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Patient Management Software Features

Patient Management Software Features | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

The phrase “patient management software” (PMS) refers to a number of efficient automated systems for tracking patient information, diagnoses, prescriptions, interactions and encounters within healthcare organizations like medical clinics or hospitals as well as integrations for obtaining and storing information from medical devices. Some of these software applications focus on general patient management while others address specific processes such as inpatient tracking or blood testing.

Benefits of Patient Management Automation

Administrative staffing is one of the big drivers of high healthcare costs. Automating routine processes, like patient flow management, helps medical clinics and hospitals minimize their administrative expense while maintaining efficiency and excellence in patient care.

Solo practices benefit significantly from automation because of their limited resources. A patient management solution streamline recordkeeping, patient appointment scheduling, claims processing and billing functions. The physician has instant access to patient information and a reliable method for updating charts, noting medications and other important data. Accurate billing and bookkeeping keeps the practice running smoothly.

Larger clinics and hospitals enjoy similar benefits while also making patient-related processes more efficient. PMS delivers more accurate, timely and better quality patient care. A comprehensive management program enables immediate record transfers, enhances patient workflow and eliminates treatment errors that result from inaccurate or incomplete paper records.

Digital storage capability saves actual space for a neater, more welcoming office. Additionally, digital information is more secure than paper files, so patient management programs help clinics and hospitals comply with HIPPA privacy regulations.

Automated process management streamlines and standardizes many administrative tasks, freeing medical staff to focus on what they do best: patient care. As a result, staff members find their jobs to be more fulfilling and patients enjoy a higher standard of medical care.

Efficiency, accuracy and fewer errors directly benefit the facility’s bottom line. Patients who receive quality care from a professional and focused medical team will remain with the practice and tell their friends. With management software in place, clinics and hospitals have the ability to increase their patient capacity while still providing quality care. More patients mean more profit.

Functions of PMS

Not all the features of patient management software listed below are included in any single software application. However, each feature is part of an actual patient management system currently available.

Medical Records Software:Records, updates and archives electronic medical recordsProduces a medical records flow sheet for each patient, which shows immunizations, illnesses, surgeries, test results and other patient information using graphs and chartsCombines electronic health records from all providers treating the same patientIssues alerts when preventive care appointments are dueScheduling Software:Books appointments online 24/7Makes automated appointment reminder calls/texts/emailsReserves required equipment for scheduled appointmentsCancels and/or reschedules appointmentsRecords appointment history for each patientPatient portal for self-servicePatient Encounter Software:Provides electronic office check-inGenerates electronic intake forms that streamline a patient’s initial clinic or hospital visitTracks the time each patient must waist in the lobbyMonitors exam room availabilityTracks the progress of each examEngages patients remotelyMonitors patients remotely for medication compliance, diet and exercise schedulesAutomates patient checkout, including copay collectionSchedules follow-up appointmentsCaptures patient reviewsSoftware for Inpatient Encounters:Manages admissionsPlans and manages patient dischargesGenerates e-chartingSchedules bed occupancy and maintenanceTracks patients’ locationsMonitors patients’ vital signsTracks patient waiting timesGraphs patient flowManages medicationCoordinates emergency responseSchedules surgeriesManages lab workflowManages ER patient workflowMedical Billing Software:Manages patient accountsAutomates billing processesIssues payment remindersCoordinates insurance billingVerifies patient insurance coverageTracks claims statusReviews claims for accuracyEnables online patient payment

Electronic patient management sets new standards for excellence in patient care. It provides healthcare facilities of all sizes with greater economy, enhanced quality of service, accuracy and efficiency. Programs are available to suit a variety of medical practice needs. This type of software has become so integrated into the practice management as well as patient information portal, that the FDA now considers digital health tools like this “Software as a Medical Device”.

Patient management and practice management software are often synonymous. We’ve created a report on the top patient/practice management software here, as well as a large product directory. Have a look around and request the full report if you want to get more in-depth information about the best software options available.


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How healthcare organizations can benefit from social media analysis

How healthcare organizations can benefit from social media analysis | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are in the spotlight of many tech news websites, and it is not for nothing. These technologies are being actively implemented in an array of spheres, and some AI uses make the mind boggle.    


The below statistics show that AI is already here, and it is here to stay.

Thus, according to a 2016 Narrative Science study, 38% of enterprises are already employing AI, and this number is expected to grow to 62% by 2018. As for the AI market growth, it is anticipated to surpass $40 billion by 2020 and $100 billion by 2025.

AI is also revolutionizing healthcare, and this article is aimed at shedding light on certain aspects of this technology implementation in hospitals and care organizations.  

Healthcare and social service institutions may face bitter criticism due to the growing number of suicide cases, deaths of elderly people who didn’t get sufficient care, etc. In this case, a linguistic analysis of posts in social networks and blogs can render valuable assistance in reducing risks to a significant extent.  

To understand the tremendous importance of early detection of suicide-disposed people, let’s turn to some statistical data.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports say that each year nearly one million people die from suicide (one death per 40 seconds). And the death rate is predicted to increase to one death per 20 seconds by 2020.

Earlier, suicide rates have been highest among elderly people, but the situation has changed, and now in a third of all the countries youngsters are at higher risk.

Healthcare institutions and social services work with zeal to prevent suicide among adolescents and elderly people. But sometimes it’s not enough, and an AI-driven approach is needed.  

Our company, EffectiveSoft, has considerable expertise in the sphere of computer linguistics and machine learning, and we are always willing to share experience in healthcare apps development and to deliver other smart solutions.

Our firm has recently come across the challenge of identifying suicide-disposed individuals on the web. Company’s savvy-tech experts have elaborated a bevy of workflows that can be the used to conduct a linguistic analysis of social media comments, chats, posts, etc. Here are some takeaways.  

Data acquisition

First, it’s crucial to engage medical experts in creating specific questionnaires and use them to work with persons at risk. The focus group (people who suffered from the above-mentioned problems) give certain answers that have to be analyzed and systematized by physicians who will also eliminate buzz.   

As a result, customers (for instance, hospitals) get a set of professionally composed documents with the patterns describing one or another mental illness that may become the reason for suicide. Those patterns are needed for machine algorithms and further Internet search.

Machine learning

Computer linguists are building specific infrastructures giving computers the ability to learn new patterns. It’s a complicated and sophisticated process that requires high qualification.

Today, there’s an array of tools able to carry out a standard linguistic analysis. In turn, EffectiveSoft boasts a unique linguistic core that can train with predefined patterns selected by physicians. In this case, machine algorithms get an opportunity to identify specific linguistic constructions that are characteristic of individuals who are at the brink of committing suicide.

Practical use

In practice, people don’t tend to give identical answers. That’s why machine algorithms need much diverse data. Taking into account the fact that EffectiveSoft’s core allows conducting a deep linguistic analysis, the customer will be granted a chance to receive data with stand-alone sample patterns.

In addition, the algorithms can be adjusted to detect successful and unsuccessful cases for further results correction.  

Conclusion

The algorithms are then used to analyze social media posts and detect suicide-disposed persons, which becomes a valuable information source for hospitals and other care organizations in their try to reduce the number of deaths.    

The prototype described above is a bright example of EffectiveSoft’s expertise in social engineering and its ability to respond to tough challenges.    

Acknowledgements

Produced from materials originally produced by Yana Yelina, a Tech Journalist at EffectiveSoft.

