Information Technology News

  • Cleveland Clinic’s Boissy: Patient engagement is more than just a portal

    Dr. Adrienne Boissy, the Cleveland Clinic’s chief experience officer

    Here’s the tricky thing about patient engagement: It means something different to each patient. Further, when it comes to designing for patients, it’s important to remember the mantra Apple’s Steve Jobs lived by.

    That’s the message shared by Dr. Adrienne Boissy, chief experience officer of the Cleveland Clinic, during a keynote session at the at the Pop Health Forum in Chicago on Tuesday.

    “Patients, I think, define their own engagement,” Boissy, said. “Engaged in technology doesn’t equal engaged patients.”

    Boissy knows this on a personal level, not just as a practicing neurologist and physician executive at a prestigious institution. She said that her stepfather died of leukemia about two weeks ago.

    “Was he an engaged patient? He never logged on to his portal. He never cared what his labs were and he never got involved in his health on social media,” Boissy said. But she did on his behalf, so, by the measure of his family, he was engaged.

    It’s also important to understand that some patients simply don’t want to be engaged, or they care more about old-fashioned notions such as reducing waiting than they do about technology.

    “What are we doing to fix patient delays?” Boissy asked. She said that reducing waiting — for appointments, in the office, for results and diagnoses — is one of the most innovative things healthcare can do today, even though it’s addressing an age-old problem.

    “I would submit to you that goal No. 1 has to be access,” Boissy said. Patients can’t be engaged if they can’t even get to the health system. She noted that Cleveland Clinic went to same-day ambulatory appointments about six years ago.

    And she didn’t just mean access to care. Boissy said her definition includes access to information and people — convenient access. Not every attempt to reach out to people makes interaction convenient, so the Clinic also is working on integrating and simplifying its electronic touch points with patients.

    “I just learned that the Cleveland Clinic has 22 apps, many of which have not been updated in years. That, to me, is not a seamless, cohesive digital platform,” Boissy said. This hodgepodge increases inconvenience and stress for patients and does not exactly help the brand, she noted.

    “Interactive TVs are just another thing we can throw at people,” Boissy added. They need to be connected to the electronic health record so patients can see specifics about their own health on in-room screens.

    Boissy, who chairs the Cleveland Clinic’s annual Patient Experience Summit, spoke of the importance of empathic design for patients. “If you were curious about their journey, you would design differently for them,” she said.

    She then shared a quote from the late Steve Jobs: “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.”

    This led Boissy to question the “patient engagement” appellation. “Maybe we need to change the name of patient engagement,” she mused. “People engagement and relationship engagement are things I think about all the time.”

    Indeed, it’s not just patients who crave satisfying experiences with the healthcare system. Clinician and caregiver burnout are rampant, as evidenced by the estimated 400 physicians who committed suicide in the U.S. last year, Boissy said.

    Photo: Neil Versel/MedCity News

  • Fastest-Growing Metro Areas for Tech Pros

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    Many U.S. cities hope to become technology hubs, and with good reason: A dynamic mix of startups and mature tech companies not only brings a massive influx of tax dollars, but also hordes of well-educated, highly skilled tech professionals.

    But which cities are succeeding at building up demand for tech pros? A new analysis by Dice reveals that, over the past year, Salt Lake City has seen an 85 percent increase in the number of postings for tech jobs in the area. Far behind at second was Cincinnati, with a 44 percent increase year-over-year, followed by Miami (41 percent), Milwaukee (24 percent), Kansas City (18 percent), and Raleigh (17 percent).

    Other cities in the top ten included Detroit (16 percent), Hartford (13 percent), Seattle (12 percent), and Nashville (11 percent).

    E-commerce retailers, video-game developers, and some large software-makers all boast a strong presence in the area around Salt Lake City, drawn by a combination of low taxes, local schools producing skilled workers, and infrastructure to support businesses and lifestyles. Other cities on the list, such as Raleigh and Kansas City, have similarly grown tech hubs thanks to a combination of nearby universities, advantageous tax rates, affordable housing, and communities that make people want to stay.

    Many of the cities on this list also have the advantage of being relatively new in their attempts to foster tech communities; once they become mature markets, along the lines of Silicon Valley, the high-percentage growth tends to level off.

    Nationwide, the economy for tech pros remains strong. In August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 507,000 people in Professional and Business Services (which includes tech and STEM positions) quit their jobs, up from 493,000 in July. (It’s also a notable increase over August 2014, when 456,000 professionals voluntarily quit.) A rise in voluntary quits suggests that tech pros feel good enough about the economy to either jump to a new position or try their hand at freelancing.

    For tech pros, the numbers add up to an optimistic message heading into 2016. With more tech hubs emerging across the United States, there’s an ever-higher chance that their ideal job waits only a short distance away.

