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Infographic: A History of Healthcare Informatics

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jul 10, 2014 10:33:00 AM

Healthcare Data Analytics, InfographicThe notion of healthcare informatics began in 1949 and rapidly evolved over the next 65 years. In 2013, nearly 75% of physicians used tablets to maintain electronic health records (EHRs), according to a new infographic from Adelphi University.

This infographic chronicles the history of healthcare informatics and details the road to healthcare digitization. To view a full-size image, please click here.

Healthcare analytics, data analytics, infographic

Topics: EHR, EMR, Infographic, Electronic Health Record, Electronic Medical Record, Big Data, HIE, Healthcare Informatics, Healthcare Data, Data Analytics

New Study: Big Data Targets Population Health, Revenue Cycles

Posted by Matthew Smith on Aug 13, 2013 5:08:00 PM

Population Health, Revenue CycleHospitals and health systems are putting data analytics into action at a rapid rate, according to a new survey fielded by the eHealth Initiative and College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) this summer. 

Nine out ten hospitals are using some form of big data analytics to manage their revenue cycles and to improve quality of care, and 82% identified population health as a key area that could benefit from detailed data analysis.  The survey shows that organizations aren’t just collecting data to meet meaningful use and other reporting requirements: they’re actively using their information as a business tool at a time when hospitals are fiercely competing with each other for revenue.

The Necessity of a Bi-Directional Exchange

Of the 102 respondents to the survey, the vast majority believe bi-directional health information exchange with other local organizations is critical to their ability to receive, process, and use data appropriately.  Analytics is also key to partnerships with health plans and payers: eight out of ten use analytics to examine denial rates, take back rates, claim and payment volumes, and outstanding receivables.  Two-thirds of organizations also use analytics to identify fraud and abuse, while other areas benefiting from the wealth of standardized data include cost forecasting and care utilization analysis.

Staffing Limitations

But despite the interest in analytics, hospitals are running up against several significant barriers, including a lack of trained candidates for new positions.  Only 18% of participants said that they were able to properly train their staff on data collection, processing, and analysis, and many have hired third party organizations to take care of their analytics needs for them.  Sixty-four percent indicated that they don’t do it themselves due to a lack of qualified candidates, while 34% say that senior management simply hasn’t prioritized analytics as an area for funding and development.

Analytics Pushed to the Forefront

That might start to change as payment models and public quality rankings increasingly start to rely on the examination of readmissions data, patient outcomes, and cost of services, however.  Inpatient care utilization and outcomes analysis and adverse event reporting were identified as areas ripe for growth when it comes to using data effectively, and three-quarters of organizations reported using administrative and claims-based data for these purposes.  The boost in the granularity of claims data associated with ICD-10 is also likely to push analytics to the forefront as structured data becomes ever more accessible.

Whether conducted in-house or outsourced to dedicated business partners, analytics is clearly top of mind for large healthcare organizations in 2013.  Hospitals aren’t stopping after implementing health IT systems capable of collecting standardized data: they’re interested in doing something with all that information.  By working with health information exchanges, accountable care organizations, and other industry partners, hospitals will be able to paint a big picture with big data, and use the findings to boost quality care and their own financial bottom lines.

Topics: Population Health, Healthcare Analytics, Revenue Cycle, HIE

200 C-Suite Hospital Execs Weigh in on HIE

Posted by Matthew Smith on Jan 20, 2013 10:55:00 PM

health information exchange resized 600Beacon Partners has released a study on the state of health information exchange (HIE) development, based on responses from 200 C-suite hospital execs. More than half of the respondents were CIOs, and 58% of those CIOs are from community hospitals. Twenty-five percent of respondents have a net patient service revenue (NPSR) of less than $50 million; only 24% of respondents have a NPSR of over $250 million.

Following are some of the key findings:

In the Works

Nearly 70% of respondents said their organization is currently planning for an HIE, and 64% of said the CIO is the person responsible for HIE development. CEOs and COOs separately were responsible at less 10% of responding facilities, in a virtual tie with “Unsure.” While the CIO is clearly responsible for HIE development, nearly half of the organizations responding said they have not yet designated a department, oversight group or executive role to a development effort.

Start-Up Costs

High start-up costs and insufficient capital to support HIEs (41%) remains the top concern. Capitalization of projects and projecting annual operating costs to move forward are both necessary, important matters, followed by “not enough I.T. systems to support HIEs” at around 17%, and physician and staff alignment (13%) and regulatory issues (13%). Among respondent titles, high start-up costs/not enough capital to support HIEs was the top concern for COOs (55%), CFOs (46%), CIOs (41%), CEOs (40%) and CMOs (36%).

Annual Budgets

The annual budgets for HIE development are low, according to the report authors. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said their organizations are budgeting less than $1 million, and 14% reported budgets between $1 million and $3 million. Only 5% plan to spend more than $3 million; 21% of respondents said they currently have no budget.

Single-vendor solutions significantly outweighed a best-of-breed approach for patient demographics, business/operating systems and clinical and health records. Respondents selected a single-vendor solution for inpatients (73%), ambulatory areas (68%) and physician practices (53%).

Many components of an HIE received high marks from respondents, who answered that the following HIE components would have a positive impact on their organization: Primary care connectivity (88%), continuum of care transitions (84%), Clinical quality reporting (74%), Patient accessibility (67%), Interoperable IT systems (66%) and medical staff alignment efforts (59%).

Topics: EHR, EMR, Electronic Health Records, Clinical Integration, CIO, Health IT, Health Information Exchange, HIE

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