ReferencesPrevention of suicide among adolescents, WHO. Available at: http://www.who.int/mental_health/en/
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SEO vs Paid Search vs Social Media – Which is Better for Healthcare Marketing

SEO vs Paid Search vs Social Media – Which is Better for Healthcare Marketing | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

Digital media has transformed marketing practices in just about every industry. Healthcare marketing has surprisingly been affected by the digital marketing revolution more than most other industries.

The industry is investing in online marketing more than ever. According to an eMarketer report, healthcare professionals and the pharma industry invested $1.67 billion in online marketing in 2015.

As more healthcare organizations invest in digital marketing, they must educate themselves about their options.

Factors that Influence the Healthcare Marketing Landscape

The digital marketing profession has evolved over the years. Healthcare marketers have numerous options available to them, including paid search, SEO and social media.

In order to choose the best digital marketing strategy, it is important to understand the role these factors play. Here’s an industry SWOT Analysis of digital marketing opportunities in the healthcare profession.

Healthcare marketers must contend with privacy laws.

Healthcare marketers must comply with HIPAA regulations very carefully. They must be careful about using identifiable patient information in any of their marketing creatives. They must also be cautious about sharing patient information with marketers to improve their targeting.

High costs for exposure

The value of healthcare leads is extremely high. Unfortunately, this means that there’s tremendous competition in the digital marketing sphere for healthcare professionals. This is especially true for Adwords and Bing PPC, since those are the digital platforms most healthcare marketers use.

More nuanced targeting options

In the 1990s and early 2000’s, healthcare market is needed to take a broader approach to reach new patients. They needed to advertise in the local news sites and other broad media outlets.

Today, they can target specific demographics and patients with specific ailments.

Digital media helps healthcare professionals build trust

Marketing has traditionally been one of the least trusted professions. People knew that advertisers had a very biased agenda.

The Internet has changed the dynamic in surprising ways. Rather than focusing solely on awareness, it creates a platform for healthcare professionals to bolster their professional reputation and trust of future patients.

According to a recent study from Pricewaterhouse Cooper, social media posts from doctors are the most trusted source of healthcare information. The study found that 56% of patients trusted them. Healthcare professionals that are active on social media can you build trust, rather than just exposure.

SEO, PPC, social media – Which is best for healthcare marketing?

You have plenty of options available to you as a healthcare marketer. You can invest in a solid search engine optimization strategy and rely on long-term, residual traffic. You can also rely on paid search in Google, Bing and other search marketing platforms.

Another popular option is to rely on social media marketing.

Which option is most preferable? Unfortunately, there are so many variables that it’s difficult to claim one is better than the other. However, there are some factors that can help you decide.

I believe that social media marketing is the best option for many healthcare professionals, especially those that don’t offer urgent care support. However, search marketing is better for healthcare professionals that offer urgent care services or are in highly niche professions.

Since social media is an underutilized platform for healthcare marketing, I feel it’s important to emphasize some of the benefits. Here are some recent social media is ideal for many healthcare marketers.

Lower competition

Across all industries, CPC and CPM costs have surged for both search and social media marketing. However, there are discrepancies for many industries. In healthcare specifically, CPC costs for search marketing are incredibly expensive for three reasons:

The CPA value of leads is so high.All marketers use the same keyword research tools and tender bid on the same terms.Search marketing is the default platform for most healthcare marketers.

A study from WordStream found that the average CPC for the healthcare marketing industry is $3.17. While social media marketing is also competitive landscape, you can generally acquire paid traffic for less money.

The competition is especially low on Instagram, which is why many healthcare professionals have started to buy Instagram views.

Better for establishing trust

The study listed above shows that patients trust content from healthcare professionals over almost anything else. Since social media is an ideal platform for engaging with others, healthcare professionals can use it to establish trust with current and future patients.

Great for Connecting with Patients That Aren’t in the Buyer Mindset Yet

Healthcare is a unique service in the market. People don’t usually actively seek out healthcare services until they think they are in desperate need of them. However, many people actually need healthcare services long before an emergency strikes. For example, approximately half of all adults with diabetes aren’t aware of it.

You can’t connect with these people on search, because they aren’t aware they have a problem that needs to be addressed yet. Social media allows marketers to reach and educate patients before they know they have a problem and encourage them to see assistance


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Gene therapy could wipe immune memory and "turn off" severe allergies

Gene therapy could wipe immune memory and "turn off" severe allergies | Medical-IT | Scoop.it
Scientists may be one step closer to discovering a way to genetically "turn off" allergic responses with a single injection. A team of researchers at the University of Queensland has developed a new process that has successfully silenced a severe allergic response in mice, using blood stem cells engineered with a gene that can target specific immune cells.

The big challenge previous allergy researchers faced was that immune cells, known as T-cells, tended to develop a form of "memory"

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The Impact of Social Media in Healthcare 

The Impact of Social Media in Healthcare  | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

What’s the first thing you do when you get sick? For many people, a cursory search through various online resources is the initial step in gathering information toward obtaining a diagnosis.  The internet places an infinite number of health-related resources at our fingertips, many of which are consumed through social media.

Presently, 74% of US internet users participate in social media, and of those users, 80% are searching for health information. The rapid adoption and prevalence of social media among internet users has allowed it to become an innovative and disruptive force within the healthcare field, potentially influencing the opinions and interactions of both patients and providers.

Before diving in to discuss the impact of social media in healthcare, let’s first define the term “social media.”  This article defines social media as follows:

“THE TERM GENERALLY REFERS TO INTERNET-BASED TOOLS THAT ALLOW INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES TO GATHER AND COMMUNICATE; TO SHARE INFORMATION, IDEAS, PERSONAL MESSAGES, IMAGES, AND OTHER CONTENT; AND, IN SOME CASES, TO COLLABORATE WITH OTHER USERS IN REAL TIME.”

This IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report [PDF], Engaging Patients through Social Media, further describes social media as encompassing a wide variety of online, interactive platforms that host user-generated content.  These can be blogs (like this one!), social/professional networking sites, virtual communities, wikis, or video-/image- sharing sites.

Impact on Patients

For patients, social media can be a valuable source of information or a dangerous source of misinformation. This article in the Health Informatics Journal describes a systematic review of how both video and text-based social media are used and perceived by patients.  The authors found that social media can support patient empowerment, engagement, and build communities, but since little is known about the quality of information circulating throughout social media, there’s always a risk of it being incorrect or misleading.

Wired magazine recently provided a specific example of social media’s impact on healthcare through “patient influencers.” The article describes how many of those diagnosed with a chronic disease have taken to social media to provide insights and give a voice to their condition. However, while social media provides patient influencers and patients with a virtual community to share their concerns and experiences, there’s no oversight, and no guards against potential conflicts of interest.

Impact on Providers

Social media can also serve as a useful tool for providers, not only for professional networking and information sharing, but for patient education as well. An exploratory survey of 17 physicians (76% of whom were bloggers) identified the benefits of social media involvement,  including career advancement and staying up-to-date on the latest literature. Barriers included lack of institutional support, employer backlash, unfamiliarity with technology, time requirements, and the fear of saying something wrong.

Some providers see social media as a source of low-cost health information for themselves and an opportunity for community outreach. In another survey involving 485 physicians, 24% reported using social media at least once a day to look for medical information and 60% said social media enhances the quality of care they provide.

