Q&A With Health IT

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    How to Be Successful in Health IT With an Unusual Degree — Insights from Symantec’s David Finn

How to Be Successful in Health IT With an Unusual Degree — Insights from Symantec’s David Finn

By |Tuesday, January 17, 2017|

What do theater and health IT have in common? A lot, according to David Finn, CISA, CISM, CRISC, member of ISACA, and Health Information Technology Officer for Symantec. Although he now works to combat major cybersecurity issues in health IT, he began his career with a master’s degree in theater. And he’s just as passionate about health IT as a thespian is about their art.

“This may be the most exciting time in the history of healthcare and the most exciting time to be engaged in information technology,” Finn said. “Put the two industries together and you have a chance to really change the world, to make people well and keep them healthy with technology. You have the opportunity to change the way healthcare is delivered, making it cheaper, better, and faster than we ever imagined.”

We spoke with Finn to talk about his unique path into the field, cybersecurity, and the future of health IT. Here’s what he had to say: […]

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    Why Communication is The Most Important Skill in Health IT — Insights from Logicalis Healthcare Solutions’ Kim Garriott

Why Communication is The Most Important Skill in Health IT — Insights from Logicalis Healthcare Solutions’ Kim Garriott

By |Tuesday, December 13, 2016|

Although it seems basic now, Kim Garriott, Principal Consultant, Healthcare Strategies for Logicalis Healthcare Solutions, remembers a time when getting a PC with a 20 megabyte hard drive was exciting.   

“We’ve come so far since then, but I was fortunate to start my career in a place where I really got to grow with the industry,” she said. “I was able to try a lot of different things.”

From her beginning as systems analyst to consulting for some of the most preeminent healthcare systems in the country on process improvement and project management to being a recognized as a national thought leader in enterprise clinical imaging, Garriott built her career with hands-on experience in a lot of different areas, giving her a well-rounded background in health IT.

Today, she uses that diverse experience to drive business and sales development and help her clients more fully leverage their technology investments while improving workflows for clinicians.  But no matter what your role in health IT, Garriott stresses the importance of communication.

We spoke with her about the challenges and future of telehealth, and the most important things she’s learned in the industry: […]

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    This is What the Next Wave of Health IT Will Look Like – Insights from Lightning Bolt Solutions’ Suvas Vajracharya

This is What the Next Wave of Health IT Will Look Like – Insights from Lightning Bolt Solutions’ Suvas Vajracharya

By |Tuesday, November 8, 2016|

Suvas Vajracharya, PhD, founder and CEO of Lightning Bolt Solutions, was a staff scientist at the Los Alamos National Labs, scheduling massively parallel supercomputers in 1998, when a friend approached him with a problem that would change the course of his career.

His high school friend was now a doctor and was frustrated by […]

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    This is Why You Need to Listen and Learn in Health IT – Insights from OmniMD’s Hitender Soni

This is Why You Need to Listen and Learn in Health IT – Insights from OmniMD’s Hitender Soni

By |Tuesday, August 9, 2016|

Health IT is complex, and over his 16 years working in the field, Hitender Soni, Vice President of OmniMD, has learned that success comes down to one thing — teamwork. During his time working with the cloud EHR vendor, Soni has worked in operations, product strategy, product research and development, business development, marketing, channel development, training, project management, vendor negotiations, and delivery of technology based solutions. And though his experience is varied, every position required him to work together with healthcare professionals to find meaningful solutions.

We spoke with Soni about his diverse career in health IT and EHR, the importance of problem solving, and his advice for success in the industry: […]

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    This is Why Health Tech is the Most Exciting Part of Healthcare – Insights from Level 3 Communications’ Karin Ratchinsky

This is Why Health Tech is the Most Exciting Part of Healthcare – Insights from Level 3 Communications’ Karin Ratchinsky

By |Tuesday, July 19, 2016|

When we think about the excitement of healthcare, we typically think of the front lines of care — the rush of the emergency room, a surgeon completing a life-saving procedure, or researchers developing new treatments.

But Karin Ratchinsky, director of healthcare strategy for Level 3 Communications, knows what many other health IT professionals know — the real excitement in healthcare is often behind the scenes. Although she comes from a long lineage of physicians, she knew she didn’t want to work on the clinical end. Instead, she was more interested in innovation and wanted to be where the health tech action is.

After completing her MBA at Trinity College in Dublin, she took an opportunity to head up business development and marketing strategy for healthcare at Level 3 Communications. Seven years later, she still thinks the company and the industry are as exciting and dynamic as ever.

We spoke with Ratchinsky about how the industry is changing and what she’s learned from her experiences in telecommunications: […]

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    This Is the Biggest Problem in Healthcare – Health IT Insights from Central Logic’s Jennifer Holmes

This Is the Biggest Problem in Healthcare – Health IT Insights from Central Logic’s Jennifer Holmes

By |Tuesday, June 14, 2016|

Medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to a recent study published in the BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal. This finding highlights the large number of challenges facing healthcare today. But for some, these hurdles serve as inspiration to find better solutions and drive health IT forward.

