Tips to Health IT Professionals for Gaining Competitive Edge in the Job Market

In honor of National Health IT Week Sept. 15-19, American Sentinel University offers tips to health IT professionals for gaining a competitive edge in the healthcare marketplace.

A recent study by HIMSS shows demand for qualified health IT professionals are at an all-time high and a candidate’s skill set is the differentiating factor when filling a position. The skill most desired is that of an IT professional that has clinical workflow and terminology experience. American Sentinel offers specialization in healthcare, giving students a competitive advantage in the clinical IT environment.

“Technology and healthcare are two ever-changing industries. When the two collide it creates dynamic and exciting challenges for health IT professionals,” says Blair Smith, Ph.D., dean of Informatics-Management- Technology programs at American Sentinel University. “Electronic Medical Record (EMR) implementation has become the focal point and while it offers tremendous capabilities, it also creates a multitude of challenges for today’s IT professionals. Those with in-demand skills will find themselves far more marketable.”

At the top of the list of challenges includes data management, application management, BYOD, patient privacy, HIPAA compliance, business intelligence and analytics and risk management. The HIMSS study found that a higher percentage of respondents said that their organizations were interested in either training current employees or hiring recent graduates to fill needed positions, but 85 percent of respondents said their organizations faced barriers meeting their health IT needs. The majority cited a lack of qualified talent and 40 percent of those surveyed said they have open positions for which they cannot find qualified talent.

“Employers want to hire candidates with a health technology degree or certification that are prepared from day one on the job,” says Smith. He says that it’s important for students to choose a degree program that is relevant to today’s industry needs. Smith details some of the must-have skills health IT professionals need to make themselves more marketable in the current healthcare market. “Look for programs that use immersive learning technology to foster program comprehension so that you can immediately apply what you learn to your work to positively impact your career,” he adds. “This will help differentiate you from other candidates and position yourself for a successful career in this fast-growing industry.”

Adaptability to Change. The ability to adapt to changing parameters is very important in healthcare because healthcare reform and government mandates are every-changing. “It’s important that health IT professionals be alert to the latest trends and be prepared for how it will impact your healthcare facility’s plan and goals,” says Smith.

Innovativeness. Healthcare is ever-evolving and health IT leaders will be challenged to think in new ways, adjust to change and lead change while creating new models of care. “The phrase ‘innovate or die’ has never been more true than now as we enter the transformation that is pivotal to the future of healthcare worldwide,” says Smith.

Communications Savvy. The race for information is on and the ability for health IT professionals to be adept at finding new and better ways to communicate greater amounts of data and information will become increasingly important. “The greatest leaders have always been able to rely on strong communication skills. Moving to a data driven culture presents new demands where the accelerated availability of data has rendered the decision of what is useful and what to communicate as important as how to communicate it,” adds Smith.

Applications Know-How. As health organizations begin looking for solutions to measure quality and standards, Smith says that IT professionals will play a critical role to guide them through the technology maze of applications and data management. -Security and Compliance. It is crucial that healthcare facilities be HIPAA-compliant and protect patient health records. This becomes more challenging for IT professionals when information is collected in one place and is required to move from one environment to another, says Smith. This has created a greater need for skills in the information management security side of healthcare.

Risk Management. Most healthcare organizations place a strong emphasis on data management and data security. This critical need to manage and protect this information has created a demand for IT professionals with this particular expertise. “Healthcare needs IT professionals that can create the appropriate structure to govern security and know how to protect information and address breaches from a compliance perspective,” says Smith. He says that it is crucial that healthcare organizations have a plan in place to address the potential losses and breach of information and know how to be protected in the future.

Business Intelligence and Analytics. Business intelligence (BI) and analytics are a way for healthcare organizations to aggregate better quality information. “The industry is currently putting greater emphasis on finding newer and more aggressive BI and analytics tools, which has created a higher demand for those IT professionals with these skills,” says Smith.

“As the healthcare industry continues to be a bright spot for the economy, IT professionals with the right education and skills will have ample opportunities to enjoy a long and promising career in this exciting field,” adds Smith. 

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CellTrakCARES Feeds the Hungry and Helps Fill Food Banks this Holiday Season

CellTrak Technologies, Inc. the leading provider of mobile technologies for home and community care market located in Schaumburg, IL and with Canadian operations located in Cambridge, Ontario, and UK operations in London England, has been in business since 2006.

