This Week In Health Information Technology
Within the previous week there has been much talk of healthcare in the news. Many pressing issues are being handled in ways that are helping to advance the industry. Here are this week’s highlights.
At a recent healthcare forum in San Diego the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives awarded University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Medicine the “Most Wired Award.” The hospital received this honor for successfully using healthcare information technology to boost the level of care delivered to patients. They have been recognized for continually recognizing and adopting new technologies. This award is routinely given to hospitals that have eliminated the gap between technology and healthcare. In addition to Penn Medicine, the 2018 award also went to the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid services will soon be providing reimbursement that will allow medical professionals to offer patients free virtual appointments. Technology services such as remote image evaluation will be offered to patients as a result. The use of technology by medical professionals is eliminating the need for time consuming paperwork, allowing more one-on-one time for each patient. Medicaid and Medicare recipients will be saving money and receiving better quality and more efficient care. Regardless of where a patient is they will be able to virtually connect with a doctor, something that wasn’t possible in the past. More services will be available to those with Medicaid and Medicare thanks to telehealth services.
Breastfeeding will never be the same again thanks to Ameda’s launching of the Finesse Personal Breast Pump. Technology used in the country’s top hospitals made this new breast pump possible. Created using ComfortFlow Technology, the Finesse will make it more comfortable for moms to pump out breast milk for their babies. The technology used means that the process is now smoother and more consistent, resulting in a much more comfortable pumping experience. The ease of which the suction pattern is used virtually guarantees moms will be able to produce more breast milk than was possible with traditional pumps. Highlights of the Finesse includes the ability to control the speed of the pumping and a function that allows for independent sucking. Overall, users have 32 combinations to choose from so every mom can customize her breast pump experience to get the maximum benefit for her and her baby. Many insurance companies will cover the cost of the Finesse.
The Military Health System (MHS) is now connected to health information exchanges HIE. This allows those that provide medical services to military personnel, digital access to their medical records. In doing so, point of care decisions can now be made on the spot, where in the past they couldn’t. Military members and their families benefit from the fact that their medical records can be accessed no matter where in the world they are at any given time. Military run hospitals can now access patients medical records at any time of the day or night. No matter where a military patient has undergone medical care, those treating them will instantly know their medical history.
The process of adopting a nationwide patient index is underway, thanks to the technology that powers blockchains. This will ensure that in the future it is easier to locate an individual’s health and medical records. By using a blockchain to locate medical records, anyone treating an individual will be able to see their medical records without fear that their security will be compromised. For many years, there have been discussions of creating a network consisting of multiple patient records networks. However, before blockchain technology this endeavor would have been too costly. Now it can be done much more cost efficiently.
There has been talk about creating and executing nationwide patient identity brokers, or PIBs. Regional networks would then connect to one of several PIBs creating a national database of individual’s medical records. While there are still some limitations to be worked out, this idea holds weight among those in the medical community.
Stay tuned for more breaking news stories sharing plans and ideas for making medical records more accessible by healthcare personnel