Going for Gold

What is interoperability?  Those of us in healthcare know what it is and how it applies to the quality of healthcare services that are delivered to a patient, but patients on the receiving end might not give it a thought.

When we go to the doctor for an appointment, which can result in us having to go to a clinic for further tests, and then back to our doctor for a follow up, we take for granted that the resulting medical paper chain will follow us intact.  And it does, thanks to interoperability, which is defined by HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) as “…the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged.”  For HIMSS, “Interoperability means the ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance the health status of, and the effective delivery of healthcare for, individuals and communities.”

The use of the word community can not only be applied to the places in which we live but also to an event – an event like the Olympic Games.  Just as we do not give a thought to how our medical records are accessible to each of our medical providers, we perhaps do not give a thought to the delivery of healthcare at the Olympic Games.  When we sit down to watch the Games at home, we are focused on the performance of the athletes competing.  We are focused on seeing who will realise their dream of Olympic Gold.  We are not focused on how healthcare is delivered at this international sporting event, but imagine if we witnessed a competing athlete receive medical attention right before our eyes.

Imagine that you are watching the Women’s 100 Meter event.  As the athletes race around the track chasing Gold, one of them is in medical distress.  Twenty-four-year-old Jamaican athlete Tasha Morris collapses on the track.  Medics immediately attend, and deem her condition serious enough to warrant being transferred to a nearby hospital.  At the hospital, she receives a Cardio-Version procedure which is successful.  This chain of events is supported by the IOC’s and the OC’s Jamaican Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems being able to provide her personal healthcare data to healthcare providers.  In short, the difference between the life and death of this young woman is due to interoperability.

It is this difference that got one international expert in healthcare interoperability, Michael Nusbaum thinking.  During his time as a volunteer at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, he started to ponder how electronic healthcare records were managed at an Olympic event.  Was there any interoperability in place?  “Not really”, discovered Nusbaum.  He found that “…there are many islands of information that come together at Games time, but these are not connected, and certainly do not support the patient journey throughout the entire Olympic health system”.

That Olympic health system is governed by the International Olympic Committee.  Each country has a responsibility for their team during the games but the IOC takes ultimate responsibility for medical services at Games’ venues.  An Olympic Games can see over a million people, consisting of athletes, family members, coaches, spectators and volunteers descend on a host city, and all of these people are potential patients whose health is in the IOC’s hands.  Previous data estimates that 5 to 10% of that population will require medical assistance sometime during their stay in the Olympic host city.  With interoperability as a key denominator of a healthcare system’s functionality and success, most countries around the world have adopted its tenants within their own healthcare systems.  What happens however, when over a million people without EMR’s in the host country show up, some with existing or potential medical problems that may need treatment during the Games?

For Michael Nusbaum this potentiality and how local healthcare systems respond to it, could be eased through the introduction of interoperability.  He decided that just as Olympic Gold was an integral part of the Olympic Games, so too should be interoperability.  He took his idea to HIMSS who, convinced of its importance, created the HIMSS Olympic Healthcare Interoperability (OHI) Initiative.  HIMISS and Nusbaum later involved SNOMED International to help them with their initiative to integrate interoperability into the Olympic Games.

OHI describes its mission as: Advancing the seamless exchange and use of health information, using established international standards, to support an integrated medical services infrastructure at each Olympic Games site. The OHI network connects pre-Games person-specific healthcare information with information generated at Games time by Olympic and Host City service providers.

Nusbaum recently explained that the value of interoperability at the Olympic Games lies in the fact that robust medical data can follow patients, allowing for clinicians to make treatment decisions quickly because they are not starting again at each stop in the patient’s journey through the system.  If a patient needs surgery as was the case with our imagined Tasha Morris, then interoperability would ensure that all of her pertinent X-rays and previous health data are present and do not need to be regenerated, thus saving time and cost, and improving care which could save a life.

It is one thing to have your life changed by winning Olympic Gold at the games, but it is quite another to have your life saved by organisers at the Olympic Games.  To assure that this is the case, HIMISS, SNOMED and Nusbaum are currently taking OHI through the start-up phase.  They are developing a program plan to add interoperability into the Olympic fabric, have talked with stakeholders, including the IOC, and are determining the most appropriate way to enhance the ecosystem with the OHI vision.

They have a long road ahead to see interoperability become a reality at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, but like the many athletes who spend countless hours preparing to compete for Gold, this team of people will devote countless hours to realising their dream.  For it is not just about the Olympic Games but about every healthcare system in the world.

Interoperability requires medical records to be rendered electronically, this means that even those Olympic families who come from countries where EMR’s are not yet part of their local healthcare systems will return home with electronic medical records.  These records, could in themselves, get local healthcare providers talking about EMR’s as the first step to interoperability.  It is easy to see that once interoperability is adopted within the Olympic health system, its legacy has the potential to transform healthcare delivery worldwide.

This is Nusbaum’s hope that the Olympic Games can demonstrate to the world that healthcare interoperability is essential and that its adoption at the Games is the start of its adoption worldwide.  If this team can bring interoperability successfully to the Olympic heath system and therefore inspire its adoption in participating countries then they will surely have gone for, and won Gold.

 

 

About Michael Nusbaum

Michael Nusbaum is a senior strategist, advisor and thought leader, with more than 35 years of experience devoted exclusively to healthcare. With a background in health services administration and industrial engineering, Michael has provided a unique blend of management consulting services to health authorities, governments, hospitals, vendors and professional associations in Canada, the US and around the world.

Michael is considered an international expert in healthcare interoperability, and represents Canada on the International Standard Organization’s Technical Committee for Health Informatics. Michael has also developed and taught several undergraduate and graduate courses in health informatics through academic appoints with UVIC, UBC, BCIT and Mohawk College.

Michael has most recently been recognized for his extensive international eHealth leadership as the first Canadian elected to serve on the Board of the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS). He has also been a member of the boards of both COACH (Canada’s Health Informatics Association) and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) International, and has chaired the boards of the Health Care Leaders’ Association of BC, IHE Canada, BC Health Information Management Professionals’ Society, and the Washington State Chapter of HIMSS

http://www.mhnusbaum.com

 

About SNOMED

SNOMED International is a not-for-profit organization that owns, administers and develops SNOMED CT.

SNOMED CT is a clinical terminology created by a range of healthcare specialists to support clinical decision-making and analytics in software programs.

What We Stand For:

The safe, accurate and effective exchange of health information is an essential foundation to improve healthcare around the world. We strive to determine the best global standards for health terminology and to engage with the global healthcare community to improve SNOMED CT and patient safety.

