Biometric Patient ID Technology with M2SYS President, Michael Trader

Biometric Patient ID Technology with M2SYS President, Michael Trader Podcast Interview

Biometric Patient ID Technology with M2SYS President, Michael Trader podcast interview and it’s ability to prevent duplicate MRNs, identify theft, and improve a hospital’s ROI

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Home Healthcare eCaring CEO Robert Herzog

How eCaring Will Transform Home Healthcare with CEO Robert Herzog

Part 2 interview/Podcast with Robert Herzog, Founder & CEO of eCaring, a web-based home health care monitoring and management system that delivers real-time information from the home to care managers, providers, and family members that is transforming the home Healthcare Industry Read More

Home Healthcare eCaring CEO Robert Herzog

Home Healthcare Management with eCaring CEO Robert Herzog

Part 1 interview/Podcast with Robert Herzog, Founder & CEO of eCaring, a web-based home health care monitoring and management system that delivers real-time information from the home to care managers, providers, and family members. Read More

Nuance Healthcare

Clinical Documentation Tech Tools w/ Carina Edwards, VP at Nuance

Carina Edwards, VP Marketing Solutions at Nuance Healthcare

Interview/podcast with Carina Edwards, VP, Marketing at Nuance Healthcare where she discusses clinical documentation tech tools and it’s integration in clinical workflow including the following:

  • ICD-10 Delay Client Impact
  • Importance of CLU Tools
  • CLU Integration in Clinical Workflow
  • Nuance’s Future Market Opportunities

LISTEN BELOW OR CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 

 

HIT Consultant: Now given the announcement of the 1 year delay for ICD-10, have you seen any change in clients actually scaling down or have you seen people saying we are going to go full steam ahead and actually business pick up as a result of that delay?

Carina: That’s a great question. We’ve seen actually business as usual and business picking up.  The nice thing for us, is the MD Assist solution that we’ve developed how it works very well with ICD-9. You still need to get that behavior change at the clinical documentation starting point with the physician. This now allows us to get the physician used to, in their common language, with their common ICD-9 backend and coding queries, get them used to being prompted and getting questioned at the point of documentation so then as we roll to ICD-10 and the complexity of what needs to be addressed increases given just the level of specificity changes required, it gives them a head start because they’re already used to the system. But we also know that some customers want to set up those environments so they can also start modeling out what the revenue implications for the hospital may be. So as they’re looking at their programs, they’re wondering where they can do ICD-10 pilots as a sub process so clearly not impacting their current revenue stream but just to get the analysis of what’s going to happen when they do shift to the standard and so now these tools can help them do both.

HIT Consultant: Now how important are all these tools? I’ve been reading a lot about clinical language understanding technology, clinical language indexing, HLI, IMO, all of these tools. How important do you think going forward utilizing all of these tools to get more specificity in documentation is going to be helpful in this industry?

Carina: You know, I think technology can always bring efficiency to a current process. I think the  key though is how the technology is integrated into the current workflow. [pullquote] key though is how the technology is integrated into the current workflow.[/pullquote] So as these solutions are coming to market, we really support customers in looking at what is the existing clinical workflow today? What would have to change with the new technology implementation? How much change management would be required from a physician workflow perspective? And we found the least disruptive. If we can keep the physician focused on patient care, focused on documenting in their current workflow and not disrupt them too much, you’ll get stronger adoption of these solutions.[pullquote]If we can keep the physician focused on patient care, focused on documenting in their current workflow and not disrupt them too much, you’ll get stronger adoption of these solutions.[/pullquote] So I think there’s always a place for technology. Technology helps us in so many ways in our lives. Imagine the whole online banking example. Ten years ago, did we ever think we could scanning in, taking a picture of a check and that’s our deposit form? There’s so much things we can do to drive efficiency, but really at the end of the day it depends on the impact to clinical workflow to drive that adoption.

HIT Consultant: Right. So for potential clients that are going through and looking at different tools, what are some best practices when doing this type of selection of these tools. There are a lot of competing companies out there. In your opinion, what is some of the best practices for going through this process in selecting the right product for that particular organization?

Carina: I really think you have to understand where the technology’s deployed today, where it’s actually in clinical use. Really look for those reference sites and get the feedback from others like you.  I think that’s critical. As we see new technologies introduced, there is an adoption period for new technologies. I think when you look at the foundation of that company’s ability to integrate into workflow, make it seamless. So really the proven nature of the product is going to be critical for customers. We always help facilitate, best practice for us, is to facilitate others like this and customer reference site calls and visits and really talking to other department heads and other quality and clinical and CIO counterparts in the industry just to say how this has worked in the past, how it will impact change and how it’s going to be adopted by physicians.

HIT Consultant: Any final thoughts or closing comments?

