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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A Proposal To Increase EHR Satisfaction Using Education

A recent study presented at the 2013 HIMSS conference revealed through the survey of 4,279 clinicians that EHR satisfaction has declined from 39% in 2010 to 27% in 2012.

While many organizations and publications have speculated about what has caused the decrease in satisfaction, I’d like to suggest we dedicate our resources to solving the problem instead of simply discussing the causes. Like so many transitions in the past, I wonder if the solution could simply be a matter of education? The study cited that the number of clinicians using EHRs who claimed to be “very dissatisfied” increased by 10% during those two years. This begs the question, are all users dissatisfied with their specific program, or may the dissatisfaction be caused by change itself? After all, physicians and nurses are being forced to change a long standing practice of paper charting.

According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project 20% of Americans did not use the internet and 13% did not have access to a computer in 2010. Outside of those numbers there are many medical professionals who are simply uncomfortable with computers or do not have strong typing skills. If a nurse is learning how to navigate a keyboard while simultaneously having to learn a system, it’s not surprising that he or she may be dissatisfied with the change. The disruption in workflow could be greatly improved by teaching nurses and doctors how to integrate EHRs into their daily tasks while still in the classroom.

Academic electronic health records programs, like EHR Tutor, allow students to gain exposure to EHRs before entering the workplace. Learning how to use electronic charting while still learning how to do the basics of their job, teaches students to be just as comfortable with a computer as they would be with a pen and piece of paper. This is something that may help ease the transition to electronic charting in the future.

In addition to being generally dissatisfied, the number of users dissatisfied with the “features and functionality” of their EHR system increased from 51% to 61%. One pain point seemed to be the fact that the features and functionality in many EHRs do not align well enough with clinicians’ workflow. Workflow can be determined by meetings with key stakeholders, shadowing medical personnel during their workday and conversations with designated doctor or nurse champions. The process works best when input from the people who will be using the system is carefully considered and fully utilized. However, improving workflows will not solve the entire problem.

For example, let us examine a problem like “alert fatigue”. In many systems, alerts pop up with warnings about drugs that may be unnecessary or elementary for a prescribing physician, or with a warning that a field is missing data that may not be relevant to the patient. An alert may also appear after a particular issue has been handled. While the alerts may seem logical to a programmer, they don’t necessarily make sense in the field. Thankfully, there are more and more schools offering courses on healthcare technology, which provide a foundation of knowledge for future developers and analysts.

Centers like the Training Hub for Operative Technologies in Healthcare at Imperial College in London offer full programs dedicated to healthcare technology. For current developers, Coursera.org offers free courses including “Health Informatics in the Cloud”, “Interprofessional Healthcare Informatics” and “Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship”, all of which examine the real life work of medical professionals in relation to the technology they use. This is a knowledge set that is absolutely necessary for a programmer trying to design a system for those very people. By having companies sponsor those classes or conversations, we would open the lines of communication and enhance the education of program developers.

Along with a decrease in satisfaction regarding features and functionality, the amount of clinicians who said they would not purchase their current EHR system again if given the chance increased from 25% to 38%. This cannot be solely the fault of developers; some of the onus must fall on consumers themselves. Instead of hearing the lament, “If only I would have known…” after an EHR implementation, we can begin by making sure medical offices do know what they are getting with any particular system and what they should expect when shopping for an EHR. Educating consumers is imperative. For example, the level of computer skills and familiarity with technology needed when using different programs may be a huge factor for a practice with less computer savvy practitioners.

Reading the reviews on EHRCompare.com quickly revealed that AdvancedEMR can be difficult to set up and implement for less technologically inclined staff, whereas Practice Fusion seems to be less customizable, but easier to use (based on user reviews alone). Using EHRCompare to research multiple EHRs, a user can search by specialty, setting, and hosting preference. Then, all applicable EHRs will appear with an overview of features along with user reviews. That information not only gives consumers a great place to start, it teaches them what questions to ask and what to look for. What are some pain points a consumer may not have thought of? How do the program specs translate to office usage?

Another great resource is the Health IT government website which has a full list of all certified EHR systems: http://oncchpl.force.com/ehrcert/CHPLHome. It has a large checklist of features for each product, allowing consumers to see, at a glance, what is available and what is missing. That way, consumers know all the details even if the EHR sales rep did not disclose them all. Knowing what to look for can help buyers purchase the best system for their particular practice.

