Google Doubles Its Health-Related Search Content to Over 900 Conditions

Earlier this year, Google introduced structured, curated, and verified health information information into its Knowledge Graph smart search algorithm.
Initially, the feature was available for 400 conditions – but now Google has increased that number to over 900 conditions.
“We’re making sure to include neglected tropical diseases, a set of infections that affect over 1.5 billion people including 500 million children in poorer regions. We think it’s important for people to have facts on these diseases, such as Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and Leishmaniasis. Today the feature is still only in U.S. English, but we plan to expand it to more languages and regions,” said Prem Ramaswami, Product Manager in the blog post announcement.
“We’re making sure to include Leishmaniasis of neglected tropical diseases, a set of infections that affect over 1.5 billion people including 500 million children in poorer regions. We think it’s important for people to have facts on these diseases, such as Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and Leishmaniasis. Today the feature is still only in U.S. English, but we plan to expand it to more languages and regions,. noted”.
In the initial announcement, Google has partnered with the Mayo Clinic verify in-depth information for health and medical conditions.
Google has worked closely with a team of doctors to curate and validate this information including positive, helpful feedback from users and medical professionals, and Dokeep working to bring useful health information to your fingertips, whether in the Google app or on desktop,” said Ramaswami.
According to Google, 1 in 20 Google searches are for health-related information.

How Does Your EHR Vendor Solve Challenging Situations?

Is your EHR vendor still solving your problems? This is a hard one to evaluate since meaningful use and EHR certification has hijacked the EHR development process.
An EHR vendor that’s doing the minimum necessary is just barely meeting the EHR certification and meaningful use requirements and never really responds to customer requests.
Does the salesperson have something new to sell you? If they do, it’s quite possible your EHR vendor has started focusing on some new product and not the EHR anymore.
Sadly, I think many EHR users know that their EHR vendor has stopped innovating their product.
Ask yourself the question, how does my EHR vendor approach solving challenging situations? If you talk to a lot of EHR vendors like I do, you can pretty quickly tell how an EHR vendor approaches problems.
The best EHR vendors dive deeply into the problem and not only solve the problem, but try to think of a better way to optimize everything surrounding the problem.
Source: EMR & EHR

How EHR implementation impacts revenue streams and patient care

A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College backs up previous reports that healthcare providers who adopt EHR early enjoy more financial gain than those who don’t.
“Early adopters of EHRs and participants in EHR incentive programs proved to have more financial capacity, better organization and better resources for supporting EHR implementation,” explains Health IT Outcomes’ Katie White.
The downside is that healthcare providers who have adopted EHR programs and subsequently participated in Medicaid incentive programs may be in a position to provide better care to their patients.
“If a digital divide develops, patients of doctors who keep paper – not electronic – records will have less reliable documentation and weaker communication between their healthcare providers. Those patients will not benefit from any quality improvements created by EHRs that are supported by the programs,” according to a statement from Weill Cornell.
“The expectation is that physicians and hospitals should be electronic,” Joshua Vest, assistant professor of healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell said in a statement.
“How would everybody feel if only half of the banks were electronic nowadays? Without additional support to move forward there is the potential to stall out among those who don’t have the resources or capability to adopt EHRs.”.
Source: FCM

How Prepared Is Your Health System To Compete?

The point is that healthcare has changed except for those institutions which believe that they are healthcare.
Versus your health system, where your patient is making their third call to schedule an appointment, an appointment where the next available opening is three months from now.
By the time your health system is ready to see the patient for an initial appointment, the patient with the heart disease is 12 weeks removed from having received their stent.
“We know the delivery of healthcare has changed from the being fixated on the delivery of acute care to being able to respond in real time to delivering ambulatory services. To adapt to that change, we made some changes.”
Your customers – you can substitute the word patient if it makes you feel more comfortable – want healthcare services now, and they are prepared to try new ways to obtain those services.
If your health system was prepared, if your health system is prepared, it would not be questioning whether it should be amending its 2018 business strategy, it would already be hard at work figuring out how to offer these services.
People, your patients, have redefined what having access to healthcare means to them.

How health IT enables safer medical travel and tourism

IT helps deliver safe medical care and a pleasant trip to facilities overseas. For more than 20 years, IT innovations have improved patient care worldwide. Now, these innovations are helping medical travelers, too.
How so?

