Today, clinicians and administrators are surrounded by digital offerings designed to improve patient experience and clinic efficiency. While healthcare delivery has been disrupted by many eHealth and digital initiatives, it’s widely acknowledged that carefully-planned digital transformation can help make primary care more efficient and patient-focused. Here is how eHealth applications are making the right impact and pushing the needle in the primary care arena:
Online appointment booking
Optimizing a clinician’s schedule is a major priority at any primary care site. Online appointment bookings, therefore, offer patients the ease of booking their own time slots as per their own convenience. Patients can now search for their doctor’s availability on their devices which significantly reduces the inbound call volumes for clinic administrators. Apart from appointment bookings, most online solutions also provide automated appointment reminders along with cancellation and rescheduling functionalities. These solutions, therefore, help reduce patient no-shows, which leads to better handling of clinicians’ schedule.
Virtual care refers to the ability of the clinic staff to offer one-on-one interactions without the patient physically present at the clinic. Be it a prescription renewal or a lab test, virtual care is providing patients the freedom to skip their appointments by opting for real-time virtual care. This not only increases the productivity of the primary care clinic but also allows the physicians to spend more time on complex cases which require their urgent attention. Today, mobile video along with text and voice messaging is used by many eHealth solutions to deliver virtual care.
Access to personal health records
Many virtual care mobile applications now provide the patients access to their own health records. Since virtual and in-clinic patient experiences are integrated, there’s no mismatch between the continuity and transition of health care records. With the ever growing demands from regulatory bodies to make access to patients’ data seamless and easy, eHealth applications are playing an important role in opening access to health data and making the process more transparent.
Care collaboration through new tools
Collaboration applications are an important aspect of eHealth initiatives. Since most EHR solutions are too complex for most physicians, platforms such as Microsoft Teams are making life easier for them. One such solution is Dapasoft’s ‘Corolar FHIR Server for Teams’. This solution brings clinical EHR data, in HL7 format, into Teams in FHIR format for efficient care coordination. Thus, it enables clinicians at adopting provider facilities to leverage the incredible collaborative capability of Teams while easily accessing clinical data from EHR systems like MEDITECH, Epic, Cerner, etc. using FHIR APIs.
Health data interoperability has been one of the biggest talking points for the healthcare industry in 2019. As providers, vendors, and developers navigate the murky waters of incoherent data standards, the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource standards or FHIR standards have been helpful in enabling seamless, on-demand information exchange.
Recently, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) came up with a proposal outlining the future approach to information blocking, the use of FHIR, and the role of APIs in interoperability. While the healthcare industry had been using the FHIR standard on a voluntary basis for some time, the proposed guidelines by ONC (Office of the National Coordinator) have made FHIR the required standard for development. Going forward, the standardization of FHIR will be critical for health IT teams to meet the obligations as 2015 Edition Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) vendors.
The FHIR standard helps build a set of resources which aim to define the information contents and structure for the core information set which is shared amongst disparate systems.
“FHIR resources can be used to build documents that represent a composition: a set of coherent information that is a statement of healthcare information, particularly including clinical observations and services,” HL7 says. “A document is an immutable set of resources with a fixed presentation that is authored and/or attested by humans, organizations and devices.”
A FHIR resource, therefore, can include metadata, text or different data elements to create clinical documents, accessible and usable by multiple disparate systems. With the release of FHIR R4, the developers will have the capability to offer normative content for the data standard, something that is critical to implement FHIR consistently and uniformly.
While the use of FHIR for CEHRT and the latest guidelines by ONC to establish FHIR as the standard of choice has really pushed the envelope for improving interoperability, a lot of healthcare providers still need handholding to venture into the complex world of health data standards.
Corolar CDR (Clinical Data Repository) through FHIR
Corolar CDR connects to any existing Integration Engine through a FHIR Server. It ingests both clinical and non clinical data into a data repository. Corolar CDR can easily run on premise as a Microsoft SQL instance or in the cloud as an instance of Azure SQL.
Corolar FHIR Server for Health Analytics
Corolar FHIR Server enables Healthcare Organizations to ingest clinical and non-clinical data from any existing Integration Engine, through a FHIR Server, into a CDR (Clinical Data Repository). Leveraging Microsoft Power BI, this data repository can be harnessed by Healthcare Organizations for Health Analytics (customized reporting and dashboards) and for Machine Learning, all of which results in better efficiency and outcomes for patients.
