CIO: 3 Rules for Meeting ONC/CMS Interoperability, While Improving Cybersecurity

Healthcare data security has been a growing concern for CIOs for the last year or so, as hackers are increasingly targeting health information. Now, with a global pandemic forcing a shift to telemedicine and remote work, and new rules from the ONC and CMS introducing more regulatory burden, healthcare CIOs have more to manage than ever. Fortunately, it is possible to roll out new capabilities while simultaneously improving cybersecurity by following these three rules:

Rule 1: Think Like an Attacker

The coronavirus pandemic has forced healthcare providers everywhere to roll out new capabilities, processes, and workflows, such as telemedicine systems and new patient check-in procedures. These measures are being taken in addition to the necessary work being done to comply with the new mandates from ONC and CMS regarding patient data accessibility. Though these changes need to be implemented quickly, it’s important to follow cybersecurity best practices to avoid providing new openings for attackers. 

When a hacker sees new systems and processes being implemented, they are thinking about:

– What software is being introduced? Are there known vulnerabilities or frequently unpatched exploits associated with it?

– How are new endpoints being added and are they secure?

– Since the new ONC and CMS rules require publicly exposed FHIR APIs, how can those be attacked? Are there social engineering exploits that can provide a way around security?

– Are there ways to perpetrate identity fraud if a patient does not need to be physically present to receive healthcare?

This approach should lead to a cybersecurity plan that puts measures in place for each identified risk. By thinking like the adversary, it is possible to identify and lock down the possible attack vectors. 

Rule 2: Minimize the Attack Surface

Every way into an organization’s network needs to be secured, monitored, and maintained. The best way to make this process as efficient and fool-proof as possible is to minimize the number of ways into the network. 

This is especially difficult in light of the ONC and CMS rules, which require that clinical systems must share data through publicly available FHIR APIs. At first, this seems like a mandate to radically expand the organization’s attack surface. Indeed, this is precisely what happens if the straightforward approach of exposing every clinical system through public APIs is followed. 

A different approach, which provides the same capabilities and compliance with the rules, would be to route all API traffic through a central hub. Attaching all the clinical systems to a single point of API access provides a number of benefits:

– Most importantly, compliance is achieved while minimizing the new attack vectors.

– All traffic between clinical systems and the outside world can be monitored from a single place.

– The API hub can act as a façade that makes legacy systems compliant with the new rules, even if those systems lack native FHIR API capabilities.

The API hub need not be an expensive new component of the network architecture. Most healthcare organizations are already using a clinical integration engine to move HL7, XML, and DICOM traffic among their internal systems. The same technology can serve as an API hub. This is especially effective if a new instance of the integration engine is placed in an isolated part of the network without full access to other systems. 

Rule 3: Have an Expert Review the Defenses

Even for healthcare organizations with cybersecurity experts on staff, it can be worthwhile to bring in a cybersecurity consultant to cross-check new implementations. Novel threats are constantly shifting and emerging, making it nearly impossible for internal IT staff to keep up with the looming threats of ransomware hacks, while also adequately carrying out the day-to-day responsibilities of their jobs. For that reason, it makes sense to bring in a professional who focuses exclusively on security. It is also often useful to have an independent review from someone who is looking at the implementation from an outsider’s perspective. Independent consultants can provide the necessary guidance, risk assessments, and other security support, to set healthcare organizations up for success and operate more securely. 

Expanding an organization’s IT capabilities often means more exposure to risk, especially when implementations are subject to time constraints. However, given the value and importance of the data that’s being generated, transmitted, and stored, it is imperative not to let cybersecurity fall out of focus. By following best practices around design, implementation, and testing healthcare organizations can rise to meet the current challenges of the pandemic, address the mandates of the interoperability rules, and simultaneously improve data security measures. 


About Scott Galbari, Chief Technology Officer

As Chief Technology Officer for Lyniate, Scott leads the development and delivery of all products and services. Scott has been in the healthcare IT domain for the past twenty years and has experience in developing and delivering imaging, workflow, nursing, interoperability, and patient flow solutions to customers in all geographies. He was most recently the General Manager for multiple businesses within McKesson and Change Healthcare and started his career as a software developer.

About Drew Ivan, Chief Product & Strategy Officer

Drew’s focus is on how to operationalize and productize integration technologies, patterns, and best practices. His experience includes over 20 years in health IT, working with a wide spectrum of customers, including public HIEs, IDNs, payers, life sciences companies, and software vendors, with the goal of improving outcomes and reducing costs by aggregating and analyzing clinical, claims, and cost data.