    The post Fastest-Growing Metro Areas for Tech Pros appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Tech Unemployment Rises In Some Categories

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    The technology industry’s unemployment rate crept up to 3.0 percent in the third quarter of 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although that represents an increase from the second quarter, when tech unemployment stood at 2.0 percent, it’s nonetheless lower than the 5.2 percent unemployment rate for the U.S. labor market as a whole.

    Many technology segments saw an accompanying rise in joblessness. Web developers, for example, saw their collective unemployment rate hit 5.10 percent, up from 3.70 percent in the same quarter last year. Computer systems analysts, programmers, network and systems administrators, software developers, and computer & information systems managers likewise experienced a slight rise in unemployment on a year-over-year basis.

    But does that mean the tech economy is softening? Other indicators suggest the overall industry remains strong. Layoffs and discharges for July and August, the latest months for which the BLS had preliminary data, hit 377,000 and 378,000, respectively. That represents a decline from both the first and second quarter, when the layoff and discharge rate stood at more than 400,000 per month.

    In the third quarter, voluntary quits among tech pros also remained robust, with an average of 500,000 employees per month deciding to quit their jobs. Analysts tend to interpret higher numbers of voluntary quits as a sign that employees are feeling positively enough about the economy to leave their current positions in order to pursue better opportunities.

    If there’s one bleak spot in this quarter’s economic reading, it’s manufacturing, which continues to suffer from weak demand for electronic products and hardware. That’s not a new tale; with the substantial majority of tech manufacturing taking place in Asia, and most of the nation’s tech hubs centered around companies devoted to software, the number of available manufacturing jobs in the U.S. has slowly but steadily declined.

    When it comes to the health of the broader tech economy, the numbers to watch are the respective unemployment rates for Web programming and other “hot” categories. For the moment, despite some upticks, those numbers remain largely positive for tech pros.

    The post Tech Unemployment Rises In Some Categories appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Microsoft, RedHat and VMware offer attractive total cost of ownership

    The competition throughout the cloud industry has resulted in affordable suites for organizations. Certain vendors such as Microsoft, RedHat and VMware have made strides to offer adopters low total cost of ownership for their cloud solutions. 451 Research's latest Cloud Price Index: Private Edition discovered the costs of these companies' private models are $0.10 per hour, higher than the $0.08 for OpenStack counterparts. However, firms using the former can hire 3 percent more engineers because there is an apparent skills gap impacting OpenStack deployments, contributing to a higher TCO as a result.

    William Fellows, vice president of 451 Research, said the Cloud Price Index is an opportunity to educate adopters when comparing solutions for hosting workloads and applications or considering the pricing differences between vendors. He added that adopters can access accurate information related to cloud-based pricing to determine if vendors offer dividends or charge clients taxes.

    Microsoft and other vendors are not backing down from Amazon
    Amazon – a company not mentioned in the 451 Research report – is the vendor that all other brands are trying to gain market share from. A separate survey conducted by the research firm found 57 percent of the more than 1,500 IT professionals polled are using Amazon Web Services for their Infrastructure-as-a-Service needs. Another 35 percent of respondents cited AWS as the most important IaaS provider.

    "While the 2015 Vendor Window for IaaS shows Amazon Web Services as the clear leader based on multiple metrics, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and VMware's vCloud Air are becoming competitive challengers," said 451 Research Senior Vice President Michelle Bailey.

    Microsoft Azure in particular has gained significant traction among enterprises. The 451 Research survey discovered 42 percent of respondents have adopted the solution and 20 percent of IaaS users cited Microsoft as the most important vendor in this sector.

    Rackspace is another vendor that is competing head-on with Amazon. The company is commensurate with AWS in terms of customer fulfillment and service-level agreements, 451 Research found.

    "As more mainstream customers move business-critical workloads to cloud environments, the decision criteria for evaluating potential vendors change relative to early cloud adopters, and in turn so do the vendors under consideration," Bailey suggested.

    Thorough testing leads to sound decision-making
    With so many options to consider, organizations planning any cloud deployment should try to find a way to compare the available services prior to launch. Doing so provides adopters insight into how their businesses will succeed when critical assets are transitioned to cloud environments. Some solutions may be less expensive and offer lower TCO, but perhaps operational efficiency is more challenging than the alternatives. It is important to find out which cloud suite is the right fit.

    Organizations that want this necessary insight should seek the help of managed service providers that use cloud migration tools. These systems enable MSPs to determine how applications, servers, networks and data centers perform in hosted environments prior to deployment, making the most informed decisions possible to make sure clients maintain efficiency during the entire implementation process.