On the other hand, the use of social media does not come without risks for providers. Healthcare providers are responsible for protecting the privacy of patient information and HIPAA regulations govern patient-provider electronic communications.  Additionally, providers must consider legal and ethical issues associated with using social media for patient care purposes.

Impact on Patient-Provider Interactions

Social media can also affect patient-provider relationships by facilitating communication outside of the traditional office setting. One study focusing on adolescents with psychiatric illnesses indicated that social media allows for a less anxiety-provoking mode of communication (than face-to-face), constant access to providers, and more consistent monitoring. Furthermore, patients are using social media sites like Yelp to find and rate physicians and post detailed accounts of their interactions.


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Top 7 Practice Management Software Integrations

Top 7 Practice Management Software Integrations | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

The purpose of medical practice management software is to run your practice with one platform.  But too often, medical practices — especially small practices — choose systems that aren’t robust enough.  They end up with several systems that end up adding more manual tasks than they automate.  In short — their practice management software isn’t integrated with other medical software.

Check out some of the top vendors for the software categories listed below in our medical software comparison report

The goal for any medical practice should be to find a centralized practice management software.  A centralized platform keeps everything automated, leaving more time for more important tasks.  For example, you can focus more on providing outstanding patient care.  So if you’re looking for practice management software integrations, what systems should you look for?

Medical Billing Software

Although your number one priority should be your patients, your practice is still a business.  To run it successfully, you need to stay on top of your billing at all times.  Medical billing software automates the billing process, sending bills after appointments and tracking payments.  The last thing you want is to have bills that never get sent out.  After all, you’re not a free clinic.  Integrating a medical billing system also allows you to view your patients’ health and billing information side-by-side.

EHR

Speaking of health information, an electronic health records system (EHR) is another critical integration.  First of all — no, EHR and medical practice management software aren’t the same thing.  An EHR is one of the most useful tools in a medical office’s arsenal.  EHR stores patient information for doctors to use later on.  They can also communicate with EHRs from other providers in order to collaborate on the care of a particular patient.  What EHR is most useful for, however, is as a database for your patients’ health data.  This data includes chart notes, patient histories, allergy information, test results and previous diagnoses.  Doctors use this data to get a comprehensive overview of the patient’s history to quicken diagnosis and prescription.

EMR

Similarly to EHR, an electronic medical records system (EMR) also stores patient data.  However, EMR and EHR software are very different systems.  But an EMR system is nonetheless a major component of maximizing your patient care.  As a type of business intelligence tool, they’re most useful for tracking various patient data.  This alerts your practice and, in turn, your patients, when they’re due for a preventative screening, vaccination or regular check up.

Patient Portal

Medical practices are increasingly expected to offer a patient portal.  Also known as a patient care portal, this tool is quickly becoming an industry standard.  As we increasingly use the internet and the cloud, consumers in every industry expect their information to be accessible anytime, anywhere.  A patient portal lets your patients log in and view their health history, diagnoses, prescriptions, bills and other important information.  In addition to helping automate processes such as billing and scheduling, it increases patient satisfaction.  Thus, it’s also a great marketing strategy for patient retention.  Just make sure that it’s optimized for mobile devices to enhance the user experience.

Scheduling Software

Where does your practice’s relationship with a patient start?  Is it during their first appointment, or when they schedule that first appointment?  We’ll give you a hint — it’s the second one.  Therefore, integrating scheduling software, also known as an appointment scheduler, is a major help.  Small practices especially can benefit from scheduling software.  Chances are, you can’t afford to have your receptionists manage appointment scheduling and reminders all day.  Scheduling software automates the entire process, allowing patients to go online and select a time that works for them.  This usually happens within a patient portal (see how helpful multiple integrations are?).  Additionally, you can set an automatic reminder to send before each appointment.  This makes it easier than ever to reduce the number of no-shows, which also means increased revenue.

ePrescribing

Let’s face it: doctors don’t always have the best handwriting when writing prescriptions (no offense).  Although it’s relatively rare, prescriptions occasionally get mixed up due to poor handwriting.  An ePrescribing system makes the prescription fulfillment process easy for doctors, pharmacies and patients.  After diagnosing a patient, you can fill out an online form that sends directly to the pharmacy.  Pharmacists will no longer misread a prescription note (luckily for patients everywhere).  This streamlines the process by eliminating time-consuming calls or making the patient wait after bringing the note to their pharmacy.  With an ePrescribing integration, the prescription data automatically updates into your EHR after it sends.  So you get to say goodbye to manual data entry, too.

Business Intelligence

Finally, we come to a tool that’s commonly thought of as big-business software.  Business intelligence (BI) is useful for every size and type of business.  Although it doesn’t serve a medical purpose, it can be very valuable for the marketing side of your practice.  BI software provides real-time insights into your customers (or in this case, your patients).  For example, you can get a demographic overview of your patient base.  Let’s say you’re a family practice; you might look at the marriage status of your patients and find that you’re actually attracting more singles than families.  This type of insight can lead you to switch up your marketing efforts to attract more families.  More families means more patients, which means more revenue and a more successful practice.  Integrating a BI tool with your practice management software allows all of your data to work together, both eliminating data entry and providing you with powerful insights.

Although using practice management software is a great way to improve your practice, you’ll get the most out of it with integration.  Integrating these seven systems have already helped hundreds of medical practices run more efficiently.  What do you think your practice could do if it was more efficient?


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Medical Technology Adoption is on the rise in 2017

Medical Technology Adoption is on the rise in 2017 | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

In recent years there has been a significant rise in medical technology adoption.  As the tech industry becomes more geared towards healthcare, we have see medical technology adoption grow alongside it.

Medical tech solutions offer convenient, fast, and seamless healthcare solutions for patients. In 2017, many medical patients are now leveraging different forms of Medtech devices.

Consumer health technologies, such as wearables and smartphones, are now common accessories not only to patients in the hospital but also to health-conscious individuals. Mobile devices offer patients an easier way of managing their health virtually through the built in sensors on the handset or band that monitor their heart rate, stress level, sleeping patterns and more.

Here are three ways medical technology adoption is increasing:

 

Acute Care

Cost-efficiency and performance drives the development and adoption of healthcare solutions in hospitals. The introduction of value-based healthcare requires transparency and accountability. This incentivizes doctors to keep their patients healthy, rather than to cure them.

Medical technology adoption of solutions such as Electronic Health Records are growing each year. The EHR provides a digital patient chart with full medical and treatment history.

Already widely used in various industries, the medical sector is also expected to benefit from the use of 3D printing technology. Innovations in this field are expected to help make the practice of organ transplant operations more scalable in the near future.

Another key medical technology area on the rise is robotic surgery, with a focus on minimal access (keyhole) surgeries carried out via telemedicine solutions. This technology has the potential to bring effective healthcare to patients in remote areas.

Ambulatory Care

In terms of medical devices, portability, affordability and patient comfort are expected to become increasingly important, with a focus on early diagnostics and real-time monitoring.

Telemedicine adoption is one key area here: remote patient monitoring allows doctors to check up on their patients’ health status via IoT-enabled solutions (e.g. smartphone apps, wearable devices, etc) to cut their time spent in doctor’s offices.

This medical technology adoption trend adds a further level of integration to connect patients with doctors. Not only does this help support patients’ need to remain independent, but it also helps prevent re-hospitalization and thus contributes to the industry’s efforts to make healthcare more affordable.

Home-Based Care

Healthcare is gradually moving away from the traditional models, and analysts report that patients are increasingly taking ownership of their healthcare needs. Remote and virtual healthcare are gaining importance.

