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HealthSpot Full Patient Visit Kiosk at CES

Posted on January 8, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

For those of you who also read EMR and HIPAA, you know that this week I’ll be attending CES and the Digital Health Summit.

Today I stopped by the convention center and got an early look at the incredible setup that’s going on to make the CES show happen. By all accounts, I expect this to be as big and crazy as any CES show I’ve attended. Plus, I got an early look at the Health Spot kiosk which is stationed in the lobby between the central and north halls of CES. I’m glad I went today, because I’m sure that kiosk is going to be crazy the next 3 days.

With that said, I’d suggest that anyone in healthcare take the chance to stop by the HealthSpot kiosk. HealthSpot is taking on an enormous challenge. They’ve created a kiosk that provides a whole suite of medical tools and an online connection to a remote doctor. It’s a fascinating mix of medical technology to try and make the patient visit a much smoother experience for the patient.
HealthSpot Station
One use case that I found really fascinating is having a HealthSpot kiosk located in a hospital ED. In many cases one hospital ED might have a long line of patients waiting to be seen while their other hospital ED or quick care center across town might be sitting empty. Instead of making the patient wait or get sent across town to be seen, the patients can use the HealthSpot kiosk to be seen by an available doctor in the other hospital’s ED across town. It’s a fascinating use of technology to try and utilize the available medical resources across a health system.

There are a number of other use cases with one of the biggest being in retail pharmacies. Many have already started going to their local pharmacy for shots. It’s not hard to see retail pharmacies supporting some sort of office visit as well. If the price is right and the access to the doctor is more streamlined than your regular office visit, then this could become a common option. Plus, you can imagine that the price will be good since it’s a way for the retail pharmacy to get you as a customer. Once your HealthSpot visit is done, the pharmacy will have your prescription waiting for you before you leave. At least that’s what HealthSpot envisions happening.

Although, that’s really only the beginning of what HealthSpot hopes to achieve. HealthSpot isn’t selling these devices to other organizations. Instead, they still own the HealthSpot kiosks and plan to have a network of HealthSpot kiosks across the nation that are available to patients. In fact, they showed me a mobile app they’re developing that will allow someone to book an appointment with a doctor at a HealthSpot kiosk right from their mobile phone. In many ways it reminded me of how I reserve a RedBox movie from my mobile phone. I choose the movie and then find the nearest RedBox that has that movie. Replace movie with doctor visit and RedBox with HealthSpot and you get the basic idea.

Yes, they do have protocols in the mobile app and the kiosk that are defined by the providers to ensure that the HealthSpot kiosk visits are ones that can be treated through the kiosk interface. For example, I couldn’t book a HealthSpot kiosk visit for chest pain.

It seemed to me that HealthSpot still needed to work on the workflow for office visits that didn’t fit into a HealthSpot kiosk visit. They didn’t have the chest pain option. If I’m really experiencing chest pain, I’m likely to just choose another option if chest pain is not available and just wait until the visit to tell the doctor my real reason for the visit. This seems like an accident waiting to happen. Instead, I think HealthSpot should offer chest pain as an option. Then, if a patient selects it, they get a message to call 911 immediately (or some similar clinical protocol). I expect these types of issues will be worked out as HealthSpot refines the clinical workflows with their beta customers.

One part of HealthSpot that’s hard to describe in a blog post is how the patient kiosk handles the medical devices. First, a medical attendant (similar to an MA or front desk staff I’d assume) is their to assist a patient through the visit as needed. The kiosk has doors that fall open to present various medical devices such as a: Blood Pressure Cuff, Dermascope, Otoscope, Pulse Oximeter, Stethoscope, and Thermometer. Each of the devices is made available to the patient as needed by the doctor who is doing the visit remotely via video for the visit.

This video will also help to demonstrate how the HealthSpot kiosk works:

I’m sure that many are wondering about the cleaning and sanitizing that is provided for the kiosk. After the visit, the medical attendant is provided a check list of items that need to be cleaned, replaced and sanitized. Plus, the kiosk has a UV light that can clean and sanitize the kiosk similar to what is used in surgeries to clean instruments.