    The post Microsoft, RedHat and VMware offer attractive total cost of ownership appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • Cerner rides high with DoD Deal for EHR

    Topping off what Cerner executives detailed during the company’s earnings call Tuesday as a highly successful Quarter 2, in spite of profits falling, was the icing on the cake: the Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization project. “We are pleased that last week the Department of Defense announced its decision to award the contract to Leidos,” […]

  • See which hospitals made the 2015 ‘Most Wired’ list

    Out of more than 2,200 U.S. hospitals, only 338 made it to this year's Most Wired list, demonstrating some of the most advanced health IT use and adoption in the nation. Check out the full list of winners here.

    Here are the 339 hospitals that made it to Hospitals & Health Networks' 2015 Most Wired list. The list is searchable and sortable.

    Network Infrastructure

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  • Getting Rid of Lenovo’s Superfish Vulnerability

    SuperFish

    As you may have heard by this point, Lenovo loaded an adware package called Superfish Visual Discovery onto many of its devices. Annoying? Absolutely: Nobody likes an add-on that inserts sponsored links into your search results. But Superfish became downright dangerous when security researchers realized it could easily double as a handy tool for a man-in-the-middle attack, thanks to its ability to always appear as a “Trusted Party” to websites.

    The revelations have left Lenovo scrambling to repair the damage. “We ordered Superfish preloads to stop and had server connections shut down in January based on user complaints about the experience,” Lenovo wrote in a Feb. 20 statement. “However, we did not know about this potential security vulnerability until yesterday. Now we are focused on fixing it.”

    Check out the latest security-related jobs.

    The company also insisted that Superfish was never preloaded onto its ThinkPads, tablets, and enterprise hardware; but that means any other devices released between September 2014 and February 2015, including laptops in the company’s popular Yoga line, are apparently vulnerable.

    Those who want to trust Lenovo’s automated tool for deleting Superfish can find it on the company’s website. Otherwise you can take the following steps to manually uninstall it:

    1. In Windows, open “Search.”
    2. Search for “Remove Programs” and select “Add or Remove Programs”
    3. In the subsequent list, find “Superfish Inc. Visual Discovery”
    4. Click “Uninstall”

    After that, users should make sure the SuperFish Certificate is removed from their PCs, as well. Lenovo offers a step-by-step walkthrough for systems running Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari, Maxthon, and other browsers that rely on the Windows Certificate store.

    For Lenovo users, a handy Web page from LastPass will also verify whether SuperFish impacted your system. Better safe than sorry.

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    Image: LastPass

    The post Getting Rid of Lenovo’s Superfish Vulnerability appeared first on Dice News.

  • IT jobs outlook: High demand, higher salaries

    With the hot job market for technology professionals, it is not surprising that salaries are up, too – though only a bit. Technology jobs site Dice.com reported late last week that technology pay was up again last year, with IT professionals earning an average annual salary of $89,450, an increase of 2 percent over 2013. More […]

  • In Silicon Valley, Some Giants Are Hiring

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    What’s New This Quarter

    In Silicon Valley, everyone wants to be associated with the Next Big Thing. “In the Bay Area, I’m finding that SAAS and e-commerce based companies seem to be defining the current hiring status quo for other local companies and industries,” said Alyssa Seidman, Recruiting Director for recruiting firm Randstad Technologies. “They tend to have the most progressive environments and the ability to attract and afford the best talent.” That means companies in other industries, such as financial services and healthcare, need to get more creative if they want to compete for talent.

    And some financial-services companies are very much on the hunt for tech pros. Bank of New York Mellon has opened a technology lab in Palo Alto to work on tech projects including Digital Pulse, the bank’s effort to harness the Big Data it gathers. BNY Mellon hired 20 people by the end of 2014 and will increase recruitment in 2015.

    For more Silicon Valley jobs, click here.

    On the tech-company side of things, hiring in the Valley is at a high for some firms. Google never has a problem attracting talent. The search-engine giant continues on a hiring-and-building tear, spending $585 million to buy six office buildings at Pacific Shores Center in Redwood City. It also plans to occupy all of Moffett Place, a six-tower development in Sunnyvale. Google had 55,030 full-time employees at the beginning of the fourth quarter, up almost 19 percent from a year earlier; it gets three million job applications a year and hires around 7,000. With only one in 428 applicants ending up with a job, Google is far choosier than any Ivy League University.

    Dell is on a similar path, opening up its first Internet of Things Lab, a collaborative facility for hardware and software developers to build, test, and release connected products. Located at the company’s Santa Clara office, the lab should help Dell learn more about the industry and help develop standards around it.

