5 Steps towards an Integrated Digital Health Experience in Indian Healthcare in 2016

In 2016, we expect Interoperability, Move to the Cloud, Connectivity Data and Analytics Trifecta, Personalised Digital Health Services will dominate the Digital Health Landscape in India


Fard Johnmar, describes 2016, as the “Age of Implementation”. Bringing the inflection point of providing services to customers of healthcare; by moving from treating the ‘patient’, to providing  services to the ‘customer’ across the continuum of care. In my opinion the Indian Healthcare Providers should be focussing on these areas in 2016

Efficiency in Workflow, Speed in Communication will be the key implementation factor


Indian healthcare providers have implemented solutions that have the ability to capture the patient demographic, test results, clinical summaries and financial data. This data resides in the Hospital Information systems as silos and there is a need to implement interoperability solutions that allow for the exchange of the patient data between the healthcare information systems and Digital Health solutions like a patient CRM, mHealth solutions, medication reminders apps, appointment scheduling solutions, telehealth etc.

Absence of interoperability between existing solutions in the hospital and other connected solutions required to enable an Integrated Digital Health experience for the patient, causes duplication of work, information silos and data information errors. Interoperability should become a de-facto feature provided by the vendors with APIs and interface capabilities using Standardised formats, i.e., HL7, CDA.

Since the billing and insurance information is being captured by most of the providers, we believe there can be paperless electronic claims processing capabilities that can really drive the adoption for interoperability in Healthcare in India.

Move to the Cloud

More enterprises and specialty clinics will put into place strategic partnerships towards enabling a cloud infrastructure. The needs of each of the Healthcare providers is different and varies from specialty to specialty.

With the need to orchestrate between multiple systems the Healthcare Providers will have to work on putting in place long term strategic partnerships with Solution Developers and system integrators.

Such partnerships will allow for a continuous evolution of their Digital Health solutions that will enable the Healthcare Providers to Innovate in the “Agile” way, while delivering a personalised experience and always operating in the real time for service delivery requirements

Connectivity, Data and Analytics Trifecta

Digital Health solutions will be implemented providing connectivity to the customers with the range of services offered by the Healthcare Providers.

With the availability of the Data, the Healthcare Providers will be able to personalise the offerings for each customer, since the requirements for a customer in need of a Health checkup is completely different from a patient in need of chemotherapy.

With the availability of the data, the Healthcare Providers will be able to continuously improve the offerings to each segment of the customer by utilising actionable intelligence.

Personalised Digital Health Services

The patient of today wants faster access to services, personalised experiences, 24/7 access and connectivity and access to these services from a host of devices. To meet these expectations Hospital providers in India will start to engage the patient via multiple channels by implementing  Patient Engagement Services with a focus on a Multi-channel approach required to deliver alerts, messages, video visits, email.

More and more hospitals have started having their presence on the Internet and Social Media. In 2016, the hospitals will leverage this presence and offer a real Integrated & personalised Digital Health experience to their customers.

Integrated Digital Health platforms can provide specialised, focussed and personalised solutions for curative care and preventive care.

Healthcare Apps

Indian Healthcare providers will offer their services via Healthcare Apps to provide an integrated Digital Health experience to their customers. These apps will be used to provide medication reminders, personalised healthcare advice, appointment scheduling for doctors and services, telehealth for followup care. The Healthcare Providers will work towards implementing mHealth 3.0 services, the next level of mHealth capabilities.

From Indian Experts

Some of the experts too chimed in on their strategic opinions for Digital Health in 2016:

Dr. Ruchi Dass @drruchibhatt, MD Healthcursor Consulting Group, stated her priority areas as, “Get “Healthcare delivery” – a fundamental reset. Brings a dash of frugality to medical innovations.”

Dr. Supten Sarbadhikari,  ‏@supten  Project Director at the Center for Health Informatics of the National Health Portal, stated his priority areas as, ‘National eHealth Strategy / Policy for India; Health Informatics as a formal discipline; Capacity building’

Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran ‏@drvikram   Healthcare Influencer & Marketing Leader, stated his priority areas as, ‘reduce #infantmortality introduce  #universalcare increase #preventivecare.’

Dr. Sunita Maheswari, Chief Dreamer, RxDx and Teleradiology Solutions, in a recent article in Deccan Herald, opined the growth of the Home Health Services such as medicines, pathology, nurse & physiotherapy visits. She also has indicated the need for more funding in other aspects of Digital Health services.

Dr. Pankaj Gupta, @pankajguptadr, Founder Taurus Glocal Consulting, stated his top three areas to focus in 2016 as SMAC, IoT and CRM

Dr. Aniruddha Malpani, MD Malpani Infertility Clinic , stated his top three priorities as, prescribing information therapy for patients, productivity solutions for doctors and Indian Language content

Srikrishna Seshadri, Healthcare IT Consultant, stated his top three areas to focus as telemedicine, IoT and Digital Health Platforms

Dr. Suresh Munuswamy, Assistant Professor, Program Coordinator, Indian Institute of Public Health- Hyderabad is an academic arm of Public Health Foundation of India

  1. Standards and Structure- For digital health care to even start, India needs standardized treatment schedules, standardized documentation (as EHR), standardized job roles, standardized continuous education and standardized social networking procedures for health care. Lack of standards and structure will lead to poorly inter operable and overlapping systems and procedures.
  2. Digital Health needs reliable supporting infrastructure ecosystem.
  3. Digital Health should focus on developing innovative, smarter, smaller and usable devices that can deliver quality health care…with lesser emphasis on (big or small) data analytics.
I would like to thank all the experts for sharing their opinions.

To provide an Integrated Digital Health experience the Hospital Providers need to enable agility in innovation, create the infrastructure to ease the interoperability of patient information, establish connectivity with the patient and continuously engage with the customer in the care continuum.

Please share your views with me on LinkedIn or Twitter @msharmas or via email: manish.sharma@hcitexpert.com

The article was also featured on the February 2016 issue (pg.40-41) of Healthcare Radius


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Manish Sharma

Founder HCITExpert.com, Digital Health Entrepreneur

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Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2016


To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

(From Man from La Mancha)
So here’s to a New Year that yearly inflection point, 
in the timeline called life, 
that allows us to redouble our efforts in our respective quests.

Wishing You a very Happy and Joyous New Year 2016

Best Wishes & Regards

Team HCITExperts 

Top Healthcare & Digital Health Predictions for 2016


Its end of the year, and time to predict and prepare a wishlist for the new year. Even though its the time for ring out the old and ring in the new, according to HCITExperts, there are quite a few things we need to review and go back and take a new and fresh look at existing healthcare technology before we can go ahead and take up new challenges.

However, we start here with the predictions made by some of the most popular resources for Healthcare and Healthcare Technologies in 2016.
The organizations Include: 
  1. Forbes
  2. CIO
  3. Fortune
  4. IDC
  5. Forrester
  6. PwC
  7. Perficient Healthcare (for analytics focus)
  8. Palo Alto Networks (for cyber security focus) 
  9. Dr. Bill Crounse 
  10. DirectTrust’s list via HealthITNews.com (for interoperability focus) 
The forbes Top 10 predictions for 2016 in partnership with Frost and Sullivan and thought leaders were: 
  • wearables, 
  • retail care goes mainstream, 
  • NDB (new developmental bank) invests heavily in healthcare and wellness services for underserved populations, 
  • rapid expansion of private insurance in india, 
  • population health opportunity drives healthcare M&A, 
  • less expensive and point of care testing enables new diagnostic care models, 
  • free preventive care services available to over 90%  in US, 
  • healthcare IoT solutions spur venture capital investments for startups, 
  • Hospitals investing heavily in overhauling and retooling outdated facilities to avoid closure trends, 
  • The global regenerative medicine market to reach $30 billion in 2016. 
You can read the complete report here
The CIOs list of top 5 healthcare technology trends for 2016 were: 
  • Interoperability will continue to be the top priority, 
  • Healthcare consumerism will gain ground, supported by digital technologies
  • Big Data will struggle to prove its value, 
  • More healthcare startups will run afoul of regulators and several healthcare apps will shut down
  • Healthcare technology will be increasingly be run by non-CIO executives
You can read the complete report here
The Top 10 predictions by Fortune were
  • FTC will stop major hospital mergers
  • Wearables become ther-ables
  • End of life care grabs headlines, and hospice usage doubles among ACOs and capitated doctors
  • A major hospital system will divest itself from its employed doctors
  • The insurance innovation craze of 2015 will be a bust in 2016
  • Precision medicine cools
  • Pop Health goes Pop
  • In-person on-demand flops
  • PCSK9 cholesterol drugs make Solvaldi look cheap
  • Employers start to treat healthcare costs as seriously as travel expenses       
You can read the Fortune report here
published a report with the trends for 2016

  • Demand for advanced analytics and new data sources;
  • Movement in the direction of personalized medicine;
  • Security and the effect of breaches in health care;
  • The availability of third platform technology — which includes mobile, social, big data and cloud computing — and innovation accelerators to enable digital transformation; and
  • Ubiquitous access to mobile technology (Burghard et al., IDC report, November 2015)
  • Cyberattacks will compromise information on one-third of individuals;
  • Third platform acute health information systems and electronic health records will start to come to market, with early adopters beginning transformation efforts in 2017-2019.