We work to ensure that SNOMED CT can be routinely integrated into healthcare information systems so that users can record patient data more accurately and comprehensively and then use tools and analytics to provide better patient care and health management.

http://www.snomed.org/about

 

About HIMSS

HIMSS North America, a business unit within HIMSS, positively transforms health and healthcare through the best use of information technology in the United States and Canada. As a cause-based non-profit, HIMSS North America provides thought leadership, community building, professional development, public policy, and events.  HIMSS North America represents 64,000 individual members, 640 corporate members, and over 450 non-profit organizations.  Thousands of volunteers work with HIMSS to improve the quality, cost-effectiveness, access, and value of healthcare through IT.  Major initiatives within HIMSS North America include the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, National Health IT Week, HIMSS Innovation Center, HIMSS Interoperability Showcases™, HIMSS Health IT Value Suite, and ConCert by HIMSS™.

http://www.himss.org/

 

 

 

 

Tectonic Sized Innovation in Canada  

Today is one of the first events leading into the Toronto Health Innovation Week; it is the #UpOnDigital Conference where we will discuss Innovation in Ontario by exploring what the public sector (including government, hospitals, agencies, and post-secondary education) is doing and the results it is getting.

The public healthcare system and the future depend on innovation.  Our public healthcare system is an essential fabric of our society, but also a potential differentiator in helping to grow a modern economy.  Stakeholders across Canada and Ontario have been tasked with developing a system that creates and delivers innovation with the Digital Health Innovation Ecosystem (DHIE).  The national emphasis on innovation has led to this initiative as well as others, which will be highlighted at the first Toronto Health Innovation Week that convenes in Toronto, Ontario, Canada next month.

Events like these seek to mitigate the healthcare system’s inability to engage effectively with new Canadian start-ups and the major problem of fostering development of home-grown innovations.  There are a number of reasons for this disconnect, and some are of greater or lesser importance depending on the specifics of the innovation and growth stage of the company.  I.E. lack of money and resources within our health system for innovation activities, public sector procurement processes, regulatory issues, and the protracted processes for the approval and reimbursement of new healthcare procedures within our single payer system.

In our view, these are the main reasons why young Canadian healthcare technology companies often fail or turn to other markets for the testing, development and roll-out of their innovations, thereby lessening the potential for job creation and revenues in Canada.  We are very hopeful that we will have the opportunity to engage in these topics tomorrow and through April 2017 to make a difference.

Making a difference is why Tectonic is so excited about Toronto Health Innovation Week, because it engenders collaboration between people from different areas of the healthcare sector at a time when it is greatly needed.  By bringing people together, we can support Canadian entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that are ready to benefit from industry feedback, insider knowledge and commercial investment.

The week starts on April 3rd with Impact Health, a conference style gathering held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre where industry leaders and key stakeholders will present and discuss the following topics: accelerating our ecosystem to drive innovation, company and job creation, working towards better outcomes for patients, and improving Health while creating Wealth through innovation.  The day will finish with a networking event: The Summit Evening Reception at Brassaii.

The next day, will see two organisations: MaRS and Life Science Nation come together to host the RESI on MaRS conference.  MaRS is a Toronto based non-for-profit that seeks to commercialize innovations by Canadians and bring them into the global arena by supporting them with various resources.  Between 2011 and 2014, start-up companies supported by MaRS had created more than 4,000 jobs and had raised over $750 million in capital investments.

Life Science Nation has a similar purpose: helping scientists become entrepreneurial enough to capitalise their innovations and bring them to the public.  Started by entrepreneur and author Dennis Ford in 2012, it, like MaRS, seeks to bring together those working on innovations that are ready for investment with those wanting to invest.  It is this reason that Life Science Nation decided to launch the RESI conference series in which RESI on MaRS is included.  As their website explains:

“When visiting life science partnering conferences around the world, LSN staff noticed that these partnering conferences typically didn’t produce the volume of attending investors that was advertised. LSN decided to launch an investor-centric partnering conference series totally focused on bringing together early stage investors and emerging life science start-ups; The Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series.”

Thus, these two organisations are perfectly poised to put on this event, the first day of which will enable participants to access a series of keynote addresses, panel discussions, one-on-one meetings and networking opportunities at the largest health investor event in Canada.  On April 5th, everyone will come together at the HealthKick Challenge which will see innovators in three different categories: medical devices, pharma & biotech and digital health vie for the chance to win $20,000 CDN for investment in their projects.

Previous winners in the Health IT category include Newtopia, a company that combines mobile health with genetic testing and a personalised health approach to help companies create wellness for their employees.  Newtopia won its category in 2014, and since then its company has expanded to be a leader in its field.  In autumn 2016, it announced that it has secured a further $10,000,000 in funding to aide in its expansion into the US in order ‘to revolutionise disease prevention in the workplace’.  A study conducted in conjunction with Aetna, results of which were released in 2015, has already shown statistically that Newtopia’s approach had measurable results in employee’s wellness markers, and therefore saved Aetna over $600,000 in one year.  Impressive results for their product and for their company, but what if Newtopia’s idea never got off the ground?  It is these types of forward thinking entrepreneurs that the HealthKick Challenge can help.

Like MaRS and Life Science Nation, Tectonic, along with investors, is in the business of helping public, private, and academic concerns bring their healthcare innovations to the next level.  Because of our complementary goal, we will be intimately involved in the HealthKick Challenge and other similar events across Canada, the US, the UK, and Europe.  As MaRS states on their website:

“MaRS is not just about creating billion-dollar companies, but touching a billion lives. We are creating a vanguard of entrepreneurs working to improve society for future generations and making a difference beyond our borders.”

We feel much the same.  There are brilliant Canadians working quietly on solutions for healthcare and other areas that need support in bringing their breakthroughs to the industry.  Scientists, information technology designers and overall innovators are not necessarily entrepreneurs who know how to turn their innovations into products that can be used by billions for the greater good.  It is therefore, our job to help them make this happen.

The last day of the week continues this trend with the MEDEC 2017 Medtech Conference held in Mississauga, Ontario.  MEDEC is Canada’s national association for the medical technology industry and its annual conference brings together high-profile health system leaders, dignitaries, and influential thought leaders from across various facets of healthcare and government.

MEDEC is the national association created by and for the Canadian medical technology industry.  One of its goals is to “advance health outcomes for patients in Canada and the growth and vibrancy of the industry in Canada”.  They “focus on ensuring access to proven, safe technology and new, innovative medical technology developed by our member companies.”

With so many advocating for Canada’s brilliant minds, it is hard not to imagine them succeeding in bringing their gifts to healthcare, both locally and internationally.  This Year’s HealthKick Challenge will see many more of these individuals come closer to sharing their solutions with the world and Tectonic is proud to be part of making that happen.

 

For more on UpOnDigital go to: http://coachorgnew.com/details/upondigital17/

 

For more on the Toronto Health Innovation Week and its different events, please visit our Upcoming Events Page

 

About Tectonic

Tectonic is the innovation partner to forward-leaning health systems and Health IT Companies. We help health systems advance from strategy to action – accelerating their pace of healthcare transformation and innovation. 

Tectonic brings industry, providers, academic and investors together to solve shared challenges that are ripe for technology innovation.

Our collaborative model drives a rigorous process to identify, implement, and scale innovations. The Outcome? Health systems shorten their innovation cycles – taking on more opportunities with better results. 

Learn more at www.tectoniconline.com or email us at info@tectoniconline.com and see where Tectonic Innovation takes you.

 

 

 

 

big_ideas2

 

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

At last year’s HIMSS16, I discovered an amazing company called ThoughtWire. ThoughtWire is a privately held corporation headquartered in Toronto, Ontario that has, since 2009, made people think differently about living and working in a world with 40 billion things connected to the Internet. A world where smart machines would assist people in every aspect of their digital lives. From 2011, their technology has been doing just that.

