Tag Archives: electronic health records

UCSF to Use Dignity Health Digital Platform to Increase Health Access

Partnership Puts Information in the Hands of Patients to Transform their Health Care Journeys

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a state-of-the-art digital engagement platform that will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

The platform, which ultimately aims to serve as a model for health systems nationwide, will be hosted by Dignity Health. The two health care organizations will leverage technological expertise and cloud-based infrastructure that Dignity Health has developed for its 40 hospitals. As one of the nation’s top-ranked academic medical centers, UCSF Health will contribute its extensive knowledge of the patient experience in specialty care.

The two health care organizations will develop a trusted path of digital access across the patient journey using the proprietary cloud-based platform of Dignity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems.

“Our collaboration with Dignity Health will empower patients and their families with digital health care and connectivity, while simplifying the provider experience,” said Shelby Decosta, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for UCSF Health. “Together, with Dignity Health, we are opening new pathways for health care organizations to create a superior experience for their own patients and ultimately, for patients nationwide.”

In the first phase of the digital collaboration, UCSF is redesigning the user experience of its web and mobile properties and leveraging Dignity Health’s technical expertise to re-envision how the medical center delivers information to patients. The personalized, mobile-responsive infrastructure is supported by rich analytics and machine learning. In later phases, UCSF’s Center for Digital Health Innovation and Dignity Health will map out the multiple pathways that patients follow in moving from primary and secondary care to more acute care services, to create a robust digital system that connects patients and providers, while providing patients with the information they need throughout the process.

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Blue Shield of California Commits to Work with Providers to Bring Health Care into the Digital Age

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blue Shield of California today announced an important step to bring health care into the digital age. Beginning this year, it will require network providers, including those participating in the nonprofit health plan’s nationally recognized Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program, to agree to participate in Manifest MedEx, the largest nonprofit health information network that is creating comprehensive, real-time digital health records for all Californians.

Blue Shield logo for article, Blue Shield of California Commits to Work with Providers to Bring Health Care into the Digital AgeManifest MedEx facilitates the secure exchange of 11 million patient claims records and 5 million patient clinical records for over 200 participating partners. Manifest MedEx supports physicians, nurses, hospitals and health plans in sharing critical health information to ensure that patients receive safe, high-quality care.

Blue Shield’s decision aligns with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ announcement today that outlines steps to increase the interoperability, portability and availability of medical data. These efforts should empower patients, improve care and lower health care costs.

“Manifest MedEx delivers real-time, comprehensive health care data to providers and payers on a secure, open platform. It is a crucial prerequisite to transforming our fragmented health care system,” said Paul Markovich, Blue Shield of California’s president and CEO. “This is part of our commitment to provide health care that is worthy of our family and friends and sustainably affordable. We encourage others to get on board.”

“Providers have made enormous investments in technology and infrastructure,” Markovich added. “These investments will be even more valuable when the data they collect is shared and combined with other health information to create a comprehensive patient record that helps improve the quality of care.”

Blue Shield is asking its ACO providers to sign a participation agreement with Manifest MedEx by Aug. 31, 2018 and other network providers to do so as a part of their next contract renewal. It plans to work closely with all its providers to complete the implementation in the optimal time and manner.

“Manifest MedEx delivers the information that helps hospitals, medical groups and ACOs do the hard work of improving care coordination, reducing inefficiencies, addressing gaps in care and enhancing the patient experience,” said Claudia Williams, CEO of Manifest MedEx. “Manifest MedEx gets you the information you need, in the formats you need, when you need it. We break down silos, so California providers can focus on what they do best: improving health care, not assembling data.”

Created through collaboration among California’s leading providers and health plans, Manifest MedEx makes it easier for doctors, hospitals and other care providers to securely review, analyze and share medical information across the health care system.