You can access the report summary here and detailed report here.

The forrester report highlights that, 2016 will introduce healthcare organizations to the following issues:

  • empowered patient, triggering changes across technology and business models 
  • interoperability
  • security
  • infrastructure updates related to mergers and acquisitions (M&As)
  • improved business technology (BT) agenda. 

This brief gives CIOs an overview of the major issues that healthcare CIOs will face in 2016 in the realms of data, patient expectations, and where and when patients get care.

You can access the report here

came out with the trends to watch for in 2016, these are: 

  • Consolidation
  • Drug pricing
  • Care in the palm of your hand
  • Cybersecurity
  • Consumerism
  • Behavioral healthcare
  • Care moves to the community
  • Databases improve health
  • Biosimilars
  • Total cost of care

You can access the HRIs complete report of issues here
There is also another summary on the HRIs report by the electronic health reporter here

Perficient Healthcare: 
predictions for Analytics for 2016 are:

  • Align Clinical, Quality and Financial Analytics to Enable Value-Based Care
  • Integrate Clinical and Claims Data to Enable Population Health Management Insight
  • Leverage Cross-Continuum Data Analysis for Improved Patient Care and Outcomes
  • Grow Enterprise Intelligence to Measure and Improve Patient and Organizational Health
  • Utilize Reusable Accelerators to Quickly Achieve Actionable, Data-Driven Insights
  • Use Predictive Analytics to Reduce Readmissions and Improve Outcomes
  • Leverage New Tools and Skills to Transform Large Volumes of Data into Meaningful Information
  • Increase Level of Understanding and Control Over ACO Data and Analytics
  • Develop and Implement a Strong Governance Strategy and Organization
  • Position Big Data Technologies to Enable the Everyday 

You can access the complete report here 

Palo Alto Networks: 
predictions highlighted the top concerns to be cybersecurity related. 
  • The number of breached healthcare records caused by sophisticated cybersecurity attacks will continue to increase 
  • The IoT revolution will take off in the healthcare industry 
  • Healthcare organizations will begin to move critical applications and infrastructure to the cloud 
  • Attackers will look to mobile devices as the next best vector into healthcare networks 

You can read the complete report here

 Dr. Bill Crounse: 
presents his Top three priorities for the new year for healthcare organisations, these are: 

  • Put as much emphasis on improving and modernizing communication and collaboration in clinical workflow as you have on the electronic health record
  • Include digital natives and patients/consumers in your planning departments and board room discussions
  • Embrace the cloud

You can read Dr. Bill Crounse’ blog post here

DirectTrust via HealthcareITNews.com: 
Presented a focus on the interoperability issues due to the move towards a more patient centered focus. Their list of guidance were:

  • Patients and consumers will participate in electronic health data exchange. 
  • ‘Freed’ data will provide unimagined personal and professional enrichments
  • Federal and state agencies will move toward increased interoperability
  • Meaningful use will face forced, early retirement
  • Security, privacy and identity will reign
  • Direct exchange reliance will continue to increase     

You can read the report at HealthcareITNews.com

Additional Reports: 

1. 22 Big Data & Data Science experts predictions for 2016

2. 10 Technology Predictions by Gartner a Storify by HCITExpert

3. Gartner’s Top 10 Predictions Combine People And Machines – Forbes

4. Why 2016 Will Be The Year Of Mass Wearables Adoption

5. Healthcare Data Breaches Top Concern in 2016, Says Experian

6. IoT, Big Data to Spur Health Data Interoperability in 2016 via  

7. HIE and interoperability trends to watch in 2016 via  

8. HIE and interoperability trends to watch in 2016 via @HIEWatch

9. From AI and data science to cryptography: Microsoft researchers offer 16 predictions for ’16

10. CIOs target population health, patient engagement in 2016, see investments pay off via Healthcare IT News

 Keep coming back here to reference these predictions as we will keep updating the list with more information from the various research organisations and thought leaders.

Here’s to a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful and a prosperous New Year 2016 for you, your family and your teams!!

Zen Clinicals: An Activity & Workflow based solution (1 of 4)

Part 1 of 4:

Recently, during the Gartner Symposium, it was predicted that cognitve platforms would take over a lot of activities. Keeping this future at the back of our minds, its important for the EHRs of today to metamorphosize to the Cognitive Computing platforms of tomorrow, and fast.

With social media, predictive and bigdata analytics become more central to the discussions; the current EHR systems are woefully lagging behind in the ability to catchup with the technology of today. Newer EHRs or healthcare based platforms too are lagging behind in the adoption of these technologies. Most often have observed the similar functionality being rolled out on newer technology.

In most cases I have found the solutions to be non-workflow, i.e., non-BPM, enabled solutions that have the inability to adapt to a new healthcare scenario faced by the solution in the next implementation. With the advent of the Software as a service platforms and the proliferation of the cloud based services in other industries, healthcare solutions have generally gone for the traditional (non-BPM based) approach to delivering a solution. 

So, One needs to then ask, “What should the future of a patient health record (PHR) or the electronic health record look like?” 

Will we really see the advent of SMART solutions in healthcare, or are the changes to difficult too incorporate into the solution because that’s how the solutions had been developed?

In this series I present some thoughts on what should the solutions of today morph into to meet the needs of the users and hopefully make it more user-friendly in the process.

And to develop the solution, Zen Clinicals (this is a fictitious name of a solution any resemblance is purely a coincidence), we need to answer a few questions upfront:

  • who do you build it for? 
  • Who are the actors? 
  • And what do they need? 
  • What are their activities? 
  • What do they do daily?
“User Experience strategy lies at the intersection of UX design and business strategy. It is practice that, when done empirically, provides a much better chance of successful digital product than just crossing your fingers, designing some wireframes, and then writing a bunch of code”

UX Strategy by Jamie Levy (O’Reilly)

Lets explore the actors in a small clinic. And list out the answers to the questions.

The Actors: 

  • Physician
  • Nurse
  • Billing Person
  • Customer Service Person
  • Customer (Patient)

The Activities:

Its is important to understand the way each of these people work. Its a mix of their training (the way each of these people perform their tasks) and the requirements of their roles. 

We define an Activity as 

Lets take them up one by one. 

The Physician Activities:

The Physician is the focal point from the operations perspective. What does she need? 

For this lets consider Dr. Jane’s typical day. She gets ready and heads out for work. Reaches her office, marks her attendance at the biometric scanner. She then heads out to her office and logs into her system.

On the way to her office, the nurse Jenny informs her of the number of patients that are scheduled for the day and the number of patients that have already arrived.

Dr. Jane, checks out her emails before starting to see her patients. She then heads over to the system to view the list of patients that are waiting to see her. Before she calls on the first patient, she reviews the patient records from the previous visit to bring herself upto the current status of the patient.

She calls her first patient.

The Nurse activities: 

The nurse is a master tactician who works as the floor manager in the clinic. She handles the multiple schedules, that of the physician and the patient. While the doctor focuses on treating the patient, the nurse handles not only the administrative work related to that patient, but also the clinical preparations that a patient might need pre or post seeing the doctor. 

Nurse Jenny, started her day by arriving at the clinic about half and hour before the clinic was to open. She checks up on the list of appointments scheduled for the day and orders the relevant medical records as per the way the patients are scheduled to arrive for their appointments.

Dr. Jane arrives at the clinic and Nurse Jenny informs the doctor about her appointments for the day and any other Administrative aspects that needs the Doctors attention.