Adding to this trend is the convergence of lifestyle consumer electronics products and healthcare devices. Smartphones with activity trackers, sports apps, wearables, and other products connected to the Internet of Health Things not only allow users to keep an eye on their health stats in a personalized way, but may also help the remote monitoring of patient behavior and health status for patients with chronic diseases.

This medical technology adoption is great news for both patients and doctors. These examples of integrating medical research with device and software development, electronics, and data analytics in 2017 are just the start of a new phase of healthcare.


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Are hospitals keeping up with patient demand for more digital services?

Are hospitals keeping up with patient demand for more digital services? | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

Hospitals and health systems are beginning to build a foundation of digital and mobile healthcare features that enable patients to manage their health, wellness and healthcare business affairs online.

But consumers and patients are demanding more self-service internet tools from hospitals to manage healthcare—and hospitals are being hard pressed to keep up, according to research and analysis from Internet Health Management’s Digital Hospital 500, a first-ever ranking of the most digitally advanced U.S. hospitals.

There are about three dozen features and functions that hospitals have incorporated into their digital and mobile healthcare programs. They range from enabling patients to access electronic health information, find doctors and pay bills to more sophisticated tools for rating and reviewing providers online or accessing electronic physician notes about them.

 
 
 

All hospitals ranked in the Digital Hospital 500 offer their consumers and patients at least some digital connectivity, most typically through an information portal that lets patients view at least a part of their medical record, and e-mail their doctor or another clinician. For example, 491 institutions (98.2%) let patients view and download bills online, while 488 hospitals (97.6%) offer a digital tool for finding a physician and 483 (96.6%) for booking an appointment online, according to the Digital Hospital 500.

More than three-fourths of all Digital 500 Hospitals—382 or 76.3%—have an electronic records system in place that can serve as the foundation to build or expand a portfolio of digital and mobile health tools. But there remains a wide disparity in terms of the online features offered by Digital Hospital 500 institutions.

Of the 34 features researchers looked for in a hospital’s digital and mobile program, the median number offered by institutions in the Digital Hospital 500 was 17.
 
 

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For the Top 100 hospitals, the median is 21 features, but that number steadily drops with each quintile in the ranking: 101-200 (18), 201-300 (17), 301- 400 (15) and 401-500 (12), according to the Digital Hospital 500.

 

Internet Health Management spent six months researching and collecting data for the Digital Hospital 500. Internet Health Management ranked each Digital Hospital 500 institution on four main criteria: the total number of self-service digital healthcare features and functions each hospital offers patients and consumers, monthly website traffic, social media channels and number of followers, and each hospital’s mobile capability, including the percent of website traffic from a mobile device, apps and responsive design.

Each hospital received an average score on a scale of 1-5 for each category. Those averages were then used to compile a final score with the available number of features and functions accounting for one-half of each hospital’s final score.

 
RESEARCH & ANALYSIS
2017 Digital Hospital 500 Report
 
$299.00
View Details
 
 
 

Data and analysis of The Digital Hospital 500 is available in two formats—a 100-page downloadable report for $299 containing detailed analysis on the data, trends and business strategies the leading hospitals ranked in The Digital Hospital 500 are using to advance digital and mobile healthcare.  A subscription database available for $995 gives subscribers full access to all data on Digital Hospital 500 hospitals.

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That information in the database encompasses 75 metrics, including each Digital Hospital 500  institution’s digital healthcare features and functions; web traffic (including breakout for desktop vs. mobile); more mobile health metrics; social media metrics for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest; the name of the institution’s electronic health records system provider (if available) and a short profile.

The Digital Hospital 500 database also contains the names and titles of more than 1,500 executives overseeing all—or a significant portion—of their hospital’s digital and mobile healthcare program.

The Digital Hospital 500 is the latest in a series of executive and research reports from Internet Health Management.

“Consumer-driven web healthcare isn’t a concept—it’s a reality, and it’s rapidly evolving,” says Molly Love, president and CEO of Vertical Web Media, publisher of Digital Commerce 360 and Internet Health Management. “The Digital Hospital 500 reaffirms our mission to keep healthcare leaders and solutions providers fully informed with timely research, data and analysis on the trends changing how healthcare is delivered and managed.”


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Social Media for Doctors & Aesthetics Professionals

Social Media for Doctors & Aesthetics Professionals | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

For doctors and aesthetics professionals it has always been true: Your clients want to form a personal relationship with you because they are entrusting you with their care. Today, that relationship begins online — long before they ever visit you in person.

Everyone’s online habits are a little different, of course, but if there’s a place we all converge, it’s on social media platforms. While some of our clients have been skeptical after their own attempts at social media marketing produced lackluster results, we have made believers out of them. Etna has tested, measured, and identified strategies that help you maintain relationships, build your reputation, and attract new patients through social media.

Unlike other marketing channels, on social media we can reach the friends of current patients, extend your geographic reach, and speak directly to your target audience. What you choose to share there has a powerful effect on how your practice is perceived, and a little strategic thinking goes a long way.

Benefits of a Good Social Media Strategy

It’s so much more than posting.
If it’s done right, social media marketing is a powerful lead generation tool that’s also your followers’ window into your practice. It’s where they can get to know you. It’s where your brand voice really comes alive. And outside the walls of your office, it’s where you establish trust.

So how do you do all of that? Well, it requires consistency, authenticity, staff and patient involvement, and expertise. Here are just a few ways:

Offering the expert advice you’re uniquely qualified to giveSharing office anticsGiving your followers a first look at any monthly specialsInvolving your followers by asking questions or running contestsResponding quickly and effectively to any comments, tweets, tags, etc.

Remember, too, that your social media followers have given you permission to be a part of their daily lives, often because they’re your existing clients and they want to stay informed about your practice. An effective social media strategy honors that by striking the right balance. It’s important to offer content that’s informative and relevant — both to new and returning patients — without overtly selling something in every post.


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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Medical Practice Management Software 

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Medical Practice Management Software  | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

Running a doctor’s office or patient clinic comes with all the ordinary challenges of doing business, plus a host of healthcare industry challenges.  These include a sprawling body of governmental and insurance regulations, continually-tighter budgets, and a plethora of patient concerns. Medical practice management software helps to streamline and automate the tedious and time-consuming activities at both the front desk and the back office. If you’re upgrading to a new system or are looking for your first medical practice software, there are several important considerations to make before you begin your search. Here is your guide to choosing the practice management system that best meets the needs of your bustling medical practice.Know what to look for during the selection process with a free Medical Software Requirements Template

Choose Medical Practice Management Software That Can Accommodate the Entirety of Your Clinical Workflow

You’ll want a software system that is as feature-packed as possible in terms of what it can handle regarding the clinical workflow. Look for a system that can automate activities like appointment scheduling via a patient portal.  A patient portal gives your patients direct access to their records whenever they want them, decreasing the number of calls your staff has to field on a daily basis.  This not only makes them available for other work, but also frees up your phone lines for emergencies.

The right system allows you to collect a rich body of information, including your patients’ appointment histories (appointments they made, canceled, missed, etc.). You might also opt for a system that allows patients to log into the patient portal online ahead of their appointment time and complete their required forms. This saves time when they get to the office for their first appointment.

