Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Expert panel speaks about Hot Topics in Healthcare IT #HITCon13

Here at the HIMSS Southern California Chapter Health IT conference (Twitter hashtag #HITcon13), an expert panel discussed some of the key hot topics in health IT. The panel was moderated by Shadaab Kanwal, MISM, MBA, Executive Director, Research and Quality at Kaiser Permanente. Panelists included:
  • Aram Dobalian, JD, MPH, PhD, Director, Veterans Emergency Management Evaluation Center at Veterans Health Administration speaking about “HIE and EHR as enablers of Disaster Recovery”
  • Ralph Oyaga, Esq., MBA, Associate Counsel, LA Care Health Plan speaking about “e-Discovery”
  • Dale Sanders, SVP, Health Catalyst; Senior Technology Advisor, Cayman Islands Services Authority speaking about “Big Data and Predictive Analytics in Healthcare Transformation”
  • John McCawley, MS, CEO, Verecloud speaking about “Healthcare and the Cloud”
Dale reminded us that we are in an era of big data and predictive analytics. Hospitals and health systems are being graded by their level of adoption measured by the HIMSS Healthcare Analytic Adoption Model. We need to have a thorough understanding of these evolving technologies that are transforming healthcare so that we can use them effectively to improve patient care..

John spoke about how cloud computing technologies are rapidly changing the economic model of health IT. Cloud is a distribution model, not a technology. Public cloud. Private cloud. Hybrid cloud. The top 3 concerns regarding the cloud include: security, control, and reliability.

Aram spoke about disaster recovery. When we consider what happens during major disasters, the role of health IT becomes critical because we can't afford to lose access to patient data. We can see this with some examples within the VA Health System. When Hurricane Katrina hit, the New Orleans VA got flooded, damaging all the computer hardware within the hospital. In less than 3 days, all patient data were available and accessible at any VAMC.

Ralph spoke about the concept of e-Discovery in medicolegal cases. Consider all the emails that get transmitted by healthcare employees. Consider all the health records that are now stored in electronic format. We also can't forget the data generated from social media. So, when a medical case is investigated, we now have a wealth of data that is generated during the e-Discovery phase. Sifting and reviewing that data becomes a major challenge because of the volume of information.

You can follow updates from the HIMSS Southern California Chapter Health IT conference on Twitter: #HITcon13

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