Tag Archives: innovation

  • Patient engagement underlies population health

    The Pop Health Forum, a conference put on by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in Chicago this week, was as much about patient engagement as it was about population health.

    This makes sense, because it’s difficult to manage populations without reaching out — engaging — members of those populations.

    Jeffrey Springer, a vice president at Princeton, New Jersey-based health IT vendor and consulting firm CitiusTech, said that getting to population health means checking all nine squares on a 3-by-3 matrix. The X axis covers acute, ambulatory and whole-patient care, while the Y axis is about execution on clinical, financial and operational metrics.

    Patient engagement falls under all three care rows and at least two of the execution columns. Yes, financial performance has elements of patient engagement.

    At University of Chicago Medicine, about nine miles south of the downtown conference site, the annual operating plan for fiscal year 2017 has patient experience as one of the five pillars of the plan, along with people, quality/safety, finance and long-term strategic positioning. Debra Albert, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at U. of C. showed this slide during her presentation:

    (Click here for a larger version.)

    “We’re really trying to drive a consistent patient experience across all of our platforms [of care],” Albert said.

    In fact, patient experience is part of what Albert called the “value-based core” of the academic health system’s goals for 2017. In her view, value equals quality — including the patient experience, proper resource utilization and clinical outcomes — divided by cost.

    University of Chicago Medicine hasn’t reached true value-based care delivery yet. However, the goal is so important to the organization that the chief medical officer is in charge of implementing the core of enhancing collaboration, promoting telemedicine and selling faculty members on the concept of value-based healthcare, Albert explained.

    Indeed, clinicians are empowered as much as the health system aspires to empower patients.

    About three years ago, U. of C. instituted what Chief Experience and Innovation Officer Sue Murphy called “leader rounding.” At the time, rounding on inpatient wards and in the emergency department was paper-based. “We had no way of knowing what was going on,” Murphy said.

    The organization standardized inpatient and ED nurse rounding on iPads, consulting unit leaders and rank-and-file staff on redesigning rounding processes. U. of C. created a system of alerts and accountability, analyzing rounding trends and rewarding nurses for good work.

    Initially, Murphy and other executives didn’t realize that every nurse leader had a different comfort level with the iPads and with technology in general. Patients also had varying reactions to the presence of a tablet with each nurse who stopped in the room. “We came up with some keywords to say to patients,” Murphy said, to help reassure those who saw the iPad as an intrusion on the patient-clinician relationship.

    Individual nursing leaders also have been given autonomy to make process improvements within their departments and wards. “We strongly believe that the leader of a unit is kind of the mayor of that unit,” Murphy said.

    According to Press Ganey surveys of University of Chicago Medicine, 81.9 percent of inpatients in August 2015 reported that a nurse manager checked in on them daily. That number rose to 93.8 percent in July 2016.

    Overall hospital ratings, as reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, jumped from about 60 percent in 2011 to nearly 75 percent in the reporting period that ended in the second quarter of 2016. There was a sharp increase in 2013, the year the health system started rethinking nurse rounding.

    “Those many patients were touched,” Murphy said, gesturing to data on a PowerPoint slide. “They were touched by a kind word, by technology, by a caring nurse.”

    Photo: Twitter user UChicago Medicine

  • Decision-makers can link the business with cloud computing

    CIOs who want to connect the entire organization through accessible technologies can do so with cloud computing. The IT service has taken the entire industry by storm, due to its flexibility and affordability. Decision-makers who don't act quickly to replace aging infrastructure will have a lot of questions to answer from the higher-ups should the firm struggle to keep pace with the competition.

    Jonathan Kropf, CEO of Cloud On Demand, believes CIOs must take action in a world based on "instant gratification."

    "If a CIO doesn't help business to get a technology solution quickly, they will bypass IT and just get it themselves. A good CIO should be the link between the technology systems and the business requirements," Kropf said, ITWeb reported.

    A joint ITWeb and TA Consulting survey discovered cost is no longer the main driver behind the cloud's adoption. In fact, it was in the bottom 5 percent of the list of company needs.

    Kropf explained cloud computing thrives due to its flexibility, offering a new way of procuring a complete solution. Innovation is a big reason behind the cloud's evolution.

    "CIO's have to adapt from being chief information officers to chief innovation officers. Cloud providers can give the platforms and tools, but CIOs have to engage with their partners to take those back to the business and show how they can be applied," Kropf added, according to the news provider.

    Which is the right cloud model?
    Organizations planning a cloud implementation have various choices on their hands – public, private or hybrid model. A Techaisle survey of almost 1,500 U.S. small and medium-sized businesses found 44 percent of mid-sized firms are planning to use public services in 2015, up from 27 percent this year. Half of participants are anticipating launched new private clouds next year, while 28 percent will do the same with hybrid suites.

    Businesses must look to the future if they are to remain on the cusp of innovation. This vision can become much clearer by relying on cloud computing to lessen the burden on the organization itself and offload maintenance tasks to a vendor. Customers can then reinvest the time and resources applied to management to revenue generation, customer service and other corporate goals.

    Companies that want to make a sound decision pertaining to the best cloud model for their unique business should use a migration tool such as RISC Networks CloudScape.

    The post Decision-makers can link the business with cloud computing appeared first on RISC Networks.

  • IaaS or PaaS? The Answer is Yes!

    When deploying to the cloud, you can view its resources as just a set of infrastructure (i.e. servers, network equipment, secure connectivity, and so on), or as a pre-configured software platform on which you deploy your solution (PaaS). The difference is that with PaaS, the cloud vendor offers an integrated environment based on an application solution platform, such as Java or JavaScript and so on, beyond just infrastructure. read more