When an EHR Isn’t Enough

The healthcare industry’s transition away from a fee-for-service environment has spawned a litany of new care models. Patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs), accountable care organizations (ACOs), and the like may differ in certain respects, but they all share a common goal – to improve the quality of patient care and reduce costs through better coordination.

Another thing they have in common? They need the right IT system to be effective. Continue reading

Implications of Effective IT Strategies in ASCs

This post features a conversation between John Whitham, Principal, and Conor Gallagher, Senior Manager.

The continuing migration of surgical procedures from hospitals to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) has health system leaders rethinking their outpatient strategies. But as hospitals and ASCs consider alignment opportunities and reimbursement dynamics, they also need to think about the technology that serves as a foundational layer for their success. ASCs are playing an increasingly prominent role in patient care, and it is essential that they employ a contemporary IT solution to manage patient billing, optimize efficiency in operations, and facilitate the flow of information among sites of care.

John Whitham, a Principal with ECG and a leader of the firm’s Healthcare IT practice, and Conor Gallagher, a Senior Manager in ECG’s Ambulatory Surgery practice, talk about the role that IT plays in a successful ASC strategy. Continue reading

The HealthKit Revolution, Part 2: Piloting Health Apps

During the past few years, providers have found it challenging to engage patients in their own care plans. Ironically, one of the primary hindrances to greater patient involvement is technology. Engagement beyond the office setting requires the willingness and ability of patients to transmit health information back and forth with their providers through some electronic medium.

For these interactions to be successful, however, technology tools need to be familiar, user-friendly, and convenient. And organizations need a mechanism for receiving that information and integrating it with their EHR platforms to ensure that the data has meaning and applicability. Continue reading

Device Integration – What to Do With All That Data?

Imagine trying to get ready for work every morning without having your wardrobe stored in one spot:  your pants are hanging in your bedroom closet, your shirts are in your son’s room, your socks are in the kitchen, and your shoes are in the car. You might get accustomed to this daily scavenger hunt, but it’s not exactly the most efficient way to get dressed.

And yet many healthcare providers face a similar situation with their patients’ clinical data. Continue reading

The HealthKit Revolution, Part 1: A Game-Changing Idea

Anyone who has upgraded to IOS8 or an iPhone 6 may have noticed the appearance of a new little app called HealthKit.  Considering the number of health apps that get shoved in our faces (looking at you, Nike), many of you may be inclined to delete it without a second thought. But here’s the thing – it’s not like every other health app.  Why else would a forward-thinking company like Apple be willing to make it standard functionality on its latest products? This leads us to wonder whether the HealthKit platform might just have what it takes to garner mass appeal and long-term staying power. Continue reading