News Blog

1 in 4 patients used virtual health services last year: 6 things to know
Monday, March 12, 2018

Healthcare consumers are increasingly turning to virtual health services, with 25 percent of patients reporting they received virtual care services in the previous year, up from 21 percent one year prior, according to a survey released by Accenture.
As part of its 2018 Consumer Survey on Digital Health report, Accenture surveyed 2,301 U.S. consumers ages 18 and older to evaluate their attitudes toward healthcare technology, modernization and service innovation.
Here are six things to know about the survey.
1. Of the patients who accessed care virtually, 74 percent said they were satisfied with the experience.
2. Nearly half (47 percent) of all patients surveyed said they would prefer a more immediate, virtual appointment over a delayed, in-person appointment.
3. Almost 75 percent of healthcare consumers said they would use virtual care for an after-hours appointment.
4. Around two-thirds said they would use virtual care for a follow-up appointment after seeing a physician or other healthcare professional in person.
5. Over half (54 percent) of consumers said they believe virtual care reduces patients' medical costs.
6. Forty-three percent said they like the timely care virtual technology provides.
Gohere to download the complete report.https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/telehealth/1-in-4-patients-used-virtual-health-services-last-year-6-things-to-know.html
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Look how far we've come: 93% of hospitals enable online access to health data in 2017, up from 27% in 2012
Monday, March 12, 2018

More and more patients are going online to access their health data, according to a Trend Watch report by the American Hospital Association.
The health IT issue brief highlights data from a 2016 AHA Annual Survey Information Technology Supplement it administered to community hospitals between November 2016 to April 2017.
Here are five things to know.
1. Almost every hospital and health system (93 percent) enable patients to view their health record online, up from 27 percent in 2012.
2. More organizations are allowing patients to pay their bills online, with 78 percent of hospitals and health systems featuring the service in 2017, compared to 51 percent in 2012. Features like requesting prescription refills online, scheduling appointments online and securely messaging providers have also expanded over the last five years.
3. Larger hospitals with at least 100 beds are more likely to offer comprehensive online access to health data, with 91 percent of hospitals with 300 beds or more enabling patients to download information from their health records, compared to 79 percent of hospitals with fewer than 100 beds.
4. Large hospitals with at least 300 beds are more likely to allow patients to submit their own generated data (53 percent), compared to hospitals with 100-299 beds (43 percent) and hospitals with fewer than 100 beds (30 percent).
5. "More sophisticated systems allow patients to obtain healthcare services through an online patient portal, conduct activities such as requesting prescription refills, schedule appointments, pay bills and securely message their healthcare providers," the report reads. "These activities support a patient-centered healthcare system in which patients are partners with their healthcare providers and share in decision making."

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/ehrs/look-how-far-we-ve-come-93-of-hospitals-enable-online-access-to-health-data-in-2017-up-from-27-in-2012.html
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Consumers hungry for more digital healthcare interaction
Monday, March 12, 2018

Rising demand for digital interaction between consumers and doctors is paving the way for nontraditional players to upend the healthcare industry, according to a new survey.

More than half of the nearly 2,500 consumers surveyed are comfortable contacting their physician digitally and already use available technology, according to a new survey from the consultancy Ernst & Young. The main motivators are that virtual data-sharing will reduce wait times and lower costs.

Both consumers and physicians are hungry for more connected experiences that reframe how and where care is delivered, Jacques Mulder, U.S. health leader for Ernst & Young, said in a statement.

"This … is another indicator that health is entering an era of convergence," he said.

Thirty-six percent of consumers are interested in at-home diagnostic testing, 33% are open to using a smartphone to share data and 21% would do video consultations.

There's widespread agreement among physicians that digital technology will improve care. Two-thirds of the about 350 physicians surveyed said that it would reduce the burden on the healthcare system and its associated costs, and 64% think it would help reduce doctor and nurse burnout.

The survey marks gradual improvement in the industry's embrace of digital technology. Notably, only a quarter of consumers are interested in granting physicians access to their lifestyle habits, unless it comes with added incentives.

But despite hesitation in sharing dietary and exercise information, 26% indicated that the ability to receive tailored diet and exercise plans would boost engagement, which is much lower among the 45-and-older demographic.

http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180306/NEWS/180309946

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A patient’s expertise is often undervalued
Monday, March 12, 2018

Thanks to a surprising and devastating diagnosis, I know more than most physicians about what it’s like to live with the brain cancer known as glioblastoma, everything from self-titrating my anti-epileptic medications to making sure the right ICD-10 code appears on my MRI referrals. As much as I’d rather not have this expertise, I’ve learned that it is extremely valuable for medical students, physicians, people with brain cancer, pharmaceutical companies, and others. I’ve also learned that it is undervalued.
Since I was diagnosed 20 months ago with glioblastoma — a disease I share with Sen. John McCain and about 18,000 other Americans — I’ve tried to learn all I can about the disease, its treatment, and how best to live with it. In doing that, I’ve become an expert patient, what some call an e-patient, following in the footsteps of pioneering e-Patient Dave.