Today CellTrak is used daily to deliver millions of successful and compliant homecare visits throughout the markets it serves. CellTrakCARES, a volunteer outreach program launched in 2009 is built on the staff we have across the globe to give back to local community as well as international. This holiday season the group has given more than a 100 hours of volunteer time, built a wall of food for donation and sent food across the globe. After the Philippines typhoon disaster CellTrakCARES sent a donation to Feed My Starving Children to purchase the food to fill the care packages that volunteers create in teams.

CellTrakCARES volunteered their time in groups to pack up meals for feed my starving children (www.fmsc.org) all over the world. Teams of employees volunteered their time to assemble, package and ship the easy-to-prepare food blend. Over a few weeks and seven shifts of teams they packaged 714 bags of food. That totals 154,000 meals, and enough to feed 427 children for an entire year. While the formula they assembled was designed to save the lives of severely malnourished and starving children, the ingredients also improve the health, growth and physical well-being of children who are no longer in immediate danger of starvation. Since the donation was given for the food supplies, our team was able to package the food based on our donation this year. Employees in our Canadian office built a wall of food for a donation at the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank in Cambridge Ontario (www.cambridgefoodbank.on.ca). At the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank, their services extend beyond simply providing food. They are more than just “a food bank”.

They provide both emergency and proactive services that help people either recover from or avoid another crisis. Our team “wall” totaled more than 200 pounds of food. As the number of families that need assistance continues to grow, our support is needed more than ever.

“The CellTrakCARES program is consistently giving back to the local communities in which we operate. This effort is an organization commitment. The employees who volunteer as part of the CellTrakCARES program are dedicated to making a difference and we couldn’t be happier to see all of our accomplishments through out the year” shared Michael K. Wons President and CEO of CellTrak Technologies, Inc.

CellTrakCARES is comprised of the employees of local businesses focused on volunteering and giving back to the communities where they work and live. While everyone is busy and bustling around the holidays, it is important to spend time helping support those who may be in need.

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Combined Fluoroscopy Solution Provides Excellent Image Quality At Eastbourne DGH

Eastbourne District General Hospital, part of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, is benefitting from high quality images for enhanced clinical diagnosis following the installation of an AXIOM Luminos dRF™ from Siemens Healthcare.

The two-in-one fully digital radiography and fluoroscopy system produces instant images via the fixed 43cm x 43cm detector in the table and the wireless detector. The system’s flexibility is allowing Eastbourne DGH to use it for a wide variety of fluoroscopy imaging procedures on a daily basis as well as digital x-ray imaging. The Luminos dRF was primarily chosen due to its CARE (Combined Applications to Reduce Exposure) features which support excellent image quality at the lowest achievable X-ray dose.

Throughput has also been enhanced due to the versatility and mobility of the wireless detector and the low table which allows geriatric and bariatric patients to use it with minimal handling and eliminating the use of a hoist. The Luminos dRF benefits from advanced post-processing features such as its enhanced DiamondViewPlus software. This helps the hospital to optimise the detail contrast and noise level of images to further improve quality and reduce the need for retakes. In turn this assists with maximising productivity, allowing clinicians to make accurate decisions in a short amount of time.

“We were facing challenges due to patients with limited mobility struggling to get on the previous table. The Luminos dRF solves this by providing a low table and enhanced weight capacity, meaning minimal handling is needed to position the patient,” states Kathryn Dixon, Clinical Modality Manager of General, Interventional, Mammography and Fluoroscopy at Eastbourne District General Hospital. “The Luminos dRF system has already proven to be as easy-to-use and intuitive as our other Siemens systems on site and the applications team was superb when it came to installation and training.”

“As the NHS faces challenges such as an ageing population and an increasing numbers of bariatric patients, everyday imaging systems need to be flexible and accommodating to meet these changes. The Luminos dRF tabletop can go as low as 48cm, making positioning easier for heavier or immobile patients,” states Paul Vaughan, Regional Sales Manager at Siemens Healthcare. “We are delighted Eastbourne DGH is benefiting from improved departmental workflow and an enhanced patient experience as a result of the installation.”

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Napier Healthcare Wins Promising Healthcare IT Company of the Year 2013 Award from Frost & Sullivan Singapore

Napier Healthcare, a leading healthcare technology and services provider, today announced that it has been awarded the 2013 Promising Healthcare IT Company of the Year by Frost and Sullivan.

Frost & Sullivan Singapore Excellence Awards recognise companies that have pushed the boundaries of excellence to rise above the competition and demonstrate outstanding performance in the Singapore market. The award positions Napier Healthcare as a rising star in the healthcare sector for consistently offering global standard solutions that improve the quality, safety and service delivery of patient care.

