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CHIME Responds to ONC, CMS Proposed Meaningful Use Stage 2

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) welcomes today’s announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC),on a proposed rule that would give healthcare organizations and professionals a greater chance to continue participation in the Meaningful Use program in 2014.
While the proposed changes are complex, CHIME believes the adjustments will ensure broad program participation and will enable providers to continue their Meaningful Use journey.

“If the government acts quickly to finalize the proposed rule, it will provide the flexibility needed for our members and their organizations to adequately optimize newly deployed technology and ensure success of the program,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO..
According to the proposed rule, Eligible Professionals, Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals will be allowed to use 2011 Edition Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT), 2014 Edition CEHRT or a combination of the two Editions to meet Meaningful Use requirements in 2014. Because providers are at various Stages and are scheduled to meet different Stage requirements in 2014, CMS and ONC also have proposed giving providers the option of meeting Stage 1 requirements or Stage 2 requirements.

However, CHIME is concerned that the timing of these changes may not afford hospitals a chance to take advantage of the proposed flexibility. Given the late date of this announcement, it is imperative that CMS and ONC take tangible steps as quickly as possible to finalize this rule to ensure the maximum positive impact for EHs and CAHs, which are nearing their final reporting period, beginning July 1.

CHIME will continue to evaluate the proposed rule to ensure full understanding of all its provisions, and if necessary, seek additional clarifications.

New York Hospital Getting Telemedicine Program

Clifton-Fine Hospital in Star Lake, N.Y., is getting a new telemedicine program. The Watertown Daily Times reports that Clifton-Fine Hospital is putting out the word that its services will expand with telemedicine.

As part of funding through the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, Clifton-Fine will be able to provide some advanced medical services in-house.

“I’m very excited about it, “ hospital Administrator Robert L. Seamon said. “Transportation is an issue for a lot of our patients.”

Specialized video equipment will allow the hospital’s primary care clinic to have the patient at Clifton-Fine while a specialist examines him or her from a hospital in Syracuse or Watertown, for example. A nurse stays with the patient and assists with the examination. The equipment is sensitive enough that a doctor on the other end can hear what is happening through a stethoscope or view a digital image of a rash.

Delaware Hospital Rolls out New EHR

It wasn’t long before Lewes, Delaware’s Beebe Healthcare’s new electronic health records system started showing its value, the Cape Gazette reported.

“I admitted a patient a few days ago for a stroke,” said Jeff Hawtof, MD, a general practitioner and vice president of Beebe’s medical operations and informatics, told the newspaper. “Our new system reaches out to a national pharmacy database. I know that one particular medication can potentially cause strokes at a higher dose.”

Read more here.

Connecticut Hospital Association Issues Dire Report on CT Hospitals

ctThe state’s 30 acute care hospitals have lost 1,400 jobs in the last year and their operating income was down by $175 million in 2013 compared with the year before, the Connecticut Hospital Association said.

The Hartford Courant said the dire report, ahead of official filings, is aimed at lawmakers and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as the association works to repeal a tax that it says is hurting the public by forcing cutbacks in services.

“Hospitals have done extraordinary things to minimize the impact of the tax on hospital patients. But it is very challenging,” the Wallingford-based association said in a written release, which also said the hospitals have “reduced staff salaries and benefits.”

Survey: Disaster Recovery Measured in Days, Not Hours

TwinStratta, a cloud-integrated storage solution, said results of its “Industry Trends: Data Backup in 2014” survey shows organizations recovery from a technology disaster in days, not hours. Conducted between December 2013 and January 2014, the report analyzed responses from 209 CIOs and IT professionals.

The results indicate an urgent need for organizations to make more improvements to their backup strategies with one in five organizations experiencing back-up failures at least monthly and one in 10 weekly. As a result, 53 percent of organizations plan to make changes to their backup strategy this year. Incorporating cloud storage was the remedy most often cited by these respondents.

The full report and its accompanying infographic can be downloaded at: http://www.twinstrata.com/backup-survey-2014.

Failures and Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery was the area where backup strategies were most under stress. Specifically:
Just 12 percent predict they can recover from a site disaster within a couple hours. Cloud storage users were twice as likely to recover in that timeframe (20 percent) as non-cloud storage users (nine percent).
Sixty-three percent of organizations measure site recovery time in days, with 29 percent requiring four days or more.
More than half of organizations experience backup failure multiple times a year due to a host of issues from connectivity failure (25 percent), equipment failure (21 percent) or file corruption (18 percent).

Management & Maintenance

As organizations try to minimize the resource commitment required by their backup strategies, the survey found the results on management and maintenance standards alarming. Specifically the report found:
Seventy-five percent of respondents are backing up more data than they did last year, and 21 percent are backing up at least twice the data as last year. Only three percent report backing up less data.
A surprising 59 percent of organizations keep backups in only one location, typically a single, physical site.
More than half spent six or more hours managing and maintaining their backups, and 14 percent spent more than 20 hours.
Individual applications were at greatest risk, with nearly a quarter of organizations backing up applications less often than monthly and, in some cases never.

PwC Best in KLAS

PwC announced that it has been named Best in KLAS for Revenue Cycle Transformation by KLAS Research, which specializes in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare vendors.

The “2013 Best in KLAS: Software and Services” report is intended to help healthcare providers identify the best healthcare vendors across multiple segments based on clients’ feedback. The results reflect client satisfaction ratings from healthcare professionals and clinicians at more than 4,500 hospitals, and 2,500 clinics and other healthcare providers.

“We are honored by the recognition of our team’s leadership in delivering results to health organizations across the country” said John Dugan, PwC partner and US health services revenue transformation leader. “It’s great to see the industry acknowledgement of our strategy to execution focus and how we are helping clients optimize overall revenue management, improve financial performance, and prepare for the evolving new health economy.”

KLAS (KLASresearch.com) independently monitors and reports vendor performance and helps healthcare organizations make informed decisions by providing them with accurate, honest and impartial vendor performance information based on candid evaluations by their peers. The annual Best in KLAS report provides details of KLAS Performance Data on software and professional services in categories that provide the broadest operational and clinical impact to healthcare organizations.

Tangled Web of Apps Stunting Technology Transformation

A study of 1,000 CIOs and senior IT decision makers by Capgemini, shows the tangled web of applications within international organizations is getting more complex, putting further strain on the IT department and stunting digital transformation.

According to the study, over the last three years the number of CIOs who believe their business has more applications than it needs has increased from just over a third (34 percent) to nearly half (48 percent). Just 37 percent believe the majority of their applications are mission-critical. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) believe that at least one-fifth of their current applications share similar functionality and should be consolidated, and 57 percent believe that at least a fifth of their applications should be retired or replaced.

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