Carina: The closing comment I would leave everybody that’s listening to this podcast with is it goes back to for HIT consultants in general, we’re driving towards adoption of new technology and really understanding an architecting plan that both take into account the clinical workflow, the requirements of all the different regulatory needs, and then the tools and technology that can help support that transition and make it the easiest and simplest as possible. I really think they have to look at holistic solutions, deep partnerships, and RND integration efforts with these electronic health record vendors. It’s going to be critical because it’s with that interactivity and that connectedness that you’re going to get the most seamless experience for the physician practices.[pullquote] It’s going to be critical because it’s with that interactivity and that connectedness that you’re going to get the most seamless experience for the physician practices.[/pullquote] We’re excited about the market opportunity for Nuance. We see through our relationship with the EHR vendors and the deep RND relationships that we have, a lot of momentum into cloud, into mobile, that ability to truly capture that patient’s story anywhere and know with clinical language understanding, understand what is captured and use that information across the healthcare enterprise for reimbursement, for Meaningful Use reporting, for quality reporting. It’s a fun time and Nuance is excited to be in this space and great to be at this intersection of all that’s coming together.

HIT Consultant: Thank you.

About Carina Edwards:

Carina is responsible for Nuance Healthcare’s marketing strategy and has direct line of authority for managing the solutions marketing efforts of the individual lines of business including HIM, Diagnostics and Dragon Medical. Prior to joining the company in January of 2011, Carina was the Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Zynx Health. In this role, Carina transformed the marketing and product management capabilities for the Corporation, as well as redesigned the infrastructure, organization, and governance to achieve the organizations aggressive growth goals. Prior to Zynx Health, Carina held global marketing, product management, and business development leadership roles at Phillips Healthcare, Sapient, and Impact Innovations Group. Carina holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Boston College, as well as a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Management Information Systems and Decision Sciences from George Mason University.

How iPads Are Transforming Healthcare

How to Leverage BYOD to Support Meaningful Use w/ Tom Murphy

How to Leverage BYOD to Support Meaningful Use w/ Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy, Chief Marketing Officer at Bradford Networks

How to effectively leverage BYOD to support Meaningful Use and SSO interview/podcast with Tom Murphy, Chief Marketing Officer at Bradford Networks 
In part 2, Tom discusses the following:

  • Steps for healthcare organizations to make BYOD a priority
  • How to leverage BYOD to support Meaningful Use
  • Single Sign On Technology in BYOD
  • Future of BYOD

LISTEN BELOW OR CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

HIT Consultant: Now with healthcare organizations facing competing priorities of Meaningful Use and ICD-10, what steps must healthcare organizations make to ensure that BYOD is also considered a priority?

Tom Murphy: From what we’ve seen is doctors are helping push the adoption of BYOD again because of a lot of the things we just mentioned. So, BYOD, is something that, in many industries, especially in healthcare, with the userability of those devices, and specific use cases in power, what we’re seeing is doctors are driving that. Doctors, in many ways, are saying to organizations “I will use this device and you will figure out how to make sure that it is safe and it’s not going to jeopardize electronic medical records. So, the priority starts there because of the use case and because of the doctor’s passion for the devices. What usually slows down the adoption in a way, is the back end, which is how do we control the risks, how do we maintain security of our information and what we see is that we have steps to help people adopt mobile devices, adopt iPads in their organizations. And those steps, as we’ve discussed, become really a best practice, so minimizing risks. And it really comes down to, if you’ve got sensitive information, how can you ensure the integrity of the devices that are connecting, the people that are going to connect, and provision of the right level of access. Because, remember, there’s two fundamental things we don’t want to happen. One, is we don’t want data leaving the organization and two, we don’t want to have unauthorized access to data because that obviously would be, in both cases, could result in a breach.

HIT Consultant: Well I think you kind of touched on this already…how can we effectively leverage BYOD to support specifically Meaningful Use?

Tom Murphy: Meaningful Use it really comes back to, the use cases that I love to talk about, is one have you ever sat in a room or talked to a doctor and there’s something very complicated they‘re trying to explain, a lot of times they’ll look at a chart, they’ll look at, maybe a skeleton that they use in doctor’s offices, or so those visuals really help explain concepts that otherwise would be very difficult to comprehend. So, the visual power of an iPad for an example, is a tool. It’s a communication tool. The second thing is, is the timed information. The time to gather or have critical information at your fingertips. The use case of having access to information, right in the emergency room or right at the doctor’s hand. And switching patients dynamically  as you walk from one room to another. Yes, it’s capable with a laptop, but it’s clumsy with a laptop. So, think about carrying an iPad and how powerful it is to have that information on the iPad. And the third is, again, is the cleanliness of that device. I mean, again it sounds so simple, but it’s easy to spray down and clean and wipe an iPad, allows it to be, go from room to room and to be used from patient to patient. So when you put all those together, ultimately you have that communication tool, you get the time of information, relevance of getting information quickly, productivity, and then lastly you’ve got the ability for it to be a viable tool because it can be cleaned very quickly.[pullquote] ultimately you have that communication tool, you get the time of information, relevance of getting information quickly, productivity, and then lastly you’ve got the ability for it to be a viable tool because it can be cleaned very quickly.[/pullquote]

HIT Consultant: Where do you see a single-sign on technology playing an active role in BYOD?

