United States Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.)invited constituents to a forum on the new health care law at his Delaware County office, soliciting input on their early experiences with it KYW News Radio reported.
Those attending the forum, to a person, branded the Affordable Care Act as anything but, the news report said.
“We’ve taken patients who have understood a system that was basically based on co-pays and little to no out-of-pocket expenses, to basically a high deductible system — like that,” said Dr. Marie DeMario, a general practitioner in Newtown
Next Wave Connect goes live with a deeply committed community of 27 healthcare industry enterprises, comprising over 400 hospitals operating in more than 30 states.
Next Wave Health, an investment advisory firm and innovator in healthcare information technology, announced its most recent venture, the formation of Next Wave Connect, provider of the first smart social networking application designed specifically to help the healthcare industry solve common problems and develop best practices.
The cloud-based software, Next Wave Connect (CONNECT), enables healthcare professionals and peers, of all types, to collaborate within social networking communities, giving them a forum for solving the industry’s most challenging problems. Next Wave Connect became available today at the CHIME13 Fall CIO Forum, although 27 industry-leading organizations have already become founding members.
“Industry response has been overwhelmingly positive,” stated Ivo Nelson, founder of Next Wave Health. “Next Wave Connect has a stellar team of leaders in place, which accounts for much of the confidence we’re seeing this early in the game.” Drex DeFord, CEO of Next Wave Connect, is a 25-year veteran in healthcare IT and acts as an advisor to Next Wave Health. In addition, Mike Davis has joined as executive vice president of research and analytics, bringing over 35 years of healthcare strategy and expertise to Next Wave Connect, including leadership roles at HIMSS Analytics and Gartner, Inc.
The 27 founding member organizations that have already enrolled with Next Wave Health include Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Rush University Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Sharp HealthCare, among others. They represent every model of healthcare: integrated delivery networks including small group practices, accountable care organizations, academic medical centers, children’s hospitals, research institutes, and community hospitals.
Darren Dworkin, CIO at Cedars-Sinai, said, “We’ve looked at many enterprise software tools on the market today, but couldn’t find one that would flex to our healthcare needs until we saw Next Wave Connect. It’s the first enterprise social networking application we’ve seen that helps us collaborate within Cedars-Sinai, and allows us to do so with our peers across the industry. We’re all trying to solve the exact same problems at the exact same time-it makes sense for us to work together. Until now, we haven’t had the right social tools.” CONNECT helps organizations address issues such as meaningful use, ICD10, privacy and security, new reimbursement models, and many other challenges.
CONNECT is a service-oriented product that actively provides the expertise of community managers and advisors to assist members in creating professional communities and facilitating their collaboration. The managers help set up groups that connect members with common interests and issues. They also introduce groups to advisory council experts (ACEs), industry veterans with deep expertise in healthcare industry subjects. ACEs answer questions, assist members in making connections, and ultimately create and publish resolutions. ACEs that CONNECT members have access to include: well-known CIO and Healthcare IT blogger Ed Marx; Rick Skinner, CIO at University of Virginia Health System; Marc Probst, CIO of Intermountain Healthcare, Jeffrey Ferranti, M.D., chief information officer and vice president for Medical Informatics at Duke Medicine, to name a few.
“Today’s healthcare problems are complicated, and solving them requires a collective effort from a multitude of specialties,” said DeFord. “CONNECT facilitates this collaboration, allowing healthcare providers, payers and vendors to work together in a unique online community, crowd-sourcing solutions that result in smarter, safer, and more efficient healthcare.”
CONNECT also allows members to designate their communities as “open”, allowing anyone to participate, or “closed”. Closed communities require participants to be pre-approved, and limit conversations to a private circle of collaborators.
Next Wave Connect is built on the SSM 2.0 technology platform and will launch new features regularly. As a cloud-based application, upgrades will be available to members immediately, without requiring healthcare IT departments to track or implement changes.