Voices: Patti Baicy, Director of Clinical, McKesson Medical-Surgical

This article is sponsored by McKesson Medical-Surgical. In this Voices interview, Home Health Care News sits down with Patti Baicy, director of clinical at McKesson Medical-Surgical, to learn how home health agencies have grown more sophisticated around PPE, what to understand with a potential COVID-19 vaccine and how her 20 years as a registered nurse helped prepare her for this trying moment in time.

HHCN: You’ve been at McKesson since 2001, but have had several different roles there. What are the most instructive lessons that you draw from in your career, that is most relevant to what you do today?

Baicy: I’m a registered nurse, and most of my clinical experience is as a perioperative nurse. Basically, I lived for almost 20 years in a surgical mask. I think that truly helps me better understand what’s going on in today’s market with COVID and PPE.

In terms of my McKesson experience, I was director of product development for our McKesson brand private label program, which included PPE: gloves, masks, gowns and hand-hygiene products. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with our global sourcing team on those same types of products, which has built a foundation for leading the clinical team, merging my clinical background with my product expertise.

You mentioned the time that
you’ve spent wearing PPE, which is something that most of us were unaccustomed
to until this year. How has consumer sophistication around PPE changed since
the start of the pandemic?

Prior to the pandemic, health care workers were not as concerned with isolation gowns and the ratings of those gowns. If they had a gown available, they didn’t really look and ask, “Is it a non-rated gown? Is it fluid-resistant with AAMI (American Association of the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) Level 1 or 2?”

Now, they’re aware of the different types of isolation gowns. They at least want a fluid-resistant gown, but they prefer an AAMI Level 1 or an AAMI Level 2, just to make sure they have the protection needed.

I
would say they also are looking closer at masks. They want to make sure that
the procedure or surgical mask they’re using is a three-ply to give them
protection. Of course, they would prefer to have an N95 mask, but the demand
for those is still far outpacing supply.

What is the most important
PPE/infection control protocol that has always been in place but is really
being taken seriously now in light of COVID?

Like
you said, there have always been guidelines around PPE and how it should be used.
Now, agencies are focused and looking at the latest recommendations from the
CDC to make sure that their organization is following the protocols and
guidelines that the CDC has recommended for their agency.

And
there’s just a host of information. They’re not just thinking about handwashing
anymore, they’re thinking about overall hand hygiene, and that when they can’t
have soap and water, they must be prepared with alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Is there another important
item of PPE that people may not think of, maybe something outside of those more
standard ones?

I
think, probably, the ones they’re not thinking of as often are the goggles and
face shields. There’s also a new product on the market (Theraworx Protect by
Avadim Health) for facial hygiene so that you can actually cleanse your face.
It is safe for all mucous membranes.

Do you have a sanitizer
preference that you recommend?

You
just need to make sure that it is a sanitizer and, per CDC recommendations and
FDA guidelines, that it has at least 60% of ethyl alcohol or 70% of isopropyl
alcohol. You really need to check the label on that to make sure. I would
definitely recommend a hand sanitizer from a familiar brand.

What are the supply chain
challenges that agencies should be aware of with regards to PPE, and how might
that lead them to make decisions about conserving it?

The
supply chain is strong for isolation gowns, face shields and for alcohol-based
hand sanitizer. Definitely, gloves are a challenge globally right now, so you
need to make sure that you’re using the right gloves for the right task and
that you’re using gloves when you need them without overusing them. I would
also say that the same is true with N95 masks. You need to prioritize when
you’re going to use those, or when you’re going to use just a three-ply
procedure or surgical mask.

Telehealth
changes some of this, because you would have a decreased need for PPE since you
wouldn’t be doing as many visits in a patient’s home. Having said that, there
are some things that patients need that you can’t do via telehealth. I think
you just need to prioritize the telehealth appointments, make sure that you’re
meeting the patient’s needs through those appointments, and then you are saving
your PPE for when you need to be physically with that patient. That means
masks, hand sanitizers and face shields for those visits, and for their
employees who are in an office.

What’s next for McKesson for
2021?