Most medical practice management software has document management capabilities, but you will probably want one that is capable of handling documents relative to imaging, such as X-rays. A good software system should also provide resource planning capabilities so staff can quickly and easily identify which patient rooms are available, what equipment is in use, and which staff members are tied up with patient care or other important activities. Finally, be sure you choose a system with robust accounting capabilities, including insurance billing, patient billing, some collections capabilities, and features to handle your outgoing expenses.

Choose Software That Offers E-Prescribing

If you have never used e-prescribing, you and your staff are going to love it. E-prescribing functionality allows your office to send patient prescriptions to your patients’ pharmacy electronically, without the need for a signed paper prescription or a phone call by your staff. E-prescribing not only saves the medical practice time and money, it also makes the process of issuing prescriptions more secure.

Choose Software That Allows for Comments & Internal Messaging

The ability to make notes on patient records and accounts is incredibly handy. For example, if a patient discusses an unusual situation with one of your staff, the ability to make notes and share them internally means that your patient won’t have to repeat the explanation over and over. Your software should make it easy to note and see such things as special payment arrangements and other details.  This takes the level of patient care to the next level, as nothing ever gets lost or forgotten.

Choose Software That Integrates Easily With Other Back-End Systems

It’s an excellent idea to get input from other medical offices before you believe vendor claims about integration and compatibility. Some medical practice management software claims to be compatible with your EHR or other systems, but the process of integrating the software isn’t always easy. The ability to integrate back-end systems means you have a more holistic picture of your practice and staff doesn’t have to spend lots of time manually transferring the data (which tends to be a process riddled with errors).

Choose Software With Excellent Vendor Support

As with any software purchase, you want to make sure the vendor selling your medical practice management software stands behind their products. Again, it’s better to do your own research and see what other customers have to say about a vendor instead of taking their website’s word for it. Would you say you’re the worst in town regarding customer service? Neither will they.

Choose Between Cloud-Based and On-Premises Software

Traditionally, medical practice software had to be installed and operated from your local computer systems, meaning you had to have the storage capabilities and processing power the system needed. This is no longer your only option. Doctors offices that have no internal IT department can opt for cloud-based software that comes with no on-premises installation, no onsite storage requirements, and no ongoing updates or software maintenance to worry about. Choosing whether you prefer on-premises or cloud-based software helps narrow your search considerably.

One word to the wise, there are some practice management systems that “specialize” in a specific type of medical practice software, such as software designed for pediatricians or orthopedic surgeons. Don’t buy the hype. Any system that is robust, full-featured, and well-designed (by a reputable software developer) will work fine for any type of medical practice you happen to run.

The good news is, there are tons of superb systems out there. Which one is best? That depends on a number of factors, including the size of your practice, your budget, and the tech skills of your staff members.


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Social Stats for the Healthcare Industry

Social Stats for the Healthcare Industry | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

It is no secret marketing strategies are evolving to include more social media. Businesses are spending more of their budget in their digital marketing departments and the healthcare industry is no different. Below are some noteworthy statistics on how social media has impacted the healthcare industry.

Over 40% of consumers say information found via social media affects how they take care of their health. (source: Mediabistro)

It is important for doctors to create and put out accurate and informative educational content for their patients to read. There are so many opinions on the internet that should not be trusted. Become the trusted go-to source of information for your patients.

19% of smartphone users have at least one health app on their phone. (Source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)

Exercise, diet and weight loss apps are the most popular apps in the health category. Have you considered launching an app based on your specialty?

31% of healthcare professionals use social media for professional networking (Source: Mediabistro)

Using social media for professional purposes is also very common and useful. Connect with specialists in different fields. These kinds of professional relationships can help with referral business in the future.

41% of people say social media would affect their choice of a specific doctor, hospital, or medical facility. (source: Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive Group)

Social media has opened up a whole new playing field for voicing your opinion. Positive and negative word of mouth can make or break your practice. Make sure you take the time to really listen to what your patients have to say.

The most accessed online resources for health-related information are: 56% searched WebMD, 31% on Wikipedia, 29% on health magazine websites, 17% used Facebook, 15% used YouTube, 13% used a blog or multiple blogs, 12% used patient communities, 6% used Twitter, and 27% used none of the above. (Source: Mashable)

Some sources of content may contain higher quality content than others. As a healthcare provider, it is important to differentiate between these credible and less credible sources.

Parents are more likely to seek medical answers online. 22% use Facebook and 20% use YouTube. Of non-parents, 14% use Facebook and 12% use YouTube to search for healthcare-related topics. (source: Mashable)

Everyone says things change when you start having kids. This is even true in the healthcare industry. Parents are online looking for information that can help their loved ones more than ever before


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Rush Health Launches Health Information Exchange for Clinicians

Rush Health Launches Health Information Exchange for Clinicians | Medical-IT | Scoop.it
Rush Health, a Chicago-based leading clinically-integrated network of physicians and hospitals has launched their new health information exchange

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Can Technology Finally Be The Missing Link To Keeping Healthcare Affordable? | Articles | Chief Technology Officer

Can Technology Finally Be The Missing Link To Keeping Healthcare Affordable? | Articles | Chief Technology Officer | Medical-IT | Scoop.it
Technology and healthcare have a symbiotic relationship, but through a more widespread adoption of technology in healthcare, costs could begin to drop

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How The Recent Medicaid Expansion Will Impact Patient Care

How The Recent Medicaid Expansion Will Impact Patient Care | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

Back in 2009, as we all know, Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act, more commonly known as ObamaCare, which included an expansion of Medicaid that each state could choose to adopt. As a part of the expansion, states are required to cover everyone earning 138 percent of the federal poverty level or less.

  

In its original form, the Medicaid expansion was mandatory, but as the bill evolved, it became optional, allowing each state to decide whether to opt in or not. The expansion first went into effect in 2014, but so far, only 25 of the 50 states, as well as Washington D.C., have chosen to expand their programs according to the traditional expansion plan, with an additional 6 states using an alternative expansion method.

 

For the past two years, the federal government has picked up 100 percent of the tab on the cost of coverage for those people who are newly eligible under the new program, but that will be changing soon. At the end of 2016, the government’s coverage will drop to 97 percent, and in 2020, it will drop again to 90 percent.

  

What everyone is wondering now, of course, is where all of this leads. How will this expansion actually impact patient care? Just as with any plan, there are certain to be both positive and negative effects, and in the end, its purpose is to expand and improve the treatment patients receive.

  

Higher access to care for previously uninsured patients

States that have already adopted the expanded Medicaid plan are consistently showing positive results for those patients who have new access to care due to the expansion. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, adults who have gained access to Medicaid since the expansion are 55 percent more likely to have a regular doctor they visit than the adults who did not gain coverage. Preventative care treatments, such as mammograms and cholesterol checks, are also significantly higher (by 60 percent and 20 percent, respectively). Those with new access to Medicaid also were 25 percent more likely to report that they were in good to excellent health than those without.

  

Potential delays in payment

Not all of the potential changes are positive, of course. Medicaid is notoriously slow to reimburse healthcare clinics for services they have provided, meaning even the higher fees the healthcare providers receive may not be enough to offset the added burden of those delays. PatientPop reports that the current benchmark for days in Accounts Receivable is, at most, 50 days, and preferably between 30 and 40 days. This expansion to the Medicaid program, and the corresponding increase in the percentage of patients who use Medicaid, has the potential to increase the amount of time it takes clinics and hospitals to be paid for their services.

