Welcome to the first edition of Network Access, a newsletter to keep you up-to-date on how to use Life Image assets to improve your ability to coordinate care and innovate on behalf of patients. I am proud to say that Life Image continues to expand across hospitals and health systems globally, giving you greater access to collaborate and increased opportunities to tap into the innovations of our strategic partners. Our offerings continue to expand through partnerships with strategic technology innovators.
Each issue of this newsletter will include highlights on how you can maximize the benefits of our platform, important news on interoperability that impacts the way you operate in clinical data exchange, new partnerships announcements, information on the newest additions to the Life Image network, upcoming events, and more.
I hope you find this newsletter valuable and informative. Please share any feedback or topics of interest that will make this increasingly useful to you and your staff, going forward. As Life Image continues to evolve with the on-going and dramatic changes in healthcare, I want to help you to stay informed.
Matthew A. Michela
President & CEO
Please welcome the following organizations to the Life Image network. The addition of new hospital and health system partners will allow everyone in the network to share and collaborate with clinical information more seamlessly.
- Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY – Northeastern NY’s only academic Health Sciences Center.
- LifeCenter, Cincinnati, OH – An Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), which specializes in organ and tissue transplants, and they utilize medical imaging as a critical element to that process.
- Main Line Health System, Philadelphia, PA – Encompasses four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals, as well as one of the nation’s premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine.
- McLaren Health, Michigan- The health system includes 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and imaging centers. McLaren also operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers.
- The Mayo Clinic – one of the top hospitals in the nation, with highly specialized experts deeply experienced in treating rare and complex conditions.
- Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse, NY – A Level-I Trauma Center that contains specialties for Stroke, Cancer and Cardiac, among others.
Welcome to the network!
Dr. Don Rucker, National Coordinator for Health IT headlined a discussion presented by Life Image to discuss the proposed federal overhaul of healthcare interoperability. Local digital health innovators, providers, and entrepreneurs filled the room to learn how the proposed rules might shape the direction of healthcare and the health IT industry.
Rucker visited Boston, a hub for health tech innovation, in May to talk about the policy goals to prevent information blocking and promote interoperability in healthcare in order to improve care coordination and to give consumers more control over their own data. During the session, he encouraged those in attendance to take advantage of the remaining days of the comment period (which closed June 3rd) and submit their perspectives for consideration. Rucker told the audience of entrepreneurs that the new rules will spur innovation that patients have grown accustomed to in the consumer technology world. “The groundbreaking thing that will be transformative is the concept of standards-based application programming interfaces,” said Rucker. While every other industry has been transformed by the digital revolution, healthcare is playing catch up to meet a new level of consumer demand for data access, portability, simplicity and usefulness. He closed by reminding attendees of the opportunity that these rules present to transform healthcare, “as these rules are finalized, it will offer many great innovations.”[read more]
A panel of local innovators and healthcare providers followed to share first-hand challenges and foresight on how the rules will improve healthcare. The consensus among panelists — it’s not technology that is holding back the industry and creating barriers to data access. “We have to invest in re-engineering the way we practice medicine,” said Dr. Laura Esserman, Director of the UCSF Breast Cancer Care Center and Founder of the Athena Breast Health Network. Matthew A. Michela, President and CEO of Life Image, reaffirmed that the rules are fundamental to enforce positive change and put patients at the center of healthcare. However, they are just a starting point,“what we really need is to follow through with aggressive industry pressure to make sure they are promulgated they way that they need to be across the space,” said Michela.
The seminar wrapped with networking where attendees had a chance to engage directly with Dr. Rucker. The continued lively conversations demonstrated the genuine interest in the topic.
Final rules are expected to be released Fall 2019.
If you are interested in watching the seminar, a full recording is available here.[/read]
On June 3, 2019, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) closed the public comment period for the proposed rules promoting interoperability and preventing information blocking. The rules support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. The rules are designed to increase innovation, development of new tools to give patients and providers access to health information and more choice in care and treatment. Further, it pushes for the adoption of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) to make all of this information available on smartphones. Finally, the rules clarify and ensure the prohibition of information blocking.
