BREAKING NEWS STORIES IN HEALTHCARE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

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FROM HIMSS: A game changing technology that may have the greatest impact for improving patient care:

Nuance Unveils AI-Driven ‘Ambient Clinical Intelligence’ Solution at HIMSS

Just in from this past week at HIMSS 2019, Nuance Communications has unveiled its latest artificial intelligence-driven solution for the healthcare market.

Dubbed “Ambient Clinical Intelligence”, or “ACI”, the solution builds on the speech recognition technology of its Dragon Medical One cloud platform, which is designed to facilitate hands-free clinical documentation for healthcare professionals. This is still the focus of ACI, but it’s also enhanced with the addition of “assisted workflows, task and knowledge automation, and specialized ambient sensing hardware,” according to a statement announcing the solution.

Accurate Provider Director Sought 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) disclosed that the inaccuracy of provider director in the U.S. is significantly affecting availing of healthcare services. In its annual review of Medicare Advantage Organizations, CMS discovered that inaccuracies in 41.75% of all locations caused the highest likelihood of preventing access to care. Experts are claiming the fix is dependent on several stakeholders including their technology and approach. California Symphony Provider Directory is among those leading the way to innovate provider directory. The organization is proposing to design a platform that makes it easier to comply with the requirements set by SB 137, Medicare, and MediCal. The proposed model from California Symphony makes use of a cloud-based platform where plans and providers share information.

TigerConnect partners with OpenTempo to Improve Delivery of Care 

TigerConnect, a clinical communication and collaboration specialist, and OpenTempo, a firm engaged in physician scheduling and clinical labor analytics, have entered into a partnership that will see the former integrating its services into OpenTempo’s scheduling system. The partnership is a momentous point in healthcare technology news as it realizes real-time access to physician schedules, allows for role-based messaging, and allows users to aggregate and publish team schedules. TigerConnect co-founder and chief executive Brad Brooks said the partnership will ensure that communication in the healthcare industry reaches the right physician regardless of shift schedules. He added that such feature is important in an industry where every second counts.

AI – the Solution to Doctor Burnout Caused by HER 

Saykara, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistant platform, is being tested by Providence St. Joseph Health system. Aaron Martin, chief digital officer at the healthcare system, said the AI-powered platform will take physicians from spending too much time working on paperworks. Aside from Saykara, Grace is another AI-powered technology piloted by the healthcare system. Grace is a consumer-fronting, AI-powered chatbot that helps patients navigate to the right site of care. Martin shared that since their testing, Grace was able to achieve a 90% accuracy in directing patients in the right site of care. Advancements made by Providence St. Joseph Health were not the only thing that made healthcare technology news headline at the HIMSS 19, where Google also announced its partnership with medical imaging informatics platform Flywheel that will see the latter integrating Google’s Cloud Healthcare application programming interface (API) with its platform.

FHIR To Also Benefit AI 

Health IT executives sees Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) as an enabler to the wide adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in the healthcare industry. FHIR is a standard describing data formats and programming interface for exchanging electronic health records. It was created by the Health Level Seven International healthcare organization. Interoperability in the healthcare sector is seen to drive trends appearing in the 21st century including personalized medicine, population health, and technologies like AI and machine learning. IBM AI Development head Mark Dudman commented that while stakeholders are competitors, they cannot escape the fact that collaboration is needed to achieve interoperability. He added it is interoperability that allows them to make change and difference. Peter Lee of Microsoft said FHIR is a tool in the democratization of AI. He added that AI is very artisanal and as such there is a need for highly specialized people to bring it closer to the public.

ONC Releases New Rules on Patient Data Access and Information Blocking 

A new set of rules aimed at advancing interoperability and support the meaningful exchange of healthcare information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) made healthcare technology news headlines in mid-February 2019. The use of application programming interfaces (API) is one of those covered by the new rules from ONC. The agency aims to use API to make health information more accessible to providers. The rule proposes that all healthcare providers should use API by 2020 in exchanging healthcare information and claims data with their patients. The new rules also contained several provisions on exceptions to the information blocking rule. Practices that prevent patients from being harmed, maintaining and improving health IT performance with user agreement, and practices that ensure the security of the electronic health record are some of the new exceptions laid out in the new rules.