A Team Approach for Improved Healthcare

The words big data and interoperability are constantly used in the Healthcare IT (HIT) field but it’s imperative to understand why they are so important in creating a team to tackle patient care. The use of technology such as computers, smartphones and other devices has created a plethora of information. We need Health Information Exchanges (HIE) and companies such as Intel to turn that “big data” into information we can use to improve the health of our population. We also need the third parties such as CoreTech to connect all of the systems to create interoperability. We need a team to provide adequate care for patients; we are beyond the doctor-patient relationship. Healthcare is no different than Health IT, we need a team!

Specialists are trained to focus on one piece of the puzzle and if you are suffering from a chronic or serious condition you likely see several specialists. It can become overwhelming to keep track of every doctor, every diagnosis, and every pill. Here is where interoperability comes in handy. Patients don’t want a patient portal for each specialist or hospital they visit; they need one location to view all of their information. Care providers have the same concern. We cannot treat one symptom without understanding what is going on with the patient as a whole. A great example of that is medication lists, having all of the information in one place is incredibly valuable. Healthcare organizations are slowly working towards a future of healthcare where we focus on the patient and not just the illness. In order to accomplish that, healthcare providers need to work as a team and they need to have all of the information easily accessible.

Once we accomplish interoperability and start making use of all of the data being gathered we can start focusing on providing care tailored to the individual. With the technology available to us today we can not only cater care but we can deliver it anywhere.

A Review of HIMSS16

Las Vegas held one of the biggest Health IT conferences of the year this month, HIMSS16. The conference was packed full of useful educational sessions, ideas, devices and big announcements. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) had some huge announcements to follow up on the pledge made last year to make interoperability a reality. The ONC announced three challenges to encourage app development to share information in a user friendly manner. The Consumer Health Data Aggregator Challenge, the Provider User-Experience Challenge and a grant opportunity, all aimed at developing tools for users to review their health information from any healthcare provider.

Vendors and providers know that interoperability is possible; other countries are way ahead of us in this area. The challenge is getting the necessary tools, expertise and funding to make it happen. The challenges provided funding as incentive to achieve that goal. Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo, the acting assistant secretary of health, National Coordinator for Health IT at US Department of Health and Human Services had a Q&A session after her presentation to discuss interoperability, among other things. HIMSS covered the challenges in more detail in their post, read it here.

Other key players used the conference to showcase their high tech tools and devices. The shift to provide patient care with a higher standard of safety, transparency and accountability was a key theme throughout the conference. The conference, as usual, focused on where Health IT is going. Accountable Care, Population Health, Interoperability, and Telehealth were very prominent themes throughout the week. One of the more fascinating technologies discussed used artificial intelligence and computing to improve population health; the platform is called cognitive computing. Learn more about how Cognitive computing and population health work together here.

HIMSS16 was an incredible conference full of education, innovation and a look ahead for Healthcare IT. We are excited to be in such an exciting field that can make an impact for patients on a daily basis.

Happy Women’s History Month!

Over the course of history women have been denied many rights but we’ve fought for equality not just for ourselves but for others as well. One issue of particular importance in this election year is the right to vote. The women’s suffrage movement in the U.S. lasted over 70 years and was led by some amazing women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Susan B. Anthony. Thanks to their struggle women are able to vote. Do not take their victory for granted this November, get out there and vote. They, along with many others, paved the way for the many successful women we have today.

Almost a century later we are still fighting for equality. Equality in pay, reproductive rights, violence against women, education, and many other topics continue to be a struggle. Throughout history we’ve seen women stand up and fight and during the month of March we honor those women. Women continue to make history every day. The courageous Malala Yousafzai is the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for her fight against discrimination and advocacy for education in Pakistan. Our first lady Michelle Obama is a big supporter of education as well. Among the many contributions she has made over the years Let Girls Learn and Reach Higher focus on helping girls all over the world receive education and encouraging young Americans to go on to higher education past high school, respectively. Conner Prairie recently held an event to get girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math you can read the article here.

CoreTech is proud to be a Women Owned Business (WBE) and to employ such talented women. We support the fight for equality and we hope that you do as well, whether you are a woman or not. We ask that you do something special today for those strong and wonderful women in your life. A simple message of appreciation can go a long way.

Reason To Dance

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Friday, March 11, 2016
6 to 11 p.m.
Indiana Roof Ballroom

Hello!  The team at CoreTech would like to take a moment to invite you to Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope a benefit for Riley Hospital for Children on March 11th at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.  Our team has had the privilege of participating in this event for the last two years and we believe that you will find it as amazing as we do!

