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Hello Health Raises $10 Million in Funding for Patient Management Platform (EHR Built In)

Posted on February 29, 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.

The news recently came out that Hello Health has raised $10 million in funding. For those that aren’t familiar with Hello Health, here’s a pretty good description of what they do from the press release:

For years, physicians have experienced revenue reductions and, more recently, declining patient visits and must now look to ‘market their practices’ beyond quality of care to include: secure online communications that improve information and care team access, and provide greater convenience for patients. Hello Health is a Patient Management Platform that allows independent primary care physicians to transition from paper to electronic medical records and to provide a patient health portal through a subscription-based plan. Patients pay a small fee for the ability to schedule appointments, request lab results, renew prescriptions, share medical information and communicate (via HIPAA-compliant email, instant messaging and video consults) with their doctors and medical health professionals. The Hello Health Patient Management Platform was developed to provide an improved revenue stream for physicians while also enhancing patient engagement and providing better time and workflow management, all of which combine to strengthen the independence and sustainability of a practice.

I think it was a really interesting move for Hello Health to put a full blown EHR on top of their previous product offering. If you’re going to connect doctors with patients, then you really need to tap into the doctors EHR software. What better way to tap into that software than to just give the doctor the EHR software for free.

I also find it interesting that BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners is part of the funding round. While this is the venture arm of BlueCross BlueShield, it’s still interesting to see a health plan get so close to EHR software. There are plenty of health plans getting connected to HIEs, but not as many to EHR software.

I think the model of healthcare that Hello Health is working on is quite interesting and could represent a larger trend in healthcare: technology facilitating lower cost healthcare. I’ll be writing more on this in the future.

Bridging the Gap Between HIT Education and Workforce Development

Posted on I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

I came across a recent article about an initiative between the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the US Dept. of Labor to “train students at community and technical colleges for health IT jobs at hospitals and clinics in rural areas.”

The struggle for rural healthcare facilities to find qualified candidates – in healthcare IT or otherwise – has been well-documented, as has the struggle that healthcare IT students face when it comes time to find a job. Prospective vendor employers typically require that job candidates have experience working with their systems, yet few make those systems available to academic institutions via internships or technology donations.

The rural health IT training program highlights specific objectives that I think would apply to health IT workforce development in any area:

  • Reach out to potential workers and employers to inform them about career pathways in health information management and technology
  • Support employers in educating potential health IT workers, which would include current staff that need training and newly recruited staff
  • Support employers in staffing health IT positions

This disconnect between academia, graduates and employers is one that I think all healthcare IT education programs are facing, no matter what area their students will eventually end up working in. Another of which I was recently made aware is the lack of communication between academic institutions and the employer community. There are several schools in my home state of Georgia that currently have HIT programs in place, but the surrounding business community is not aware some of them exist, and therefore completely overlook graduating classes full of job candidates.

The Technology Association of Georgia’s (TAG’s) Health Society is working with several area schools including Georgia Tech, Georgia Perimeter and Southern Polytechnic to help bridge this gap, and hopes to bring graduates and employers together at its HIT Job Fair on March 23rd.

In talking about the upcoming event with Deleise Lindsay, Founder and Principal of Well-Change Group and a member of TAG Health’s Board of Directors, she explained that not only do we need to make HIT job candidates and employers aware of each other, and ensure that graduates have proper training on software systems, but we must also equip them with the necessary professional skills that will make their transition into HIT that much quicker.

She highlighted three main challenges that academia and business currently face:

  • Building awareness of HIT job opportunities
  • Determining who is a viable candidate for these types of jobs – typically folks with clinical or IT backgrounds
  • Educating graduates on how to market themselves by equipping them with resume-building and networking skills

I’d love to hear from readers – job candidates, recent hires or employers – as to what you believe the secret to job hiring success is, and how you would recommend academia and employers work together to clear up this mystery.

Eric Sorenson, VP of Marketing at ChartLogic – 5 Questions with EHR Vendor Executives at #HIMSS12

Posted on February 28, 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.

It’s time again for the next entry in our series of EHR videos called: 5 Questions with EHR Vendor executives at HIMSS 2012. In this video I ask the 5 questions to Eric Sorenson, VP of Marketing at ChartLogic.

My apologies to Eric for the lights being dimmed during the video and the loud speaker on the vendor floor coming on during the video. I guess the show floor isn’t the best place for video when it’s about to close down. Regardless of the distractions, Eric was a real professional and kept providing us good information about ChartLogic EHR.

Be sure to check out all of the 5 Questions with EHR Vendor Executives at HIMSS 2012 videos.

