Three Big Observations at HIMSS

By: Ed Duryee
Date: February 27, 2017

Avaap recently exhibited at HIMSS 2017, the largest and most important healthcare IT conference in the U.S. We had a great week of deep discussions with clinical and business leaders about EHR and ERP technologies and trends impacting the healthcare industry. One of the most exciting things about HIMSS week is seeing what is top-of-mind for healthcare IT professionals and how healthcare technology is improving exponentially.

Cloud is gaining momentum

Transitioning healthcare to the cloud was at the forefront of this year’s conversations and members of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) big data team discussed their plans for getting into hosting for healthcare. More health systems are using AWS to change the way they deliver care, engage with patients, or incorporate new technology into their organization. It was exciting to hear how HIPAA-eligible big data services delivered in the cloud are supporting digital transformation at Cambia, Cleveland Clinic and other health systems.

At the Avaap booth there was a lot of discussion on Infor CloudSuite and how by utilizing Amazon Web Services, Infor customers are able to quickly deploy their applications in the cloud. With many community health leaders in attendance, we also demonstrated how cloud delivery is appealing for smaller health systems as it is less expensive and more secure than having their own data center.ed-himss

Interoperability is on FHIR

FHIR is poised to be the next big thing in healthcare, and while it’s rich with potential, it has not been used yet at most provider organizations. We’re bullish that establishing connected health systems is necessary to meet today’s challenges for population health management and new payment models as well as prepare for the future. FHIR is rapidly evolving and API interoperability has improved. We’re seeing burgeoning excitement for the potential of bridging the multitude of systems used in hospitals today and how FHIR apps can help hospital professionals harness data for better clinical insights and outcomes.

MACRA readiness is lagging

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is bringing changes to Medicare’s physician payment system, and while physicians have some flexibility in how quickly they comply with the new data requirements, many organizations are behind in preparing for Medicare’s new payment systems. The first payment year isn’t until 2019, but is based on data submitted for 2017, so organizations that have yet to prepare should get started by evaluating clinical practice performance and identifying improvement opportunities.

One area on the preparation list is examining the EHR. Does it include a robust, user friendly patient portal? Does it have e-prescribing and health information exchange capabilities? Can it produce a treatment plan and post-treatment summary document for the patient? Quality improvement programs are key to increasing EHR efficiency and MACRA readiness. We spoke with many healthcare IT leaders about how to transition their healthcare system away from volume-based healthcare and towards reimbursing for value-based care while getting MACRA ready.

As always, HIMSS is an exciting week of information sharing, networking and quality exhibitions. If you missed connecting with Avaap, want to learn more about how we can optimize ERP systems or increase EHR efficiency for greater MACRA readiness, get in touch using the form below.

Ed Duryee is director of Strategic Services at Avaap where he is responsible for helping customers solve business challenges and align technology investments with strategic goals.

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