Jennifer Holmes, the President and Chief Executive Officer at Central Logic, lost her father after his oncologist missed a critical piece of information before administering a drug cocktail that was prescribed to treat his cancer, which ultimately resulted in heart failure. This inspired Holmes to find ways to share and connect data so others could avoid the pain her family experienced.

We spoke with Holmes about some of the major problems in healthcare, how they stem from a lack of visible and actionable data, and how health IT solutions are attacking these issues: […]

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    Health IT Saves Lives: Insights from Everbridge’s Dr. Ranya Habash

Health IT Saves Lives: Insights from Everbridge’s Dr. Ranya Habash

By |Tuesday, May 31, 2016|

You’re spending time with a loved one and something changes — their face droops, they’re having trouble speaking, you notice weakness in their arms. Using the acronym FAST — Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911 — you know it’s time to contact emergency responders.

For every minute during a stroke, the victim loses millions of brain cells. Unfortunately, these types of emergencies take some time before the victim can get proper treatment.

But what if technology could bring a doctor into the ambulance in an instant? What if emergency responders could carry healthcare professionals in their pockets at all times?

That’s exactly what Everbridge sets out to do. As the leader in unified critical communications, Everbridge infrastructure supports the intelligent delivery of messages to the right person, on the right device, at the right time.

We recently chatted with Dr. Ranya Habash, chief medical officer at Everbridge and board-certified ophthalmologist at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. After starting on the clinical side, she’s now with Everbridge looking to revolutionize healthcare technology to improve patient care and save lives. […]

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    These Cybersecurity Insights Will Make You Want to Join the Fight Against Crime

These Cybersecurity Insights Will Make You Want to Join the Fight Against Crime

By |Tuesday, May 17, 2016|

A nurse is scrambling for notes on a patient’s most recent assessment to confirm the proper dose of diphenhydramine and check for any updates on her condition. Once the nurse gets to his workstation and logs in to the internal computer system, he’s prompted with this:

Your data is inaccessible at this time. Submit a payment in the amount of 45 Bitcoin to receive a digital key to unlock your data. You have just 10 days to send us the Bitcoin. After 10 days, we will remove your private key, and your files will be permanently deleted.

As the IT professional, what do you do?

This situation parallels the harsh realities of cyber attacks, which are affecting all major industries in the world. Data security has been making headlines, especially in the national media, since large companies like Target and J.P. Morgan have been hit by cyber attacks.

Even more daunting, healthcare is one of the largest industries being targeted. A 2014 report from the Identity Theft Resource Center found that 42 percent of all cyber attacks occurred in healthcare. These attacks are devastating. The recent attack on MedStar hit the health IT world directly, acting as another recent reminder that the war for data is ongoing and not slowing down.

And the costs are staggering. A Ponemon Institute 2015 study found the net increase in cost of cybercrime is 82 percent over the last six years.

The safety of personal information and the high cost of breaches motivates a significant investment in beefing up security teams, not to mention the fact that such attacks could result in patients losing lives. The malware that hit MedStar prevented healthcare professionals from accessing crucial patient data, and even forced them to turn people away.

Needless to say, cybersecurity is one of the most important aspects of a strong health IT team. Let’s take a look at the role of security professionals, what the true costs and implications are of major cyber attacks, the various paths one can take in information security, and some tips for professionals looking for cybersecurity jobs: […]

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    Never Stop Learning: Career Advice From Practice Fusion’s Matt Douglass

Never Stop Learning: Career Advice From Practice Fusion’s Matt Douglass

By |Tuesday, April 26, 2016|

Technology in healthcare has recently exploded, with changes in all areas of the field. The meaningful use deadline means most organizations are using electronic health records (EHRs). Even on the consumer side, people are investing time and money into wearable devices and health tracking apps on their mobile devices.
But according to Matt Douglass, health technology is just getting started.
As the Co-Founder and SVP at Practice Fusion, the top cloud-based EHR platform, Douglass has emerged as a thought leader in the relatively new industry of health tech. His successful platform manages over 100 million patient records and is utilized by over 112,000 monthly  active healthcare professionals over.
Matt provides insight on the current and future states of the industry, the important role technology has in healthcare, and the positive and negative aspects of working in health IT. […]

What Are You Overlooking When You Hire Contract Employees?

By |Tuesday, April 12, 2016|

You are looking for specialized talent for a short term — someone who can fire on all cylinders right out of the gate and advance through a project within a tight deadline. The work is intense and very specialized. Hiring a full time employee (FTE) to fill this immediate, temporary need is excessive and too hefty of an investment.
What should you do?
Contract employees may be your best bet, but navigating the hiring process can be daunting. We spoke to Ben Weber, Managing Director at Greythorn, to gain some insight.
Let’s take a look at this checklist of what you can and cannot afford to overlook when hiring contract employees:
Overlook This: […]