Patrick Yee

Patrick Yee is chief technology officer for Ensocare, a company that provides care coordination solutions, risk stratification and readmissions analytics to help ensure that patients get the right care at the right time after discharge.

Recent Posts

Three Ways Healthcare Can Get Its Interoperability Act Together

Posted by Patrick Yee on 8/3/16 8:30 AM

What were you doing in 2006?

That’s when the American Health Information Management Association published an article on interoperability and noted that “Healthcare’s hottest topic finally has two things it has badly needed: plain language and a sense of urgency.”

Ten years later and surely millions of pages of plain talk later, it appears the author’s nod to urgency may have been a bit misplaced. Granted, healthcare interoperability is a complex topic. Just ask the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

HIMSS defined interoperability back in 2005 as “the ability of health information systems to work together within and across organizational boundaries in order to advance effective delivery of healthcare for individuals and communities.” That early definition has evolved into one that today includes an emphasis on systems being able to not only exchange information, but actually use the information once it has been exchanged.

Emphasizing usability of the information exchanged is an important distinction. I see it as right in line with the U.S. government’s shift away from focusing solely on how healthcare is delivered and toward what healthcare outcomes are achieved. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology obviously agrees, going so far as to state in the recently released roadmap that interoperability should occur “without special effort on the part of the user.”

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Topics: Healthcare IT, EHRs, Interoperability

Getting Your Hands Around Health-Care Technology

Posted by Patrick Yee on 4/25/16 9:07 AM

Congratulations, if you’ve got a smartphone, you’re going to have a hand in health-care reform.

According to the Price Waterhouse Cooper Health Research Institute, 2016 is the year that care is going to shift, literally, into consumers’ hands – into their smartphones, to be exact. PwC surveyed consumers in 2013 and 2015 and identified a 100 percent increase in the number of consumers with at least one medical, health or fitness app. While there’s no doubt mobile medical app usage is increasing, not all of them are created equal. So far, real results for many apps have been hard to come by, and the Food & Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission are starting to crack down, particularly on apps that promise consumers that they can diagnose, or even treat disease.

Where I think mobile apps can have an even bigger impact is when they get in the hands of patients and their physicians. When physicians can set up patients with “anywhere-anytime monitoring,” receive the objective data from the mobile app and use it to consistently improve patient outcomes, that’s when mobile medical apps will truly come of age. Patients will absolutely play an important part in this shift, as they take advantage of less costly, but still effective telehealth services. Even when you factor in the cost to equip hospital departments to perform telemedicine, the projected savings over the cost of traditional care are significant. Automated solutions that can track and coordinate the care patients receive at multiple points along the health-care continuum aren’t just on hospitals’ wish lists anymore – they’re becoming reality. Viable apps are out and available in the marketplace today, and more are on the way.

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Topics: Healthcare IT, Healthcare Technology Solutions

Breaking Down the Walls in Health-care Technology

Posted by Patrick Yee on 9/15/15 10:08 AM

A stay in the hospital just isn’t like it used to be.

Today’s hospitals are becoming more wired. More of them have computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, electronic health records (EHR), and massive databases that grind through staggering amounts of information to improve the care and the outcomes patients experience.

But the majority of this “wired” action still seems confined inside hospital walls. That’s bad news for the 35.1 million people who were discharged last year from inpatient hospital settings. Millions of them still needed complex care and were overwhelmed at the prospect of having to handle everything from filling prescriptions to changing wound dressings to finding a post-acute care facility.

Today’s most wired hospitals are starting to connect with patients because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid require it. That’s a good thing. Now they need to take optimization a step further and do it because it’s good for patients and their families. According to the 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, care coordination is one of six priorities that feeds into quality health care. But the same report notes that “there are few measures to assess trends in care coordination.” So we know it’s a priority. We know it matters. And we still have work to do. As a health-care professional, there are ways you can help remove the barriers to the optimized patient care experience.

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Topics: Healthcare IT, Healthcare Technology Solutions