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The New Rules of Patient Engagement

Last year Ernst & Young coined the term ‘Pharma 3.0’ describing an ecosystem where healthcare innovation shifts from being product centric to an outcomes focus.  This market transition has come as a result of the generally recognized lack of a sustainable model in global healthcare concurrent with rapid advancements in healthcare technology.  This paradigm shift has created multiple transitions in the healthcare market, including how products come to market and how corporate enterprises mobilize their resources.  It has also has opened the door for traditional biotech and pharm companies to invest in non-drug innovations like Smartphone Apps and offering services aimed at improving overall health outcomes through disease management and coordinated care.  This is happening at a time when patients are becoming more informed and more engaged with managing their healthcare decisions.

Speaking on a panel at BIO 2012 in Boston this week, Robert Prachar, senior vice president at Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc., stated that there is an abundance of information out there, but “The question becomes how we build decision-support systems that are patient- and physician-friendly rather than just whatever flows to the top in a Google search? Anyway you cut it, we are still in an employment-based health care system…If we start to deliver coordinated care that works, people will pay for that.”

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Is Your Hospital Going Broke from Poor Communication?

A few years ago I surveyed around 500 hospital employees in all job categories and departments and asked what the biggest challenge to their workday was.  Three of the top six responses contained “communication”.  So today when I was reading an AHA report[1] on patient flow I was not at all surprised to see communication winning the top prize as the most pervasive and the hardest problem to fix -- taking 60% of the votes.  It outpaced the second runner up -- visibility to data – which came in with only 30% of the votes.

 “There is strong agreement that communications is the most difficult obstacle to overcome”

-AHA Report of the 2012 Patient Flow Challenges

Dr. Daniel Z Sands

Communication concerns were seen to impact discharge, inefficient patient handoffs and insufficient post-discharge contact with patients.  This is consistent with another study done by the University of Maryland on the impact of inefficient and poor communication, finding that U.S. hospitals conservatively waste over $12 billion annually as a result of communication inefficiency among care providers.  Interestingly, the study linked communication issues with increases in the length of hospital stays which has a direct impact on profitability – accounting for nearly 53 percent of that $12 billion annual economic burden.

Another study by Thompson Reuters demonstrated an indirect relationship between average length of stay (ALOS) and operating income -- the shorter the ALOS, the better the operating income[2].

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St. Joseph’s Healthcare Scores with Cisco HealthPresence

99% of patients said they would use telehealth services again.  You can’t get much better than that.  St. Joseph Health System successfully launched a telehealth pilot earlier this year using Cisco HealthPresence™ that allows patients, physicians and other health and wellness specialists in disparate locations to meet and consult virtually via immersive video and audio technologies. The telehealth pilot is part of St. Joseph Health’s Healthiest Communities initiative, which focuses on improving access to health care services and quality of care to the communities it serves.  The results are impressive.

The pilot has now been live for four months supporting Urgent Care, Specialty Care, Chronic Disease Management, and Wellness and Health Improvement.  Care has been provided to about 250 patients.  In addition 99% of patients said they would use telehealth services again.  95% of patients seen were “completely satisfied” with their telehealth experience.  The telehealth program is providing access to healthcare in areas where it previously was not accessible.

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Cisco reveals Work Your Way

May 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm PST

Cisco announced today a study showing benefits, as well as complexities, relating to employees bringing their own devices (BYOD) to work.  A colleague of mine forwarded this cartoon to me last week which I thought was quite amusing.  It gave me all kinds of thoughts about my upcoming doctor’s visit. 

Cisco is enabling BYOD by driving innovation through Unified Workspace, everything that makes workers efficient and productive moves along with them.  Cisco is also offering three Smart Solutions, the BYOD, VXI and Remote Expert, all designed to help service provider and enterprises develop a scalable approach to their mobility initiatives while optimizing user experience and ensuring data security. Read More »

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Cisco HealthPresence Version 2.1 Debuts at ATA 2012

The latest version of Cisco HealthPresence solution , was debuted in the Cisco Booth at the American Telemedicine Association’s annual meeting held in San Jose, April 29- May 1, 2012.

Cisco HealthPresence leverages the network as the platform to connect people, resources, and information to deliver enhanced care-at-a-distance. The solution includes all the elements of a typical telemedicine encounter through a common user interface, while removing the technical complexity for healthcare providers and medical staff.

The latest version reflects collaboration between Cisco and Emerge.MD, a Phoenix, Arizona based-provider of telehealth SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions including workflow software.

Additional features in this release include:
• Compatibility with a broad portfolio of Cisco video platforms including Cisco Jabber Video soft client for desktops
• A scalable architecture that permits easy localization and integration with new third-party medical devices
• Enhanced workflows and support for physicians to collaborate and expand their network with specialists both inter- and intra- their healthcare network

“Cisco provides the platform for integrating partner solutions, and that enables a lot of new capabilities,’ said Rajesh Vargheese, CTO, Cisco Healthcare Solutions at the Cisco booth on the ATA exhibition floor.

Added Vincent Balsamo, Emerge.MD’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing: “It’s all about workflow, adoption, and utilization. The combined solution enables us to use the best of each other’s products and technologies to deliver seamless care”. To watch more of their discussions click here .

Cisco HealthPresence 2.1 is one among several collaborations between Cisco and Emerge.MD. The two have also worked on Webex integrations for health care providers. The Cisco Healthcare Solutions team is excited about this new partnership and what it brings to our healthcare partners and customers.

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