Harnessing the power of AI to transform healthcare

One of the many remarkable things about artificial intelligence is that while we tend to think of it as something that will have a big effect in the not-too-distant future, it is already transforming peoples lives in profound and powerful ways today. In factories and warehouses, AI is improving workplace safety by scanning thousands of videos to detect potential risks. In the U.S.researchers are exploring how AI can help public health organizations around the world prevent the spread of deadly diseases like Ebola, Chikungunya, and Zika by detecting the presence of pathogens in the environment and stopping transmission to humans before outbreaks can begin.

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St. James's Hospital Dublin

The hospital's fundamental purpose is the delivery of health treatment, care and diagnose as well as health promotion and preventative services at catchment, regional, super-regional and national levels. Its service remits ranges in complexity from secondary to tertiary level.

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Health Technology, Digital Healthcare

Exploring EHR Trends: A Path to Healthcare Transformation

Article | August 21, 2023

Explore the evolution of healthcare by diving deep into these EHR trends, as they pave the way for the future of EHR. Embrace cutting-edge solutions to enhance patient care and optimize operations. 1. Introduction 2. Significance of EHR Trends 3. Top 10 EHR Trends Shaping the Healthcare Industry 3.1 EHR Interoperability 3.2 Patient-reported Outcome 3.3 Patient Portals 3.4 Generative AI 3.5 Cloud-based EHR 3.6 Voice-enabled EHRs 3.7 Predictive Analytics 3.8 Robotic Process Automation 3.9 Telehealth-EHR Integration 3.10 Blockchain for EHR Data Integrity 4. Future Scope 1. Introduction Electronic health records (EHRs) have transformed the medical industry by revolutionizing how medical information is recorded, accessed, and utilized. This article focuses on the EHR trends and innovations that have reshaped the healthcare field, paving the way for a more efficient and patient-centric future.From enhanced interoperability to cutting-edge technologies, professionals can unravel the key trends propelling future of EHR toward a new era of healthcare delivery. 2. Significance of EHR Trends The importance of EHR software technology trends is highlighted by their transformative influence on the healthcare sector. This transformation was further expedited by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which played a critical role in the increased adoption of telehealth services. As the pandemic necessitated alternatives to in-person visits, the demand for efficient and remote medical services surged, propelling telehealth to the forefront. Yet, looking beyond pandemic responses, the ongoing adoption of EHR trends in healthcare can significantly reshape how healthcare functions. Embracing these EHR trends enhances efficiency, facilitates personalized care, improves data exchange, drives data-driven insights, and empowers patient engagement. Irrespective of global events, it remains essential for healthcare facilities to stay abreast of these trends to remain adaptable and deliver optimized care, ultimately benefiting both providers and patients. 3. Top 10 EHR Trends Shaping the Healthcare Industry Recognizing significant industry trends becomes crucial in a field that is constantly subject to technological advancement and global change. From adopting advanced technologies to prioritizing sustainability and customer-centric approaches, these EHR trends hold the power to bring about significant transformations across the healthcare sector. 3.1 EHR Interoperability EMRs face a notable limitation in their ability to integrate with other systems, whereas EHRs offer robust interoperability, enabling seamless data exchange among healthcare facilities. As the demand for interoperability grows, the distinction between EMRs and EHRs becomes increasingly blurred, with vendors referring to products as EMRs that closely resemble what was initially known as EHRs. In response to this trend, developers and IT specialists continually update EHR systems to comply with interoperability policies, making EHRs more appealing for organizations seeking comprehensive and connected healthcare records. 3.2 Patient-reported Outcome Patient-reported outcome or PRO EHR integration involves incorporating patient-reported outcome measures into electronic health record systems. PROs gather information directly from patient records about their health status, symptoms, and quality of life. These insights provide valuable subjective data for healthcare providers. For orthopedic patients at the clinic, completing surveys on their smartphones via a mobile link is easy. Clinicians can access patient responses during or after appointments to offer tailored care recommendations based on survey readings. Access to patient-reported outcome data empowers clinicians to deliver patient-centered care, fostering greater patient involvement in their treatment journey. 3.3 Patient Portals Patient portals in EHRs are pivotal in modern healthcare practices as the industry embraces digital transformation. Patient portals within EHR systems are crucial to empowering individuals and facilitating communication between patients and healthcare professionals. These portals enable patients to access their personal health information securely. Patients can schedule appointments, ask questions, and even have virtual consultations, making healthcare more accessible and patient-centered. With improved communication and engagement, patient portals bridge the gap between individuals and healthcare professionals. 3.4 Generative AI Integrating generative AI tools with Electronic Health Record systems holds immense promise for advancing healthcare industry. Generative AI can significantly enhance EHR software precision and overall technology, resulting in streamlined daily workflows and enabling healthcare providers to prioritize patient care. By utilizing patterns and structures from existing data to create new content resembling the training data, generative AI brings valuable improvements to EHR systems. These benefits include efficiently filling in missing data, enhancing clinical decision support, automating documentation and coding processes, and ensuring billing accuracy, thereby alleviating the burden on healthcare providers. 