When they presented that technology last year, I was blown away by it, and its implications for healthcare IT.  This year, they returned to HIMSS17 to further help us understand how the Ambiant platform is transforming hospitals; their staff and their patients. On Monday, February 20, 2017, Mark Farrow the Vice President, Health Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer of Hamilton Health Services in Ontario, Canada presented the HHS Early Warning System Project to conference attendees.  This project with ThoughtWire’s platform at its core, was the winner of the Intelligent Health Association’s 2017 IHA Improving Patient Care and Health Delivery award. Once you learn more about it, it is not difficult to see why.

As explained by Mark Farrow, a few years ago, a resident at Hamilton decided that it was time to do something about the number of code blue situations occurring. “Generally, it is seen as a failure from a medical perspective when a patient gets to the point where a code blue is required. So, the resident did some research and found that patients usually don’t just go from being healthy to slipping into cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. There are usually plenty of warning signs.”

To capture these warning signs and alert staff to them, the hospital association partnered with ThoughtWire and IBM Canada to develop an early warning score (HEWS). The Ambiant platform takes a patient’s vital signs as entered by a nurse into a mobile device, and generates a score. When vital signs deviate from the norm, the score escalates and informs clinical staff of the patient’s status. Early intervention can then return patients to normal and avoid a code blue situation.

Once the hospital team, led by Mark Farrow, had agreed on the desired approach, they collaborated with the ThoughtWire services team and within eight weeks they were up and running. The results of this technological adoption are impressive. The Critical Care Response Team consults decreased 17 percent and CPR with Code Blue calls was reduced by 6 percentage points.

The math is good but what about the effects on patients?  As Dr Alison Fox-Robichaud discusses in a short film about the project (https://vimeo.com/205055859). Patients benefit not only physically but mentally. Because nurses are inputting patient data into a mobile device right at the bedside, the patient who is often as his or her most vulnerable, has more time with a professional presence.

Nurses also benefit. Peter Bak, CIO of Humber River Hospital in Toronto, Ontario discusses in an interview with Healthcare Infomatics, how the platform powers a notification manager.  It drives a closed-loop communication, connecting people and driving the workflow based on alerts.

He says “For example, with our nurse assist workflow, when a patient hits a call bell, it messages a nurse’s mobile device. And the nurse has the ability to call back or video-conference call back to that patient. And there are variations on that capability. Each unit is a 32-bed unit; it is a very large space, and so for a nurse to roam from one room to another to respond to nurse calls, would consume a lot of time. And we did a lot of modeling on this. In the old buildings, the nurses were walking 5.6 kilometers in shift, and we modeled that if we didn’t change the paradigm, nurses would be walking 12 kilometers in a shift.”  With less time walking from bed to bed, nurses are able to do what they come to work to do: nurse as opposed to walking a half marathon.

There is a saying: ‘Work smarter, not harder.”It is this saying that is exemplified by ThoughtWire’s Ambiant Health Platform as utilized by organisations such as the Hamilton Health Services.  I am convinced that as health organisations face their existing service challenges, ThoughtWire’s technology will become embedded in more and more places with just as impressive results.

 

About ThoughtWire

Since 2009, ThoughtWire, an award-winning Toronto, Canada-based company, has been helping healthcare organizations automate work to drive better outcomes. Through our Ambiant platform, ThoughtWire harnesses the power of the Internet of Things within an organization, combined with machine intelligence and brought to users with a frictionless interface. Our ability to help your team deliver better outcomes comes alive when we combine people, processes and science complimented by our technology. Ambiant has been developed by thought leaders, tested by science and tamed by best practices to become the only automation platform that augments your team and standardizes work for better outcomes each time. To learn more about how ThoughtWire can help drive better outcomes you’re your organization, please visit www.thoughtwire.com and follow us on Twitter @thoughtwire or on LinkedIn.  You may also contact Susan Wooldridge at 647-351-9473, ext. 141 or at susan.wooldridge@thoughtwire.ca.

 

About Tectonic

Tectonic is the innovation partner to forward-leaning health systems and Health IT Companies. We help health systems advance from strategy to action, accelerating their pace of healthcare transformation and innovation.

Tectonic brings industry and providers together to solve shared challenges that are ripe for technological innovation. Our collaborative model drives a rigorous process to identify, implement, and scale innovations. The outcome? Health systems shorten their innovation cycles – taking on more opportunities with better results.

 

For more about how innovative technologies such as the Ambient Health Platform and others can transform your organisation contact us at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me, Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

Value

 

Value Based Payments As We Enter 2017

The journey towards paying for value over volume has been a gradual one. All over the world from Canada to the US, from the UK to Europe reforms are being implemented. Up until this point, new programs and payment models have largely involved upside risk for healthcare providers or programs like the Health System Funding Reform with HBAM and QBPs in Ontario. However this will begin to change in 2017 and things will only get more serious for these risk-based arrangements.

This year is the first performance year for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the physician payment reform law also known as MACRA, and healthcare providers will be asked to participate in one of two payment tracks, both of which emphasize downside risk. One applies to clinicians participating in traditional Medicare and will put 4% of payments at risk in 2019, an amount that will grow in subsequent years.

The size of the payment adjustment, which could be positive, neutral, or negative, will partially depend on how much data the clinician submits to CMS and how well they perform on quality metrics in 2017. The other track targets healthcare providers already bearing downside risk for patients’ outcomes. CMS estimates that 70,000 to 120,000 clinicians will participate in this track in 2017, making them eligible for 5% bonus payments in 2019. CMS also offers other payment models, such as bundled payments. Under this payment model, hospitals are responsible for cost and quality beyond discharge into post-acute care. CMS’ oncology bundled payment will qualify for MACRA’s 5% bonus in 2017.

New bundle programs for cardiac and orthopedic care also launch next year, allowing providers to qualify for bonuses in 2018. At the same time, CMS is nudging accountable care organizations under its Medicare Shared Savings Program, to put more money at risk in exchange for the 5% bonus. HRI found that many of these organizations have left money on the table so far. Analyzing the performance of Medicare Shared Savings Program accountable care organizations in 2015, HRI found that more accountable care organizations would have qualified for bonuses in 2015, had they been subject to downside risk.

Healthcare providers that are best positioned to take on risk have been laying the groundwork for years. For example, in order to better manage patients along the care continuum, Texas Health Resources has been building a network of affiliates and partners across North Texas since the early 2000’s. The health system joined forces with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to form an accountable care organization under the Medicare Shared Savings Program. Building on their success, in April 2016 the duo created Southwestern Health Resources, an integrated health network. Both systems believe this new entity positions them to participate in risk-based contracts. Additionally, they were motivated by MACRA to take on more downside risk, and transition their accountable care organization to one of CMS’s more advanced payment models. This year, Texas Health Resources will take the next step into the world of risk-bearing models, by launching a health plan that it jointly owns and operates with national health insurer Aetna.

