Gaurav_DuttaOne billion people worldwide do not have access to clean, safe drinking water. Many of those people must walk hours upon hours each day to collect (often dirty) water from ponds, rivers and puddles for their families. Charity: water is an amazing non-profit organization that is determined to change this. Founded in 2006 by Scott Harrison, charity: water has raised more than $93 million to bring clean and safe drinking water to people across the globe. Through 2012, charity: water used 100% of its donations to fund more than 8,200 global projects such as the digging and drilling of wells, protecting mountain springs and building rainwater collection systems, which in turn changed the lives of more than 3 million people.

We recently teamed up with The Cypress Group to raise money for charity: water during an employee event. As part of the fundraiser, team members carried water as millions of people around the world do every day. By only carrying the water short distances, we grasped the backbreaking work people go through every single day to collect water for survival. This is a cause in which we believe and we are proud that our team members worked in collaboration with The Cypress Group to draw attention to and raise funds for charity: water. For more information about charity: water, visit http://www.charitywater.org/.

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Paying it Forward

by Dave Dyell, CEO on December 18, 2013

ImageGen.ashx“You can never pay back; but you can always pay forward” -Woody Hayes

At iSirona, we consider ourselves lucky. We come to work every day and do work that’s important, rewarding, innovative… and fun. But many in our community are not so fortunate. While we appreciate what we have, we also believe it’s important to “pay it forward.” Throughout the year, we find a variety of ways to do this—from participating in local charity events like the Emerald Coast Mud Run, to sponsoring a high school robotics team. Each year, iSirona also works closely with a local charity. Last year, we worked with Girls Inc., a nonprofit program for young girls from low-income families. This year, we worked with Wounded Warrior Project (link here).

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is an organization with a successful 10-year history. It aims to “foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.” WWP works on raising public awareness and support for the needs of injured service members, and helps them aid and assist each other. It offers a comprehensive set of programs including combat stress recovery, physical rehabilitation, family support, economic empowerment, peer mentoring, and a robust Alumni program.

Brett Miller, who was deployed to Iraq in 2004, came to iSirona this week to speak to our employees about his experience in the war and with WWP. During his tour of duty, Brett was conducting convoy security operations when a roadside bomb went off six feet from his Humvee gun truck. Due to the impact of the blast, Brett suffered multiple injuries, including a massive traumatic brain injury, brain bleed, right retinal detachment, blown out right ear, nine fractured teeth, severe short- and long-term memory loss, and cognitive deficits that rendered him hemiplegic – paralyzed in his left side. During his recovery, Brett was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“I believe my attitude has been my greatest accomplishment – knowing the physical and mental injuries will always be the same. Regardless, I’ve achieved a greater understanding of myself and how to overcome physical challenges. PTSD is my most difficult challenge,” says Brett. “Every day in life you fight your own personal fires. My biggest motivation is somebody telling me I can’t do something. Through my involvement with WWP, I want to show other warriors that ‘yes, you can!’”

iSirona is grateful for the chance to learn from heroes like Brett, and we’re always interested in hearing about meaningful ways we can pay it forward.

 

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In the previous post, we looked at the rising volume and increased role of healthcare data. Here, we look at what some hospitals are doing to manage that data and maximize its value.

