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January 2021 Connect with us Facebook Twitter Sign up  |  Archive  |  Advertise
Editor's e-Note
The pandemic has underscored the value of telehealth, a technology that was flying under the radar prior to COVID-19’s arrival. Now, it’s the health care choice for many who find its convenience appetizing during these stressful times.

With telehealth’s surge in popularity has come a new slew of concerns to be addressed. Chief among them is privacy.

This month’s E-News Exclusive illustrates how providers are doing everything within their power to ensure protected health information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Lee DeOrio, editor
e-News Exclusive
Protecting Patient Privacy When Using Telehealth
By Jessica Denson

Tammy Balzer lives in rural northern Michigan where it can be tough to get to a doctor.

“People in the rural areas don’t have as much access to the doctors, the hospitals, the clinics as in the urban areas,” Balzer says. “So, having the ability to access telemedicine from a rural area saves a lot of time, money, and effort.”

Balzer has used telehealth for the last several years—at least when she can access the internet.

“We need better access to cell and internet in rural areas so that we can use telehealth. I think it will save everyone a lot of money and time if people understand how to use it and how it can help them,” she says.

But not everyone is as comfortable using the technology as Balzer. On March 5, 2020, Connected Nation Michigan announced the results of a six-month study on telehealth in which 66% of respondents said they were concerned their privacy would be compromised.

Less than a month later, in the last week of March, the United States saw a 154% surge in the use of telehealth compared with the same time period in 2019. Suddenly, as social distancing and limiting exposure to hospitals and doctors became the norm, millions who had either rarely or never used telehealth were forced to turn to it for their health care needs.

Full story »
Products & Services
Cerner Simplifies Patient Communication
Cerner has announced new capabilities designed to take interaction between clinicians and patients beyond e-mail to text message conversations, helping solve for a gap in communication in health care. The new features, in collaboration with WELL Health Inc and to be integrated into Cerner’s patient portal, are designed to help improve patients’ engagement with clinicians through intelligent and automated communication. Through Cerner’s HealtheLife, the new capabilities will pull from a myriad of systems and apps to help improve communication and reduce administrative time for clinicians and staff. Organizations can use the new automation features to deliver critical health information, send flu shot reminders, reschedule appointments, schedule virtual visits, and prompt patients to set up needed medical transportation. Additional benefits are expected to improve patient satisfaction, retention, and acquisition through timely communication and reduced hold queues, missed calls, and e-mail delays; save time spent scheduling and communicating with patients by using automated workflows that reply and route based on patient responses; and reduce time spent on billing and payment collections by autonotifying patients when new bills are ready for payment. Learn more »

New Online Health Science Degree Prepares Students to Work in a Growing Field
The University of Kansas has launched an online Bachelor of Health Sciences program as community health and medical research take center stage in public life. Available through the new School of Professional Studies, this all-online degree completion program provides an opportunity for students interested in the health science professions to strengthen their knowledge in specialized areas such as nutrition, public and population health, and health management and policy. The Bachelor of Health Sciences degree offers a diverse and comprehensive health sciences curriculum that can lead to careers in the health and medical professions. The curriculum can be completed entirely online, allowing students to learn remotely, and create an academic experience that reflects their career goals. The program’s flexible elective options allow students to gain knowledge in a variety of health care disciplines. They can get exposure in areas such as research and data analysis, environmental health, and epidemiology, in addition to courses that give them strong grounding in health sciences and career development. Learn more »

EBSCO Information Services Announces Clinical Decisions Brand
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) has announced Clinical Decisions as the new brand for its growing suite of health care solutions focused on improving patient-centered outcomes. EBSCO is a provider of clinical decision support, shared decision making, and medical research solutions, helping to improve patient care by providing health care professionals with clinical evidence at the point of care. By providing trusted, evidence-based decision support, EBSCO Clinical Decisions aims to support a value-based care model with a holistic suite of products. The Clinical Decisions suite from EBSCO includes the following solutions: DynaMed, EBSCO’s flagship clinical decision support tool, which provides the most current, accurate, actionable answers to questions at the point of care; DynaMed and Micromedex with Watson, a single solution through a partnership between EBSCO and IBM, which combines curated disease information with top evidence-based drug content; Dynamic Health, a resource supporting evidence-based nursing and allied health best practices, essential competency development and the policy and procedure process for the highest quality decision support; DynaMed Shared Decisions, a robust collection of shared decision-making tools that enable patients and providers to have meaningful and informed discussions, leading to higher patient satisfaction and improved outcomes; and Isabel, a diagnosis decision support tool that aims to broaden a differential diagnosis and reduce clinical uncertainty. The Clinical Decisions suite of products all work with an underlying set of operating services making implementation, maintenance, and interoperability with the EHR and analytics reporting consistent for a full view of the care team’s decision points to help reduce variation in care. Learn more »
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Industry Insight
ELLKAY Launches Women In Health IT Initiative

ELLKAY, LLC, a leader in health care connectivity for more than 18 years, is introducing an initiative to recognize women leaders who are making an impact in the HIT industry. As an HIT company composed of more than 50% women, the leadership of ELLKAY wants to inspire women to join the industry by highlighting the experience and work that drives the female HIT leaders of today.

“There is still a disparity in the presence of women in our industry,” says Shreya Patel, ELLKAY’s chief innovation and product officer. “If we can share our stories and our passion for innovation in HIT, perhaps this will help inspire other women to take the leap into the tech sector. At ELLKAY, our experience has been that innovation in the industry benefits from having a diverse and balanced workforce.”

According to The Atlantic, while 57% of occupations in the workforce are held by women, in the tech industry there is a less than 25% presence of women in associated occupations. ELLKAY hopes to join in the efforts in exposing women to careers in technology, specifically HIT, by telling the stories of women who are leading in the field.

Read more »
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