Reason to Dance, Reason for Hope is a ballroom dance competition modeled after the popular “Dancing with the Stars” television show.  The event pairs eight Indiana celebrities with professional dancers for a fancy evening of dancing, fun and awards!  The evening will begin with a silent auction, followed by a three-course dinner, and then the ballroom competition. The evening will conclude with open dancing.  All profits for this event will go directly to support Research and Child Life at Riley Hospital for Children located in Indianapolis.

Awards will include:

  • Grand Champion – will go to the celebrity who raises the most money for this event*
  • Judges’ Choice – will go to the celebrity who has the highest combined judges score
  • Runner Up – will go to the dancer who has the second highest judges’ score
  • Riley Children’s Choice award – will go to the dancer who wins the most votes from the Riley Children.

The entire CoreTech team looks forward to seeing you at the event on March 11th.  Please consider supporting the event in one of the following ways:

Tickets:
Individual: $125 (regular price: $150 after Dec 2015)
Table: $1,000
http://reasontodance.org/event-information/ or https://reasontodance2016.eventbrite.com

Sponsorship (all with various benefits)
Platinum: $8,000
Gold: $4,000
Silver: $2,000
Bronze: 1,000
http://reasontodance.org/our-sponsors/become-sponsor/

Votes are $25 each, or you can give a general donation
http://reasontodance.org/celebrities/

Learn more about the event at:
http://reasontodance.org/ or check out the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/reasontodancereasonforhope/

Catering Care to Patients through Health IT

Nothing can be more rewarding than making someone feel valued. In the healthcare world we are in the business of making our patients feel just that! We want to make sure the care they receive not only heals them physically but makes them happy and comfortable with us. Although good bedside manner makes a great impact there are many tools available to physicians and hospitals for improving patient interactions.

The first key aspect patient’s value most comes from providing them transparency. Patients want to see their records, treatment options and billing history. Proving tools such as patient portals creates a transparency that empowers the patient and keeps them engaged.

A second key factor in improving patient satisfaction and engagement comes from giving them flexible hours and means of connecting with their provider. Technology has given healthcare providers a wide variety of opportunities to connect with the patient such as home health, telemedicine and telehealth.  Utilizing this sort of technology increases access for patients and improves outcomes. Alternative methods of delivering care ensure patient get the care they need when they need it.

Population health is the last and crucial piece to providing the type of care a patient deserves. As we’ve moved to electronic medical records we have collected such a vast amount of data. Understanding what that data is telling us and applying the research to improving care is critical. Understanding trends can help us work with at risk populations and provide education. Prevention is the key to improving the health of our population.

As we strive to improve our technology and embrace the future it is important to keep the patient in mind. We want to make sure that the technology doesn’t overwhelm but compliment the care we give the patient. And if the technology becomes overwhelming it is also important to reach out to the experts for help or find ways to education your team on the ongoing technology. Health IT doesn’t have to be an expensive or complicated transition but it does have to be a growing part of your practice.

SMILING IS MY FAVORITE by Julia Leslie

The odds are you have never heard the name Harvey Ball. However, the odds are also that you use his creation daily. Ball is the credited designer of the smiley face, the wildly recognized symbol of goodwill and cheer. As the founder of The World Smile Foundation, he declared the first Friday of each October to be World Smile Day. The intention of the day is, “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile”! It is obvious that smiling makes you feel better, but why? What happens in your brain and body?   Showing those pearly whites activities the release of chemical signals in the brain, called neuropeptides, such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These are the feel good neurotransmitters and together they change your mood, relax your body, and reduce pain. Different neuropeptides are involved in a wide range of brain functions, including analgesia, reward, food intake, metabolism, reproduction, social behaviors, learning, and memory. They fight off stress, which can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Chemical releases brought on by your smile also serve as anti-depressants. Smiling is a natural drug with only amazingly beneficial side effects.  Along with the value provided to your mental and biological well-being, smiling positively contributes to your physical appearance. Clearly, it’s more pleasing to look at someone smiling rather than frowning. Aside from that, the muscles used to smile lift the face, making one appear younger. There is no need for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day. You will look younger and feel better.  Aside from the gains for yourself, smiling affects those around you. Did you know your smile is contagious? The part of the brain that is responsible for the expression of smiling when happy or mimicking another’s smile resides in the cingulate cortex, which is an unconscious automatic response area. In a Swedish study, subjects were shown pictures of the emotions joy, fear, anger, and surprise. When presented with a picture of someone smiling, the participants were asked to frown. It took conscious effort to turn the smile upside down because they found that the facial expressions went directly to imitation of what the subjects were seeing. Every time you smile at others, their brains coax them to return the gesture. So, if you’re smiling at someone, it’s likely he cannot help but return the smile.  Smile to improve your health, your stress level, your attractiveness. Smile to change your internal and external experiences. Smile to make others smile. Do an act of kindness to provoke others to smile and allow them to experience the same benefits you are enjoying.

