News Feature | August 15, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — August 15, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Healthcare IT News For VARs

In the news, a survey shows EHR use can equal lower cost per patient admission. Also, the Pew Charitable Trust has appealed to legislators for a better review process of new medical devices. In addition, Apple is discussing partnerships for its “HealthKit” cloud-based information platform.

Advanced EHR Use Is Shown To Save Hospitals Money

According to the American Journal Of Managed Care, a survey conducted through the National Inpatient Sample and the Health Information Management Systems Society was analyzed to determine whether advanced EHR use in hospitals had a beneficial effect in lowering the cost of patient care. Included in the survey were over five million individuals and 550 US hospitals, 18.9 percent of which were using advanced EHRs. The study found that hospitals that used advanced EHRs demonstrated a lower cost per patient admission than comparable entities with similar case mixes.

Group Urges EHR Interoperability For Improved Medical Device Reviews

The Pew Charitable Trusts has sent a letter to Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) of the Senate Finance Committee to call for improvements around the review process of newly approved medical devices. Pew Charitable Trusts specifically calls out the potential benefits the use of EHRs could bring in the assessment process as long as certain conditions are met. Read more at EHR Intelligence.

Apple Seeks Vendors For HealthKit Partnership

Apple is currently discussing partnership with Allscripts, as well as several hospitals as they determine how hospitals can best use their “HealthKit” cloud-based information platform. According to iHealthBeat, Apple’s June launch of the mobile application and platform has been followed by the announcement of partnerships with companies including Epic and the Mayo clinic.

Mobile Carts Are Improving Workflow And Patient Safety

Health IT Outcomes reports on successes that Maine General Medical Center has seen in their equipping every patient room with a mobile workstation. The Medical Center was seeing lag times of up to 16 minutes in the use of EHRs over traditional charts. To overcome that drop in efficiency, they looked to Ergotron’s workstations on wheels, a change that has been received favorably by staff and contributed to the ease-of-use of their bar coding system, a key component in improving patient safety.

Google Launches Preview Of Healthcare API

Google has entered the mobile app development arena with its unveiling a preview version of its APIs for health app developers. The APIs fall into three categories: sensors, recording, and history. It’s expected that the search giant’s roll out of its Fit platform would drive a surge in the number of users looking to collect personal health data, as well as an increase the in range of information captured. Read more at Fierce Bio Tech IT.

Healthcare IT Talking Points

Since CMS announced the new ICD-10 implementation deadline of October 10, 2015, the progress of clinical facilities preparing for the transition has been closely monitored. During a recent webinar (“ICD-10 Resources: Get On The Road To 10”), Dr. Ricardo Martinez fielded a question about vendor impact on physician readiness specifically, since hospitals in contrast seem to be well-prepared for the transition. Dr. Martinez implicated a lack of vendor software modifications as a key challenge that physicians face in meeting CMS transition requirements, according to EHR Intelligence.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Healthcare IT Resource Center.