See you at ASE! 

Tell us what you're most looking forward to at this event

The 27th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), coming up June 10-14 in Seattle, will bring together practitioners and top luminaries from across the country. The event will include the Inaugural Echovation Challenge competition, designed to foster and showcase novel approaches, technologies, and processes in echocardiography—and featuring a cash prize. 

Other offerings at the event include:

Chalk Talks, an opportunity to get answers from experts in the field of echo in an intimate setting. 

I  Echo, a unique session allowing participants to practice all aspects of a focused cardiac ultrasound exam during the hands-on portion.

Science and Technology Theater’s industry-supported symposia sessions during all four lunch breaks

Posters featuring cutting-edge research on the latest advances in cardiovascular ultrasound or clinical cases illustrating evolutions in patient care

Are you going to ASE? Comment below and let us know which sessions you’re most looking forward to.

LUMEDX’s home base is in Seattle, and we’re excited about being part of ASE’s event. Visit our booth, #337, to learn about the latest in adult and pediatric echo workflow solutions, including innovative Integration and Analytics tools.

Posted by Tuesday, May 24, 2016 9:45:00 AM Categories: industry news Lumedx

Spotlight on Analytics 

The Role of Analytics in Healthcare

Industry Overview (continued)

Q&A With Gus Gilbertson, Product Manager for LUMEDX

Part 2 of our new series​. In this week’s installment, we continue our overview of the role of analytics in the healthcare industry.

Q: There’s been an increased focus on big data in other industries recently. How is the healthcare industry responding?

A: Data management is becoming an increasing focus in healthcare. Electronic Medical Records, HL-7 feeds, imaging systems, genomics, labs, and medications are all being gathered and increasingly mined for insight into health risks and outcomes. With the growing use of health, consumer, and business data--and shifts in regulatory guidelines, data governance and data resource management are growing in importance in healthcare.

Q: How is the healthcare industry different from other industries when it comes to data analytics?

A: In some ways, the EMR has been a black hole sucking in data for years, with limited options for analysis. Increasingly, a variety of tools are getting access to that data, and it is being supplemented with edge systems to create a fuller view of patient and population health.

In addition, different segments of the industry each use big data in different ways. Everyone uses big data to market to consumers. Payers and providers use it to identify care patterns. Pharmacies use it to better understand patient health and risks. Labs use big data to conduct more tests faster and cheaper, building a more complete picture of patient chemistry. Researchers use big data to help target therapies to specific sub-populations, or even to specific patients. Researchers and population-management teams are using big data to help target therapies to specific sub-populations, or even to specific patients.

Finally, regulatory bodies continue to grow their understanding of the Medicare population and how new therapies are affecting patient health and longevity. Service providers continue to use automation and natural language processing technologies to reduce service costs.

Q: Where do you see healthcare analytics going in five years?

A: Five years will come and go quickly, but I expect care quality measures will become increasingly public. Specific populations of chronic disease patients will find targeted communities that bring the fruits of big data to care patterns. Automation of diagnosis and risk profiling will make us all more keenly aware of our health.

Telehealth will become much more mainstream, supported by a variety of apps and home diagnostic solutions. In addition, healthcare risk profiles and the outcomes different risk factors influence will become a more prominent topic as individuals try to better understand how their health compares to that of relatives and the rest of the population, and look for opportunities to improve health, quality of life, and longevity.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of Spotlight on Analytics, where we’ll explore the financial challenges facing healthcare today. Part 1 of the series is below.

 

Spotlight on Analytics 

With Gus Gilbertson, Product Manager for LUMEDX

Part 1 of our new series, Spotlight on Analytics

Industry Overview

Q: What are some of the challenges the healthcare industry is facing today?

A: Population management initiatives, service bundling programs, payor and provider consolidation, expanding regulatory oversite, an aging population, and expanding quality initiatives – all are increasing value in the U.S. healthcare industry, stretching resources, but also reducing competition.

At the same time, increased healthcare coverage has increased the number of paying customers in the industry. The growing focus on risk promises to change care planning for patients with diverse health profiles, but requires new ways of looking at patient care.

In addition, the increased availability of basic health monitoring data to individuals is helping people manage their health, but incentives for lifestyle change are still evolving. Telehealth is becoming an important healthcare/population health management tool that will likely to continue to disrupt existing on-site clinic and hospital models.

And finally (unfortunately): The growth in options for physically passive content consumption will continue to lead people down a sedentary path toward obesity and cardiovascular complications.

