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Can a decades-old idea from the auto industry breathe new life into laboratory management?

Lean production, or simply “lean,” is a systematic method for eliminating waste and streamlining processes. It is an idea worth revisiting at a time when social and digital media are driving fundamental changes in healthcare. Patients are increasingly better informed of treatment options, and their expectations have never been higher.

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Healthcare growth areas such as human genetic and molecular diagnostics, new techniques for screening and early disease detection, monitoring chronic conditions, point-of-care and personal device testing all put further pressure on traditional laboratories. Meanwhile, the number of stakeholders with an interest in these services

Industry analyst firm KLAS just made a number of health IT vendors either very happy or very disappointed with its annual announcement of Best in KLAS awards. We think this independent measure of customer satisfaction with healthcare IT investments, on which the Best in KLAS awards are based, should be a vital part of the due diligence any health provider should undertake before purchasing an electronic medical record (EMR) system or patient administration system (PAS).

best-in-klas-2017And for those healthcare providers who participate in these rankings,

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the final rule for Advancing Care Coordination Through Episode Payment Models (EPMs); the Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model; and changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model that finalize bundled payment models for certain cardiac conditions and procedures in select geographic areas.

The goal is improving the efficiency and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries and encourage hospitals, physicians, and post-acute care providers to work together to improve the coordination of care from the initial hospitalization through recovery.money_bundles

These new payment

The journey to improved healthcare and health outcomes is predicated on having an infrastructure in place that enables interoperable health information exchange (HIE). As a patient, I seek care in multiple places with care providers who do not share hospital affiliations; therefore, they don’t share EHR systems. Yet, each year I have this expectation that somehow, when I have a mammogram, the results will make it to my OB/GYN, who is not part of the same health system as my PCP. I’m surprised that reality still does not exist, despite my being an educated consumer.

electric-grid-photoThe fact that we still talk about HIE and interoperability means that we are still in the early stages of development. Did the banking industry have years

I recently started a new job as a senior advisor at InterSystems. As a remote employee, I’ve been looking for ways to maximize my time at the Cambridge, Mass., headquarters office, and I just had the first of what will likely be many “crossover” weekends – where I bookend a weekend with two consecutive work weeks in Cambridge.

traveling-bag-imageI opted to take the train from Boston to Maine to stay with family for the weekend. As I made my way to North Station, I ambled by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where I worked some years back in the emergency department. I started to think about all the patients, a nephew being one, who seek specialist care at MGH or other fine medical institutions in Boston, but then make their way back to Maine or New Hampshire where they might live.

Even though great strides have been made