Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (AIMMC), a 408-bed hospital in Chicago with a Level I trauma center and a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, was facing a crisis of indecipherable and incomplete documentation in its GI and surgery departments. A study revealed illegible documentation and missing signatures, dates and time stamps. Something needed to be done.


The facility turned to Nuance Healthcare for a speech-enabled EHR system that could be deployed rapidly and still maintain physician satisfaction.


With 100 percent adoption of the system, the benefits turned out to be huge: complete and universally available electronic patient records, increased physician efficiency, Meaningful Use compliance, and the ability to bill more accurately for services.


Read this new white paper to learn more about AIMMC's success. What questions do you have about speech recognition?

The advancement of technology has enabled us to work untethered from our traditional office environments. The increase in the mobile workforce also necessitates the adoption of security solutions that protect the devices (laptops, tablets, USB stick etc.) and data that is travelling (physically), even when it is at rest.  Industry surveys show that almost 86 percent of organizations have had laptops lost or stolen with 56 percent of those with data being breached [7]. Add to this the increased vigilance required for medical and Personal Health Information (PHI) and we quickly understand the need for solutions like full disk encryption to prevent unauthorized access to data.

In the healthcare sector, we find acts like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandating the encryption of PHI at rest and in motion [See HIPAA Security Rule - “Implement a mechanism to encrypt and decrypt EPHI.” Rule 164.312(e)(2)(ii), 164.312(a)(2)(iv)]. However, the adoption of such security solutions, even though mandatory, is sometimes circumvented by end users and organizations due to disk encryption solutions not being transparent enough and slowing down the host system significantly.

Companies like Intel Corporation hope to mitigate the impact of system slowdown through the use of technologies like Intel® Advanced Encryption Standards – New Instructions (AES-NI) which is hardware-accelerated encryption/decryption that may provide enough performance jump to offset the system performance degradation due to disk encryption solutions.


By using Intel® AES-NI, we were able to observe consistent and significant performance improvement in AES algorithm encryption/decryption over software-based Full Disk Encryption. Specifically, 74 percent (average) for encryption and 75 percent (average) for decryption, over a wide range of file buffer sizes and two of the most common forms of disk drives - standard and SSD drives.


Read a new white paper that describes AES-NI and full data encryption.


What questions do you have about hard drive encryption?

Global health reform includes reducing the cost of health to patients. As part of this, healthcare organizations need to reduce costs, including IT cost reduction. Healthcare organizations must make a tradeoff and achieve a balance between how much budget to allocate to primary costs associated with delivering great patient care vs secondary costs such as information privacy and security.

A key question is: when is healthcare information privacy and security good enough?

Some healthcare organizations use regulatory compliance as a minimalist approach to answering this question, where only the bare minimum information privacy and security is done to achieve compliance with regulations such as HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, HITECH Act Meaningful Use, or other similar regulations globally.

Other organizations seek to comply with IT security standards such as ISO 27001 for Information Security Management Systems.

Increasingly, healthcare organizations are realizing the value of risk assessments as much more than a regulatory or standards compliance checkbox, but a practical tool and best practice for answering the question of when privacy and security is good enough. Risk assessments bring a measured approach to privacy and security where risks are mitigated through application of safeguards until residual risks are below a baseline of acceptable risk set by the healthcare organization. This avoids information privacy and security becoming a budgetary black hole, while also giving an objective and consistent approach across people and time to managing risks and maximizing the value of the limited budget available by guiding its allocation to highest priority risks.

A new white paper, Improving Healthcare Risk Assessments to Maximize Security Budgets, discusses practical strategies to maximize the value of risk assessments in terms of both guiding the allocation of limited budget to reduce the most business risk, as well as avoiding budgetary black holes. Also, watch the video below for more insight into how this paper can help you with your healthcare risk assessments.


What questions do you have?


Healthcare organizations today are under pressure to make strategic IT decisions based upon urgent needs. The challenge is to make decisions that satisfy those urgent needs -- as well as future requirements.


InterSystems and Intel recently hosted a webinar to find out more about solving urgent health IT integration challenges while focusing on the future. In the webinar, posted below as a video, you'll discover how Kettering Health Network, a large Integrated Delivery Network (IDN) comprised of more than 60 facilities and over 1,200 physicians, replaced an enterprise-wide legacy interface engine with InterSystems Ensemble in just four months. This transition to Ensemble not only helped it solve critical legacy interface issues, but also established a technology platform that will expedite critical projects for years to come.


You'll also learn, from Advisory Board Company analyst Dave Garets, how healthcare organizations are leveraging their technology infrastructures to support their missions and transition through the current changes in Healthcare IT.

What questions do you have about solving today’s health IT problems while focusing on long-term needs?


Last month at HIMSS12, we had the opportunity to sit down with Glen Tullman, chief executive officer of Allscripts, and Dr. David Moore, clinical informatics medical director at Cornerstone Healthcare (N.C.), and talk about the advantages, pain points and next steps for electronic health records.

In the below video conversation, hear how EHRs helped Cornerstone grow its practice and improve patient care simultaneously, and how companies like Allscripts work with healthcare facilities to assist with implementation and adoption.

What questions do you have about electronic health records?


Primary care practices are at the heart of new, patient-centered care delivery models that promise to improve outcomes, while increasing the efficiency and sustainability of the healthcare system. Whether a practice wants to become part of an ACO, or simply improve care, it’s clear that today’s primary care physicians must deliver more team-oriented, prevention-focused care with tighter coordination across the continuum of care.


Electronic health records (EHRs) and other healthcare information tools are essential to accomplishing this shift. By successfully adopting and utilizing these tools, practices are better able to identify high-risk patients, provide them with more comprehensive care, assess outcomes, earn performance-based compensation, and share information securely both within and outside the practice.


New Pueblo Medicine (NPM), an independent practice of seven board-certified internal medicine physicians based in Tucson, Arizona, is a leader in this transformation. New Pueblo is thriving thanks to an ongoing commitment to improving care, responding to regulatory and compensation changes, and remaining viable as a small, independent practice.


New Pueblo has created new roles and responsibilities and engages patients in novel ways. The practice has deployed a range of healthcare IT solutions and joined in the formation of Arizona Connected Care, a physician-driven ACO. New Pueblo’s journey suggests valuable lessons both for practice leaders and for hospitals and health planners who want to work effectively with primary care practices in a fast-changing healthcare landscape.


Read this new white paper on New Pueblo’s adoption of health IT practices to learn how it took vital steps to implement EHRs, introduced important workflow changes, and realized better data and better results.

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