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Patient Monitoring Market To Exceed 5 Billion By 2020

Patient Monitoring Market To Exceed 5 Billion By 2020 | Healthcare and Technology news |

An iData Research survey has projected the patient monitoring market will exceed $5 billion by 2020 as a result of double-digit growth over the next five years in the telehealth market. The study also predicts that telehealth for disease conditions management will comprise more than 50 percent of the total telehealth market, driven by increased chronic illness in an aging population, increasing demand for customized healthcare solutions, and financial pressures due to overburdened healthcare budgets.

“The goal of telehealth is to prevent hospital readmission, reduce in-office visits, better manage health of individuals with long term conditions and reduce costs for more remote and isolated health care providers,” Dr. Zamanian, CEO of iData explained.

Market growth is anticipated to be “further bolstered as awareness and implementation of standards for reimbursement and adoption of this type of care management increase,” according to iData, as public and private organizations each are expected to increase funding for telehealth expenditures as a fiscally responsible and efficient solution.

As Health IT Outcomes reported, there are three major hurdles for telehealth adoption including reimbursement, federal standards, and licensure. A policy report from ML Strategies explains, “Current federal law is extremely restrictive on how telehealth is paid for – resulting in a disincentive to provider adoption.” Restrictions only allow reimbursements for patients who receive virtual care at rural clinics and not in metropolitan areas.

However, some progress is being made in the area of telehealth reimbursement. For example, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law legislation that would require Medicaid to reimburse for telehealth service costs in New York. And in November, CMS issued a final rule updating physician fee schedules and boosting payments for telehealth services. This trend indicates there is growing recognition of the cost effectiveness and success of telehealth services in overall patient care and outcomes.

Other barriers still remain, including the fact that no federal telehealth standards are in place with each state having its own regulations. As ML Strategies explains, “Currently, there is no federal standard of clinical guidelines for telehealth,” creating a “patchwork of state laws that inhibit the proliferation of telehealth solutions in both the public and private sectors.” As telehealth grows in popularity, however, federal regulations will become necessary in order to guarantee consistency.

The final barrier to telehealth growth, according to the ML Strategies report, is licensure, as it raises issues of flexibility if a patient wishes to consult a telehealth provider across state lines. “With the advent of telehealth, licensing of health providers must be updated to reflect the flexibility provided by telehealth – allowing healthcare experts to bring their expertise virtually to where it is needed, even across state borders,” notes the report.

Nevertheless, despite the obstacles, the telehealth industry is set for unprecedented growth by 2020 as iData Research has asserted. According to a survey of senior healthcare executives released by law firm Foley & Lardner, “The reimbursement landscape is already changing, and there are many viable options for getting compensated for practicing telemedicine,” said Larry Vernaglia, chair of Foley’s Health Care Practice. “The smartest thing organizations can do now is to continue developing programs, and be ready for the law to catch up – because it will.”

Lava Kafle's curator insight, February 18, 2015 3:48 AM


Patient Monitoring Market To Exceed 5 Billion By 2020!

Healthcare and Health IT in 2015. What the world needs now is…….. simplicity - HealthBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

Healthcare and Health IT in 2015. What the world needs now is…….. simplicity - HealthBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs | Healthcare and Technology news |

Happy New Year to my HealthBlog readers around the world. I’m back in the saddle after a 3 week hiatus for the holidays. I must say I’m feeling fully rested and looking forward to all that 2015 will deliver.

Like you, I’m getting tired of reading prognostications about what’s hot and not for tech in the year ahead. However, I did enjoy a piece I came across today by my blogosphere colleague and Forbes contributor, Dr. John Nosta. Actually, I believe Dr. Nosta published the post not this week, but rather a full year ago. The post, Digital Heath In 2014: The Imperative of Connectivity, might as well have been written this week as it is just as true today as it was in January of 2014. In it, tech pundits from John Sculley to Steve Wozniak are quoted in musings about the tech revolution in health and healthcare and how everything you know is about to change. As has been true for the past several years, people are predicting massive disruption and transformation of health and healthcare delivery fueled by technology. And, as has been the case during the vast majority of my 14-year career at Microsoft and many years before that as a physician, tech and healthcare industry executive, I feel like I’m still waiting for the big bang.

