Q + A With Sherly Easter (Isenbart)

August 19th, 2014

Q + A With Sheryl Easter (Isenbart)

Sheryl Easter (Isenbart) - MEDITECH / Epic Practice Director

Sheryl Easter (Isenbart) – MEDITECH / Epic Practice Director

Sheryl has over 26 years of Healthcare IT experience and is currently the MEDITECH / EPIC Practice Director for Morgan Hunter Healthcare. She took the time to answer a few questions about the future of Healthcare IT, how the Affordable Care Act will affect Healthcare IT and talk about her love for line dancing.

 

Why Morgan Hunter?

I have worked at various firms over the last 15 years as well as worked as an independent consultant but when I started working at Morgan Hunter in 2010, I was impressed with the teamwork and camaraderie within the practices as well as with our Sales & Recruiting teams.  I finally had found a team in which each individual goals were recognized and an organization stood behind achieving those goals.

 

How might  the Healthcare IT industry change in 5 years?

Healthcare IT will transition from legacy system that focus on internal data repositories to a more collaborative model that integrates electronic health records (EHRs) and personal health records (PHRs) to improve quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care when fully implemented.

 

As the Epic/MEDITECH Practice Director, what is the most rewarding aspect of your job and the most challenging? 

The most rewarding aspect of my job as Epic/MEDITECH Practice Director are the Consultants.  The consultants on the team are the most knowledgeable and most dedicated to the client’s that I have worked with.  Each week I read status reports and find the amount of work put in on a weekly basis shows a high quality of dedication.  It is rewarding to be part of each successful project as well as cherish the life events of the consultants (i.e. Birthday’s, Children, Grandkids, Vacations, Graduations, etc)

The most challenging is Time.  There never seems to be enough time in a day to accomplish all goals.  I find nights I work until 10pm and still have a list of to do’s that I meant to do!

 

In your opinion, what effects, if any, will the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) have on the Healthcare IT Industry?  

You have to admit this is one topic that most have an opinion about whether it is positive or negative.  I believe that “Obamacare” is currently the driving force of many projects. Healthcare IT has been tasked with the ability to support each of the measures in the most effective and cost effective method possible and it is a huge undertaking.  “Obamacare” is driving all hospitals in the same IT direction whether they are proactive (ahead of the game) or reactive (being dragged along “kicking and screaming”).

 

Let’s imagine you actually had some free time. How would you spend it?

Typically I would be found country dancing at some local place or sitting in the stands at a rodeo.  As a line dance instructor, the country music is in my blood and my feet don’t stop moving. I am a cowgirl at heart and attend every rodeo possible watching a few friends that are still on the circuit.  Besides, who doesn’t laugh at or with the Rodeo Clown.

 

Morgan Hunter Healthcare is based in Kansas City. Have we convinced you to root for the Chiefs yet?

Now let me think how I can answer this one, NO!  Sorry but I am a Bronco girl at heart. Colorado got its hooks in me when I moved there and I became a fan even before the Manning days. Please don’t tell my Dad though as he is a Kansas City boy and Chief’s have always been and will always be his team.

 

What is your favorite place you have ever traveled to? 

Each place I have traveled to has its own beauty to be found.  One of the top places was Cripple Creek, Colorado.  This place holds a historical aspect of mining, a reunion place for veterans, and beautiful drive in the mountains.  It is a town where you feel like you stepped back into time and expect to see an old western stage coach arrive, along with an occasional gun fight.

 

 

Morgan Hunter Healthcare is Growing!

July 18th, 2014

Exciting news is happening every day at MHHC! With recent additions to our national sales team including: Regional Managers, Jan Robertson and Dick Hull, along with Sr. Account Managers, Steve Meier (not pictured), Dennis Napier and Adam Burns, MHHC has further solidified itself as an industry leader in Healthcare IT Consulting. Our new additions will allow our organization to offer our clients even more accessibility to our staff and services. With an emphasis on establishing exceptional relationships nationwide, the MHHC business development team is better positioned than ever to create even more opportunities for our consultants. Our national sales team has an established residence in specific regions across the United States. This allows for greater communication and service for our existing clients, as well as, greater coverage for new business opportunities and development. As MHHC continues to grow, offering unparalleled communication and services to our clients is the top priority.

