January 11, 2012

Top 10 trends for health care and wellness in 2012

A look at top trends for 2012 from Bart Foster CEO of SoloHealth. Technology, empowered consumer and Retail.

Top 10 trends for health care and wellness in 2012 | Drug Store News

December 19, 2011 | By Bart Foster

For those of us in the healthcare and wellness business, we realize our industry is changing and evolving quickly, mostly out of pure necessity. The healthcare industry is overburdened, over budget and in need of an overhaul. But the potential for our healthcare and wellness system is incredible for all audiences it touches — from consumers to medical professions to healthcare and wellness marketers. Throughout this past year familiar themes rang clear across our industry, giving us insights into what will play vital roles for healthcare in our future. Below are my Top 10 for 2012:

Technology will lead the way: No doubt that technology will pave a way for a better overall healthcare and wellness system, providing a more efficient and effective experience between consumers, healthcare providers, insurers, retailers, and healthcare and wellness brands. The primary concern will be the sharing and exchange of data for cost-cutting and efficiency purposes. But technology will also propel consumers to have more engaged and interactive experiences with not only their doctors and providers, but also healthcare retailers, brands and advertisers. Look for mobile, digital and cloud-based technologies to rise. Note: Technology plays a role in every trend listed below.

The empowered consumer continues to rise: The ‘do-it-yourself’ and ‘self-service’ trend among consumers will continue in 2012. And technology plays a large role here. Research shows that 80% of U.S. Internet users claim to have used the web to search for health-related information and answers — and that is just search. Many platforms from interactive healthcare kiosks to social media to personalized health sites are allowing consumers to empower themselves. As consumers increasingly turn to self-service technologies and channels, the entire healthcare industry has a tremendous opportunity to reach, engage and interact with today’s empowered consumer. And that will yield some powerful results from consumers to doctors to retailers.

Retail plays an increased role: From pharmacies to in-store clinics and healthcare kiosks, retail establishments from Walgreens to Walmart to Safeway will play vital roles to connect with consumers for better healthcare access, awareness and treatments. Consumers are still frequenting brick-and-mortar stores; connecting with them while they are there offers great opportunities for healthcare providers, advertisers and the retail locations.

Awareness and prevention will have a renewed focus: A renewed focused on awareness and prevention will be a priority in 2012, as chronic diseases account for many of our healthcare issues and costs. Businesses and organizations from employers to insurers to retailers will institute health-and-wellness programs to encourage better health and prevention. It’s a tried and true formula, but awareness and prevention are probably the best frontline defense against poor health and cutting unnecessary costs across the board.

Digital, social and mobile a priority: In another nod to technology, but one worth its own section, digital, social and mobile technologies will play a major role in 2012 and beyond. Increasingly, consumers, healthcare providers and health-and-wellness businesses are turning to digital and social communities to connect, learn and engage. And with the projected rise of mobile growth, specifically smartphones, look for mobile to become a rising and preferred communication device. There is great opportunity for healthcare professionals, retailers and advertisers to develop innovative strategies to reach and engage with consumers when they are on the go. This opens tremendous opportunities for the entire health ecosystem.

Open data access continues: The days of “closed” data in healthcare are quickly dwindling. The open access of healthcare data — of course, respecting privacy — will be more prevalent. Take, for example, electronic health records. Although still in its infancy, and a monumental task to replace the current system, it will become a standard process that will greatly improve the coordination of consumer’s healthcare data, reduce errors and lower costs. The days of mailing, faxing and passing along a paper trail of data will become digital.

Line between healthcare insurers and providers continues to blur: The merger and partnership of insurers and hospital operators crosses a traditional healthcare divide. But look for this trend to continue as the industry restructures and overhauls healthcare operations to cut costs and make way for better efficiencies.

Increased government involvement and focus: The Obama administration-backed healthcare reform bill, passed last year, has been under tight scrutiny since it appeared. And it heads to the Supreme Court in March 2012 to determine if it is “constitutional” — right in the middle of the heated election season. Look for government organizations and politicans to make healthcare a chief focal point for the political season and beyond. The government will definitely play a role in our future health care. Only time — and the nine-member court — will tell to what extent and level.

Cost transparency: Another by-product of today’s broken, over-budget healthcare system, coupled with today’s empowered and engaged consumer, is that healthcare costs will be more transparent. No more cloak of confusion and secrecy over charges and why. You’ll see a more simplified and transparent cost and services breakdown, across the entire healthcare system.

Pharmaceutical switch - brand to OTC generic: Not even the big, money-making drug companies will be immune to the new and evolving healthcare landscape. Look for big Pharma to turn to OTC versions to continue profit streams as brand-name prescription drugs encounter tough competition from OTCs and generics. AstraZeneca just announced it will reduce its U.S. sales force by almost 25% in response to generic competition for top products, a common theme across most drug companies as executives cite a “challenging environment”. In another example, Pfizer will introduce an OTC version of its highly popular and profitable Lipitor drug, which lost patent protection last month. Expect more of the same in 2012.

Bart Foster, founder & CEO of SoloHealth, is an award-winning entrepreneur and business executive with more than 15 years of international sales and marketing experience in the consumer products, technology and healthcare industries. In 2007, Foster founded SoloHealth, a leading consumer-driven healthcare technology company that specializes in interactive health screening kiosks, as well as other platforms, to empower consumers about their health through awareness, education and action. Prior to founding SoloHealth, Foster held leadership positions at CIBA Vision, the eye care division of Novartis AG. He also held sales and marketing roles at Peachtree Network, a successful Internet start-up based in Montreal, Canada, and with Kellogg’s in consumer marketing and sales. Foster holds a B.S. in marketing from the University of Florida and an MBA in Global Management from the University of Phoenix. You can follow Foster on Twitter at @Bart_Foster and @SoloHealth.

Top 10 trends for health care and wellness in 2012 | Drug Store News

Posted by staff at 01:17 PM

January 05, 2011

Healthcare - kiosks revolutionize patient check-in

Nice interview with Stanley Crane of Allscripts and how the kiosks (and remote mobile options) are improving efficiency.

Allscripts kiosks revolutionize patient check-in - SmartPlanet


Last month I went to a doctor’s appointment at George Washington Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) here in D.C. I stepped off the elevator, had my palm scanned at a kiosk, answered a few questions on a touch screen about my insurance and emergency contacts, selected my appointment for the day, paid my co-pay, took my receipt and sat down with a crossword puzzle in the waiting room. How great is that?

I’ve now used the kiosk four times at MFA, a facility that treats about 4,600 patients daily. Most recently, there was a longer line at the kiosk than at the check-in desk, where the receptionists looked bored.

To learn more about these kiosks and the direction we are headed with electronic health, I called Chicago-based Allscripts, which makes the machines, and talked Chief Innovation Officer Stanley Crane. As Crane told me, imagine if our banks operated in the low-tech and arcane way that our health providers do—entering data manually, shying away from computers and never having the right records available. That’s only money, he said. “This is life and death.”

I’ve loved using the kiosks.

That’s a common experience. You get to the airport, you need to check in, and you don’t have any bags to check. Do you want to talk to the agent? Do you want to talk to the teller or just get your money at the ATM? I think we’ve all gotten used to talking to the electronics, and the computer is faster than the human.

Also smarter. It always knows my co-pay, whereas the people behind the desk never seem to know, so they ask me, and I don’t know either. It happens every time.

When I get that question, I like to tell them that they owe me money.

Were these modeled after airport or ATM kiosks, or was this different enough that it had to be built from the ground up?

When we started the project, we had a client from New York who was very concerned about Medicare fraud—patients using one card and passing it around. So they wanted to know what could we do to help them with Medicare fraud.

So it’s a blend of a few things. The first time you sign in, you authenticate yourself. We were thinking about fingerprint readers, but they were not reliable enough when you change devices–from one fingerprint reader to another, we couldn’t tell you were the same person. The palm scan–the vein-reading technology–we see that at about a 10,000-to-one failure rate. It has a much higher rate of detecting the person you are.

The kiosk has a series of questions to ask. Once a year, for example, I want to ask you in the October through December time frame, “Do you want a flu shot?” The kiosk has the capability to ask a series of targeted questions. If you’re male, these questions, if you’re female, other questions. Same with patients of different ages. After the first time you use it, there are fewer questions. Usually if we ask them more than about five questions they have a tendency to drop off.

We want to make it a little easier for you to see the doc and to provide more information to the nurse and the doc so they understand more about your situation before they see you. It puts us in a better position to collect your data if we start collecting it electronically. Also, we find people are more likely to be honest with the machine than with a person. I just went to the doctor, and I had to tell the security guard where I was going. It was just for a cold, but what if I was going to the place for sexual dysfunction or drug rehab?

GW was one of the first to use your kiosks?

GW was one of the first. GW has been an excellent partner– collaborative, opinionated and negotiable.

Who controls the kiosks now—like programming certain questions—them or you?

They do. So if they want to take a question out or add a question, they do it. They could ask, “Have you been exposed to swine flu?” The machines are all the same, but the questions are tailored by the client.

What’s the smart technology that’s used?

It’s a tablet PC, a classic Microsoft windows application, custom built for Allscripts.

The staff told me that they clock in with a fingerprint reader. Is that your system?

You can sign into our applications with a fingerprint reader, but clocking in—that’s not ours.

We’ve enabled biometrics, but the one we haven’t done is the iris reader. I know it, I get it, and I still felt uncomfortable with it: Let me shine this laser in your eye…

Tell me about how the palm reader works.

It’s built by Fujitsu. The PalmSecure technology reads the veins [with a near infrared light]. And the thing about a palm reader versus a fingerprint reader is that someone can cut your hand off, and they can’t use it and pretend to be you. The palm reading won’t work, because the veins aren’t working anymore. It’s a thermal reading of the veins in your hand.

You thought about this?

I did ask that question.

What’s next?

There’s a theme in a lot of what we’re doing. When you think about EHR (electronic health records), you think about a doctor or nurse talking to a computer or tablet. We’re extending the edges of where the EHR reaches: We’re extending it to the waiting room, and we’re extending the boundaries of where that information is available.

It used to be a really hard boundary—you had to be in the clinic or connect VPN (virtual private network) to the clinic. So how do we make it easier ? We’re trying to make sure wherever that point of care is, the information is, and make it easy for the patient to have access to his information.

