2019 Year in Review

2019: Healthcare IT gains new ground

It's been an eventful year for health IT. Of course, that's been the case every year over the past decade since the first meaningful use checks were mailed out, kickstarting the digital healthcare age as we know it. But at the tail end of the 'teens, we see a flowering of innovation that could only have been dreamed of in 2010.

Whereas many health systems were preoccupied back then with the basic blocking and tackling of EHR implementation, this year they were investing in AI and machine learning, exploring advanced pop health analytics, deploying leading-edge cybersecurity tools, expanding telehealth programs of all shapes and sizes – and embracing cloud hosting to an extent that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. As we look back on 2019, it's worth remembering how far the industry has traveled to get here.

-- Mike Miliard, Editor

What you need to know

News

Here are 6 major issues facing healthcare in 2019, according to PwC

by Bill Siwicki

Connected care, upskilled workers, tax reform, a Southwest Airlines approach, private equity and the Affordable Care Act all will impact healthcare organizations in 2019, a new PwC report says.

News

Epic CEO Judy Faulkner on Apple, docs who actually like their EHRs and Warren Buffett

by Mike Miliard

The EHR vendor’s founder also discusses the state of interoperability, cloud computing and today’s sticking points in health IT.

News

Epic, Cerner and others reveal just how their EHRs are interoperable

by Bill Siwicki

The companies also advise healthcare CIOs on some key interoperability questions to ask any EHR vendor when considering a purchase.

News

Eric Topol on how AI could fix healthcare

by Mike Miliard

The famed digital health pioneer talks about his new book, Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. The potential is immense, he says, but the U.S. needs a plan.

News

New study outlines challenges, dangers for machine learning

by Benjamin Harris

As machine learning rapidly expands into healthcare, the ways it "learns" may be at odds with clinical outcomes unless carefully controlled for, a new study shows.

News

Mayo Clinic CIO: 'This artificial intelligence stuff is real'

by Mike Miliard

"And it is coming quickly to a care setting near you," said Cris Ross at Health 2.0 on Tuesday, touting "small AI and big AI" tools that can help revamp IT systems to improve the experience of clinicians and patients alike.

News

OpenNotes notches another big milestone, with 40 million patients now seeing their EHRs

by Mike Miliard

As more than 200 health systems have signed on with the patient empowerment movement, population health, patient safety and quality improvement gains are apparent.

News

ONC chief Don Rucker on the current state and 'next frontier' of interoperability

by Mike Miliard

The National Coordinator talks 21st Century Cures, information blocking, Apple, consumerism, FHIR, open APIs and new business models he sees emerging amid the "overarching theme of human choice and freedom and dignity."

News

How FHIR 4 will drive interoperability progress in healthcare

by Bill Siwicki

Experts from across health IT, including members of the HL7 board and advisory council, say the new standard can do big things for data exchange, but it's not a cure-all.

News

ONC, CMS leaders tell Senate HELP Committee time is of the essence

by Mike Miliard

Despite one senator's hope to move deliberately with rulemakings and not repeat some errors of meaningful use, National Coordinator Donald Rucker said delays only lengthen the time that consumers are "not in control of their care."

News

Information blocking rules: Health industry groups call for Congressional oversight

by Mike Miliard

An alphabet soup of healthcare stakeholders, including AHIMA, CHIME, MGMA and others, want the Senate HELP Committee to ensure the proposed regs serve the "needs of patients and those who deliver their care."

News

Vanderbilt combines AI and Smart on FHIR in an EHR voice assistant

by Bill Siwicki

"Voice user interfaces are an essential step to humanizing the EHR," says Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dr. Yaa Kumah-Crystal, who will be speaking at HIMSS19.

News

AWS: AI, data analytics and cloud converging to cut costs, boost care quality

by Bill Siwicki

Health orgs are using AI to enhance decision making and drive greater value for patients and providers, AWS says.

News

Telehealth helps Mayo Clinic neonatologists better treat newborns in emergencies

by Bill Siwicki

The new technology connects on the first attempt 96% of the time, compared with 73% for the previous telemedicine carts; with enhanced monitoring and support, tele-neonatology availability is 99%.

News

Allscripts, Northwell Health to co-develop new AI-powered EHR

by Mike Miliard

The cloud-hosted, voice-enabled system will be designed and built with close input along the way from clinicians and IT staff, with an eye toward eventual deployment enterprise-wide.