Material to Healthcare Data Analysis Course Series
AHIMA's monthly Healthcare Data Analysis online course series addresses learning needs regarding collecting and analyzing data to make strategic administrative, financial, and patient-related decisions. It features a collection of 90-minute courses each month and focuses on the practical analysis and application of data analytics and informatics practices to impact patient care. Each course rewards 1 CEU. Newly released course titles include “Improving HIM Clinical Quality Using Data Validation,” “Harvesting Data From External Sources for HIM Professionals,” and “Leveraging HIM Expertise to the Computerized Provider Order Implementation.” Other titles include “Tracking Surgical Outcome and Preoperative Risk Assessment,” “Analyzing Population Health Data,” and “Analyzing Discharged Not Final Billed (DNFB) Trends.” Learn more »

CHIME Debuts Digital Education Effort
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) has launched a new digital education resource that allows anyone in the health care community to experience customized e-learning based on their individual interests and schedules. The new program, Ignite: CHIME Digital Learning, offers in-depth online courses led by senior faculty who are experts in their fields and lets learners explore content areas, participate in discussions, join communities, and learn at their own pace. Free content is available to anyone, with learning opportunities on issues and content relevant to the digital health community, and those who subscribe have even greater access to additional premium content. Participants who complete these courses will be eligible to earn CHIME continuing education units. Upcoming course topics include Organizational Governance, Digital Healthcare Leadership, CHIME Certified Healthcare CIO Prep Course, Healthcare Cybersecurity, How to Coach for Excellence, and Analytics and Data Governance. Learn more »

Peri by MobileSmith Health Now Available in Epic’s App
OrchardMobileSmith Health announces its patient adherence management solution, Peri, is now available in Epic's App Orchard Marketplace. Through embedded EMR integration and adherence tracking dashboards, Peri by MobileSmith Health enables health care providers utilizing Epic to support pre- and postprocedural adherence across episodes of care, in an effort to reduce complications, cancellations, and 30-day readmissions. Assigned from within Epic, Peri provides patients with basic information including the day, time, and location for the test or procedure, along with a contact number that’s tap-to-call enabled—simplifying communications between patient and provider. An artificial intelligence–assisted bot helps educate patients while personalizing their experience by breaking down intensive or daunting medical information in a format that’s easier to understand. Peri includes a mobile app that provides patients with all the information needed throughout their care journey including pre-op, day-of-procedure, and post-op tasks and instructions assigned to each patient. With Peri, providers can identify patients critically out of adherence and prioritize interventions, giving clinicians the ability to make better decisions for their patients based upon adherence tracking, aiming to improve health outcomes and provide a more rewarding patient experience. Learn more »
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In this e-Newsletter
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Data Capture Enables Digital Transformation
Barcode technology fits nicely into the data sharing equation. Read more »

What’s Driving the CDI Resource Crunch?
As the need for thorough documentation soars, so, too, does the demand for professionals who can maneuver their way around a chart. What are budget-conscious health care organizations to do? Read more »

The Expedition to Realize Interoperability
Although challenges remain, the industry is making tremendous strides toward true health interoperability. Read more »
Other News
Physicians Deserve Better Software: COVID‑19 Has Shown Why Medical Records Need to Adapt
The rapidly changing era of COVID-19 highlights the need for more agile, flexible technology to support physicians, according to MedCity News.

Groups Urge Congress to Take Action on Patient Identifier as COVID-19 Raises the Stakes
Correctly matching patients with their data is more important than ever with COVID-19 test results and contact tracing efforts on the line, reports FierceHealthcare.
Industry Insight
Study Finds the Use of Patient Portals Is Lower Than Expected

In a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, Alicia Hong, PhD, a professor at George Mason University’s College of Health and Human Services, and colleagues used data from national surveys to examine how Americans used EHR patient portals from 2014 to 2018.

Following the HITECH Act, most hospitals and clinics have adopted EHRs and given their patients access to their medical records via patient portals. This allows patients to make appointments, view and download their testing reports, and communicate with their providers via online secure messaging. The use of patient portals offers the benefits of reducing medical costs, increasing access, and improving health care quality.

The researchers’ data analysis revealed that the use of patient portals increased from 25.6% in 2014 to 30.5% in 2017, and 31.4% in 2018, much lower than anticipated. The users of patient portals were more likely to be white females with higher levels of education or income, suggesting a persistent digital divide. Meanwhile, high-speed internet access, prior experience of online communication with health care providers, and having confidence in EHR data safety were linked to more patient portal use, suggesting facilitators of patient portal use.

Read more »
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