We
will still be focusing on PPE and infection prevention. COVID has changed the
way that we will look at infection prevention and control for the future. I
would encourage customers to review their policies, procedures, protocols, and
continue to follow the guidance that HHS and
CDC provide. We will continue our efforts to ensure that we have
inventory available for agencies, as well as looking at new products and new
innovations in the market that may help them.

I
think it’s just really staying abreast of what’s going on in this current
environment and in their community. We’re definitely living in a new time where
we’re committed to remain focused on infection prevention.

Editor’s note: This interview
has been edited for length and clarity.

McKesson Medical-Surgical
works with health systems, physician offices, extended care providers, in-home
patients, labs, payers and others across the spectrum of care to build
healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting.
For more information, visit
mms.mckesson.com.

The Voices Series is a
sponsored content program featuring leading executives discussing trends,
topics and more shaping their industry in a question-and-answer format. For
more information on Voices, please contact [email protected]

The post Voices: Patti Baicy, Director of Clinical, McKesson Medical-Surgical appeared first on Home Health Care News.

Ensuring Telehealth Providers’ Virtual Care Dollars Make Sense

Ensuring Telehealth Providers’ Virtual Care Dollars Make Sense
Don Godbee Don Godbee, Mobile Solutions Architect at Stratix Don Godbee

Telehealth and virtual care are not brand-new phenomena suddenly cobbled together as a rapid response to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the average US patient could be forgiven for thinking that it is. Indeed, virtual visits to care providers and remote patient monitoring have been available for quite some time, delivering two key benefits: 

– Providing a platform to address cost-efficiencies and accessibility to quality healthcare for the populace at large 

– Playing a key role in managing a growing population of chronically ill seniors. 

Prior to 2020, however, the rules of reimbursement and implementation for associated telehealth services were difficult to navigate, wildly differing at the state and federal level with a host of regulations further complicating matters. Federal reimbursement policies are centered on Medicare, via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – the single largest payer for seniors and chronically ill patients. Additionally, compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) dictated rigorous standards for direct and monitoring communications between care providers and patients. Complicating matters further, US states offered a patchwork of individual telehealth laws dictating separate Medicaid policies. 

The result was a lack of clarity of how healthcare providers could overcome regulatory and financial reimbursement barriers to implement effective telehealth programs as well as a lack of parity in coverage services and payments for patients. To address this at the federal level, CMS released new guidance in 2020 to relax reimbursement restrictions for providers. Now, we’re at the cusp of a new era of telemedicine where providers could widely offer:

– Virtual office visits that address traditionally in-person services such as primary care, behavioral health, and specialty care (e.g. pulmonary or cardiac health rehabilitation)

– On-demand virtual urgent care to address pressing concerns and urgently needed consultations

– Virtual broader home health services such as remote patient monitoring, outpatient disease management, and various forms of therapy (e.g. physical, speech)

– Tech-enabled home medication administration helping patients receive injectable or consumable medication via monitored self-administration

This is all, of course, dependent upon the mobile technology (e.g. tablets, wearables, etc.) and associated services that telehealth providers will rely upon to make these services happen at parity and scale for their patients. Even more importantly, virtual care programs being scaled up to cover a larger percentage of patients will fall apart if providers don’t have the resources to offer robust support and maintenance options for these devices and services. Quality of virtual care is highly dependent on persistent device and service availability and dependability. 

Whether providers have already begun purchasing the mobile devices needed or are still struggling with the choice of what devices and services they need and/or can afford, however, they now face a different quandary: How to stand up these virtual care services at scale in a sustainable way that works within current budget resources and doesn’t pass on ballooning costs to your patients?

One way to make complex mobile technology deployments financially manageable is opting for a mobile device as a service (mDaaS) model which allows you to shift from a CapEx-based spending model to an OpEx spending model for purchasing hardware and allows telehealth providers to bundle or roll up a range of devices, accessories, services, maintenance and support into a single, predictable monthly per-device price. With mobile device technology rapidly evolving, telemedicine providers will need the operational agility to pivot to different solutions and quick technology refreshes as the need arises. 

When done with the right third-party partner, it offers the additional advantages of outsourcing end-to-end support and lifecycle management to highly trained agents, who can free up precious IT resources. Most importantly, it creates a level of control over technology and spend that makes standing up virtual care programs convenient and stress-free.