I and other e-patients have a lot to offer in at least three separate areas:

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Unnecessary testing wastes money and can lead to further testing
Monday, March 12, 2018

Unnecessary testing wastes money and can lead to further testing. Why does it occur?
Almost 60% of medical personnel surveyed at a large academic medical center believed that hospitalized patients should have daily laboratory testing.
Of 1,580 attending physicians, fellows, residents, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses sent surveys, 837 (53%) responded; 393 (47%) were RNs, and 80% of those nurses felt that daily laboratory testing should be done on all patients.
Nurses strongly felt that patient safety and protection against malpractice litigation were enhanced by daily laboratory testing.


Of note is that more than half of those who returned completed surveys said they thought attendings would be uncomfortable with less testing, and 37% said they ordered unnecessary tests to satisfy attendings. However, the category of respondents who least felt daily tests were needed was attending physicians at 28%, and 84% of attending physicians said they would be comfortable if their patients had fewer laboratory tests.
Unnecessary lab testing on their units was observed by 60% of respondents, but only 37% said they had requested unnecessary testing themselves. Perhaps the unnecessary tests had been ordered by people who did not respond to the survey, or the tests were ordering themselves.
The authors of the JAMA Internal Medicine study, done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, concluded that although nurses did not order laboratory testing themselves, they might have some effect on the frequency of lab tests being done.

https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/03/unnecessary-testing-wastes-money-can-lead-testing.html




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Unnecessary testing wastes money and can lead to further testing
Monday, March 12, 2018

Unnecessary testing wastes money and can lead to further testing. Why does it occur?
Almost 60% of medical personnel surveyed at a large academic medical center believed that hospitalized patients should have daily laboratory testing.

Of 1,580 attending physicians, fellows, residents, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses sent surveys, 837 (53%) responded; 393 (47%) were RNs, and 80% of those nurses felt that daily laboratory testing should be done on all patients.
Nurses strongly felt that patient safety and protection against malpractice litigation were enhanced by daily laboratory testing.


Of note is that more than half of those who returned completed surveys said they thought attendings would be uncomfortable with less testing, and 37% said they ordered unnecessary tests to satisfy attendings. However, the category of respondents who least felt daily tests were needed was attending physicians at 28%, and 84% of attending physicians said they would be comfortable if their patients had fewer laboratory tests.
Unnecessary lab testing on their units was observed by 60% of respondents, but only 37% said they had requested unnecessary testing themselves. Perhaps the unnecessary tests had been ordered by people who did not respond to the survey, or the tests were ordering themselves.
The authors of the JAMA Internal Medicine study, done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, concluded that although nurses did not order laboratory testing themselves, they might have some effect on the frequency of lab tests being done.
Another recent survey published in Hospital Medicine asked internal medicine and general surgery residents at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania why they ordered unnecessary tests as defined by the authors.

https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/03/unnecessary-testing-wastes-money-can-lead-testing.html
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Are patients using social media to attack physicians?
Monday, March 12, 2018

I have a colleague who is a pediatrician in private practice in the suburbs. He has a great practice and loves his patients. One day, he walked in 15 minutes late to a 7:00 a.m. meeting we both attend. “Moms are calling early today.” Parents in his practice have learned to bypass their elaborate phone triage system. They have learned that if you press “1” for emergency, an actual doctor will call you back within 15 minutes, regardless of whether an actual emergency exists. When I asked what can be done to curb such behavior, he shrugged and replied, “We’ve tried a few things, but then we just get slammed on Facebook … and that’s bad for the practice.”
Another physician friend provided factual and evidence-based testimony as an expert witness during a legal proceeding. When the proceedings did not go in favor of the plaintiff, they took it upon themselves to post slanderous comments about this physician (not their own personal physician, mind you) on various online forums, including comment sections on advocacy group websites.

https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/03/are-patients-using-social-media-to-attack-physicians.html
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Online ratings have me scared for the future of medicine
Monday, March 12, 2018