Like I said, it’s an experience that’s hard to explain in words. So, stop by the HealthSpot kiosk at CES to see what I mean. I also believe they’ll be at HIMSS in March where you can see it as well.

I’d of course be remiss if I didn’t talk about its connection with EHR software. They don’t plan on having HealthSpot be the full EHR. Instead they plan to integrate HealthSpot data with outside EHR software. Considering how casually they talked about integrating the HealthSpot data into an EHR, I’m pretty sure they haven’t started down that road. Maybe they have some in house expertise that has dealt with the challenge of this before, but I think they’re in for a big surprise as they try to get their HealthSpot data into EHR software. It should be academic, but it certainly is not.

Obviously, there is a lot that goes into the HealthSpot kiosk experience and I’ve only covered a few pieces of it. Like I said, they’ve chosen to take on an enormous challenge. I’ll just point out one other challenge: reimbursement for the visit. I was assured that HealthSpot has talked with all the payers and the payers are looking at the HealthSpot patient visit experience much more like an office visit than a telemedicine visit. We’ll see how that works over time and how the new e-visit laws effect this, but I expect that any changes to e-visit laws will benefit someone like HealthSpot.

Emdeon’s EHR Lite

Posted on January 6, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’d been meaning to do a post about Emdeon‘s EHR lite (that’s their term for their EHR) since I first heard about it at MGMA. While I think that EHR Lite might be some good branding, I’m not sure you can really classify Emdeon’s EHR as lite. I’m sure they’re just trying to differentiate themselves from the 300+ EHR companies out there. The idea of a lite EHR is great since it gives the impression that the EHR is easy to use and implement. Not a bad strategy at all.

As most of you know by now, instead of doing full reviews of EHR software I like to try and dig into the EHR software to try and find points of differentiation. When I talked to the people at Emdeon about their EHR lite, I wanted to do the same.

I think I found the thing that most differentiates Emdeon from many other EMR companies. it’s their network. Here’s a summary they sent me of their network:

Emdeon’s network encompasses:
340,000 providers
1,200 government and commercial payers
5,000 hospitals
81,000 dentists
60,000 pharmacies
600 vendor partners

I think if you asked most people what Emdeon the company did, you’d say claims processing. The title of their website for search engine rankings (at least that’s usually the intent) is Revenue Cycle Management. However, I won’t be surprise if they reinvent themselves a little bit and become a connection company.

I strongly believe that healthcare will be a very heterogeneous environment. Some might argue that 3-4 EHR vendors will dominate the market (which I don’t believe), but even if this is the case EHR software is still going to have to connect with hospitals, pharmacies, labs, payers, government entities etc. An EHR is going to be key to integrating with these other heterogeneous software as I do believe the EHR will be the “Operating System of Healthcare.”

Today a silo’d version of an EHR is not an issue at all. However, the writing on the tea leaves that I read is that healthcare providers that have a well connected EHR are going to be at an advantage. We’ll see if Emdeon can use their current connections as an advantage in this way.

101 Tips to Make Your EMR and EHR More Useful – EHR Tips 31-35

Posted on October 12, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Time for the next entry covering Shawn Riley’s list of 101 Tips to Make your EMR and EHR More Useful. I hope you’re enjoying the series.

35. CPOE is important, but every EMR will have it.
I think that the CPOE discussion hit a head for me when I saw the CPOE requirements that were baked into meaningful use. Then, I heard someone from the often lauded (appropriately so) IHC in Utah who said that IHC didn’t have CPOE and it would be hard for them to meet that benchmark. Ok, so I’m more of an ambulatory guy than I am hospital, but this surprised me. In the clinics I’ve helped with EHR, CPOE is one of the first things we implemented. No doubt that every EMR has CPOE capabilities.

