What we learned at HIMSS 2017

The recent HIMSS Conference reveals the impact of new technology on healthcare IT professionals already struggling with information security.

February brought together 42,000-plus healthcare IT professionals at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Orlando, Florida. From agenda sessions to hallway conversations, it was clear that healthcare IT leaders are focused on new technology and how it continues to impact their efforts to create secure environments for document sharing, patient data protection and seamless collaboration among caregivers.


Emergence of artificial intelligence

An example from among the hottest topics at HIMSS is the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, topics that were addressed in an earlier blog from Nuance’s Healthcare division.

Advancements in AI technology are making it easier for caregivers to glean critical insights from patient data. With commercial technologies like IBM Watson and Google TensorFlow readily available, healthcare professionals are eager to incorporate them in work environments as a means of generating value from clinical Big Data and realize the potential of investments in population health, outcome analysis and clinical trial data.

Though the potential of AI is just being explored, there is much that needs to be done to help healthcare organizations make sense of unstructured medical records and speech enablement to ensure better healthcare document management. Moreover, using AI to develop treatment plans, create drugs and automate claims adjudication is not a simple leap, especially in facilities lacking a modern security infrastructure.

Fortunately Nuance has experience pioneering artificial intelligence in healthcare through speech recognition and computer-assisted clinical documentation. HIMSS attendees inspired by discussions of AI can turn confidently to Nuance for strategic guidance.


Reliance on digital security

Clinical IT solutions are expanding rapidly as healthcare organizations move further and faster into the digital realm. Securing these solutions is an imperative as patient data becomes increasingly vulnerable to threats IT professionals have never seen before. It’s no surprise that cybersecurity was a hot topic at HIMSS, more so than at past conferences combined. The nature of patient data poses document security challenges unique to healthcare, exacerbated by the wide range of users accessing that data and the critical impact of federal privacy regulations

How serious is the digital security issue? Our recent infographic shows that nearly 450 incidents were reported to HHS in 2016, impacting 80% of providers and 27.3 million patients.

Despite 75 percent of hospitals now using some form of basic electronic health records, only 23 percent of these hospitals can find, send, receive and use this information due to significant sharing barriers between organizations. HIMSS discussions show that interoperability continues to be a challenge within the industry, especially where electronic health records are concerned.

Nuance healthcare document management solutions add a layer of security to your existing workflows and processes. These solutions reduce the risk of HIPAA and other compliance breaches while simplifying workflows and reducing costs. Also, by securing patient healthcare information (PHI), you’ll deliver peace of mind across your organization and to every patient.


Additional concerns for 2017

In addition to security, attendees were also interested in the following print and capture capabilities:

  • Follow-You” printing: This functionality is critical for organizations looking to enhance their documentation workflows and provide a secure method of tracking and printing documentation at the point of care.
  • Workflows that support HIPAA compliance: In this case, one attendee wondered how they could improve processes where patient documents were accidentally left in the printer memory, and therefore, accessible to anyone with an ID badge.
  • Manage costs: For organizations looking to manage and report on print usage, is there a better way to control costs and charge back print expenses? This is especially relevant to those organizations where EMR printing expenses have gone up, and users need to track and report on what happened.

Nuance does empower healthcare organizations to streamline electronic and document workflows, delivering the control necessary to ensure compliance. By truly securing PHI, you’ll deliver peace of mind across your organization and to every patient – at every touchpoint of the information lifecycle. And it can offer the digitally secure protection warranted by patient data all while reducing costs and maximizing efficiency.

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New insights into ways to control protected health information and manage HIPAA compliance


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Chris Click

About Chris Click

Chris Click is the Sr. Healthcare Solutions Marketing Manager for Nuance’s Document Imaging division where he is responsible for driving the world-wide print and capture marketing strategy for the division’s healthcare solutions. Prior to his current role, Chris worked as the Nuance Healthcare Division solutions marketing director and previously headed up sales and marketing at Client Outlook Inc. a provider of healthcare enterprise imaging applications sold through a global partner network. Chris graduated with B.S. in Computer Science from Dallas Baptist University.