“Napier Healthcare is awarded for its excellent performance as a total solutions provider with solutions spanning tertiary, secondary and primary care to urban, rural and home care. Napier also emphasises on regulatory compliance to provide customers with global standard solutions,” said Natasha Gulati, Senior Industry Analyst, Asia Pacific Health Care Practice, Frost & Sullivan.

Established in the late 90s, Napier Healthcare employs more than 270 healthcare and technology professionals with deep domain expertise. The company’s IT solutions are collaboratively developed with extensive inputs from industry veterans, clinicians, medical authorities and patients to meet the needs of small, mid-sized, and large private and public sector hospitals. Together with leading IT companies including Microsoft, IBM and HP, Napier Healthcare provides technology, infrastructure implementation and service support along with extensive training. Headquartered in Singapore, Napier has presence in USA, India, Africa, and the Middle East.

“The award underscores our commitment to innovate and lead in healthcare management systems and solutions,” said Karthik Tirupathi, CEO of Napier Healthcare. “Napier Healthcare is well positioned to drive technology adoption across the healthcare delivery value chain to benefit hospitals and patients. For example, the use of cloud and mobile platforms by Napier delivers significant value to the stakeholders of the healthcare industry.”

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IBM Helps Inland Northwest Health Services Deliver Cloud-Based Healthcare Solution

IBM have announced that Inland Northwest Health Services is improving patient care via their cloud-based electronic health record services delivered to physicians and medical facilities with IBM server and storage technology.

The solution based on IBM System x servers, Storwize and DS8000 Storage systems, SAN Volume Controller storage virtualization technology and storage software, ensures high reliability, availability and efficiency for the EHR services INHS provides to 40 hospitals and 750 physicians in the northwest United States.

"The core application we provide to our clients is a comprehensive system covering a full range of healthcare activities -- hospital operations, admission of patients, pharmacy orders, lab services, and patient clinical information," said Chad Skidmore, director of INHS. "Because it covers so many critical aspects affecting patient care, we needed a cloud solution that could provide the highest quality of service, and the performance of the technology IBM is providing is just amazing."

INHS chose IBM's data center solution for their cloud to help them address key pressures on their existing IT infrastructure. The company is experiencing annual growth of 25 percent, and is rapidly rolling out new services, significantly increasing their transaction volume. These combined demands were growing faster than their existing server and storage infrastructure could handle, driving a need to increase system efficiency and utilization.

In addition, INHS wanted to reduce the footprint of their data center in terms of physical space, power consumption and cooling requirements. With the IBM solution, roughly 95 percent of their 1,200 servers are virtualized, increasing system uptime, doubling performance for end users of cloud services applications, and meeting or exceeding all of the client's service-level requirements.

With the flexibility of the solution, INHS can rapidly respond to changing business demands because new storage can be added with no downtime, resulting in no loss of service to INHS customers. At the same time, the amount of capacity in the data center has increased while floor space has been reduced by 28 percent and overall power consumption has held steady.

For end users at the organizations served by INHS, performance is two times faster and far more reliable.

"The cloud-based services INHS is providing to their clients demonstrate how our technology can help improve the quality of healthcare services for doctors, medical facilities and ultimately patients," said Jane Munn, vice president and business line executive for Cloud, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "Based on the performance of our System x and Storage offerings for their current data center requirements, INHS is now evaluating adding PureFlex systems to their infrastructure." The solution, provided through IBM Business Partner Solutions-II, consists of System x3850 and x3650 systems, BladeCenter H Chassis and BladeCenter HX5 servers.

For storage, the solution uses Storwize V7000 and DS8000-series storage systems, and System Storage SAN Volume Controller software, serving the core MEDITECH healthcare information system and about 400 ancillary applications. It also uses IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center software for data reporting and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for centralized, automated data protection. IBM Global Financing provides financing services for the project. The combined solution has enabled new levels of uptime and stability, increased business agility, faster end-user performance and greater operational efficiency -- critical benefits for what INHS describes as the largest single instance of the MEDITECH MAGIC software environment currently running in the world.

