Weekly News Roundup: September 18, 2020

As the coronavirus continues to threaten the financial stability of health systems, there is an urgent imperative to formulate an effective financial response. In this week’s news roundup: inside the trillion dollar quest to bring hospital care to your home; three ways to leverage data for an effective financial response; how hospitals' financial recovery is tied to the health of the economy; and why the pandemic has had dramatically different financial consequences for payers and providers.

An Effective Financial Response to COVID-19: Three Ways to Leverage Data

With COVID-19 presenting unprecedented challenges, health systems are struggling to financially survive. With little data about the novel coronavirus, traditional financial approaches that rely on historical information are not sufficient. However, organizations can get back on the road to financial recovery and well-being by practicing three key strategies centered around data: Prioritize access to real-time data. Understand data at a deeper level. Realize margin and cost by service line. Leveraging data allows financial healthcare leaders to effectively manage the COVID-19 challenges and prepare their health systems for future obstacles.

Data Visualization Dashboards: Three Ways to Maximize Data

With an unpredictable future due to COVID-19, health systems must leverage data to drive decision making at every organizational level. Data visualization dashboards allow health systems to optimize their data and create a data-driven culture by displaying large, real-time data sets in an easy-to-understand dashboard. Health systems that rely on dashboard reporting maximize their data in three important ways: Time to value. Decision makers do not have time to wait for manually-created reports; dashboards quickly convey information so leaders can make swift decisions. Data democratization. Leveraging a central source of truth, dashboards allow leaders at every level to access the most updated, accurate data. Digestible data. Analysts can configure dashboards to highlight important figures and trends, so high-level leaders can…

Telehealth: A Top Organizational Performance Solution During COVID-19 and Beyond

With COVID-19 sending health systems reeling, leaders understand the only way organizations can survive the pandemic is by driving improvement in three key areas: revenue, cost, and quality. Many traditional healthcare delivery methods, such as in-person visits, are on hold, leaving health system leaders considering how telehealth solutions allow organizations to excel in the new industry normal. Although many health systems see telehealth as a temporary healthcare delivery solution because of COVID-19, it is here to stay. And, if health systems invest in telehealth, they will be more likely to succeed in revenue, cost, and quality, even in a pandemic.

Healthcare Analytics Summit 2020: Day Three Recap

The Healthcare Analytics Summit 20 Virtual (HAS 20 Virtual) concluded three days of online programming on Thursday, September 3, 2020. Though COVID-19 forced this year’s event to take place virtually, the geographic dispersal of attendees and presenters didn’t dampen the depth of insights or level of engagement previous summits are known for. After two days of keynote addresses, breakout presentations, small Braindate gatherings, and project and solution showcase, HAS 20 Virtual maintained its momentum. The conference closed on a powerful note with yet more world-class speakers, groundbreaking innovations, and common theme of the power of analytics and human potential in healthcare’s new normal.

Healthcare Analytics Summit 2020: Day Two Recap

Day two of the Healthcare Analytics Summit 20 Virtual (HAS 20 Virtual) included keynote speakers followed by live Q&As, quizzes to earn points for the HAS game, the Analytics Walkabout, Machine Learning Marketplace, and Digital Innovation Showcase. Attendees enjoyed topical keynote speakers like Amy P. Abernethy, MD, PhD, acting CIO of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who discussed the importance of data in addressing COVID-19; Yonatan Adiri, CEO of Healthy.io, who presented on a smartphone-enabled urine test to improve healthcare accessibility; and Sampson Davis, MD, emergency medicine physician and New York Times best-selling author, who shared how education saved his life.

Virtually Kicking Off the 2020 Healthcare Analytics Summit

For the first time from an online platform, Health Catalyst COO Paul Horstmeier welcomed attendees to the Healthcare Analytics Summit 20 Virtual (HAS 20 Virtual), promised a highly interactive online experience that would maintain the breadth and depth of expertise as well as the spirit of innovation of the conference’s in-person iterations. HAS 20 Virtual will also provide some of the fun and good humor attendees have enjoyed in year’s past–from the Virtual fun run to the friendly competition for the most notable socks–HAS 20 Virtual has moved these activities online. Highlights from Day one of HAS 20 included keynotes from Eric Topol, MD and Ari Robicsek, MD, as well as two breakout session waves.

Employee Engagement During COVID-19: Using Culture to Manage Stress, Maintain Productivity

As organizations confront a post-COVID-19 world, leaders must balance pandemic-driven practices and environments with team member eagerness to and uncertainty towards returning to business as usual. Even though ongoing fear and stress are inevitable, leaders and managers can use a positive workplace culture to support employees, engage their teams, and foster productivity. Safe, reliable access to health and wellness, remote mental health resources, and consistent communications will help organizations establish and maintain a positive culture that remains a steadfast source of support as the healthcare industry navigates the next phases of COVID-19.

