The Greenway Blog

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HIMSS 2015: How to get connected during the conference

HIMSS-15-Greenway-HealthAs an event that brings together 38,000 healthcare IT professionals, clinicians and vendors, it’s no surprise that the annual HIMSS conference can be a bit intimidating.

To make sure you have the best experience possible in 2015, here are a few tips for getting connected — to your peers, educational opportunities and fun — during this year’s conference.

Before the show

Don’t wait until you’ve arrived at the conference to decide which of the 300-plus educational sessions to attend. Make your game plan well before the event begins.

Is there a specific challenge your practice is facing? Do you want to reinforce your existing knowledge or explore new domains? Once you know your areas of interest, you can find sessions that are tailored to you.

Here are some of the sessions and booths we recommend:

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How practices can create another revenue stream without Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance

Marketplace-Blog-Update-MarchCaring for your patients is your top priority, of course, but keeping your practice financially healthy is also vital to your success — and that’s becoming harder than ever.

With impending cuts to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, physicians and clinics must find new sources of revenue to sustain their practices.

Some physicians have moved entirely to a business model of concierge medicine — essentially, charging patients an annual fee or retainer for constant provider access — but this transition isn’t an easy one.

A more moderate option is to participate in the quickly growing practice of pretrial evaluations.

Pretrial evaluation is the process of prescreening patients for phase II and III clinical trials that address chronic diseases, then referring those patients to trial sites. Independent third parties compensate participating physicians for conducting the evaluations.

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Is Your OB-GYN Practice Ready for the Future of Healthcare? [QUIZ]

OB-GYN-Medicine-Is-Evolving-Fast-blog-featured-imageWhere do you see your OB-GYN practice in 10 years?

You may not be able to see into the future, but your answer to this question can provide valuable insight into the lasting success of your practice.

In healthcare, change is inevitable. Technology and the evolution of medicine isn’t something that’s likely to slow down. And if your practice isn’t on track to adopt and adapt the emerging technology, incentive programs and reimbursement models, your organization may miss out on significant benefits.

“I’ll admit that I was probably the most resistant physician of any at our practice to go from paper to electronic,” said Dr. Cathy Slusher from Harrisonburg OB-GYN Associates. “It took a little while to convince me, but a year into it, it was clear that there was an advantage.”

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Patient engagement: How to get patients to use your portal

Greenway Health Patient PortalWe’ve all heard about the promise of the patient portal: Give patients convenient online access to personal health information and support care between visits, and they’ll better manage their own health.

Providers benefit, too. A patient portal can improve the quality of care and office efficiency, not to mention help practices achieve meaningful use.

But before practices can see the advantages of a portal, they have to get their patients to use it.

Many practices admit that they struggle with getting their patients to access and view their online health records. Despite the challenges, it can be done, according to a few providers who have successfully driven patient engagement within their own practices via a patient portal.

The key, they explain, comes down to making sure patients are aware of the fundamentals: features and convenience.

Create a scenario patients can see themselves in

“The easier we make a portal to use for the patient, the more they’re going to engage in their healthcare,” said Michael Popp of MJP Healthcare Consulting.

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The best way to deal with changes in healthcare? Practice patience.

Patience-is-key-healthcare-changesWorking in healthcare today can sometimes feel like you’re caught in the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare, in which industry changes move at a speed much faster than providers, practices and health IT partners could possibly maintain.

As a solo practitioner responsible for both patient care and keeping up with the constant regulatory changes, Dr. Scott Maurer knows this struggle well. He maintains that the key to success is simple, even if it doesn’t always come easy. It’s all about patience.

The challenge of change for providers, IT partners

Healthcare changes constantly. Regulations shift, reporting requirements expand and the list of healthcare terms grows daily.

“There are about 30 different acronyms that I’ve had to learn: PQRS, MU, ARRA — and it goes on and on,” Dr. Maurer said. “It’s a very challenging environment with so many things changing in healthcare. I’m trying to stay abreast of all the developments, but it’s not so easy when you’re busy as a physician practicing every day.”

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Connecting EHRs and genetics: a personalized approach to patient care

Connecting EHRs and dataNo patient is average. Physicians know that each individual may require different medications, screenings and treatments, but historically, that could only be determined by trial and error.

That’s becoming easier with new tools that can collect individual patient information, then communicate it electronically to other healthcare entities. This pool of data, accessible to other physicians regardless of where, when and by whom the data was collected, can give physicians better insight into how to care more effectively for their patients.

Recent developments in genetic testing, for example, illustrate the capabilities of these tools. With increased participation in genetic testing, each patient’s unique traits can be collected, compiled and communicated to physicians — allowing them to develop personalized treatment plans based on each patient’s genetic risk factors.

Greenway Health CEO Tee Green is fascinated by the study of genetics and the impact of environment on genes, especially regarding Alzheimer’s. Why does one person gets Alzheimer’s but another one doesn’t, even if they’re both predisposed? “That simple question has created in me the passion to care,” he said. “Can we bring genetic testing all the way to the point of care? I believe the answer is yes.”

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