Answers for a Healthier World

There's a lot of talk these days about how "clinical optimization" can be used to improve the workings of electronic health records (EHR) in healthcare. But what exactly is clinical optimization, and why is it important? 

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Successful legacy system migrations start with people, and working with people requires outstanding communication and a close attention to transition. Even though most legacy systems have people who promote the system and those who are ready to move on, all users need to be engaged in order to embrace the new solution. That is the only way to drive the needed new sense of ownership.

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Raise your hand if you remember TripTiks?

Before Google Maps, before Garmin, way back in the stone ages (or maybe, paper ages) of paper road maps, AAA had this service for travelers. You'd tell them where you wanted to go and where you'd be leaving from, and AAA would print you a booklet with all the maps you'd need to get from Point A to Point B. It would also point out alternate routes, and suggest places to visit and things to do along the way — your whole trip in one package.

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Enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act aimed to "promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology" in clinical practice. Nearly a decade on, HITECH has succeeded in at least one respect: According to federal data, by 2015 some 84% of hospitals surveyed reported they had adopted at least a "basic" level electronic health records (EHR) system — more than an eightfold increase from the less than 10% level of EHR adoption reported in 2008, before HITECH became the law of the land.

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The benefits of skilled portfolio management are vast. If done properly, portfolio management can add visual control of an organization’s enterprise and unit level application portfolio to their Information Technology (IT) space. More importantly, portfolio management empowers organizations with analysis and visibility into the current state of their operations, whether that is vendor product management or application management, customer satisfaction or operational performance levels.

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The value of aligning financial and clinical aspects within healthcare organizations is critical to closing the gap that exists between the revenue cycle and IT departments. The need for clinical understanding in finance operations complicates these efforts, along with the siloed technology systems that hinder the ability to align the clinical with the financial systems of many healthcare providers.

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Leidos Health president Jonathan Scholl recently sat down with POLITICO writer David Himmel to discuss the future of healthcare technology. In an interview published in POLITICO Focus, Scholl described why healthcare technology in the U.S. hasn't produced the improvements seen elsewhere in tech — and how to fix that.

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Three impediments hinder most healthcare providers. Closing the gap that exists between revenue cycle and IT is the first major issue. This challenge, although common in all industries, tends to strike the healthcare sector particularly strong because of the advancements and investments in unified electronic healthcare records (EHRs). 

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Legacy support engagements can be either disruptive or seamless to a hospital from a clinician’s perspective. The characteristics that determine one or the other fall solely on capabilities of the legacy support vendor and the quality of communication and legwork hospitals undergo before they start an engagement with their selected legacy support vendor. If the vendor and the hospital communicate poorly or have separate goals, the execution and completion of a project can be damaging to a clinician’s ability to perform their job.

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Across most industries, legacy systems have become a challenge. They lower efficiency and can at times create regulatory concerns. They also create security gaps and lower the quality of service that customers have come to expect within an “always-on,” mobile world.

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