How Patient Portals Are Failing Healthcare — And Our Patients

Healthcare consumers range from tech-savvy millennials accustomed to quick click-throughs to straight answers — to patients with little confidence or competence in computing tools. In either case, just three words can summarize the potential value-added of patient portals to consumers: ease of communications, fast solutions and efficient chronic disease management — but only if the portals are actually integrated into patients’ lives.  Similarly, healthcare providers can achieve at least three big benefits from patients’ portal-usage: greater efficiencies, cost-savings and improved health outcomes — again, only if patients use their portals. But with only 20% of patients regularly relying on portals, many benefits have been unattainable. Why are most portals realizing so little of their promise?



Hospital Cybersecurity 2019: Seven Essential Leadership-Level Strategies

Dangerous cybersecurity attacks have become a sweeping problem across our healthcare industry, with most hospitals having experienced not one or two, but many threats in the last three years. It wasn’t that long ago when the most common perpetrator of security breaches was a negligent employee. But the majority of threats now are from cybercriminals and other malicious actors, according to the 2019 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey published last month. The good news is that many hospitals have conceded that these risks are not going away and are investing in tenacious battles against cybercrime. We’ve gathered data from a variety of hospitals detailing innovative and aggressive strategies they are using to minimize if not eliminate significant security incidents.



Meet us at HIMSS19! Ranked #1, Phoenix staff will fix your broken IT support.

The annual HIMSS conference is highly anticipated to offer intriguing glimpses of transformative technologies and IT approaches that will shape the future of healthcare. This year’s gathering in Orlando promises to do the same.

But without innovative corrections of IT-related adversities currently troubling your hospital, advances can be difficult.  

BlackBook Medals - 2017-18 -hi res2It is no secret that many clinicians resent EHR investments and workflow tools that seem counterproductive…or they are convinced that IT gets in the way of clinician-patient relationships instead of supporting them. The last thing they think is needed is more IT.

Often, the underlying problem is dysfunctional IT support or inadequate optimization of recently implemented EHRs and other IT applications. Or both.

Phoenix specializes in helping hospitals stabilize and strengthen their IT foundations so that they will get the most from their information systems and be ready to take on ever more sophisticated, transformational initiatives. We have 20+ years of experience providing an array of hospital IT support, strategic consulting, project management and IT department outsourcing solutions. We have been ranked #1 nationwide — two years in a row — by Black Book Research for our superior results and client satisfaction.

Vendor-independent, we work as objective partners of our hospital clients, whether leading implementations, optimizing systems for greater efficiencies and usability, or via application / infrastructure monitoring and Service Desk support. We are experienced in all major EHR platforms.

We work to eliminate non-productivity, disconnects between processes and systems, user dissatisfaction and unnecessary costs. We are committed to the growth and prosperity of our clients through times of transformation and modernization — and during financial and operational difficulties.

If you are attending HIMSS19, we invite you to personally meet with us to learn how our top-ranked hospital IT support services firm will help your hospital resolve existing IT issues so you can move into your future.

Either contact us here for a meeting time…

OR, email Doug Etue directly at doug.etue@phoenixhealth.com


How Patient Portals Can Do Much More for Healthcare Quality and Costs – Part 1

This is the first in a two-part series on how to make the most of patient portals to improve patient engagement, and simultaneously improve care management and financial outcomes. Thanks to the PolitDoc Team for their permission to publish excerpts from their recent post.

The implementation of Meaningful Use sent providers scrambling to implement patient portals to provide patients access to their health information — AND to reap the program’s financial incentives.  Unfortunately, many providers set up portals only as a compliance measure, without considering how patients and overall healthcare could benefit from them.  By not applying thoughtful patient-oriented design and functionality, these providers are missing a significant opportunity to enhance patients’ experience and to improve both clinical and financial outcomes. And so only about 20 percent of patients actually use portals, Mary Pratt writes in Medical Economics, and lack of vision, poor design and insufficient functionality are big reasons. Why must this change?



