A Medical Device Daily
After completing a series of large-scale pilot programs, OptumHealth (Golden Valley, Minnesota) unveiled eSync, a technology platform that collects and synchronizes health data in order to more proactively engage individuals and care providers with appropriate healthcare opportunities. The new platform was described to attendees of this year's Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS; Chicago) annual conference in Chicago.
"The eSync Platform ensures everyone involved in an individual's care has the same holistic picture of that person's health, and is working toward the same goals," said Rob Webb, CEO of OptumHealth Care Solutions. "eSync simplifies the healthcare experience, engages individuals and caregivers earlier, and proactively manages overall wellness before potential issues arise."
"The healthcare industry has seen many technology solutions that identify 'gaps in care,' such as medication errors, but in many of those situations, the damage already occurred by the time the gap was identified," Webb said. "eSync uniquely identifies situations that are likely to result in poor outcomes and higher costs of care, and shares this information with individuals and their care providers, reinforcing the doctor-patient relationship."
OptumHealth has refined eSync in beta testing, applying its processes to health management programs serving 20 million people. "We designed eSync to link to and interoperate with payers' existing systems. Used broadly, eSync technology could significantly improve health system performance across the country," Webb said.
In other news from the HIMSS conference:
• GE Healthcare (Chalfont St. Giles, UK) reported a collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC; Atlanta) National Center for Public Health Informatics. The project will demonstrate the capability of a public health agency to use electronic medical record (EMR) systems to provide clinicians with timely, patient-specific information at the point of care.
The CDC routinely disseminates important health alerts, advisories and notifications via email and on the agency's web site to public health practitioners and clinicians. The pilot program will explore the feasibility of creating and integrating actionable alerts with GE's Centricity EMR system based on patient record content, using a standard messaging format.
• The World Health Imaging Alliance (WHIA; Chicago) said that it has cemented key partnerships that will enable it to significantly ramp up efforts to bring digital imaging technology to sites in need around the world. Basic diagnostic X-ray services are a key component of primary healthcare delivery but, two-thirds of the world's population is without access to it. The World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland) estimates that there is a need for one diagnostic imaging machine for every 50,000 people. WHIA's vision is to facilitate the deployment of 20,000 of these systems worldwide, thus providing one billion people with access to diagnostic imaging.
WHIA intends to fulfill its vision by providing a complete, low-cost, sustainable digital imaging solution. To do this, it has developed partner relationships with various key vendors.
• Nuance Communications (Burlington, Massachusetts), a supplier of speech solutions, reported results from a new study that shows how Nuance's Dragon Medical real-time speech recognition software can significantly accelerate the transition to, and use of electronic health records.
According to a survey completed by 1,255 physicians who have adopted Nuance's Dragon Medical software, 83% said it improved the quality of their electronic patient notes; 81% said that it significantly reduced transcription spending; and 69% said it made their EHR faster and easier to use.
• dbMotion (Pittsburgh) and Allscripts (Chicago) said that they have agreed to create tightly integrated connectivity solutions that allow physician communities to see a more holistic view of their patient's clinical record and to collaborate with providers throughout their community.
Allscripts and dbMotion will develop joint solutions to present information in a seamless way to clinicians.
Additionally, dbMotion and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC; Pittsburgh) reported the successful completion of the initial phase of an extensive interoperability initiative. As a result, the time spent collecting preoperative patient information at one hospital was reduced 82%, while patient readiness for surgery improved 50%, according to UPMC.
UPMC's interoperability platform is centered on the dbMotion Solution, which enables healthcare organizations to integrate and leverage information assets, driving improvements in the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care.
• InterSystems (Cambridge, Massachusetts) reported that the Brooklyn Health Information Exchange (BHIX; Brooklyn, New York) has selected the InterSystems HealthShare software platform for multiple information exchange projects focused on electronic health record (EHR) interoperability. The agreement is valued at nearly $3 million for software, support, and services delivered over the next two years.
• The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with 5AM Solutions (Reston, Virginia) has demonstrated at HIMSS a new web-based tool, My Family Health Portrait, that provides a secure first step for patients to use an electronic health record (EHR). This new tool, first released by the Office of the Surgeon General in January, allows patients to track their family health histories, which can be printed or shared electronically with the family members, doctors and EHRs that they choose.
This new tool leverages the public's understanding of the value of family health history in assessing an individual's risk for disease. It also uses standards to promote interoperability and facilitate the exchange of health information and puts the power of privacy in the hands of the user, who can decide to save or share information only at his or her discretion, and under his or her control.
• Merge Healthcare (Milwaukee) reported that it has made a significant commitment to the World Health Imaging Alliance (WHIA; Chicago) to donate $1 million toward furthering the success of the WHIA mission. Donations will include staff time, software licenses, donated hardware and cash for use in helping solidify WHIA's structure and solutions.
• Researchers at the University of Maryland's (College Park, Maryland) Robert H. Smith School of Business conducted a study of U.S. hospitals and discovered that poor communication has cost the nation $12 billion a year. The study recommended solutions, including location-based technology, to improve communication and help identify caregiver locations. The results of this study come at a time when Versus Technology (Traverse City, Michigan) will be highlighting efficiency gains, improved communication and workflow optimization as a result of Versus' enterprise real-time locating system (RTLS) at the HIMSS meeting.
Versus focuses on how the workflow benefits extend to staff in all departments, from lab technicians and clinical engineering staff to nurses, physicians and the C-suite.
• TeleTracking Technologies is demonstrating its newest version of Bed Management Suite, designed on its advanced TeleTracking XT platform. Bed Management Suite leverages the features and capabilities available with the company's patient flow platform, TeleTracking XT. New features include a scalable, flexible, browser-based system that allows health systems to manage patient flow for one hospital or several, all from this single platform.
TeleTracking Technologies also reported a development agreement with Hill-Rom (Batesville, Indiana) to invest in and commercialize patient flow and nurse communication solutions designed to enhance efficiency, improve patient safety and integrate communication within the health care environment. The deal will support investment in integrating Hill-Rom's NaviCare Nurse Call system with TeleTracking's leading Capacity Management Suite powered by TeleTrackingXT to deliver new, integrated value between patient flow technology and nurse communications solutions.