Navigating Healthcare – Patient Safety and Personal Healthcare Management

Technology and Focusing on the Patient

Posted in #hcr, Clinical Informatics, EHR, HealthIT, medical intelligence, Nuance, Speech Recognition by drnic on September 20, 2013

Always enjoying talking with John Lynn (Founder of the HealthcareScene.com (he goes by @techguy and @ehrandhit) and great discussion yesterday on “Technology and Focusing on the Patient” using a Google Hangout

 

 

 

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Hanging out with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn & Dr Susan K Newbold at Summit of the Southeast

Posted in Uncategorized by drnic on September 18, 2013
Hanging out with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn & Dr Susan K Newbold at Summit of the Southeast #HealthIT


Susan K Newbold, PhD RN-BC FAAN FHIMSS CHTS-CP
Sknewbold@comcast.net, 443-562-0502 cell

Sent from my iPad

21 Bow Tie Salute to Farzad Mostashari

Like many in the healthcare IT industry, I was saddened by the announcement that Dr Farzad Mostashari (@Farzad_ONC) would be retiring. I would suggest as famed football legend Vince Lombardi said

“The strength of the group is the strength of the leaders”

And, for healthcare technology, Dr. Mostashari has been a great leader. I’ve outlined below some of the many contributions he has made to healthcare.

Dr. Mostashari joined the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) in 2009, and has had a huge and positive impact on the implementation, development and overall perception of healthcare IT.  Personally impacted by the state of healthcare when his mother was admitted for arrhythmias, after having asked for the paper chart, he admitted;

I couldn’t even read the cardiology consult’s name
Perhaps this is one of the reasons he like me is a proud member of Regina Holliday (@ReginaHolliday) “Walking Gallery“. This difficult, and highly personal, situation likely galvanized his vision as he took on the daunting tasks demanded by the role of the ONC. He inherited a department that had, in effect, been pushed over the edge of the luge and, whilst speeding wildly along this track, was expected steer a course that would deliver on a range of programs in record time:

  • Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records (EHR)
  • Certification program for EHRs
  • National Standards
  • Grant programs
  • Regional Extension Centers
And that was just what he knew about coming in. The team endured the challenges, weathered the storm in the “Office of No Christmas”

He rapidly earned a reputation as a leader who listened and was engaged.  He made many appearances and, although he may not have been the first, he was certainly an early adopter of social media and online engagement – clear indicators of his heartfelt passion to be part of the solution. As a customer service representative I recently encountered very astutely pointed out:
I can’t do anything about the past, but I can help improve the future


Successes
It is hard to pick individual highlights from such an impressive record, but here’s my list of Dr. Mostashari’s top 13 achievements and quotable/notable moments from his time in office:

  1. Successfully delivering on the Stage 1 Meaningful Use, despite frustrations and the challenges of a fickle and change-resistant healthcare profession.  He gracefully offered a personal hand to help steer his colleagues:
    “Meaningful use is the best-we-could-make-it roadmap to prepare for delivery of higher quality care and mitigating some of the costs toward getting there, if it’s a distraction we need to change it, and I want to hear from you personally.”
  2. Creating a viable technical assistance program that has touched many providers and hospitals through regional extension centers (REC).
  3. Driving the successful adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and electronic medical records (EMRs).
  4. Interoperability (see note below on focus for the future)
  5. Pushing for patient empowerment (He, like me, is a proud owner and runway model for the Regina Holliday Healthcare Collection).
  6. As he said: “We’re on the right track to make meaningful use of meaningful use” 
  7. ePrescribing
  8. And as if to prove the point about his use of social media, this from his twitter feed: “We’ve made more progress with EHRs in the past 2 years then we have in 20”   
  9. Championing the patient engagement he stated: “We cannot have it be profitable to hoard patient information
  10. Nailing the coffin shut on paper he said: “Once you close a paper file it’s dead. You’re not able to move it or learn from it
  11. While this may not be his own personal quote but he applied cyberpunk science fiction, William F. Gibson famous quote to healthcare: “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” by pointing out that we do have the technology – its just not being applied
  12. Piloting Meaningful Use stage 2 criteria, which built on the success of stage 1, and pushed towards interoperability including standards for data sharing data, quality improvement, and quality measures that foster  patent engagement. As he put it: “We are using every lever at our disposal to increase the sharing of information” and “Patients need to care for themselves and become partners in their care
  13. Successfully weathering the storm of the controversial (or as he put it “headline grabbing“) Health Affairs article based on data from 2008 that suggested that EHR technology was increasing the costs of healthcare.
The Future:
To the lucky individual taking the reins, I offer five suggested  areas of focus:
2. A friend once said to me: “You’ve put us on the horse, you might as well give us the ride.” The same can be said of payment reform, which must shift from quantity-based to quality-based payment. And taking a sheet from Dr Mostashari’s play book, every journey starts with a single, small action, so even a small dent would be a welcome shift.

