In the midst of playoff season, we see teams rise up to overcome a challenging opponent by making a big play. Similarly, in healthcare we see teams working together to bring technology in as their organization’s game changer. This week’s HIT List focuses on the energy being exerted to make positive changes such as moving interoperability forward, using terms that better address new healthcare dynamics and much more.

  1. Now is the time to get connected. With multiple vendors waiving their EHR data-sharing fees, healthcare IT experts agree removing this major interoperability roadblock is a win, but suggest a lot of work is still needed to facilitate the free flow of data. Now, the responsibility falls to healthcare IT departments. It may be helpful if companies share their API frameworks. Looks like interoperability is finally on the right path.
  2. A new spin on healthcare terms. As healthcare providers shift toward delivering value and quality, the industry’s terminology is also shifting to better reflect the changing dynamic of how a “patient” interacts with the entire healthcare system. Nomenclature is changing to “consumers” and “customers” to reflect the push toward empowerment in making healthcare decisions, and to new labels referring to the delivery system as “person-centered” (instead of patient-centered), it makes you wonder how we’ll be talking about healthcare five years from now.
  3. Tablets and training for seniors. Anticipating a positive impact on senior care, Apple and IBM recently launched an iPad program that will deliver tablets to 4–5 million seniors in Japan by 2020. By training them to use healthcare-centric apps such as managing medications and staying in touch with family and friends, the tech companies hope to help keep the seniors healthy and living at home longer.
  4. Tackling telemedicine challenges. Patients and physicians continue to support telemedicine even while coverage and payment regulations at the state and federal level are still being determined. And according to the AHA, telemedicine faces additional obstacles, including state licensure laws, online prescribing and security concerns. Taking a broad approach to policies seems to be the way to go for now.
  5. Aging gets innovative. With the push toward aging at home, technology will most certainly play a pivotal role. Anticipating the ways technology can better monitor senior health and safety include talking street signs and smarter homes, robot caregivers and apps for everything. We can’t help but think about what the next decade will bring in terms of healthcare IT.
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