Meantime, the first patient scheduled for the appointment, calls the nurse to inform if the doctor will be able to consult her via video conference. Nurse Jenny schedules the video conference for the patient with Dr. Jane.

The Billing Person’s Activities: 

The billing person arrives at the clinic and decides to check on the status of the outstanding dues, the patient ledger of the patients visiting the clinic today to review their insurance details and the plan of processing first time patient insurance details.

The billing person also completes the coding activity for the bills that are to be processed. The billing person sends the billing statement to the uninsured patients who owe a balance for their visit. The billing person also issues the billing statement to the insured patients once the insurance company processes their claim.

The Customer Service Person

Elaine starts from her home to the clinic and is immidiately alerted by the customer relationship management system regarding the various appointments that are scheduled for the day. She selects the option to bulk message reminding each of the customers regarding their appointments and the time the customer should arrive at the clinic to attend to the appointment.  

Before, she reaches her office, all the reminders messages to the patient have been sent on their way. And of course, yesterday she had already called each of the customers reminding the customers regarding their visit and the documents the customer should bring along with them for the visit.

The customer service person is responsible for taking care of the patient appointment reminders, customer satisfaction surveys, patient engagement via social media and many other activities as required by the clinic.

The needs of the clinic will define the various campaigns that the clinic runs for their patients to develop an in-premise and off-premise customer relationship management processes. 

The customer service person is also responsible for maintaining a constant conversation with the patient to enable a superlative customer experience.

The Patient Activities

The customer Jennifer logs into her portal and schedules an appointment with Dr. Jane. She uploads her insurance details as part of her appointment details

Jennifer, attaches the latest reports, relevant for this doctor visit and the medications she is currently taking.

One day prior to the date of her appointment, jennifer gets a call from the clinic confirming her appointment and updates on any other documents she needs to carry with her)
The patient is the most important aspect of the entire healthcare workflow. Each of the activities and the processes within the hospital are moving towards a patient (customer) facing than being hospital or doctor facing.

The Patient starts her journey by anyone of these scenarios:

  • booking that first appointment with a doctor in a facility
  • booking for a health-checkup
  • booking for a radiology or pathology service, as referred to by a GP
  • and many others…   


Activity Interactions

Now that we have identified the various actors in a clinical setting it is important to understand the interactions between these actors. There is a need to consider the interaction between the actors to be connected to other actors and at other times the activities could be limited to a single actor.
However, the interactions between various actors also define another dimension to the entire workflow. For instance, the doctor – nurse interaction could have the nurse as the focal point and at other times the doctor as a focal point of interaction. Hence the activities that will be delivered to the user based on her role will depend on the interaction context.

Using the activity interaction map, the system will be able to setup the base set of activities and then progress from there to learn about any new interactions and activities to be performed. 

Newer activities are coded into the system by defining newer objects and the front end definitions will result in the generated page engine to present to the user the screen in which they need to enter the information. This will be achieved by using a combination of an object creator, rules engine and front end designer.

Additional Considerations

To develop a solution of this nature we present a list of features that should be included into the framework of the solution
Generated Pages: Using cognitive computing, the system will be able to present the doctor a Patients Health Record as a generated Generated Page which displays the details of the patient record on the basis of the current visit and diagnosis. Included in this generated page are actionable intelligence inputs presented to the doctor by the underlying congnitive computing enabled analytics platform.

Activities presented to the care provider on the basis of the Appointments, ward rounds, patient interactions via virtual visits – doctor is presented with the patient information when the visit is started.

The doctor should be able to type in regular statements and the system responds by pulling together relevant information regarding the patient. For instance, the doctor queries, “display the list of active medications the patient is on and display the list of lab tests that have been ordered in the past three months”. 

Speech Recognition and NLP: The Zen clinicals will heavily employ the speech recognition and NLP capabilities to allow the doctor to perform the following activities. It is important to get the doctor to move away from the system and focus on the patient treatment

  • The doctor will be able to dictate the details of the visit as a recording. While dictating, the system will alert the doctor regarding any mandatory information that is required for the visit, that had been missed out in the dictation. 
  • Secondly, the system will allow the doctor to see the mandatory form that needs to be filled for the patient visit or his ward round and indicate by voice commands the values that need to be selecteddeselected or chosen from a list of values etc  

Digital Assistant: The Zen Clinicals solution will have a digital assistant available for the doctor to help in performing any of the activities. These activities could be a resulting microinteraction or they could be statements submitted by the doctor to the system. Activities can be performed
Data Analytics: At the time of prescribing the medication for the patient, the doctor is presented with the list of medications sorted by their administration to other patients under similar parameters, by cost and availability at the patient location. The Zen Clinicals solution will be developed with a analytical data structure at its core.

Microinteractions: The system should have the ability to allow the users to define microinteractions as a set of rules and trigger criteria to generate activities or alerts based on the rules and trigger criteria. 

Alerts Engine: At the core of the Zen Clinicals framework is also an alerts engine that takes keeps track of all the results generated from any microinteraction and has the visibility of delivering these alerts via multiple channels (desktop alerts, mobile notifications or wearable notifications). The alert engine uses the presence definitions from the unified communications framework component to deliver the alerts to the user

Workflow Engine: The Zen Clinicals framework incorporates a workflow engine at its core to define the various workflow activities, such as authorizations, digital signatures and sign-offs for authorization activities, co-sign actions for activities, peer review and sign-off, order process workflows and many other such definitions.
Unified Communications Platform: The Zen Clinicals solution has a unified communication platform integrated into the core of the framework to enable the presence identification and communications framework from within the application. The users will be able to make use of multiple communication channels using this capability to share information seamlessly with their peers.
Face Recognition: 50 Face Recognition APIs – Data Science Central http://ow.ly/VNvhI

4 Steps to setup a push Notifications/ Alerts System

In the last 5 minutes, how many times have you looked at your phone?

In the past hour, how many times did you review the updates on your phone? 

In the past 24 hours, can you remember the reasons you picked up your phone?

By latest estimates and studies, people are consuming looking up at their phones upwards of 76% of the time to recieve calls, review the notifications or probably just catchup on the #HITSMIND and @HCITExpert twitter feed. 

Ok the last one, just a plug, but hope you are doing that !!

To receive the latest #HIMSS16 Bulletin your mobile, follow these steps: 

  1. Download Pushbullet app (iOS, Android)
  2. Login using your google or facebook account
  3. “Follow” the channel HCITExperts channel
  4. Start receiving our daily bulletin your mobile
You can also use pushbullet to create a notification system for your Hospital, read on below to know how you can enable that. 
It is therefore clear that we are reliant on the number of times we receive notifications to “ACT” upon an update or to review an email, cause of course we want to be prompt in our replies and up-to-date with the new-age information deluge.

With the availability of wearables, the attention to the notifications has now been more incorporated within our lives, with the wearables being used to buzz on our wrists to let us know of a new notification or in some cases letting us know which turn to make, left or right.

It becomes therefore quite apparent that we are getting more reactionary to the information deluge we face, so that we react to the more important messages, news, chats etc from the millions, if not thousands points of data we receive on our phone, i.e., Notifications or the BUZZ.

Getting an understanding of this behaviour, I felt the hospitals can make use of new technologies available to push information directly to their customers. And at the same time leaving the choice to the customer, to be the consumer of these notifications. 

A Scenario: Lets say there is a hospital that wants to quickly setup a notification system, for hospital based notifications, regarding holidays, healthcare reminders, quality updates, hospital operational updates and many other such “notifications”. 

Presenting, Pushbullet. Using Pushbullet, the hospital IT department does the following:
1. Create a Pushbullet account, here
2. Create a Pushbullet Channel, here. Channels can also be linked to a RSS feed.
3. Advertise to, patients & employees to “Follow” the channel, e.g., HCITExperts channel
4. Start publishing updates

And voila, in four steps you have your own “Notifications” system right into the hands of your customers and employees. A Direct-to-Customer notification system.

Since pushbullet is available for all mobile, desktop and as a browser plugin you can be rest assured your notification will be delivered direct to the intended audience. 

Further scenarios can be Disease Based Channels, Public Notification Boards, Hyper-Local disease surveillance to suggest a few.

Head on over to our HCITExperts channel to get a feel of how it works. We are using our channel to share updates from some of the Top Health IT blogs in healthcare.

Until the next Buzz then.