Q: Where do you see big data analytics fitting into the healthcare industry?

A: Increasingly, as more detailed consumer data becomes more accessible to healthcare organizations, they will be better positioned to identify health risks, manage chronic conditions, and tailor care offerings to match patient health profiles. They will also be able to better target marketing and healthcare service offerings to specific populations.

On the new treatments front, genetic factor analysis is becoming faster, easier, and cheaper. The next decade will see us looking at genetic data to better understand and predict health outcomes and guide diagnostic and treatment options.

Genomic analysis and cancer-risk profiling are a growing big-data topic, with genomic data for an individual patient taking big storage.

Natural language processing (NLP) is another big-data area that we can expect to start to impact the way we communicate and get things done. Most large vendors are using natural language processing technologies to respond to simple support and service requests. NLP is also being used to understand sentiment in a wide range of categories, often driven off of Twitter feeds. Expect NLP tools to come to your EMR or health records and analyze health risks.

This concludes Part 1 of Spotlight on Analytics, an ongoing series of blog posts. Stay tuned for Part 2!

 

Posted by Thursday, May 05, 2016 10:54:00 AM Categories: analytics data health information technology HIT

The Best of Health IT News: Week of 4/18/16 

We've found the stories you won't want to miss!


ACA, population health will be game changers in next three years, say hospital execs

C-suite leaders predict that their most important areas of focus in the next three years will be high-value post-acute care networks and innovative approaches to care delivery, according to Premier Inc.'s spring Economic Outlook. The impact that the Affordable Care Act and population health management will have on care delivery is the reason these areas of focus will be so important, executives say. "About 95 percent said expanding high-value post-acute care networks is crucial to population health efforts," FierceHealthcare reports. "In addition, 94 percent said such networks are one of their greatest challenges."

ACC notifies 1,400 institutions of potential data breach

More than 1,000 institutions have been notified by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) that patient data from the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) might have been breached. "After discovering the issue in December, the ACC found that four software development vendors who were testing software had access to NCDR patient data," reports Cardiovascular Business. "The data was copied between 2009 and 2010, and was included in one of more than 250 tables that software developers used in a test environment."

EHR fraud recommendations remain unimplemented, HHS Inspector General says

Warnings from the its Office of Inspector General have yet to prompt the Department of Health and Human Services to adequately address the issue of hospitals failing to employ safeguards and prevent electronic health record fraud and abuse via recommended tools already in place, according to the Inspector General. "The Inspector General's Office says that nearly all hospitals with EHRs had RTI-recommended audit functions in place, but that those functions were not being used to their full extent," FierceHealthcare reports.

The Most Innovative Trends and Technologies from ACC.16

DAIC Editor Dave Fornell takes a tour of some of the trends and interesting new technologies from the vendor booths on the expo floor at the 2016 meeting of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). 

 

 

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: 4/14/16 

News stories you won't want to miss!

Higher patient ratings equal fewer readmissions, lower mortality

The scores patients assign their hospitals appear to correspond with the quality of the hospitals' patient outcomes, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers analyzed the scores patients assigned to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' star-rating system for more than 3,000 hospitals. Hospitals' star ratings were inversely proportional to their rates of death within a month of discharge. 

Hospitals reap $1.6M from specialists, including cardiologists

While the average primary care physician is generating less income for hospitals ($1.4 million in 2016 versus $1.56 million in 2013), that’s offset by specialist doctors, whose contribution to hospital revenues jumped 14% to $1.6 million, compared with $1.42 million three years ago. Among specialists, orthopedic physicians bring in the most business ($2.75 million each), followed by invasive cardiologists ($2.45 million) and neurosurgeons ($2.44 million.

5 ways make employees happy in a healthcare workplace

Healthcare organizations named to Fortune's 20 Best Workplaces in Health Care share a sense of camaraderie and pride in their work, and offer lessons to other hospitals and systems that strive to create a positive work environment that can attract and retain the best talent. The winning organizations overcame the natural hierarchy of a healthcare organization to create a friendly, emotionally supportive workplace where coworkers feel as though everyone is equal and they can count on coworkers to support them.

Heart, vascular department at Aurora St. Luke’s receives top accreditations

Building on its rich history as the premier heart hospital in Wisconsin and a global destination for heart care, Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center has received two prestigious accolades from the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE). Both acknowledgments from ACE reinforce Aurora St. Luke’s positioning as a global leader in cardiovascular excellence.