Self-Service Data Tools Unlock Healthcare’s Most Valuable Asset

Data is increasingly critical to the delivery of healthcare. However, due to its complexity and scope, frontline clinicians and other end users can’t always access the data they need when they need it. In addition, expectations for data at the point of care unduly burden data analysts, keeping them from advancing more sophisticated organizational analytics goals. In response to data productivity and efficiency challenges, self-service data solutions models only the high-value data, versus all available data, giving analysts and nontechnical users immediate and direct access to the data. These reusable models address three key challenges healthcare analytics programs face: Cost—avoid additional expense and labor of producing single-use models. Efficiency—save times associated with routinely producing new models. Maintenance—allow updates across the…

A Sustainable Healthcare Emergency Management Framework: COVID-19 and Beyond

With an ever-changing understanding of COVID-19 and a continually fluctuating disease impact, health systems can’t rely on a single, rigid plan to guide their response and recovery efforts. An effective solution is likely a flexible framework that steers hospitals and other providers through four critical phases of a communitywide healthcare emergency: Prepare for an outbreak. Prevent transmission. Recover from an outbreak. Plan for the future. The framework must include data-supported surveillance and containment strategies to enhance detection, reduce transmission, and manage capacity and supplies, providing a roadmap to respond to immediate demands and also support a sustainable long-term pandemic response.

Weekly News Roundup: August 21, 2020

With a lack of historical population-based information to steer COVID-19 research, pharmaceutical companies are struggling to understand the everchanging virus as they work tirelessly to develop a vaccine in less than one year. In this week's news roundup: the top coronavirus vaccines to watch; how a new COVID-19 data repository can help speed vaccine development; how do we get to an effective COVID-19 vaccine, and when; and more.

Health Catalyst Launches COVID-19 Patient Data Repository to Speed Vaccine Development

With a lack of historical population-based information to steer COVID-19 research, pharmaceutical companies are struggling to understand the everchanging virus as they work tirelessly to develop a vaccine in less than one year. Research teams can access near real-time COVID-19 patient data with Touchstone® for COVID-19 National Data Sets and Registry from over 80 million patients across the United States and three national data sources: John Hopkins University, The New York Times, and The COVID Tracking Project. The Registry offers up-to-date, comprehensive data with outcome analysis and clinical trial analysis so research teams can stay up to date through every stage of the vaccine development process.

Weekly News Roundup: August 14, 2020

The events of 2020 have already pushed healthcare systems to adapt to many challenges. To prepare for continued changes, health systems need to pay close attention to developing trends. In this week's news roundup: the five healthcare trends to watch during COVID-19; adapting to challenges of COVID-19 with trends in healthcare payments; five digital trends that have accelerated since COVID-19; the role of mobile health technology in the pandemic; and more.

Healthcare Trends During COVID-19: Top Five Areas to Watch

COVID-19 is now a commanding force in healthcare, and outbreak-driven trends will continue to influence the industry and impact patients for the foreseeable future. Understanding and preparing for activity in five critical categories will help health systems navigate the next phases of the COVID-19 era: A potential vaccine—confronting availability and distribution challenges. Virtual care—managing the best interests of patients and providers. Models of care—accommodating changing delivery and long-term needs of COVID-19 patients. Healthcare resource management—planning for and recovering from financial and capacity strain. Data—improving accuracy, availability, and timeliness for pandemic management.

Build Versus Buy a Healthcare Enterprise Data Warehouse: How IT Leaders Choose the Best Option for Their Organizations

The public cloud has made IT infrastructure increasingly accessible, influencing some healthcare CIOs and CTOs to try to build an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) in-house versus purchasing a commercial solution. However, a spring 2020 survey indicates that the vast majority of healthcare data platform users purchase their EDWs, citing superior quality, functionality, and security. Meanwhile, homegrown EDW users report high satisfaction with their systems despite common roadblocks including insufficient IT personnel. A deeper dive into survey findings shows which type of organization may be best suited to building or buying an EDW.

Weekly News Roundup: August 7, 2020

The intensity and duration of caring for critically ill patients during the pandemic has presented many unique challenges for hospitals. In this week's news roundup: how hospitals can meet the needs of non-COVID patients; how to prepare for patient surges; why the COVID-19 hospital data system is plagued by delays and inaccuracies; and the mounting shortages of healthcare workers in cities across the country.

