Why Single EMR Platform Strategies Fail

Why Single EMR Platform Strategies Fail

Over the last decade, U.S. health care providers made enormous investments in electronic medical records (EMRs). Given the scale of this investment and the ever-increasing pressure to do more with less, many have pursued a strategy of widely deploying a single, uniform EMR and leveraging it for as many uses as possible. It’s a logical and sound strategy as far as it goes, but it only goes so far.

It turns out there are significant limitations to the “One Platform” EMR strategy that often result in major gaps in IT performance and coverage. The good news is that, while these gaps are inevitable, application programming interfaces (APIs) go a long way towards closing them.

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APIs: An Essential Element of VA-DoD Innovation

APIs: An Essential Element of VA-DoD Innovation

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs selection of the same EMR used by the Department of Defense has the potential to reduce fragmentation and enhance care. But, simply picking the same EMR will not be enough. Part I of this series looked at EMR-to-EMR data exchange and health records portability. In Part II, we look at the need for specialized, advanced digital health applications, how robust integration can unleash the real value of EMRs and why both are essential to building the military health and civilian health systems of the future.

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APIs: A Key Weapon in Winning VA-DoD Interoperability

APIs: A Key Weapon in Winning VA-DoD Interoperability

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs selection of the same EMR used by the Department of Defense has the potential to reduce fragmentation of patient records and enhance care. But, simply picking the same EMR will not be enough. In this multi-part series, we examine the role that robust interoperability must play in unleashing the value of EMRs and fulfilling the promise of better health for our military service members and their dependents. We also look at how these same lessons apply to civilian health systems.

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A Tale of Two (Future) Hospitals

A Tale of Two (Future) Hospitals

Recently, I was asked, “What will the hospital of the future look like?” I believe we will see two types, that they are already beginning to take shape, and that these changes are being driven by the shift to value-based care, an increased emphasis on patients as consumers and the emergence of the next generation of information technology.

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PAX East: Thoughts on Gamification for Healthcare

PAX East: Thoughts on Gamification for Healthcare

I’m not a gamer myself but I have spawned a few. Recently my oldest son invited me to go with him to PAX East, one of the largest gaming conventions in the world. Thus, I came to find myself standing in line on a bitterly cold Saturday morning in Boston with tens of thousands of others waiting to enter the Boston Convention and Expo Center.

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AI Now? Really?

AI Now? Really?

Once again, I am failing Fitzgerald’s test of first-rate intelligence.  It happens frequently. This week the cause is Artificial Intelligence (AI) for healthcare. I blame HIMSS 2017.

HIMSS always has three types of topics: Perennial Favorites, Freak-outs and the Next Big Thing. Perennial favorites are the usual suspects like population health, interoperability, analytics, telehealth and rev-cycle optimization. Freak-outs are the annual “big scary thing we all need to freak out about immediately.” This year it was cybersecurity and the freak out seems mostly justified and a bit overdue. Lastly, we have the coveted “Next Big Thing” or NBT. NBT is always transformational and will “change everything.” It’s bright and shiny and it’s coming “real soon.” NBT often involves a black box that most of us can’t really understand and requires a high degree of trust in the domain experts. For 2017, it’s AI for healthcare – specifically the near-term application of AI as an independent actor when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

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The Industrialization of Health IT

The Industrialization of Health IT

I was talking with a colleague recently about interoperability when he casually remarked that healthcare IT (HIT) is emerging from the preindustrial age and that Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and web services will industrialize data exchange. He made the case that APIs are revolutionizing healthcare in the same way that the adoption of interchangeable parts transformed manufacturing, economies and the world. It’s a brilliant analogy.

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Sacred Spaces

Sacred Spaces

My former Cleveland Clinic colleague Mikkael Sekeres, M.D. is both an outstanding oncologist and an exceptional writer. He recently penned this piece in the New York times. It’s a moving description of an encounter he had with a young oncology patient and his pregnant wifeIt’s a terrific read that gives one a deeper appreciation of the clinical and personal meaning of this episode of care. Perhaps you have had similar experiences as a patient or, like me, as both a patient and in the role of caring health professional.  

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Tired of hearing “NO!” When Trying to Access Healthcare Data

Tired of hearing “NO!” When Trying to Access Healthcare Data? 4 Questions You Must Ask Before Your Next EMR Integration

We’ve been told that we cannot have real-time EMR integration in healthcare. And to sit tight and wait for FHIR or the promise of future technology to mature. We are here to tell you that you can have access to all of your data and you can have it now.