Q + A With Clyde Smith

July 7th, 2014

Q + A With Clyde Smith

Clyde Smith Morgan Hunter Healthcare

Clyde Smith – Cerner/Integration Practice Director at MHHC

Clyde brings over 23 years of Healthcare IT experience to Morgan Hunter Healthcare and is currently the Practice Director for the Cerner and Integration practices. He took the time to answer a few questions about the future of Healthcare IT, how the Affordable Care Act will affect Healthcare IT and his pick to win the World Cup.

 

Why Morgan Hunter?

There were two or three things that brought me to Morgan Hunter Healthcare. One was Allen Kirkpatrick. I have worked with Allen at multiple companies for over 18 years. I truly enjoyed my previous work with him and relished the opportunity to continue working with him. Second, when I interviewed, I was very impressed by the fact that all of the Leadership that I met wanted the same things: MHHC to be respected by our clients, to be a great place to work for the Consultants, and to remain a respected name in the Healthcare IT Consulting industry. Third, I felt like they were open to positive change.

 

What are your main duties at Morgan Hunter Healthcare?

I am responsible for planning and executing all activities related to Personnel, Management, Business Development, and future growth opportunities for the existing Cerner practice and a developing Integration practice. In order to accomplish this, my primary focuses are building and maintaining positive relationships with our consultants and clients based on high quality work and results. In addition, I need to constantly be engaged in learning more about the industry so I can determine what trends and initiatives will be providing opportunities for us in the next few years and months.

 

How do you see the Healthcare IT industry changing/evolving over the next 3-5 years?

I think Meaningful Use and the Incentive dollars are driving the business right now. People are making changes at a rapid pace but maybe not with the greatest care. The next few years should demand a great deal of optimization of all of the new systems and processes put in place that have been done so quickly. I also think we will be challenged to find quality consultants once the large Government projects that are currently being discussed take form. I also believe we will see more people try to consolidate data for better decision making and better continuum of care.

 

In your opinion, what, if any, effects will the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare”, have on the Healthcare IT industry?

The Affordable Care Act will continue to pressure healthcare entities to practice more efficient medicine. That should mean more Affordable Care Organizations (ACO’s), more mergers/acquisitions, more data repositories, and more data analytics. It is my hope that this will translate into more opportunities for MHHC in the future.

 

Around the MHHC office you have a reputation as a “techie”. When did your passion for technology begin? Was there a moment that kick started your passion?

I have been a Techie since High School. I had a phenomenal Math teacher who assigned me some programming in school and loved it.

 

What T.V. shows are you watching?

With my work schedule, I really don’t watch a lot of television, but I tend to watch a few shows “On Demand” with my wife and daughter. My real passion is listening to and playing Contemporary Christian Music, Classic Rock, and some modern Country music.

 

Who’s your pick to win the World Cup?

I am not a Soccer Junkie, but I think the Netherlands have a great shot at it this time.

 

 

Announcing New Regional Manager, Jan Robertson

April 4th, 2014

Press Release

Jan Robertson Named Regional Manager at
Morgan Hunter Healthcare, Inc.

Bringing more than thirty years of industry expertise to Morgan Hunter Healthcare’s Leadership Team, Jan will help ensure the company’s continued growth and success.

OVERLAND PARK, KS – April 7, 2014

 Morgan Hunter Healthcare, Inc., a national provider of healthcare consulting services for hospitals across the United States and Canada, announced today that Jan Robertson, RN MBA has joined their leadership team as the South Central Regional Manager. Ms. Robertson will focus on exceeding client expectations and providing a solutions-based, consultative approach to their most pressing challenges.

“We are excited to have Jan Robertson join Morgan Hunter Healthcare as she brings a wealth of experience to our team.” said Kyle Tilley, SVP of Morgan Hunter Healthcare. “Jan’s ability to connect with clients as both a clinician and as an expert in the field of HIS consulting services will offer exceptional value to our client partners.” Scott Spitler, Executive Director, Business Development added, “Jan is a well-respected industry leader and will add to Morgan Hunter Healthcare’s rich history of providing quality consulting services nationwide. She will undoubtedly contribute at the highest of levels, playing a key role in our continued growth as an organization.”

Ms. Robertson has been in the healthcare industry for over 30 years, with a focus in healthcare IT since 1986. Her successful career has included Registered Nurse, Account Manager, VP of Sales, and Regional Vice President. Ms. Robertson has her RN and MBA and is passionate about improving the patient experience through the effective use of information technology. Ms. Robertson will be focused on working with healthcare clients in the South Central U.S.