Corolar FHIR Server for Microsoft Teams
Corolar FHIR Server for Microsoft Teams is an HL7-FHIR compliant FHIR API integration solution. This Solution ingests clinical and non clinical data from any existing Integration Engine, through a FHIR Server. This solution brings clinical EHR data, in HL7 format, into Teams in FHIR format for efficient care coordination. Thus, our solution enables clinicians at adopting provider facilities to leverage the incredible collaborative capability of Teams while easily accessing clinical data from EHR systems like MEDITECH, Epic, Cerner, etc. using FHIR APIs. Our solution makes it easy for Health IT to support clinician requests for secure, private, and easy to use collaboration scenarios.
Dapasoft’s Expertise In FHIR in the Cloud
Today, the most agile healthcare organisations are looking to bridge old and new technologies and Dapasoft’s cloud solutions are easing this transition. As your organization’s FHIR projects grow you can now be assured full support for FHIR STU3 standards on Microsoft Azure using Corolar Cloud. We provide LogicApps components native to Azure to handle FHIR requests, FHIR responses, HL7 to FHIR transformations, and FHIR ACK for healthcare enterprises.
Agreement provides complementary capabilities to enhance and strengthen client offerings.
TORONTO, ON – March 5, 2019 – Dapasoft Inc., a leading provider of healthcare interoperability and custom cloud solutions, and iSecurity Inc., a leader in cybersecurity consulting, enterprise architecture, cloud infrastructure security and advanced threat detection managed services have agreed to merge to combine business strengths and complement each other’s technology offerings and expertise. Both companies will continue to operate individually in their respective areas of expertise.
This move will benefit customers looking for a highly secure cloud integration platform and offer cybersecurity along with DevSecOps advisory and managed services to customers across multiple industry verticals. Together, Dapasoft and iSecurity will collaborate on evolving Dapasoft’s premier product, Corolar Cloud, and on developing a combined product strategy for future offerings.
“Healthcare is a highly regulated and complex vertical. The extended capabilities iSecurity brings to the table will benefit our customers as technology and compliance requirements continue to change,” said Michael Lonsway, President, Dapasoft. “Together we offer the industry a unique, full-service offering for healthcare integration, cloud migration, cloud infrastructure, cloud management, and cloud privacy and security solutions.”
Dapasoft and iSecurity will strengthen their portfolios and offerings by providing additional cybersecurity and DevSecOps services to North American healthcare providers and payers, while iSecurity continues to expand and serve clients across verticals including finance, critical infrastructure, retail, and healthcare.
“Joining with Dapasoft gives iSecurity and our customers the best of both worlds, extending our reach and bolstering our bench strength. The Dapasoft team provides access to expertise in cloud development and artificial intelligence, while we develop advanced threat detection solutions in cybersecurity,” said Kees Pouw, Partner, iSecurity.
“Protection of information assets is a key concern for many organizations as the threat landscape evolves,” said Raheel Qureshi, Partner, iSecurity. “We’ve partnered with Dapasoft on many successful engagements already, and share a vision and a passion for providing exceptional expertise to our clients.”
Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Dapasoft is pioneering the future of healthcare apps and data interoperability. Dapasoft’s healthcare integration platform as a service (iPaaS) on Azure enables legacy health IT systems and independent SaaS apps to work together seamlessly, improving quality and cost of care. The platform has pre-built and highly customizable adapters ideal for easily building and quickly deploying custom healthcare integrations. Dapasoft is trusted by numerous healthcare providers, payors, and app developers across North America to power their businesses every day, integrating a wide variety of clinical, EHR, CRM, and health analytics systems. Dapasoft brings over 14 years of healthcare integration expertise on HL7, C-CDA, FHIR, focused on streamlining business processes quickly and cost-effectively in the cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid environment. www.dapasoft.com
iSecurity specializes in providing privacy and security consulting as well as advisory services for clients across North America. Experts in cybersecurity, risk management, enterprise security architecture, critical infrastructure and engineering, product security, and security solution deployment serving multiple industry domains, the iSecurity team is comprised of senior and fully accredited (CISSP, CICA, CISM, SABSA) cybersecurity advisors with experience in multiple verticals including healthcare, transportation, defense and security, critical infrastructure, aerospace, retail, and media communications. www.isecurityconsulting.com
Jijesh Devan, Dapasoft
416-846-4080 x 1070
Server mis-configuration is turning to a key vulnerability leading to PHI breaches. In a major health data leak, the University of Washington Medicine disclosed that data related to 974,000 patients was left exposed on the internet for three weeks because of a misconfigured server. This is the latest instance of patient data privacy at risk due to improper use of healthcare systems.