Now don’t get me wrong, we have certainly seen transformation (albeit slow) of healthcare, and technology is definitely driving a lot of that change. Policy is also driving change, perhaps more so than technology. And, at least in America, no policy is causing more disruption right now than that of the Affordable Care Act. However, all of this begs the question--are things getting better or worse? People are paying more than ever before for the services they receive. Many of us are seeing our health insurance premiums rise while being asked to fork over more and more of our money toward copays and high deductibles (often $5000 to $12,000 per year per family). And even though I love technology, thus far I think it is failing to deliver on its promises or potential. Let me ask you, is it getting easier or harder to pay for and manage healthcare for your family? And if you are a healthcare provider, is it getting easier or harder to take care of your patients the way you’d like to care for them?

Technology should be making all of his easier and less expensive, but is it? Healthcare policy should be doing the same. Instead, we seem to be getting ever more complicated rules, regulations and business practices that confound both consumers and providers alike. Health insurance is more complicated than ever before, and don’t even get me started on Medicare.

If there is a theme I’d like policy makers, tech industry leaders, insurance chiefs, healthcare executives, and clinicians to focus on more on in 2015 it would quite simply be……. simplicity. We are making everything way too complicated. Without greater focus on technology that actually makes things more simple through seamless integration of services and information exchange, improved modalities for synchronous and asynchronous communication and collaboration in clinical workflow, and business models that truly support innovation and lower costs in healthcare, all the fancy new wearable smart devices, labs on a chip and augmented reality headsets won’t do much to save us from our misery.

I believe there are but a few global companies with the breadth, depth, and scale to really deliver on the kinds of information technology advances our health industry needs. Even then, it will take a carefully choreographed dance of enlightened public policy and innovation to deliver the goods. Otherwise, a year from now, and for many years yet to come, we’ll simply be singing more of Auld Lang Syne.

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8 Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience And (By The Way) HCAHPS Scores

8 Ways to Improve Patient Satisfaction, Patient Experience And (By The Way) HCAHPS Scores | Healthcare and Technology news |

In light of Medicaid’s announcement that it may expand the use of Child HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) results, let’s do a roundup of what actually increases patient satisfaction and improves the patient experience, for hospital systems, primary care providers, and ambulatory care centers alic.

Although I feel that these CAHPS assessments are a largely positive development, it’s also true that patient satisfaction and the patient experience can suffer if your institution takes the wrongheaded approach of trying to “game” the assessment process, of aiming too narrowly for success on the specific questions asked in the assessment.

The power of the halo effect

A better approach is to look at the survey questions only as they fit within your broader attempt to create an overall experience of caring that will in turn translate into better responses on the individual assessment questions due to a positive “halo effect.”  The halo effect I’m referring to is the tendency of humans–including patients and their loved ones–to cut you slack when they have a generally positive impression of you, how a positive experience with you will spread in their minds (and in their survey responses) to areas where, literally speaking, your institution may not have been entirely up to snuff.

“Always” is impossible–but if patients love you, they’ll cut you some slack

Consider an assessment question where your goal is to have an answer of “always” (for example: “During this hospital stay, how often were your room and bathroom kept clean?”). Always kept clean” is, strictly speaking, an impossibility. Not even a five star hotel can achieve that level of housekeeping; they may tidy your room three times a day, but that’s plenty of time to trash it in between. Yet it is possible to get an “always” response from a patient. Because the way patients remember is more holistic than you think it is.  An overall extraordinary experience with your facility and organization will subliminally inspire a patient to cut you slack while a generally poorly treated patient is going to grade you literally on your survey. And a literal reading of/response to the HCAHPS survey questions isn’t going to turn out all that well for anyone.

Here, therefore, is a roundup of my suggestions for how to improve patient satisfaction and the patient experience–and, as an aside, improve your HCAHPS scores. 