(PS: You can also use Instapush, Pushalot and Pushover)

RFID in Healthcare: Usecases from Hospitals by @msharmas


RFID is being used in healthcare to provide Innovative solutions for enabling quality in care, reduce costs & improve patient safety.
Some years back while on a visit to New Zealand, I had found an interesting usecase of RFID being used for sample collection. The person going from location to location on his route, was identifying the sample containers using a RFID tag. The RFID tag was reusable and I found the problem of smudging of a patient identification label, not being a problem in this case.

I found this to be quite an interesting scenario for using RFID in sample collection to ensure sample tracking and identification. Definitely there will be a cost reduction from the point of view of not printing/ re-printing sample labels. Once the sample has been processed, the RFID tag can be reused. There has been a considerable reduction in the cost of passive and active RFID tags.

While reviewing the recent research around the use of RFID in Healthcare, I found RFID is being in the following usecase scenarios: 

  • used to shorten outpatient waiting times, 
  • countinuous temperature monitoring for kids, 
  • patient tracking, 
  • mother-infant cot matching
  • Infant safety 
  • Inventory tracking
  • Asset tracking in hospitals
  • RFID cabinets for surgical devices 
In our Storify for RFIDs in Healthcare, we have shared some of the Case Studies via Wireless Healthcare Blog., and some other sources. We hope to keep updating this storify with additional scenarios from other countries and hospitals.

You can also look up the latest examples and scenarios during the following conference: RFID in Health Care 2015 | RFID Journal Events

Share more stories with us via the comments or the Twitter Hashtag : #HITSMIND

Additional resources:

1. An RFID-Reading Wristband Tracks Hand Hygiene to Reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections | MIT Technology Review 

2. In the recently concluded SuperBowl 50 RFID was used to gather player data.

RT Hi-tech inspiration 4#healthcare? Sensors convert every player to a LIVE data node!  

3. Mother-infant RFID tagging to check lifting of newborns in hospitals – The Hindu http://ow.ly/Yj2P301CMKE

4.  HEALTH TECHNOLOGY: Radio Frequency Identification in Healthcare – Manish Sharma | World Health Innovation Summit Blog (this article was also published in the World Health Innovation Summit Blog)

Read the storify in this post to review the various usecase scenarios. You can click on the links to get to the source articles and review the scenarios in detail.

Whats’ "Trending" in Health IT Today?

Its an interesting trend of a great many Social Media Analytical tools that are being used for Analytics. And using these tools in Healthcare is also becoming a welcoming trend.

In this post I discuss two tools (am sure there are many more, do share them in the comments section)

  1. Infomous
  2. Symplur

About Infomous:

We While reviewing some of the social media tools, I came across an interesting tool called Infomous.

Now this tool allows you to log in and create a cloud of words that are “Trending” based on the various inputs you give to the tool. For instance, we registered ourselves on their website and went about giving the list of various hashtags I tweet with.

I also tried other option of providing the tool a combination of twitter hashtags, RSS feeds, facebook posts, linkedin posts and many other options.

I finally settled on the list of hashtags that I tweet out with while sharing tweets on HealthIT on the @HCITExpert twitter account.

Infomous allows you to do the following:

  • define the “search” criteria
  • create a widget that you can go ahead and embed in your website.
  • define the color,
  • the size of the widget,
  • allows you to create a button link to your word cloud
  • hover above any of the words displayed on your cloud, and Infomous cloud displays the associated Tweets
  • Allows the user to select the words to be hidden for that proverbial spammer during your conference, tweet chat 😉

Head out to Infomous and create your own cloud of words that you tweet, blog, share with on social media. We would love to see the cloud you came up with, share it out with the hashtag #HITSMIND

About Symplur

Healthcare folks should check out the Healthcare Hashtags Project: SYMPLUR

“The goal of the Healthcare Hashtag Project is to make the use of Twitter more accessible for providers and the healthcare community as a whole.” – Symplur

There are great many case studies listed there how the experts are using the information being shared on Twitter using hashtags.

Symplur can be used for the following aspects: (to name a few)

  • Hosting Healthcare Tweetchats (plug: we have a Health IT Social Media INDia hashtag : #HITSMIND )
  • Healthcare Conference Hashtag Analysis: Organising a Healthcare Conference? Head over to Symplur and register your hashtag with them. Post conference Transcripts and Tweet analysis from the conference are displayed in the various reports Symplur provides.
  • Disease Hashtags
  • Ontologies
  • Regular Hashtags
  • Symplur Signals: promotes deep understanding of healthcare as seen by patients, doctors and other stakeholders with real-time access to insights from over a billion healthcare social media data points

Please review their blog “Connecting the dots in healthcare social media”  for the various ways in which Social Media Analytics is being used.

Look forward to hearing back from you with your thoughts and insights.


[content title=”About Manish Sharma” icon=”fa-heart”]

Manish Sharma

Founder HCITExpert.com, Digital Health Entrepreneur

Connect with me via any of my Social Media Channels

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The Week that Was: 11 Oct – 17 Oct 2015

Team @HCITExpert presents “The Week that Was” a community driven newsletter, that brings you the rerun of the Tweets shared most by our community. You could call it a crowdsourced newsletter !!

As the community shares their stories with the audience, we try to bring out the most memorable tweets that you can come back to, from the great information being shared on twitter.

We collate these tweets using Storify, our chosen tool to bring together these tweets that you can read today and come back to review anytime in the future.

This post covers the week: 11 Oct – 17 Oct 2015 

To review our Storify from this week …

#INFOGRAPHICS & #comicgraphics #Doodling A powerful way to share ideas

We have attended some conferences recently, virtually, and we saw an interesting trend emerging of various attendees and conference organizers making use of Comics, doodles  and Infographics Boards at the site of the conference to capture the essence of what the speakers and the attendees were sharing.
We started out this storify to include the doodling shared during various conferences and have now started to include additional comics and doodles by the twitterati every day. 
We propose to keep adding the various #Infographics, Doodles and #comicgraphics to this Storify as and when we come about something interesting.

So Do bookmark this link to see update and use for your talks and articles and presentations that might be making to your audiences.

And perhaps, the next time you are heading or organising a conference, call up the folks in this storify to capture the essence of your conference !!

Click on the link below to view our Storify … 

Technology Predictions during #GartnerSYM

We all want to know what technologies will provide us with that competitive edge and help us connect with our customers in newer ways. And traditionally, the Gartner Hype Cycle has been relied upon to help us come to that conclusion. 

So during the recently concluded #GartnerSYM in october, we were able to capture the snapshots shared by the technology community of the 10 Technology Predictions presented during the Gartner Conference, by Gartner of course. 

It provides the future of Technology for the next 5-10 years. 

Head on over to our Storify capturing the Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and the Top 10 Technology Predictions

The Week that Was: 13th Sep – 19th Sep 2015

Team @HCITExpert presents “The Week that Was” a community driven newsletter, that brings you the rerun of the Tweets shared most by our community. You could call it a crowdsourced newsletter !!

As the community shares their stories with the audience, we try to bring out the most memorable tweets that you can come back to, from the great information being shared on twitter.

We collate these tweets using Storify, our chosen tool to bring together these tweets that you can read today and come back to review anytime in the future.

This post covers the week: 13th Sep – 19th Sep 2015 

To review our Storify…

The Week that Was: 6th Sep – 12th Sep 2015 – Part 2

This week was the #HIMSSAP15 Conference Week, with the @HIMSSAP Conference in Singapore. This is a yearly conference hosted by the Asia Pacific Chapter of HIMSS.

The hashtag #HIMSSAP15 trended in Singapore for the duration of the conference, with some great content being shared by the participants from across the world. 

Due to sheer amount of content being shared by the community we have presented the tweets across two storify ‘s. 

We collate these tweets using Storify, our chosen tool to bring together these tweets that you can read today and come back to review anytime in the future.

This post covers the week: 6th Sep – 12th Sep 2015 

To review our Conference Storify – Part 2 …

The Week that Was: 6th Sep – 12 Sep 2015 – Part 1

This week was the #HIMSSAP15 Conference Week, with the @HIMSSAP Conference in Singapore. This is a yearly conference hosted by the Asia Pacific Chapter of HIMSS.

The hashtag #HIMSSAP15 trended in Singapore for the duration of the conference, with some great content being shared by the participants from across the world. 

Due to sheer amount of content being shared by the community we have presented the tweets across two storify ‘s. 