And for doctors, we should make it electronically easy for them to pick up their smart phone, access your records and know how to treat you. Knowing, for example, when your last tetanus shot was, so [the shot] is not wasted if your shot is current. We give you the tetanus shot if you need it, but we don’t depend on you to remember when your last one was.

It’s breaking down the geographic barrier of where the information is and where it needs to be.

What’s the biggest challenge in moving forward with all this?

I’ll tell you what I think challenges are. In health care in general, I think training is always an issue–helping doctors, nurses, patients do things in a new way.

I think managing is always a challenge.

I think with the new wave of devices like iPads and digital pens, a challenge is figuring out what to do. Given the amazing capabilities of an iPad, what should do to have the biggest impact on health care? Assume we can do anything, what should we do?

I am at Allscripts because I love what we do. We get to be part of creating the type of health care we want.

And what is that?

We need to come up with ways we can use information technology as every other industry uses it today. Borrowing the kiosk to create the same type of efficiency the airlines and banking industries use. And with that, we save healthcare resources.

How do we help orchestrate the data flow between the various physicians? The kiosk is one way. Allscripts Remote (for the Android, iPhone) is another.

Allscripts Referral Network is another way. Our CEO is impatient; he wants to change health care, and wants to change it now. Rather than waiting for a national clearinghouse to exist, how about just connecting the 180,000 physicians who use Allscripts software? We started about a year, ago and it’s coming to fruition now. It’s about moving data around.

So in this respect, health care is far behind other industries.

I joke a lot and draw parallels between finance and health care. Let’s say you move to Chicago and want to open a bank account. You see file folders, they manually create statements, steer away from the Internet and send you a hand-written statement every month. What’s your next move?

I run out of there as fast as I can.

How many doctors’ offices are like that? And that’s only money. This is life and death.

I believe so much in the problem-solving ability of our physicians that if we prime that pump with information, they will find solutions. How do we help that doctor practice medicine more efficiently and effectively? We’re not the magic part; the physician is the magic part.


Allscripts kiosks revolutionize patient check-in - SmartPlanet

How do we help orchestrate the data flow between the various physicians? The kiosk is one way. Allscripts Remote (for the Android, iPhone) is another.

Link to Remote app

Posted by staff at 07:39 AM

January 01, 2011

Solution Provider - Vendor HealthCare Check-In

Solution Provider -- Reptrax is a web driven software service that aids in the credentialing and monitoring of sales/service representatives in healthcare environments.

We provide an effective solution that allows hospitals to enforce their policies throughout their vendor community, and for vendors to maintain compliance with those policies.

Posted by keefner at 08:35 AM

April 21, 2010

100 iPads set for deployment at Calif. hospital

The business case for the iPad may be nowhere as clear as it is in healthcare, a multi-billion dollar industry and one of the world's largest consumers of information technology.

source link

April 20, 2010, 11:59 AM EDT

By Jon Brodkin
Just like the iPhone, Apple's iPad is a consumer device but also a tempting purchase for many business users. And the business case for the iPad may be nowhere as clear as it is in healthcare, a multi-billion dollar industry and one of the world's largest consumers of information technology.

Nick Volosin, director of technical services at Kaweah Delta Health Care District in Visalia, Calif., immediately saw the potential of putting the iPad in the hands of healthcare workers, who use a variety of medical imaging applications, are often moving from location to location, and don't want to be tethered to a device with poor battery life. Volosin bought three iPads for testing and plans to deploy more than 100 within the next two months or so.
iPad as virtual desktop? Citrix says yes

In addition to usual office applications such as e-mail, health care workers will use the iPads to look at X-ray images, EKG results and various other patient monitoring programs, all delivered using Citrix virtual desktop and application delivery software.

"Everywhere we go, it definitely has a wow factor," Volosin says. But more importantly, the iPad can replace the laptop for many employees, particularly home healthcare and hospice workers, and offer a 10-hour battery life. For Kaweah, the iPad will boost efficiency simply by eliminating time wasted turning laptops on and off and charging batteries between appointments.

While a consumer might hem and haw about whether the $500 iPad is worth the price, Volosin views it as a reasonable cost compared to standard laptops. While the iPad might cost more than a thin client, the $500 is affordable compared to some specialized touchscreen tablets used by hospitals, which might cost $3,000 each, he says.

While the three iPads purchased by Volosin are only being used for testing and demonstrations at the moment, about 20 doctors at Kaweah have purchased their own, including Kidney Specialist Dr. Roger Haley.

"This is going to make my day easier and patient safety better," Haley said during an interview with a local ABC news station. "Now, I don't have to find a workstation to do what I need to do; I do it right there, right then, right now."

While doctors are buying their own, Volosin has ordered 100 iPads for hospital employees, which will be used by home health and hospice care workers, nurses, dietitians and pharmacists.
Ordering such a large amount of iPads from Apple was a bit tricky. Apple's ordering system automatically canceled Volosin's purchase, informing him that he could not order more than three. Volosin got the issue straightened out over the phone this week.
"They were limiting people form ordering too many, which I thought was interesting," he says. "They're used to dealing with consumers and not bulk orders."

Volosin also plans to test out the 3G iPads to see if the performance justifies the extra price and monthly payments.
The Kaweah Delta Health Care District consists of five sites, including the main hospital, a dialysis center, a nursing facility, and rehab and mental health hospitals. The IT team supports up to 6,500 users, including physicians and all employees, using Citrix XenApp to deliver virtual desktops and applications. In the data center, Kaweah has 350 servers, about 70% of which are virtual, and 260TB of EMC storage.

Volosin was already delivering desktops and apps to iPhones using the Citrix Receiver software, and extending the Citrix deployment to iPads was relatively simple, he says.

"We're giving users full access to a full virtual desktop," Volosin says. "They can run anything we can run internally."

The Citrix technology lets users maintain desktop sessions across different devices, for example switching from an iPhone to a desktop or thin client as the need arises. "Citrix allows us to have that flexibility," Volosin says. "We don't really care about the device. The device is what works best for you."

Posted by staff at 12:24 PM

November 23, 2009

Nice Ride Minnesota Announces First Kiosk Sponsors

Nice Ride Minnesota plans to supply 1,000 bikes in about 80 self-service kiosks, beginning in May 2010. Bike share kiosks will be in downtown Minneapolis, on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus, and in nearby commercial districts, including Uptown, Midtown, the Warehouse District, St. Anthony Main and Dinkytown. Subscribers will easily use the system, by swiping a membership card to unlock a bike, and then returning the bike to any kiosk in the city.


Nice Ride Minnesota Announces First Kiosk Sponsors

Nice Ride Minnesota Announces First Kiosk Sponsors

The Minneapolis business community helping make bike share happen
MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Nice Ride Minnesota, a new non-profit created to bring public bike sharing to Minneapolis, today announces another successful round of fundraising. Augsburg College, Grant Thornton, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Seward Co-op, Wedge Co-op, Equal Exchange, Peace Coffee, Birchwood Cafe, Dero Bike Rack Co. and Aveda have all announced their plans to sponsor Nice Ride bike share kiosks.
In September, Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, announced its title sponsorship for Nice Ride Minnesota, as one way they're working to put the brakes on rising obesity levels. The bike share program is a strong compliment to the Blue Cross do campaign, which promotes physical activity and is also funded through settlement proceeds from its historic lawsuit against the tobacco companies. Their leadership was instrumental in drumming-up increased local support.
Nice Ride Minnesota plans to supply 1,000 bikes in about 80 self-service kiosks, beginning in May 2010. Bike share kiosks will be in downtown Minneapolis, on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis Campus, and in nearby commercial districts, including Uptown, Midtown, the Warehouse District, St. Anthony Main and Dinkytown. Subscribers will easily use the system, by swiping a membership card to unlock a bike, and then returning the bike to any kiosk in the city.
"Our supporting companies want the Twin Cities to be known for vitality and innovation," said Bill Dossett, Nice Ride Minnesota executive director. "Thanks to our sponsors, Minneapolis will soon lead the nation on bike share. We know other companies will also see this initiative as an asset to the community."
Companies are sponsoring the program for a variety of reasons, mostly because it aligns with each organization's initiatives to have a positive impact in the community in which they serve.
"Active living is healthy living, which is why we're proud to be a sponsor of Nice Ride Minnesota," said Jeff Peterson, president of Abbott Northwestern Hospital. "Bike share is an easy way for people to make exercise part of every day."
"Our sponsorship of the bike share program is motivated by our commitment to eco-friendly practices," said Lee Wallace, CEO at Peace Coffee. "We're active participants in the local cycle community and love the idea of bringing more Twin Cities residents out onto the streets alongside our bike delivery crew!"
"As a local business, we know that Minneapolis has a strong and vibrant bicycling community, and we look forward to being part of Nice Ride Minnesota's growth," said Marcos Lopez-Carlson, customer service supervisor at the Wedge Co-op, "We believe that increasing access to bicycles will improve the overall health of our urban environment."
Tom Vogel, marketing & member services manager at Seward Co-op, believes bike share dovetails with the values of the Co-op's membership. "Seward Co-op is committed to operating with intentional respect for the environment and to investing in the communities we serve. Nice Ride Minnesota aligns with Seward Co-op's mission."
"Aveda shares Nice Ride Minnesota's vision for community wellness, environmental protection and sustainability," Chuck Bennett, vice president of Aveda earth and community care. "We're proud to be associated with such an innovative program that will help people enjoy all the wonderful attributes of Minneapolis."
For additional information on bike sharing and to learn how you or your organization can support Nice Ride Minnesota, please visit www.niceridemn.com or contact Bill Dossett at 612-747-4659.

Contact:
Roepke Public Relations
Katherine Roepke
Melissa Bohlig
612-677-1717
press@roepkepr.com

SOURCE Nice Ride Minnesota

Posted by staff at 03:38 PM

May 01, 2009

Healthcare Kiosk and Security in one kiosk

fujitsu.jpgFujitsu, partnering with Allscripts, recently introduced the Allscripts Patient Kiosk, a revolutionary way for health care patients to confirm their identities. The kiosk allows individuals to rest their palm above a reader where an infrared light scans their palm and reads the vein mapping or patterns in the hand.

Security in the Palm of Your Hand
April 29, 2009
by Sean Ruck, Editor-In-Chief
Fujitsu Limited's recent product release may seem like science fiction, but it's firmly based in reality.