Given the strides that the industry has made towards interoperability over the last decade, the ONC proposed rule has the potential to catalyze important changes in the way the healthcare industry operates, encourage the proliferation and use of common standards, give patients control of their data, and turn data into information and insights.[read more]
The rules are comprehensive and far-reaching. Life Image provided its perspective on the following areas of healthcare:
The rules should protect from unreasonable burdens placed on patients attempting to access and own their medical information, including eliminating the use of outdated CDs to share patient health information such as diagnostic images. CDs are not only an outdated medium and essentially obsolete from every other industry, they create logistical burdens on patient’s traveling to collect their records or wait for them to be mailed, may lead to redundant testing if the CDs are unreadable, and create delays in care. Data exchange should occur via a digital platform such as a cloud exchange to ensure efficient access, confidentiality, and security. Furthermore, if the data is requested directly by the patient to an account stored and controlled by the patient, the patient should have control of that data so it can be shared with the care team of his or her choosing.
Scope of EHI
The proposed rule suggested that the definition of clinical data be updated to include diagnostic images and any corresponding narrative text. Imaging data is one of the most important and critical clinical endpoints for many therapies. As an example, how do you measure the effectiveness of a therapy in reducing the size of a tumor if there is no imaging used for validation? That information is not contained in claims or classically structured EHR data. The many technical, process and structural barriers that have effectively segregated imaging data into unconnected data silos in the past have long been broken down. Our industry has reached a point of maturity where it does not take costly or superhuman technical efforts to acquire large amounts of imaging data, normalize it, transmit it, store it and analyze it as part of the patient health record.
The rules consider clarification on EHI export and timeframes. Timeframes should be defined by the patient or treating provider, not the health IT vendor. Data requested should represent the necessary clinical data of material value to the intended clinical outcome.
As a company that was founded with the mission of breaking down data silos using standards-based technology, we applaud the efforts of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and (ONC). For more information and updated on the rule visit healthit.gov.[/read]
Are you aware of the expanded guidance released from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) as it relates to sharing ePHI with patients?
In April, HHS OCR released new FAQs to specifically address the use of third-party apps for sharing data with patients under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HHS OCR clarifies that when a patient shares protected health information with a third-party app or requests their healthcare provider share their health data with an app, the provider organization is not liable for any subsequent use or disclosure of the data and is obligated to comply with the patient request, even if the provider organization has concerns about the security of the app. The expanded guidance with FAQ’s can be found on the HHS website.
The guidance encourages data-sharing and creating improved access for patients to their medical data. Clarifying policy surrounding liability protects healthcare organizations while supporting consumer demands for easier access and transparency of medical information.[read more]
As a healthcare professional, you have a vested interest in ensuring ongoing compliance with Federal and State laws, as well as your patients’ rights to access. Educate your staff responsible for the release of information to patients to ensure compliance with this guidance. Life Image is here to support your efforts to maintain compliance. It is our mission to break down data silos and use standards-based technology to share medical information. We have digital tools available, including a patient health record application, to help physicians, patients, researchers, and caregivers share medical information. Collaboration between our organizations will ensure your team is not delayed in responding to patient requests or at risk of violating patient rights to access. Contact us if you have questions about this rule.[/read]
DID YOU KNOW
Configuring a new Life Image Cloud group within your organization is simple. This administrative function can be accomplished in minutes and is applicable for a variety of use cases. Once you have identified your use case or workflow for the new cloud group follow these simple instructions:
- Log into https://cloud.lifeimage.com as the organizational administrator
- Select Administration from the dropdown where your name is displayed in the upper right corner
- Select Groups from the Administration page
- Click Create New Group button
- Name the new group based on the specific use case need and click Save
- The new group will be available in Cloud and LILA
Still have questions about creating new Cloud groups? Contact Support or your Life Image Client Relationship Manager.
Here at Life Image, we are working hard to continuously expand our network and give our customers access to diverse technology partners that meet unique needs and improve healthcare. Here are our latest partnerships:
Bialogics and Life Image partnered to streamline access to business intelligence analytics to optimize provider and health system operations and interoperability. The partnership enables provider organizations to capture data and analyze their entire operation, including image management, procedure management, practice management, and in-depth workflows in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of providing care to patients.
swyMed and Life Image have partnered to integrate swyMed’s mobile telemedicine solutions with Life Image’s wide network of specialty hospitals and community hospitals to create a scalable, interoperable solution for telestroke care. This partnership creates improved access to primary stroke centers and appropriate specialists; unifying videoconferencing and access to medical records, diagnostic images and other essential clinical data on a reliable mobile network, even in the most remote areas.
This strategic partnership between Mendel.ai and Life Image advances the use of Mendel Brain, which helps life sciences and research facilities by analyzing clinical data at a site location to identify patient cohorts for a given protocol. It can also proactively identify potential trials for patients by comparing their EMR data to an industry-leading trial database curated from over 40,000 sources.