    Meanwhile, three Silicon Valley giants have been undergoing huge transformations in the past few months:

    • In October, HP announced it will separate into two new publicly traded Fortune 50 companies: one comprising HP’s enterprise technology infrastructure, software and services businesses (called Hewlett-Packard Enterprise), and one that will comprise HP’s personal systems and printing businesses (HP Inc). The long-rumored announcement came as HP entered the fourth year of its five-year turnaround plan. While the company said it had “inspired its workforce and management teams” and created new companies “positioned to accelerate performance, drive sustained growth, and demonstrate clear industry leadership in key areas,” what was left unsaid was the final impact on headcount.
    • eBay is also changing, with plans to eliminate thousands of jobs early this year as it preps to spin off its PayPal unit. The cuts are expected to affect workers in eBay’s core marketplace division. One rumor has eBay has trimming at least 3,000 jobs. The end result could be to make the new standalone eBay a potentially attractive takeover target.
    • IBM is taking the divestment route, selling is global commercial semiconductor technology unit for $1.5 billion to Santa Clara-based Globalfoundries Inc. IBM has about 4,000 employees in Silicon Valley, and their futures are uncertain.

    Luckily, startups continue to do well. October was the hottest month in two years for angel, seed, and Series A funding of startups, according to a report from research firm CB Insights. More than $1.2 billion was invested in October, up 56 percent from October 2013. Silicon Valley accounted for about a third of the deals and more than half the dollars invested nationwide in the month, with eight of the top 10 fundings all happening in the Valley.

    Skills in Demand

    “Over the past six months, I’ve noticed an increase in demand for individuals that have UI development experience,” Randstad’s Seidman said. “Specifically, candidates that have experience with newer front end technologies like Node.JS, Angular.JS, and Python are in the highest demand. They’re more efficient and easier-to-scale than older technologies.”

    “The Bay Area is experiencing intense IT hiring due to continued software platform upgrades, virtualization projects, and mobile initiatives,” added Megan Slabinski, Bay Area district president of IT recruiting firm Robert Half Technology. “We continue to see a war for talent for in-demand roles including front end developers, data analysts, system administrators, and system architects.”

    According to IT recruiting firm Mondo’s 2014-2015 Salary Guide, the top three skills currently in demand in the Bay Area are Application and Software Development, E-commerce, and Database Administration.

    Sixty-one percent of Bay Area technology executives surveyed by Robert Half Technology said that both database management and desktop support are among the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT departments. Network administration followed in third place. Also in demand: Network Architects, Cloud Engineers, MongoDB Experts, and Hadoop Experts.

    Salary Trends

    According to the 2014-2013 Dice Salary Survey, the average salary for a Silicon Valley-based IT professional is the nation’s highest at $108,603, up 7.2 percent in the previous year and 23.6 percent above the national average of $87,811.

    According to Mondo, Data Scientists; Oracle, Hadoop, and Neteeza developers; AWS consultants; and MySQL developers are currently seeing the largest salary jumps.

    Leading Industries

    • Information Technology
    • Technology Manufacturing
    • Software Development
    • Construction
    • Defense/Aerospace

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    The post In Silicon Valley, Some Giants Are Hiring appeared first on Dice News.

  • Will Robots and Automation Doom Some IT Jobs?

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    For decades, at least some economists made the assumption that, for every job lost to a robot or automated process, the evolving economy would add at least a few more. If a robot took your job building widgets, the idea went, you could still get a job (with sufficient retraining) fixing the widget-building robot.

    But according to The New York Times, there’s an emerging view that automation is weighing down on employment. “This is the biggest challenge of our society for the next decade,” Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at MIT, told the newspaper. Nor does Lawrence H. Summers, the former U.S. Treasury secretary, reportedly believe that the jobs lost to automation are being replaced.

    To find jobs related to automation, click here.

    While robots and software have become increasingly sophisticated in a relatively short period of time, it remains to be seen whether the human labor force can adapt to what some are calling a paradigm shift in how the economy works. Forget factory workers losing their jobs to line robots—what happens when a machine develops the capability to act as a health inspector or even a restaurant critic?

    This trend will certainly affect tech pros in increasing numbers. Over the past few years, software and hardware vendors have redoubled their efforts to automate many processes that once required highly specialized IT workers. Once upon a time, a company required an army of IT administrators and support staff to maintain a data center; but thanks to automation, even a massive data center only requires a handful of people to keep running effectively.

    For IT workers, that automation increases the pressure to learn multiple skills, rather than specializing in one or two. Hardware specialists may need to know how to code in multiple languages, for example; infrastructure experts in charge of complex and converging systems could find themselves building more apps. The alternative is potential elimination as software becomes better at dedicated tasks.

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    The post Will Robots and Automation Doom Some IT Jobs? appeared first on Dice News.