Do your New Year’s resolutions include improving interoperability? Beefing up business intelligence? Reducing patient identification errors? Our last HIT List of the year touches on these timely topics and more. Whatever challenges you resolve to tackle, we wish you a healthy, productive 2017!

  1. Work smarter with BI. Healthcare organizations are starting to implement business intelligence (BI) platforms to help collect, analyze and mine insights from operational, clinical and other Big Data sources. The integration of cloud computing solutions is a major factor driving growth in the global healthcare BI market, expected to reach nearly $4 billion by 2023. So far, the biggest applications seem to be in improving quality assurance levels and reducing overspending.
  2. A cure for subpar interoperability. Improved interoperability for seamless patient care is one of the goals of the 21st Century Cures Act recently passed by the U.S. House, earmarking $6.3 billion to fund healthcare initiatives. The legislation seeks to establish a provider directory to facilitate data exchange, favors private sector exchange standards, and grants HHS authority to investigate and penalize information blocking. Now the bill just needs to pass the Senate and get signed into law.
  3. Another step forward. Nationwide data exchange has moved closer to reality now that data-sharing pioneers CommonWell Health Alliance and Carequality have agreed to collaborate on connectivity. Together, their members and participants represent more than 15,000 hospitals, clinics and healthcare organizations — covering more than 90% of the acute EHR market and almost 60% of the ambulatory EHR market. That means this cooperative approach could be a data sharing game-changer.
  4. Combat patient dissatisfaction. Healthcare consumers are frustrated with the way their health information is stored and shared, reports a new survey. Tired of spending an average of 8 minutes every doctor’s visit reviewing their medical history and another 8 minutes completing forms, nearly all respondents said they would prefer to store all their data electronically in a single location. Hard to argue with their logic that centralized records are not only more convenient, but also could reduce medical errors.
  5. Think positive. Three-quarters of healthcare executives surveyed believe using biometric patient identification technologies could reduce patient misidentification errors, which 64% say occur frequently or all the time. Most critically, misidentification endangers patients’ safety, but it also wastes close to half an hour for the average clinician per shift and costs the average facility $17.4 million in denied claims. And we haven’t even mentioned how positive patient identification is key to enabling interoperability.
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