Farzad Mostashari’s Post on Meaningful Use Stage 2 NPRM

Posted on February 27, 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 love that Farzad Mostashari and other people at HHS and ONC have been blogging about these exciting times in healthcare IT. Farzad recently did a post about the meaningful use stage 2 NPRM (see this Meaningful Use Monday post on Meaningful Use Stage 2). He starts off the post with some interesting numbers:

to date, more than 43,000 providers have received $3.1 billion to help make the transition to EHRs; the number of hospitals using EHRs has more than doubled in the last two years from 16 to 35 percent between 2009 and 2011; and 85 percent of hospitals now report that by 2015 they intend to take advantage of the incentive payments.

I’ve always found the ONC/CMS/HHS numbers to be a bit higher than reality. Although, I bet their hospital numbers aren’t too far off. There’s little doubt that hospitals are interested in EHR.

Farzad also offered the most succinct view of the 3 stages of meaningful use that I’ve seen. Here’s basically his vision for meaningful use:

  • Stage 1 (which began in 2011 and remains the starting point for all providers): “meaningful use” consists of transferring data to EHRs and being able to share information, including electronic copies and visit summaries for patients.
  • Stage 2 (to be implemented in 2014 under the proposed rule): “meaningful use” includes standards such as online access for patients to their health information and electronic health information exchange between providers.
  • Stage 3 (expected to be implemented in 2016): “meaningful use” includes demonstrating that the quality of health care has been improved.

I posted a comment on the blog post which is still waiting to be approved:

Some very interesting numbers and I appreciate the overall vision of what each stage will do. The first part of this post reminds me of what I heard at HIMSS, that ONC has become more of a marketing organization. I found that interesting since you could easily see why ONC is considered an EHR marketing organization.

These first year numbers are interest, but the second year numbers will matter even more. The first year numbers were likely those who already adopted EHR versus those that implemented EHR post-stimulus. Let’s hope the message that providers offer after they’ve implemented is that they love their EHR. If they start telling their colleagues that they hate the EHR that they were “forced” to implement because of the government carrots and sticks, then it will be quite disappointing.

Happy 50th Birthday To Our Friend The EMR

Posted on I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

If someone asked you how long it’s been since someone lit up an EMR, what would your guess be?  Five years?  Ten? Even 20? What if I suggested that the first EMR was installed 50 years ago in an Akron hospital?

According to IBM, the first EMR was rolled out at Akron’s Childrens Hospital in February 1962.  In Big Blue’s own words:

Though Dr. Lawrence L. Weed is credited for developing the first electronic medical record, the so-called Problem-Oriented Medical Information System (Promis), starting in 1969. But IBM, working with Akron’s Children’s Hospital, implemented a system years earlier that would be the grand-daddy of today’s EMR.

Other early players in EMR evolution included doctors at the University of Vermont, whose PROMIS system and later the POMR (problem-oriented medical record) followed in the late 1960s, as well as the Mayo Clinic. Still, it seems we may have IBM and a pioneering children’s hospital to thank for much of what we discuss so passionately here today.

By the way, it’s interesting to note that while the technology has evolved in astounding ways, the EMR as a concept hasn’t changed nearly as much.  For example, even back then execs were noting that nurses were spending far more time handling paper than they needed to (and that one patient could generate 50 forms, a number which I’d bet still hasn’t changed). It’s amazing that a problem we defined 50 years ago still defies easy solutions, but there you have it.

Meanwhile, courtesy of Scribd, check out the actual IBM press release  on the subject (typed on an oldie-but-goodie typewriter):

Twitter Activity at HIMSS12

Posted on February 26, 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.

As most of you know, I wrote about my “Social Media Day at HIMSS 2012” over on EMR and HIPAA. There’s little doubt that social media was a huge part of my HIMSS experience. In fact, quite frankly, social media is a big part of pretty much every conference I attend these days.

One thing became abundantly clear during my use of social media at and before HIMSS. One of the very best uses of social media is to connect people or as one person once told (or likely tweeted) me “Twitter takes out that awkward first time meeting barrier.” It’s amazingly true how much easier it is for me to go up and meet someone who I’ve already interacted with on Twitter. At least then I have at a minimum a little bit of background and at a maximum I’ve shared multiple deep interactions over a long period of time across the spectrum of social media.

Although, I must admit that despite my love of Twitter, I honestly didn’t use Twitter all that much mid-conference. I was too busy meeting with people (many of whom I’d connected with before the conference on Twitter). So, I was surprised when I got the following tweet:

The link takes you to a view of the #HIMSS12 twitter traffic using a service called tweetreach. The most interesting numbers for me are that it shows the #HIMSS12 Twitter tag reached 288,980 people with 2,589,816 impressions. Then, it lists the top contributions to the reach on Twitter during HIMSS. It lists @ehrandhit with 428,222 impressions (@techguy had 19,589). That means I created 17.3% of all the Twitter impressions for HIMSS that it tracked. Not too bad.