We collate these tweets using Storify, our chosen tool to bring together these tweets that you can read today and come back to review anytime in the future.

This post covers the week: 6th Sep – 12th Sep 2015 

To review our Conference Storify – Part 1 …

The Week that Was: 09 Aug – 14th Aug 2015

Team @HCITExpert presents “The Week that Was” a community driven newsletter, that brings you the rerun of the Tweets shared most by our community. You could call it a crowdsourced newsletter !!

In this week the community members shared the following stories:

  • 20 Doctors you should be following on Twitter
  • 40 key trends shaping the future of medicine
  • Virtual Reality in healthcare
  • How to build a minimum viable product, an interesting infographic for a MVP
  • Some statistics for healthcare
  • And a link to dive into HL7 Standards, just to name a few

This post covers the week: 09th Aug – 14th Aug 2015 

To review our Storify from this week …

Dhanvantri Aarogya Saanchara Sevaa (DASS) : A framework for a low cost and far reaching solution towards the #DigitalIndia initiative

DASS: Dhanvantri Aarogya Saanchara Sevaa

Dhanvantri Aarogya Saanchara Sevaa: A Mother and Child care Management System developed as a mHealth (mobile app) platform to enable the FLWs and subscription members to be updated and informed via Alerts, Reminders, Data Capture and Analytics. 

The DASS system will enable the smooth interlay of the existing governmental machinery with the m-Health capability to deliver focused result oriented outcome based solutions in the rural parts of India. 

DASS has all the potential to demonstrate the capability of m-Health solutions around low cost phones in aiding the fulfilment of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the #DigitalIndia initiative.

The DASS system proposes to be used to create an Alerts, Data Collection & Registry, Location and Data Analytics platform for the subscribers of the DASS system. The framework proposes to build the DASS system to incorporate services as a mHealth app. These services are proposed to be covering various aspects of the public health programs.
As a first step we propose to use the DASS system to create a Mother and Child welfare framework that will allow the “connect” to be established between the Frontline Healthcare Workers, Healthcare Services and the Women patients who have subscribed to the program. 
The DASS program will cover the Ante Natal, Peri Natal and Post Natal aspects of a Woman’s pregnancy (18 months – 9 months + 9 months). The DASS program proposes to allow the users to choose the list of services that she wants to subscribe to. Once the user has registered and subscribes to the specific services, the DASS program will enable the delivery of the information to the relevant subscribers, thus giving a double impetus to the name of our project:
  • Dhanvantri – The God of Medicine
  • Aarogya – Health in Sanskrit
  • Saanchara – Mobility, works for both the Mobile platform using the mHealth platform and the Mobile Medical Units (MMUs)
  • Seva – Service

While creating the system we envisage the creation of a location based information delivery mechanism that will allow the users to be delivered with location specific services. For instance, we propose to create a location based hierarchy that is specific to the country where the system is proposed to be deployed. If the DASS program is rolled out in the State of Karnataka, the location based hierarchy that we propose for the categorisation of the data, services, alerts based on the following classification shown below:
 Zones -> State or UTs -> District -> Taluk -> City, Town or Village
We propose to capture the location for all the services to enable the data aggregation and collection to contain the location specific information. We propose to use this information to deliver location specific services.
We have envisaged the Dhanvantri Aarogya Sanchar Seva’s Mother and Child services to be categorised under the Ante-Natal Services, Peri-Natal Services and Post Natal Baby and Mother Health services.
C.1 ANTE NATAL – Mother and Child Care SERVICES
Under the proposed system we envisage a list of services to be built for the 9 month period of the pregnancy. The list of services we propose to cover under the DASS – ANTE NATAL Mother and Child Services are elaborated below.
C.1.1 Pregnancy Checklist
The Pregnancy Checklist service provided by the DASS system proposes to allow the health worker to create templates comprising of various tests, pregnant mother care, schedule of visits to the doctor/ healthcare worker, the patient information alerts that are generated on a daily basis and based on the current stage of the mother’s pregnancy. Once the template has been created by the healthcare workers, the same will be released for the location based services to be delivered for the patients subscribing for the services.
C.1.2 Mother Gestational Diabetes Tracking and Alerts System (MGDTAS)
For the pregnant mothers who are identified with having gestational diabetes, the DASS system will allow the patients to subscribe to the service. Once the patient has subscribed to this service, the system will start sending alerts regarding the specific condition of the patient. Also the system will allow the patient to record specific parameters as defined by the checklist created for mother’s with Gestational Diabetes.
The MGDTAS service will consist of the following aspects: 
  • Capture of mother’s EDD (expected date of delivery)
  • Recording of blood sugar of mother based on the alert. Once the patient enters blood sugar information, the MGDTAS service will advice the patient on the amount of insulin to be taken (or be administered by the family member)
  • Adherence to the schedule
  • Blood parameter trends (last 5 results)

We propose to expand the DASS system’s “specialised” services by incorporating other services as required.
C.1.3 Antenatal Health Checkup Alerts
The DASS system’s Antenatal Health Checkup Alerts system allows the delivery of reminders to the patient about the dates (based on the patient’s pregnancy stage and the EDD captured at the time of registration to the DASS system) when the patient needs to go to for the health checkup.
C.1.4 Complicated Case Referral System
In case of a complication being identified in a patient’s pregnancy, the FLW will raise a request for additional care and refer the patient to a more specialised care at a well-equipped healthcare facility that can handle the case of the patient. The details of complications and the referral locations will be identified and uploaded in the system allowing the FLW to capture this information and generate the referral request.
C.1.5 Pregnant Women MMU Appointments
The DASS system is proposed to be location aware and hence will utilise this functionality in the system to do the following:
  • once the mother has registered with the DASS system, the system will keep track of the location of the patient.
  • Whenever a MMU (Mobile Medical Unit) is available in the vicinity of the location of the patient, the system will aggregate the list of patients within an ‘X’ mile radius of the location.
  • Once the list of patient’s have been identified by the system, the DASS system will send alerts to these patients, informing them about the availability of a MMU in their specific location by providing the patients with the date and time when the MMU available.

C.1.6 MMU (Mobile Medical Unit) Location Alerts
The purpose of the MMU location alerts is alert the patient population in a particular location about availability of the MMU in the patient location. This will allow the patient’s with specific needs to approach for specialised care for any complications etc.
Additionally the MMU location alerts are going to be used for providing the FLW with the visibility on the current location of a MMU at any given point in time, by typing a simple coded message.  Once the FLW receives the message regarding the location of the MMU, the FLW could “forward” the same message to patient’s registered for the service in the location.
C.1.7 Location Based MMU Alerts
The DASS system proposes to alert patients about the availability of the MMU in a specific location to the registered FLWs in the location. This information will be used by the FLW to inform patients.
Additionally, the system will also allow for the delivery of these alerts to patients registered in the DASS system as unsolicited information informing them about the MMU in their area.
C.2 PERI NATAL – Mother and Child Care SERVICES
C.2.1 Medical Health Worker Referral System
The DASS system will allow the FLW to generate and alert specific healthcare facilities to take referrals made by the FLW for patient’s in critical and urgent need of specialised care because of any complications during birth.
C.3 POST NATAL – Mother and Child Care SERVICES
C.3.1 Child Immunisation Alerts
Once the Child has been born, the information will be updated in the system regarding the date of birth of the baby. Once the date of birth has been registered in the system, the DASS system will generate alerts based on the age of the baby about the vaccination schedule.
The FLWs, MMU and the parents of the child will have the ability to update the administration of the vaccination to the child. This information will also be used to update the Data Analytics aspect of the DASS system.
C.3.2 Child Care Alert Info
The DASS system will be used to send information regarding the various aspects of the child care to the mother. These alerts will be used as primary child care options by the FLWs to inform and educate the patient’s in their specific locations. The DASS system will allow the users to create these alerts specific to their respective locations.
C.3.3 Health Worker Information Alerts
The DASS system will also be used to send important alert information to the FLWs regarding various aspects of the DASS services, new options in the system, new protocols of care for the mother and child, alert messages to the FLWs regarding their village, district, state level meetings, availability of the MMU in their locations, etc.
C.3.4 NRHM Data Collector System
While creating and using the DASS system, we propose to align the platform to have the ability to generate analytical reports that can be used by the NRHM personnel for their monthly reporting of data collected during specific time frames. 
With this ability the DASS system will allow the users of the system to have a real-time and up-to-date information database for relevant reporting.
C.3.4.1 Infant Birth/ Death Child Registry
This service in the DASS system will allow the users to record the birth or death of an infant. This information will be logged into the system to enable or disable the alerts for a particular mother, to ensure relevance of the messages and alerts sent to the mother/ FLWs, etc.
C.3.4.2 Mother Mortality Registry
In the unfortunate event of a complication at birth, the DASS system will allow the users to update any mother related unfortunate outcome.
C.3.4.3 Child Immunisations Registry
Each time a vaccination has been given to an infant, the system will update this information in the database. The information captured in this registry will allow the users to report the child immunisations performed based on the location (district/ village/ state etc).
C.3.4.4 Communicable/ Infectious Diseases Registry (CIDR) 
The DASS system will have the CIDR service which will allow the FLW to identify an outbreak of any disease in a specific location. Based on this information, relevant alert messages can be sent to the FLWs to organise correct responses from the local government agencies to this outbreak. The DASS system will allow the users to define the trigger criteria for generating the alerts from the system.
  • The DASS system is proposed to be a modular system, thus allowing relevant services to be enabled to various FHWs based on their expertise and area of work, based on an authentication and authorisation functionality within the system. For instance, the Gestational Diabetes (MGDTAS) module can be used as a standalone app to capture the occurrences of gestational diabetes in a particular location.
  • We also propose to link the Patient Registration modules within our proposed system with the Aadhar system to identify beneficiaries and patients being registered within our system. This will allow integration with existing systems thereby reducing the data duplication across multiple systems.

