If a picture is worth a thousand words, then visualizations are a great way to share our industry knowledge. Our library of informative, eye-catching infographics is designed to help our audience absorb some of the most important topics in healthcare today.
Rules of Thumb, Benefits, and Dangers of EHR Alerts
In theory, the more you alert a provider to potential problems, the better care the patient will receive. Of the many helpful features included within the framework of an EHR, provider pop-up alerts can simultaneously be one of the most positive & most negative.
Checklist for Preventing Ransomware
Chances are you know someone in healthcare whose organization has suffered a ransomware attack – if you are not careful, you could be next. If you haven’t been hit by ransomware personally, you’re either very lucky, or you’ve taken some proactive steps to protect your computers and files. If you do get infected with ransomware, unless you’ve got back-ups, or the crooks made some kind of cryptographic mistake, you’re left with either paying or losing your locked up files forever.
Prevention is far better than a cure. So here are 5 tips to protect yourself.
So, what can you do to prevent ransomware attacks?
- Stay Updated: Ensure browsers, computer operating systems and applications are on their most current release, and all security patches have been applied helps prevent ransomware attacks!
- Strong Password Policy: Set complex password standards. Length requirements, special characters, capital and lowercase letters, and numbers encourage employees to use strong, hard-to-guess combinations.
- Training: Thoroughly train your employees not to open links or attachments that seem suspicious. This is the most common way hackers place ransomware in your network.
- Backup: It is extremely important to fully back up critical and important data on a set and routine basis. This allows you to recover from an attack quickly or not be held hostage to the ransomware.
- Stay Vigilant: Educate yourself and your workforce on what the current trends are in cyber-attacks and report any suspicious activity.
It is possible, even when following the five items above that you could still suffer an attack. It is important to dedicate time and resources to your security initiatives. Consider bringing in third party organizations that come into your organization that can conduct timely and efficient audits and proactively manage your privacy protection efforts. Every possible defense should be evaluated and considered to protect your patients’ privacy.
In the end, it is about preventing ransomware, not reacting to it.
Download our infographic today to share with your organization.
Testing, It’s Not Just For IT Anymore
Why do you test? When do you test? How deep do you test? Do you test? These are common questions of an organization implementing an Electronic Health Record (EHR).
Given the recent onslaught of EHR implementation vendor solutions, there are many horror stories of what can happen if appropriate, consistent and comprehensive testing is not completed. EHR Testing doesn’t begin or end with the implementation, rather it’s a critical element of running an ongoing Information Technology function. The same principles should apply to your organizational testing programs.
The first rule of successful organizational testing programs is to build them and keep them. Healthcare organizations today are moving at a record pace to build market share, care for their patients, recruit the best medical personnel – all while trying to sustain a margin to continue growth and operational performance. To do this requires technology – and not just static, best of breed technology solutions that last 20 years. Today’s market with its demand to share information, care for the wealth of a patient not just single transactions, integrate across multi-functional care delivery sites and provide safe and innovate health solutions, requires not just an EHR, but a strategic inventory of solutions that are constantly advancing and changing.
Testing is not just a sporadic activity to implement a major change. Organizational Testing Programs should be considered a strategic necessity ready to support the organization’s ongoing needs for innovation and change.
Optimum Healthcare IT has supported over 100 clients in the last five years to successfully implement new vendor technologies and solutions. We offer end-to-end advisory and consulting services for planning, implementation and post go-live optimization, including building and executing a comprehensive testing program. To learn more about our advisory services, please click here to learn more and download our brochure.
Click here to read our blog post about testing.
The Importance of Data Security
Data breaches are a “when” event, not an “if” event. Health information breaches have consistently been on the rise over the last few years due to the value that hackers see in this information.
The alarming number of breaches paired with the rise of healthcare technology has made breach avoidance and patient data security some of the biggest concerns for healthcare organizations. This infographic will walk you through the importance of understanding why organizations are not securing their data, some ways to begin securing that data and the benefits an organization can obtain when building a strong security posture.
Healthcare organizations face increasing risks regarding the protected health information entrusted to them by their customers. The growth in Electronic Health Records (EHRs), government regulation, technology risks, and recent efforts by state-sponsored hacking groups amplify the need for healthcare organizations to mature their information security programs.
