Connected Health – A Great Idea Searching for Reality

Two of the frequently heard buzz words in health care are “Connected Health”. Defined as the use of technology to facilitate the efficient and effective collection, flow and use of health information, the scope of “connected health” can cut across providers, payers, patients, and family and friend caregivers. A noble goal that can have significant impact on the quality and cost of care delivery. Especially if implemented in a purposeful and strategic manner.

No doubt about it, health care communication is complex. Multiple people, locations, and tasks are involved for each service provided, whether scheduling an annual check-up or a major surgery. This is where “connected health” can make a huge difference by eliminating communication and care coordination failures that cause delays, cancellations and, at worst, mistakes that put patients at risk.

What The Industry Experts Are Saying
A recent article published in Health Data Management and written by Greg Slabodkin, “Interoperable IT Critical to Improving Cancer Outcomes”, highlights many of the issues preventing a “connected health” environment. He focuses on the oncology setting, including chemotherapy and radiation treatments. But the same interoperability issues are found across the care spectrum of services.

“If the United States is going to improve cancer-related outcomes, it must overcome serious policy and technical barriers preventing the country from achieving a nationwide, interoperable health IT system. That’s among the findings of the President’s Cancer Panel, which issued its latest report to the Obama White House on Tuesday.
Although technologies have been widely adopted in healthcare settings as well as among the general population, health information often remains trapped in silos, according to the President’s Cancer Panel. Patients, caregivers, care teams, researchers and health agencies often lack the tools they need to access and optimally use these data.”

For the entire article click this link:

How We Can Help
Optimium Health applauds the findings of the President’s Cancer Panel. In fact, we are doing our part to make a difference to cancer patients and care teams early next year. We are developing an oncology workflow software with a prominent cancer center in Baltimore, MD. The newest addition to the OPTIMI$ER family of clinical workflow tools will address several of the issues Mr. Slabodkin cites in his article.

The oncology overlay will interface with existing systems like EHRs and scheduling to eliminate duplicate data entry and, importantly, add protocol checklists, task reminders, issue alerts, and real-time patient status dashboards to facilitate care coordination. The goal is two-fold: first, to enhance the patient experience by minimizing treatment delays and cancellations and second, to reduce the cost of care by improving productivity and eliminating “waste” in the system.

If you have an questions about the OPTIMI$ER Oncology or Perioperative Workflow technologies, please contact

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