Richardville named CHIME-HIMSS 2015 CIO of the Year
For spearheading efforts to provide more effective patient engagement, virtual care delivery, and interoperability amongst providers in the Carolinas, Craig D. Richardville, MBA, FACHE, FHIMSS, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Carolinas HealthCare System, has been named the 2015 John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Year.
The award, sponsored by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), recognizes healthcare IT executives who have made significant contributions to their organization and demonstrated innovative leadership through effective use of technology. The boards of directors for both organizations annually select the recipient of the award, which is named in honor of the late John E. Gall Jr., who pioneered implementation of the first fully integrated medical information system in the world at California’s El Camino Hospital in the 1960s.
Richardville has been instrumental in advancing innovative technologies for patient care. In 2013, the Carolinas health system deployed one of the nation’s largest virtual ICU practices. Currently, nearly 300 ICU beds in North and South Carolina are being monitored virtually. Clinicians can also conduct virtual psychiatric visits, as well as provide care for stroke and other complicated conditions to rural communities.
Richardville and his team of 1,200 staff have also been on the cutting edge of improving patient engagement. For instance, the health system developed two mobile health applications that allow patients to share data from Fitbits, wireless scales, or nearly 50 other devices and apps directly with their care team.
The healthcare system also leads a statewide private health information exchange where more than 270 providers are contributing data so patient data is accessible throughout the Carolinas.
Richardville will receive the award on March 3, 2016, at the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas.
Despite the buzz, Meaningful Use is not dead
By Naomi Levinthal
The industry buzz reached a fever pitch after CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said that “the Meaningful Use program as it has existed will now be effectively over” in January.
Some providers and pundits breathed a collective sigh of relief, but it was in vain.
Slavitt clarified those comments days later in a joint blog post with Karen DeSalvo, M.D., National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Acting Assistant Secretary for Health (HHS), in which they confirmed Meaningful Use is still in effect and is not coming to an end.
The clarification proved what some analysts (including me) have advised for a while: Meaningful Use is not ending – and legally cannot end without an act of Congress. The Meaningful Use program is required by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The program may soon look different for eligible professionals (EPs), but not so much for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (collectively, EHs).
In future years, the Meaningful Use program will almost certainly change for EPs, as CMS implements the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The MIPS program includes Meaningful Use as a component, and MACRA states that the program must determine whether an EP is a “meaningful EHR user.”
Meaningful Use is set to continue as-is post-2016 for EHs because MACRA impacts only EPs. However, CMS may move to align EH Meaningful Use so that the requirements are similar to those in the forthcoming revisions to the EP program.
In the near term, I suggest that providers maintain existing EH and EP Meaningful Use initiatives for the 2016 program year and continue to work toward meeting the Meaningful Use requirements as they currently stand. Providers that do not meet Meaningful Use in 2016 will forfeit any incentives due and are subject to payment adjustment in 2018. Additionally, providers should work to connect their Meaningful Use program leaders with those responsible for clinical quality, as these two efforts will be more tightly intertwined in the future.
For the long term, I encourage providers to recognize that the hallmarks of Meaningful Use – care coordination, patient engagement, and information exchange – remain critical to organizations that wish to stay competitive in evolving value-based payment models. That means, even in the unlikely event that Congress acts to repeal Meaningful Use, providers cannot lose sight of the IT capabilities that are necessary in this healthcare landscape.
Epson launches in-office paper recycling machine
If you’re tired of seeing all those dollars in the form of used paper go in the recycling bin and out the door, maybe you should just recycle the paper yourself.
Didn’t think that was possible? Well, it wasn’t until recently, when Epson debuted PaperLab, the world’s first office papermaking system, at the Eco-Products 2015 tradeshow in Tokyo in December.
The system securely destroys documents by breaking them down to paper-fiber levels and then turns the material into usable office paper, via an almost completely dry process. It produces the first new sheet of paper in about three minutes of having loaded it with waste paper and pressing the start button. The system can make about 14 standard office sheets per minute and 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour day. Users can produce a variety of paper types, sizes, thicknesses, and colors.
PaperLab is being sold in Japan first, with sales in other regions to be decided later this year.
Is 2016 the year for integrating infusion pumps and EMRs?
By Jessica Edge
Interoperability, connectivity, and integration are not new topics within the infusion pump market, but 2015 was a year of significant advances in bringing these themes to reality. Infusion pump manufacturers and electronic medical record (EMR) vendors are forming closer partnerships and collaborations, working together to build integrated infusion pump information platforms.
It was recently announced that international medical device maker Fresenius Kabi has signed a global multi-year agreement with Epic Systems. The relationship will build on the interoperability of Fresenius Kabi infusion pump systems with the Epic EMR platform. This follows an announcement earlier in August 2015 detailing the partnership between Hospira and healthcare IT firm Cerner. That collaboration will build on previous efforts to integrate Hospira’s infusion pumps with the EMR system from Cerner, with a focus on developing the infusion pump information platform.
Such symbiotic collaborations involve infusion pump manufacturers utilizing the healthcare IT vendor’s programming technologies to develop their own software, whilst the EMR firms will benefit from exploiting the large global infusion pump installed base. Ultimately, physicians and hospital networks will also benefit from enhanced functionality, increased information exchange, automatic programming of infusion pumps, and better documentation of infusion pump data.
As such, collaborations between infusion pump manufacturers and healthcare IT vendors will help to meet the demands for interoperability and fully integrated device-to-software networks. In markets where EMR adoption is high, such as the United States, these partnerships will help customers meet their EMR goals and work toward complete connectivity between medical devices and healthcare software systems. EMR vendors, such as Epic Systems and Cerner, will be able to utilize the installed base of the infusion pump manufacturer they have partnered with and increase their own installations.
But despite the mutual benefits of these relationships, challenges will arise in markets where local EMR vendors are dominant; infusion pump manufacturers must not overlook the importance of not only integrating with the large multinational EMR providers, but also being able to integrate with smaller local software providers.
When real-time healthcare market intelligence provider InCrowd did a quick poll of U.S. emergency room and critical care physicians and nurses, only 32 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their hospital had adequate staff to mobilize in a similar situation to the attacks that occurred in Paris last November. Only 41 percent agreed or strongly agreed their hospital was ready to respond to the victims of a similar terrorist attack. Available beds (only 26 percent believed they were sufficient) and adequate blood supply (only 32 percent) were the top concerns.
The five-minute mobile microsurvey indicates that teams worry about key elements of operational readiness, despite mandated practice and extensive training for mass casualty events. The survey included 102 respondents (52 ER physicians and 50 ER nurses) and was fielded Nov. 24, 2015, in under two hours using InCrowd’s real-time platform.
Only half of the respondents felt their facility would have enough surgeons on hand during a mass casualty event. Additional triage staff and additional staff training topped the ranks as the most needed elements for hospital readiness at 30 percent and 31 percent, respectively. But still, many polled were undecided about the readiness of resources and needs.
Interestingly, ER nurses appeared to feel more prepared than ER doctors in the survey. Nurses ranked the adequacy of surgeon availability at their hospitals higher than doctors did, with 56 percent of nurses compared to 33 percent of doctors agreeing or strongly agreeing. Nurses also saw crisis training as a greater need for their hospitals than doctors, 36 percent to 27 percent, respectively.