I’m sure these numbers can be massaged a lot of different ways, but I find them quite interesting. It’s particularly interesting since I was often too busy (sadly) to tweet. Although, I did have a couple sprints during the #HITsm tweetup and a few of the keynote sessions.

No matter how you tag it, new ways for technology to bring people together are here to stay.

5 Questions with EHR Vendor Executives at #HIMSS12 – CEO of Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE) Bruce Lisante

Posted on February 24, 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.

It’s time again for the next entry in our series of EHR videos called: 5 Questions with EHR Vendor executives at HIMSS 2012. In this video I ask the 5 questions to Bruce Lisante, CEO of Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE) EHR.

Be sure to check out all of the 5 Questions with EHR Vendor Executives at HIMSS 2012 videos.

Healthcare Needs to Pick up the Pace

Posted on February 23, 2012 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

By now, I’m sure everyone has formed an impression of the HIMSS12 show. Whether you are here in Vegas, or playing along from the comfort of your office, I’m sure there’s been enough coverage for most folks to form an opinion about the events going on in Sin City.

I’ve come away with a number of opinions about the show, the organization, the healthcare industry in general, and several people in particular. I’ll share just one, brief observation with you, and not bore you for too long with an opinion you may have already read 10 times in other places (and that you also may not agree with).

The theme or “buzzword” that has resonated the most with me at this particular HIMSS has been Delay. I’ve written about healthcare’s delay before, and am seeing it as a constant topic of discussion on the show floor. Whether it’s the excruciatingly long taxi queue I waited in upon arrival, the HHS’ decision to cave and delay ICD-10; the waiting, waiting, waiting for the release of Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements; the chatter around if and when healthcare reform will be repealed; or the even more excruciating pace of trying to find any kind of connectivity at the show itself in order to make a phone call, send a text or type a tweet; it seems like the industry has decided to embrace a snail’s pace.

Now, this probably isn’t news to anyone who has worked in the industry for some amount of time. Having only been in it myself for two or three years, I am slowly coming to the realization that as much as some of the younger, start-up whipper snappers would have us believe, healthcare reform in the largest sense of the word is not going to happen overnight. There’s politics to wade through, organizational and cultural obstacles to overcome, and let’s not forget that creating and developing new healthcare IT solutions takes time. Quality outcomes can’t be improved overnight – it takes time to implement, train and adapt to new solutions, whether they’re technological in nature or not.

I heard someone at the Dell Think Tank at HIMSS12 refer to healthcare reform as being as slow as molasses, and that’s an apt description. As Americans, most of us have a mentality of “We want it and we want it now and it’s got to be perfect when we get it because we’ll settle for nothing less.” Especially where healthcare is concerned, we’ve definitely acquired a feeling of entitlement. We want the best, quickest, cheapest healthcare money can buy. And it just doesn’t work that way.

Sure, we need to be patient. That’s a given. As Dr. Farzad Mostashari said in his HIMSS12 keynote, “Change takes time.” But for many – be they the underserved, underinsured, or under-treated, time is a precious commodity. Healthcare needs to pick up its pace so that patients don’t get left out in the cold.

5 Questions with EHR Vendor Executives at #HIMSS12 – CEO of 4medica Oleg Bess, M.D.

Posted on 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.

It’s time again for the next entry in our series of EHR videos called: 5 Questions with EHR Vendor executives at HIMSS 2012. In this video I ask the 5 questions to Oleg Bess, M.D. the CEO of 4medica.

Be sure to check out all of the 5 Questions with EHR Vendor Executives at HIMSS 2012 videos.

5 Questions with EHR Vendor Executives at #HIMSS12 – Founder of Mitochon Dr. Andre Vovan

Posted on February 21, 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.

As mentioned previously, I’m planning to do 5 questions with as many EHR vendor executives as possible at HIMSS12. I plan on posting at least one of these videos each day of HIMSS on EMR and EHR. Plus, each day I’ll plan on doing a HIMSS12 overview post each day on EMR and HIPAA.

First up in our 5 questions with EHR vendor executives is the Dr. Andre Vovan, founder of Free EHR software vendor Mitochon.

See more of Mitochon’s HIMSS12 Announcements on EMR News.

Be sure to check out all of the 5 Questions with EHR Vendor Executives at HIMSS 2012 videos.

Full Disclosure: Mitochon is an advertiser on EMR and EHR.