About Morgan Hunter Healthcare:

MORGAN HUNTER HEALTHCARE specializes in HIS Project/Staff Augmentation, healthcare IT consulting, assessments, implementations, migrations, upgrades, Project Management and Activation Support for Healthcare systems across the United States and Canada. We are experts in systems such as Cerner®, Epic®, McKesson®, MEDITECH®, Allscripts® and Siemens®. Many of our consultants have clinical backgrounds that translate to added value for our clients. Morgan Hunter Healthcare works with nationwide healthcare entities to augment their HIS projects with highly-skilled and exceptionally-qualified consultants ensuring successful and reliable outcomes while saving our clients valuable time and money.

Hillary Clinton emphasizes the importance of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

February 27th, 2014

Hillary Clinton emphasizes the importance of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Morgan Hunter Healthcare had the pleasure of being an exhibitor at the HIMSS14 Annual Conference & Exhibition this past week. The Keynote speaker on Wednesday evening was none other than Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As the oft-rumored front-runner for the Democratic ticket in 2016, Clinton’s presence as a keynote speaker really underscored the importance and prestige of the HIMSS Annual Conference.

Clinton focused on the importance of electronic health records and IT infrastructure for much of her speech. “We are finally seeing the promise of electronic health records, leaving behind the outdated, obsolete, 20th century — in some cases 19th and 18th century — ways that records were kept,”

“What you have done over the last decades has given us the raw materials and the means for making decisions that can revolutionize healthcare, can improve not only lifespan but life quality,” said Clinton.”We are on the cusp of such extraordinary changes.”

Clinton also struck a bipartisan tone as she encouraged setting aside partisan battles and working towards a common good.  “This country has had lots of disagreements. It’s not like we just, like in those drug commercials, where we just hold hands and dance through the meadows. We do need to have people who are looking for common ways of approaching problems using evidence but leaving their blaming, their gaming, their shaming, their point scoring at the door.”

MHHC @ HIMSS2014!

Morgan Hunter Healthcare’s booth at HIMSS14 Annual Conference

Ready or Not, the Cloud is Coming in 2014

January 6th, 2014

The healthcare industry is making a big move to cloud computing as physicians increasingly use electronic drug prescriptions.

The cloud computing market is expected to grow by more than 20 percent from 2012. And most of that is from physicians using e-prescribing: electronic prescribing increased from under 10 percent of physicians in 2004 to about 35 percent in 2010. As more physicians go online, there is a big need for storage capacity. And all of this is driving the cloud computing market to the tune of about $3.9 billion a year.

The cloud provides convenient storage access, and that is one of the reasons for the demand, but not the only one. Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use guidelines requires that half of all prescriptions need to be done online.

The Affordable Care Act guidelines are also providing a big incentive for healthcare organizations to move to cloud computing in other ways. Cloud computing allows organizations to share health information more easily – one of the objectives of the ACA – since it can provide a common IT platform for multiple users.

The HIPAA Omnibus Rule also dramatically increased the scope of the HIPAA Privacy and Security policy, which is also pushing more healthcare providers into the cloud. Under the HIPAA policy, IT providers are now responsible for the safety and security of all the health information they handle on their servers. This relieves the healthcare organization of a big headache. If a breach occurs, the IT company would be held liable, not the healthcare organization.

The cloud also has other advantages – it is more economical than installing your own hardware and software. Plus, physician practices and healthcare organizations don’t have to worry about servicing the system to make sure it is running adequately and that the software is up to date. All of that is taken care of by the company that provides the cloud computing services. Using online prescription services also creates a patient record, a pharmacy record and a billing record automatically.

Delaware, Minnesota, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts are the states reporting the greatest number of e-prescriptions, while Alaska, California, Colorado, and Nevada reported the lowest numbers.

If you need more information regarding the growth of healthcare technology – or you need professionals with these critical skills – contact the recruiters at Morgan Hunter Healthcare. We look forward to hearing from you.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 – Will There Be More Changes?

December 11th, 2013

It certainly is not a sure thing, but healthcare IT officials are reasonably sure that there will be no additional changes to Stage 2 guidelines for Meaningful Use.