Tom Murphy: Single sign on technology is not new to healthcare, it’s been around for many, many years. Ultimately what we see with BYOD, we want to know who owns the device. When a device enters a organization, there’s a lot of stations within healthcare today and those stations are typically shared by different people. With BYOD, my take is that it’s a person’s device, it’s an individual’s device and the sharing of that device, if it’s truly a BYOD-environment where it’s a personal device, I don’t expect the same level of sharing to take place. Now, let’s not confuse that with a corporate issued device that may be shared. As an example, you might have an iPad that is something that may reside at a health care facility when someone comes in and registers for healthcare. Or it’s a waiting room. Or there’s different use cases where single sign on might be appropriate based on use of the device, but for the most part with  BYOD I expect it to be more single-use, single person than I do with shared devices across many different users.[pullquote] BYOD I expect it to be more single-use, single person than I do with shared devices across many different users.[/pullquote]

HIT Consultant: Now, where do you see BYOD in 2-5 years in healthcare? Right now, it seems to be very controversial and a lot of health care organizations are really unprepared and really don’t know how to take on this issue. Where do you see it progressing 2-5 years from now?

Tom Murphy: So what I think some of the biggest challenges that health care are facing are, they’re facing, they have the ability right now to capture and embrace electronic medical records and take advantage of the some of this stimulus money that’s been put in place. What’s also happening at the same time is that they’ve got some deadlines of 2014 of getting those medical records online.  So, you kind of have this window of opportunity of that they’re really focused on getting their records in place.  At the same time, what’s going to happen is, now that their records are in place, accessibility to those records is going to be a fall on wave. Accessibility is going to come in the form of the existing stations and existing tools that they use, but the portability, like any other industry, getting access to that information is going to change. So, we see it today with again, iPads are kind of the first waves coming through, the doctors wanting that communication vehicle or accessed information. But the use of portable, mobile devices whether they’re corporate issued or personal devices owned by personnel. Access to that information is just going to logical follow. So, over the next 2-5 years, what I would expect is we’ll see early adopters, mobile devices and personal devices getting access to information and we’ll see that spearheaded by the people that have power, like doctors[pullquote]over the next 2-5 years, what I would expect is we’ll see early adopters, mobile devices and personal devices getting access to information and we’ll see that spearheaded by the people that have power, like doctors[/pullquote], but over more and more what we’ll end up seeing is as the security and policies get better, as more and more electronic medical records get online, just like any technology, there’s a first wave of early adopters, we will see that come down into the mainstream, into other people into the organization that will adopt the same types of technologies, particular use cases, that don’t have the same kind of compelling, really high level compelling event, like communication or like, the time to save someone’s life, but it might just be more administrative use or more general communication about what’s going on and that’s going to filter its way back into the mainstream of the organization in the next 3-5 years.

HIT Consultant: Thank you! Any closing comments/thoughts?

Tom Murphy: Yes! Ultimately, when we look at BYOD, I like to say is that many organizations, as example, educational institutions who are doing BYOD and they’ve been doing it for many years. BYOD is not new, it’s just that what we see in different industries, there are talking BYOD based on, the useability and opportunity that presents itself. What we see in healthcare is we see, again, a communication device, what we see is the ability to time the information and kind of the cleanabiltiy of the device.  That’s what’s driving the use in healthcare. When you have doctors saying they’re going to use the device, that’s a powerful statement. In order to have safe use of that device, it has to be provisioned properly in an organization. What Bradford is going to do is protect the device, protect the user, protect the access point, and provision safe access to electronic medical records and allow people to onboard their personal devices in a safe way by knowing that information and provisioning the right level of access.

About Tom Murphy:

As Chief Marketing Officer, Tom is responsible for the global strategy and execution of Bradford’s marketing efforts. In this role, Tom is focused on extending Bradford’s presence and relevance on the world stage, building and guiding Bradford’s global brand, to further the success of the company’s sales teams and partner ecosystem.

A 25-year veteran of the IT industry, Tom joined Bradford after five years as the chief strategy officer of Bit9, Inc., a security company that specializes in endpoint protection and application whitelisting. During his time at Bit9, Tom was awarded the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council’s CXO of the Year award, expanded its global customer base from zero to hundreds of enterprise customers, evangelized around the world, and positioned Bit9 as the market leader in application whitelisting. Prior to Bit9, Tom held leadership positions at several highly successful software companies including Symantec/Relicore, BMC Software/BGS Systems and Precise Software Solutions/Veritas Software. While at Precise, Tom established leadership in the Application Performance Management (APM) market culminating with a highly successful IPO.

Nuance Healthcare

Interview: Understanding Clinical Language Understanding with Carina Edwards, VP Solutions Marketing at Nuance Healthcare

Carina Edwards, VP Marketing Solutions at Nuance Healthcare

There is a growing demand to extract structured, “actionable” information from unstructured (dictated) medical documents. Clinical Language Understanding (CLU) technology allows a computer to read and understand electronic free text and extract data for use in countless applications across the healthcare spectrum.  To understand and learn more about CLU technology, HIT Consultant spoke with Carina Edwards, VP, Solutions Marketing at Nuance Healthcare for a deep dive into:

  • CLU Technology
  • CLU technology implications for ICD-10 and Meaningful Use
  • Nuance’s Partnership with 3M HIS

LISTEN BELOW OR CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 


HIT Consultant: Give me a brief overview of what exactly is clinical language Understanding (CLU).

