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It’s a boy!

March 26, 2012 at 10:51 am PST

Related blog: Coming Soon to Your Doctor’s Examining Room by William Moore, CTO of CareCore National

“It’s a boy!!!” my friend Kim told me just minutes after her 18 week ultrasound. Even though we were texting I could tell her excitement was restrained despite the exclamation points. Later that day she shared “he’s healthy but…[big inhale]…he has a cleft lip [even bigger exhale]”

This unexpected information meant more tests for her and her unborn son, Mason. It meant a series of surgeries starting at 6 months until age 5. It brought a lot of anxiety to Kim’s entire family.

In addition, the diagnosis raised a lot of questions such as, “Will Mason be okay? How will my family support him and cope with our baby having surgery? Will my insurance cover all that is needed to treat his cleft lip? Will his treatment be personalized? Will I…will he…be subjected to unnecessary tests? Will there be a lot of tests? Can I trust that his healthcare team is up to date on all the latest treatments? Will there be a team of healthcare experts to support us as Mason recovers from each surgery?”

Kim had a lot to prepare for and wanted to feel confident about Mason’s healthcare team. She wanted to know that the most experienced doctors would provide the best care possible based on leading industry practices.  What she wanted most was peace of mind that her son would be ok.

Improving the outcomes of patients like Mason while simultaneously alleviating the burden on physicians is no easy task. It takes a bold and innovative company to tackle such a challenge, one who is at the forefront of the healthcare industry and can envision improved care, better outcomes, and healthier people.

CareCore National is such a company. The company currently has contracts with more than 25 health plans working with 600,000 physicians providing care to 68.8 million people.

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Big Data: Coming Soon to Your Doctor’s Examining Room – Part 1

March 22, 2012 at 6:42 am PST

We invited William Moore, CTO at CareCore National to share his thoughts on how cloud and big data are impacting the healthcare industry. Read related blog, “It’s a Boy!”

Now that the initial frenzy of the cloud revolution is settling, solid applications are providing a glimpse of the potential of cloud computing to change daily life for the better. In my industry, healthcare, the cloud is not simply transforming existing processes, but actually enabling new decision-making models that simply weren’t possible before.

Why Electronic Medical Records Fell Short

The healthcare industry earlier tried for transformation with electronic medical records (EMRs). The original notion was that individual physician practices could justify the investment in servers, software, and maintenance based on efficiency gains. Then we’d bubble up the health records data from multiple organizations and it would be a Shangri La moment for chronic disease models, coordinated care, care duplication, and more.

But reality fell short of the mark. Many physicians’ offices are really small business at heart. They were hard pressed to afford EMR infrastructure and all that went with it. Efficiency gains are minuscule at best if you simply print out patient charts each morning, place them on that same old clipboard, mark them up with a ballpoint pen, and then have the office manager enter the new information into the EMR system to print out next time.

Without a critical mass of EMR infrastructure, developers lacked the incentive to create standards and unifying protocols. And the lack of protocols prevented meaningful sharing of data.

Even if some of your healthcare providers do use EMRs, it’s rare that all of your providers can see yours. Connecting EMRs among more than a handful of physician practices is not technically feasible, nor is it appropriate.

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“What If” Could Be Now: Truly Mobile Healthcare

March 14, 2012 at 7:26 am PST

Once upon a time in the days of Opie and Andy, doctors made house calls. I’ve seen it on TV, so it must be true. Now, a doctor visit usually requires that you do the visiting to a clinic, office, or hospital. An initial appointment may result in referrals for tests or to specialists – more visits, parking lots, waiting rooms. Sometimes your information gets transferred along, sometimes it doesn’t.

Mobile devices are showing up everywhere, healthcare included. There’s even a new word: mHealth. (We had e-everything in the early 2000s, then came along iSomething, so let’s now move further into the alphabet with mWords.) Read More »

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Partner Alert: Customers Put Relationships First

March 9, 2012 at 8:08 am PST

When it came time to build a 370,000-square-foot, 72-bed healthcare facility featuring state-of-the-art services, the Chickasaw Nation had a number of important decisions to make. Among those were how to deliver excellence in medicine, tranquility, and healing to Chickasaws and other Native Americans.

Also important, according to Chuck Dougherty, CIO for the Chickasaw Nation, was providing reliable, seamless, and secure communications across its healthcare community. But technology wasn’t at the center of his decision.

In the video below, Dougherty explains how selecting to work with Presidio—a Cisco Master Security and UC Specialized Partner based in Greenbelt, Maryland—was less about technology and more about relationship building.

So what can you learn from Presidio about its commitment to customers? Read More »

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HIMSS 2012 – Spotlight on Accountable Care

One major topic at this year’s HIMSS 2012 Conference, was accountable care programs. As January 1, 2012 marked the initial period for healthcare organizations to start the application process to become eligible for Accountable Care Organization status there was much debate about whether or not ACOs could improve healthcare while reducing costs.

The coordinated care provided by an Accountable Care Organization can help ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and preventing medical errors.

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