The Amazon Comprehend Medical machine learning software introduced in November could address the health care industry's lack of a means to make use of its massive stores of patient data, says industry consultant Michael Abrams. The news also highlights the continuing push of nontraditional players into the health IT market and how they could accelerate the pace of change set by the current major health IT providers.
Yuri A. Campbell comments on changes in the health IT industry
Yuri A. Campbell, FCHIME, FACHE, SHIMSS, Health IT Strategist, US Army
This article serves a warning to the EHR giants that new, nontraditional players have found a way around the barriers to entering the health care market. Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase are teaming up on an initiative to improve satisfaction and reduce health care costs for their companies' employees. Amazon is also partnering with Microsoft, Google, IBM and others to commit to supporting health care interoperability by advancing standards such as Health Level Seven International and its Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources.
According to the article, the top-five EHR vendors hold 85% of the market share, with Epic and Cerner being used at almost half of the nation's hospitals that have EHRs. Market incumbents prefer incremental changes because of their heavy investments into the status quo. But companies with digital expertise -- specifically Amazon, Apple and Google -- have signaled their intent to "revolutionize" the health care industry.
All is not lost for the big EHR vendors, though. They provide the structure supporting the process of this digital conversion of clinical data to knowledge, and they have insights valued by providers and patients. Traditional health care organizations still have some work to do, however. They must understand which data is most relevant and which metrics matter the most. All efforts should be focused on the ultimate goal of improving the outcomes of health care activities to the benefit of their patients.
The health care industry no longer has an excuse to delay implementation of a blockchain solution with the addition of various platforms, said David Chou, CIO and digital officer of Children's Mercy Kansas City hospital in Missouri. As for which platform to pick, Chou advises health IT leaders to look for the one that garners a large number of tested use cases and thus gains community trust.
Microsoft and Walgreens Boots Alliance have signed a multiyear deal to collaborate on health care delivery and retail logistics in an effort to compete with Amazon. The partnership will include the integration of Microsoft's artificial intelligence and cloud platform Azure with WBA's customer data and co-created platforms.
Deloitte researchers evaluated data from 4,500 US hospitals between 2012 and 2016 and found that adoption of data management, population health management and reporting technologies was more likely among "those that receive some fraction of their total revenue from ... quality and value contracts such as bundled payments and global risk capitation," compared with hospitals that don't receive incentives. The researchers recommend that health systems "go beyond the EHR" to focus on technologies that engage patients and providers, as well as core financial and operational applications.
Improving how patients' EHRs are matched could help enhance the quality of health care and reduce costs, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office. The ONC and the private sector could help achieve that goal by implementing a standardized patient data system and using biometrics to improve matching of EMRs, respectively, writes Ben Moscovitch, project director of the Pew Charitable Trusts' health information technology initiative.
Sixty-two percent of 254 patients and 59% of 61 clinicians surveyed said that care quality of virtual video visits was similar to office visits, while 21% of patients cited that virtual visits have a better overall quality, compared with 33% of clinicians who thought office visits have a better quality. The study, published in The American Journal of Managed Care, found that 52.5% and 70.5% of clinicians believe virtual video visits were better in terms of visit efficiency and timely scheduling of patient appointments, respectively, than office visits.
The CHIME Opioid Task Force launched a fundraising campaign to support the newly created CHIME Opioid Health IT Action Center, a web-based repository for health care organizations seeking resources and knowledge on the opioid crisis. Donations can be made online. Read more.
The 19th Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., will kick off the CHIME HIMSS CIO Forum on Feb. 11 in Orlando, Fla., with a keynote address on national and global health trends, crisis points and major health care issues. Learn more and register.
The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? There is a brotherhood among all men. This must be recognized if life is to remain. We must learn the love of man.