Carina Edwards: So clinical language understanding (CLU) is the technology that Nuance has launched as a combination of natural language processing (NLP) and statistical analysis that allows us to take any form of documentation in text form, in speech form and extract the relevant clinical facts and codify them against the medical vocabulary. Be that, ICD-9, CBT, SNOMED, etc. It’s the technology itself that we refer to as the clinical language understanding (CLU).

HIT Consultant: What role does that play particularly for ICD-10?

Carina Edwards: So, it’s actually the utilization of clinical language understanding (CLU) that’s an important differentiator here. In it of itself, clinical language understanding is not a product perse’ and so what Nuance has done is we have embedded that technology into solutions that go to market with a specific use case. So, for ICD-10 as an example, we have two different solutions that are being brought into the market place. The first is called MD Assist. And we’ve worked with 3M to develop this solution and what it does it allows physicians, while they’re dictating, to look at the documentation, understand the level of specificity, and get prompted for more specificity when necessary.

So, let’s give a real life example. If I’m in the electronic health record and I’m using Dragon Medical to dictate into the electronic medical record. When I’ve done my dictation, and I have my full patient story documented, I’ll hit save, I’ll go to the next field for instance at that point in time, a query will prompt. So, if I had said, patient presents with heart failure. In the ICD-10 world, that would equate to about 50 or 60 codes, so I need more specificity. And so I prompt the physician to say, “What type of heart failure? What was the acuity? And the specificity of the heart failure?” So then quickly they have two radio buttons they can select: acute, systolic heart failure and now that goes right into the documentation and it’s one and done. So, that’s the MD Assist solution. And that’s on the front end capture. If you have the most specific documents, then the coders won’t have to go back, the clinical document improvement specialist won’t have to go back and query the physician to get further information to drive to appropriate reimbursement. Now that’s the front end solution.

On the back end, if you think about the full workflow of that document, we’re also putting clinical language understanding (CLU) inside of 3M’s 360 Encompass Computer Assisted Coding Application. As the document flows through the system, it goes into the 360 Encompass workflow, when the coder is presented with those facts, they’ll be extracted from the document using clinical language understanding and tagged to the ICD-10 code structure. Almost at that first pass from which then they can edit. And so, it’s a nice seamless transition.  Because once again, if you can get more specificity from the source of the documentation at the point of documentation, you’ll drive improved processing, improved efficiency through the backend. And the computer assisted coding solution are really meant to provide that first pass that then the coders can work from, edit and submit.[pullquote] if you can get more specificity from the source of the documentation at the point of documentation, you’ll drive improved processing, improved efficiency through the backend. And the computer assisted coding solution are really meant to provide that first pass that then the coders can work from, edit and submit.[/pullquote] So that’s the full workflow of the two things that relate to ICD-10.

Now if you move further down to you next question around Meaningful Use, clinical language understanding (CLU) is also very appropriate here. So the first power addressing Meaningful Use from this perspective, from the clinical language understanding perspective, we have the best-in-class eScription technology platform for transcription. We process about a billion patient records a year through eScription across the US. The workflow in that scenario is that the physician picks up a phone or uses his iPhone and we have a digital dictation recorder and he quickly captures the dictation and sends then, based on the patient, to transcription. eScription platform leverages speech recognition and a modeling engine that pulls that document and presents the transcription with a first pass at the final report, they edit, they QA and they submit that back to the physician for signing in the electronic record signing queue. Upon that submission, we now run that document through clinical language understanding (CLU) and what that produces is a HL7-CDA level 2 document that now is appended to the transcribed final report.

So when it goes back to the EHR, it’s in that format so that they can pull the structured information out of that report that is needed as they’re populating fields for Meaningful Use.

HIT Consultant: From an integration standpoint, does it easily integrate with all existing EMRs for a hospital?

Carina Edwards: Yes, so that’s the best part. So we’ve participated, we’ve been a long-time member of the Health Story Initiative and that defines the HL7-CDA standard, and so as we move to Stage 2 Meaningful Use, EHRs need to be able to consume and reconcile HL7-CDA Level 2 documents. So, it’s a great win-win for the industry. The best part here is that we let physicians use the clinical capture workflow that’s most efficient for them. Be it Dragon Medical on the front end, directly into the electronic medical record or leveraging eScription to transcription on the backend to get their documentation in. But both coming in with both structured, end full physician narrative. So you’re not losing the detail of the patient story but you’re still gaining the structure required to meet all the different regulatory compliance.

HIT Consultant: Now you mentioned the partnership with 3M. Just briefly discuss that partnership.

Carina Edwards: Certainly. 3M is a very strategic partner to Nuance. They are a leader in the encoder business across the US. The relationship is multifaceted. We’ve jointly developed the MD Assist solution. So, what we’ve done there is that 3M’s proprietary knowledge is the amount of queries that they provide for their clinical document improvement program (CDIP). And we’ve taken those query sets and combined it with our clinical language understanding technology (CLU) and our base platform: Dragon, eScription, Dictaphone Enterprise Speech and then 3M’s Chartscripts platform. And now, on any one of those platforms the combination is the MD Assist solution. When you’re using one of those foundation products, MD Assist is sold as an add-on and it combines 3Ms knowledge and queries and we’ve automated that into what is understood and gleamed from the CLU entrance. As the example I gave you earlier, as the document is produced and now it’s texted in a notes fields, clinical language understanding extracts those facts and we run that against the 3M rule set and then we prompt the physician based on that knowledge. So that’s the first part of the partnership was this co-development of MD Assist.