Overall, any change in procedure involves a long, arduous education process. While there are technical problems to overcome in the present, many problems can be prevented with simple education in the future. Using the resources available we can make sure new medical professionals, EHR programmers and consumers all have access to the best resources and knowledge base possible. This is something that can only lead to improvement.

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US Healthcare IT Market Outlook to 2017

The U.S. Healthcare IT market has been growing rapidly and offering immense opportunities for players involved in the business.

The market is performing on the back of new product introductions and evolving industry standards. With the cloud computing making a buzz, the U.S. Healthcare IT market is poised to reach new heights. Increasing acceptance of E-health and M-health among medical professionals and hospitals; growing awareness for quality among patients; active participation of players; and new government measures towards rural areas will augment the market growth.

In their latest research study, “US Healthcare IT Market Outlook to 2017”, RNCOS’ analysts have identified and deciphered the market dynamics in important segments to clearly highlight the areas offering promising possibilities for companies to boost their growth. The market is slated to grow at a CAGR of nearly 22% during 2013-2017. The tremendous growth of the market is driven by factors such as rising adoption of EHRs/EMRs, propelling E-health market and remote patient monitoring.

In the report, the U.S. healthcare IT market has been studied in its market scenario, market components, potential growth areas, and key players existing therein. For market performance analysis, the IT hardware dominates the market by acquiring a share of around 53%, followed by IT services market and IT software market.

Further, the market has been broken down into four distinct component segments while their current and future outlooks to 2017 have been analyzed. In addition, the report also covers a detailed analysis of the potential growth areas which helped in clearly identifying and highlighting the segments that offer the maximum opportunity for growth in the country.

The study further delves into the detailed description of the major players in the industry covering description of their businesses and their recent developments. This will help the reader to gain a deeper insight into each key market player. Moreover, market drivers and trends have been discussed along with regulatory frameworks to provide an understanding of the market dynamics. In a nutshell, the research provides all the prerequisite information for intending clients looking out to venture into these markets, and facilitates them to devise strategies, while going for an investment/partnership in the U.S. healthcare IT industry.

Get a copy here: http://www.reportbuyer.com/countries/north_america/usa/us_healthcare_market_outlook_2017.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=e-Healthcare

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Final HHS Health IT Safety Plan issued

  • The Joint Commission to expand capacity to investigate Health IT-related events

A plan to guide health information technology (IT) activities across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to eliminate medical errors, protect patients, and improve the quality and efficiency of health care was issued today by HHS. The final Health IT Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan addresses the role of health IT within HHS’ commitment to patient safety.

The Plan builds on recommendations from the 2011 Institute of Medicine report, titled Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care, and from public comments. “When implemented and used properly, health IT is an important tool in finding and avoiding medical errors and protecting patients,” said National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari, M.D. “This Plan will help us make sure that these new technologies are used to make health care safer.”

  • The Plan, implemented by the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), outlines the responsibilities to be shared across HHS and details significant participation from the private sector.
  • Through the Plan: ONC will make it easier for clinicians to report health IT-related incidents and hazards through the use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT).
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will encourage reporting to Patient Safety Organizations and will update its standardized reporting forms to enable ambulatory reporting of health IT events.
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will encourage the use of the standardized reporting forms in hospital incident reporting systems, and train surveyors to identify safe and unsafe practices associated with health IT.
  • Working through a public-private process, ONC will develop priorities for improving the safety of health IT.
  • ONC and CMS will consider adopting safety-related objectives, measures, and capabilities for CEHRTs through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs and ONC’s standards and certification criteria.

To accompany the Plan’s surveillance of safety-related capabilities in CEHRT, ONC today issued guidance clarifying that ONC-Authorized Certification Bodies will be expected to verify whether safety-related capabilities work properly in live clinical settings in which they are implemented. In addition to the Plan, today Dr. Mostashari announced ONC has contracted with The Joint Commission to better detect and proactively address potential health IT-related safety issues across a variety of health care settings.

The Joint Commission will expand its capacity to investigate the role of health IT as a contributing cause of adverse events and will identify high priority areas for expected types of health IT-related events.