  

Patients may not be accepted at medical clinics

Healthcare providers are not the only ones who could be negatively impacted by delayed payments. Not all physicians participate in Medicaid for this very reason. According to some surveys, about half of physicians will accept all new Medicaid patients, significantly lower than the 70 percent who accept all privately insured patients, or those utilizing Medicare. Higher fees paid to physicians, which the Federal government will cover early on, can improve these numbers, but those increased fees carry no guarantee that they will last forever.

  

Increased fees are not guaranteed to be permanent

One part of the expansion is that Medicaid payments to physicians will be similar to the payments from Medicare, which are historically much better than those from Medicaid. Initially, the Federal government will pay for these increased fees, but the Federal government’s share of the load will drop to 97 percent at the end of 2016, and then 90 percent in 2020. These increased fees are not guaranteed to continue indefinitely, and government reimbursement could drop in the future. Outside of the expansion, the federal government pays about 60 percent of the “woodwork” costs for Medicaid patients, and so a significant portion of that financial load falls upon the states.

  

In the end, the Medicaid expansion is a double-edged sword. It has some very significant benefits—most notably the higher rates of patients receiving care and reporting good health. Those benefits come with downsides, which should not be ignored, but if handled properly, more patients can receive access to the care they need.


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The future of medicine and the incredible innovations we can expect by 2064

The future of medicine and the incredible innovations we can expect by 2064 | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

he Fred Alger Management team reached out to me recently asking what innovative changes I thought the medical and healthcare industry will be going through over the next 50 years. It was for their innovative “Think Further” series:

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOgt85cPU8Q&list=UUcpr1hudOhiPOsj-7rwe8Ew&w=520]

As Yogi Berra famously quipped “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” but Alger’s “Future of Medicine” question is an interesting approach to generating ideas so I thought I’d give it a shot.

For the first 50 years in computing we’ve been busy digitizing the areas of human activity such as:

Administration (letters and memos are rarely done by hand)Engineering (computations and drawings have been done on machines for a while)Finance & accounting (spreadsheets and software drive most financial tasks)News & press (social media, online news)Literature (e-books, publications)Retail (online stores)

There are many more examples of digitization plus even more examples of how mobile, social, and Internet have changed the world for the better. While the innovations I’ve cited above have brought enormous benefits to humanity, the next 50 years when we digitize biology through genomics, digitize chemistry through early detection systems, and digitize physics through better simulations we’re going to live in a world that might soon look even more like science fiction than it does today. Here’s how:

We already have “Dr. Google” through search engines but the coming decades will make medical knowledge, especially differential diagnoses, even better and more accessible to the average patient.In the next decade we’re going to have the first versions of Star Trek’s “Medical Tricorder” and “Biobeds” which will focus on improved digital diagnostics by using digital medical education and improved mobile sensors to teach our devices how to read biomarkers in blood or other human biological specimen and identify disease or other ailments.Over the following decades we’ll use those better diagnostics to create significantly better therapeutics such as personalized drugs. The better our diagnostics get on a personal (patient-specific) basis, the better our personalized therapies will get.Within next couple of decades we’ll be able to use the advanced diagnostics capabilities of genetics and proteomics to create personal simulators of our body so that drugs and their side effects can be tested on a digital version of ourselves instead of running clinical trials in live settings.As computing power increases and digital biological specimens become easier to obtain, we can imagine a world in which computers can run biological research that only humans can do today. And do it more safely and quickly than is possible this decade.We can even imagine a world in which we can detect and correct diseases by touching our smartphones or smartwatches.

Just as we couldn’t imagine 20 years ago that a device we hold in our hands could guide us using GPS systems, there are things we’ll get through digital biology, digital chemistry, and digital physics that would be unimaginable today.

Our biggest struggles with future innovations won’t be around technology – that part will be solved quickly because of a huge pool of talented entrepreneurs and engineers. The biggest risk to our next generation technologies will really be around regulatory, privacy, and security. We already don’t know how to handle mobile medical devices from a regulatory perspective. We barely know how to manage privacy and security with the small amounts of personalized health records and diagnostic data we have now.


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What are the Top Healthcare Industry Challenges in 2017?

What are the Top Healthcare Industry Challenges in 2017? | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

Healthcare Industry challenges are always going to be evolving alongside the breakthroughs and innovations. In 2017, there are new healthcare industry challenges that go alongside the age-old difficulties.

For doctors, nurses and medical teams, here are 7 of the key healthcare industry challenges they are currently facing in the year ahead for 2017.

1) Retail Care offering increased access

Retail giants like CVS and Walgreens are pushing further into care delivery, continuing to put pressure on traditional providers to increase access to care.

According to Laura Jacobs, writing for Hospitals and Health Networks “The greatest challenge for most organizations will be finding the right pace for adapting to or embracing new [healthcare] payment models.”

Doctors will be required to step up their efforts to optimize the patient experience, beyond measuring patient satisfaction.

2) Behavioral healthcare

The healthcare industry is starting to recognize that Mental Health is important to the well-being of employees and consumers, according to a report from PWC.

The report notes that one out of five American adults experiences a mental illness every year. These conditions cost businesses more than $440 billion each year. Healthcare organizations and employers will look at behavioral care as ‘key to keeping costs down, productivity up and consumers healthy’ the report said.


3) Meaningful Use and Value Based Payments

Eligible providers and eligible hospitals are continuing to work on meaningful use of EHRs.

Value-based purchasing programs are solidly in place, and eligible physicians are starting to experience the penalty phase of CMS’s quality reporting and Meaningful Use initiatives. In fact, CMS revealed that more than 257,000 eligible professional providers who are not meaningful users of certified EHR technology would have their Medicare Fee Schedule cut by one percent.

Eligible physicians also need to comply with CMS’s new Value-Based Payment Modifier program, or face penalties. It’s part of Medicare’s efforts to improve healthcare, but the program adds yet more regulations physicians need to monitor.

All these changes and new reporting requirements can become overwhelming for already busy physicians, which is why the American Medical Association has repeatedly asked for relief.


4) Switching to ICD-10

The much anticipated and maligned change to ICD10 codes in 2015 led to a lot of discomfort for physicians. The increase in codes from 14,000 to 68,000 means a lot of diagnosis criteria must be re-learned.

There is a great deal of planning, re-training and new systems that go along with the upgrade in codes. For doctors, finding the time to do this proved to be a huge challenge, and still is.

5) Data Security

Patient privacy issues, including concerns about data breaches, continue to be a challenge for providers, payers, and consumers.

Providers and payers will need to be aware of the best practices for data security to avoid the type of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations that can negatively impact an organization.


6) Managing Patient volume

While new payment models will are aiming to reduce acute hospital utilization, the continued expansion of Medicaid and the insured population through the public exchanges will seemingly keep demand up.

The rise of obesity and chronic disease and population aging are creating a demand for medical services like never before.

Emergency departments will continue to be overworked until efforts to decant volume through urgent care, better care management or redesigned primary care models begins to take effect..


7) Implementing Telemedicine

The idea of a doctor seeing you via a computer screen may no longer be new, but the adoption of the Telemedicine services by doctors with their own patients is still a struggle.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation shares a vision of how Telemedicine can reduce patient backlogs. “Imagine a world where patients in rural areas far from a nearby doctor can easily find a health care provider to consult with online from the comfort of their own homes; where doctors living in Pennsylvania can help reduce the backlog of patients waiting to see doctors in Mississippi; and where patients can connect to a doctor over the Internet for routine medical purposes with a few clicks of the mouse—like they do when ordering a book on Amazon.”