The second part of the partnership is just the embeddedness of leveraging our technology within their inpatient computer assisted coding product so the 360 Encompass, inpatient CAC product is powered by Nuance’s clinical language understanding engine. So we have joint RED teams that work and we have a joint office that drives all different vectors of the partnership.

Part 2 of this interview will be posted soon. 

About Carina Edwards:

Carina is responsible for Nuance Healthcare’s marketing strategy and has direct line of authority for managing the solutions marketing efforts of the individual lines of business including HIM, Diagnostics and Dragon Medical. Prior to joining the company in January of 2011, Carina was the Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Zynx Health. In this role, Carina transformed the marketing and product management capabilities for the Corporation, as well as redesigned the infrastructure, organization, and governance to achieve the organizations aggressive growth goals. Prior to Zynx Health, Carina held global marketing, product management, and business development leadership roles at Phillips Healthcare, Sapient, and Impact Innovations Group. Carina holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Boston College, as well as a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Management Information Systems and Decision Sciences from George Mason University.

Diversinet

Dr. Hon Pak, CEO of Diversinet, Discusses BYOD & Mobile Strategy

Dr. Hon Pak, CEO of Diversinet

In part 2 of this interview/podcast, HIT Consultant speaks with Dr. Hon Pak , CEO of Diversinet about the following:

  • BYOD
  • Best Practices to Implement Mobile Strategy
  • Telehealth & Remote Patient Monitoring’s Implications for Mobility

LISTEN BELOW OR CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

HIT Consultant: So, speaking of security and managing that and securing that data, what are your thoughts on this whole controversial issue of BYOD – bring your own device?

Dr. Hon Pak: I think a couple of things are changing. As a physician, I do not want to carry two or more devices with me.  Even if you look at a tablet, I don’t want to carry a tablet and use a tablet for work and have a separate device to manage my personal life because I think the world is changing in terms of work and personal lives really converging. For example, if I go in and I want to make a medical appointment to see my orthopedic surgeon because I have a back injury, and I get an appointment, I don’t want to manage that calendar that I receive through my device, whether it’s a tablet or a mobile phone, and then have a separate calendar for my personal life. So that’s a very simple example where I think that both the consumers and particularly the providers, in large healthcare organizations and small, are now demanding that we have a convergence or we have a capability that allows them to seamlessly go between the work and the personal life. And because of that, I think the Bring Your Own Device, is really where I think the organization has to move toward, and some already have. But obviously, there are challenges associated with that because the traditional technique has been managing the device. They call it MDM, mobile device management, and I think we should coin a term called mobile app management because Diversinet has figured out how to secure not necessarily the device but the app inside that device. We fundamentally believe that the world is such that we can’t lock down every device, and so we’re taking a very unique approach to that.

But to answer your question, I believe that given the convergence of the personal and the professional life, our clients or our providers in the healthcare market are not going to tolerate having to have different devices for different activities. I just came from a conference that was around pharmaceutical topics, including clinical trials. I found out that these patients were being given these separate mobile devices that were locked down that could do X-Y-Z things, and they found challenges associated with it because the patients forgot to take the devices with them, weren’t using them like their own cell/mobile devices. So I believe that, while there are challenges, BYOD is the right thing to do because of what’s happening to our work and personal lives.

HIT Consultant: So speaking of mobile app devices, I read a survey by HIMSS saying that 75% of organizations allow clinicians to access clinical data via mobile devices, however only 38% have a policy in place that regulates the use of the mobile devices in our eyes of mobile strategist. So, what are some best practices for implementing a mobile strategy?

Dr. Hon Pak:  I think if you actually go to our website, we have a security white paper and some best practices [at https://support.diversinet.com/orderform/whitepaper1.html]. But you know it’s best practices around access controls as to who gets onto the application or onto the system, and that there are audit controls to ensure that when you send messages that these messages are actually received and confirmed, or that there is confirmation. There’s best practices around how you ensure that the PHI data or the integrity of the PHI data is intact. There are best practices around authentication and so forth. I believe there are best practices, but implementing those best practices in a given healthcare organization obviously has been challenging, as noted by the survey that you cited.  But I think it actually represents a larger issue than just mobile. So they’re worried right now about accountable care, they’re worried about lots of different things including, you know, electronic health record implementation, ICD-10 transition. Security today has really not been that high in terms of priorities. But now I think you’re seeing that movement shifting, especially with Meaningful Use stage 2 now proposing, at least the level of security for exchanging that data, and so the mobility security or mobile security and policies I think represent the larger context around the maturity of healthcare organizations and how they secure and protect the data.