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Philips announces FDA clearance for its AlluraClarity interventional X-ray system

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its innovative AlluraClarity live image guidance system in the US. In close collaboration with leading clinicians in the field of minimally-invasive medicine, Philips has been driving innovation in interventional imaging for more than 50 years, helping to guide procedures such as the catheter-based treatment of obstructed coronary arteries, brain aneurysms, heart rhythm disorders and defective heart valves (heart valve replacement).

Philips’ AlluraClarity system with its powerful ClarityIQ technology provides high quality imaging for a comprehensive range of clinical procedures, achieving excellent visibility at low X-ray dose levels for patients of all sizes. To reflect the cost pressures that modern hospitals and health systems face, ClarityIQ technology will also be available as an upgrade for the majority of Philips’ installed base of monoplane and biplane interventional X-ray systems. “All patients treated via X-ray guided interventions benefit from the advantage of low radiation exposure, but it is especially important when you are treating patients who have to undergo lengthy and complex procedures,” said Dr. Marco van Strijen, interventional radiologist at the St. Antonius Hospital Utrecht/Nieuwegein, the Netherlands. “We have been using Philips’ AlluraClarity system for more than a year now and have really grown to appreciate the low dose settings. This technology is making a difference where it really matters."

“The transition from highly invasive surgical procedures to minimally-invasive image-guided therapies, with all their intrinsic patient benefits, is a transformation in the delivery of healthcare that is rapidly accelerating around the globe,” said Gene Saragnese, CEO Imaging Systems at Philips Healthcare. “It is an area where technology innovation and procedure innovation go hand in hand. AlluraClarity is a perfect example of how Philips’ close collaboration with clinical partners has combined these two areas of innovation to facilitate more advanced treatment while at the same time managing radiation dose.”

AlluraClarity’s low X-ray dose settings are a radical new development in the healthcare industry that will help clinicians to better manage their patients’ and their own exposure to X-ray radiation. This achievement is the result of a multi-year development program that formed part of Philips’ continuous investment in healthcare R&D, totaling EUR 803 million in 2012.

Philips’ AlluraClarity was commercially introduced outside the US in mid-2012, and since then more than 200 systems have been ordered. With this important milestone of FDA clearance, the system can now be marketed in the world’s largest healthcare market.

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ONC to provide additional funding to accelerate critical access and rural hospitals’ switch to electronic health records

Dr. David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, national coordinator for health information technology in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today announced an additional $12 million in new technical support assistance to help critical access hospitals (CAHs) and rural hospitals adopt and become meaningful users of certified health information technology.

Today’s funding announcement will come through ONC’s Regional Extension Center (REC) program to provide a wide range of support services to the 1,777 critical access and rural hospitals in 41 states and the nationwide Indian Country, headquartered in the District of Columbia, to help them qualify for substantial EHR incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid. This funding is in addition to the $20 million provided to RECs in September 2010 to provide technical assistance to the CAHs and Rural Hospitals. “Critical access and rural hospitals are a vital part of our healthcare system.

Health information technology can offer rural health care providers and their patients resources and expertise that may not be currently available in their communities. We recognize that the transition to electronic health records (EHRs) is a challenge and that rural facilities face even greater challenges to make the transition from paper to electronic records,” Dr. Blumenthal said. “This additional funding recognizes the need to address these challenges and represents another important milestone in our commitment to critical access and rural hospitals throughout the country as they transition to EHRs.”

The new funding is provided under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The HITECH Act created the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs, which will provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs that adopt and demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

Incentives totaling as much as $27.4 billion over 10 years could be expended under the program, which is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In addition, the HITECH Act provided $2 billion through ONC to support technical assistance, training, and demonstration projects to assist in the nation’s transition to EHRs. The additional CAHs and rural hospital funding will be administered through ONC’s Regional Extension Center (REC) program. The RECs are specifically designed to offer a wide range of hands-on technical assistance, guidance, and information on best practices to support and accelerate health care providers’ efforts to become meaningful users of certified EHRs under the Medicare and Medicaid incentives programs. A total of 62 RECs are located throughout the country. This additional funding is being awarded 48 RECs serving CAH and rural hospitals provides in 41 states and the nationwide Indian Country. Serving CAHs and rural hospitals is a priority for the REC program.