Manish Sharma

Founder HCITExpert.com, Digital Health Entrepreneur.

Additional Articles by the Author

  1. Health ID as Patient IDs unifier in India  by Manish Sharma  
  2. 5 Steps towards an Integrated Digital Health Experience in Indian Healthcare in 2016 
  3. Top Healthcare & Digital Health Predictions for 2016
  4. Zen Clinicals: An Activity & Workflow based solution (1 of 3)
  5. RFID in Healthcare: Usecases from Hospitals
  6. 10 Solutions for the Healthcare IT Fringes

Setting up a WinMac Machine on Macbook Air Yosemite

I have been using a Mac since 2010 (yes i was initiated a little late into the Mac World of users). Over these years of being a Win user I am yet to come to grips with the iWork productivity suite purely since I have been used to creating my documents in the Microsoft Office Suite. Also I have felt the need to use some of the project management tools from Microsoft such as Microsoft Project for the nature of work I am involved in.

I therefore have been trying to find an option wherein I can use the ultimate in engineering MacBook Air (2014) and the Office Productivity Suite I have been used to all these years, in a Single Machine.

I started out by defining my requirements:

– I should be able to have MAC OS and Microsoft Windows OS in the same machine
– I should be able to use the MAC OS for my Multimedia Software and Windows system for the productivity suite (I needed the pure windows experience since some of the features of the Microsoft Office for Windows were not part of the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, and the upgrades had not been released for the newer version of the Microsoft Office for Mac since a long time)
– I should be able to “seamlessly” “switch” between the two systems.
– Ideally I should be able to have the ability to have the “ease” in the switching process

Based on these criteria I went about finding out the technology and applications that would allow me to achieve my requirements.

1. Scouting for VMs: I started out by scouting the variour VMs that are available in the market. There are many with varying features and functionalities. However, I was able to shortlist the VMWare Fusion 7.0 purely because it provided me with the Unity View.

VMWare Fusion 7.0 download (Free Trial available on registration, can buy the product license key online from the same link).

Unity View: Plainly speaking the Unity View allows the MAC OS and Windows OS to run “simultaneously” on the same machine without the need to use either ONE of the systems.

2. Installation Procedure: Once I was able to identify the VM of choice. I went about creating a virtual machine of my existing Windows 8.1 Laptop. Follow the steps indicated below.

a. To create a VM of an existing machine you can download onto your laptop the VMWare vCenter Converter Standalone from here
b. To view the steps please watch the following video link and perform the exact steps to create a WinMac machine on your MacBook Air.

Please note, before you start to watch the video,

– Install the VMWare Fusion on your Mac.
– Install the VMWare Converter on your Windows PC you want to convert.
– Keep a USB Drive with about 100GB of free disk space available. This is required to transfer the VM created on the laptop to the Mac Air.

3. Post Installation:

Once you have followed the steps indicated in the video, we hope you have been able to get the VM Up and running on your MAC.

a. Enable the Unity View: On the top right corner of the VM window, you will find an icon which is the Unity View Icon. Click on the icon to enable the unity view.

b. Open System Preferences and move the Dock to the Left or Right. This will allow you to view the Windows Taskbar at the bottom of the screen when you move the mouse to the bottom of the screen. This is a personal choice of where you would like the Mac Dock to be and the Windows Taskbar to be.

c. In the unified view, “Mac ” and “Windows” applications open in the Mac Dock. However, the Windows Application (of the VM) are only displayed in the Windows Taskbar.

d. Using the browser in the VM was found to be lagging a bit. And the VM seemed to restart at times (luckily without loss of work). Perhaps the VM needs to be fine tuned, either while being created or after installation in fusion.

These are some of my initial thoughts. More once I am able to learn to tweak the VM.


  1. Do not upgrade the Windows 8/ 7 VM to windows 10, apparently some users have had issues and the VMWare folks have suggested downloading the Windows 10 .ISO file to perform the upgrade.
  2. Download the Windows 10 .ISO file from the following link: http://ow.ly/QNnIT
  3. Make sure you have your existing Windows product key with you.
  4. Take a snap shot of the current VM, in case you want to rollback.
  5. Mount the .ISO on the VMWare Fusion to perform the upgrade.
VMWare Fusion 8 is going to be launched this summer, keep a lookout at these pages for further updates.

The #HIMSS15 Wall of Stats

While reviewing the twitter wall on our @HCITExpert account came across a lot of posts from the twitterati stating Stats they had come across.

We have been going through the steady stream of these tweets and now bring these to you. We will keep updating this list as the conference progresses.

We will work to attribute the tweets to their rightful authors soon… Thank you so much for these insights.

UPDATE – We have attributed the tweets to the rightful owners. !!

Do tag us on any “data-stat” tweet you are sharing, using our twitter handle @HCITExpert or using our #hashtags #HITSMIND or #hcitexpert. You can also tweet with the hashtag #wallofstats and we will update the #HIMSS15 Wall of Stats with your post. And of course update you too !!

Here goes :

DAY 1: (14th April 2015)
PwC 57% of CEOs across all industries worried about integrating technology.  #HIMSS15 – @Yolanda0704

Healthcare data is growing 48% per year. How do you keep up? – @Allscripts

44 Zetabytes of health data; a number equivalent to known stars in the universe and drives IBM’s investment in #healthcare – @LizGoodale

“RestfulAPI” a big topic in #HIE at #HIMSS15 – @karenrclark 

Time to Rally: One Million Ask For Their Records #RecordsNow @Farzad_MD #HIMSS15 #engage4health #HIT @myopennotes – @SueWoods

“A staggering 85 percent to 90 percent of medical records contain errors…” http://t.co/82FqoNTlt8 #HIMSS15 – @Medline

Did you know that 5% of patients account for 45% of costs. Find your high risk patient population #HIMSS15 http://t.co/XtOqKuc8Lh – @medicity

81% of clinicians use mobile devices to collect patient data. More #healthcareIT info via @Avnet infographic #HIMSS15 http://t.co/x6sWKB2Ago – @marciachapman

1185 data breaches reported by HHS since 2009, speaker at hipaa presentation says #HIMSS15 – @lschencker

Laptops are the most common source of #HIPAA breaches #HIMSS15 http://t.co/PNiTsWIoGi – @AimeeTetu1

Great presentation @tzmeadows #HIMSS15  – 80% patient self registration! Patient and Physician satisfaction improve! Revenue cycle uptick! – @ToddCharest

64% of health care extenders believe that technology has impacted the quality of interactions with patients! #HIMSS15 – @GetReal_Health

#HIMSS15 Tweetable Takeaway #25:Consider multichannel. Integrate check-in kiosks with patient portals for faster check-in and bill payment. – @MarilynECox

Dr. Porter: Health literacy is in crisis. 88% of US adults have inadequate health literacy. #HIMSS15 #GMK2020 http://t.co/AS17F2VMgE – @MerckManual