  1. First, there are electronic media records. With an EMR system, it’s easy to gather patient clinical notes, diagnostic scans, medical administrator records, and discharge summaries in digital form. By automating and streamlining clinical workflow, IT cuts the time and effort needed to maintain information and create the data trail needed for medical audits and QA procedures.
  2. Then, there are smartphones. Our familiar hand-held computers are becoming an important enabler in the cloud-based healthcare infrastructure. An EMR system deployed in the cloud can make a smartphone a virtual healthcare wallet. Patients can access their medical records from a smartphone and share the information with overseas healthcare providers.
  3. Finally, data mining and analytics. Data mining and analytics technologies combine, prepare and search massive data stores gathered from many sources. Combined with analytics software, a cloud-based EMR system provides easy access to the knowledge and insight that overseas doctors can use to identify medical problems. And, patients can learn about cost-effective treatment for specific diseases and conditions without leaving home.

These innovations work with participants in the medical travel industry to deliver value to patients and business opportunities to entrepreneurs.
Source: The Healthcare IT Guy

Cloud, Mobile and Data

It’s no surprise that healthcare is changing. The industry has been pushing for the digitization of patient health records for about 20 years, and as this comes to fruition, there is now an even greater opportunity for physicians to operate more efficiently. The convergence of three: cloud, mobile and data that is revolutionizing healthcare.
Cloud: Cloud systems are a cluster of resources – hardware, software and support – hosted and delivered from a remote location, with data warehoused outside the local user’s computers. most cloud-based systems store their data on massively scaled, redundant and hyper-secure systems that use high-grade SSL encryption, which are also used by major financial institutions and commercial vendors that also have a responsibility to safeguard client privacy.
Mobile: Even in its short time on the scene, the way in which mobile is being consumed has changed. Technologies now exist that allow physicians to document patient records via tablets, meaning they are no longer bound to a stationary desktop or paper file. A recent study from ABI Research noted that patients will begin using mobile health applications more regularly to share information with their medical providers.
Data: While cloud and mobile technologies have a great impact on the daily operations of the healthcare industry, an opportunity to truly revolutionize healthcare lies with the data. With the help of cloud and mobile, physicians can more easily access structured data that can be used to benefit specific patients and over time will likely even transcend one-to-one interactions to improve population health.
Any practice can implement these technologies into their own workflow, and as more do so, the industry becomes more connected and better equipped to help patients in the long-term.
Source: Modernizing Medicine

Advantages of a Cloud-Based EHR for Small Practices

Many small to medium size medical practices are finding web-based EHR systems to be the perfect solution for their clinical needs.
In a cloud-based system, a practice’s data is stored on external servers and can be accessed via the web, requiring only a computer with an Internet connection.
Practices can prevent interruption of cash flow and get a faster return on investment with an implementation process much quicker than traditional client-server systems.
Practices realize tremendous savings from cloud-based EHR systems.
Web-based software provides superior accessibility and collaboration over client-server systems because users are able to securely log in to the system from anywhere they have Internet connection.
Are Web-Based EHR Systems Safe?Most physicians who are skeptical of cloud-based EHR systems cite security as a primary concern.
While uncertainty is understandable, web-based EHR systems can actually deliver greater security than client-server systems and paper records.
Source: PowerYourPractice

Evidence of the Effects of Healthcare IT on Healthcare Outcomes

A study by the analytics division of HIMSS UK has, for the first time, highlighted a correlation between the maturity of IT within NHS hospitals and improvements to patient outcomes.
The research, which combines data from 91 NHS hospitals in England together with HIMSS Europe’s proprietary EMRAM capability data demonstrates that those hospitals that have a score of EMRAM Stage 4 and above, have a lower Summary Hospital-Level Mortality Indicator.
John Rayner, Director of Professional Development, HIMSS UK said the findings are a key justification of the investment in healthcare IT going forward: “This report asks us to accept as a general principle that hospitals that are more digitally mature can provide greater levels of patient safety and are more productive than hospitals that have not made investments in technology.” “Stephen Lieber, President and CEO of HIMSS added:”The correlation between these findings will come as no surprise to many of those working in healthcare IT. But for clinicians and patients alike they have the potential to encourage a real step-change in the attitudes towards the benefits of technology, meanwhile assisting professionals in building robust business cases.
“Interestingly, the study also highlights that only when a hospital has the fundamental building blocks in place such as an electronic patient record system and electronic clinical documentation and has reached HIMSS Stage 4, will it start to see these types of clinical benefits, demonstrating that in order to reap the rewards, IT must be a long-term and progressive investment.”
HIMSS Analytics is a part of HIMSS, a cause-based global enterprise that produces health IT thought leadership, education, events, market research and media services around the world.
Founded in 1961, HIMSS encompasses more than 52,000 individuals, of which more than two-thirds work in healthcare provider, governmental and not-for-profit organizations across the globe, plus over 600 corporations and 250 not-for-profit partner organizations, that share the cause of transforming health and healthcare through the best use of IT. HIMSS, headquartered in Chicago, serves the global health IT community with additional offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

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