HIT Consultant: Now during HIMSS, AirStrip, the developer of the remote monitoring application, announced that they will incorporate Diversinet’s authentication and encryption technology. Can you tell me more about this partnership or is just really they’re just using your technology and it’s not really a partnership?

Dr. Hon Pak: So, I have a personal relationship with Alan Portela, the CEO, from my previous job as the CIO for the Army Medical Department. But beyond that personal relationship, what we began to understand is that in the federal sector, as AirStrip is now deploying their technology into the federal space and trying to get certification, something called DIACAP. DIACAP  is a certification necessary for you to operate or use your application. They found that they couldn’t meet it because they didn’t have sufficient security specifications within the software that they built. And so we started talking, Alan and I, about the role of Diversinet. We have a specific SDK, or software development kit, that allows organizations or companies like AirStrip, who has ready a mature mobile app, to begin to wrap the security around that. And so, it came …The need arose when they are trying to expand into the federal space, but it’s not limited to the federal space.

I think it’s becoming obvious to both Alan and me that the level of security required is only going to increase, given the pervasive nature of these devices. And so, we are obviously focused initially on the federal market like the DoD and VA to ensure that we can obtain the FIPS 140-2 compliance so that they can get the certification and operate within the walls of these hospitals in theDoD and VA. But we both believe that the partnership that we’re forming is much bigger than just around this particular security for the federal market.

HIT Consultant: And how vital do you think telehealth and remote monitoring is in the grand scheme of things as far as mobility?

Dr. Hon Pak: So, in terms of telehealth and medical devices, I actually have a drawing that we came up with that describes the world in a much more integrated way than the way it’s operating in now. And what I mean by that is, currently mobile, or mobility and health, is a pretty hot market right now, but it’s largely siloed around consumer-facing apps or provider-facing apps, like AirStrip, for example. But they’re not really integrated yet with home health-care monitoring devices, or connected to the back-end electronic health record, or connected with telehealth or even medical devices inside, except for, you know, obviously certain cases like cardiology and OB monitors for AirStrip. And so, I believe they are very critical to the larger ecosystem that is needed to include electronic health record, medical devices, analytics decision support. and telehealth. And then the mobility comes in, taking and connecting all those pieces, and then extending those capabilities, whether it’s telehealth or EHR, to serve providers and patient.

So I believe that mobility is very interesting in that it becomes almost a vertical and a horizontal all at the same time, meaning it takes all of the different capabilities or technologies like electronic health record and telehealth and you’re able to project it out to the appropriate cases. Obviously, my background is in telemedicine, having implemented or designed and implemented a large program within the Army and being a part of the American Telemedicine Association. But what we found was that the ability or the vision of telehealth, which is to pervasively deliver care over distance and time, was challenged because we didn’t have a pervasive device like mobility. And so I believe that mobility really is going to transform healthcare, specifically around telehealth, because it now allows patients to pervasively be available for providers and the specialists to be pervasively available and be able to connect and communicate in ways that were in the past impossible. In fact, I am participating in the mHealth, or the first mHealth meeting inside ATA, because of this recognition.

HIT Consultant: Wow, that’s really good. Very good points. It kind of summed up a lot of the questions I really was going to ask. Do you have any closing comments or thoughts?

Dr. Hon Pak: I feel obviously very excited about the opportunities ahead of us. We’ve made a lot of progress in the last 3 months in terms of our message and where or how we’re going to get to those strategic objectives, particularly our team and our core technology that’s really proven. And in terms of our partnerships that we’re going to form to get there, I think is very promising. I’m just very humbled, but honored to be a part of this organization.

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Interview/Podcast: Tiffany Crenshaw, CEO of Intellect Resources Talks Big Break Pt. 1

Looking for an innovative way to hire healthcare IT trainers and provide an unique opportunity for inexperience professionals to break into the healthcare IT industry? In comes “Big Break“, an American Idol styled audition process where candidates compete to become a healthcare IT trainers that will instruct healthcare professionals on the use of a sponsored healthcare provider’s EMR system.

HIT Consultant recently spoke with brainchild of Big Break, Tiffany Crenshaw, President & CEO of Intellect Resources to learn more.

LISTEN BELOW OR CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD 


HIT Consultant: Give me a brief background overview of yourself and Intellect Resources  

Tiffany Crenshaw:  A little known fact about Intellect Resources is we spun out of Healthlink, which was, in the day, a really well-known boutique consulting firm that sold to IBM. But I came in to join them when there were about 30, actually less than 20 employees. And I came in to be their first recruiter and lead their recruiting efforts to help them grow the company. And was with Bill Augustine, the CEO of time, for several years, helped him build this company to about a 100 consultant firm. Then he looked at me one day and said, “You get bored really easily and we’re growing really well, so what are we going to do?” And I put the business plan for Intellect Resources on his desk. And quite honestly, I said, ”Gosh, Phil, there are a lot of consultants out there, excuse me, a lot of candidates out there who can’t travel like you need them to do, but they’d be great candidates to work for somebody else.” We, I try to recruit a lot of managers away and they don’t want to get on the road either. And they don’t need consultants, they need full time employees.

