Online-Seminar-175wI am pleased to announce that I will be presenting a two-part series entitled “Healthcare Analytics: A Strategic Framework for Quality and Performance Improvements” in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health Informatics (NIHI). The two-part series will be offered on October 8 and 15 at 12:00 PM ET. Click here for more information and to register.

Using real-life success stories and lessons learned from the front-lines of healthcare, this two-part series will enable attendees to accelerate the transformation from relying on generic reports and dashboards to achieving truly useful Quality Improvement (QI)-focused analytic information and insights.

  • This series will provide healthcare decision-makers, analysts, and improvement specialists with a strategy development and execution framework that will immediately improve analytics effectiveness and return-on-investment within your health care organization.
  • It will provide the tools and skills necessary to develop analytics strategies that fit the quality and performance improvement needs of your health care organization.
  • The sessions will also discuss the analytical tools for leveraging healthcare information technology (HIT), data from source systems, and proven Quality Improvement (QI) methodologies to make more insightful, fact-based decisions for an HCO.

Please visit my blog again as the presentation date approaches, as I will be adding in more details about the seminar and providing some sample content.

I am looking forward to working with NIHI on this online series. I hope you can join us!

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medical_secure_messagingMobile devices are one of the largest contributors of data for healthcare analytics. Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are being used increasingly for “traditional” healthcare purposes (such as accessing Electronic Health Records, or EHRs). Perhaps more significantly, however, these devices are being used at an increasing rate by patients for accessing their own health information (via patient portals), tracking healthy behaviors (such as exercise and diet), and communicating with their providers. The more information that is accessed and shared via mobile devices over wireless networks, however, the greater the risk that exists for a security and privacy breach of that information.

The use of mobile messaging tools for communication of healthcare related information, while convenient, poses a significant risk of security and privacy breach of such messaging if the appropriate precautions are not taken. In a recent article I wrote for Search Health IT on the topic of Secure Healthcare Messaging, I provide an overview on Secure Messaging for healthcare, including the risks associated with “consumer grade” messaging (such as SMS) and how Secure Messaging addresses the many security holes inherent with other messaging technologies.

In the SearchHealthIT.com article, I discuss that although Short Message Service (SMS) can be a quick and effective way to communicate, there are definite drawbacks to the use of SMS and similar messaging services when used for purposes beyond quick greetings:

  • In addition to being limited to 160 characters in a single SMS message, delivery of an SMS message is not guaranteed. 
  • Messages that contain health information are vulnerable to being intercepted, read by and forwarded to anyone. 
  • The Joint Commission has, in essence, banned physicians from using SMS for any communications that would result in the transmission of ePHI [electronic protected health information] data or orders for a patient to a healthcare organization (such as hospital or other service). 

In my SearchHealthIT.com article, I mention that a safer alternative to SMS that can be used in healthcare is Secure Messaging. Secure Messaging utilizes a server-based approach which enables secure and protected transmission of healthcare information that employs bidirectional encryption of point-to-point delivery of messages, stores information on a secured network server, and ensures delivery of the message to a single known receiving entity.

I have always maintained that as analytics professionals and users of healthcare information, we need to take every precaution necessary to ensure that the data we are privileged to access is held secure, and privacy is protected, using every means possible. For analytics professionals, this definitely now includes how we use mobile devices for communication of that healthcare information.

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Healthcare Analytics textbook ideal for university- and college-level courses

by Trevor Strome July 7, 2014

Many readers of my blog will know that my first book, Healthcare Analytics for Quality and Performance Improvement, published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc., was released in October 2013. One important niche that my book addresses is the need for a university- or college-level healthcare analytics text that is useful for both experienced and [...]

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HealthcareAnalytics.info Now Inviting Guest Bloggers

by Trevor Strome July 3, 2014

If you have an opinion to share, knowledge to relate, a book to review, or any other healthcare analytics insight you’d like to write about, consider writing a guest post on HealthcareAnalytics.info. I would welcome original, high-quality guest blog posts that cover almost any healthcare analytics topic, ranging from data quality and governance, data visualization, [...]

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High Quality Data is a Necessity for Analytics

by Trevor Strome May 26, 2014

I recently published an article on SearchHealthIT.com that discusses how productive healthcare analytics requires high-quality data. A few excerpts from the article are: In the age of big data and enterprise data warehouses, issues of data volume, system scalability and infrastructure management simply cannot be ignored. It is possible, though, that in our rush to incorporate [...]

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Overview of “Healthcare Analytics for Quality and Performance Improvement”

by Trevor Strome May 20, 2014

Naturally, I get asked a lot of questions about what topics and content my book “Healthcare Analytics for Quality and Performance Improvement” covers. This is especially so because healthcare analytics is a very expansive topic, and the audience for such a book is wide-ranging. To find out more about my book, you can download a [...]

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Get Up-To-Date with R to Energize your Analytics

by Trevor Strome May 16, 2014

The use of R (http://www.r-project.org/) as a statistical tool in healthcare analytics is quite wide-spread, and growing. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, a few of the reasons that I like R include: there is a large R user community that is willing to help with almost every conceivable question there are several power [...]

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Why your “secure” password isn’t any good, and what to do about it.

by Trevor Strome May 7, 2014

While doing research on information security relating to healthcare analytics, I came across an interesting article by Melanie Pinola about how common tricks we use to “secure” our passwords aren’t fooling the bad guys any more. In her article, she lists four strategies for creating and using more secure passwords: Avoid predictable password formulas (hint: passwords like [...]

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Institute for Health Technology Transformation (IHT2) Summit in Atlanta – April 15 & 16, 2014

by Trevor Strome April 14, 2014

I’m pleased to be co-chairing and presenting at the IHT2 Summit in Atlanta this week. Like all IHT2 summits (which all feature healthcare industry leaders), this week’s Atlanta summit promises to be an outstanding opportunity to network, share ideas, and learn about where health information technology is heading. A few of the very many outstanding topics [...]

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New from HealthIT.gov – Health IT Literature Review Report and Interactive Data Visualization

by Trevor Strome March 4, 2014

NEW Health IT Literature Review Report and Interactive Data Visualization on the Health IT Dashboard! Check out: http://dashboard.healthit.gov The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has just updated their Health IT Dashboard with a comprehensive literature review regarding impacts of health IT: Health Information Technology: An Updated Systematic Review with a [...]

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