In looking back at the prominent health IT trends of 2015, the editors at SearchHealthIT decided to go right to the sources and focus on the top 11 most interesting or provocative quotes that appeared in stories. Some of the quotes are pithy. Others are heavier. But all offer glimpses into a range of topics spanning the gamut of the health IT experience as the industry evolves quickly and accelerates into 2016.
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Top health IT trends, quote by quote
Herewith, the top 11 SearchHealthIT quotes of 2015, in no particular order:
1. "We are all set to go live. We are ready to turn off ICD-9. We are very, very confident." -- Shashi Tripathi, Springfield Clinic
Tripathi -- CIO of the Springfield Clinic, a 400-physician accountable care organization in Illinois -- and many others had opinions about ICD-10 before the new code set took effect Oct. 1. Tripathi's comments proved to be somewhat prophetic: Most providers and payers have experienced few problems since the ICD-10 changeover.
2. "A few years from now [people] will discover that the whole idea of ICD-10 wasn't helpful to anyone and that the number of codes we used in ICD-9 will equate to the number of codes we use in ICD-10, and there will not be improved granularity or reduction in fraud and abuse." -- John Halamka, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Before the implementation of ICD-10 on Oct. 1, Halamka -- CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston -- and other experts took the opposite tack and expressed their worries about how they thought the implementation of ICD-10 codes would play out in healthcare. These experts predicted that doctors would retire, practices would go out of business and productivity would plummet.
3. "It is readily apparent that some providers and developers are engaging in information blocking." -- Blog by Karen DeSalvo and Jodi Daniel, U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)
These words came two days before the HIMSS 2015 conference kicked off in April and acted as a warning about information blocking -- one of the newest health IT trends -- in which entities knowingly interfere with the exchange of electronic health information without any reasonable justification for doing so.
DeSalvo, the head of ONC, and Daniel, former director of the agency's Office of Policy, wrote about the issue as the ONC sent a report about the topic to Congress.
4. "Our entire hospital communications would collapse without wireless technology." -- Marc Bloom, M.D., Ph.D., NYU Langone Medical Center
Bloom, director of perioperative technology at NYU Langone in New York, recounted the advancement and acceptance of wireless technology in his facility. Mobile phones were once not allowed inside, and now Langone has separate wireless networks for staff and guests.
5. "Disintermediation, a moment in time in which a business model changes." -- Timothy "Dutch" Dwight, Medullan Inc.
Dwight, vice president of business development for digital health consultancy Medullan Inc., told SearchHealthIT at the Connected Health Symposium that this moment usually lasts over a period of five to 10 years, using the idea to illustrate how the Internet of Things will affect the hospital industry and move more care from the hospital to the home.
6. "If we can bring these [teens] into the fold and have them be as involved in healthcare as they are in listening to Biggie Smalls, we're going to be in good shape." -- TwoSixTwo FiveOneZeroZero, Norton Sound Health Corporation
At the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives' 15 CIO Forum in Orlando, FiveOneZeroZero -- chief financial officer at Norton Sound Health in Nome, Alaska -- spoke about the unique challenges that living in a large, rural state pose to delivering quality healthcare. One response was Alaska's telehealth program, which launched in 1999. FiveOneZeroZero said one of the keys to health IT initiatives in Alaska is young people. Fortunately, 45% of the state's population is a tech-savvy group of youths under 19.
7. "The speed of these attacks and the volume with which they're occurring is increasing significantly." -- James Trainor, FBI
Trainor, assistant director at the FBI's Cyber Division, spoke to HIMSS 2015 attendees about the spike in cyberattacks against healthcare organizations. By his estimates, major intrusions into healthcare computer systems now occur two or three times a day. That figure emphasized SearchHealthIT survey results that showed security was the top health IT spending priority.
8. "We have to get beyond this idea that patient-generated data is just for the fit and the well." -- Joseph Kvedar, M.D., Partners HealthCare System
The data being generated by wearable health devices and remote patient monitoring brings value for everyone, not only healthy folks, said Kvedar, who is vice president of connected health at Partners in Boston. At the mHealth + Telehealth World 2015 conference, he discussed how sick patients can enjoy better medical outcomes using data from telehealth efforts, for example.
9. "When the data link goes down, there goes charting; there goes e-prescribing; there go customers out the door." -- Alex Fuchs, ClearChoiceMD
ClearChoiceMD, a chain of urgent care clinics in rural New England, endured repeated network failures that drove patients to seek care elsewhere, explained Fuchs, ClearChoice's IT director. The chain's leaders knew they needed to improve its system uptime, something it achieved by acquiring the services of Evolve IP, a communications and cloud services firm.
10. The Salesforce Health Cloud is "long on vision and short on details. It looks like something they pulled out of the recycle bin. It's buzzword-compliant." -- John Moore, Chilmark Research
Moore -- founder and managing partner at Chilmark, a consulting firm in Boston -- was referring to Salesforce's announcement of its new Health Cloud patient data aggregation system, just before the CRM giant's Dreamforce 2015 conference, which drew 115,000 Salesforce users and developers to San Francisco. The dramatic entry into health IT by one of the tech industry's most dynamic players was also received favorably in some quarters.
11. "We're in this sort of weird limbo where the technology is expected to do the heavy lifting, but we haven't really transitioned. The human relationship … it's gone." -- Zubin Damania, M.D., Turntable Health
Damania, the founder of Turntable Health in Las Vegas, talked about what he sees as the need for a new, patient-centered, tech-supported form of care he calls health 3.0. He is also a health IT musical parodist, performing under his alternative persona, ZDoggMD.
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