ECRI Institute (www.ecri.org), an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, announced that Methodist Hospital of Southern California, Arcadia, CA, is the winner of its 8th Annual Health Devices Achievement Award.
The award recognizes an outstanding initiative undertaken by an ECRI Institute member healthcare institution that improves patient safety, reduces costs, or
otherwise facilitates better strategic management of health technology.
Methodist Hospital’s winning submission, Redefining Medical Equipment Management and Giving a Solution to Vulnerabilities from New Medical Device Technology, describes its development of a new integrated systems management program that identifies equipment vulnerabilities related to patient safety, information availability, and cybersecurity that result from the introduction of advanced and increasingly complex medical devices in the healthcare setting.
“We are honored that ECRI Institute has recognized the innovative systems-based approach our team took to address medical device cybersecurity vulnerabilities,” says Anthony Coronado, biomedical engineering manager, Methodist Hospital. “Our integrated systems management program was developed by a team who was committed to ensuring patient safety and delivering better healthcare.”
The hospital’s biomedical engineering team revised its procedures for incoming inspections and ongoing device oversight to include verifying the cybersecurity of networked devices and the protected health information they contain.
“The cybersecurity risk with medical devices is a serious and emerging concern which most hospitals have yet to significantly address,” says ECRI Institute’s James Keller, Jr., vice president, health technology evaluation and safety. “We congratulate Methodist Hospital for this important initiative—it sets a great example for other hospitals on how to tackle this issue.”
Experts from Methodist Hospital of Southern California are featured presenters in ECRI Institute’s October 16, 2013, web conference, “Tackling Medical Device Cybersecurity.” A formal award presentation will be made at Methodist Hospital of Southern California on November 7, 2013. A complete description of the award-winning initiative will be featured in an upcoming edition of ECRI Institute’s Health Devices journal and on the ECRI Institute website.
The ratings culture in the U.S. has exploded in the last decade with consumers turning to reviews for dining, shopping, vacationing, and even home improvements. Now, as they spend more of their own money on health and wellness, consumers are beginning to search for rating systems to guide their decision making. Suddenly consumers want to see stars, grades, and scores on their doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies.
At the same time, healthcare companies jockeying for an edge in this era of value are looking more comprehensively at the customer experience. Insurers that serve Medicare beneficiaries, for example, stand to gain more than $5 billion in bonus payments linked directly to patient feedback before 2014. Reimbursement for hospitals is shifting as well.
Connect to the PwC report.
Eleven percent of U.S. CIOs interviewed recently say they will expand their IT teams in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report. This compares to 12 percent in the previous quarter. In addition, 65 percent of CIOs plan to hire only for open IT roles, 19 percent expect to put hiring plans on hold, and 5 percent plan to reduce their IT staff in the fourth quarter.
In the same survey, 86 percent of CIOs said they are somewhat or very confident about their companies’ prospects for growth in the fourth quarter, and 64 percent said they are somewhat or very confident that their firms will invest in IT projects in the fourth quarter.
“IT hiring managers remain selective when hiring, but know they need to move fast to acquire top talent in hot specialty areas such as networking and help desk support,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Nearly seven in 10 CIOs surveyed cited current recruiting difficulties. Many firms are increasing their focus on retention because candidates in these areas of IT can be hard to find.”
The IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees in 23 major metro areas. Robert Half Technology has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.
Big data investments in 2013 continue to rise, with 64 percent of organizations investing or planning to invest in big data technology compared with 58 percent in 2012, according to a survey by Gartner. However, less than eight percent of survey respondents have actually deployed.
“The hype around big data continues to drive increased investment and attention, but there is real substance behind the hype,” said Lisa Kart, research director at Gartner. “Our survey underlines the fact that organizations across industries and geographies see ‘opportunity’ and real business value rather than the ‘smoke and mirrors’ with which hypes usually come.”
The Gartner survey of 720 Gartner Research Circle members worldwide, which was conducted in June 2013, was designed to examine organizations’ technology investment plans around big data, stages of big data adoption, business problems solved, data, technology and challenges.