Finding a balance between in person visits and telemedicine will require doctors to adjust their approach to care. Learning to diagnose remotely also requires new skills and detailed reporting.

Of course, Healthcare Industry Challenges are nothing new. Technology and legislation will continue to change the landscape. Doctors and their medical teams must evolve their approach and focus to meet them.

 


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Why physicians should become active on social media

Why physicians should become active on social media | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

If you and your team haven’t discussed how social media can be used to grow your practice and get seen in a competitive market, I hope you keep reading. Finding success with social media takes time and energy, but it’s never too late to start building momentum. 

 

Further reading: Easy tips for physicians to address negative online patient reviews

 

Understandably, some physicians are resistant to the idea of professionally embracing social media. However, I truly believe that everyone, both the novice and the social media savvy, can find a way to make these digital platforms work for them.

With a unique voice, good content, patience and a lot of consistency, your practice’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube channel can become valuable assets.

Here are a few reasons why getting your healthcare practice or hospital specialty program active on social media can pay off:

1.     Build a Sense of Community

As physicians or hospital administrators, we are busy. Interacting with patients to the degree we’d like and fostering great doctor-patient relationships that build loyalty simply isn’t possible all the time. A 2016 study that looked at doctors across 26 specialties found that patients spent an average of 13-16 minutes with their doctor, per visit. Sixteen minutes or less is not a lot of time to address a patient’s immediate concerns, much less build a relationship. This is where social media comes in.

 

In case you missed it: ACP urges collaborative action to put patients before paperwork

 

Creating a comfortable, safe and educational atmosphere online that showcases your clinical expertise and creates conversations that are relevant to your patients is something that can deliver more face time with the people you serve. Welcoming feedback and supporting peer engagement is a differentiator for your practice and will help you become more relatable to patients. It allows patients to see another side of you as a clinician, and adds another dimension to your practice.


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Scientists supercharge old antibiotic in fight against bacterial resistance

Scientists supercharge old antibiotic in fight against bacterial resistance | Medical-IT | Scoop.it
In a world where apocalyptic scenarios involving climate change or nuclear war are frequently bandied about in the media, the threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs seems to constantly bubble in the background. Last year a UK government review concluded that superbugs could kill up to ten million people per year by 2050, while early in 2017 the World Health Organization released a list of antibiotic resistant priority pathogens – the first in the organization's 69-year history. A new weapon in our arsenal has just been developed by a team of researchers, supercharging a commonly used antibiotic to make it more more potent than ever before.

Scientists are fighting this war on superbugs from several fronts, developing antimicrobial materials, bacteria-killing gels, and even using light to destroy pathogens. A team at The Scripps Research Institute has focused on structurally modifying a previously known antibiotic in the hopes of making it more powerful.

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Medical Practice Management VS. EHR Software - The Key Differences

Medical Practice Management VS. EHR Software - The Key Differences | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

It can be a bewildering challenge trying to figure out the difference between various software tools commonly used by medical practices and facilities providers. One common tool is Medical Practice Management (MPM) software; the other is an Electronic Health Record system. They do two distinctly different jobs and help with different areas of healthcare operations.

What is Medical Practice Management Software?

Practice Management software helps with the day-to-day work that goes on in a medical office. It bridges the gap between some types of clinical work, such as the documentation of diagnosis and procedure codes, and other clerical work such as scheduling patient appointments, verifying insurance, and performing billing tasks. However, MPM is much more weighted toward the clerical work. It’s about managing patient flows and general documentation for the medical office as a whole, and less about patient documentation. While you might find patient identifiers in MPM, there should be scant medical data involved.

What is an Electronic Health Record System?

An electronic health record system is an overall digital system that stores patient information in a digital way. An EHR is a modern and comprehensive tool that often includes such different elements as chart notes, patient histories, demographics, allergy information, test results, and diagnosis coding, along with various other types of information that are useful throughout the clinical life cycle of patient treatment. EHRs have been promoted by the federal Department of Health and Human Services and incentivized by laws like the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health or HITECH Act as a way to help doctors meet federal meaningful use standards and generally improve the quality of patient care through improving documentation models.

The Difference Between MPM and EHRs

One simple way to think about this is that while MPM handles aspects of practice management, EHR is a very patient centered resource, and the two may not overlap to any great extent. It’s also helpful to understand the role of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR), which is similar to EHR but very practice-centered. (see more from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). For example, an Electronic Medical Record may only contain documentation that’s proprietary to the specific medical office – it will not usually be “portable” in the ways that EHRs are portable. So experts often talk about MPM being linked up to EMR, but they don’t talk as often about MPM being linked up to EHRs. In some ways, you could see the EMR as the “middleman” in this equation — a solution that’s practice-centered but still somewhat clinical in nature, that integrates with MPM.

The bottom line is that all of these services have become more diversified and full of specialized components to help practices do everything from patient consultation to billing. Shoppers have to look for the specific features and functionality that they need, and understand how each vendor service is going to integrate into a bigger software architecture. For example, practices may rely on broader EHR systems for almost all of their software needs, but integrate a certain amount of functionality from an MPM resource, just in order to manage the administrative aspects of the office. But again, most of the clinical information will either be in an EMR or an EHR setup. This setup might be fully integrated into other parts of the IT architecture, so that data flows through easily without being kept in data silos.

One way to handle the challenge of shopping for these various tools is to look at many systems side-by-side in a selection platform. A handy software selection site presents many different types of systems together, so that you can see what features and functionality they have. Shoppers can do research by clicking into various systems looking at the specific tools they offer, and starting to understand more about what’s standard in the industry and how the average medical practice runs on these tools. However, vendors are also willing to customize to a particular provider’s needs, so in-depth conversations with vendors can also be useful. Those who are responsible for procuring this type of software have to think about cost, functionality and transparency, as well as how to set up and keep good vendor relationships, and how to understand Service Level Agreements, to make sure the provider is getting value for cost.


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Can Doctors Use Skype for Telemedicine Calls?

Can Doctors Use Skype for Telemedicine Calls? | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

One of the big questions many people ask is can doctors use Skype for Telemedicine Calls?

Video calling platforms have become a part of everyday life. The concept of talking to someone at a distance via video is no longer a part of science fiction. Today doctor are adopting the idea of virtual visits. Many people assume that doctors can use Skype for Telemedicine calls. But is this actually the case?

The biggest challenge that faces doctors using Skype for Telemedicine calls is that they are legally bound to uphold the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

This HIPAA compliance can be upheld as long as the company providing the service has encrypted data transfer and can securely store protected health information (PHI). This can be upheld via a Business Associate Agreement, which covers a third party technology provider for HIPAA compliance.

According to Dr Erik Kangas, writing for the LUxSci Blog, “Microsoft has started offering a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) for Office 365 Online of which Skype is a part.  Microsoft has indicated that Skype is covered under this BAA and thus use of Skype can be ‘HIPAA compliant’ as long as you have Skype for Business and the signed BAA with Microsoft.”

The challenge here is that most patients use the free version of Skype, which does not fall under the umbrella of BAA coverage. Therefore only half of the conversation may be covered under HIPPA compliance.

Therefore if both parties are using Skype for Business, the service is HIPAA compliant. If not, it may not be the most viable option.

As always, it is advisable to seek your own professional legal advice before using technology that may jeopardize HIPAA compliance. Perhaps in time there will be full HIPAA compliance for Skype for Telemedicine calls, but for now it seems that this is not the case.