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Healthcare Technology News: Russian Hospitals Digitize Medical Information, Improve Access to Patient Data With IBM Technology

Russian Hospitals Digitize Medical Information, Improve Access to Patient Data With IBM Technology

IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced on the 11th Jan 2011 that multiple hospitals throughout Russia have switched from paper-based medical systems to a new solution from IBM and Complex Medical Information Systems (C-MIS) to provide fast electronic medical record exchange and unified access to many types of healthcare data, allowing doctors and medical staff to share information and access tests and lab results instantly to improve decision making. Designed to help hospitals use all their information more effectively and provide patients higher quality care, the system was first used at the Municipal S.Z. Fisher Hospital No. 1 in Volzhsky in the Volgograd region of Russia. Similar projects are now underway at other public hospitals throughout Russia including Leningrad, Kirov, Pskov and Vladimir regions, Republics of Khakassia and Udmurtia, Perm Territory and Moscow.

The need for new health information technology throughout Russia was driven by stricter medical information requirements, the need for more secure access to patient information, and growing paperwork that takes doctors away from caring for patients. In addition, concerns about data reliability and the need to consistently share information throughout hospitals has made the new hospital automation system built on the IBM Lotus Notes Domino platform an important requirement for these hospitals.

"The solution developed by IBM and C-MIS helps solve numerous problems," said Roman Novitsky, CEO of Complex Medical Information Systems. "First, it provides a single electronic tool for control, accounting and planning which leads to improved operation and higher quality of service. Second, the solution consolidates all medical, administrative and financial processes, thus creating a unified information space at the hospital."

In addition to digitizing and providing access to electronic patient records, it also helps automate many business processes throughout the hospital such as work scheduling for doctors, nurses and staff, scheduling medical exams and house calls, as well as automating temporary disability registrations. Document exchange automation enables performance monitoring and helps prevent submission of inaccurate information about healthcare institutions to Russia's Healthcare Committee. It also ensures secure data exchange and enhances interaction among medical workers to help improve quality and effectiveness of medical service. "To develop this medical record exchange system we considered IBM, Oracle and Microsoft platforms and chose IBM Lotus Domino," said Roman Nowitskiy, CEO of Complex Medical Information Systems.

" We selected Lotus Domino because it is a multiplatform solution and it can be implemented with various operating systems to ensure flexibility in addressing the IT challenges faced by medical institutions." "Advantages of this software include fast and low-cost electronic document exchange implementation," said Alexandre Kotov, IBM Russia healthcare industry. "In addition, it helps improve communication among hospital staff and external users such as pharmacists, additional nursing staff or hospital contractors while providing mobile access to the information system via IBM Lotus Domino applications."

The IBM Health Integration Framework helps clients build an integrated platform for all of their healthcare operations based on industry standards. This framework utilizes elements of IBM's entire software portfolio including WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli, Lotus and Information Management products while using the full range of IBM Systems and Storage technologies and the industry-specific offerings and consulting expertise of IBM Global Business Services.

For more information about the Health Integration Industry Framework certification model, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/industry/healthcare/framework.html.

About Fisher Hospital Municipal S.Z. Fisher Hospital No. 1 (Volzhsky, Volgograd region) visit http://www.gb1.ru/

About C-MIS

Complex Medical Information Systems is a specialized IT company offering a full range of software and hardware solutions and automation systems development and implementation services to healthcare institutions. The company performs a wide range of automation-related tasks of any complexity and scale in the healthcare industry, from preliminary evaluations to custom software development or standard software implementation to turnkey solutions.

About IBM

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Fujitsu Releases Electronic Medical Record System for Outpatient Clinics

Fujitsu today announced the availability of HOPE/EGMAIN-RX, an electronic medical record (EMR) system with integrated medical administration functions, which is designed for use by outpatient clinics in Japan. The new system integrates EMR functions with all of the medical administration functions that outpatient clinics(1) require, ranging from patient check-ins and medical exams, to accounting and the creation of medical claims forms.

 

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Healthcare IT and Technology News: EMR by the Numbers - A Video Infographic

How much does an average doctor get to keep out of every dollar they earn? How much time is spent on non-billable activities? See why using an integrated electronic medical records (EMR) system that incorporates scheduling, billing, insurance claims management, and patient records goes beyond just proving "meaningful use." Watch this entertaining and informative vinfographic (video infographic) from GE Healthcare's Centricity Advance.

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Accurate Data Provided by CellTrak keeps the Northwood Homecare Team Well Connected

CellTrak Technologies real time point of care solution has once again provided automated benefits to this home care organization in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Northwood Homecare began using the CellTrak service in the fall of 2009. CellTrak's service eliminated paper reports from the field as well as inaccuracies or forgotten tasks at the point of care. This in turn allows Northwood to deliver up to date information and better care for their patients needs.

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