When HIT Implementation is Challenging, 8 Tools & Services to Consider

Many hospitals and healthcare systems know the value that technology can provide for patient safety, clinical quality and overall decision making. But, they face enormous challenges when it comes to accessing and organizing information so it is available when they need it. Too often, hospitals are blocked by silo'd data reporting, lackluster HIT infrastructure and inadequate tools.

Access to real-time information in an organized manner, creates a new level of healthcare business intelligence that empowers hospitals to improve decision making. When information is readily available on revenue cycle, patient experience, quality, meaningful use, clinic throughput and many other areas that impact the bottom line, hospital leaders, physicians and clinicians can be proactive and create predictive models that influence and direct the hospital's future course.

The health IT assets hospitals may consider range from software — electronic health records, enterprise resource planning systems, departmental systems — to pharmacy equipment, such as automated dispensing machines and mobile cabinets to point-of-care solutions — computer or workstation on wheels, wall-mounted CPUs and tablets. Health IT also includes the IT infrastructure that supports the software and tools, such as servers, storage, routers, networking equipment, radio frequency identification and Wi-Fi.

Choosing the proper HIT tools and software for a hospital depends on its challenges and needs, its debt structure and its strategic goals. It may seem simple on paper, but it takes careful research and analysis, with input from multiple stakeholders, including representatives from both IT and clinical staffs. For those hospitals and health systems that need help beginning the research and analysis phase, here are eight HIT infrastructure tools and software services to consider.

Note: The following is for informational purposes and is not an endorsement of the companies or the products featured.

1. Enterprise Data Warehouse — Enterprise Data Warehouse, provided by Health Care DataWorks, a provider of business intelligence solutions for healthcare organizations, aggregates and organizes data from across a hospital, from the financial and administrative functions to clinical and research departments. According to Jyoti Kamal, president of Health Care DataWorks, EDW relies on bundled software, hardware and support to create a unified data model. Users can access the warehouse through dashboards and create information-rich reports by running their own queries.

2. HealthLogix — HealthLogix is an HIE platform by Certify Data Systems, a provider of health information exchange services, that utilizes a network approach to offer multiple system configurations, including cloud-based options. HealthLogix accesses patient records via clinician dashboards and features on-demand sharing, patient and physician registry, identify management, data view filtering and customized consent policies, according to Certify Data System's website.  

3. IQCommunicate
— IQCommunicate provides a secure platform to enable real-time collaboration between physicians, nurses and clinicians. It is provided by IQMax, an intelligent healthcare communications company. With built-in presence information, the tool instantly displays availability and with integration to call management and scheduling systems, intelligently routes messages to appropriate individuals, says Paul Adkison, CEO of IQMax.

4. OptimizeHIT — With the OptimizeHIT platform, provided by ImplementHIT, a provider of EHR training services, healthcare organizations can adopt all forms of health IT, including EHRs, via a highly specialized approach. OptimizeHIT provides healthcare practitioners training on HIT that is targeted and relevant, while minimizing out-of-clinic time for learning, and reducing lost clinic revenue, according to Andres Jimenez, MD, CEO of ImplementHIT. "This approach is being used by healthcare systems to transform education from independent events to an ongoing initiative encompassing all forms of health IT training, quality and legislature driven initiatives (i.e. ICD-10), as well as continuing medical education," says Dr. Jimenez.

5. PremierConnect — PremierConnect is a health information technology platform and comprehensive database with information from one-in-four hospital discharges, real-time clinical transactions and purchasing data. According to the company website, the platform helps hospitals run various apps that Premier, a provider-owned improvement alliance, offers. Some examples of apps on the platform include: OperationsAdvisor, a national comparative database for monitoring productivity, skill mix and pay; PhysicianFocus, a technology that links physicians and hospitals across different practices and specialties to integrate care delivery; and QualityAdvisor to benchmark and compare patient-level quality, safety and financial data for reductions in harm, mortality and readmissions.

6. smartPath Platform — DiagnosisOne, a provider of healthcare technology solutions, offers smartPath Platform, an end-to-end clinical decision support system, which includes components for clinical decision support, order sets, analytics, and public health recording and surveillance. The system is built on a Microsoft, Oracle and Red Hat architecture. DiagnosisOne's standards-based, solutions are configurable to each hospital's specific needs with minimal effort, according to Mansoor Kahn, ScD, CEO of DiagnosisOne. "They have been successfully deployed for hospital systems, multi-million member insurers, state and national governments, leading electronic medical record vendors and systems integrators," said Mr. Kahn.

7. ZynxValue+ — ZynxValue+ is a clinical decision support optimization service, which analyzes hospital workflow to identify what should be leveraged to streamline process for the most common medical conditions. The service is offered by ZynxHealth, a provider of clinical decision support solutions. The suite of services provides assessments of clinical decision support content, which a hospital can use to improve inefficiencies of inpatient and outpatient facilities, according to ZynxHealth's website.

8. xPatterns C.A.C. — xPatterns C.A.C. is an semantic search big data analytics platform provided by Atigeo, a technology company, which offers hospitals insights into their data. This platform specializes in the transition to ICD-10 by focusing on coding speed and accuracy with recommended coder sets, according to Christopher Burgess, CSO and COO of Atigeo. "Using natural language processing and proprietary smart pattern matching technologies, xPatterns C.A.C. automatically generates clinical codes directly from encounter notes (code categories supported are: clinical codes ICD9 and ICD10; grouping codes DRP APC, E&M; compliance codes NCCI edits, OCE, MCE, MUE; and reimbursement codes RVU). xPatterns C.A.C. is being launched at the [American Health Information Management Association] trade show Oct. 1," says Mr. Burgess.

More Articles on Health IT Tools & Services:

The Smarter Messaging Technology Hospitals Should Consider
Health Information Technology: Planning and Financing Upgrades
9 Best Practices For Hospital Data Security in a "Bring Your Own" Era

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