The survey found that of the 64 percent of organizations investing or planning to invest in big data technology in 2013, 30 percent have already invested in big data technology, 19 percent plan to invest within the next year, and an additional 15 percent plan to invest within two years.
Industries leading big data investments in 2013 are media and communications, banking, and services. Thirty-nine percent of media and communications organizations said that they have already invested in big data, followed by 34 percent of banking organizations and 32 percent of services firms. Planned investments during the next two years are highest for transportation (50 percent), healthcare (41 percent) and insurance (40 percent). However, every vertical industry again shows big data investment and planned investment.
From a regional point of view, North America continues to lead investments with 38 percent of organizations surveyed saying that they have invested in technology specifically designed to address the big data challenge. Asia/Pacific organizations were notably ambitious with 45 percent indicating that they plan to invest during the next two years. Consistent with Gartner experience, EMEA and Latin America tend to lag in technology adoption, for which big data is no different.
Regardless of geography, investment typically has different stages that organizations go through. It starts with knowledge gathering, followed by strategy setting. The investment is small, and mostly consists of time. Then it is typically followed by an experiment or proof of concept. Still, the investment is small and tentative. Then, after completing a successful pilot, the first deployments take place. Here the investment curve rises. Over time, business operations start to rely on the deployments, and the investments move from implementing systems to managing them.
“For big data, 2013 is the year of experimentation and early deployment,” said Frank Buytendijk, research vice president at Gartner. “Adoption is still at the early stages with less than eight percent of all respondents indicating their organization has deployed big data solutions. Twenty percent are piloting and experimenting, 18 percent are developing a strategy, 19 percent are knowledge gathering, while the remainder has no plans or don’t know.”
Looking at big data adoption for those organizations that have made investments, 70 percent have moved past the early knowledge gathering and strategy formation phases and into piloting (44 percent) and deployment (25 percent). Among those planning to invest during the next two years, 80 percent are in the earlier stages (knowledge gathering and strategy phase).
The survey revealed that there are a wide range of business problems being addressed using big data, although there are some clear patterns. In Gartner’s 2012 and 2013 studies, business cases that improve process efficiency and business cases around customer experience dominate big data wish lists. In the 2013 survey, 55 percent of organizations said that they are currently addressing enhanced customer experience using big data, while 49 percent are using big data to address process efficiency.
Some interesting comments about the digital transformation from Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo. Dave Aron, research vice president and Gartner Fellow, to share his views on how the digital age is impacting CIOs today and into the future.
Q: There is a lot of talk about the digital world and digital strategies. However, what does “digital” mean?
Dave: Digital refers to the superset of all electronic forms of information and technology. Including online, mobile and social marketing channels, smart devices, sensors, factory networks, technologies embedded in products like cars, the internet of things. It is different to what enterprise IT normally refers to, because it includes operational technology, technology outside a company’s control (e.g. consumer devices) and technology in products as well as processes. It is not just digital marketing.
Q: Is digital the same as IT?
Dave: It might seem like it, since everything we are talking about is information and technology, but the way the IT department and the use of the term IT has evolved in most companies and public sector agencies, it is much more limited – normally focused on automation services for the main processes of the company, e.g. ERP. Digital is much more than that – front office/products as well as back office/ processes, IT/OT, consumerization, digital business strategy etc.
Q: Does a digital business strategy replace an IT strategy? Does a CIO need both?
Dave: IT strategy is almost always downstream from business strategy. Once the business strategy is decided, the IT strategy answers the question “How can we use IT to help the business win/ succeed?” Digital business strategy is not a separate artifact – it is a part of top level business strategy, and answers the question, “How can our business survive and thrive in an increasingly digital world?” IT strategy is a business question with a technical answer. Digital business strategy is a digital question, with a business answer, which may include non-digital solutions, such as getting into different businesses, or changing strategic posture. A classic example is logistics companies such DHL, UPS, FedEx getting into financial services for their clients, based on digital (informational) capabilities.