With downside risk on the horizon, physicians must understand where they stand in terms of quality and cost today. “The solution is not at the payer level. It’s not at the government level,” Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer at Texas Health Resources, told HRI. “The onus is on the providers.” HRI’s analysis found that providers may be more prepared to commit to downside risk than they realize. Strong actuarial capabilities can help accurately measure performance, while strong leadership to set priorities can accelerate the pace of change.

Delivering higher quality, lower cost care requires an analytics-driven approach that segments patient populations and delivers tailored care management solutions based on specific needs. Achieving this requires a robust infrastructure of technology and clinical skills, which will take time to build and operationalize. Providers should consider partnerships and alliances to acquire both.

In Ontario, Canada, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is acting on plans set out in Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care, by selecting the first wave of Ontario healthcare providers to roll out bundled care. Following an Expression of Interest (EOI) issued in February 2015, and the receipt of 50 submissions by March 2016, a multi-phased assessment process began.  Submissions were reviewed by Local Health Integration Networks, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care staff, and members of a ministry advisory team, including researchers, clinical experts, and quality improvement experts.  This feedback resulted in 14 readiness assessment site visits conducted in 10 LHINs between the end of April and mid-May 2016.  Finally, six of the 14 teams were selected for wave 1.

The selected teams began implementing their integrated funding models in the autumn of 2016. Real-time evaluations are measuring the impact of the Bundled Care initiative and a review of the six projects will be used to inform roll-out across the province.  Bundled Care is not just a debated concept it is not a soon-to-be adopted paradigm in this province, across Canada and the USA.

In a bundled care approach, a group of health care providers determine a single payment to cover all the care needs of an individual patient’s hospital care and home care. “Integrated funding models” and “bundled care” are synonymous terms to describe the ministry’s initiative to implement innovative approaches to integrate funding over a patient’s episode of care.

Physicians spend an average of 785 hours a year dealing with the quality measure reporting upon which traditional payment schemes rely.  Bundled care will therefore positively effect the amount of reporting physicians are expected to do, and create opportunities for companies in the platforms and support market who are poised to develop remedies for doctors drowning in data. Such solutions can help minimize the administrative burden on doctors, allowing them to do what they’re trained to do – care for patients.

 

A list of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s six successful teams and their corresponding project descriptions are as follows:

Connecting Care to Home: Optimizing Care for COPD and CHF Patients in London Middlesex

Project Partners : London Health Sciences Centre, South West Community Care Access Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care London, Thames Valley Family Health Team, South West Local Integration Network

In this project, patients with moderate intensity needs related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure discharged home from London Health Sciences Centre will experience an integrated and coordinated system of care based on evidence-based practice as they transition from hospital to the community. Focused on integrating current hospital and CCAC funding, patients will be supported by an innovative eHomecare model that enables remote monitoring, 24/7 access to a clinical team, supported by a navigator, clinical care coordinator, dedicated home care provider, ambulatory clinics, and common electronic medical record. The hospital and Community Care Access Centre will work together with specialists and primary care to ensure that patients are provided seamless and patient-centred care.

 

Integrated Comprehensive Care 2.0: Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) LHIN-wide COPD and CHF

Project Partners : St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Brantford Community Health System, Centre de Santé Communautaire, Grand River Community Health Centre, Haldimand War Memorial Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, HNHB Community Care Access Centre, HNHB Local Health Integration Network, HNHB Primary Care lead, Joseph Brant Hospital, Niagara Falls Community Health Centre, Niagara Health System, Norfolk General Hospital, North Hamilton Community Health Centre, St. Joseph’s Home Care, West Haldimand General Hospital

Building on the success of the St. Joseph’s Health System’s Integrated Comprehensive Care Program, all acute care hospitals in the LHIN and the CCAC will work closely with primary care partners and specialists to provide integrated post-acute care to patients who have been admitted to a hospital with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure and require home care after discharge. Key features of the project will include integrated care coordinators, who will provide patients with a single point of contact in hospital and at home; 24/7 access to medical expertise and care for patients; unified health records; and the use of technology to support team and patient communication.

 

Hospital 2 Home: The Central West Integrated Care Model

Project Partners : William Osler Health System, Central West Community Care Access Centre, Headwaters Health Care Centre, Central West Local Health Integrated Network, Ontario Telemedicine Network

Hospital to Home (H2H) will improve the patient experience by leveraging an integrated model of care that reduces handoffs as people transition from the hospital to the community. It will initially support patients requiring short-term nursing interventions, later expanding to support those with more complex needs. Care will be further enhanced through a partnership with the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) which will provide eVisits and, where appropriate, leverage telewound to safely transition and care for patients in the home. Overall, this model will reduce duplication and barriers, create a more seamless experience, shorten hospital stays and reduce hospital readmissions. It will also build on the recent non-clinical integration between the region’s hospitals and CCAC, as all partner organizations strive to create a more integrated health care journey for patients across Central West.

 

Putting Patients at the Heart: A Seamless Journey for Cardiac Surgery Patients in Mississauga Halton

Project Partners : Trillium Health Partners and Saint Elizabeth Health Care with support from the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network

Trillium Health Partners will work with Saint Elizabeth Health Care to allow patients to go home on average 3 days sooner after cardiac surgery. This will be supported by continuing specialist engagement and providing care in the home for up to 30 days post-discharge. Patients will experience a seamless journey from pre-surgery through their stay in hospital and through their care once transitioned home, thereby reducing length of stay, readmissions and emergency department visits. Key features include an integrated care coordinator that works with patients beginning at pre-op, a 24/7 contact centre and telemonitoring in the home.

 

One Client, One Team: Central and Toronto Central LHIN Integrated Stroke Care

Project Partners : Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Providence Healthcare, North York General, Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre, Central Community Care Access Centre

With a focus on stroke care and beginning with patients discharged from hospital to home for up to 60 days, this team includes acute, home and outpatient providers in two LHINs. Patients will have a seamless care experience across the continuum of care including improved quality, health outcomes and experience as a result of evidence-based pathways of care, integration across providers and settings.The model will include the use of a clinical collaboration tool; warm handoffs between health care providers when there is a transition in care – for example, when the patient moves from hospital to home; and the potential use of telecommunications technologies to deliver healthcare services to patients at home.

 

Integrating Specialized and Primary Care: The North York Central Collaborative for COPD and CHF Patients

Project Partners : North York Integrated Care Collaborative (North York General Hospital, Central Community Care Access Centre, Saint Elizabeth Health Care, Pro Resp Home Oxygen & Respiratory Care, Circle of Care, North York Family Health Team), West Park Healthcare Centre

This project is focused on caring for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure in the mid- to late-stage of their disease as they transition from hospital to home for up to 18 weeks post-discharge. Patients will experience a collaborative and coordinated team approach across health care partners (hospital – both acute and outpatient, community, primary care) to reduce Emergency Department (ED) visits, admissions and improve the patient experience. The integrated care approach will include dedicated care coordinators, a 24/7 access line for patients, remote consults enabled through technology and specialist follow-up including ambulatory rehabilitation.