1. If you want to stem patient dissatisfaction, stop giving off cues of indifference and uncaring.   Such as: Healthcare professionals avoiding eye contact with “civilians.” Med students hurrying self-importantly down the halls, nearly running down the slow-moving patients who won’t get with the program.  Patients ignored by nurses who haven’t yet clocked in and therefore don’t realize they are already (poorly) representing their institution. Doctors in the hallway loudly carrying on about the relative benefits of different Canyon Ranch vacations they’ve taken. Two radios playing at once from two administrative areas (with the waiting area for patients and their families located equidistant to both). Vending machines that are left out of service indefinitely. Vending machines that require exact change, but there’s no change machine.

2.  Strive actively to experience your care the way that your patients do.  Park where the patients do.  See how easy it is/isn’t to get to the front door on crutches.   Take a tour of your hospital with someone who hasn’t been there before, and let them show you whether they can really find where they’re going.  You’ll be amazed how many mis-aligned, out of date, confusing signs you have. It all makes intuitive sense to you, of course, because you have been in your building enough times that you know your way around in your sleep (Literally, I suspect.)  And, once a year, do a “full bladder exercise”: Everyone who works with patients should drink two or three liters of water–it is incredible how your perception of a “reasonable delay” between call button and response changes when you have a full bladder.

3.  Get every employee thinking about purpose, not just functions. A particularly crucial aspect of great patient service is ensuring that every employee—from orientation onward –understands her particular underlying purpose in your organization and appreciates its importance. An employee has both a function—his day-to-day job responsibilities—and a purpose—the reason why the job exists. (For example, ‘‘To create successful medical outcomes and hospitable human experiences for our patients” is a purpose.   “To change linens” is a function. A properly trained and managed employee will know to—and will be empowered to—stop changing linens if creating successful medical outcomes or being hospitable require a different action at the moment. And afterward, she will be celebrated for doing so, not scolded for being a few short in the number of linens changed.

4. “Sorry” may be the hardest word, but it’s a word that everyone on your team needs to learn.  Resolving patient issues means knowing how to apologize for service lapses pointed out by a patient. It means getting rid of the defensiveness (or, at best: apathy) that tends to mar the healthcare industry when confronted by a patient upset with what she perceives to be a service gaffe. Instead, take your patient’s side in these situations, immediately and with empathy, regardless of what you think the “rational” allocation of “blame” should be. And spread this approach throughout your staff through role-playing and other training devices, so it will serve you fully every time a patient hits the fan.

5. Teach your employees – every single one – how to handle a patient or family member’s complaint or concern.   Even if handling the concern means “I’m finding you someone right now who can address this” it’s far better than “I can’t help you, I’m the wrong person.”

6. If you want to improve, strive to create a blame-free environment. As the founder of the Ritz-Carlton is fond of saying, “If a mistake happens once it may be fault of employee. If it happens twice, it is most likely the fault of the system.”  So, they get to work fixing the system. This blame-free system has worked to help The Ritz-Carlton build a great culture, and it can do the same for your hospital.

7. Understand that improving patient satisfaction is about systems just as much as it is about smiles.  When we discuss improving patient satisfaction and the patient experience, physicians often think we are going to focus on making them “smile harder.” While genuine warmth and smiles are of value here, so are systems. For example, when Mayo Clinic overhauled their scheduling system they employed (according to the great Leonard L Berry) industrial engineers using stopwatches to time wheelchairs between appointment locations in order to ensure that correct scheduling algorithms were created.

8. Benchmark outside healthcare. One of the biggest obstacles to improving the patient experience in healthcare is the industry’s insular nature and the way this makes its problems self-reinforcing. In other words, healthcare providers and institutions compare themselves to each other – to the hospital in the next town, the surgeon in the next O.R. – and benchmark their customer service accordingly. And to do so is to set the bar too low.  It’s not as if patients stop being consumers – customers – when they put on a hospital gown. And it’s not as if their loved ones surrender their identities as businesspeople, twitterers, Facebook users, either, when they enter your institution. So, it’s time to benchmark healthcare customer service against the best in service-intensive industries, because that’s what your patients and their loved ones will do. Every patient’s interaction with healthcare is judged based on expectations set by the best players in hospitality industry, the financial services industry, and other areas where expert players have made a science of customer service.

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