3.5 Cloud-based EHR Cloud computing is gaining traction as medical organizations explore the benefits of outsourcing administrative and clinical services, including medical billing, reporting, lab integration, and more. With the increasing adoption of EHR systems, the advantages of easy access to patient data have become crucial. As the patient population continues to grow, the complexity of data rises, demanding solutions that ensure secure storage and accessibility. Embracing cloud-based infrastructure becomes imperative in this scenario, granting healthcare professionals the flexibility to access data using tablets or smartphones safely. This integration empowers clinicians to enhance their productivity in the clinical environment, laying the groundwork for long-term success by offering mobility solutions that cater to evolving healthcare demands. 3.6 Voice-enabled EHRs Integrating voice recognition technology with EHR systems is a significant advancement for clinicians. By allowing hands-free input of information and patient data, voice recognition technology reduces inaccuracies and speeds up information recording. Additionally, with the support of AI, EHRs equipped with voice recognition can assist doctors in recognizing historical patient trends and making accurate diagnoses. As companies strive to incorporate AI into EHRs through voice-enabled technology, physicians can effortlessly access patient data and inquire about specific health parameters, such as the last recorded iron levels from a blood test. This streamlined approach improves efficiency and enhances the overall healthcare experience and decision-making process. 3.7 Predictive Analytics Predictive analytics applications have become a significant driving force within the healthcare industry, yielding profound impacts on diverse areas, including cancer treatments and emergency staffing optimization. As the field continues to evolve, the adoption of predictive analytics technology is expected to expand further. Specialized healthcare app development services utilize AI-powered analytic methods, such as statistics, data mining, and modeling, in conjunction with AI capabilities to offer clinical outcome predictions based on real-time device data and electronic health records. This integration aims to elevate the patient experience and improve care delivery, equipping healthcare professionals with valuable insights to make more informed and proactive care decisions. 3.8 Robotic Process Automation Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is driving the expansion of the automated data capture market for electronic health records worldwide, owing to its ability to enhance workflows and ensure increased accuracy. By automating data capture through robot-based processes, RPA eliminates the need for manual data entry, leading to improved precision. In the healthcare industry, RPA serves as an effective technique to address EHR flaws without requiring a complete system redesign, permitting the utilization of digital labor to preserve efficient processes while resolving underlying issues. By employing system algorithms and programs, RPAs efficiently automate tasks typically carried out by human resources, accelerating the digitization of medical facilities and promptly addressing imperfections. 3.9 Telehealth-EHR Integration Integrating EHR systems with telehealth platforms revolutionizes healthcare by facilitating remote care and streamlining clinical workflows. This alliance will enable medical organizations to deliver high-quality patient care from a distance while ensuring the swift and secure transfer of patient information between systems and interfaces. The combined power of telehealth and EMR systems enhances virtual care activities, automates data entries, and synchronizes insurance information in a single window, thus optimizing efficiency and productivity for healthcare providers and their staff. Moreover, this integration strengthens patient-physician engagement and fosters seamless collaboration among healthcare teams. 3.10 Blockchain for EHR Data Integrity While blockchain technology gained prominence through its association with cryptocurrency, its application in healthcare is steadily gaining momentum. By utilizing cryptography, blockchain ensures the utmost security and integrity of EHR data, limiting access to authorized individuals only. In healthcare, blockchain brings value, from validating clinical trials and verifying claim results to monitoring medicine distribution, authenticating prescriptions, and combating insurance fraud. Additionally, smart contracts leverage blockchain to automate actions based on predetermined outcomes, reducing the need for extensive human involvement. Although the adoption of blockchain in healthcare technology is still in its early stages, several EHR systems have already incorporated it to enhance security, scalability, and confidentiality measures. 4. Future Scope The convergence of IoT devices and big data technology is set to revolutionize the healthcare experience, offering unprecedented digitization and patient engagement. The disruptions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have underscored the need for healthcare institutions to adapt and embrace technological advancements. Careful selection of the right EHR system is crucial for healthcare organizations, and a structured approach that involves key stakeholders, requirements definition, vendor evaluation, and implementation planning is essential for successful EHR implementations. The ultimate goal remains to enhance patient care, streamline workflows, and achieve operational efficiencies. While EHRs have already made significant strides in the industry, the future of electronic health records holds even more excellent benefits and technological impact, with healthcare mobile app developers playing a vital role in the value-based healthcare model and preparing for EHR optimization.