There are many options to consider when expanding telemedicine services rapidly to larger patient bases, whether during disruptive events such as the COVID-19 pandemic or in the years to come. The key to making these services sustainable is finding a financing model that will free up internal resources, offer greater spending flexibility, and offer end-to-end support for your healthcare mobile technology ecosystem. 


About Don Godbee Senior Mobile Solutions Architect at Stratix

Don brings a unique perspective to mobility in the Healthcare Vertical with over 25 years of consulting and delivery of critical solutions. Don has delivered various solutions from OEM integration of sensors in medical devices to mobile point of care solutions and services with major EHR software solution providers such as Epic, Cerner, GE Healthcare, Allscripts, and McKesson.

Provider education is the missing piece to addressing patient adherence to therapy

Sponsored by RxCrossroads by McKesson

Patients benefit greatly from hub services such as case manager support and home health nurses; however, their providers are who they turn to first when they have questions. Research shows that perceived provider support and adherence directly correlate.

The most comprehensive adherence services encompass not only patient support but also provider education. RxCrossroads by McKesson employs highly trained Nurse Educators with disease-specific experience to teach providers about therapy management for a specific therapy regimen.

Patients need to be able to rely on their providers and support teams for education, empowerment and help navigating side effects, adverse events, affordability options and other important considerations throughout their chronic disease journey.

To get patients onboarded and adherent to therapy, providers first need to understand each new drug that comes to market—the side effects and risks, the benefits to patients, a profile of who would benefit most and affordability options offered by the brand.

If biopharma companies arm providers with additional education, providers can set their patients up for success and build an integrated patient and provider strategy, strengthening the investment in patient support programs. Not only will providers feel more comfortable guiding patients through their treatment plan, but they will also be able to set expectations and watch for obstacles, so they can drive more positive outcomes for patients.

Nurse Educators are deployed by area of expertise, allowing for team building between the nurses and physicians in a specific practice. These peers speak the same language, have comparable clinical experience and can connect on a level that no sales team can—because their end goal and measurement criteria are not increased scripts. They are simply giving providers the best insight into new therapies and the most up-to-date information in their field.

Nurse Educator programs are particularly crucial for 12 to 18 months during the launch of a drug to ensure market awareness and full clinical familiarity, as well as to identify any potential problem areas or populations early on. Some biopharma companies first opt for a robust launch strategy, and then employ a core group of Nurse Educators to offer adherence support to providers long term.

Nurse Educators may conduct an open visit to a practice or plan to meet one-on-one with a physician. They also offer detailed knowledge of the drug’s nuances that can help clinicians manage patient hurdles, assess a patient’s health literacy and ensure the quality of their care.

This level of support can provide a great deal of assistance to clinical staff. Nurse Educators share interests and perspectives with providers that foster relationships of trust and credibility, enabling them to act as partners and respected resources. This allows for a continued relationship and dialogue to address any questions about how to handle a certain aspect of a drug before, during and after a patient starts therapy.

Many providers share insights with Nurse Educators into why their patients were unable to start or continue the therapy (e.g., whether there were transportation or affordability concerns).

These conversations can serve as a rich source of feedback from providers regarding potential risk areas, unanticipated barriers to access and adherence and affordability issues. Biopharma companies can use this information to develop and implement more responsive programs and support.

While several companies offer independent nurse educator support, RxCrossroads’ Nurse Educator services are particularly effective, as they integrate the offering into the biopharma company’s full range of hub and clinical services that support patient access and adherence across the continuum of care.

RxCrossroads Nurse Educators can create unique and lasting partnerships between biopharma companies and providers, as two parties with one shared goal: improving patient outcomes and providing better care. Learn more about how RxCrossroads’ access and adherence solutions can help support your therapy.

 

The post Provider education is the missing piece to addressing patient adherence to therapy appeared first on Pharmaceutical Commerce.

Remote Medical Documentation Startup Augmedix Closes $25M, Reverse Merger with Malo Holding

Remote Medical Documentation Startup Augmedix Closes $25M, Reverse Merger with Malo Holding

What You Should Know:

– Augmedix closes $25 million in private placement
funding and completion of a reverse merger transaction with Malo Holdings Corp.

– Following the transaction, the merged entity will be
named “Augmedix, Inc.”, and will continue the historic and innovative
business of Augmedix. 