The reasoning behind this opinion is that such regulatory changes would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to first post a notice of the proposed rule changes, and this would be followed by a public comment period. Then, CMS would review the comments before making a final rule. The entire process could take a year or even longer. It is this lengthy timeline – one that complicates the process – that leads healthcare experts to believe CMS will forego any changes to Stage 2.

In Stage 2, healthcare providers need to demonstrate the ability to exchange data with other providers, increase data security, make imaging data more available, and increase patient engagement through patient portals on the provider’s website.

The focus of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is now in helping the smaller providers – places such as independent community hospitals and small physician practices – to get up to speed on Stage 2. The goal is to enable providers to deliver safer and more effective care at lower cost.

The ONC is focusing on open, accessible, inclusive decision making, and striving for solutions that are practical and efficient. All of their work is engaged in providing the best care for the patient.

The ONC is also focused on patient information privacy and security, which is also a primary concern among healthcare IT professionals. Patient surveys have shown that people want to know who their information is being given to and what providers do with patient information. The important thing, officials said, is to develop a sense of trust with the patient. Providers need to make clear to patients exactly what information is protected.

Smaller healthcare providers, in particular, need to improve their procedures for evaluating risks to protected patient information, according to ONC officials. The ONC has been working for more than a year to develop a free security risk assessment tool for smaller providers. The tool is expected to be ready in 2014.

When you’re looking for employees skilled in today’s healthcare IT technology, contact the recruiters at Morgan Hunter HealthCare. We can help you find experts in Interim Management Services (IMS), assessments, project management, implementations, and more. If you’re a professional looking for work in these areas, contact us today!

Assessing the Security Risk of Your Patient Portal

December 4th, 2013

With the requirements of Meaningful Use Stage 2, facilities must start using patient portals. Patient portals can be instrumental in ensuring accurate, quality patient care by allowing patients instant access to their medical records, but they are not without security risk. As with any system there are the possibility of security breaches, HIPAA violations and fraud. Working with a trusted IT team can help to mitigate that risk.

What security risks do patient portals bring?

1. Login Security.

Balancing high-security requirements for sensitive documents with the need for ease of patient access is challenging. Portals allow patients to check test results, make appointments or make payments, all of which requires a high level of security for patient peace of mind and to prevent HIPAA violations. Patients want their data to be secure, but are frustrated when it’s difficult to access it.

2. Unauthorized Access.

Improper actions by employees can be the cause of attacks from within the system. Recently, records in healthcare facilities in Minnesota and Missouri were breached by healthcare workers who viewed files that they had no reason to access. This breach exposed patient information such as dates of birth and social security numbers, which are highly desirable targets for identity thieves.

3. Shortage of Technical Staff.

With increased patient access to data comes even more data to manage. HIPAA’s Right of Amendment gives patients the right to access and correct their medical information. This creates an exchange of data between the patient and healthcare facilities which adds to the workload of existing IT staff who must manage this information securely.

How can these risks be mitigated?

It’s vital to think like a hacker to ensure the highest level of security. While hacking is thought to be a high tech caper, sometimes a hack can be surprisingly simple. In a recent case, a check of one patient portal system revealed that once access is gained legitimately to one patient record, it was easy to jump from one record to another, simply by changing the patient name in the URL.

Some risk can be lessened simply by adding to your IT staff. Tech experts can help you to develop secure login protocols, prevent security breaches and ensure HIPAA compliance. But, security specialists are in high demand and it’s important not to settle for less than the most qualified technical specialists.

While it can be difficult to recruit and onboard qualified staff to address this increased need quickly enough to maintain security, you can always ask for help from your staffing partner.

As the leading healthcare IT consulting agency, Morgan Hunter can provide highly qualified contract or permanent IT specialists to ensure patient portal security and address any other security or technical needs you have. Contact us to learn more!

Electronic Healthcare Records – Not a Silver Bullet

December 4th, 2013

As the industry knows, healthcare is becoming increasingly consumer focused. Technology is becoming a bigger part of healthcare, but like any system, it has its drawbacks. EHR systems are being implemented by facilities but not without technology or personnel challenges.

The Problem is Provider Resistance.

While Electronic Healthcare Records software have its share of useful features and benefits, it often requires healthcare providers to enter data into an inflexible system. Patient interaction can be compromised when providers are concentrating on completing fields in a prescribed order rather than engaging with the patient.