 

For more about how value based payments and health system funding reform will affect your healthcare system or implications for the vendor community, contact Tectonic at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me, Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

HIMSS WOMEN

 

HIMSS 10-Year Analysis: Female Health IT Workers Continue to Earn Less Than Male Peers

Female health information technology (IT) workers in the United States have been consistently paid less over the past 10 years compared to their male peers, with the pay gap disparity worsening over time, as per a study of compensation data gathered and analyzed by HIMSS.

The HIMSS Longitudinal Gender Compensation Assessment report summarizes data from the biennial HIMSS Compensation Surveys for the years 2006 through 2015.  The respondents are predominantly from the United States.  In 2006, the average female IT worker made 81 percent of the average male IT worker’s pay.  By 2015, this compensation gap widened to 78 percent.  Among different types of organizations, health IT vendors/consultants demonstrated the most progressiveness, paying women 91 percent of what they paid men in 2015.

The HIMSS 10-year compensation assessment analyzed the pay gap between women and men healthcare IT workers as influenced by four factors:

1.tenure in their current position,

2.level of managerial responsibility,

3.type of healthcare organization, and

4.organizational tax status.

No matter how the data was analyzed, a general pay gap pattern emerged. The analysis yielded the most remarkable findings, however, when considering both the type of health organization (e.g. provider, vendor, etc.) and the organization’s tax status.

For example, in 2015, health IT vendors/consultants reflected the “most equitable” of working environments, compensating female IT workers, on average, at 92 percent of their male peers. This represents a four percentage point improvement over the gap evident in 2008. By comparison, for-profit providers showed the greatest compensation disparities, paying woman IT professionals, on average, only 67 percent of what they paid men to do the same work, down from 73 percent in 2008.

“To attract and retain talented women for the health IT workforce, we must demonstrate compensation equity for women and men. This assessment shows that while we have much work to do, there are sectors of the industry where the gender gap is closing, clearly suggesting that gender equity in compensation is possible,” said Carla Smith, executive vice president, HIMSS, and leader of the HIMSS North American business unit.

HIMSS has launched various initiatives to help achieve compensation equity, including the Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards, which will recognize its first roster of high achievers at the HIMSS17 conference coming up in a couple of weeks in Orlando, Florida.  The following seven women from around the world will receive the HIMSS Most Influential Women in Health IT Award.

Shareefa Al Abulmonem, MSc CPHIMS
Head of eServices
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Saudi Arabia

Marion J. Ball, Ed.D, FHIMSS, FACMI, FAAN, FAHIMA, FCHIME, FMLA
Senior Advisor, IBM-Center for Computational Health, USA
Professor Emerita, Johns Hopkins University

Rachelle Blake, PA
CEO and Managing Director
Omni Med Solutions, Germany

Christina Caraballo, MBA
Senior Healthcare Strategist
Get Real Health, USA

Karen DeSalvo, M.D., MPH, MSc
Acting Assistant Secretary of Health
US Department of Health and Human Services, USA

Karen Guice, M.D., M.P.P.
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs
US Department of Defense, USA

Lisa Stump, MS, RPh, FASHP
Chief Information Officer
Yale New Haven Health and Yale School of Medicine, USA

Remarking on these deserving women in a blog post on the HIMSS website (http://www.himss.org/news/himss-s-most-influential-women-health-it-are-most-impressive?_ga=1.47509039.962918791.1486630871), Smith says: “Each of these women has demonstrated transformational influence in the health sector. They are at various stages of their careers, which was a defining philosophy of our Awards program – that a woman at any stage of her career can be influential and positively change health and healthcare in meaningful ways.”

To assure that women continue their meaningful effect on healthcare, the HIMSS other initiatives include a Roundtable for any professional interested in supporting women’s achievement of meaningful careers of increasing authority and leadership and The Women in Health IT Networking Reception and Women in Health IT Roundtable two important aspects of its annual conference and exhibition. “We remain committed to adding gender-focused resources for networking, mentoring and career advancement,” Smith added.  These initiatives as well as these esteemed women’s presence at this years HIMSS 2017 certainly show that commitment.

 

About HIMSS North America

HIMSS North America, a business unit within HIMSS, positively transforms health and healthcare through the best use of information technology in the United States and Canada. As a cause‐based non‐profit, HIMSS North America provides thought leadership, community building, professional development, public policy, and events. HIMSS North America represents 64,000 individual members, 640 corporate members, and over 450 non‐profit organizations. Thousands of volunteers work with HIMSS to improve the quality, cost‐effectiveness, access, and value of healthcare through IT. Major initiatives within HIMSS North America include the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, National Health IT Week, HIMSS Innovation Center, HIMSS Interoperability Showcases™, HIMSS Health IT Value Suite, and ConCert by HIMSS™.

 

About HIMSS

HIMSS is a global voice, advisor, convener, and thought leader of health transformation through the best use of IT with a unique breadth and depth of expertise and capabilities to improve the quality, safety, and cost‐effectiveness of health and healthcare. Through its network of over 1 million professionals, including 64,000‐plus members, HIMSS advises leaders, stakeholders, and influencers globally on IT best practices to ensure decision‐makers have the right information at the right time to make the right decisions. HIMSS North America, HIMSS Analytics, Personal Connected Health Alliance, HIMSS Media and HIMSS International (HIMSS Europe, HIMSS Asia and HIMSS Middle East) are the five business units of HIMSS. A not‐for‐profit headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, HIMSS has additional offices in North America, Europe, United Kingdom, and Asia.

 

For more about HIMSS17 visit our Upcoming Events page.  For more about Tectonic contact us at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me, Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

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Necessity is the Mother of Invention

With HIMSS17 coming up in 8 days, I have been re-posting some of my previous blogs that I wrote regarding last year’s event. Its not only innovative people and interesting organisations that I encountered at HIMSS16 and hope to encounter again this year, but also potential aspects of health IT that are about to explode. Last year, Enterprise Imaging was the area that looked to be finally coming into its own, meaning it would finally be a necessary adoption of most health care facilities. As with most things, necessity is the mother of invention and it became obviously to me at last year’s convention that Enterprise Imaging was now considered a necessity that inventive people in the industry were thinking about. Read why in my original blog post from March 2016, below.

 

HIMSS16 Report – The Year of the Image-Enabled EHR!

Not too long ago, experts across health IT questioned whether the cost and productivity benefits of the electronic health record would ever be realized in the real-world medical setting. Today, EHRs are ubiquitous within healthcare, as common as stethoscopes and syringes.
Enterprise imaging – a centralized system that integrates images from any clinical specialty into a patient’s EHR and securely renders that information to any clinician – has been in a limbo similar to what EHRs experienced several years ago. Many hospital CIOs and CMOs have clearly understood the value potential that an “any image, any time, from any location” strategy might deliver if offered to their healthcare community. However, just as with EHRs, industry inertia – due to combinations of budgetary, skill set, and bandwidth limitations – slowed the widespread adoption of such systems.

But that is about to change, from what I see coming out of HIMSS16, 2016 is poised to be the year of enterprise imaging.

What has led me and others in the industry to make this prognostication? Today, the conversation surrounding enterprise imaging has crystallized around three key factors which, in my opinion, have become the catalysts for what is expected to be a wide-scale adoption of enterprise imaging systems in 2016 and beyond. CIOs and healthcare IT specialists who are not yet in the know should take note.