The breach came to light when one of the patients found a file with their own data while searching for their name on Google. The matter was brought to the attention of UW Medicine after which an internal investigation was carried out. It was later found that protected health information reporting files were visible by search on the internet from Dec. 4, 2018.
The misconfiguration occurred because of a coding error when data was being moved onto a new server. The files, according to UW Medicine, ‘contained patients’ names, medical record numbers, and a description and purpose of the information. The files did not contain any medical records, patient financial information or Social Security numbers.’ However, for some patients, the files did include the names of lab tests but not the results.
The breach was discovered on 26th Dec and UW Medicine took steps to remove the information from their site and any other third-party sites which might have saved the information related to patient data.
“Because Google had saved some of the files before December 26, 2018, UW Medicine worked with Google to remove the saved versions and prevent them from showing up in search results,” officials said in a statement. “All saved files were completely removed from Google’s servers by Jan. 10, 2019.”
It must be noted that this is the second instance of data breach at UW Medicine. Back in 2013, social security numbers and medical data of 90,000 patients became vulnerable when an employee opened an attachment containing malware. At that time, the provider paid almost $750,000 over the breach with an assessment to address patient data risks and vulnerabilities.
This time around UW Medicine officials have said that they will be reviewing their protocols and procedures to prevent such similar breaches in the future. For now, the breach has been reported with the Office for Civil Rights.
Server mis-configuration such as the one at UW is likely to overtake ‘phishing’ as a top source of breached data according to the Chief Security Officer at Box and current partner at Andreessen Horowitz Joel de la Garza.
A prime example of other instances such as UW medicine is the server security mishap at Rubrik, an enterprise software company focused on cloud data management. There, a misconfigured AWS Elasticsearch server led to private data exposure of major customers of Rubrik.
In a high-risk environment, organisations need to be wary of data leaks such as these. And while it’s safe to assume that this trend is poised to continue, the need of the hour is to educate the IT teams and staff about cybersecurity, data privacy, and data integrity.
Source: UW Medicine/Newsroom
In December last year, a report by Spiceworks pegged Microsoft Teams as the second most used business chat app, ahead of Slack and behind Skype for business. This incredible growth and fast adoption of Teams has been phenomenal, especially considering that the app just launched two years ago.
So, how did Microsoft Teams go from just a fringe chat app with minimal adoption to being the fastest growing business app in Microsoft’s history?
Real-time collaboration and chat applications have become new age communication tools which append the usefulness of workplace emails by providing a secure and team-based platform. These new applications work across multiple operating systems and offer multi-disciplinary functionalities including group chat, video conferencing, meetings, and data sharing. For any organization big or small, a single tool which is resourceful enough to replace various internal disparate communication systems, brings immense value.
From 2016 to 2018, Microsoft Teams grew from 3 percent to 21 percent in terms of app penetration. This growth was amplified by Microsoft’s decision in 2017 to make the app available to business users of Office 365, for free. While other competitor applications like Slack also offer free versions, Microsoft amped the product with functionalities which specifically targeted industries like healthcare. This led to Microsoft Teams defining its own niche within the business app category and beating the competition at its own game.
A good example of this strategy from Microsoft is the schedule-management feature that debuted with rave reviews. Using the schedule-management feature in Teams, managers can create, share, and edit staff schedules within employee groups. The employees too can swap shifts, and request time off using this functionality.
Another example of Teams as an innovator in niche industries like healthcare is the new patient-care coordination offering. Although right now in private preview, the new offering integrates the platform with electronic health records and provides secure messaging which is highly relevant in the healthcare industry. Secure messaging helps healthcare professional stay HIPAA-compliant when sharing patient data and information through chat apps.
“New experiences for Firstline workers will roll out to Teams over time. With this expanded feature set, Teams is the hub for teamwork for all workers,” a spokesperson had said back in September 2018. These new features coupled with the fact that 87 of the Fortune 100 companies are currently on the platform establishes Teams as the go-to workplace collaboration app.
A string of new functionalities provided a shot in the arm for the Teams app, but its success is based on more than just workplace productivity features. Teams is the perceived leader for security, manageability, and cost-effectiveness, which makes it the preferred choice over Slack, even though both apps are neck-to-neck in terms of reliability, compatibility, and user-friendliness.
While it’s difficult for collaboration apps to replace conventional communication tools like emails completely, applications like Teams help in making workplace communication faster and efficient. The end goal for business users, therefore, is to leverage apps like Teams for real-time group collaboration without worrying about the security of such communication.
Integrating FHIR-enabled electronic health records with Microsoft Teams is now available in exclusive Private Preview. To learn more and register, click here.