The intent of this supplement is to provide additional technical support to critical access and rural hospitals with fewer than 50 beds in selecting and implementing EHR systems primarily within the outpatient setting. The national distribution of RECs make them a particularly effective program to provide community-based hands-on, field support needed to overcome unique barriers that CAHs and rural hospitals may confront as they work to adopt and meaningfully use health IT.

Today’s $12 million round of awards will result in a total of approximately $32 million of funding provided to the RECs to support CAH health IT adoption. The awards announced today available here.

A complete listing of REC grant recipients and additional information about the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers may be found at http://www.HealthIT.hhs.gov/programs/REC/.

For information about the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, see http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms For information about the Recovery Act at HHS, see http://www.hhs.gov/recovery.

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mHealth Alliance to Receive $1 Million From HP to Improve Health Through Mobile Technology

mHealth Alliance Board welcomes HP as Founding Partner

The mHealth Alliance today announced a two-year, $1 million aggregate donation from HP to help improve health care and health systems around the globe using mobile technology. The announcement was made at the opening of the mHealth Summit, a three-day event bringing together leaders from the global health and technology communities to explore ways mobile technology can increase the access, quality and efficiency of healthcare to communities in the U.S. and abroad.

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HTM Speaks with Dr. Adam Chee, Chief Advocate binaryHealthCare

 

Dr. Adam Chee has several years of professional working experience in the IT industry before venturing into Health IT in 2002 where he specialized in Medical Imaging Informatics and related technologies before moving onto the wider spectrum of Healthcare Informatics. An active contributing member to several international Technology and Health IT initiatives, Adam runs binaryHealthCare, a social enterprise advocating Health ITas an enabler for “better patient care at lower cost” by raising the standards of health informatics through training, continuing education and providing a vendor neutral community for knowledge exchange and collaboration.

A recognized subject matter expert on the area of Health IT, Adam is an experienced conference speaker, adjunct faculty with institutes of higher learning (on health informatics) and serves on several Technical and Health Informatics committees. “Healthcare Informatics has not only become an integrated part of modern healthcare but has also propagated the entire industry into a new era of efficiency and it will continue to play avital rolein the quest of providing quality health services. The potential for Healthcare Informatics is colossal and the growth is right here in Asia Pacific.”

Please introduce yourself, your background and your current role within the healthcare information technology industry:

My training and background has predominantly been in the area of Information Technology and Healthcare Informatics and I am a lifelong learner who has never pause in the quest for knowledge in areas related to work and interest. I have worked across a broad spectrum of healthcare informatics in terms of perspective (from the healthcare provider to solution provider as well as consulting, research and education aspects etc) as well as the industry segments (from primary care informatics to CDSS, EMR, Tele-medicine and of course medical imaging informatics etc).

I am a firm believer and advocate on the importance of Health IT as an enabler for “better patient care at lower cost” and I take action through binaryHealthCare by raising the standards of health informatics through training, continuing education and providing a vendor neutral community / hub to enable knowledge exchange and collaboration. The work done though binaryHealthCare is important because if an adopter of healthcare informatics ‘don’t know what they don’t know’, then how can a successful implementation takes place? How can the clinicians and most importantly, the patients, benefit from the implementation?

What are the driving forces behind the demand for Healthcare Informatics in the Asia Pacific?

Asia Pacific is an extremely huge region so it is difficult to generalize the unique driving forces behind the demand for Healthcare Informatics but in general, it includes; -Medical tourism (patient safety and quality of care) -Rapid aging population (tele-health / remote and home monitoring) -Preventive care (public health, surveillance and containment) -Lack of qualified professionals (lured to work overseas or simply shortage of qualified professionals in rural area) -and of course, cost savings

How has the market place grown and developed in the last 5 years?

The health informatics industry in Asia has definitely undergone tremendous changes over the past 5 years, while the adoption rate varies tremendously throughout the region, it is clear that the industry in this region now process greater awareness and knowledge on the benefits that an effective health informatics implementation can bring to their healthcare enterprises as well as the common pitfalls to avoid. At the same time, the rising affluency in this region also means that the desirable solutions that was previously out of reach is now affordable.