These two companies can operate very well together. And he said, ”Great, let’s do it!” And that’s how Intellect Resources spawned. We operated out of the Healthlink office. We use a lot of the same infrastructure. And when Healthlink was acquired by IBM, I was able to take the Intellect Resources. And ran Intellect Resources independently on my own, meaning I was the sales and the recruiter, it was just me for a number of years and then we started growing. Through the years, we’ve added on, not only the recruiting side, but also consulting go-live and then the I.R. Big Break, which I know we’re going to talk about that. Those are all the services we’ve added on through the years. And we have about 20 core non-billable employees, and we have about 300 consultants out in the field right now. So that’s the little story about how Intellect Resources started as the tiny little company that spawned out of Healthlinks.

HIT Consultant: Wow, I really didn’t even know that. So, tell me a little bit more about Big Break. First, what compelled you to start Big Break?

Tiffany Crenshaw: Well, Big Break is my baby. I get all jazzed when we talk about this. It’s just such an exciting, just an exciting event in general.  It’s exciting for the clients, it’s exciting for my team, and it’s really exciting for the Big Breakers to come out to it. So what Big Break is, it is an opportunity for a hospital, to basically, and please don’t take offense to the word, but basically to breed new healthcare IT talent.  And it’s a great opportunity for those that are trying to get into this industry, to get their big break and their foot in the door.[pullquote]So what Big Break is, it is an opportunity for a hospital, to basically, and please don’t take offense to the word, but basically to breed new healthcare IT talent.  And it’s a great opportunity for those that are trying to get into this industry, to get their big break and their foot in the door. [/pullquote]So, there’s two sides to this story. One is the client side. We had a client in New York that was getting ready, getting closer to their go-live event with Epic. And they realized that their original plan for the 90 trainers they were going to need, the original plan wasn’t going to work. And we’d been a recruiting and consulting partner for them, at that time, for like 5 years. And they called and they said “We need 90 trainers. We need them in 3 months. We have very limited budget. We have absolutely no time.

We want to do an American Idol type audition. That’s all we’ve got. Can you help us?” And we said, “You’ve called the right folks!” And so we kind of took their need, and Big Break was our response to it. So what we decided to do with, since they had a limited budget and couldn’t really get experienced trainers because they didn’t have the time to go about recruiting 90 experienced people, you know, the idea of the done in a  day audition was perfect. So, we rented out the Marriott Marquis in Time Square and we had invited roughly 400 contestants to come in as their big break into the healthcare IT industry and they came kind of to a gauntlet of exercises. They came in, they did a speed interview, they had to do an open mic in front of the camera, and then they came into an audition room with a group of judges.

We then, you know, extended offers to 100 potential trainers of course as you go through the on-boarding and the background checks, and that we ended up with 90 consultants. Those 90 folks came from all walks of life. We had folks from educators, we had people from the IT field, we had people from the healthcare field, we had people from customer service, we had fresh graduates; Folks that had minimal work experience but they were all selected, one because they had the hunch to come out such an event and two, they really shown in the event. They came in, they worked with a lot of poise, they could give impromptu presentations, they did well in front of the camera and that’s why we selected all of those folks. We got them all aboard, we trained them in Epic, they hit the classroom as Epic trainers, they went on to do the go-live event, as go-live, at the elbow support, go-live consultants. And now those folks, several of them were hired by our client at the end of the day, and they’re now permanent full-time employees of the client. Several have come to work with us on other projects and then the rest of them are all dispersed out in the field. Some have gone to work for hospitals, some for consulting firms, some, a lot of them are on the go-live circuit, doing that.  So that was really what Big Break originally was, an answer to a client’s needs. We were so excited about the results, the client got great talent, they got it at a very economical price, their training and their go-live was a success. And then for all those folks that took that chance and, you know, kind of were our trial there, are now all out in the field working. So, very, very exciting.

Now our second hospital that we did this for, we kind of had a better understanding about what Big Break could be. And the second hospital, they liked all the benefits. It was a done-in a-day event, we could get good, strong, local talent, it was an economical  alternative than getting experienced consultants. And this, our second particular hospital, was really wooed by the whole marketing idea. Wow, here’s a great way to bear the name of our hospital, really promote that we want to build up our New Orleans community and we really want to invest in our own people versus bringing outsiders in. So, the next Big Break that we did has all the benefits of we did for the hospital in New York, but this one really got excited about the marketing aspect of Big Break. And in the end of that Big Break, we actually hired 200 people because they have 8 hospitals to bring live over the next several years and these folks will be the trainers and also the go-live resources. So Big Break really started as an answer to a client concern and each time we’ve done this, clients get excited about different pieces of it. And we’re gearing up right now, for our third Big Break. [pullquote]So Big Break really started as an answer to a client concern and each time we’ve done this, clients get excited about different pieces of it. And we’re gearing up right now, for our third Big Break.[/pullquote] The first two were in the Epic world and the next one will be in the Cerner world so we’re very excited about that.

HIT Consultant: So, there were no qualifications to apply for Big Break? Like no previous healthcare experience? They could just have a different variety of experiences and come in and audition and really have an opportunity to gain entry into the field?