Momentum building for national unique patient IDs

As digitization of the healthcare system increases, issues around data exchange and medical records exchange make patient identification more challenging than ever. In the absence of a unique patient identifier system, doctors use a patient’s name and birth dates to identify them, and there can be hundreds or thousands of identical or similar names and dates in EMR systems. Get it wrong, and a diagnosis or treatment may be missed — sometimes with dire consequences.

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 3/28/16 

A sampling of this week's healthcare stories that you won't want to miss.

Female cardiologists remain underrepresented, report more work-life challenges than men

Two decades have brought little change for women in cardiology, according to a new study. Women account for only 20 percent of cardiologists who see adult patients, and are more likely than their male counterparts to face professional discrimination. 

Study eases concerns about antidepressants and cardiovascular risk

Patients who take antidepressants are not increasing their risk of arrhythmia, MI, stroke or transient ischemic attack, according to new study. Prior research had suggested a link between depression and negative cardiovascular outcomes.

ACC honors 18 people for their contributions to cardiology

Eighteen people have been selected for a Distinguished Award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The recipients will receive their awards on April 4 during the ACC’s annual scientific session in Chicago. 

Integrated approach slashes ER use for heart failure

One health system is using coordinated teams to cut emergency room visits and improve medication management for heart failure patients. A new blog post details how Geisinger Health System built on its record of care integration and coordination to address emergency and inpatient care for heart failure patients.

Can healthcare learn safety lessons from aviation model?

To reduce medical errors, providers should look to the skies, one physician writes. Following a 1977 airline disaster, the industry developed a "culture of safety" that could be worth emulating, writes David Nash, M.D., founding dean of Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University.

The Best of Health IT News: Week of 3/21/16 

Interoperability, EHRs, McKesson layoffs and more

EHRs: Interoperability is all the rage. Why don't we have it?

Health & Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell recently announced that HHS is behind a major push to achieve interoperability of Electronic Health Records (EHRs). "Companies that provide 90 percent of EHRs used by U.S. hospitals, including Epic and athenahealth, have agreed to increase patient access, no information blocking, and adoption of federally recognized interoperability standards," reports Healthcare Dive. But will those goals improve patient care and EHR workflow?

McKesson announces layoffs, to shed 1,600 U.S. employees

McKesson plans to lay off about 1,600 employees, or about 4 percent of its U.S. workforce. The restructuring move is predicted to cost the company $300 million to $330 million.

AHIMA petitions White House on national patient identifier

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) is petitioning the White House to recognize the need for a national patient identifier. "The petition asks that legislative language be removed that stops the Department of Health and Human Services from funding efforts to find a national patient ID solution," reports FierceHealthIT. "AHIMA also wants leaders in the government to work with the private sector and security experts on a path to a voluntary patient safety ID."

Another legal defeat for faith-based health systems with pension plans

Federal appeals courts continue to side against faith-based health systems, which may soon be forced to contribute millions into underfunded employee pension plans. The issue of whether those pension plans are subject to federal protections involves major health systems including Dignity Health, Presence Health and Catholic Health Initiatives. It could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

5 ways artificial intelligence is changing the face of healthcare

A recent report by Frost & Sullivan predicts the Artificial Intelligence (AI) market in healthcare will reach $6 billion by 2021, up from just $600 million two years ago. With the shift to a value-based reimbursement model, hospitals and providers are looking for new ways to increase efficiencies and improve patient outcomes, according to Healthcare Dive. "Cognitive solutions such as IBM’s Watson system can assess huge amounts of patient data, provide guidance and decision support, and improve clinical workflow."

The Best of Health IT News: Week of 3/14/16 

Best workplace rankings, ACOs, and CEO turnover

Fortune releases annual list of best medical workplaces

Baptist Health South Florida, Southern Ohio Medical Center, and St. Jude's  Children's Research Hospital are among the 100 best places to work, according to Fortune. Fortune's annual list of the 100 best places to work included 11 hospitals this year, with Baptist Health South Florida in the No. 1 spot among medical workplaces. The rankings take into account workplace culture, benefits offered, and career paths, among other considerations.

Integrated health technologies have a bright future, HIMSS survey says

The trend toward connectivity within healthcare systems has a positive future, according to the 2016 HIMSS Connected Health Survey. More than 50 percent of hospitals surveyed reported using at least three connected technologies, and many plan to improve engagement and quality of care by implementing additional technologies.

