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National eHealth Collaborative Survey Results

Posted on November 1, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

The results of a survey given to 450 members of the National eHealth Collaborative on July 16th were released. The goal of the survey was to “build an understanding of consumer engagement strategies currently underway and planned for the future,” according to a press release. There were many interesting findings from this survey. The primary goals for consumer engagement with health IT included the following:

  • 68% – improve health outcomes
  • 66% – deliver information to patients
  • 59% – enable consumers to take more responsibility for their health
  • 59% – reduce healthcare costs
  • 57% – improve consumers’ experience in interacting with our organization

Along the same lines, those surveyed were asked what their definition of consumer engagement was. There were quite a few answers, but the top three were:

  • Patient uses electronic educational material or online resources to learn about better health or their own health conditions (74%)
  • Patient refills prescriptions or accesses lab results or other personal health data online (72%)
  • Patient engages with provider through electronic means (e.g. telemedicine) (71%)

Kate Berry, CEO of NeHC, commented on the survey:

Effectively leveraging health IT to engage with patients and consumers will lead to better healthcare outcomes. Our surveyshows that a majority of organizations believe in the strategic importance of consumer engagement yet their strategies are understandably nascent. NeHC’s Consumer Consortium on eHealth and HIE Learning Network can serve as forums for sharing consumer engagement lessons learned to help accelerate progress.

The complete results of the survey can be found here.

Super Storms, Clouds and CollarBones – My HIT Week in Review

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.

“Sandy” is a nickname I attribute to my mother-in-law – a sweet, caring woman who also goes by the name of “Nana” and loves to scrapbook. Her demeanor (even when riled up) is a far cry from the meteorological phenomenon forecasters have dubbed “Super Storm Sandy,” which, as of this posting, has caused 50 deaths and power outages in 17 states affecting a minimum of 8 million customers, according to a Good Morning America report.

Sandy hasn’t impacted my environs much, other than to ensure that trick-or-treating will be a bit colder than usual this far south. While it hasn’t impacted me physically (other than offering a respite from ‘round-the-clock election coverage), I have, of course, seen a flurry of healthcare IT media around disaster preparedness, ensuring security measures when natural disasters strike, and the unfortunate lessons learned when hospitals don’t think to upgrade backup generator systems before super storms strike.

Amidst the news stories that have crossed my desk in the past few days was one concerning the orthopedic center where my husband is receiving treatment for his broken collarbone. The practice – the largest of its kind in Georgia – has decided to implement Merge Healthcare’s cloud-based Merge Honeycomb Archive to “store patient images and provide a long-term disaster recovery solution.” (Their words, not mine.)

Merge Healthcare’s CEO mentions in the press announcement that “imaging accounts for up to 90% of all data stored in electronic health records. Add in privacy rules that require storage of electronic health data, including digital images, and you see how the need to securely store and share medical images has grown – specifically in the cloud.”

I suppose when natural disaster strikes, a statistic like this takes on more importance, though I’m actually surprised that imaging-related data takes up that much space. Digging through Google led me to press releases from 2005 announcing the practice had decided to implement Allscripts TouchWorks EHR, but I’m not sure how valid that information is at this point, considering its age and the absolute maze of information I found myself in regarding subsequent Allscripts product acquisitions, mergers and shut downs.

In any case, I was happy to find that my husband’s physician has access to healthcare IT tools, and his information is up in the cloud somewhere should we ever need it, which makes me feel just a little bit better about his recovery.