Blockchain: Its Future in Healthcare is Happening Now

Interoperability. Healthcare cost savings. Data security. Healthcare innovation…and blockchain. Today it’s difficult to talk about any of these hot topics without hearing about the others.

Systems interoperability that would provide nationwide access to a common database of health information — no matter what EHR is used — is healthcare’s holy grail. Healthcare leaders, physicians, medical researchers and yes, patients, are frustrated by our inability to share the massive healthcare information we collect via our millions of data systems, and do so less expensively and more securely. Many technology leaders think blockchain will disrupt this inefficient status quo and even revolutionize healthcare. Is blockchain just another tech pipedream du jour? It seems not. A significant number of hospital leaders are already blazing the trail with blockchain solutions. Here’s what you should know.



The Potential of BlockChain in Healthcare

Many healthcare leaders are betting on the potential of blockchain to enable reliable ways for health professionals to safely track, analyze and use health information across disparate providers and systems. The global healthcare blockchain market is estimated to experience double-digit growth to $5.61 billion by 2025, according to an April 2018 report from ResearchAndMarkets.com. IBM Watson Health has reached an agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the potential benefits of blockchain for the healthcare industry. Mayo Clinic just signed a joint working agreement with Medicalchain chain to collaborate on initiatives to “explore the potential benefits of blockchain technology in healthcare.” Blockchain is expected to solve many issues that plague our data-siloed industry.

It’s time for you to know more about blockchain.



Will Amazon, Apple or Google Succeed as the Next Healthcare Disruptor?

Consumer technology giants Apple, Amazon and Google are poised to put heavy footprints on the healthcare technology environment, at the same time new reports of patient dissatisfaction with current hospital EHR solutions are coming out. This confluence of developments may be the perfect setting for the next major disruption in our industry, a scenario that many healthcare leaders and health tech vendors won’t relish. But many consumers will, especially those under 40. Here’s our updated preview of what may be in store for all industry stakeholders.



Why We Are at the Crossroads of the Next Healthcare Disruption

At a moment when consumer technology giants Apple, Amazon and Google are poised to put heavy footprints on the healthcare technology environment, new reports of patient dissatisfaction with current hospital EHR solutions seem to be paving the way. This confluence of developments may be the perfect setting for the next major disruption in our industry, a scenario that many hospital leaders, physicians and health tech vendors won’t relish. But many consumers will, especially those under 40. Here’s a startling preview of what may be in store for all industry stakeholders.



Texting in Healthcare is Here to Stay: But Know the Rules!

The December 28, 2017 announcement of CMS’ new and apparently final stance on clinicians’ texting patient information probably sailed under your radar. CMS clarified what previously had been a confusing message, and now has specified that it is permissible for clinicians to communicate PHI, but only across a secure platform. However, significant caveats were noted. Every clinician across all healthcare provider organization must be educated, preferably through IT leadership, on CMS’ clarified policy on texting in healthcare as soon as possible — not just to adhere to federal rules, but to prevent compromise of texting usage by cyber criminal activity.



Download Our 2017 Hospital IT Governance Checklist

This authoritative guide, developed by our CIO level consulting staff, offers a framework to measure your hospital’s IT governance standards, outcomes and cost-effectiveness. We’ve compiled it especially for CIOs, IT Directors, CFOs and CEOs to provide a methodology for systematic analysis of your IT environment and its support of users, organizational objectives and data infrastructure / security — and identify how IT can improve. An objective no-holds-barred analysis is key: how is the IT department functioning overall, are users’ needs being met, are key quality and security metrics established and hitting targets, what ROI is IT providing the organization, and how can improvements be managed systematically?

Download it here in pdf format: IT Governance Checklist 2017

Contact us if we can help. We have specialized in supporting and managing IT departments in community and rural hospitals for over 20 years.