ACOs serving sickest patients may be penalized under proposed new benchmarks

A Harvard department of healthcare policy analysis "shows such wide variation in baseline spending levels  from one ACO to the next that any future benchmarking efforts, including those performed within single given  regions, must roll out parity measures only gradually—or pay the price in the form of participation falloffs," HealthExec asserts. That’s because transitioning to a common payment model using average regional fee-for-service spending as the basis for the benchmark for all ACOs in an area would probably discourage less efficient organizations—including those serving sicker-than-average populations—from continuing in ACO programs (especially in two-sided risk contracts) if the model were implemented within a few years of participation.

High hospital CEO turnover reported

Upheaval in the healthcare industry may be keeping CEO turnover rate high. This is the third year in a row that the turnover rate has been 18 percent. "ACHE President and CEO Deborah Bowen blamed ongoing organizational consolidation, Baby Boomer retirements, internal transfers within healthcare systems and the emergence of new models of care for the high turnover rates," Fiercehealthcare.com reported.

Posted by Monday, March 14, 2016 12:09:00 PM Categories: careers data electronic health records health information technology health IT hospitals

New dashboard facilitates near-real-time performance monitoring 

Check out LUMEDX's HealthView STS Adult Dashboard

By collecting outcomes data for submission to the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, cardiac surgery providers are committing to improving the quality of care that their patients receive. High-achieving providers use the data they collect for this national registry to drive performance improvements on an ongoing basis. 

And what a lot of data there is to collect! From risk factors to discharge medications to readmission rates and more, providers are charged with keeping track of it all. They need tools that are up to the task.

LUMEDX's HealthView STS Adult Dashboard enables cardiac surgery suites to set performance objectives and track metrics against objectives, identify outliers and trends, and work to improve patient care and business outcomes—all in one place. The dashboard allows for efficient, automated monitoring of performance in near-real time, so providers can see, understand, and act on their data. 

Want to learn more? LUMEDX's Complete STS Adult Dashboard InfoPak includes information and ideas for efficient and highly effective management of cardiac surgery data. Click here to download a complimentary Complete STS Adult Dashboard InfoPak.

 

Posted by Wednesday, March 09, 2016 10:26:00 AM Categories: cardiology data health information technology industry news

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 3/7/16 

Readmissions, Obamacare, and more

CMS targets hospital readmissions after CABG 

A proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would penalize hospitals that perform an index coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and then have an unexpected 30-day readmission, even if the patient was discharged from a different hospital. "The proposed CABG 30-day readmission measure includes Medicare beneficiaries who are 65 years old or older who at the time of the index admission had been enrolled in a Medicare fee-for-service program for at least 12 months," Cardiovascular Business reports. "CMS intends to add CABG to its readmissions reduction program in 2017."

Most support keeping, building on Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) continues to have public support, with 36 percent of those surveyed saying it should be expanded, according to the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. That's the position advocated by presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Nearly a quarter of respondents would like to see a single government plan, as advocated by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, while 16 percent would repeal the ACA and not replace it. Repealing the act and replacing it with a Republican alternative was favored by 13% of respondents.

Analysis: U.S. health spending wouldn't be substantially decreased by price transparency

"Menu-izing the costs of care doesn’t turn the average American into a skilled healthcare shopper, but don’t blame the consumer," says Health Exec. "While some 43 percent of U.S. healthcare spending does indeed go into 'shoppable,' non-emergent care—everything from flu shots and blood tests to colonoscopies and electively timed surgeries—only around 7 percent of out-of-pocket spending goes to such services. The result, according to a new analysis from the Health Care Cost Institute, is that the healthcare system as a whole wrings little cost benefit out of the push for price transparency."

Cardiovascular risk increases with heavy alcohol consumption

Drinking alcohol is associated with higher cardiovascular risk immediately after consumption, according to systematic review and meta-analysis. "After 24 hours, there was a lower risk for moderate drinkers," Cardiovascular Business reports. "But the risk increased in heavy drinkers for the following day and week."

Major markets could see mega-regional healthcare systems

Consolidation is a trend expected to continue in the healthcare industry, according to Fierce Healthcare. The trend, with increased leverage and revenues, has led to the creation of super-regional system in several large markets. "In Chicago, consolidation reached a crescendo in 2014 when fully integrated health system Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Winfield, Illinois' Cadence Health finalized a merger, with Northwestern expanding to include four hospitals under the deal," reported Becker's Hospital Review. Since then, Northwestern has expanded its reach, finalizing a deal with KishHealth in Dekalb, Illinois. The system now boasts six hospitals and more than 4,000 workers.

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