When did patient satisfaction become more important than appropriate medical care? Medicine has been turned into a service with bonuses related to the patient’s satisfaction score. There is a complete disregard for the appropriate medical care if the patient is dissatisfied with what they’re told. Doctors are so afraid of losing satisfaction scores and getting sued that inappropriate medical care has become the norm. The opioid epidemic is just one example of this. Other examples include unnecessary testing when a good physical exam and history suffice.
While I agree that there should be a rapport between patient and provider, telling a patient what they don’t want to hear is bound to cause dissatisfaction. You will never please everybody no matter what kind of provider you are not what you do for your patients. So what is best?

https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2018/03/online-ratings-scared-future-medicine.html
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New Dental Care Model Helping to Solve Healthcare InequalityNew Dental Care Model Helping to Solve Healthcare Inequality
Monday, March 12, 2018

While Congress continues the seemingly endless debate over healthcare reform, we need to remember that community-based solutions are addressing our health equity crisis right now. The Community Dental Health Coordinator(CDHC), along with improved Medicaid dental benefits, are proven, complementary solutions to a complex problem.

First, consider the challenge. 2.2 million people visit hospital emergency departments (ED) each year for dental pain, according to the ADA's Health Policy Institute. 91% of adults aged 20-64 have caries, the disease that causes tooth decay and cavities, and nearly a third (27%) go untreated, according to the CDC. Almost half (47%) of people over age 30 have some form of gum disease.

These statistics aren't just numbers. If unchecked, infection from severe tooth decay may develop bacteria-filled abscesses with potential to spread to other parts of the body. Severe gum disease has been associated with increased risk of several other chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

But many Americans face barriers to care such as low income, lack of awareness of available public health resources, low health literacy, and transportation and childcare challenges. Compounding these challenges is that while Medicaid includes dental coverage for children, “dental benefits for Medicaid-eligible adults are optional. States have considerable flexibility in determining the scope of dental services covered. As a result, Medicaid adult dental coverage varies tremendously across states, and is [sometimes] limited to emergency services such as tooth extractions, or to specific populations such as pregnant women,” according to the Center for Health Strategies. In Maryland for example, adult Medicaid enrollees are more likely to visit the hospital to treat chronic dental conditions than any other adult group, according to DentaQuest. Many people across the country without a dental benefit often turn to the ED for non-emergency dental pain instead of a dentist, which can cost the health system $400 - $1,500 per ED visit compared to $90 - $200 for a dentist appointment.
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180227/SPONSORED/180229930
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7 big announcements from HIMSS18
Monday, March 12, 2018

More than 43,000 people descended on Las Vegas last week for the Health Information and Management Systems Society annual meeting. The buzz at HIMSS has shifted from meaningful use and health IT adoption, to tapping into artificial intelligence, generating actionable data, and, importantly, embracing consumerism.

And in case you missed it, here's a roundup of some of the big announcements that happened at HIMSS18.

1)Alphabet announced the Google Cloud Healthcare application programming interface, which can pull data from electronic health records and other sources. It relies on DICOM, FHIR and other standards to extract and gather data for machine learning. The company also announced that the Google App Engine and Cloud Machine Learning Engine support HIPAA compliance.

2)CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced the Trump administration's MyHealthEData initiative, through which the government intends to give patients more control over their data. Verma also announced an overhaul of the government's EHR incentive programs. White House adviser Jared Kushner spoke before Verma, calling for greater interoperability. The Trump administration is pushing for greater patient control of health data. "Medical data belongs to the patient," Kushner said.

3)Cerner Corp. will add Salesforce's Health Cloud and Marketing Cloud to its HealtheIntent big data platform. The combination will better engage consumers and providers, according to the company.

4)Validic launchedValidic Impact, a remote-monitoring platform that connects to at-home medical devices and wearables for tracking patients with chronic conditions and in post-acute care. The platform integrates directly into EHR and care-management systems.

5)UnitedHealthcare is bringing the Apple Watch into its United Healthcare Motion wellness program. UnitedHealthcare Motion participants pay tax and shipping for an Apple Watch and then apply earnings from the program to "pay off" the cost of the device. They will own it after they have racked up enough activity.

6)Data network Human API and the CMS will push the CMS' new Blue Button 2.0 API through Human API's network, making the tool available to 53 million Medicare patients. Third-party developers and providers can use the API to integrate claims information from Medicare beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries, in turn, can link their information to third-party applications.

7)Epic Systems Corp. has integrated Nuance's AI-powered virtual assistant into its EHR. Now, providers will be able to ask for lab results, medication lists, visit summaries and other information in the Epic Haiku mobile app. Also, scheduling staff will be able to use the virtual assistant to modify appointments via voice technology.

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