Providers are drowning in data: clinical info in the US = 150 billion GB + dbls every 18 months #HIMSS15 #GMK2020 – @judithconsult

Wanted: 1 registration, 1 health record, 1 standard of excellence, 1 bill, and 1 relationship -Jon Velez #HIMSS15 ID:33 #checkup

Did you know: 40% of unanticipated hospital deaths in the U.S. happen in the General Ward? http://t.co/IvHrCveIAx #HIMSS15 – @philipshealth

#HipaaJAL “@MerckManual: Providers are drowning in data: clinical info in the US = 150 billion GB + dbls every 18 months #HIMSS15 #GMK2020” – @judithconsult

Listening to @IntelHealth at #HIMSS15: 70% of clinical data in EHR is unstructured – @carlos_ariza
As expected, with more than 22000 tweets today, downtown Chicago has seen extensive #HIMSS15 storm activity @Scraawl – @thowave
60% of doctors feel social media can enhance the quality of patient care [NEWS]: http://t.co/rRVoEPrteM #HIMSS15 – @ONC_HealthIT
#HIMSS15: 70% of Physicians Believe Health IT Decreased Patient Engagement http://t.co/t5PKA0RWnP – @rasushrestha
Less than 1/3 of 1% of individuals w/#autism actually get services for its primary treatment in the US. It’s time to #RxTech #HIMSS15 #ABA – @autismu

Day 2 (15th April 2015)

@HIMSSAnalytics 52% respondents utilize a clinical and BI solution @PrimeTGI Predictive Analytics #healthIT #HIMSS15 http://t.co/4lN2z2QYKO – @PrimeTGI
62% #healthcare orgs. are now looking to focus on the individual needs of their consumers. Read more: http://t.co/ZG3f9wqPJ9 #himss15 – @HeatherEFraser
Humana Estimates Medicare Funding Will Increase 0.8% In 2016 #HIMSS15 http://t.co/zfoHIW7UDP – @SegueHealth
Humana CEO: We’re Going To Make The Communities We Serve 20% Healthier http://t.co/Xct5EGL0Os #HIMSS15 – @SegueHealth
Peer reviews RT @RasuShrestha 41% said #SoMe would affect their choice of doctor, hospital or med fac http://t.co/6JJ2MZ0WqC #HIMSS15 #HITsm – @DashaBushmakin
mT @jeffbullas: 33 #Hcsm Facts and Statistics You Should Know in 2015 http://t.co/wpFX77y7fH http://t.co/SEMFF96BAA #HIMSS15 – @drnic1
U.S. prescription drug spending jumped 13% in 2014 – Modern Healthcare http://ow.ly/3xJLR6 

Venture funding for #digitalhealth and #healthIT down ~35% in Q1 of 2015, but #mHealth is up http://t.co/FYoZZKkIEM #HIMSS15 – @dsgold

Benefits of Patients with online Access to Care Team #HIMSS15 – Less clinic interruptions by calls http://t.co/RtamVG3c0M @Cascadia #mHealth – @vishalpanchal85

@HIMSS: Latest #HIMSS15 numbers: 42,314 attendees and 37,749 tweets in two days! http://t.co/RxMvLn5qgA http://t.co/K4Op0hnbm5 

9 out of 10 #physicians surveyed are interested in #mHealth technology. #HIMSS15 http://t.co/X89cf30svw – @GordonSamanthaM

69% of US adults track health indicators. #improvement #healthIT #HIMSS15 – @GetReal_Health

60% of Alzheimer’s patients will wander – of these 46% will die if not located within 24 hours. Locate them! #HIMSS15 http://t.co/hVbSpxFuv1 – @locatible

Prediction: 60M US households to own a connected fitness tracker by 2019 http://t.co/lqfUrxWPD8

66% of Americans Would Use Mobile Health Apps to Manage Their Health

RT @bruno_rocca: RT @DrJenPlatt #HIMSS15 survey shows >70% #healthcare providers use #mhealth 2engage patients & red… – @byod_news

@stanleyhealth: @Cascadia point of clarification. Our 17k customers include senior living, but we are > 5k hospitals globally #himss15 – @2healthguru

Inforgraphics: 31 % of providers have a non-generic patient-facing app http://shar.es/1gSHBp #DigitalHealth #HIMSS15 – @vishalpanchal85

Medical data is expected to double every 73 days by 2020. http://ibm.co/1aKWPWg #IBMWatsonHealth – @IBMWatson

No question… “Our health system wasn’t built for chronic care. It was built for episodic.” @BruceDBroussard #HIMSS15 @Humana” – @ItsDisruptive

