HIMSS15 preview: xG Health to unveil new care management platform

The health IT world is gathering for its largest industry event next week in Chicago where more than 38,000 health IT professionals will discuss ideas, products and innovations that are transforming healthcare.

One of the organizations presenting at HIMSS is xG Health Solutions, a company spun out of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System, that is helping providers and payers reduce total cost of care and increase quality of care through products and services based on Geisinger's successful innovations.

Here, Earl Steinberg, MD, MPP, CEO of xG Health, and Marcy Stoots, DNP, RN, xG Health's general manager of EHR applications, offer a sneak preview of what xG Health will be presenting at HIMSS15, as well as issues and trends they see in the health IT industry.

Note: Interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Question: What can we expect from xG Health at HIMSS?

Dr. Earl Steinberg: xG's focus is on helping healthcare providers deliver care more cost-effectively. At HIMSS, we are announcing a new product suite in our population health management arsenal that will help providers deliver higher quality, lower cost care. The new products are software apps that will interoperate with EHRs to promote compliance with best practices and reduce the time physicians spend on a patient visit. We think these apps will be transformational. Importantly, they will benefit providers regardless of whether they are being paid under fee-for-service or on a value-based payment basis. We are collaborating in this effort with a number of very large, well-known companies and organizations, and we're going to be demo-ing in multiple booths.

Dr. Marcy Stoots: We're among the first companies to use the new draft interoperability standards in this way. As a result, we're able to make available to other delivery systems innovations that have been developed and optimized at Geisinger over the past 18 years. These apps will increase the impact of many of our other services, such as what we do to support to providers who are in bundled payment arrangements.

Q: What are the top issues, trends and concerns you've been hearing from clients?

ES: It's been very difficult for providers to implement workflows that are efficient and that enable them to practice the highest quality care. Geisinger has developed "smart software" that does both of these things. The software operates outside of the EMR, but is interfaced seamlessly with the EMR. It's an approach that addresses pain points and frustrations that providers have been experiencing.

MS: One of the pain points is that doctors have to spend a lot of time searching through the EMR to find information pertinent to a patient. Our new apps will present information to the physician in a concise and clinically useful manner.

Q: What are you most looking forward to from the conference?

ES: We're looking forward to several things. The first is informing people about what we have developed and will be developing in this area. The second is helping people understand the power that interoperability will unleash. We are hoping that our new products will add even more enthusiasm and support for increased openness and interoperability of EMRs.

MS: Geisinger has done some amazing work in improving quality and outcomes, and I'm really excited that we can now bring this innovation to market. For me, it is really powerful and exciting to leverage Geisinger innovations to make a difference outside of Geisinger.

Q: What do you think will distinguish HIMSS15 from years past?

ES: I think what's different is that we are showing things that we have proven to increase quality and reduce cost of care.. These aren't just mock-ups or conceptual. These are real. I think it's a new milestone achievement in the movement toward true interoperability.

MS: Interoperability is a huge theme this year. With meaningful use, a lot of organizations have got their EHRs in and they have a lot of data, but the time has come for interoperability. To me, that's what's going to be different this year — we're not just talking about it, we're doing something about it. We have proven results at Geisinger. Now we can leverage what Geisinger has been doing for years to help improve the performance of other health care delivery systems.

Note: xG Health will be present at HIMSS in booths of several companies with which the company is collaborating and will be meeting with interested parties in a hospitality suite.

More articles on HIMSS:

Cerner to focus on interoperability at HIMSS
TeleTracking to display full-enterprise 'command center' at HIMSS
Vocera emphasizes care coordination at HIMSS

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