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by Cerner Corporation
Published on December 18, 2018

In 2018, health IT experienced several critical developments that are positioned to support care providers and impact the patient experience for the better. From a clearer picture of the benefits of population health to a more thorough understanding of how artificial intelligence and precision medicine might take shape over the next generation; the future of care has never looked brighter.

Advances in technologies, strategies and clinical workflows have potential to touch every area of the industry in 2019. As we reshape the business of health and care in the coming year, it’s important to recall where we have been. Here’s a look back at some of the top blogs and insights we discussed in 2018.

  1. How Nurses Can Support a Culture of Patient Safety 
    Jenny Horn, Senior Director and Regional Clinical Executive, Cerner

    Clinicians and nurses should do everything within their power to prevent medical errors and protect patients from harm. In this blog, Cerner’s Jenny Horn examines the role of nurses in patient safety and argues that it is on administrative leadership to create an organizational culture that promotes communication and transparency – even for medical error misses – to support continuous improvement. 

    “No matter what faction of the health care industry we come from – be it the clinical side or the health IT provider side – we must continue to work together to leverage innovative strategies that promote patient safety inside and outside the four walls of the hospital.”

  2. How Digital Transformation is Impacting Health Care  
    David Chou, Vice President and Chief Information and Digital Officer, Children’s Mercy

    Digital disruption is changing the health care industry. Electronic health records have led to big data, and a shift in consumer behavior patterns means that patients want and expect easy, convenient access to their health data. In this blog, Children’s Mercy CIO David Chou writes that health care organizations must continually evolve at the rapid pace of technological advancement to provide high-quality, patient-centered care.  

    “When we talk about adapting to digital transformation, people sometimes think that means they must buy the latest and shiniest technology. We don’t have to do that to qualify as transformation.”


  3. Tackling the Opioid Epidemic: Where to Begin
    Dr. Mike Fadden, Director and Chief Medical Officer, Physician Alignment, Cerner

    By focusing on the field of medical informatics, how can we better inform and assist providers and patients alike in the opioid crisis? In this blog, Dr. Mike Fadden lays out the roots and primary challenges that health care providers face today before presenting leading strategies to addressing the epidemic.

    “We also know that between 20 to 30 percent of patients will misuse these medications. What can be done to mitigate that risk? Additionally, how do physicians account for those who take the medication as prescribed, yet still become addicted?”
     
  4. Leveraging Drug Price Transparency to Improve Patient Outcomes 
    Kashif Rathore, Vice President, Interoperability, Cerner
    Margaux Currie, Director of Product Innovation, Surescripts

    Nearly every consumer has gone to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, only to feel a bit of sticker shock at the price of the medication. In this Q&A, Cerner’s Kashif Rathore discusses the increasing demand for drug price transparency with Surescript’s Margaux Currie, assessing how care providers can adapt to both the industry’s needs and changing consumer expectations.

    “The physician now has clarity on the price of the prescription, impact to their deductible, potential copay costs and prior authorization requirements all within their workflow – clarity they can transfer to the patient.”



  5. Precision Medicine and the Future of Health Care
    Dr. Daniel Nigrin, Sr. Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Boston Children’s Hospital 

    While there are currently several viable applications to the growing field of precision medicine, there are several barriers to growth that need to be addressed before this trend can make sweeping changes in health care. Boston Children’s Dr. Daniel Nigrin explains the strides that have already been made in genomics, which present a tremendous opportunity to change the way clinicians diagnose and treat patients, and the challenges the future holds.

    “Precision medicine offers tremendous opportunity to change the way clinicians diagnose and treat patients. The changes won’t be quick or simple, but there is a definite path forward for the industry, and as a provider and a consumer of health care, I am excited to help push us in this direction.” 

  6. Intelligent EHRs: The Next Big Step in Radiology
    Brandon Long, Director & Solution Executive, Radiology & Enterprise Imaging, Cerner

    Since the discovery of the X-ray by German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen, our capability to generate actionable information from the report has seen limited improvements. In this blog, Cerner’s Brandon Long advocates for the advancement of AI and partnerships that can promote efficiency and help realize the full potential of imaging and radiology within the EHR workflow.

    “Through improved technology, collaborative partnerships and more efficient communication, radiology has a considerable opportunity to change primary care. This is a natural next step that radiologists have desired for years and one that innovators like Wilhelm Röntgen would be proud of.” 

  7. Using Data to Improve Pediatric Population Health Management 
    Dr. Brian Jacobs, Vice President, CMIO and CIO, Children’s National Health System

    As the health care industry shifts toward a value-based care system, it is as critical as ever to provide a safe, high-quality experience with excellent outcomes. In this blog, Brian Jacobs of Children’s National Health System examines three strategies for actionable population health management that can promote better health outcomes in pediatric hospitals and entire communities.

    “It’s easy to rely on the buzz-phrasing of population health management without instituting actual organizational changes. My goal, which I hope is shared with health care industry leaders, is to make population health management the new business model.”


  8. How Technology is Shaping Patient Education
    Nicole Latimer, CEO, StayWell

    How do you maximize the best possible outcomes when it matters most, and what does this mean for the future of patient education? In this blog, StayWell CEO Nicole Latimer confronts how institutional barriers and high expectations of health IT can impede patient education, arguing that strong patient education needs to take place outside the clinical setting to be effective. 

    “Training for the patients and caregivers in these circumstances — instructional videos, checklists or other materials — needs to be clear and understandable to make adherence easy.” 

  9. Leveraging Technology to Create a Complete Portrait of Risk in the Community 
    Georgia Brown, Solution Executive, Analytics and Community Care, Cerner

    As life expectancy continues to increase dramatically, people are living with chronic conditions for many years. While this improved lifespan is a positive outcome of advances in medicine and technology, work is still needed to improve the quality of life and high cost of care during the later years of life. Cerner’s Georgia Brown writes about the importance of using technology to enhance long-term and post-acute care.

    “With technology, we will span our clinical reach to the community – not on a scheduled follow-up time, but in a dynamic, right-time model. We will manage chronically ill patients where they are – at home – providing more touch, improved engagement, higher quality of life, better outcomes and lower cost. We will use technology to turn the light on in the wild.”

  10. Be Small, Be Bold 
    Dr. Michelle Flemmings, CMIO, Pagosa Springs Medical Center
     
    In this blog, Pagosa Springs Medical Center’s Dr. Michelle Flemmings discusses the unique challenges experienced by small rural hospitals, as well as the common challenges they might share with larger hospitals and health systems. Pagosa Springs, which is the smallest independent critical access hospital to receive HIMSS Stage 7 designation, has been bold in the technology it leverages, in the services that it offers and in the processes it has implemented.

    “At the end of the day, we’re all on this journey together to help improve the health of our communities and our country as a whole. We should always look to learn from one another, pick others up when they’re down and celebrate the successes of others as if they are our own – for all these are sources of opportunity to improve our own organizations.”