Augmedix, a company
specializing in providing remote medical documentation and live clinical
support services, today announced the closing of a $25 million private
placement financing and completion of a reverse merger with Malo Holdings Corp.
In connection with the financing, current investors Redmile Group, DCM, and
McKesson Ventures invested alongside new investors.  Financial advisory firms, Stifel, Nicolaus
& Company, Incorporated, B. Riley Securities, Inc., and GP Nurmenkari, Inc.
(as consulted by Intuitive Venture Partners) acted as placement agents for the
private placement.  Montrose Capital
Partners was the sponsor for this transaction.

Reverse Merger Details

Augmedix further announced the completion of a reverse
merger transaction with Malo Holdings Corp., an SEC-reporting public Delaware
corporation. Following the transaction, the merged entity will be named
“Augmedix, Inc.”, and will continue the historic and innovative
business of Augmedix.  In connection with
the financing and merger, Augmedix agreed to cause its common stock to be
quoted on the OTC Markets QB tier, subject to certain terms and conditions.

Remote Medical Documentation & Live Clinical Support

Founded in 2012, Augmedix converts natural clinician-patient
conversation into medical documentation and provides live support, including
referrals, orders, and reminders, so clinicians can focus on what matters most:
patient care. The Augmedix platform is powered by a combination of proprietary
automation modules and human-expert assistants operating in HIPAA-secure
locations to generate accurate, comprehensive, and timely-delivered medical
documentation.

Augmedix services are compatible with over 35 specialties
and are trusted by over one dozen American health systems supporting
telemedicine, medical offices, clinics, and hospitals.  We estimate that our solution saves
clinicians 2–3 hours per day, increases productivity by as much as 20%, and
increases certain clinicians’ satisfaction with work-life balance by 49%

Manny Krakaris, Augmedix Chief Executive Officer, said, “We’re thrilled to complete this financing, which we believe puts Augmedix on the path of accelerated expansion, and will enable us to broaden our operational capabilities, accelerate our technology research and product development, and strengthen our marketing and sales.”  Krakaris noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of telemedicine and enabled Augmedix to showcase its competitive advantages in the medical documentation market.  “Because the Augmedix service is accessed through mobile devices and is telemedicine application-agnostic, our innovative technology allows clinicians access to medical note documentation, regardless of their location,” Krakaris said.

Designing A Digital Experience to Drive Revenue and Patient Engagement

 Designing A Digital Experience to Drive Revenue and Patient Engagement
Bill Krause, VP and GM, Digital Experience and Consumer Engagement at Change Healthcare

With the rise of healthcare consumerism, people are looking to hospitals, health systems, and physician practices to deliver the same user-friendly, digital experiences they receive from other industries. A recent survey found that more than 80% of consumers surveyed believe “shopping for healthcare should be as easy as shopping for other common services.” Specifically, they want streamlined access points online where they can shop for and purchase healthcare, easily make appointments, understand what they need to pay, make payments, and set up payment plans – or even obtain financing for care if the estimated costs exceed their budgets. 

These types of digital experiences help providers recruit new patients and keep them engaged, which leads to better outcomes for both the health of the patient and the financial health of the practice. Unfortunately, most healthcare organizations aren’t ready to provide this level of convenience. In part, this is because they have relied on patient portals as their main digital engagement tool to date.

The problem with portals

There are a few reasons why patient portals underdeliver. First, portals are only for patients that have an existing relationship with a provider. However, the patient experience begins when consumers start shopping for care. Relying on a portal alone is a missed opportunity to generate new patient business.  

Second, portals don’t mirror what consumers expect from digital solutions. The interfaces are clunky, the functionality is limited, and the technology only supports a pull strategy, meaning that it waits for the patient to come to it rather than periodically reaching out and prompting the individual to take action.

Third, a patient must be logged into a portal before they can do anything with it. This makes it harder to schedule appointments with new physicians because there is not an established connection. In these cases, the patient must pick up the phone, wait on hold, set up an account, possibly wade through insurance approval and pre-authorization, and then make the appointment. 

Finally, portals aren’t ideal for communicating costs. While some allow the patient to pay co-pays, they aren’t designed to give realistic cost estimates, offer payment plans, suggest alternative funding sources, and so on.

Taken together, these challenges result in low, inconsistent portal use. Even if a hospital indicates that 50% of its patients access the portal, one-time or limited use should not be viewed as patient engagement. Instead, to realize true engagement, organizations should be thinking about ways to foster two-way conversations to keep new and existing patients focused on their health and how the hospital, health system, or physician practice can meet their needs. This improves patients’ experience and builds loyalty, while also reducing leakage and growing revenue. 

