4 Healthcare IT Topics That Need Your Attention at HIMSS ’17
One of the biggest challenges still, to this day, is the ability for different EHR’s to effectively exchange data with minimal complexity. It’s typically done through a variety of methods. One method being HL7, which is a framework that was developed for the exchange, integration, and sharing of electronic health information. While there are HL7 standards, not every vendor conforms to them in the same manner, often resulting in data exchange that is less-than-optimal. Direct Project offers secure data exchange between known, trusted entities. Each trusted EHR is registered with a health information exchange provider such as Surescripts or NewCrop. The EHR then issues direct addresses (kind of like an email address) to customers that subscribe to the service. FHIR (Fast Health Interoperable Resources) is an emerging, next generation technology offering a hybrid of HL7 and CDA with a strong foundation in web standards such as JSON, XML, etc. FHIR promises to revolutionize interoperability by enabling simple and complex data exchange with a much easier implementation than traditional methodologies. It’ll be interesting to learn more and gain a better understanding of how vendors are addressing this vital need at HIMSS ’17.
2. Connected Health
Just about everyone is connected to the internet over DSL, cable, cellular service, Wi-Fi, etc. This is why it’s made obvious sense to use the internet to improve healthcare and why it’s been such a fast growing market. Connected health enables remote consultations between doctors; which also allows people located in rural areas to receive care from distant medical centers. Emergency medical technicians have access to hospital resources, while treating patients. Remote in-home monitoring improves patient care with real-time stats transmitted to medical center systems. I truly enjoy learning as much as I can in this area of interest.
Hackers continue to become more sophisticated as each new security measure becomes another challenge for them, much like a game. Protecting healthcare information is among the highest priorities for IT professionals. There are a quite a number of conferences addressing the variety of challenges at HIMSS this year.
With continued increases in the use of electronic health records comes the increasing need for adequate storage both on-premises and in the cloud. Stored data not only includes health records, but also radiological images. Furthermore, changes in healthcare plans and diminished reimbursements in the United States has providers needing to do more with less. This begs the question: what are vendors doing to address this? Having a HIPAA-complaint storage solution isn’t enough anymore. There’s a need for stronger encryption, encryption at rest, geo-redundancy. The list goes on.