Are We Sucking the HIE Innovation Oxygen Out of the Room

by John Kansky, BS, MS, MBA, HIMSS board member 

It’s crisp and clear in Cleveland, Ohio.  A good way to start my day at the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) North American Connectathon Conference.  I love the smell of hot coffee intermingled with the sound of amplified speech-stirring thoughts about health IT interoperability.

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Re-thinking Revenue Cycle Management – An Industry-Wide Project

by Pam Jodock, Senior Director, Health Business Solutions, HIMSS

The need to re-engineer revenue cycle management (RCM) has increased with the shift toward consumerism in healthcare and massive changes in the collection of revenues, rising to the point where tune-ups and incremental bolt-on solutions are no longer sufficient.

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The Possibilities for Improved Healthcare with the Use of Innovation

Elizabeth Reganby Elizabeth Regan, PhD, MA, BS, AS

The potential for transforming healthcare delivery to increase access, improve outcomes, and reduce cost are tremendous, but far from guaranteed. As a nation we’ve just invested over $30 billion in establishing a technology infrastructure for change. This is only the essential first step. Sustaining the current momentum is going to be a huge challenge. Achieving value from our investment is going to continue to demand an equally significant investment. Change fatigue is already setting in; it’s like rolling a rock uphill. We’re only halfway there, and it’s critical to keep up the pressure to get the rock to the top.

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Optimizing Patient Portals in 2015 – Part 2

There are several challenges to optimization.

Cultural Issues

Cultural issues remain a major obstacle to enhancing patient portals.  There has been the most resistance to implementing open notes and secure messaging. The original open notes study demonstrates that the fears of providers about opening their notes to patients are largely unfounded. At the same time, the traditional approach to medical notes needs to change to reduce medical abbreviations and medical terminology to make the notes more understandable ( ). Also, there needs to be a process for patients to request corrections in their record online. Concerns about secure messaging by providers are reflective of provider time burdens. The typical complaint is that providers must already answer several phone calls by the end of the day and dread the added workload of also answering emails from patients as an additional burden. By using the same triage process as phone calls, some efficiency can be gained. Successful hospitals and practices have seen greater efficiencies with optimized portals, moving communication away from phone tag, eliminating paper processing and saving money. See the report from the Davies Award winner, University of Iowa Healthcare saw over $400,000 in savings per year by moving paper and phone communications to the portal.

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Optimizing Patient Portals in 2015 – Part 1


With the incentives in Meaningful Use Phase 2, 2014 brought patient portal implementation in many hospitals, health systems and medical practices. These portals varied in function and usability. According to a survey by HIMSS Analytics, “Patient Engagement Series: 2014 Patient Portal Study”, 62% of US hospitals utilize a patient portal and the majority of these come from an EMR vendor. Most of these portals now come with basic features: appointments, prescriptions, laboratory results and health maintenance reminders. These include not only viewing the data but also requesting appointments and prescription refills. Some are venturing into online bill payment but most outside of the patient portal.

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What will you bring to the organization?

You have gotten through the holidays and you’re a month into 2015.  Your retirement or separation date is fast approaching; it will be here before you know it.  Have you reviewed and updated your “to-do” list?  What are your next steps?

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Expanding User Experience Conversation in Healthcare

First Major Tom took his protein pills. Then he fell to earth and was the Man Who Sold the World. Then Ziggy played guitar. And while the Thin White Duke dealt with Fame, during his trips to Berlin he found we could be heroes, just for one day.  For his entire career, David Bowie, his music and his art have evolved, one persona born through the death of the previous one, hairstyles shifting to reflect the experience of the character of the moment, turning to face the strange.

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LEANing into Innovation

by Judi Painter, MBA       

As we move into a new year it seems appropriate to ask the question as to why innovation seems so difficult in healthcare. What strategic approach does one take to generate sustainable and disruptive innovation?

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Making Progress: A 2013/2014 Comparison of HIE Organizations Supporting Meaningful Use Stage 2

by Mari Greenberger, Director, Informatics, HIMSS North America; and Charlie Rogers, Chair, HIMSS HIE Committee, and CEO, Core Health Technologies

Recently, the HIMSS HIE Committee conducted a follow-up survey to its 2013 Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 Survey research providing a year-over-year snapshot of how health information organizations (HIOs) are facilitating providers’ progress in achieving meaningful use objectives – specifically around Stage 2. The 2014 Follow-up survey indicates substantial improvement in a short time. Continue reading

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Health IT Opportunity from 2015 State of the Union  

President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address is under analysis quite extensively this week.  Although I did not have one of my “jump-out-of-my seat because-POTUS-mentioned-health IT-in-the- speech” moments, “I’m encouraged by three areas where health IT can join the conversation. Continue reading

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