  1. Continue the engaged and inclusive discussion with all the constituents and make social media a central part of that strategy both for ONC but also for the healthcare industry.
  2. A friend once said to me: “You’ve put us on the horse, you might as well give us the ride” The same can be said of payment reform, which must shift from quantity-based to quality-based payment. And taking a sheet from Dr Mostashari’s play book, every journey starts with a single, small action, so even a small dent would be a welcome shift.
  3. I must include a shout out for patient engagement. Nowhere else in the industry will you find such a large and untapped resource that is ready, willing – but perhaps not yet able to participate in the change. As I have stated many times:  when a doctor and patient are in a room, there is nobody, I repeat nobody, more interested in successful outcomes than the patient. Give them the tools and make them part of the solution.
  4. Occasionally, the issue of Tort and Medical Negligence is raised, but it appears to have the “third rail” syndrome. Unless this is addressed, we will continue to see “defensive medicine” practiced. As I recently blogged in Science, Evidence and Clinical Practice, despite clear data that shows intensive monitoring causes more harm in normal care deliveries, we continue to see almost universal rates of this high-level monitoring.  While some may be attributable to the payment system, I believe a large part of this volume stems from the general inertia of and fear of litigation.
  5. Above all – have fun. I made this point at every soccer practice when I was a coach. If you aren’t having fun, there is little incentive to do well or, for that matter, to do at all. I know I am constantly amazed at the great fortune that finds me at this intersection of medicine and technology. I constantly have that feeling as if I paddled for the wave just at the right time:
“Surf’s Up dude – ten foot waves of the Pier”

The Making of the 21 Bow Tie Salute

Dr Farzad Mostashari has been an incredible role model, a source of inspiration and a true visionary who has helped others see what the future of healthcare can look like. And so, in extreme appreciation of all that he has accomplished, I offer this 21 Bow Tie Salute.  

I was fortunate enough to have another wonderful role model, my father, take the time to teach me how to tie a bow tie, but for those of you wanting to learn the fine craft of tying a bow tie, instructions are included below (The 21 Bow Tie Salute was made with Real Bow Ties). 
Thanks Dad!

Here are some basic instructions:

News and sources include:
Healthcare IT News
ONC

Science, Evidence and Clinical Practice

Posted in Health, Healthcare, HealthIT by drnic on September 4, 2013

A recent article on the The Difference between Science and Technology in Birth on the AMA site demonstrates the challenges we still face in getting clicnal practice influenced by science and data. Studies and data may show the path for best clinical practice but as the authors note there are multiple instances of the clinical community – in this case the OBGYN – either knowingly or unknowingly failing to follow the best practices

For deliveries in the US evidence tells us that fetal monitoring in low risk pregnancies has a deleterious effect – yet it remains standard practice in most settings to place external scalp electrodes and intrauterine pressure catheters

Although we still see external continuous fetal monitoring employed in many low-risk pregnancies, “as a routine practice [it] does not decrease neonatal morbidity or mortality compared with intermittent auscultation…. Despite an absence of clinical trial evidence, it is standard practice in most settings to place internal scalp electrodes and intrauterine pressure catheters when there is concern for fetal well-being demonstrated on external monitoring” [3].

 

They list several other standard practices including

  • routing episitomy
  • Use of Doula’s
  • Challenges with Epidurals

Reasons for these behaviors are varied but as the authors state:

Many well-intentioned obstetricians still employ technological interventions that are scientifically unsupported or that run counter to the evidence of what is safest for mother and child. They do so not because a well-informed pregnant woman has indicated that her values contradict what is scientifically supported, a situation that might justify a failure to follow the evidence. They do so out of tradition, fear, and the (false) assumption that doing something is usually better than doing nothing

Until we fix these basic issues there seems limited opportunity to implement intelligent medicine and real evidence or science based practices.

 

http://ifttt.com/images/no_image_card.png

http://drvoice.blogspot.com/2013/09/science-evidence-and-clinical-practice.html

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Science, Evidence and Clinical Practice

A recent article on the The Difference between Science and Technology in Birth on the AMA site demonstrates the challenges we still face in getting clicnal practice influenced by science and data. Studies and data may show the path for best clinical practice but as the authors note there are multiple instances of the clinical community – in this case the OBGYN – either knowingly or unknowingly failing to follow the best practices

For deliveries in the US evidence tells us that fetal monitoring in low risk pregnancies has a deleterious effect – yet it remains standard practice in most settings to place external scalp electrodes and intrauterine pressure catheters

Although we still see external continuous fetal monitoring employed in many low-risk pregnancies, “as a routine practice [it] does not decrease neonatal morbidity or mortality compared with intermittent auscultation…. Despite an absence of clinical trial evidence, it is standard practice in most settings to place internal scalp electrodes and intrauterine pressure catheters when there is concern for fetal well-being demonstrated on external monitoring” [3].

 

They list several other standard practices including

  • routing episitomy
  • Use of Doula’s
  • Challenges with Epidurals

Reasons for these behaviors are varied but as the authors state:

Many well-intentioned obstetricians still employ technological interventions that are scientifically unsupported or that run counter to the evidence of what is safest for mother and child. They do so not because a well-informed pregnant woman has indicated that her values contradict what is scientifically supported, a situation that might justify a failure to follow the evidence. They do so out of tradition, fear, and the (false) assumption that doing something is usually better than doing nothing

Until we fix these basic issues there seems limited opportunity to implement intelligent medicine and real evidence or science based practices.