Ask your integration partner these four questions and then call us to learn how we are doing it today. 

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The Return of Best of Breed in Healthcare. A CTO’s Perspective.

The Return of Best of Breed in Healthcare. A CTO’s Perspective.

We have the ability to improve healthcare interoperability through the use of existing technology. But we are not using it, why?  

When I started my healthcare IT career in 1998, most healthcare organizations selected vendor applications based on which one provided the best workflow solution for their staff at the best price and value. This “best of breed” approach gave very little consideration to EMR integration or the challenge of sharing information between the vendor solution and the core EMR. Then, in a rapid shift, the healthcare industry swung the pendulum to selecting a “vendor of choice” for not only the core EMR but for all related applications. But in this current environment, we find ourselves with the inability to easily integrate 3rd party vendor solutions with the EMR and therefore data is trapped and innovation is stifled.

Did we swing the pendulum too far?

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APIs: The Right Prescription for Cybersecurity

 APIs: The Right Prescription for Cybersecurity

The number and variety of cybersecurity threats - from the hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) email servers to ransom-ware attacks on healthcare organizations – is on the rise. In a recent blog post, Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, quantified the problem by noting that criminal cyber-attacks against healthcare organizations are up 125% compared to five years ago and now surpass employee negligence and lost or stolen laptops as the top cause of health care data breaches. What can be done to mitigate these threats?  

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EHR Integration and the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic

EHR Integration and the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic

Our nation is suffering from a prescription drug abuse epidemic that is claiming the lives of too many Americans. Drug overdose death rates in the United States have increased five-fold since 1980, with opioid-related overdose deaths now outnumbering overdose deaths involving all illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine combined. Fortunately, there is a growing awareness among healthcare professionals , government officials, and the public about the scale of this tragic and costly public health crisis.

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A Promise Fulfilled

A Promise Fulfilled

Let me apologize in advance if this post sounds less than humble, winning the HIMSS 2016 Venture+ Forum Pitch Competition can cause one’s head to swell a little bit. We are very proud of our product, our team and this tremendous honor, but our real pride lies in making known the better path to EMR integration that it is now available. Our CEO, Jeremy Pierotti put it this way in his presentation to the Venture+ Forum judges:

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Open APIs: The Secure and Innovative Solution that Healthcare IT Needs

Open APIs: The Secure and Innovative Solution that Healthcare IT Needs

As a follow-up to a previous post by Dave Levin, I would like to extend some thoughts regarding the security of open Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that I’ve had since joining Sansoro Health Being new to health information technology (but not new to large vendor packages), the lack of existing support for interoperability among Electronic Medical Record (EMR) platforms truly surprised me. Over the past few years, one of the main concerns hindering EMR integration has been the potential vulnerability of patient data and medical records. The sensitive nature of the Protected Health Information (PHI) stored in these EMR systems justifies this apprehension however; ignoring the facts and benefits of open APIs greatly restricts advancements within the healthcare industry.

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Moving Past the Edge of CIN – Part 2

Moving Past the Edge of CIN – Part 2

In a previous post, we explored the shift in healthcare reimbursement from traditional Fee-for-Service to a Value-based Care model. These new models of paying providers are making it possible to focus on both quality and quantity of care, and for providers to come together to design new and creative ways of delivering healthcare. In some cases, they are forming Clinically Integrated Networks (CINs) to organize and orchestrate care of specific problems or patient populations.

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At the Edge of CIN - Part 1

At the Edge of CIN - Part 1

The way we pay for healthcare services is transitioning from the old Fee-for-Service model, to a new model often referred to as Value-Based Care. Under the traditional model, healthcare providers were paid for “doing stuff” with little regard for the actual result. I do not mean to imply that providers didn’t care about results but rather, at least when it came to compensation, outcomes weren’t much of a factor. Augment this with a lack of transparency in pricing and you have a good recipe for rapidly rising healthcare costs. And that’s just what we got.

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Interoperability in Healthcare and Zero-Sum Thinking

Interoperability in Healthcare and Zero-Sum Thinking

There has been a lot of ink spilled in the last few years about the problem of interoperability in healthcare. Put simply, we struggle to connect various healthcare IT systems to each other in effective and user-friendly ways. This struggle with health interoperability has become particularly apparent (and painful) when it comes to electronic medical records (EMRs). For the most part, EMR software does not play well with others.

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