Medical professionals may balk at being expected to shoehorn their style of patient interaction into the rigid constraints of EHR Software. EHRs may excel at compiling data but they can fall short when it comes to treating patients as unique individuals.

The Solutions:

1. Training for Success

The first step in implementing any software program is to provide introductory and ongoing training to ensure that providers understand all the bells and whistles your EHR includes. Be sure to follow up thirty, sixty and ninety days after the rollout to gauge user comfort levels and troubleshoot any snags that may arise. Consider outsourcing your training to consultants who specialize in the implementation and education of EHR’s and can identify (and fill) potential training gaps with your staff.

2.  Focus on Patient Engagement

Savvy software providers are coming up with offerings to address issues of patient engagement in hopes of winning over dubious healthcare providers. However, software features do not replace old fashioned patient interaction through face-to-face contact. Communicate this to your staff so they understand the facility’s expectations.

3. Try Mobile Healthcare Solutions

Leading the way in patient-centric software options are mHealth or mobile healthcare solutions. mHealth is a truly hands-on healthcare approach. App-based software is now available that  provides a proactive approach to healthcare.  Patients can monitor their symptoms, access information and manage medical conditions from migraines to kidney disease all from their smartphones. All of which will be accessible to their healthcare providers remotely.

What’s Next?

Secure Patient Portals is one of the next big things in patient care thanks to Meaningful Use Stage Two. Currently in development are systems that would allow patients or doctors to access records remotely through a HIPAA compliant open-source portal.

Patients would have a secure portal through which they could access their medical records. Medical data updates could be entered from wherever they receive care, anywhere in the world, ensuring that they are never subject to redundant testing or receive conflicting care from different providers.

Allowing patients access to their own records, combined with adaptable, easy-to use in-office EHR, allows a level of patient engagement that ensures the best possible care.

Need experts to help you keep up with the latest in healthcare IT advances?  As the leading HIT recruiting firm, Morgan Hunter provides top tier technology professionals. Contact us today for access to IT professionals to help you to ensure compliance and provide optimum care.

Guidance Outlines FDA’s Approach to Mobile Medical Apps

October 21st, 2013

Imagine your child has type 1 diabetes.  As a parent, you constantly worry about your child’s insulin level.  Your little one goes off to school and you hope they remember to check their levels and stay healthy.

Now imagine being able to track your child’s insulin with an app on your smartphone. These remote monitoring capabilities are driving the medical device market. At Morgan Hunter we have discussed the growing demand for medical device mobile apps. This industry is ready to explode, but there are certain things holding it back.

One issue is that the Federal Drug Administration guidance determining what electronic devices and apps can be considered “medical devices” was pending. If a medical product is considered a medical device, then it falls under the FDA’s jurisdiction for regulating.

After two years the wait is over. On September 26, 2013 the FDA issued a memorandum entitled “Mobile Medical Applications: Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff” which addresses how the FDA will analyze apps to see if they fall within the definition of a medical device.

There are two broad categories of apps the FDA will regulate. One category includes devices that act as an accessory to a regulated medical device, such as a picture archiving and communication system that a physician would use to make a diagnosis. The other category includes devices that transform the mobile device into one that is already regulated. For example, if the app turns your smartphone into an electrocardiography machine, a medical device regulated by the FDA which determines when a patient is having a heart attack, then that device will be considered a medical device.

There are a myriad of wellness apps available but those are distinguishable from medical device apps. Examples of wellness apps include apps that act as pedometers or weight trackers. Those types of devices would not be a medical device in a hospital, and therefore are not medical device apps under the FDA guidelines. With these guidelines, app developers will now decide whether they are creating a non-regulated app for wellness and entertainment or for medical use as a regulated app.

App developers typically invest $24 million to get FDA approval for a moderate-risk medical monitoring device, and wait an average of 67 days for the FDA to approve the app. With the new guidelines, investors can develop apps with more clarity as to how the FDA will regulate the app.

Rely on Morgan Hunter for cutting edge medical technology information. For your company’s health care I/T assessments, project management, IMS, technology implementation, and electronic medical records needs contact Morgan Hunter Healthcare today!

7600 W. 110th St.
Overland Park, KS 66210 Map
Toll Free: 866-491-3434
Fax: 866-866-3622
Follow Us On:
©2012 Morgan Hunter Healtcare Inc. Site Credits
Home | About Us | Clients | Consultants | Career Center | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Site Map