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”  – Thich Nhat Hanh

Bringing Christmas Joy to a Riley Hospital Family in Need

20151211_164209As we wrap up our holiday season and kick off this New Year with fresh ideas it’s important to remember the wonderful things you accomplished in the previous year. Each year, Riley Hospital for Children’s social workers identify families in need of support around the holiday season. These are families with children seen regularly at Riley, often for significant and chronic health issues. Here at CoreTech we’ve made it a tradition to participate in this wonderful cause. This past holiday season we sponsored a family of two. Our little guy has some medical issues and his aunt takes very good care of him. We were honored to be able to provide a great Christmas for these two great people! Our contributions this year were outstanding!! Our team received a little extra help from Chris Fulton, who does not work for CoreTech but was generous enough to contribute to this great cause and CoreTech matched dollar for dollar. We raised enough money to not only provide the family with some of their basic needs such as coats, boots and warm clothes but we were also able to afford fun toys and a wonderful keyboard to encourage creativity for our young little guy!  It was truly a wonderful experience for our entire team as it has been in past years. We are very blessed and being able to share those blessing with a family in need felt great! A special thanks to our team member Julia for coordinating the entire process. She led our employees’ efforts in collecting donations, shopping, wrapping, and ensuring the delivery of the presents.

We at CoreTech Revolution are proud to give back to our community and are blessed to have the ability to do so! We wish you all the best in this New Year.

Happy New Year from your family at CoreTech

Staying Engaged and Healthy

As an individual in the journey of achieving overall wellness and balance, participating in a community is essential to the stability not only of the community but also of the individual wellbeing. A perfect time to reflect on and demonstrate Robert Ingersoll’s thought, “We rise by lifting others.”

Socially isolated people are more vulnerable to illness and a higher probability to die prematurely than those who are included. Social networking sites have exploded because we all have the need to feel connected. Those who maintain their social network and support systems do better under stress and are physically and mentally healthier. Social wellness also encourages us to mature our communications with those around us. This includes the ability to share our feelings and needs, as well as notice those in others. It involves respecting yourself and others and developing a solid social support system in which you can contribute and partake.

The older generations are more prone to suffering from social isolation. As we get older maintaining the same level of social activity can become incredibly difficult. Some obstacles seniors face regularly are physical in nature but overcoming them doesn’t have to be unachievable. Using technology tools such as social media and apps can help seniors stay connected. Keeping up with technology can not only bridge the gap to younger generations but it can also help improve sense of belonging in a social circle.

This summer brought so much to be thankful for. Sun, fun and the celebration of freedom! Autumn is a great season to look for opportunities to enhance our social presence and chances to include those around us. Take action, call your grandmother or pay her a visit and introduce her to social media or an app to help her stay connected. The quality time together will bring both of you great satisfaction and in the long run better health.

Consider taking this brief and primitive assessment to determine your social wellness. Perhaps it will be enlightening.

A Sedentary Life

We use technology to improve many aspects of our lives. In Healthcare IT (HIT) we use it to streamline processes, improve the information we present our providers and ultimately give more efficient and better care. Each month we like to focus on the many positive aspects technology has on our healthcare but there are also negatives. There is evidence that technology is affecting the level of activity we get. Being aware of these issues can help us target a solution and implement it!

Having access to a vast amount of knowledge, entertainment and connection to others at our fingertips comes with its downfalls. You can order just about anything, play any number of games and FaceTime your grandma on the other side of the country and never leave the couch! All of those conveniences have freed us to do things we really want to do, and we are choosing to sit on the couch longer. Choosing a sedentary life isn’t just affecting our productivity. According to the American Heart Association heart disease is the number 1 killer and physical activity could help improve our health and prevent heart disease.

Instead of ordering books for your kindle consider walking to your local library and picking up a book instead. Or try downloading an app, here are 10 recommended health apps. Some apps track your steps or physical activity to encourage and make yourself accountable to stay active, other apps help with weight management such as myfitnesspal. For more information about the recommended amount of physical activity check out the CDC Website and talk to your doctor about what is right for you. Take the first step in a healthier you!

Customer Appreciation Day and Team Outing

Over the last decade CoreTech Revolution has worked with a wide variety of clients. We’ve been lucky enough to work with small and large organizations across multiple states. Every year we like to show our appreciation towards our clients and our team members by bringing everyone together in a fun activity. This year we made our way to Rascal’s Fun Zone in southern Indiana. Many of our clients and our entire team made this event a huge success. Rascal’s was a smashing success! The go carts, bumper boats, and bowling were among the favorite activities but the kids loved the arcade and mini golfing too!

We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for our clients and our team! A huge THANK YOU to everyone that joined us in our celebration. We look forward to our next outing… to see more pictures of the fun check out our Facebook page.