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Louisiana is known for a lot of great things—think seafood and southern Hospitality—but the state is also becoming a hotbed of healthcare IT development. The nickname Silicon Bayou has been tossed around a few times to describe the great innovation going on in the region.


For example, the second CajunCodeFest kicks off tonight in Lafayette and will be the largest healthcare developer forum in the United States. Last year, more than 275 people attended the event, with 115 participants from 15 states and three countries. This year, teams from all over the country are expected to participate in the 27-hour coding competition that provides participants the opportunity to transform “data” into healthcare solutions. The data released will be used to create solutions that encourage patients to "Own your Own Health” to make knowledgeable and informed decisions about their healthcare.


Heavy hitters from the health IT world will be on hand, including Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Intel is proud to be a sponsor and it should be a great event that moves healthcare information technology forward. Follow us on Twitter @IntelHealthIT as we will be live tweeting and sharing photos, and watch for a recap after the event that will hightlight the winners and innovative technology. The hashtag is #CCF2.


What questions do you have?

As HIMSS13 approaches next week, we conclude our pre-show guest blog series from health IT industry experts. Below is a guest contribution from Ashley Rodrigue, Healthcare Ambassador at Lenovo, on workflow and point-of-care devices such as tablets and convertibles.


With a variety of different workflows and use cases in healthcare environments, flexible technology ecosystems are essential. To that end, when it comes to point-of-care devices, one of the cardinal rules in effective HIT management is: One Size Does Not Fit All.


Many device manufacturers have responded to this challenge by expanding their portfolios to support a wide range of needs. Over the past few years, we’ve seen new categories of mobile computing emerge and the number of device options increase. As a result, we’ve also seen the number of devices that a person uses per day increase significantly as well.  It’s interesting to compare the differences between devices, but even more interesting perhaps, is to look at the commonalities that could potentially lend themselves to convergence.


Some of the hottest devices for mobility and point-of-care are tablets and Ultrabooks™. The interesting thing about tablets, though, is that the accessories often serve the purpose of making them more like notebooks. Many users require a physical keyboard or a case that can prop the screen up. Similarly, some of the most exciting Ultrabooks have tablet attributes, like touch screens and app based usability.


It is not uncommon for individuals to use and even carry one of each. Therefore, it makes sense that some of the newest and most desired devices are convertibles that provide the best of both in one solution. Windows* 8 Professional Ultrabooks with tablet-like touch screens that twist, flip, bend over backwards, and detach are becoming increasingly popular.


The great thing about this particular type of convergence is that it can result in better outcomes for clinical staff, IT professionals, and healthcare organizations. For clinical professionals, using one device can streamline user experience and provide a nice blend of performance and mobility with a solution that does not limit functionality.


This can result in better workflows, increased efficiency, and better patient experiences at the point-of-care. For IT professionals, these devices introduce far less risk because, even though they have tablet attributes, they can be managed and secured like traditional PCs. For organizations, in addition to the benefits already mentioned, the total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with deploying fewer devices is less. For these reasons, it’s no surprise that convertibles are becoming a hot new trend in healthcare environments.


What do you think?

As HIMSS13 approaches, we continue our pre-show guest blog series from health IT industry experts. Below is a guest contribution from Andy Rocklin, Solution Partner, Health Sciences at EMC, on patient-facing IT engagement models. Watch for more pre-HIMSS posts this week as we get closer to the show.


If you have read any of my blogs, or my most recent Seducing Porcupines you know that I spend a significant amount of time analyzing how technology can influence the largest cost driver in healthcare: patient behaviors. This year’s HIMSS conference shines a spotlight on the many motives, methods and stakeholders offering related solutions.


An occupational hazard of consultants is to simplify the world to a level we can understand. For me, the explosion in patient-facing IT solutions boils down this equation:




To start let's unpack the factors on the left side of the equation.