1) Consolidation: Until recently, some hospitals attempted to create enterprise imaging capabilities by re-purposing or extending their PACS and VNAs. However, what at the time seemed like a logical – and cost effective – solution has proven largely unworkable due to the immense and ever increasing amount of image data that is generated across all specialties within a hospital. This same realization previously occurred across the enterprise with the EHR, leading to the collapse of what was a series of departmental systems into the consolidated platforms that today are delivered by Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, etc. This paradigm shift is now occurring within image management where an integrated, enterprise-wide strategy is eclipsing the “piecemeal PACS” approach.

2) Convergence: In lock step with consolidation, advances have been made with the convergence of imaging access and storage systems with sophisticated technologies that enable department-specific image acquisition, ordering, clinical metadata creation, and billing automation all in one place. The result is a solution that can serve the diagnostic departments, while seamlessly managing the ingestion, transfer, routing, and review of images across the enterprise.

3) Workflow: In today’s modern hospital, nearly every department generates clinical images. Radiology and cardiology remain the most prolific, but departments as disparate as obstetrics and gastroenterology also produce diagnostically-important images and are doing so on a more frequent basis. True enterprise imaging strategies offer the ability to synchronize thousands of potential workflows securely, which can encompass everything from creating a work-list on a modality, to order generation, to notification to the EHR that a study exists.

For modern hospitals, the ability to maximize image usage efficiency can become a competitive advantage. Not only does the opportunity exist to improve the operational and fiscal performance of a hospital, but ubiquitous access to patient images can also help foster an environment of informed patient management, supporting today’s value-based care model.

So here’s to 2016 – The Year of Enterprise Imaging from what I saw at #HIMSS16.

 

For more about HIMSS17 visit our Upcoming Events page.  For more about Tectonic contact us at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me, Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

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Best in Show

The great thing about attending the HIMSS event in any year is that we get to see and hear about innovations that are just emerging into the field of Heath IT.  Last year, I was educated about what Afga HealthCare was doing and how it could make a difference for healthcare providers.  I was very impressed and just a few weeks ago, I found out that I was not the only one because Agfa HealthCare’s XERO® Viewer was awarded the 2017 KLAS Category Leader Award.  Its nice to get confirmation now and again that I know what is awesome when I see it!  I was unduly impressed by this technology and discuss it and more in my blog posted during HIMSS16, below.

 

AGFA Doing it Right at HIMSS16

Several people have been asking me why I think Agfa did a great job presenting its evolved market strategy at HIMSS16, well, here it is:

HealthCare’s Portal Solution:

Agfa’s Patient and Consumer portal is innovative, and builds off its market brand as a leader in Healthcare Imaging and IT.  The portal consolidates access to images and data using a federated model. Patients can complete forms and upload images prior to arriving for tests and appointments which streamlines patient care. Clinicians have access to a wide variety of pertinent patient information enterprise wide, or region wide, as it connects various clinical systems in an effortless manner. The information remains in the various databases in which it originates, and is pulled into the portal for the user on an as-needed basis.

Beyond the Portal there’s of course Enterprise Imaging:

Agfa’s Enterprise Imaging takes a distinct new approach to imaging management by delivering a completely unified imaging platform that provides order and image management for any department utilizing a single workflow and on one platform.   Its engineering is designed to simplify and reduce IT management costs, while delivering performance and clinical information access that is second to none. The unified platform addresses specific departmental requirements as well as enterprise and regional health requirements in a cost effective, care centric consolidated platform.

And then, there’s the XERO View, simply awesome:

It provides “anytime, anywhere” access to the patient’s DICOM and non-DICOM images from within a hospital or remotely using a connected mobile device or PC. You can view not only images from radiology, but are also able to access patients’ imaging records from other clinical specialties.

Agfa’s XERO viewer uses standard Web 2.0 technology, the XERO viewer lets you and other caregivers access the patient’s information from popular internet browsers, on popular operating systems with no software download of any kind. All image processing is done on the server, so the browser has only to display the images.

Agfa’s XERO viewer reaches beyond your hospital walls, bringing together patient images from multiple sources into a consolidated view with a single Federated Network investment. Whether the user is a clinician or radiologist, they have the intuitive image access they require from Agfa systems, third party PACS systems, or vendor neutral VNAs in one display without switching applications or viewer.

In Short:

Agfa’s Enterprise solutions provide clinical relevance to medical documentation and images on a consolidated documentation and image management platform.

Agfa’s XERO Viewer facilitates universal access and collaboration with real-time communication and collaboration across the care continuum.

Let me know if you need any other answers to your questions as to why Agfa is doing it right this year at HIMSS16!

 

For more about HIMSS17 visit our Upcoming Events page.  For more about Afga Healthcare visit their website at http://global.agfahealthcare.com/main/For more about Tectonic contact us at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me, Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

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Far Reaching Effects

With HIMSS17 starting in less than 10 days, I am thinking about all of the impressive companies I have encountered at the conference in past years.  It constantly amazes me how many brilliant people there are out there working on innovations that are desperately needed in the healthcare industry.  As anyone who works in this sector knows, Electronic Medical Records (EMR’s) are an integral part of patient care but can be an unrelenting source of frustration for caregivers depending on the platform on which they are working.  I discuss some of those different versions below, as well as one that I think solves many of the others’ problems.  I encountered their innovation at HIMSS16 when I came across their company called Compulark.  I originally published this piece soon after meeting them, on March 6, 2016.

 

New Technology at HIMSS16 cuts time & cost to deploy electronic healthcare forms by 60-80%

Nobody can be good at everything and so we have to prioritize and put our efforts where we think they best serve us. EMR vendors are no different. All EMR vendors have tools to create and manage electronic forms. They’re just not very good, and they’re not going to get any better. Why? Because they have other more pressing priorities.

There are a number of independent electronic forms generation software products on the market but they usually have one or more of the following short comings.

The most common issue is they make you start with a blank canvas and build your forms from scratch, not taking advantage of the vast number of healthcare forms that already exist. The simpler the tool, the more likely the end product will not closely resemble the original form, and then the complaints from the users of the form start. The more sophisticated the tool, the more likely it can reproduce an electronic form that resembles the original form, but it’s likely going to be more complex and require a programmer to use it.

The other big issue with most offerings is that their ability to integrate with EMR’s is limited. So they may be able to produce pretty forms quickly, but they have difficulty doing anything meaningful with the data. Again, the more sophisticated tools might do a better job of this but they tend to get more complex and less usable.

What about fillable PDF’s? They look exactly like the original form, but there are lots of limitations. You can’t add logic, drop down lists, edit checks or do anything with the data once the form is filled in. At the end of the day, all you’re left with is a nice looking form you can print and email (a form that could still be full of errors).

Now that I’ve described all the problems with the available technology – what am I offering as a solution?