34. Make sure adverse drug events reporting is comprehensive
Yes, not all drug to drug, drug to allergy, etc databases are created equal. Not to mention some EHR vendors haven’t actually implemented these features (although, MU is changing that). I’d really love for a doctor and an EMR company to go through and rate the various drug database companies. How comprehensive are they? How good can you integrate them into your EHR? etc etc etc.

33. Make certain drug interactions are easy to manage for the physician
I won’t go into all the details of alert fatigue in detail. Let’s just summarize it this way: You must find the balance between when to alert, what to alert, how to alert and how to ignore the alert. Plus, all of the opposites of when not to alert, what not to alert, and how to not ignore the alert.

32. Ensure integration to other products is possible
Is it possible that you could buy an EMR with no integration? Possibly, but I have yet to see it. At a bare minimum clinics are going to want to have integration with lab software and ePrescribing (pharmacies). That doesn’t include many of the other common interfaces such as integration with practice management systems, hospitals, radiology, etc. How well your EMR handles these integration situations can really impact the enjoyment of your EHR.

31. Ensure information sharing is easy
This tip could definitely be argued, but I believe we’re headed down the road of information sharing. It’s going to still take a while to get to the nirvana of information sharing, but we’ve started down the road and there’s no turning back. Kind of reminds me of Splash Mountain at Disneyland where the rabbit has a sign that says there’s no turning back now. My son didn’t like that sign so much and I’m sure many people won’t like that there’s no turning back on data sharing either. However, it’s going to happen.

If you want to see my analysis of the other 101 EMR and EHR tips, I’ll be updating this page with my 101 EMR and EHR tips analysis. So, click on that link to see the other EMR tips.

101 Tips to Make Your EMR and EHR More Useful – EHR Tips 71-75

Posted on August 5, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Time for the second entry covering Shawn Riley’s list of 101 Tips to Make your EMR and EHR More Useful. I hope you’re enjoying the series.

75. Find out how easy it is to do process improvement
This could be phrased another way. How much with the EMR you’re considering improve your processes and how much will the EMR cause you to change your EMR processes for the worse? I love when EMR vendors like to say that they’re EMR makes it so the clinic doesn’t have to change their processes. It makes me laugh, because just the fact that you have to enter something electronically instead of on paper means you’re changing something. Even if the doctor still writes on paper and scans it in, that means they’ve changed their process since now they have to scan it and view the documents in a scanned format.

The point obviously being that any and every EHR implementation requires change. The question you should consider is how many of the changes will improve your clinic and how many of the changes will cause heartache. I’d guess that every EHR vendor will have quite a few of both types of change.

74. Predictive analytics are a huge benefit
I’ll let Shawn’s words speak for themselves on this one: “Everyone wants to know what volumes are going to like like next year. How many encounters will I have? How many admissions? If the analytics are built straight into the EMR you will have a much easier time trying to estimate the costs and resources necessary for the upcoming years. This improves your ability to do strategic planning, and should lower your costs from 3rd party applications or consultants.”

73. Automatic trending with graphing is a huge help
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s amazing the impact a graph can have on seeing trends. This is true if the graph is about an individual patient or across all your patients. Look for EHR vendors that do a good job capturing the trends you want to watch as a doctor.

72. Evaluate process flows that come directly from the application
This relates to EMR tip #75 above. Many process flows in an EHR are flexible, but other things are hard coded and can’t be changed. Make sure the hard coded EHR processes are ones that you can live with before you sign your EHR contract. If you can’t see any hard coded processes in the EHR you’re evaluating, you probably haven’t looked hard enough or in the right places.

71. Are we integrating or interfacing
This topic is particularly important in the hospital setting where you always have multiple systems running. How well you integrate or interface those systems matters a lot. Plus, every EHR vendor has different abilities to integrate or interface. Be aware of what’s possible and more importantly the limitations of those integrations or interfaces.

If you want to see my analysis of the other 101 EMR and EHR tips, I’ll be updating this page with my 101 EMR and EHR tips analysis. So, click on that link to see the other EMR tips.