Fujitsu, partnering with Allscripts, recently introduced the Allscripts Patient Kiosk, a revolutionary way for health care patients to confirm their identities. The kiosk allows individuals to rest their palm above a reader where an infrared light scans their palm and reads the vein mapping or patterns in the hand. The reader is quick, painless and simple to use. Fujitsu built upon their Palm Secure technology to bring this product to market. More accurate than fingerprint scans and more inviting than retinal scans, this may be the future of patient identity verification.

allscripts.jpg

New patients will still need to fill-out or type-in their vital information, but once that information is matched with their biometric template, they will be able to quickly check-in for procedures without having to complete paperwork each time or worry about the security of that filled-out paperwork.

Currently, three major U.S. hospital groups are using the Palm Secure technology for their patient records. However, Springfield Clinic, is the first to use the self-service kiosk.

Larger Image

"Physician practices are always on the lookout for ways to lower costs while improving patient satisfaction, and the Allscripts Patient Kiosk is the answer," said James Hewitt, Chief Information Officer of Springfield Clinic, a 260-provider multi-specialty physician group with 24 locations in Springfield, Ill. and the surrounding 14 counties. "Patients love the kiosk because they are in control." Springfield, who co-developed the health care solution with Allscripts to work on the medical kiosk from Fujitsu, will be deploying 50 of the kiosks this quarter.

Beyond just health care, the Palm Secure technology also serves as a method to prevent physical access into an area as well. Fujitsu currently uses it in their headquarters to prevent access by unauthorized individuals into restricted areas. There has also been interest by companies looking to bring an added layer of security to their properties.

Posted by staff at 07:47 AM

February 25, 2009

New Healthcare kiosks for patient check-in

New patient check-in healthcare kiosk available from KIOSK Information Systems. This healthcare technology helps streamline patient check-in, protects patient privacy, plus they improve revenue collection (co-payments and deductibles).

source link

Healthcare Kiosk Technology and Systems


The Patient Check-In Kiosk

Healthcare Kiosks


HealthAsyst and KIOSK have partnered together to bring you the Patient Check-in Kiosk.

The Patient Check-In Kiosk makes check-in process more convenient for patients by allowing them to identify themselves upon
arrival at the facility, view and confirm demographic and insurance information, electronically sign consent documents and make payments.
All information entered by the patient flows seamlessly to the Healthcare Organization’s (HCO) back-end system, helping reduce
administrative costs for the organization and minimizing the risk of error.


Healthcare Kiosk Features


  • Appointment check-in
  • Secure patient Identification
  • Real Time Demographics verification
  • Real Time Eligibility Check
  • Consent form viewing and e-signature
  • Outstanding Balance and Co-pay Collection
  • Alert Notification

  • Provide Directions


Healthcare Kiosk Management


  • View currently checked-in patients
  • Manage configuration and workflow
  • View kiosk usage statistics
  • Customizable user interface
  • Define rules based workflow

  • Integrated Multimedia Screensaver

Posted by staff at 12:20 PM

February 17, 2009

Heathcare and Smart Card Whitepaper

Nice whitepaper on benefits of smartcards in healthcare. With the election of Obama it would seem the healthcare sector is energized for change and that means EMR and electronic medical records. Go Kiosk - kiosk industry point of view

Posted by staff at 12:55 PM

October 24, 2008

Health Check-In: MEDHOST Brings Self Check In Kiosk To Emergency Departments

New patient self-check-in kiosks products announced by MEDHOST.

ADDISON, Texas, Oct 21, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- MEDHOST, provider of the leading Emergency Department Information System (EDIS), today announced that it has extended its product offering to include a patient self check in kiosk called Emergency Department Patient Access Self Service (ED PASS). Upon arrival patients can check in with the easy to use touch screen kiosk. After patients check in, their information instantly becomes visible in the MEDHOST EDIS which gives clinicians a real-time view of the waiting room and immediately alerts them to any high-risk patients. Northridge Hospital Medical Center, MEDHOST's first ED PASS Customer and Catholic Healthcare West's flagship hospital located in Northridge, Calif., is implementing three ED PASS kiosks to speed patient check in, assist nurses in managing triage and streamline patient registration.

"The MEDHOST EDIS has greatly benefited our ED, and we're excited that those benefits will now impact our waiting room. ED PASS fits into our workflow perfectly. Data can be entered by the patient as they arrive, which speeds processes, keeps nurses focused on caring for patients and gives us rich information about which patients might have ailments that require immediate attention," said Dr. Stephen Jones, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. "We also are gathering more accurate patient information and time stamps, which streamline registration, allow us to better manage the waiting room portion of the ED visit and provide patients with a better experience overall."

Like MEDHOST EDIS, ED PASS features a touch screen interface for simple data entry. With the swipe of a driver's license, patient demographics are immediately captured, and details such as reason for visit, location and intensity of pain or injury, and complaint specific risk factors empower clinicians with rich information about patient background and acuity. Intuitive desktop alerts notify clinicians when a high-risk patient checks in so care can begin without delay.

"The waiting room is an important part of the ED visit and it's critical that clinicians not only have visibility into patient conditions but also be able to identify those at high risk and in need of immediate attention. MEDHOST has automated this process with the release of ED PASS and we're excited to kick things off at Northridge Hospital Medical Center," said Craig Herrod, president and CEO of MEDHOST. "ED PASS was designed to extend the integrated patient safety and process improvement features of MEDHOST EDIS to the waiting room. Now patients can be tracked from the moment they arrive which gives ED clinicians a complete and real-time view of the department."

MEDHOST currently serves more than 160 facilities, including the Baylor Healthcare System in Texas, Catholic Healthcare West in California, Catholic Health System in New York and Tenet Healthcare Corporation. MEDHOST is the preferred EDIS provider of VHA Inc., a national cooperative serving more than 2,400 not-for-profit healthcare organizations. MEDHOST easily integrates with leading hospital information systems, including MEDITECH, Cerner, Siemens and McKesson.

MEDHOST will demonstrate ED PASS and the latest release of its EDIS, Version 4.2, at ACEP Scientific Assembly Oct. 27-30 in booth #363. Also, physician Customers will present their experiences with MEDHOST daily at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Topics include:

-- When disaster strikes: The importance of usability within your EDIS when it really matters
-- The real benefits of EDIS implementation and how to achieve them
-- How your EDIS can impact your success in practice

About MEDHOST, Inc.

MEDHOST is a software solutions company that provides highly visual, easy to use process management technology for the healthcare industry. The MEDHOST product suite has been adopted by leading institutions throughout the United States and has proven to dramatically improve emergency department processes and financial performance. It is MEDHOST's mission to ensure Customer satisfaction by providing the highest levels of quality, performance and service, as evidenced by top KLAS rankings year after year. Products include real time Patient Tracking, Nurse Charting, Physician Documentation, Order Entry and comprehensive reporting. MEDHOST is headquartered in Addison, Texas.

More information is available at www.medhost.com
SOURCE: MEDHOST
Christina Teagarden
Jetstream Public Relations, Inc.
972.788.9456, ext. 302
teagarden@jetstreampr.com

May 20, 2008

NCR to launch patient kiosks in Europe

A new touch-screen kiosk is to be launched in Europe by self-service specialist NCR, designed to simplify the checking in and out procedures for patients. The aim of the kiosk is to simplify registration for GP or hospital appointments for patients prior to their appointment. If payment needs to be made, this can also be collected by the machine.

source link

MediKiosk, a self-service machine which interfaces with hospital information systems and collects clinical information from patients prior to an appointment, is to be piloted by an NHS foundation trust, and one GP practice in England later this year.

The NHS trust will be the first European site to use the technology, with further pilots anticipated in Germany shortly afterwards.

The aim of the kiosk is to simplify registration for GP or hospital appointments for patients prior to their appointment. If payment needs to be made, this can also be collected by the machine.

Speaking at the NCR 2008 Self-Service Universe Executive Conference in Budapest, NCR healthcare specialist Warwick Lawson-Syer told E-Health Europe: “Registering at hospitals or clinics is very frustrating for patients. It often involves a lot of paper forms with a lot of repetition. What this enables is a patient to come in, check-in for their appointment, and complete just one registration form verifying their demographic information and detailing their condition using body map issues or by touching buttons on the screen which match their symptoms.”

Originally launched in the US by healthcare self-service specialist Galvanon in 2002, NCR hope the European market will make similar use of the technology to reduce administrative burdens, and allow more time to be spent on more important matters.

Lawson-Syer added: “The great thing about MediKiosk is that it has been tried and tested successfully in the US so we know that it is useful and effective to healthcare organisations. We have worked very closely with US health bodies to ensure we take into account all issues of consent, privacy and confidentiality. We have also established a good solid interface capable of interfacing with practically any system.

“As we move into Europe, we have held high level talks with specialised integration specialists to ensure that we can interface with the e-health initiatives underway. In England for example, we have been working closely with the Patients Association to ensure the consent forms are fair and have been in talks with an integration supplier to help us interface with the Spine.”

The kiosks are available in three formats – freestanding in healthcare settings, on desktops, or on a wireless clipboard which patients can use in privacy if they prefer.

Data is not held in the kiosk, but transmitted to the system which it is interfacing with, and any information edited is made visible to healthcare professionals for verification.

The CVM Enterprise Server transmitting the information also allows for information to be sent to patients via text messaging or web access. Secured using a randomly selected password, users can log in and confirm their attendance for an appointment or schedule a new appointment.

NCR’s chairman and CEO, Bill Nuti, told EHE: “Healthcare organisations spend too much time on administrative duties and not enough on healthcare and patient care. Basic task automation such as patient registration using kiosks like this will reduce time waiting to see a doctor, reduce data entry errors on systems and help the physician make a more quick and informed decision based on electronic information instantly made available to him or her.”

In Newark Beth Israel Medical Centre in the US, the system has been used in the emergency department, as a way of electronically triaging patients according to their symptoms and keeping track of workflow, replacing the previous whiteboard system.

CIO of the centre, Tom Gregorio, told EHE: “We have an extremely busy ED and by using technology like this to collect information to decide on the urgency of cases and collect payments, we are able to spend a lot more time seeing patients and dealing with the heavy workload.”