What are the risks of poor digital engagement? 

Without a well-considered plan for providing a retail-like shopping experience that includes transparent cost information, healthcare organizations run the risk of losing patients. This is especially important as the marketplace becomes more competitive and focused on patient experience, and retail clinics continue to pop-up around the country. 

In addition to market changes, regulatory pressures are also making patient-centric financial communications a necessity. Several states are implementing price transparency regulations, and a federal requirement is right around the corner. To meet these standards, organizations will need effective tools that reliably determine and share prices with patients in advance of their appointments.

So where do organizations go from here? 

It’s clear that patient portals are not the answer. But how can organizations do a better job of giving patients the convenience they seek? Here are four best practices to consider.

1. Evaluate your organization’s digital tools.

The first step is to take a hard look at the digital solutions you currently provide and compare them to those available from other industries, such as travel, retail, and financial services. Consumers want a digital, retail-like shopping experience where they can search local providers, compare reviews and costs, schedule their treatment, and even pay – all in one intuitive place.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that only younger people want these tools. Research shows that more and more older adults are embracing mobile activities like online banking. In fact, The Harris Poll found that 80% of Baby Boomers (individuals between 56-76 years old) “wish there was a single place to shop for and purchase care.” 

Digital tools designed to improve access and transparency while making it easier to pay create more engaged consumers and provide a better patient experience. Achieving this dual dynamic requires digital tools are part of a comprehensive end-to-end solution.  

2. Streamline access to shoppable services

These are elective procedures and screening tests that an individual can schedule in advance and include things like planned joint replacements, colonoscopies, and mammograms. Healthcare organizations offer standardized pricing for these services, allowing patients to shop around for the best price, location, and experience. 

When patients are able to use a digital tool to research a service, set an appointment, and make a payment, it can drive patient satisfaction and increase the chances the individual will choose to have the procedure with the organization supplying the tool. With 67% of consumers stating they would “shop for healthcare entirely online, like any other products and services,” streamlining access to shoppable services will drive engagement and revenue. 

3. Adopt tools that help people understand their care costs.

More than half of consumers surveyed for The Harris Poll said they have “avoided seeking care because they weren’t sure what the price would be.” The biggest hurdle to accessing care is price transparency, resulting in patients not getting the treatment they need and in poor revenue management for a practice. 

Patients are more likely to pay their portion up front when they understand what they owe and feel confident that the cost information provided has taken into consideration their current insurance, deductibles, and co-pays. A key to accurate estimates is an automated solution that checks the patient’s insurance digitally, determines the benefits, reviews the amount of any deductible, and verifies whether the individual has already met their deductible. When a patient financial tool also offers the ability to make payments or set up a payment plan, it can increase patients’ propensity to pay, boost the amount of self-pay funds the organization collects, and substantially reduce the cost-to-collect.

4. Enable digital appointment scheduling

Consumers view scheduling and rescheduling appointments as a very difficult task.  Digital solutions can address this pain point. Mobile tools and apps that patients can use to schedule appointments monitor wait times, digitally complete forms, and check-in for appointments are essential to breaking down some of the barriers to patient access. 

Before onboarding a tool like this, organizations must think through the change management challenges in getting all stakeholders on board. Historically, physicians have been hesitant to open up their calendars to permit digital scheduling. However, transparency and standardization are becoming increasingly important to meet patient demand and are necessary to make these types of tools work smoothly.

Although digital tools are gaining popularity among all generations, there are still people who prefer to pick up the phone to price, schedule, and pay for care. In addition to digital solutions, organizations should have service-oriented call centers to work with these patients. Such centers should have well-trained professionals who are available during and outside of traditional business hours so patients can access the information they need when they need it.

Relying on the status quo is not wise

Healthcare is only going to become more consumer-driven as high-deductible health plans continue to disrupt the industry. Hospitals, health systems, and physician practices cannot afford to rely on outdated technologies that don’t facilitate two-way conversations or the digital experience patients expect. To compete today and in the future, organizations need a comprehensive, retail-like solution that offers a seamless user experience and spans the entire patient journey. Tools and technologies used in combination with putting the patient first will build loyalty while also improving an organization’s clinical and financial outcomes.