Using COVID-19 Value Sets for Patient Identification

The U.S. healthcare system was not prepared for a health crisis of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Hospitals are working to facilitate widespread distribution of information within their organization and to local, state, and federal authorities to successfully manage this novel infection. EHRs and Lab Information Systems (LISs) have become public health tools for disease surveillance and management. Due to signification variation in EHR data, informatics tools are needed to define patients with suspected SARS-Cov2 Infection and confirmed COVID-19 infection. With the aim of building an extensible model for a COVID-19 database, Health Catalyst has built a detailed approach that leverages a heuristic methodology for capturing both confirmed and suspected cases. Health Catalyst has proposed value sets that define…

Hospital Capacity Management: How to Prepare for COVID-19 Patient Surges

Health system resource strain became an urgent concern early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Hard-hit areas exhausted their hospital beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment, staffing, and other life-saving essentials, while other regions scrambled to prepare for inevitable surges. These resource concerns heightened the need for accurate, localized hospital capacity planning. With additional waves of infection in the summer months following the initial spring 2020 crisis, health systems must continue to forecast resource demands for the foreseeable future. An accurate capacity planning tool uses population demographics, governmental policies, local culture, and the physical environment to predict healthcare resource needs and help health systems prepare for surges in patient demand.

Weekly News Roundup: July 31, 2020

In this week's news roundup, we're taking a look at regulatory news and updates that affect the healthcare industry, including what health systems need to know about COVID-19 relief funding; tax relief major provider groups are asking from Congress; why cash flow could be a looming problem for hospitals; and how cross-state nurse licensing could improve care during COVID-19.

Steps for Effective Patient and Staff Contact Tracing to Defend Against COVID-19 Spread

While the world waits for a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19, managing disease spread is paramount. For health systems, patient and staff contact tracing is one of the top transmission-control strategies. Because the virus appears to spread mainly through respiratory droplets from person-to-person contact, knowing where infected individuals have been and with whom they’ve been in contact is an essential capability. With this insight, organizations can manage transmission with data-driven emergency planning and monitoring capabilities. The resulting appropriate and timely workflow modifications will serve disease control efforts during the 2020 pandemic and help health systems prepare for future outbreaks.

A More Accurate Sepsis Identification Method: Leveraging Physiological Data

The traditional sepsis identification method—based on a combination of physician notes, coding, and billing—is often varied and too subjective, leading to inaccurate data. Because margins are tight and health systems can’t afford to waste any resources, clinical teams need to start with the most effective sepsis identification method. Using physiological data, such as vital signs, to identify sepsis is proving to be highly effective. With the physiological data approach, providers rely on the body’s response—rather than being steered by biases, anecdotal information, or reimbursement rates—to more accurately identify patients with sepsis. With a more effective approach to sepsis identification, providers can implement interventions sooner, leading to better outcomes.

HAS 20 Virtual: Featuring a World-Class Lineup of Keynote Speakers

The Healthcare Analytics Summit (HAS®) is going virtual this year but will still feature the same world-class experience you expect from HAS–including world-class keynote speakers. HAS 20 Virtual will showcase well-known visionaries and C-level executives from leading healthcare organizations. The summit will feature speakers who’ve battled COVID-19 in the trenches as well as other speakers adjusting to planning for the “new normal” that we all anticipate. We’re reimagining HAS 20 in a virtual format that will be unlike any other healthcare conference you may have attended, virtual or otherwise. HAS 20 Virtual takes place September 1-3, 2020 and will feature nationally recognized keynote speakers, educational breakout sessions, and much more.

Achieve Data-Informed Healthcare in Eight Steps

Becoming a data-informed healthcare system starts with raw data and ends with meaningful change, driven by raw data. Health systems can follow an eight-step analytics ascension model to transform data into intelligence: Population Identification and Stratification Measurement Data Information Knowledge Insight Wisdom Action Following the analytics ascension model allows improvement teams to avoid feeling overwhelmed, focus on each step, and see how each step fits into the overall objective, allowing health systems to maximize data.

Interoperability in Healthcare: Making the Most of FHIR

With the CMS and ONC March 2020 endorsement of HL7 FHIR R4, FHIR is positioned to grow from a niche application programming interface (API) standard to a common API framework. With broader adoption, FHIR promises to support expanding healthcare interoperability and prepare the industry for complex use cases by addressing significant challenges: Engaging consumers. Sharing data with modern standards. Building a solid foundation for healthcare interoperability.

Improving Patient Safety: Lessons from a Military Operations Framework

The operational military concept known as “left of bang” endorses continuous situational awareness to avoid harm proactively—before it occurs. Healthcare, however, operates reactively in response to patient harm, often intervening once a patient safety event has occurred, versus using practices and tools to recognize and respond to threats. Applied to patient safety, a left-of-bang approach teaches frontline clinicians to increase sensitivity to and stay in constant vigilance for threats before they happen, moving down a scale of situational awareness levels: White: Tending to the tasks at hand but largely unprepared for disruption and unaware of the conditions around them. Yellow: Constantly understanding the safety vulnerabilities of day-to-day healthcare. Orange: Ready to use the needed skills and tools to react to…