Technology Helps Improve Quality of Care

Every step of the healthcare process is aimed at providing the absolute best quality of care to the patients as possible. In addition to making it easier for doctors to collaborate and get important information about their clients to assist in their treatment, technology is also helping give patients greater autonomy at hospitals and clinics in the country. Digital medical records and touchscreen devices are now allowing doctors to quickly pull up charts and see imaging results in greater detail so that if patients need to see multiple doctors in a facility no information is lost in transit. For patients that are hospitalized for any period of time, infotainment terminals can be used as a computer, television, phone and nurse call button all in one. By taking a look at the following infographic, you can see how far technology has advanced in the medical field and ways that it will help shape the next developments in the industry.

Infographic that shows healthcare technology

Privacy and Security of Employees’ Health Data in the Era of Electronic Health Records


Big Data, Little Data, Open Data – a burgeoning interest in data is evident, perhaps nowhere more so than in public health and healthcare. Nationally, several major ‘data revolutions’ are underway, including a transition to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to maintain and share longitudinal patient health data, and the increasing use of data to measure the performance of healthcare and public health programs. Both trends are relevant to Total Worker Health: data are being used in new and innovative ways to measure employee health status and increasingly, occupational health data are being exchanged electronically.

As employers, labor, public health and other stakeholders work together to integrate health protection and health promotion in the workplace, the amount of employee health data being generated, collected and electronically exchanged will only increase. Have you ever wondered what happens to employee wellness data collected by employers or a third party? Are these data treated as ‘confidential?’ Who has access to the data? When an employer has both voluntary wellness and required screening programs for employees, how should the data be maintained to prevent accidental disclosure of the voluntary information? These and other questions emerge when new employee health programs are put in place and/or paper records are replaced by electronic systems. Continue reading Privacy and Security of Employees’ Health Data in the Era of Electronic Health Records

Do Health Apps Live Up to Their Hype?

photo of BJ Fogg, PhDThere are said to be over 40,000 health, fitness, and medical apps. They range from references to calculators to diaries to tracker apps, such as diabetes managers and heart rate monitors. Although they generate much “gee-whiz” fanfare, evidence that smartphone applications actually work to promote healthy behaviors in users is scant.[1]

Some medical researchers are reaching the same conclusion. For example, a study of iPhone® apps for smoking cessation found that these apps “rarely adhere to established guidelines for smoking cessation.”[2]

A not-yet-published study of 222 smartphone apps that offer tips, advice, and treatment for pain found that many of these apps lacked a scientific foundation,[3] and that most showed no evidence of healthcare professional involvement.

Nor are health app users oblivious to app shortcomings. According to one report, 26% of people who download health apps use them only once.[4]

For psychologist BJ Fogg, PhD, improving their content is not what would make health apps more effective. What would make them more effective is designing apps from the ground up to change specific behaviors from bad to good, using what he terms “persuasive technology,” a marriage of mobile technology and the psychological theories and techniques of behavior modification. For Fogg, an app that evokes the desired behavior change is an app that works.

A pioneer in the use of technology to change human behavior, Fogg is listed as one of “10 new gurus you should know” by Fortune. [5] He has one foot in academia and the other in industry. He’s Founder and Director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University and the author of Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do (Morgan Kaufmann, 2002).

Fogg says it isn’t technology that’s holding back the design of apps that could help patients (particularly those with chronic conditions) adopt healthy behaviors. The capability is here. Evidence-based data on how behavior change works is also here. What’s needed, he says, is for the possessors of these 2 disparate fields of knowledge — software engineers and cognitive scientists, whose paths don’t normally cross — to seek each other out and collaborate.

If they did, how would apps change? What would they do? Medscape interviewed Fogg to find out.

3 Keys to Changing Behavior

Medscape: You have a theoretical model that can be expressed as an equation: Behavior equals motivation plus ability plus a trigger occurring at the same moment. What does this mean? How could it inform health app design?

Dr. Fogg: The real key to changing behavior, not just in healthcare but in any consumer experience, is to help people do what they already want to do. That’s motivation. There’s no way you can browbeat someone to do something they don’t want to do. You can just take that one off the table. To help them to do what they want to do, you have to make it really easy to do that thing. That’s ability. And then you need a trigger, a reminder, to prompt behavior.

That’s the overall recipe. If you don’t have any one of those things — motivation, ability, and trigger — I guarantee the app will fail. You have to do them all.

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