Bill Tyler, director of Adventist Health Systems, who have been using the system across the group, added: “We switched to Cerner Millennium and after a while saw the benefits of moving to automated data collections. By doing this, we are able to reduce paper flow in our hospitals, reduce staff time on registrations and payments, and generally offer our patients a better service.

“Similar to England with their new ‘Free Choice’ agenda, we are competing for business in the US and systems like this enable us to build a reputation as a fast, accessible and effective location to receive treatments from.”

Posted by staff at 12:53 PM

April 22, 2008

SoloHealth secures $1.8M seed round for vision-testing kiosks

solo_health_vision_kiosk_10.jpg ATLANTA--SoloHealth, a hi-tech health services company developing vision-testing kiosks,has secured $1.8 million in financing from private investors, including the Atlanta Technology Angels (ATA) investment group. This unit won Best of Show at the recent KioskCom in Las Vegas. [photo]

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solo_health_vision_kiosk_30.jpg

April 22, 2008
By Allan Maurer

ATLANTA--SoloHealth, a hi-tech health services company developing vision-testing kiosks,has secured $1.8 million in financing from private investors, including the Atlanta Technology Angels (ATA) investment group.

Bart Foster, CEO and founder of SoloHealth tells TechJournal South that management, friends and family also invested in the company, a spinout of CibaVision. “We’re hitting the ground running after being incubated quite a bit,” he says.

Founded in 2007, SoloHealth’s inaugural product, EyeSite, is a self-service vision testing kiosk for use in high traffic retail environments. Through sophisticated optical software and an interactive video interface, users can accurately assess their distance and near vision--free of charge. A printout indicates the results, provides eye health information, and refers the user to a participating eye care professional nearby.

“The proceeds from this investment will provide us with the working capital to continue to validate our model in a number of additional market locations over the balance of the year,” Foster says. The company has been testing the kiosts with a mass merchandiser for the last two months, he adds.

The eight-employee company plans to add three or four additional people this year, says Foster.

“We focus on three things,” says Foster, “Awareness, education and referrals.” The idea of the vision-testing kiosks, which the company wants to place in stores and malls, “Is to drive more people to get eye exams,” says Foster. “Half of eye disease is preventable. It happens so slowly people don’t realize they’re losing their sight.”

After an exam at one of the kiosts, the company follows up with educational outreach to encourage people to get a full eye exam if necessary, he says.

He says the company is capitalizing on “major growth trends.” Consumers are driven by health and wellness, digital signage is growing 56 percent a year (largely due to falling prices on large, flat-screen monitors), and people show growing acceptance. They use photo kiosks, airline kiosks and others, “So they are getting used to it,” says Foster.

Healthcare retail kiosks are still in their infancy, he notes.

SoloHealth announced last week that EyeSite won three Awards of Excellence, including “Best in Show” at the KioskCom Self Service Expo and The Digital Signage Show in Las Vegas.

Earlier this year, SoloHealth was selected as one of the 2008 “Top 40” Innovative Technology companies in Georgia by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the state’s leading technology organization. In addition, SoloHealth was accepted for membership by Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC).

On the Web: www.solo-health.com

Posted by staff at 07:09 AM

July 13, 2007

KIOSKS and Health - Diabetes Information

Awareness and self-diagnosis of diabetes is being done with touchscreen kiosks. “It is just a real simple test,” Gross said. “It asks you several questions about your health to determine if you are at risk for diabetes.”

Technology helping to diagnose diabetes
By MICHAEL KUHNE
Daily American Correspondent
Friday, July 13, 2007 12:39 AM EDT

The InforMedx Group of Johnstown is expanding their program to help people self-detect diabetes with new technology.

“The goal was to increase consumer use of Internet tools and technology for the better management of their health care,” said InforMedx project analyst Julie Burk.

The group has placed 10 kiosks at different public facilities in Cambria and Somerset counties to help people detect if they are at risk for Type II diabetes, Burk said.

The InforMedx Group is an organization that focuses on bringing new technology to consumers for better health care.

The kiosk program was first started in March 2006 with the installation of 14 original kiosks, but currently there are about 10 at local health facilities, Burk said.

The kiosks are touch screen computers that allow the user to view video and answer health related questions that will help detect if they are at risk for diabetes.

“We usually use four of them for health fairs and there are about five new locations,” she said.

The locations with newly installed kiosks include Somerset Drug, Johnstown Budfield Medical Office and Forest Hills Pharmacy, Burk said.

“It has been two weeks (since the kiosk installation),” said Debbie Craig of the Budfield Medical Office in Johnstown.

Craig said it seems like people are responding to the new technology.

“It is very simple - it is a touch screen,” Craig said.

“It only takes about three minutes and it is just to educate people and diagnose if they are at risk.”

Somerset Drug employee Patty Gross said the kiosk has been used by several people since being installed Tuesday.

“It is just a real simple test,” Gross said. “It asks you several questions about your health to determine if you are at risk for diabetes.”

It is good to help educate people about their risk for diabetes because it is more information for the people, Gross said.

The Conemaugh Diabetes Institute in Johnstown has been the location of a kiosk since March 2006, said employee Jan Albert.

“We are trying to raise awareness for diabetes and if they are at risk they can make some changes,” Albert said.

Albert said the kiosk has been a major help in spreading awareness about diabetes and said people are more at risk than in the past.

“We are seeing diabetes in younger people now,” Albert said.

She said spreading awareness about diabetes can help people make lifestyle changes.

Julie Burk said she hopes the program expands past diabetes and the kiosks can be used to diagnose risks for other health problems.

“Hopefully the program will grow into other risk assessments for the continuation of the project, which we expect for next year,” Burk said.

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Posted by staff at 11:09 AM

August 17, 2006

Healthnotes, Inc. Launches the Healthnotes LiveConnect Retail Consumer Marketing Network for kiosks

Healthnotes, Inc., the leading provider of healthy living retail marketing solutions, today announced the release of Healthnotes LiveConnect, a global, in-store consumer marketing network of touchscreen kiosks, designed specifically for supermarket, pharmacy, and natural product retailers.

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LiveConnect offers retailers an efficient and cost-effective way to successfully manage and optimize multi-store deployments of Healthnotes Connect(TM), a storewide healthy living marketing solution that guides consumers at the point of decision, while providing critical consumer insights to shape marketing and merchandising strategies.

A secure networking solution, Healthnotes LiveConnect offers expanded features and functionality to Healthnotes in-store solutions:

-- Provides actionable business intelligence: gain insights into consumer interests and behavior, store-level to chain-wide, with on-demand reporting and analytics

-- Enables timely marketing programs: market directly to consumers in-store with ongoing, automated delivery of targeted ads and promotions consumers can print and redeem at checkout

-- Enhances seasonal merchandising calendars: dynamic, rotating lifestyle features and sponsored advertorials delivered chain-wide

-- Reduces time and cost for managing Healthnotes Connect implementations:

-- Healthnotes monitors and manages systems remotely for
maximum uptime with minimal impact on IT or store-level
staff

-- Regular reporting on system and network health; systems
are capable of self-healing

-- Automated, silent, and hassle-free delivery of
application, content, and promotion updates to all
locations


Healthnotes developed LiveConnect leveraging best-in-class technology from Esprida(TM), a leading provider of remote management solutions. Secure, Java(TM)-based, and compatible with a broad range of IT infrastructures, LiveConnect is designed as an enterprise solution to manage Healthnotes systems in thousands of retail locations worldwide.

"LiveConnect enables retailers to provide their customers the ultimate shopping experience," said Dr. Schuyler Lininger, Healthnotes president and CEO. "Weekly promotions and seasonal merchandising combined with relevant, up-to-date product information -- including recipes, foods, OTCs, vitamins, herbs, and more -- help consumers confidently make decisions in-store, driving high-margin product sales and increasing customer loyalty storewide."

"We are excited to provide Healthnotes with software that enhances its LiveConnect offering to retailers," said Anila Jobanputra, president of Esprida Corporation. "Both companies have a reputation for providing superior products and services, and with the tools that Esprida provides, Healthnotes retail customers gain new functionality that will improve their operational efficiencies and enhance the consumer experience in-store."

About Healthnotes Connect(TM)

Healthnotes Connect is a comprehensive storewide marketing solution that enables retailers to capitalize on the mainstream growth of health, wellness, self-care, and organics by educating and guiding customers at the point of decision. Healthnotes Connect delivers health and wellness product information, lifestyle articles, and targeted advertising and promotions to consumers via interactive touchscreen kiosks. The result is dramatic improvement in sales, customer loyalty, and workforce productivity that directly impacts a retailer's bottom line.

About Healthnotes, Inc.

Healthnotes, Inc. was founded in 1987 on the premise that informed consumers become loyal customers. Healthnotes drives more than 50 million consumer visits annually across thousands of retail locations and Web sites worldwide, including six of the top seven U.S. grocery retailers. Healthnotes solutions empower consumers to make educated decisions and drive product sales, both in-store and online. Visit www.healthnotes.com for more information.

About Esprida Corporation

Esprida is an innovator in the development of device management solutions. Esprida offers an enterprise solution that enables businesses to manage and control networks of devices in diverse locations from a web browser. Esprida Enterprise(TM) delivers device-generated intelligence and device-oriented analytics to maximize availability, enhance the user experience, increase revenue and transform business strategies and operations. Esprida Corporation is a privately held company with offices in the U.S. and Canada.

Posted by keefner at 07:02 AM

March 04, 2006

Health Info Kiosks Generate Solid ROI: Study

FEBRUARY 28, 2006 -- PORTLAND, Ore. -- Information-hungry consumers are generating 677 percent ROI for retailers deploying information kiosks from Healthnotes, a provider of healthy-living retail marketing solutions, according to an independent controlled study

Health Info Kiosks Generate Solid ROI: Study

Conducted by Wisner Marketing Group (WMG) in 2005, the study shows that by using Healthnotes kiosks retailers can generate increased product sales, improved labor productivity, and increased shopper satisfaction.

"Numerous industry studies have shown that consumers want health and wellness information available where they shop, but many retailers have been reluctant to make the investment without a measurable return," remarked Jim Wisner, WMG president. "This study shows quantitative evidence that retailers can generate a positive return on investment in virtually every situation."

Key findings from the study indicate that complete payback of purchasing the solution, including the hardware required, was obtained after five months of usage and a 677 percent ROI achieved after three years. Most significantly, over 40 percent of the shoppers purchased a product as a direct result of information they had obtained from a Healthnotes kiosk. According to the report, the products purchased covered a wide range of categories across all departments.