Explain the emerging technologies that are redefining the delivery of healthcare today:

The introduction of new generation tablets, advances in unified communications and cloud computing will definitely redefine the rules and boundaries. Mobility is the key word here. The finer convergence of relevant industry Standards is also taking shape and this is important because the individual silos of data stored in disparate or extremely loosely coupled information systems needs to be consolidated in a structured and interoperable format that allows integrated care to take place so effective utilize of data for trending, profiling and most importantly, preventive measures can happen. The goal and focus in many developed countries has also shifted to the utilization of healthcare informatics in primary and community care as well as public health as opposed to diagnostic care - Prevention is better than cure.

How can international healthcare technology providers position themselves within the Asia Pacific and what business opportunities exist?

The pace of adoption for healthcare technology varies tremendously across the Asia Pacific region but it is evident from the increasing demands in this region that there exist an abundance of opportunities for providers of all ‘shapes and sizes’, it’s a matter of finding the right fit for both sides. The raising affluency and hunger for knowledge in this region is amazing and this is the right place to be for those truly passionate about utilizing technology to enable effective healthcare while lowering cost for patients. For international healthcare technology providers, it is important that they understand that the healthcare systems in Asia Pacific can vary dramatically and whatever ‘success formula’ that brought them to fame in their home country / region may very well be their Achilles heels in this region.

Do not operate out from an ivory tower, it is important to take the time and effort to understand the unique characteristics and culture of each country of interest and most importantly, the need to build trust and understand that the sales cycle can be very long. Demonstrate the commitment to show that they are not in for the short-term but rather, the willingness to form a true partnership with the healthcare enterprise in their journey towards healthcare technology adoption. E.g. what sort of support commitment are you offering? Are you establishing any R&D centers in the region?

Recently on linkedin.com it was asked “what are the major reasons that EMR/EHR implementations fail; what do you think?

It is important to first understand that healthcare systems differ from counties and workflow differs from healthcare enterprises (even within the same state/country). An EMR/EHR implementation will have a huge impact on workflow and it is important that this aspect is addressed properly; in addition, I cannot emphasis enough on the need for proper expectation management. Focusing on the important aspects will mitigate the chances of failure. I know it’s easier said than done but it is possible.

What do hospital providers want and what do they get?

The typical hospital provider really just wants to see a return of investment, this can range from operational efficiency, workflow improvement, lowering operating cost, manpower reduction and increase in patient safety and quality of care, the bottom line is, it must be money well spent. The good news is, hospital providers will (most of the time) get some form of value from health informatics projects but the bad news is, these value might not be proportional with the investment made, be it time, money and efforts. The success level really depends on the expectation management (was the project oversold?) and whether the projects are implemented properly. Half a crooked bridge serves no real valuable purpose at all.

Asia Pacific is a vast region of the world. How can information technology bridge the digital divide faced in rural healthcare service delivery, in countries like China?

For large regions where delivery of healthcare services in rural areas can be a challenge, the adoption of tele-medicine technologies can definitely help bridge the gap. However, it is more important to first have the approval and support by the government and ensure that any policies and regulations issues be ironed out. For example, how would the reimbursement model be since the coverage might span across provinces or even municipalities? Are the physicians accredited by the relevant medical councils in different provinces for medical practice? Technology can only serve as an enabler, the policies and regulations have to be in place before.

You are considered a Medical Imaging Informatics expert – can you give us a global overview of the sector and the key developments that will assist in better patient outcomes and a lower cost for the payer?

In medical imaging informatics (or healthcare informatics in general), it is not the latest or greatest technology that matters but rather, what benefits and value can be brought to the clinicians and more importantly, the patients. Always seek to understand the underlying paint-points and then develop the solution to address the needs by utilizing the most affordable technology that will deliver the greatest benefits. Remember, technology serves as an enabler and not as the end goal. 

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Excuse Me, Do You Own Your Medical Images? What Your Didn’t Know About Your Image Archive Dr. Adam Chee

Image Archives are not made the same.

Image Archives are not made the same. By Dr. Adam Chee.That’s right; the image archives of the various PACS solutions out there are not made the same. No, I am not referring to the storage technology (e.g. SAN, NAS or CAS) nor the type of media adopted (Hard disk, Tape etc) but rather the digital format that your medical images are being stored as.

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