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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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A Closer Look at Video in Healthcare

In honor of Cisco’s presence at HIMSS 2012 this week, we thought we’d take a closer look at video in healthcare and what one of our most innovative customers is up to.

Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida is a great example of the many ways video can be used in healthcare. Moffitt has instilled the capture, transformation and sharing of video in its culture so that patients can “meet” many of the physicians, find answers for commonly asked questions, and even hear inspirational cancer survivor stories all on their Show and Share video portal.

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