Healthcare industry market analysts, technology gurus and IT reporters sometimes like to envision a powerfully capable future in which software architectures are open, small application developers are thriving, and healthcare IT solutions from numerous sources create a confluence of patient data that will advance healthcare quality.
A survey organized by the California Health Care Foundation and Health 2.0 suggests we may be far from that ideal.
If community hospitals are a general barometer of health in the surrounding area, the emergency room is the canary in the coal mine. Viral outbreaks, increases in violence, loss of health insurance from local layoffs—all are social ills that make their presence known first in the ER.
Based on recent ER studies, the U.S. is on the cusp of a full-blown mental health crisis.
We will get to a point in the not-too-distant future where EHRs are a great deal more functional and user friendly, where APIs link most if not all healthcare IT platforms and clinical devices, where personal wearable technology enables remote monitoring of patient condition.
These are largely technical challenges with some policy mixed in that can be solved through improved technology and targeted incentives. In the meantime, as technology progresses, American healthcare faces some more intransigent challenges that technology can help with but will not solve.
Most of the time, discussions about behavioral health EHR costs focus almost exclusively on the actual outlay for the system, implementation and ongoing maintenance. Maybe hardware is also included when the behavioral health hospital in question doesn’t have the requisite foundation.
No, there is no Meaningful Use for behavioral health hospitals, and yes, some mental health clinicians remain skeptical about the proposed value of electronic health records (EHR).
And yet a steadily increasing number of behavioral health facilities nationwide have adopted an EHR to improve patient care and organization performance. According to a recent Behavioral Healthcare survey, most are satisfied with the decision to make an EHR part of their daily routine.
Back in 2014, when the respected online medical publication Medscape last asked physicians how they felt about their EHRs, the overall winner was the VA’s Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS), the core patient record component of the broader VistA system. Two years later, the results are the same.
Most healthcare cybersecurity stories over the last year or so have focused on ransomware, the frightening new weapon in the hacker arsenal. But the results from the recent 2016 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey suggest that medical identity theft remains both more lucrative than ransomware for hackers and the primary concern of healthcare IT leaders.
Representative Tim Murphy’s Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis bill was approved by the House with near unanimity in early July. Among other objectives, the legislation seeks to expand the availability of psychiatric hospital beds, create a new assistant secretary for mental health and substance use disorders at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and promote early treatment and intervention for young people who show signs of mental illness.