Another significant finding: sales of coenzyme Q10, a substance depleted in the body of individuals taking medication to manage hypertension and cholesterol, and one of the topics most frequently accessed by shoppers, increased by more than 20 percent. This strongly reinforces the finding that exposure to the information generated new sales.

"The results of this study prove that employing a health-and-wellness solution like Healthnotes in drug stores and supermarkets is a viable merchandising strategy that generates substantial economic value for retailers," said Dr. Schuyler Lininger, president and c.e.o. of Healthnotes, Inc. "Healthnotes will continue to design solutions that help retailers capitalize on the mainstream growth of health, wellness, self-care, and organics."

Other key findings:

-- More than five hours per week of employees' time was saved from addressing routine customer questions. The majority of time saved came from the pharmacists, making it possible to redirect efforts towards improved productivity and customer service.

-- More than 75 percent of shoppers indicated they found the information useful; 93 percent believe it's important to have the information kiosk in the store.

-- Employees felt the information made a positive contribution to customer care and was complementary to information obtained from their pharmacists.

Posted by keefner at 09:35 AM

October 24, 2005

Casestudy: Emergency Department Kiosk

The kiosk developed and tested in this study includes an interactive computer program that queries parents about the child's asthma symptoms and current medications and links parents to recommended guidelines for controlling asthma. Parents can complete the kiosk task in 11 minutes while waiting in the ED, and they can use its printed child-specific care recommendations to discuss their child's asthma with the ED health care provider.


The kiosk output module presents a health message to the parent organized in four sections: about your child, what your child needs, how the doctors and nurses can help, and how you can help your child. A printed copy of the patient-specific action plan is both a targeted summary and a "to do" list. For example, the written asthma plan includes use of a peak flow meter to monitor asthma and the child's response to medication. The action plan also serves as a template for ED providers to review important and clinically relevant data with the parent, according to lead investigator Stephen C. Porter, M.D., M.P.H., of Children's Hospital, Boston.

Dr. Porter and his colleagues tested three prototypes of the asthma kiosk over 8 months. They recruited 66 parents of children with asthma who brought their child to the pediatric ED of an urban hospital. The parents used the asthma kiosk while in the ED and completed a questionnaire about their demographics and feelings about kiosk use. Overall, 95 percent of parents agreed that entering data at the kiosk was a good use of their time. Also, 88 percent agreed that a parent could enter information using the kiosk "as well as a doctor or nurse could," with most finding it as easy to use as a bank ATM.

See "The asthma kiosk: A patient-centered technology for collaborative decision support in the emergency department," by Dr. Porter, Zhaohui Cai, M.D., Ph.D., William Gribbons, Ph.D., and others, in the November 2004 Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 11, pp. 458-467.

Editor's Note: Another study, coauthored by AHRQ researcher David Lanier, M.D., found that parents and children with asthma associate missed school days and work days with more severe asthma, which are different measures of asthma severity than those used by physicians and researchers. The researchers conclude that more widely understood asthma measures may be needed.


Download full article file

Posted by keefner at 11:40 PM

September 24, 2005

Case Study - Health and Nutrition Information Kiosk

The information-providing kiosk set gets plenty of knocks from its big brothers, those muscular transaction-based self-service machines that deliver powerful ROI statistics. Healthnotes, Inc. is proving that its not always about the numbers.
Healthnotes Case Study Link

Posted by keefner at 06:43 PM

July 18, 2005

Pharmacy Kiosks Dispensing Drugs

Longs Drug Store Corp. will be the first Northern California retailer to install an ATM-style kiosk that dispenses drugs. Safeway Inc. has also received state approval for drug kiosks. Requests from Walgreens and White Cross Pharmacy in San Diego are pending.

These machines, which had their California premiere in San Diego late last year, spit out prepackaged refills. They are being touted as an alternative to waiting while a pharmacist fills a prescription.

Pharmacies and manufacturers of the devices believe that growing acceptance of electronic vending systems for other items will help people feel comfortable getting drugs from a machine.

Longs, which has been testing a kiosk in a San Diego store, plans to introduce the device in its pharmacy on South California Boulevard in Walnut Creek within the next week or two.

The company, which also is headquartered in Walnut Creek, is rolling out the technology cautiously. Longs believes the kiosks will let pharmacists spend more time with patients, but it wants to test the devices thoroughly.

"We have an obligation to make sure the technology is secure and reliable, " said spokeswoman Phyllis Proffer. "If the installation goes well and the tests go well, we will allow people to use it."

Some pharmacists are unhappy about the prospect of customers buying their drugs from a machine. They fear kiosks will reduce their contact with patients, further eroding relationships already hurt by such trends as mail-order distribution and online drug sales.

Pharmacists also see the devices as potential threats to their jobs, similar to robotic dispensers that have replaced human hands putting medication into containers.

A group of independent California pharmacists filed a lawsuit in April against the state Board of Pharmacy, accusing it of failing to assess the technology sufficiently before waiving rules that require a pharmacist be present while drugs are being dispensed.

"What the chains want to do is reduce costs. We need more pharmacists and more counseling, versus more robots and machines," said Fred Mayer, head of the Pharmacy Defense Fund, a San Rafael legal foundation that filed the suit.

Mayer said the lack of pharmacist involvement could lead to adverse reactions to medications. And, he warned, customers -- especially seniors --

could be robbed of their drugs, depending on where pharmacies locate machines.

The machines conceivably could be used to replace human workers, of course. For its part, Longs has no plans to cut pharmacists or clerical staff. The company views the kiosks as a way to provide greater convenience, Proffer said.

The two manufacturers of the ATM-style kiosks -- Asteres Inc. of Del Mar and Distributed Delivery Networks Corp. of San Marcos, both in San Diego County -- say the pharmacists are misinterpreting the way retailers will use the machines.

The devices don't actually fill prescriptions. Instead, they hold prescriptions that have been filled by pharmacists until customers can pick them up.

Consumers typically must register to use kiosks. After logging on with a password and user name, the customer pays with a credit or debit card and receives the order.

"It's just another checkout lane. It's like a clerk with the inventory in it. If it's a refill prescription, such as birth control, and you just don't want to stand in line, that's what it's there for," said Linda Pinney, founder of Asteres, which makes the ScriptCenter, the device that Longs and Walgreens are using.

Distributed Delivery Chief Executive Officer William Holmes said the machines might actually improve interactions between pharmacists and patients, and reduce medication errors.

"By getting the people out of line that don't need or want a consultation, you'll increase the face time with the people who need that," he said.

The Asteres and DDN machines are similar and are being introduced at roughly the same time. Asteres filed a lawsuit last year against DDN and Holmes, accusing them of misappropriating trade secrets, an accusation DDN denies. A trial is set for September.

DDN's product, the Automated Pharmacy Machine, has been tested by White Cross Pharmacy in San Diego. Holmes said the company plans to roll out its devices with Kmart Corp. and Duane Reade in New York.

Holmes said DDN's units cost about $55,000 each, and the company is planning to introduce a smaller-capacity version that would run about $39,000. Asteres' Pinney said ScriptCenter, a 1,300-pound machine that can hold up to 500 prescriptions, costs about $75,000.

The California Board of Pharmacy is scheduled to review requests for the machines by Walgreens and White Cross at its meeting next week.

The board's executive director, Patricia Harris, said she has confidence in the regulations the board has set for the machines. They include limiting their use to refills and requiring them to be placed in close proximity to a pharmacy.

"The board would not have passed or approved the waiver if we felt it impacted patient safety," she said.

Researchers at UC San Diego are planning to study the machines' effect on consumers and pharmacies, Harris said. The medical center has applied for a waiver to install a kiosk in its outpatient pharmacy.
HOW DRUG KIOSKS WORK

Once customers have filled an initial prescription with the pharmacist, they can register to retrieve and pay for their refills at a machine inside the store, even when the pharmacy counter isnt open.

1. Consumers order their refills in the usual way, either by telephone or online.

2. A pharmacist then fills the prescription and places packaged medicines in the machine.

3. To pick up the order, consumers log on with a user name and password and swipe a credit or debit card.

4. The prewrapped package of medicine drops into the bin of the machine..

link to story

Posted by keefner at 03:46 AM

July 15, 2005

Wired Hospitals Have Better Survival Rate

Baylor Health Care System in Dallas was among the 100 most wired hospitals, and also was cited for its innovative use of a new wireless, self-service kiosk system for patient registration.

Source: InformationWeek

'Most Wired' Hospitals Have Lower Patient Death Rates, Study Finds July 12, 2005

Survey examined hospitals' use of IT in patient safety and quality of care, customer and patient services, business processes, and other areas.
By Marianne Kolbasuk McGee
InformationWeek



The 100 "most wired" U.S. hospitals have an average risk-adjusted mortality rate 7.2% lower than less IT-savvy hospitals, according to a new study released by the American Hospital Association.

The lower mortality rate of those top 100 "wired" hospitals was adjusted for risks, such as the seriousness of the cases treated at the hospitals, the size of the hospitals, and their teaching status -- all factors that can affect patient mortality rates.

What this all means is that while the study didn't prove a direct cause-and-effect link between lower patient death rates and higher IT adoption at those hospitals, the findings "do prove that advanced clinical IT and lower mortality rates are present at the same hospitals," says Alden Solovy, executive editor of Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association that conducted the seventh annual survey.

Through 502 voluntary survey responses, The 2005 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study evaluated the adoption and use of IT in 1,255 U.S. hospitals.

Solovy says the survey examined the hospitals' use of IT in several key areas, including patient safety and quality of care, customer and patient services, public health and safety, business processes, and workforce issues.

In the area of patient safety, for instance, the study looked at adoption of technologies such as bedside, bar-coded medication systems and computerized physician order-entry systems. Such systems can automatically alert doctors to patient drug allergies and interactions, as well as alert nurses to other potential mistakes before patients are actually administered drugs.

"We believe that IT is an important part of this drive to improve quality," says Solovy. "You can't do it with IT alone -- you need to adopt the technologies, cultural changes, and process improvements that all contribute to this quality improvement."

The 100 most wired hospitals weren't ranked in order, but rather represent those hospitals that scored among the highest for their use of IT.