Tiffany Crenshaw:  You are absolutely right Fred, now there are certain qualifications that we were looking for in both. One is the basic technical acumen. So we have an online registration process that is fairly detailed to make sure that they have the basic click and point and being able to navigate through technical instruction. So technical acumen is good. Good communication skills, good grammar, great spelling. Just basic communication. We gathered that from looking at their resumes and that’s also if they came in through the event, we got to see them. Presentation skills were paramount. In both cases, we had folks given presentations in front of big board rooms. We purposely, in both cases, also set, we kind of create this to be a gauntlet of activities that the candidates, the contestants have to go to. It has to be a little bit intimidating, so we need to see how people can work through in stressful situations. There’s a lot of unknowns. A lot of things that pop up that people aren’t expecting because that’s what training life is like for the trainer. You never know what’s going to happen when you pop up in into that classroom.

So, in addition to good communication skills, good technical skills, we need people that can really work in the unknown, can work in fast-moving environments. That can work with the unexpected. That was one of the third requirements that we were looking for there. And, then of course the presentation skills. In both cases and in future Big Breaks, we will say that healthcare or technology or training are preferred, but they’re not required. Interestingly enough, in both Big Break events so far, over 50% of the applicants have had a bachelor’s degree or higher. I think 30% had a master’s degree or higher. And in both cases, we actually had positions that actually came out to Big Break to try just so they could make that move. So, you would be really surprised at the individuals who came out. [pullquote] Interestingly enough, in both Big Break events so far, over 50% of the applicants have had a bachelor’s degree or higher. I think 30% had a master’s degree or higher. And in both cases, we actually had positions that actually came out to Big Break to try just so they could make that move. So, you would be really surprised at the individuals who came out. [/pullquote]We actually had quite a few who had healthcare IT background that came out for the first two because of the Epic experience and was trying to get their foot into the door with Epic. But I would say it was all over the gammet of what we got. Some that had experience, some that did not, some that had education and some that did not have it. So, very much across the board. But bottom line, the requirements were technical acumen, good communication skills, ability to handle the unknown and good presentation skills.

HIT Consultant: So, the individuals that were selected, are they guranteed a full-time job or did it depend on the client who was hosting the Big Break, so to speak? Are they starting off as temp-to-perm or is it just a temporary basis until they’ve proven themselves?

Tiffany Crenshaw:  You know, I like to think of it as like the reality show that doesn’t end. Folks, it’s an elimination event.  First they have to apply for the audition, and they either get to the audition or they get eliminated. They get to the audition and through various steps of the way, they either make it to the next step or they get eliminated.  Once they start the position, they come to work for Intellect Resources on our payroll on a contract, hourly basis. Then the next step of elimination, is once they are done being a student, learning the product, learning the healthcare industry, learning how to be a trainer, they have to take a test, kind of the credentialing, and if they can’t pass that, they’ll be eliminated. The majority of people do. But there are a handful of folks that can never make it into the classroom as a trainer. And then, once they make it into the classroom as a trainer, and then you roll into go-live, you don’t need all the trainers to do the go-live, so there’s kind of an elimination there. And then once you get through the go-live, most of the people go-live in the first couple of weeks, then people start whittling your team back and there’s more elimination there. And then as with the first client, they ended up bringing 10 of those on throughout the summer and they used them in various capacities in the IT or kind of like a long extended, job interview.  And then they hired 3 at the end of the summer, of their best and brightest and their favorite ones. So, I kind of laugh and say it’s the reality show that never ends. And the same thing is very much happening down in New Orleans.

People are eliminated at the application stage, throughout the audition stage, some folks, a hand full of folks that may get through the credentialing process and now all those folks are getting ready to step this week into the classroom as trainers. And as the project progresses and the client needs fewer and fewer folks, people will be eliminated throughout that and then they will choose their best and brightest to stay on. And we are very clear when we are doing the marketing of saying this is an elimination event, so it is a great way to encourage consultants to keep their best foot forward always. Get out there, do a great job, have great spirits, great attitude, work well with the team because those do well just get to keep on going. In both cases, we wrote the contract , the hourly contract for the first benchmark and we would just keep extending the people that did a great job.

HIT Consultant: Now what is Big Break doing to ensure that you’re creating a community of people that are finally getting their foot wet in the industry and then kind of making sure they have some type of support after this?

Tiffany Crenshaw: That’s really a good question on the support after. One of the things that we did for the first group, the New Yorkers, we created a LinkedIn Group of which we use to communicate with all of the folks. So there is a community of those first ones so that when we see job opportunities we’ll put it up there and say “Hey guys these opportunities are out there” or interesting articles we might find in the industry. And then of course, they’re all communicating amongst each other as well, posting similar things that they find, job opportunities and things that are going on in the industry. And then we’ve really stepped that up a notch with the New Orleans folks. We have, not, instead of LinkedIn, we’ve done everything on Facebook and we also have a FaceCamp of what we are doing all of those things. That is something that’s evolving. But right now, it’s really through all that social media, keeping people connected and informed and giving them information and of course, we’re trying to, when we have go-live events come up or contracts come up, our recruiters are very aware of who all the Big Breakers so they know who to call for certain projects and things that come up.

Part 2 of this interview/podcast will be posted soon.

 

 

 

 

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