When at HIMSS16, I came across a company out of Toronto that was generating a lot of buzz.  Big EMR vendors and Practice Management Companies were lauding their very unique response to this issue. Compulark, the author of ReachLite has a completely novel approach. ReachLite scans an existing healthcare form and in seconds, using some sophisticated algorithms perfected over several years, creates a native HTML web form and a native mobile app that looks exactly like the original. It automatically recognizes where input fields should be and provides a rich set of tools to enhance the electronic form. You can add drop down lists, edit checks, electronic signature fields and much more. It comes with a powerful, easy to use visual tool that can be used to interface to any EMR. This allows you to query an EMR to pre-populate a form with patient data, and to upload data from the completed form directly into the EMR in real time.

Best of all, you don’t need to be a programmer to use the software, which allows less costly resources to do the work, freeing up programmers to work on other projects. EMR vendors that have implemented ReachLite estimate it has cut the development time of electronic forms by 60-80%, and cut the costs by even more.

 

To find out how you can finally address your forms headache quickly and cost effectively send an email to sales@reachlite.com today. For more about HIMSS17 visit our Upcoming Events page.  For more about Tectonic contact us at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me, Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

Health

 

Hot Health Topics

With this year’s HIMSS17 coming up in less than ten days, I wondered about some of the topics which we will encounter this year.  No matter what areas are the most debated and discussed, we always learn a lot from ideas expressed by speakers and participants at the conference.

Last year, the buzz was on Population Health which inspired the blog below (originally posted on March 9, 2016).  The topic is still relevant today, so we will see if we are again talking about it at this year’s conference and what solutions are being applied.  Influence Health has one such solution that delivers results for the health care sector.  I discuss them and Population Health challenges below.

 

#1 Topic at HIMSS16: Population Health! So, Who is Doing it Well?

Population Health was a key discussion topic this year at HIMSS16 for both US and Canadian attendees. We heard that leaders from the C-Suite increased by double digits this year which reflects the interest in a changing business climate and the impact that health information has on buying decisions.  I observed many US and Canadian clients from one industry leader, Influence Health, being asked about their focus on population health and clinical integration.

They’ve found that, when an organization’s care management team must access segmented environments to collect enough information to effectively care for patients; especially those under care management services such as chronic care participants, emergency department frequenters, etc, having efficient technology in place is the only way to do so successfully.

They’ve found that now more than ever, care without a central location for access and management, loses the effect of population health.  Therefore, the Influence Health approach to population health is based on the understanding that the technology behind a population health management solution must be robust, versatile and centralized. Having the right technology in place is the first step in setting up your care management team to successfully improve patient outcomes, and that’s where they can help.

From what I can tell, the Influence Health all-in-one platform addresses the all six of key areas that comprise population health for our clients:

  1. Aggregates disparate data sources into a unified source of truth
  2. Identifies at-risk populations
  3. Engages patients in their health goals and activates them to be effective self-managers
  4. Reduces or prevent avoidable hospitalizations, readmissions and ER visits
  5. Closes gaps in care
  6. Reports on quality measures and outcomes

From our research, as organizations take their first steps into population health, they should consider the following best practices.

  • Build an effective population health management infrastructure. That means putting the right governance and leadership in place, defining a strategic population to manage and ensuring that the business model can be supported by accurate reporting.
  • Connect high-risk patients with a dedicated care management team that coordinates across the continuum to lower total cost of care. Technology is key, but coordinated teams and workflows ensure that the process is effective and repeatable.
  • Manage rising-risk patients in the medical home and develop scalable ways of working with these patients to avoid unnecessary, higher-cost spending.
  • Establish easy access to care for low-risk patient management, aiming to keep patients healthy and connected to the system

We spent quite a bit of time reviewing the aforementioned topics at HIMSS16 and we continue to see healthcare organizations and care providers make progress in defining population health in terms that make sense to their business models and speaks to the six areas above.

Clearly one of those leaders is Influence Health.  They have demonstrated solid leadership in the US and are now getting lots of attention north of the boarder in Canada where this innovation is easily transferable and where it builds off the show case sites in Ontario that currently use the Influence Health viewer technology.

Lots of room to grow with this Canada!  Good work US!

 

For more about HIMSS17 visit our Upcoming Events page.  For more about Population Health and Influence Health contact us at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me, Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

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Virtually One Step At A Time

It is a week until HIMSS17 and my review of past post on last year’s event continues. As use of the internet, mobile apps and devices grows in the population, it is only natural for this wave to crash into Health Information Technology.  To that end, innovators in the sector are finding ingenious ways to meet this demand by developing products that patients need.  One such innovator is Bill Landry of the Physio Store who I encountered at HIMSS16.  Read about his revolutionary platform that is helping people heal virtually one step at a time.

 

Bill Landry Develops Revolutionary Patient Engagement Platform That Delivers Virtualized Physiotherapy Care to North American Market

As I assess the growing demand from patients for virtualized care from the comfort of their own homes at HIMSS16, I came across THE PHYSIO STORE as a prime example of 21st-century health care technology and innovation in action, offering better and more accessible physiotherapy services, equipment, and tools to patients and their families.

THE PHYSIO STORE was officially launched on January 1, 2016, and is a Canadian-based online patient engagement platform that facilitates the close connection between those who need physiotherapy services and equipment, and the skilled health care professionals who focus on maintaining an optimal quality of life.

From what they say, it specifically serves the needs of those who suffer from aches, pains, or injuries, and targets a demographic that demands more online engagement. The platform also meets the needs of a growing demographic that is astute enough to be aware of their health care issues, and is open to looking for reliable, online help.

Innovation that Engages Patients and Adds Value

THE PHYSIO STORE delivers much more than a one-stop shopping experience for high-quality health care rehabilitation equipment and supplies. This state-of-the-art patient engagement platform takes advantage of cutting-edge technology offering the North American market the highest quality products and second-to-none, real-time advice to help bring the full range of health care to patients.

This is a ground-breaking value-added service, with direct consumer engagement. With features like “Ask a Physio”, patients now have comprehensive access to a licensed physiotherapist who answers their questions, and guides them on how to purchase the optimal product. Based on the interaction with the patient, the physiotherapist might also advise if more treatment is needed, or if another product would be more suitable.

This innovation is like the “Amazon” of Heath Care Rehabilitation, and presents a pioneering improvement that melds the strengths of the internet with the convenience of in-home navigation and access to licensed health care expertise – a physiotherapist remains virtually by your side every step of the way.

Patient Engagement Step-by-Step

I had a look at the site – you can start by browsing according to body part. Once your choice has been made,(say you are looking to find something to help your shoulder), you will see a selection of appropriate products. Your search function can then be refined according to a specific issue. For example, you can search for “arthritis”, “frozen shoulder”, or “rotator cuff sprain” which will generate even more specific equipment and supports according to your criteria.

If you have further questions about the size, quality, or suitability of the product for your particular issue, you have the ability to “Ask a Physio” for help. A licensed physiotherapist will work with you, informing your decision-making process, and providing advice and guidance as you need it.

THE PHYSIO STORE prides itself on offering more information about its products than any other online store in the world: you can view full specifications and documentation, in addition to links to research studies and videos, among other resources. All the information you need is literally at your fingertips. Add the products to your cart, follow the steps, and your equipment is shipped out within 24 hours.