Baylor Health Care System in Dallas was among the 100 most wired hospitals, and also was cited for its innovative use of a new wireless, self-service kiosk system for patient registration.

More than 95% of Baylor's main hospital supports wireless devices, including mobile tablet PCs that can be used by nurses and doctors at patients' bedsides, says Randy Fusco, Baylor VP of strategic solutions development.

As well as improving patient care, Fusco says, "The ability to leverage IT -- from biometrics to single-sign-on -- helps solve real-world problems and provide real value, like helping us proactively prevent or eliminate fraud."

Posted by keefner at 03:09 AM

July 12, 2005

Nutrition Kiosks And New CEO

Healthnotes Inc. (HNI), the premier provider of reliable, easy-to-use health, food, and lifestyle information for Web sites and interactive touchscreen kiosks, today announced that Jeffrey P. Beyer, a longtime Johnson & Johnson executive and former president of WellMed, has joined HNI as chief operating officer.

health-notes-100.jpg
Source: Businesswire

Beyer's background in corporate expansion strategies, brand positioning, and consumer packaged goods, as well as his passion for making healthcare accessible and understandable, brings valuable experience and insight to HNI as it moves to the next phase of its growth strategy.

"With rising healthcare costs, the obesity epidemic, and an aging population driving interest in health and wellness to an all-time high, consumers are looking for reliable information, especially while they shop. This presents an enormous opportunity for retailers to offer an added level of service with resources on everything from foods to medications to vitamins and herbs," stated Skye Lininger, HNI president and CEO. "As HNI helps retailers capitalize on this opportunity, Jeff's expertise and talent will be a valuable asset, and we are excited to have him join our team."

Building on its success in the health food and natural product markets, HNI is now growing its presence in mainstream supermarkets and pharmacies. According to numerous consumer trends and industry surveys, consumers look to supermarkets and pharmacies as the ideal locations to manage their overall health and wellness.

-- 46% agree "I'll go out of my way to shop...in a store that teaches me about healthful eating and features products to help me do so."

-- 81% feel health and nutrition information is important in an ideal grocery store, but only 35% say their current stores do a good job of providing it.

"I'm excited to join HNI at a time when it's primed for growth and expanding its retail solutions," said Jeff Beyer, new HNI COO. "HNI has done a great job of navigating the turbulent economy over the last five years, and come out of it even stronger. With health and wellness a major focus for consumers and retailers, and with nearly twenty years experience in providing information to consumers, HNI is well-positioned to be a retailer's partner for providing customers with the resources they need to make purchase decisions."

Chief operating officer is a new position for HNI, reflecting the continued maturation and growth of the company. In this role, Beyer will focus on product management, operations, and corporate expansion strategy.

Most recently, Beyer was founder and CEO of Canyon Peak, a strategic consulting business. Prior to Canyon Peak, Beyer served as president and director of WellMed, an e-health company that helps employees manage their benefits and their family's health. He helped lead the successful sale of WellMed to WebMD in 2002. Prior to that Beyer founded and served as CEO of Canyon Seven, a prestige wellness business developed in partnership with Johnson & Johnson and Canyon Ranch Health Resorts. Beyer earlier spent 15 years with Johnson & Johnson in a wide variety of divisions across both the supply and demand sides of the business, including marketing, manufacturing, and global strategy.

About Healthnotes Inc.

Healthnotes Inc. (HNI) is the premier provider of reliable, easy-to-use health, food, and lifestyle information for Web sites and interactive touchscreen kiosks. Used by seven of the top ten US supermarkets, as well as pharmacies and health food stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, Healthnotes(R) Retail Solutions empowers consumers to make educated decisions and drives product sales -- online and in-store. HNI also generates Web applications that are licensed to e-commerce and health-related Internet sites worldwide. On the Web: www.healthnotes.com

Note to editors: HEALTHNOTES is a registered trademark of Healthnotes Inc. For details on the consumer trends referenced in this release, contact Amy Myers with Healthnotes Inc. (contact info below).

Contacts


Healthnotes, Inc., Portland
Amy Myers, 503-234-4092
amy.myers@healthnotes.com

Posted by keefner at 02:11 PM

April 29, 2004

Food info kiosks

Healthnotes Introduces Foodnotes Version of EasyAnswers Touchscreen Kiosk at FMI Show

PORTLAND, Ore.April 28, 2004To help supermarkets offer an interactive resource on food, nutrition, and recipes in-store, Healthnotes Inc. (HNI) today announced the launch of the Foodnotes EasyAnswers Touchscreen kiosk. The kiosk was specifically designed for location in food departments, featuring food- and recipe-related graphics on the steel enclosure, and is configured to run one of the three Foodnotes applications from HNI (Foodnotes Grocery, Foodnotes Meat & Seafood, and Foodnotes Fresh Produce).

Supermarkets are in a unique position to provide consumers with both the products and information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices, stated Schuyler Lininger, HNI president and CEO. Healthnotes is excited to offer supermarket retailers two versions of the EasyAnswers Touchscreen, one for food-related departments, such as produce or meat and seafood, and one for health-related departments, such as pharmacy. Both options help supermarkets provide an engaging, consumer-friendly resource in-store.

Attendees of the FMI Show, May 24, 2004 in Chicago, can see the new Foodnotes EasyAnswers Touchscreen in the HNI booth (#976) on the main FMI Show floor. The kiosk will also be featured in the Produce for Better Health Foundation booth (#9000) at the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association Conference and Expo, co-located with the FMI Show.

In addition, the Healthnotes EasyAnswers Touchscreen, featuring Health & Wellness graphics, will be included in the Healthy Living Pavilion (booth #862) on the main FMI Show floor.

The EasyAnswers Touchscreen kiosk, originally launched in January 2004, was designed specifically for retail use and features eye-catching visuals and built-in user instructions. The kiosk is a plug-and-play unit that is easy for retailers to install and maintain.

The three Foodnotes applications from HNIFoodnotes Grocery, Foodnotes Meat & Seafood, and Foodnotes Fresh Produceinclude comprehensive, easy-to-understand information on more than 450 foods, as well as nutrition, healthy eating, special diets, weight control, and more. All three applications also offer hundreds of tasty, healthy recipes that shoppers can print in-store free of charge.

Pricing and availability
The Healthnotes EasyAnswers Touchscreen and Foodnotes EasyAnswers Touchscreen are available for purchase or lease through HNI. Custom colors and branding options are also available. The six different Healthnotes and Foodnotes kiosk applications require an annual software subscription. Pricing for both hardware and software varies depending on quantity purchased.

About Healthnotes Inc.
Healthnotes Inc. (HNI) is the premier provider of credible, easy-to-use health, food, and lifestyle information for in-store touchscreen kiosk, Web, and multi-channel initiatives. More than 6,500 supermarkets, pharmacies, and natural product stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom use Healthnotes Retail Solutions to provide consumers with practical healthy living information at the point of decisiononline and in-store. Healthnotes also generates Web applications that are licensed to e-commerce and health-related Internet sites worldwide. On the Web: www.healthnotes.com

Note to editors: HEALTHNOTES is a registered trademark of Healthnotes Inc.

Healthnotes PR contact:
For more information, please contact:
Amy GarlandHealthnotes, Inc.
503-234-4092, amyg@healthnotes.com


Healthnotes - helping people lead healthier lives

Posted by Craig at 08:10 PM

February 10, 2004

Health Kiosk

Kiosk Information Systems and Healthnotes Inc. Launch Consumer Health Kiosk for Retail Applications

LOUISVILLE, Colo., -- Kiosk Information Systems (KIS) and Healthnotes Inc., a nationally-recognized leader in providing consumer information on health and lifestyle issues, have developed and launched an interactive kiosk system designed for supermarket, pharmacy and natural product store customers. Healthnotes branded the new kiosk the EasyAnswers Touchscreen and will sell it to retailers bundled with its kiosk software products, Healthnotes Healthy Living and Healthnotes Pharmacy.

Pennsylvania-based Clemens Family Markets is the first store to make the EasyAnswers Touchscreen available for its shoppers, incorporating the new kiosk in 20 of its 21 suburban Philadelphia locations.

Healthnotes Healthy Living and Healthnotes Pharmacy provide consumers with easy-to-understand, science-based information on health concerns, supplements, foods, nutrition, special diets, and weight control, as well as hundreds of recipes. Healthnotes Pharmacy also features over 2,000 patient education monographs (PEMs) on OTC and prescription medications. The articles, PEMs, and recipes can be printed directly from the kiosk.

"A growing consumer acceptance and use of kiosks is helping drive the introduction of these products in all facets of our lives," said Schuyler Lininger, HNI president and CEO. "Healthnotes is proud to team with Kiosk Information Systems to offer retailers a sophisticated yet user-friendly kiosk system that they can use in-store to educate shoppers on healthy living information at the point of decision."

For additional information about KIS, Healthnotes, and the new kiosk services, visit www.kis-kiosk.com or www.healthnotes.com.

About Healthnotes Inc.
Healthnotes Inc. (HNI) is the premier provider of credible, easy-to-use health and lifestyle information for Web site and in-store touchscreen kiosk initiatives. More than 6,500 supermarkets, pharmacies, and natural product stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom use Healthnotes Retail Solutions to improve customer service, build loyalty, and increase sales. HNI also generates behind-the-counter applications that are licensed to e-commerce and health-related Internet sites worldwide.

About KIS
Kiosk Information Systems designs and manufactures touch screen, self-service kiosk solutions for retail, human resources, employee benefits, CRM, Wi-Fi, loyalty, gaming and many more self-service applications. With more than 28 standard kiosk models, custom models, turnkey vending units such as public internet terminals and photo kiosks, KIS has the largest self-service product and services line from which to choose.

Founded in 1993, Kiosk Information Systems has more than 100 years of combined experience and is ISO 9001 and UL-listed certified. Retail kiosks, human resource and self-service solutions are a core competency. Major clients include Wal-Mart, U.S. Postal Service, McDonalds, Pepsi, the U.S. Government and Disney. For information about KIS products and services please visit www.kis-kiosk.com, call KIS at 303-466-5471 or email pr@gokis.net.


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Heathnotes Kiosk News Release

Posted by Craig at 11:26 PM

February 09, 2004

Medical Internet Terminals

Patients getting wired in hospital beds

February 8, 2004

BY JUAN A. LOZANO
Advertisement


HOUSTON -- For someone suddenly hospitalized at 4 a.m., Rita Wright was surprisingly upbeat.