Multiple interested constituents are affecting the transformation of healthcare. Consumers are being forced to become more accountable for their care, but they are not yet fully empowered to effect positive change in results. Employers and CMS, who are the ultimate Healthcare financiers in the U.S., are now positioned to use information technology to exert even more influence on insured individuals and Healthcare Payers. Providers are being asked to assume more risk in the burgeoning pay for performance model and they are feeling pressure to use technology to predict and manage their risks. Healthcare Payers, having all but exhausted their traditional levers for reducing costs, are exploring how to incent and engage members in managing their care.


New technologies platforms are multiplicative factors in this transformation. Patients need extended care teams and payers to communicate, collaborate, and plan—often across organizational and historical boundaries. For example robust mHealth and Care Coordination tools like those provided by Intel, enable Healthcare Provider teams to build a technology platform for engaging patients and managing care. These tools also support the growth of patient facing mobile applications which are on the leading edge of care transformation.


Though technology platforms are multipliers, aggregating, accessing and analyzing rapidly growing pools of Big Data will exponentially grow value that Healthcare Providers and Payers can deliver. Using technologies and services from EMC, healthcare providers and payers can create better customized care guidelines through refined benchmarking against more precise patient cohorts. Providers will be able to analyze their big data to do an immediate evaluation of health status changes and to build patient engagement models tied to psychographic profiles.


So what’s the verdict who will be most effective helping moving the consumer behavior dial with robust technology platforms and big data analytics? Well, to be honest, the jury is still out. We’ve seen that changing patient behavior is hard to do as human nature will resist change, even for the good. (Anyone else with abandoned New Year’s resolutions already?) A look around HIMSS will show efforts and tools that many providers, payers and employers will test in efforts to change behavior and outcomes. Some will succeed. I believe the ingredients to meaningful change are in the equation above and I believe that  Intel and EMC have technologies and services to help our customers perfect the recipe.


What do you think?

As HIMSS13 approaches, we continue our pre-show guest blog series from health IT industry experts. Below is a guest contribution from Andrew Litt, M.D., chief medical officer, Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences, on mobile health IT features and benefits. Watch for more pre-HIMSS posts to come as we get closer to the show.


In a recent HIMSS survey, two-thirds of health IT executives said that the use of mobile technology will substantially or dramatically impact the delivery of healthcare in the future. Clearly, information technology implemented the right way at the point of care can empower medical professionals and make them more productive. But did you know that a mobile computing strategy can also serve as a positive recruiting and retention tool?


According to a recent commissioned Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dell, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) saved more than $600,000 and enhanced the productivity of clinicians in its Family Medicine Residency Program by implementing Dell’s Mobile Clinical Computing (MCC) solution powered by Intel.


Designed to improve clinician efficiency without compromising security, MCC combines desktop virtualization, single-sign-on and strong authentication technologies with expert consulting, implementation and support services. By storing information in the data center – not the endpoint device – MCC also helps reduce the risk of lost or stolen data and simplifies HIPAA compliance.


The cost savings and benefits to patients are significant. With the increase in productivity, the clinic will be able to schedule an additional one or two patients per day, per physician. In addition, they were able to implement electronic medical records in a secure environment that simplifies compliance with data security policies and regulations and allows clinicians more time to spend with patients.


But the Forrester study also revealed an unexpected – albeit unquantifiable – benefit: a strong mobile computing strategy can help hospitals recruit and retain physicians. Many medical schools are already using the latest IT tools and residency candidates expect the same leading-edge technology in their work environments. It may seem like a small thing, but by providing residency physicians with remote access via a secure portal, a hospital can help ensure a better work-life balance for the future generation of doctors.


What do you think?

Healthcare organizations nationwide are moving quickly to implement electronic medical records (EMR) and other advanced information technologies to improve the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of patient care.


That’s why Dell*, RedHat*, Intel, VMware* and Epic* (DRIVE) have come together to provide a Center of Excellence to support Epic customers throughout the planning process - from consulting to implementation, service desk support, hardware support and more.


At HIMSS13, you are invited to learn more about what the DRIVE program involves and how Dell, RedHat, Intel, VMware and Epic can provide you with the expertise required to make the transition to Epic on Linux more efficient.  Come join us for lunch on Monday, March 4, at 11:30 a.m. in the Intel hospitality suite (Riverside #215).


Learn more and RSVP to this unique event.