Optimum Healthcare IT has in-depth experience helping healthcare organizations address their security and compliance needs. We offer a wide range of services, from strategy development to implementation of technology and processes to minimize risks. Our clients include large healthcare systems, community hospitals, and healthcare technology providers who need to ensure that their information technology platforms remain secure and meet regulatory requirements.
Don’t be a victim of a security breach. Breach avoidance should be your goal. Let Optimum Healthcare IT help you today. For additional information on how we help our clients, please click here to review a recent case study about how Optimum saved a client $6M in security remediation costs and another $5-$7M in breach avoidance.
7 Key Considerations of Stark Law Exemption
So you’re considering rolling out your Epic Community Connect program & want to provide a competitive pricing model for your providers. Understanding the Stark Law Exemption rules of donation is key to avoiding an audit.
Community Connect was started prior to allowing a designated health system to assist with the cost by donating up to 85%. The main reason for Community Connect was to provide better patient care, and one shared health record. There are seven key considerations to take into account for Stark Law exemptions. Do you know what they are?
Defining your program and strategy first will direct the level of subsidy you will provide. Calculating the total costs to deliver Community Connect is phase one. Be sure to include all software costs, hardware that may need to be purchased, build and design labor costs, implementation costs along with ongoing support. Remember to treat all clients the same, no special deals. Finally, you need to remember that swapping one EHR for another is only acceptable if it improves the technology such as inner-operability or adding additional functionality.
If you are interested in learning more about the Stark Law, please read our blog post entitled Understanding What is Required Under the Stark Law or download our white paper Community Connect: Expanding Epic into the Community.
How to Navigate an EHR Implementation Lifecycle
An Electronic Health Record (EHR) system is a lifetime investment, and it requires planning, budget, resources, and tools for long-term success. At Optimum Healthcare IT, we believe that the EHR Implementation Lifecycle consists of six stages.
Strategic Planning, Design, Build & Test, Interoperability, Training & Activation, and Post Go-Live. Do you know how to navigate this lifecycle? Where does your organization fit into this lifecycle?
The successful implementation and go-live of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) is the culmination of years of planning and work. In most cases, preparation for an EHR implementation begins years in advance of the actual go-live date.
Many organizations attempt to take on multiple initiatives to achieve their EHR goals. It’s important to ensure your organization has the expertise, staff, and bandwidth to complete your objectives efficiently. Optimum Healthcare IT is dedicated to our client’s success. Whether you are a large multi-facility IDN, an Academic Medical Center, a single hospital, or a physician network, Optimum Healthcare IT has the people, the expertise, and the experience to ensure that your EHR is implemented correctly and smoothly. For additional information, please read our white paper on Ensuring a Successful Implementation and G0-Live.
Your Guide to MIPS Pace
2017 is the first performance year. It determines the percentage of increase, or penalty, in payment adjustments for 2019. The percentage is capped at +/-4%. During 2017 you can pick your MIPS participation pace. The choice is yours.
2017 is the first performance year. It determines the percentage of increase, or penalty, in payment adjustments for 2019. The percentage is capped at +/-4%. During 2017 you can pick your MIPS participation pace. The choice is yours. You can choose to:
- Not participate
- Test Pace
- Partial Year
- Fully Participate
Let’s take a look at each of those options:
You can decide not to participate during 2017. But there’s a catch… Not sending any data during 2017 means you will receive a -4% payment adjustment in 2019. You miss out on any gain. And your payments will be penalized.
Perhaps you haven’t yet gotten started with MIPS, yet. You certainly don’t want to be penalized – especially if you can start taking steps now. If you submit ‘some’ data after January 1, 2017, you will get a neutral payment adjustment in 2019. You won’t get an increase in payments, but at least you won’t have a decrease.
You’ve been planning ahead, but still, haven’t started with MIPS. If you want to get in on seeing a rise in your payment adjustment in 2019 – the Partial Year option might be for you. You can still benefit from a small positive payment adjustment. As long as you start anytime before October 2, 2017.
You qualify by reporting one, or more, 90-day period(s) after January 1, 2017. The percentage of your positive payment adjustment depends on how much data you report. Here is the minimum for a positive payment adjustment:
If you fully participate during all of 2017, you will benefit from a modest positive payment adjustment in 2019 – This is the best way to get the most out of MIPS.
You are also eligible to be considered an Exceptional Performer. An Exceptional Performer may qualify for an additional positive payment adjustment, on top of the 4%.