A day after being admitted with a painful partial bowel obstruction, Wright was expecting a secluded stay in a sterile hospital room. But to her relief, she was greeted by a technological surprise at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital: a computer screen above her bed allowing her to keep in touch with family, friends and work over the Internet.

''You can do a lot of stuff in the hospital while you're waiting. I just love it,'' Wright, a 58-year-old real estate agent, said recently while sitting up in her bed and perusing her company's Web site.

The hospital is among the few around the country using the Pyxis PatientStation, a personal computer with a virtual keyboard that allows patients to go online, check e-mail, watch television, listen to the radio and play games.

Hospital officials are hoping for even more uses for the PatientStation, excited by its potential to improve patient care through automated record keeping and to dispense medications.

The system consists of a 15-inch flat touch screen attached to a movable metallic arm mounted to the floor. Patients can touch the screen to tune in to local TV channels, learn about the hospital or watch relaxation videos. They can access cable TV channels, high-speed Internet service, four radio stations and 20 games.

Although rates vary with each city, Memorial City charges $9.95 a day for the service for the first 10 days, and then it's free.

The PatientStation, made by San Diego-based Pyxis Corp., has a small digital camera mounted on top. The company is hoping to incorporate technology allowing people to instantly e-mail pictures of newborn babies and allow doctors to record video messages for patients.

Detroit Medical Center was the first to use the device, in late 2002. The Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia, Calif., and the Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System in Morristown, Tenn., also have installed PatientStation. Twenty-four hospitals across the country have signed up for the device, and about 1,000 units are in use.

At the Houston hospital, 121 beds have the PatientStation. The entire Memorial Hermann Hospital System is planning to use it within 18 months.

Wayne Voss, CEO at Memorial City, said one patient told him he forgot about his pain by playing some of the system's games.

''Instead of giving him a narcotic, give him some entertainment, get [his] mind off of it,'' he said. ''It's a high-touch, high-tech way to bring the whole patient stay to a different level.''

Davis said the technology's potential will actually mean more human contact between patients and health care providers because more work will take place inside the room. She thinks it will be a good education tool, too.

AP


Patients getting wired in hospital beds

Posted by Craig at 10:26 PM

January 07, 2004

Wireless and Hospitals

Partners HealthCare, recognized as an I.T. trailblazer, isnt rushing its wireless initiatives.

story link
Partners HealthCare Systems Inc. has long been considered a leader in clinical automation. Its reputation has led many health care information technology vendors to its doorstep, beseeching the Boston-based delivery system to pilot their latest applications.

But Partners also has a reputation for being cautious. It goes to great lengths to ensure new applications fit the needs of its clinical staff. And it often develops software in-house, instead of buying off-the-shelf technology, because of concerns that commercial applications lack features its clinicians need.

Partners is using this same aggressive/deliberate approach to health care I.T. as it enters the wireless world. Most of Partners eight hospitals have implemented 802.11b standard wireless local area network technology. And the delivery system already has implemented enterprisewide wireless applications and has more on the way. But Partners is in no particular hurry to tear up its wired network, says Steve Flammini, Partners CTO.

The maturity level of current wireless platforms isnt high enough to completely displace our hardwired network, he contends. We havent taken the approach that every application must be wireless. Instead, we try to add value to existing systems by introducing mobility or recognizing new opportunities to enable clinical workflow not previously thought possible via a traditional hardwired network.

Nevertheless, Partners already has implemented complex, enterprisewide wireless applications. For example, it provides nearly 2,500 hospital-based clinicians with secure, anytime/anywhere wireless access to its Web-based homegrown electronic medical records system via subnotebooks and cart-based laptop PCs.

Partners also is using the Cache database system from Cambridge, Mass.-based InterSystems Corp. to enable wireless access to an integrated clinical data repository. More than 5,000 clinicians use the homegrown wireless clinical data repository viewing application.

Further, Partners plans to deploy more mobile applications this month, including an ambulatory medical records application and a bar code enabled-nursing medication administration system. Partners also has started testing some wireless PDA applications, such as charge capture, with smaller groups of clinicians.

The pace of Partners wireless software implementationsall done in the past 18 monthsmight be considered furious by some provider organizations. But the delivery system actually is being quite deliberate in its approach, and has set up a series of hoops wireless applications and devices must jump through before theyre implemented, Flammini says.

Before considering mobile technology for implementation, Partners ensures that any new wireless system or technology provides needed functionality and is secure enough for its wireless environment.

In addition, it also evaluates the technology to ensure it will interoperate with the delivery systems current and futureWi-Fi network, he explains.

The 802.11b technology that Partners uses for its wireless local area network is one of a family of specification standards available for wireless networks. Some hospitals are considering implementing the up-and-coming 802.11g standard, which offers more bandwidth than 802.11b. Others are waiting for the release of 802.11i and 802.1x standards, which are designed to provide more advanced, integrated wireless security applications.

Tread carefully

Health care organizations should be careful how much they deploy on 802.11b standard wireless networks, Flammini says. For the next several months well continue to go live with 802.11b applications and manage them carefully. Further down the road, we can support newer wireless network standards across our enterprise, giving us more capacity and authentication technologies for future mobile applications.

Before Partners implements any wireless application, it evaluates the need for mobility in a particular process. For example, before developing its mobile medication administration applicationwhich is set to go live this monththe delivery system sized up how effectively its current processes were working, Flammini says.

Partners nurses and doctors already use a plethora of clinical information systems to manage patient prescriptions, including an automated medication administration system and a computerized physician order entry system. But planners found that adding mobility to the process could improve workflow as well as help the delivery system accomplish some of its enterprisewide goals.

We developed the mobile medication administration application to help nurses improve their workflow by being able to take the system from patient to patient, Flammini says. By bringing such decision support to the point of care, we are able to address patient safety concerns.

Providing wireless access to its electronic medical records system also helped Partners improve clinician workflow, he adds.

The delivery system also takes clinical workflow into consideration when it evaluates what types of mobile hardware would best work with each of its proposed wireless initiatives. Clinicians mostly use subnotebooks and laptop PCs on carts to wirelessly access the electronic records system. They likely will use the same mobile technology to access the new medication administration application, Flammini says.

Partners did evaluate PDAs and Tablet PCs for use with the applications. But like some other health care organizations, it found that clinicians preferred using the subnotebooks and laptops because they feature larger screens and keyboards, which are important for such applications that require physicians to view large amounts of data simultaneously.

Most health care organizations first wireless deployments go out on laptops, says Mat Raftree, managing consultant at ArcStream Solutions Inc., a Watertown, Mass.-based wireless consulting and systems integration firm.

This might be because a PDA sometimes isnt the best fit for complex software such as computerized physician order entry systems. Or an organization might choose laptops because Tablet PCs are more costly. But it also might be simply because they already have laptops hooked up to their hardwired networks.

Obvious benefits

Peter Greenspan, M.D., since July has been using a Lifebook Series B laptop from Santa Clara, Calif.-based Fujitsu PC Corp. to wirelessly access Partners medical records system while treating patients from his Waltham office. Though he spent a few months learning to use a computer to take patient notes, the pediatrician says he likes using the technology.

The benefits of wireless access are obvious, says Greenspan, whos also the associate director of primary care for Massachusetts General Hospital. But using the laptop still isnt as fast as writing for me. Id be willing to try a Tablet PC, but it would have to have good enough handwriting recognition capabilities.

Right now, though, the gains I get from using the laptops to wirelessly access our records system outweigh not being able to write my notes by hand.

Another reason for Partners cautious wireless approach is that wireless networks present new data privacy and security challenges. Hardwired networks have well-established security technologies. But providing wireless security is a complex and evolving task, Flammini says, more so in light of the data privacy and security mandates of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Now that our network goes beyond our hospital walls, we must ensure that HIPAA security measures are in place, including encryption, strong authentication and auditing, Flammini says.

Partners uses the LEAP wireless encryption protocol from San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc. to provide more security on its Wi-Fi network than standard 802.11b technology. In addition to encryption, it conducts security audits on its patient records to evaluate patterns of wireless and hard-wired access and abuse, Flammini says.

Though Partners exhaustive evaluation of wireless technologies could lengthen the implementation process, the delivery systems cautious approach is a strategy that most health care organizations should follow, contends Raftree at Arcstream.

By assessing a variety of mobile hardware, working with clinicians and phasing in implementations, the delivery system is poised for successful wireless applications, he adds. Before implementing wireless technology, health care organizations must identify each workflow process and fully understand how their clinicians use it, Raftree says. Then they should map a wireless application to these functions and needs.

Posted by Craig at 07:13 PM

Smart Cards and HIPAA

Denver Health Embraces Smart Card Technology For HIPAA Security

Smart cards can be used to support HIPAA compliance, increase security and simplify system access for caregivers and patients alike, according to a white paper from the Smart Card Alliance.

Denver Health has adopted a smart card system allowing employees to securely access patient information across its healthcare network. The package is from Gemplus International.

Interlink Group consultants working close with Denver Health department were able to integrate the smart cards utilizing active directory certificates to provide a single sign-on solution.

Gemplus smart cards allowed Denver Health to develop a solution that was cost-effective and allowed for the implementation to be completed within three weeks, the company said.

The smart cards are helping Denver Health comply with HIPAA regulations by allowing physicians, nurses and staff to access hospital computer systems with a single sign-on, the company said. "This eliminates the security risk of employees sharing passwords, and thereby protects Denver Healths sensitive patient information from unauthorized access."

The smart cards feature two-factor authentication, which combines the traditional "something you know" (password or PIN), with "something you have" (the badge or card), enabling greater security than traditional usernames/passwords.

Smart cards have a "unique capability to make information access easier for users while at the same time enforcing the more robust security and privacy policies required of healthcare organizations to bring their environments into HIPAA," the alliance said.

HIPAA Compliance and Smart Cards: Solutions to Privacy and Security Requirements provides an overview on how smart cards work and outlines key implementation success factors. The white paper includes profiles of smart health card implementations, including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Mississippi Baptist Health Systems and the French, German and Taiwanese health cards.

On-card intelligence, processing and cryptography capabilities make smart cards capable of enabling compliance with strong privacy guidelines and of enforcing the privacy and security policies set by the healthcare organization, according to the alliance.