10 Solutions for the Healthcare IT Fringes

Recently I came across a video from one of the conferences on Healthcare IT. The panelists were talking about how technology can enhance patient care and delivery of Healthcare services. A specific point of discussion was implementation of Hospital Information Systems (HIS or HIMS) within the hospitals. Its been well established the need for IT systems in Healthcare which has traditionally lagged the other industries in the scale of Automation. We know now for instance, having a patient record for administrative, clinical and financial aspects does provide benefits to the patient care process flow within the hospital.
World over IT implementations have focused on the need to implement solutions that bring efficiencies to the Hospitals process flow.
But Does implementing an ‘ONLY’ HIS in an hospital truly provide for an enhanced patient experience?
In my review of Healthcare IT Implementations at various hospitals I have seen, the HIS implementations have their own unique issues and I am sure we in our own experiences have “lessons learnt” scenarios to make IT work better.
But the purpose of this post is to discuss the “Fringes”, the solutions in the periphery of the Healthcare organization’s processes that are woefully left out of the purview of a traditional HIS or are treated as “customisations” to the HIS solution. Or are perhaps considered to be traditionally not part of the IT strategy for the management. I believe these solutions on the “Fringes” are specialised and are equally important to provide fillip to an efficient care delivery in a Hospital. And that was also one of the points made during the discussion.
I list below 10 Fringe solutions which in my opinion should be also included within the IT Strategy of a hospital and product strategy of a Startup or an Healthcare IT Vendor.
  1. Patient Engagement: Patient Engagement is a framework by which hospitals provide their patients with tools (read as “apps”) and resources (read as social media engagement, etc) to strengthen their patient engagement activities. A great resource that provides various levels of patient engagement can be found here. There needs to be a concerted effort from the Hospitals to understand what level of engagement they want to enable for their customers. Patient Engagement has been termed as the “blockbuster drug of the century”
  2. mHealth Apps for Patients: It became quite evident by the end of 2013 that mHealth was here to stay and a ‘mobile-first” approach is one which has shown to provide some really innovative solutions being “prescribed” now by the doctors. But as is the case with every new idea, care must be taken to enable the mHealth App strategy with the patient engagement framework.
  3. Cloud Telephony for Hospitals: I recall when we used to talk about the “future of healthcare” in our pitch to various customers, we used to mention the “Dominos” example. Wherein as soon as a patient calls up the hospital she is greeted with a “Hello Ms. Doe, what can I do for you?” Today this kind of a scenario is available on our mobiles with the Truecaller app, but we are yet to achieve this within our hospitals. Even if you have called the hospital a number of times, are such solutions available right now? Therefore, with the availability of Cloud Telephony solutions each customer touch point with the hospital can now be integrated with a CRM solution and enable your customer facing staff to more effectively track customers and offer a superior customer experience to your patients – existing and new. For instance, a patient calling for a followup appointment need not be routed through the IVR options, instead she could be directly taken to the department with she already has an appointment scheduled or has had a visit in the past 10 days.
  4. Unified Communications for Care Coordination: Recently was reading an article on the “EHR and Paper record Usage” by young and old physicians. It spoke about what each type of patient record was used by these two types of users. It mentioned that the “older physicians use it to get information, and the younger docs do activities on it”. Now with this kind of a scenario it becomes important to provide the right information at the right time to the right care providers. This is where unified communications can provide efficiencies of operation by presenting information to the doctor that pertains to the current care scenario rather than the “whole patient history and record”. Recently we have the case of the patient who had been “let-off” home, when in fact the patient should have been quarantined. Difference in the way users interact to the system allows for simple handover tasks to be missed out. A unified communication solution sitting over an EHR has the ability to present “relevant” information with Efficiency in Workflow and Speed in communication
  5. eClaims & Payments: We all have now got very accustomed to making our payments online, be it banking, eCommerce, air travel, etc. Healthcare woefully lags behind in this regard. It will be great to see innovations happening in this area that allows for faster turnaround times for receivables for instance, from an insurance company. With advent of payment options from using hashtag payments on twitter to the payment gateways, healthcare needs to embrace technology across the various departments for a faster receivables management.
  6. Procurement and Supply Chain Management: The innovations seen in the eCommerce of late provides for a great case study, and for incorporation of “lessons learnt” and best practises into the healthcare procurement process. Instead of utilising technology to allow for increasing the efficiency of the procurement process within the purchase department, healthcare organisations majorly still rely on the traditional approach. The incorporation of a closed loop procurement process that connects the vendors and the hospitals is limited to emails, faxes and phone calls. Negotiated prices on the contracts are stored still in excel sheets and undergo revisions for each order placed. We believe this space surely requires some change to bring the benefit to both the hospital and the vendor. After all each call, email and fax adds up to the cost of the procurement. eProcurement can also benefit large organisations in putting together group purchase organisations which have the ability to get better pricing for the enterprise in a multi-location scenario. Vendor contracts managed through such a system have proven to provide a measurable ROI for such systems. Manage by exception in this scenario does provide a faster turnaround times.
  7. Laboratory Reagent Procurement and Management System: As is the case for the procurement of drug and non-drug items, laboratory reagents too require a solution that provides the equipment vendor the visibility on the number of reagents that need to be supplied based on the number of tests performed by the lab. This process automation will also allow for better inventory management of the reagents and procurement process can be streamlined.
  8. Move from “Relational-First” to “Analytics-First” HIMS: We have seen the progress of Healthcare IT in the hospitals and have often been faced with the requests from the users (clinical, administrative, financial, etc) for “reports” based on the data being collected. In each of these scenarios, you will find the vendor generating the report from the database and “delivering” the same to the customer. Apart from the transactional ability of a HIM solution, customers look at the ability and ease of generating the “insightful” reports from the system. Now, with the advent of analytics, traditional relational structures in HIMS should be reviewed to bring in a more “Analytics-First” approach. With our understanding of the healthcare processes and the types of reports that are generated from the HIMS, vendors should look at enabling data structures that are geared for a dimensional analysis of the data that is being captured within the HIMS system. IT should not be approached to generate this report or that report, rather the physician should be able to easily get a response for the effectiveness of a drug regime on a patient, or the billing department should be able to get information regarding the outstanding bills or the inventory department has a “Dashboard”, enabled by default, showing the items that need to be replenished.
  9. Telemedicine Solutions: With the advent of 3G and 4G services, Telemedicine is on the cusp of going mainstream. We have been for years having Tele-Consultations with our physicians and doctors via phone and email. These consultations generally stay out of the view of a health record and could be prone to errors and is perhaps a safety issue. But with the advent of the underlying services that can support a more comprehensive approach to telemedicine, we can now allow for patients to have Tele-consultations for specific scenarios, for instance, followups to review lab results. Which can lead to follow up visits by the patients to the hospital if so required by the doctor. We also feel that telemedicine will, in the future, also bring into the ambit the traditional “black box” area of a patient care, i.e. the patients’ home. Technology will enable many more data points to be captured and relayed live or periodically to the patients’ physician. Anomalies in the data will be analysed using the “Analytics-First” systems and provide specific tasks to be performed via the unified communications solutions available with the doctor.
  10. Workflow Management Systems: I have kept this aspect at the end, purposely. This is one area which needs to be incorporated within the healthcare systems at the earliest. I feel that the 80 percent of the processes within a healthcare organisation are handled easily by the traditional way of coding, But there are 20 percent of the workflows and rules that need to be implemented as a “customization” by most vendors. This brings ‘up’ the cost for implementing a healthcare solution. There is a need now to bring in BPM, rules engines, notifications (push-pull) and alerts into the base framework of the HIMS so that coding for exceptions can be reduced and incorporated with much ease and simplicity using these tools. Each hospital is unique in their requirements and there will always be a use case scenario that would not have been handled earlier, incorporating workflow technologies into the solution will only enhance the delivery process for the customer, thereby keeping the cost of implementation under control.
These are some of the “Fringe” systems which I consider, are also required to provide a better quality of care and service delivery. After all, it’s about “Speed in Communication and Efficiency in Workflow” that enables a more evolved care delivery process.
Lastly, would also like to point out that implementing these systems in conjunction with an HIMS requires interoperability of patient, administrative and care information, I strongly recommend the use of HL7 based standards for exchange of healthcare information. The standard allows for the information to be accurate and has the ability to be used across multiple “fringe” systems and enables you to evolve your solutions as the standards evolve. Proprietary approaches to integration and interoperability are fraught with issues of evolution and maintainability.
Looking to join the Healthcare innovation drive?

Start at the Fringes.
Manish Sharma

Founder HCITExpert.com, Digital Health Entrepreneur.

Additional Articles by the Author

  1. Health ID as Patient IDs unifier in India  by Manish Sharma  
  2. 5 Steps towards an Integrated Digital Health Experience in Indian Healthcare in 2016 
  3. Top Healthcare & Digital Health Predictions for 2016
  4. Zen Clinicals: An Activity & Workflow based solution (1 of 3)
  5. RFID in Healthcare: Usecases from Hospitals

#HITSMIND Tweetchat on 19th Oct 2014: #HIMS Solutions for Hospitals

There has been a great amount of buzz around HealthIT, i.e., EHRs, EMRs, mHealth, Telemedicine, Teleradiology etc. 

Implementing a HealthIT solution in a hospital provides some unique insights into what goes into the selection of a system for the hospital and what are the benefits that a hospital derives from installing and implementing such a solution.

So lets take a few steps back and consider the various aspects of a Healthcare Information Management System (HIMS) in a hospital. After all, for our #DigitalIndia initiative, the hospitals that treat the patients need to enable the capturing of patient records in an EHR system as a first step.

  1. Introductions
  2. T1: Why should a hospital in India go in for a HIMS System?
  3. T2: What are the benefits of installing a HIMS System? Experiences: Good and Bad.
  4. T3: Does a HIMS differ for a Clinic, General Hospital to a specialty hospital? How does a hospital select the right system for their need?
  5. T4: When choosing a HIMS System, What are the factors that should be considered by a single location hospital and multi-location hospital, while choosing a HIMS system?
  6. T5: What initiatives should be taken to enable the clinical data recording to help generate and maintain the electronic medical records for the patient? Billing Vs EMR?
  7. T6: What are the various ways to build a partnership with your HIMS Vendor?
  8. Closing Remarks and suggestions
  9. Call for moderators for upcoming chats. Please inbox us via @HCITExpert twitter account. Or you can email us at: info@hcitexpert.com

We are sure there will be more discussions around this topic in the future. Based on these discussions and feedback from various quarters, we propose to generate a report that brings out the list of Features and Functionality of an HIMS, for various types of hospitals.

#HITSMIND: October 12th, 2014

The past Sunday we had a great start to our #HITSMIND weekly TweetChat / TweetUp

The Symplur Analytics showed about 300+ tweets with about 40 people participating in the conversation.

Thanks again to all the participants and hope you are able to get the message out to your friends and colleagues and request them to join us for the upcoming weeks.

Today we are going to discuss about how the hospitals can make use of the social media to engage with the patients. And what are the type of engagements that can be enabled by the hospitals to engage with their clients.

T1: How can the hospitals enable engagement with their patients?

T2: What are the current engagement channels used by the Indian hospitals?

T3: How should the social media engagement be used to assist patients?

T4: What are the innovative use cases you have come across in the use of social media for treatment/ wellness  related information?

T5: Closing thoughts.

Thanks for joining us today. 

First Ever #HITSMIND Chat!!

Welcome for the first ever #HITSMIND TweetChat

The agenda for today’s #HITSMIND Tweetchat are defined below. We will be taking up each of the following topics for discussion.


1. Greetings and Introductions

2. All about Tweets, RTs, Hashtagging, MTs

2. T1: What are the benefits of a TweetChat. Share Your experiences

3. T2: What are the tools you use to follow a TweetChat

4. T3: Live Tweeting at Conferences: Best Practices

5. T4: Live Tweeting your speech

6. T5: Closing remarks on TweetChats

Look forward to seeing you at the #HITSMIND TweetChat

Team @HCITExpert

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