About Bill Krause

Bill Krause is the Vice President of Experience Solutions at Change Healthcare. Serving the healthcare industry for over 12 years, Bill leads innovation and solution development for patient experience management at Change Healthcare. In this role, he is responsible for the development and execution of strategies that enable healthcare organizations to realize value through leading-edge consumer engagement capabilities.

Previously, Bill provided insights and direction into new product and service strategies for McKesson and Change Healthcare. He also managed business development planning, partnerships, and corporate development across a variety of healthcare services and technology lines of business for those companies.

Prior to McKesson, Bill worked at McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant, serving a variety of clients in healthcare and other industries.  He received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. He also served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy.

Cerner Invests in Xealth to Jointly Develop Digital Health Solutions for Clinicians

Digital Prescribing Platform Xealth Raises $11M to Expand Digital Health Tools

What You Should Know:

– Cerner and Xealth announce a collaboration to foster
tighter physician-patient relationships by giving patients easier access to
digital health tools.

– These assets will be prescribed directly within the physician’s EHR workflow to manage conditions including chronic diseases, behavioral health, maternity care, and surgery preparation.

– Cerner and LRVHealth have together invested $6 million
in Xealth as part of this agreement, with Cerner and Xealth planning to jointly
develop digital health solutions that extend the value of the EHR.

– Already integrated into Epic, the integration puts
Xealth in the EHR of record for more than half of the U.S. hospital systems.


Xealth, a Seattle, WA-based company enabling digital
health at scale, and Cerner
Corporation
, today announced a collaboration that will bring digital
health tools to clinicians and patients to improve the healthcare experience.
As part of this agreement, Cerner and Xealth plan to jointly develop digital health
solutions that extend the value of the electronic health record
(EHR).
Already integrated into Epic, this integration puts Xealth in
the EHR of record for more than half of the U.S. hospital systems.

In addition, Cerner
and LRVHealth have together invested $6M in Xealth. Cerner joins Xealth
investors including Atrium Health, Cleveland Clinic, Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, MemorialCare Innovation Fund, Providence
Ventures and UPMC as well as McKesson, Novartis, Philips, and ResMed.

Xealth/Cerner EHR
Integration Details

At its core, the
relationship between Xealth and Cerner aims to give patients their own digital
data so they can be more engaged in their treatment plans. The Xealth platform
is designed to help clinicians easily integrate, prescribe and monitor digital health
tools for patients from one location in the EHR. Care teams will be able to
order solutions directly from the EHR to manage conditions including chronic
diseases, behavioral health, maternity care and surgery preparation. Incorporating Xealth into Cerner’s technology and patient portal
provides easier access to personal health information and gives care teams the
ability to monitor patient engagement with the tools and analyze the effects of
increased engagement on their healthcare and recovery.

The collaboration
between Cerner and Xealth will provide care teams and patients convenience and
help improve care accessibility. Better communications and engagement with key
members of their care team will create an experience that is connected across
settings before, during and after a care encounter.

Why It Matters

During the recent
surge of COVID-19 across the world, tools that automate patient education,
deliver virtual care, support telehealth and offer remote patient monitoring
have become even more prominent, creating new methods to inform care decisions
and keep care teams and patients connected.

“Today, we have the unique opportunity to improve people’s lives by allowing active participation in their own treatment plans,” said David Bradshaw, Senior Vice President, Consumer and Employer Solutions, Cerner. “Patients want greater access to their health information and are motivated to help care teams find the most appropriate road to recovery. Xealth and Cerner are making it easier and more convenient for patients and clinicians to accelerate healthcare in a more consumer-centric experience.”

Incorporating Xealth’s
digital health platform with clinician recommendations has been shown to
increase patient engagement rates as compared to a direct to consumer approach.
The company powers more than 30 digital health solutions, connecting patients
with educational content, remote patient monitoring, virtual care platforms,
e-commerce product recommendations and other services needed to improve health
outcomes.

“In order for digital health to have lasting impact, it needs to show value and ease for both the care team and patient,” said Mike McSherry, CEO and Co-Founder of Xealth. “We strongly believe that technology should nurture deeper patient-provider relationships and facilitate information sharing across systems and the care settings. It is exciting work with Cerner to simplify meaningful digital health for its health partners.”

“Combining our expertise in developing interactive digital solutions that improve the patient experience with Cerner’s world-class platforms creates immense opportunity for our clients to better meet the needs of today’s highly connected healthcare consumer,” concluded McSherry.