The alliance said representatives from 19 organizations were involved in the development of the white paper. The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to accelerate the acceptance of smart card technology.

Addresses: Gemplus Corp., Keith Valley Business Center, One Progress Drive, Horsham, PA 19044; (215) 390-2000, fax: (215) 390-2353, www.gemplus.com. Denver Health, 777 Bannock St., Denver, CO 80204-4507; (303) 436-6000, www.denverhealth.org. Smart Card Alliance, 191 Clarksville Rd., Princeton Junction, NJ 08550; (800) 556-6828, www.smartcardalliance.org.

Posted by Craig at 07:11 PM

December 31, 2003

Embracing technology

Brokers need to get with the program on self-service, administrative technology

Like all good business people, brokers put a premium on their relationships with clients. But in the Internet age, the sharpest also realize that even with a good product, a smile and a firm handshake, you need something more to close a deal.

Many experts believe that something more can be found in technology that makes life easier and more efficient for both the employer and the broker. And if brokers have not caught on to the benefits, they need to do so now, or they are not going to survive.

Information flows fast and furious between clients, insurance carriers and producers, observes Michael Wojcik, senior vice president of the Chicago broker firm The Horton Group. The new technology allows us to accomplish a lot more in a shorter period of time.

Brokers that are technology-challenged right now will have a harder time keeping up.

Quick, efficient, valuable

The debate over how much of the sales and administration process to automate is not new. Ever since high technology invaded the benefits world, brokers have wavered between the efficiency of self-service and the relationships bred from face-to-face interaction, coming to rest somewhere in the middle. But now, although in-person exchanges are still important, brokers are realizing that it is more vital to handle their clients benefits issues quickly, efficiently and with as much value as possible. In fact, some believe it is necessary to facilitate face-to-face relationships.

With advances in self-service technology, clients can handle basic administration without having to call in the insurance broker, so now they can talk about more strategic things such as the future direction of the employee benefit programs, says Alan Cohen, CEO of OnlineBenefits, a broker partner that provides technological solutions. Face-to-face interaction is still critical, and on a strategic level, you will always need it.

It is just that there are other issues that will not necessarily be solved by talking things through. As Wojcik points out, information flows much faster now than it used to. That means employers and carriers expect to get what they need sooner than ever.

If you do business with 10 or 11 organizations that require you to provide census data on eligibility, you have to provide it to them, says Richard Travers, managing partner of the New York broker firm Travers Okeefe.

In fact, say Wojcik and Cohen, insurance carriers, not always among the most rapid companies to adopt new benefits technology, have started considering certain capabilities a given when it comes to broker relationships. Many of them, for instance, only will accept RFPs over the Web.

Moreover, employee-consumers are more comfortable researching and buying insurance products over the Web, and they have neither the time nor the patience to attend meetings when they can get the information via computer.

People skim the Net; they dont surf it anymore, comments Michael Hope, a sales consultant at Spindustry, a technology solutions firm that works extensively with brokers. Research is big. HR people arent just taking the agents word for it anymore. Theyre looking around.

Theres an overall comfort with the net, period. Five years ago, people probably didnt want to buy CDs and books over the Web, but they do now.

story

Posted by Craig at 04:50 PM

December 29, 2003

CARE project in UK

Two contracts valued together at $3.3B went to Computer Sciences Corp. and Accenture s part of its Care Records Service program. story link

Posted by Craig at 03:56 PM

October 16, 2003

Bedside Manner Goes High-Tech

From their beds, patients can access the Internet, concierge services, health-related education programming, television and movies, as well as their own medical records and billing info. There is also a Web cam for friends and family who can't make it to the hospital.

Story Link

Bedside Manner Goes High-Tech

Baptist Hospital, operated by Baptist Health South Florida, is a 551-bed facility in Miami conducting a pilot program that may well presage a transformation in patient care. Its transformation of a hospital bed into a highly personalized technology center is driven by a suite of computerized equipment and software installed at each bedside in the hospital's 51-bed Cardiovascular Step-down Unit. The unit monitors patients with complex heart diseases.

"I have been a nurse for 30 years and I don't think there is any one product or opportunity to pilot that I have been more excited about," says Joan Clark, Baptist Hospital's VP for Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer. "It's break-through technology."

Clark is referring to PatientStation, from Cardinal Health subsidiary Pyxis Corp. (which competes with Omnicell, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen's Bridge Medical). It consists of a networked computer next to the patient's bed with a flat screen monitor that swings over the bed. It not only brings information, but also dispenses appropriate medications and supplies, individually personalized for each patient at the point of care.

The monitor is a portal for both patients and caregivers. From their beds, patients can access the Internet, concierge services, health-related education programming, television and movies, as well as their own medical records and billing info. There is also a Web cam for friends and family who can't make it to the hospital.

Doctors can use the system to access the patient's records, test results, x-rays and ultrasounds on the spot. They can also access databases that offer specialized medical information pertaining to the patient's treatment, and can instantly send prescriptions to the hospital pharmacy.

The most revolutionary aspect of the system, Clark says, is its ability to dispense medications and supplies. "A problem we have had with nursing workflow back to the Dark Ages is that the supplies and the medications aren't necessarily where the nurse needs them in order to provide a timely response to the patient," says Clark. "I was constantly walking back and forth to get the equipment that I need, to get the supplies that I need, and to get the medications that I need."

Now, these items, as specified for each individual patient, are placed in secured cubicles stored in locked, computer-operated drawers attached to the system that the nurses have nicknamed "minibars." When a patient needs medication, the nurse validates it on the screen, and a drawer opens containing a bar-coded "cubie" enclosing the exact medication and dose prescribed for the patient.

Patient safety and the timely delivery of care are significantly improved. Studies suggest that as many as 98,000 patients per year die from medical errors and the average award in a lawsuit involving a medication error is $636,844. Further, the performance of doctors, nurses and pharmacists -- those people with the most critical and costly skills in the hospitals -- is enhanced. The system streamlines operations while personalizing the patient's stay.

Patient data is very sensitive, so security is paramount to the success of the pilot. PatientStation offers various levels of access depending on the sensitivity of information, supplies and medications. It employs a combination of ID badges, passwords and fingerprint technology for security.

As a result of the pilot project's success, Baptist Health South Florida plans to install consoles at every bed in its five-hospital network, a $33 million investment over the next 10 years.

Posted by Craig at 04:08 PM

October 10, 2003

Assistance Program for Families of Critically Ill Patients Expands Across The U.S.

ICUs. Families with loved one in hospital intensive care units.

Story


Assistance Program for Families of Critically Ill Patients Expands Across The U.S.

The CHEST Foundation Expands ICU Program and Creates Replication Toolkit

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A multidisciplinary program that provides support for families with loved ones in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) and education to the health-care teams is now expanding across the country. The Critical Care Family Assistance Program (CCFAP), created by The CHEST Foundation and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, was developed in 2001 to respond to the unmet needs of families of critically ill patients in hospital ICUs. After implementing the program in two pilot sites last year, The CHEST Foundation and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation are in the process of expanding the CCFAP to nine sites across the U.S. and have developed a replication toolkit to allow hospitals to implement the program in their ICUs.

Over seven million Americans are caregivers to family members, mostly to parents, who are suffering long-term illnesses in intensive care units. The strain of traveling four hours on average, sleeping on waiting room couches, and eating from vending machines takes its toll on family members, making life and death decisions more difficult. The CHEST Foundation and Eli Lilly and Company Foundation recognized this problem and created the Critical Care Family Assistance Program to provide families with stronger support and resources during a loved one's ICU stay.

Pilot programs implemented last year at Veterans Administration Medical Center in Oklahoma City, OK, and Evanston Hospital in Evanston, IL, proved to be an important component of the ICU, impacting the delivery of critical care and outcomes for patients and families. The programs also found an increased level of staff satisfaction, therefore increasing staff retention and the ability to attract high quality staff.

Due to the success of the pilot programs, The CHEST Foundation and Eli Lilly and Company Foundation have expanded the program to Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston, TX, and Highland Park Hospital, in Highland Park, IL, and anticipate five additional sites by 2005. Program elements vary for each site but may include a computerized kiosk that provides information about specific diseases, hospital services, and the critical care environment; staff, pastoral, and social services; parking and wayfaring maps; and recommendations for local hotel accommodations and dining. Communications devices, motel and meal vouchers, taxi coupons, bus tickets, and phone cards for family members, and family sleeping and consultation rooms, are other core program components.

As part of the expansion, The CHEST Foundation is offering a replication toolkit to provide hospitals with critical information and tools for implementing the CCFAP in their own ICUs. The replication toolkit takes ICUs through all the steps of the program, including design and planning, implementation, evaluation, and sharing data, as well as providing an extensive checklist for program coordinators. The design section lays out the plan and explains how to get organized; the implementation section demonstrates success factors. The evaluating and improving sections outline critical components of the replication process and the sharing section provides tools to facilitate communicating the success to other institutions. The new toolkit will be available by spring 2004 both in hardcopy and on CD- ROM.

"We are very pleased with the success of the pilot programs in Oklahoma and Illinois," said Diane Stover, MD, FCCP, President of The CHEST Foundation. "We hope this toolkit will guide other critical care units that would like to respond to the needs of family members of critically ill patients."

For caregivers to qualify for the program, they must have an immediate family member in the ICU, with the patient expecting a long-term stay, and be traveling a long distance to get to the hospital. Both family members and health-care professionals are given a chance to provide feedback about their ICU experience in a survey that they can fill out either on the computer kiosk or on paper. The collected data will be used in a study to help guide future ICU services for families.

"Lilly Critical Care wanted to go beyond just providing treatment for critically ill patients, and extend that commitment to the families who must face their loved one's illness everyday," said Vince Mihalik, Acute Care Business Unit Leader for Eli Lilly and Company. "It is our hope that critical care units across the country will incorporate similar programs."

The CHEST Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). The Foundation's mission is to improve lung health for patients and communities through education focused on public health issues. Many of ACCP's 15,700 members are critical care specialists who provide clinical, respiratory, and cardiothoracic patient care in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, established in 1968, is a nonprofit corporation made possible by the profits of Eli Lilly and Company. It is the major source of the company's support for nonprofit organizations. The Foundation's contributions place Lilly among the top 10 most generous companies in the world.

SOURCE American College of Chest Physicians

Posted by Craig at 07:00 PM