Health Care Innovator Bill Landry

THE PHYSIO STORE was created by Bill Landry, an experienced, licensed physiotherapist who is leading innovation in the allied health care sector. Landry is a technological visionary who has revolutionized the market over more than two decades by bringing new therapies, treatments, programs, and this new patient engagement platform to the marketplace so that patients across North America can benefit from having better access to physiotherapy supplies and advice than any other time in history.

With knowledge and experience working in software development, Landry has combined his two major passions to create a patient engagement platform to meet the demand for better access to, and better communication with, healthcare providers.

This “virtualized care” model equips patients with all the information  they need to make an informed decision by having licensed physiotherapists available when they need it.

 

For more about HIMSS17 visit our Upcoming Events page.  For more about The Physio Store visit  https://www.thephysiostore.com/. For more about Tectonic contact us at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me, Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

2017 The Year of Innovative Partnerships and Public-Private Collaborations

Vendors in the health industry will continue to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions in 2017, but the new year will also likely bring an uptick in alternative transactions, such as joint ventures, partnerships, strategic alliances, and procurement that is based on risk sharing and public/private partnerships (P3s).

The broad industry shifts in 2017 will be payment for value over volume and a growing interest in wellness. These two forces, identified as reshaping the New Health Digital Economy most swiftly, are driving organizations to quickly build new capabilities to stay competitive.

Although it sometimes makes sense to buy or sell these capabilities through traditional means, increasingly organizations are looking to acquire them through alternative transactions. These partnerships will make it possible to scale faster and stay nimble while reducing the potential downside risk of full ownership.

Many providers of inpatient/outpatient care, long-term care, and other facilities are starting to change the way they think. With growing demand on healthcare providers to track their patients across the care continuum, organizations are recognizing an opportunity to partner with vendors and other healthcare organizations to better help them manage post-acute and community care. In Ontario, Canada, leaders agree that they can’t be out there alone and expect to manage patient populations, improve quality, and control costs. They say that the future of value-based payment will necessitate organizations to work together. By entering into strategic partnerships and joint ventures using a joint venture structure, they can expand footprints more quickly, capitalizing on the momentum behind the industrywide transition from volume to value. With a partnership strategy, these hospitals can grow their brands and optimize their core capabilities, while preserving their not-for-profit identities. Most importantly perhaps, they are afforded platforms for exploring new models of care delivery alongside capable partners.

Health systems are also expanding the use of joint ventures with real estate investment trusts in order to free up capital to scale programs focused on the volume to value shift. As sector-specific silos crumble and an intertwined health ecosystem emerges, working with partners in other sectors and other industries likely will become the norm. Last fall, national insurer Aetna announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with Apple to provide smartwatches to its nearly 50,000 employees and select plan members. While Aetna has analytics and care management functions, it needed a platform to bring them together. If successful, this relationship could be a boon for Apple, helping to cement its place as a platform of choice in the health ecosystem. Other similar relationships with various vendors are forming in Canada, the UK and Europe.

These partnerships will be market differentiators if a compelling value proposition can be articulated to consumers. A strong value proposition hinges on firstly, ensuring the deal structure aligns with overall strategy; secondly defining a governance structure and operating model to support it; and thirdly, considering how the deal’s benefits will be marketed to consumers. This is particular important in one payer models with universal healthcare in Canada and potentially with whatever reforms are to come under the Trump Administration in the US.

Deals should be designed from day one to change with unanticipated dynamics – operational, economic or strategic. Potential levers may include economic terms that are reset upon meeting certain milestones and shared governance models with defined steps to break deadlocks. In addition, clear performance measures should be established with mechanisms to evaluate success and exit strategies that put health outcomes and quality at the heart of the deal.

 

For more about how Innovative Partnerships and Public-Private Collaborations will affect your healthcare system or the implications for the vendor community, contact Tectonic at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me at Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

Life on MaRS

This past November, I talked about Savience, an exciting company out of the UK who were the soon-to-be announced winners of the MaRS Co-Design Challenge winning 3 out of 3 entries for which they applied.  With the Toronto Health Week kicking off in 2 months, I thought to re-post this blog because on April 5, the HealthKick Challenge co-hosted by MaRS and Life Science Nation will happen.  On this exciting day, the most high-potential health ventures in Medical devices, Pharma & biotech, and Digital health will pitch to international investors, CEOs, corporate partners, and valuable sponsors for the chance to win $20,000 for investment in their venture.  This is another way that MaRS helps to create innovation and entrepreneurship and support extraordinary companies such as Savience.

For more information on Savience, see my original blog post below.  For more information on the HealthKick Challenge, check out the Upcoming Events page on our website.

 

The British Invasion – Savience Hits The OHA Health Achieve 2016

November 1, 2016

Tectonic is setting up introductions at Health Achieve next week in Toronto for an exciting new innovation that is widely deployed in the UK and now making its mark in Ontario.  Savience has been gaining clients since their entry into Canada last year and their list includes William Osler, Quinte, and Addington and Lennox and soon to be announced winner of the MaRS Co-Design Challenge winning 3 out of 3 entries for which they applied.

By embedding today’s smart technology into the core elements of a patient’s visit; arrival, flow, and departure, Savience continues to push the boundaries of technology and change the face of healthcare in Ontario.  The team designs clinic-management solutions using multi-channel, multi-media smart technologies to connect, involve and engage patients and staff.  Further cost-effective solutions include: Outpatient Clinic Management; Emergency Department Patient Triage; Radiology clinic management; and Dentist Arrival Management.

To set up an introduction, contact Tina Silva at Tina.Silva@TectonicOnline.com who will help coordinate and make the best use of your time in what will be a very busy conference.

 

More about the Savience core products:

  • How Outpatient Clinic Management Works

Short queues mean more efficient use of staff and administrator’s time. With an easy to navigate self-service kiosk giving the patient clear information, staff are able to monitor each patient’s progress through the hospital. This starts from check-in and allows staff to access detailed patient notes.

Communication flow keeps everyone informed. Waiting times are shown on display screens and alert the patient when it is time for their appointment. Real-time updates allow staff to monitor patient numbers and whereabouts, the length of time they have been waiting, and if more patients are due to arrive, so they can organise resources and respond to congestion.

Their mobile products are integrated into Clarity, with support throughout the patient journey. The mobile technologies support the expectations of a modern hospital and enrich the patient experience.

 

  • How Emergency Department Patient Triage Works

Savience systems connect, involve and engage. Reduced queues means less stress for patients and staff. The self-service kiosk is confidential, and provides the patient with clear instructions. Its easy-to-follow graphics allow the patient to answer questions configured by clinical teams to discover pain level, symptoms, and time in pain.

Staff can immediately review how urgently medical care is needed and record the patient’s visit. Triage can be completed quickly and efficiently on arrival, when the patient is given clear directions to the right waiting area.

Staff can see how many patients are waiting, and patients can see when they will be called for treatment.

 

Savience WebSite: http://www.savience.com/about-savience/

Savience Videos: http://www.savience.com/about-savience/savience-videos/

Savience Case Studies:  http://www.savience.com/category/case-studies/

 

For more about innovators such as Savience and the added value they can bring to your organisation, contact Tectonic at info@tectoniconline.com or reach out to me, Glenn Lanteigne on LinkedIn.

 

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