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Health Technology, Digital Healthcare

The Need for Cost Clarity

Article | September 8, 2023

With consumers’ share of healthcare costs expanding, we need to do a better job making charges more transparent and more predictable My husband recently stubbed his toe. Badly. Badly enough that I encouraged him to go see a doctor. He was reluctant. While I suspected he’d rather just garner sympathy by complaining to me while limping around the house (just kidding, honey), his stated reason was all too familiar: “I have no idea what we’ll have to pay. They’ll want to do anX-ray,it might need surgery, and I have no idea what it’ll cost.” All true. We have good health insurance; but like most Americans, when we go to the doctor or have a procedure, what we will actuallyhave topay out of pocket remains a mystery.This is something that we can and should change. As consumers we are shouldering more and more of the cost of healthcare. And the biggest increases are for those of us with employer-sponsored plans. According to an analysis of federal data by the Commonwealth Fund,deductibles in employer plans more than doubled between 2008 and 2017, from $869 to $1,808. Especially troubling, an accompanyingCommonwealth Fund survey revealed that only 62% of adults were very or somewhat confident in their ability to afford healthcare. This increasing burden is also evident when you look at the crushing levels of medical debt in the United States. According to a new studyby JAMA, medical debt is now the largest contributor to personal debt. And the data for this study was collectedbeforethe COVID-19 pandemic. Some of this debt is driven by unpredictability—if the heart procedure you needed costs several thousand dollars more out of pocketthan you thought it would, you may not be prepared, emotionally or financially, to pay it. This is a bad outcome, obviously. The risk of nonpayment rises for the provider; and a recuperating patient is burdened with the stress of a large,unexpected bill. More skin in the game Soas consumers are paying more out of pocket, some may become reluctant to seek care (like my husband) or seek more information about what they willhaveto pay for the care they receive. Consumers are also armed with incredible levels of price transparency with other products—everything from hotel rooms to clothing to household items. With so much skin in the game, and the internet providing so much information, consumers’ expectations are changing when it comes to healthcare. State and federal regulators are also beginning to take action, a trend that will likely accelerate. Most hospitals are now required to publicly disclose the prices they charge. This does not, however, solve the issue for consumers. While it provides a measure of visibility into pricing for insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid, it doesn’t show what share the patient will ultimately pay. Making the complicated simple The complexity of pricing in healthcare is well documented. Niall Brennan, CEO of the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit that analyzes medical costs, suggests that healthcare costs are too high.As a recent Wall Street Journal article reported, a price of a C-section varied from $6,241 to$60,584 at one hospital. This all has to do with the vagaries of the agreements that hospitals sign with multiple insurance companies and government payers. In turn, each insurance company will have its own deductible and out-of-pocket schedules, which providers don’t have access to. We are seeking to change this at Change Healthcare. We are piloting our Care Cost Estimator with a few innovative providers. With the Care Cost Estimator, weleverage our unique dataset, and the largest eligibility network in the industry, to make the unpredictable, predictable.Because we’ve managed 15 billion healthcare transactions—and our network covers 1 million physicians, 6,000 hospitals, and 2,400 payers—we have an unmatched ability to analyze what real-world patients are paying for practically any procedure, performed at almost any hospital or clinic. With a cloud-based transaction engine, providers will now be able to tell their patients how much they will have to pay out of pocket for a given procedure.And this analysis takes place in real time. Removing unpredictability in pricing This gives providers the opportunity to offer added value for their patients, taking some unpredictability out of whatis often a stressful transaction. In addition, it accelerates patient payment cycles which, as the patient’s share of the cost burden increases, is becoming more and more important. We’re not talking $50 co-pays anymore; it’s thousands of dollars per transaction. If necessary, providers can also help the patient plan for the expense, offering financing options, thus reducing unpaid bills. For the patient, it allows more informed decision-making and peace of mind. Testing the beta version of our Care Cost Estimator with our partners will allow us to receive real-world feedback and collaborate with customers on how to continuously improve the product as we scale it. We expect the ROI for providers, in addition to the payment-cycle improvements, will include greater patient satisfaction and loyalty. For the patient, it provides information necessary to help make proper decisions and plan emotionally and financially; in other words, giving the consumer the same information for vital healthcare transactions that’s available to them for practically any other purchase. This kind of win-win solution is at the core of Change Healthcare’s mission to improve the healthcare experience for everyone—including my husband and his broken toe!

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Health Technology

How to optimize health IT systems for immunization drives

Article | September 12, 2023

Government bodies have organized vaccination drives from the days of paper, pen and file folders. Nations across the globe have successfully run vaccination programs on a large scale. In countries such as India, with the second-largest population, a vaccination campaign to eradicate polio was delivered at specified centers and going door-to-door. India was declared officially polio-free in March 2014. All without technology! Routine vaccination administration has always been either by a scheduled or walk-in appointment. Vaccinating populations for polio, smallpox or similar diseases has always been a part of a multi-year plan for governments.

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How Virtual Care and Telehealth are Redefining Healthcare

Article | April 16, 2020

Virtual care and telehealth are no longer seen as merely an innovative method of delivering healthcare; technology is now indispensable to protecting patients, staff, and PPE resources amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a recent Harvard Medical School blog, Lee H. Schwamm, MD, shared that “telehealth, the virtual care platforms that allow health care professionals and patients to meet by phone or video chat, seems tailor-made for this moment in time… The current crisis makes virtual care solutions like telehealth an indispensable tool.” He believes that the role of telehealth is vital to our country as “it can help flatten the curve of infections and help us to deploy medical staff and lifesaving equipment wisely.”

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Spotlight

St. James's Hospital Dublin

The hospital's fundamental purpose is the delivery of health treatment, care and diagnose as well as health promotion and preventative services at catchment, regional, super-regional and national levels. Its service remits ranges in complexity from secondary to tertiary level.

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