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Doctor Frank's curator insight, May 31, 7:36 AM

Very interesting article. I for one think telemedicine is hugely beneficial (of course I am a little bias). It could be the future! 

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5 Things to Do Before Adding Telemedicine to your Medical Clinic

5 Things to Do Before Adding Telemedicine to your Medical Clinic | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

As a Doctor, you are paid to have answers.

Answers to uncertainty, answers to pain, answers to how the future will turn out.

However one area where uncertainty looms large for Doctors is how they can get started seeing patients via remote telemedicine services.

The next 5 years are expected to see explosive growth of telemedicine both in use and public awareness. Yet, questions of effectiveness, compliance, and logistics plague each doctors decision to start using a telemedicine service.

Like a wise investor, many physicians have been watching from the sidelines, tracking the ups and downs, do’s-and-don’t’s of colleagues and experts for several years to find the best practice for incorporating telemedicine into their clinics.

If you are on the verge of incorporating telemedicine into your practice, here are 5 Things to Do Before Adding Telemedicine to your Clinic that will help ensure a steadier introduction, and long term success.

1) Know WHY you want to use Telemedicine

Before getting started, spend some time contemplating the change. If you have a desire to increase cash payments in your practice, telemedicine can help. It can also help you with schedule flexibility. And it will also help you keep up with the latest technology and services for your patients.

Decide first about what you’d like to achieve from adding a telemedicine service into your practice. This will ensure that it becomes a part of the practice smoothly, and with a purpose, rather than something you try a few times, and then give up on. Well begun is half done.

2) Set up your Team for Success with Telemedicine

One of the dangers of suddenly offering a telemedicine option in your practice is that the team feel threatened by the change.

Hold a meeting and give them a say in how the process will work, ask for their feedback on what could be a good initial system and best practice. Get clear on the process of billing and setting appointments in the schedule before starting to offer appointments.

Doing this preparation will ensure the team back you up, as you move to the virtual consultation model.

3) Set up your patients for success with Telemedicine

For doctors, a virtual visit has a lot in common with a face-to-face visit. The location and time frame is the same, and the process of diagnosis is similar. It is familiar territory.

However, for patients, it is an entirely new experience. The majority of the population is reasonably comfortable with using video chat functionality. It is your role to give them a sense of comfort and understanding that the process is simple and effective.

Providing some form of how-to guide for your patients can be very valuable. Give patients an overview of what to expect on the call. Let them know what the fee will be, how long the call will be, when you will call, etc.

All these small details will make the process much more comfortable for your patients, and make them more willing to try a Telemedicine visit with you.

4) Have clear Guidelines for what you’ll offer via Telemedicine

Telemedicine offers doctors huge flexibility. But there must be guidelines. Let patients know what you will offer, and what you wont. Patients may have specific conditions that still need face-to-face time, and it is at your discretion which of these diagnoses you can do via virtual visits.

Telemedicine can reduce or replace 70% of routine visits can be replaced. However that doesn’t mean you should outsource your entire day to virtual visits.

5) Start slow and grow with Telemedicine

Remember that you have been practicing successfully without telemedicine for many years, and although there is a huge upside to adding it to your practice, there is no need to dive in the deep end.

You might want to offer the service initially only to your most familiar patients, those managing chronic conditions, or those at a remote location. Treat your initial interactions as a learning opportunity, and learn how you can create effective results.

Remember that technology exists to connect people. The lure of the new can sometimes cloud the focus that you are still simply speaking to your patients, just in a new, more efficient way.

For Doctors, Telemedicine is exciting and scary at the same time. Starting slow, with a clear purpose, a prepared team and informed patients can do a lot to make the transition a successful one.


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Technical Dr. Inc.'s curator insight, May 31, 7:13 AM

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Rescooped by Maritha dotws from Social Media and Healthcare
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Social Media Practices and Patient Interactions Among Healthcare Professionals [13G].

Social Media Practices and Patient Interactions Among Healthcare Professionals [13G]. | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

INTRODUCTION: Social media (SM) has become widespread among healthcare professionals (HCPs) including attending-physicians, residents and medical students. It is unknown if engagement in social activity with patients on SM differs according to level of training. This study was conducted to survey HCPs on their SM practices as it pertains to personal disclosure and patient interactions.

METHODS: A survey was conducted among HCPs pertaining to SM usage and patient-friendship requests. The chi-square test was used to compare different occupations' frequency of and response to patient-friendship requests and disclosure of personal information on SM. SAS version 9.4 was used for analysis. A 5% significance level was used for hypothesis tests.

RESULTS: Six hundred forty-six participants responded: 524 (81%) medical students, 91 (14%) residents, 25 (4%) attending-physicians, and 6 (1%) unknown. The proportion of respondents who display a personal photograph (59% of attending-physicians vs. 93% for other HCPs, p < 0.001) or their name on their SM profile (55% of attending-physicians vs. 84% for other HCPs, p < 0.001) differed by occupation with attending-physicians least likely to do so. The proportion of respondents reporting that they have received a patient-friendship request differed significantly with attending-physicians most likely to have received a request (36% vs 4% for other HCPs, p < 0.001) and students most likely to decide on an individual basis or accept (41% of students vs. 22% for other HCPs, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Although attending-physicians were more likely to receive a patient-friendship request, they were less likely to accept and disclose personal information on SM demonstrating concern for safety.

(C) 2017 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


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Follow Social Trends To Increase Patient Engagement & Loyalty

Follow Social Trends To Increase Patient Engagement & Loyalty | Medical-IT | Scoop.it

One of the most effective tools for generating positive interactions in the healthcare space is a steadfast commitment to patient engagement. Open and honest dialogues between caregivers and subjects allows for long-term reciprocal relationships to develop. These bonds not only build customer loyalty, but they also improve health outcomes. Effective patient engagement has been linked with an increased adherence to medical plans, reduced hospitalizations, and higher revenues.

The only way to generate these results is by meeting patients where they spend the most time, i.e. social media. Many consumers will make first contact with their physician or healthcare provider through one of the major social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). It is important that their first experience is a positive one and that doctors have a friendly profile and good information how to get in touch, links to helpful health apps and portals are also appreciated. Developing a social strategy should be a cornerstone of every organizations patient engagement strategy.

If your practice is willing to take a step into the internet social-sphere there is opportunity for great long term benefits. Generally, practices who make an effort to meet their patient’s needs through engagement opportunities such as social media see a boost in patient loyalty. The infographic below displays how your practice can increase patient engagement, why it’s a good thing, and what the potential benefits of it are. Be pro-active and start engaging!

Click here to view full-size image.

 

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How artificial intelligence is going to cure America's health care system

How artificial intelligence is going to cure America's health care system | Medical-IT | Scoop.it
Trumpcare was DOA. Congress isn’t going to fix Obamacare. The only prescription for better (and cheaper) health care: ‘Take two apps and call me in the morning.’

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Rescooped by Maritha dotws from Osteoporosis New drugs Review
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Stem Cell Therapy for Spinal Cord Injuries, Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

Stem Cell Therapy for Spinal Cord Injuries, Spinal Cord Injury Treatment | Medical-IT | Scoop.it
Stem Cell Therapy helps to treat the Spinal cord injuries. Stem cell therapy repairs the damage tissues and cells of Spinal Cord. Call us today at +91-9654321400.

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