  • Taking an enterprise view. Historically, patient data has been considered an after-the-fact issue, where each department makes its own purchasing decisions first (for medical equipment, devices, technology, etc.), and only then considers the question of how to gather the data. This fragmented approach is inefficient, and some hospitals, such as Medical Center Health System in Odessa, Texas, are rethinking it. Its CIO, Gary Barnes, is now in the loop on all technology purchases so he can understand what data will come out of each device and plan how to integrate that information into the EHR. As Barnes says, “We’re really creating an enterprise view of what data is needed and who needs that data.”
  • Changing roles. Data’s increasingly central role in healthcare is leading to some shifts in traditional responsibilities. While hospital CIOs historically have just managed information technology, some hospitals are beginning to expand the CIO role. Barnes, for example, now oversees clinical and biomedical engineering in addition to IT. He also has authority over the purchase and maintenance of all medical devices in the hospital, rather than having individual physicians or departments make the final decision.
  • Widespread awareness. How widespread is the awareness of big data’s value, and the associated challenges? A recent survey gives a good indication: KLAS asked hospitals what level of benefit they would expect from smart pump integration with EHRs. On a scale of one to nine, the average was 8.4. Clearly, the majority of hospitals now recognize the power of big data, and they see the potential to leverage that data through new medical technologies and device integration solutions.
  • Getting started. Again, using the KLAS survey as a data point, only nine organizations nationwide were “live” with smart pump integration as of July 2013. But many more are now getting under way: KLAS found another 54 healthcare organizations that are already under contract for pump-EHR integration, with 18 planning to be live by summer 2014.

Bottom line: Big data is coming. The bad news is that hospitals may not currently be configured to manage it successfully; the good news is that the changes are already under way. Innovative solutions for data integration and management already exist, and top solution providers can ease the implementation process.

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Smart devices are generating a flood of information. Now hospitals need to figure out how to manage it all—U.S. News and World Report

Big data is becoming a critical issue for healthcare as the sheer volume of patient data continues to grow. Indeed, Marty Kohn, of IBM Research, told a recent HIMSS conference that medical information is doubling every four years. U.S. News and World Report recently ran a great article on this exploding volume of data (“How Hospitals are Dealing with Big Data,” October 15, 2013).

For many hospitals and health systems, implementing systems for leveraging big data can be a complex undertaking. Take Daughters of Charity Health System, for example: This six-hospital organization, based in Los Altos Hills, California, has been working to integrate most of their 20,000 devices — 16,000 bedside monitors, pieces of telemetry equipment, infusion pumps, and other devices will be integrated with their EHR system. With data coming from such a large number of separate sources, the first challenge is just the complexity of gathering it.

To help simplify the data collection process, a growing number of hospitals are turning to medical device integration solutions. U.S. News gives an example from Gary Barnes, chief information officer of Medical Center Health System in Odessa, Texas:

A technician taking temperatures one patient at a time might need four hours to cover the whole unit and then manually enter the readings in each patient’s record. The patient’s temperature might spike during that time, but the physician might be working with old data and not notice the change. With automatic population of the EHR, doctors can get immediate warnings of potential issues.

In today’s healthcare environment, it’s not just the volume of data that’s changing, but also its role. Data has become pivotal. Because enormous benefits can be achieved by deploying patient data in the right way, many hospitals are now taking a wider and more comprehensive view of it.

As the volume of data—and its importance—rises, hospitals are finding that their current systems and processes can make it difficult to capture the data’s full value. In the next post, we’ll take a closer look at what some hospitals are doing about it.

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Without question, advances in information technology have revolutionized today’s global economy. Countless industries—from banking to travel to ecommerce and many more—have adopted innovative IT solutions to become more reliable, more productive, and more cost-effective. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is not one of them.

Modern healthcare is nothing short of miraculous in many ways, but has fallen behind in IT adoption. In many other industries, for example, data can be easily shared and exchanged. But that is not yet true in healthcare, where systems are incompatible between institutions, and it is still common for nurses to jot critical patient data on notepads or hand-key it into the medical record.

FINAL-HCI-2014-SLIDER-version-920-3The potential benefits of IT are clear. When well implemented, IT improves interoperability—the sharing of health information among medical devices and enterprise health systems—making it faster, more accurate, more reliable, and less labor-intensive. If implemented on a wide scale throughout the healthcare industry, the potential cost savings could be as much $30 billion a year in the United States alone.

So what’s holding things back? Clearly, it’s not a question of the feasibility. The cornerstone solutions, in which patient data flows rapidly and effortlessly into medical record systems, already exist. And while an increasing number of hospitals and health systems have begun implementing these transformative technologies, many have not. The problem, it seems, is not a lack of solutions, but rather a lack of adoption.

One organization that is tackling the adoption problem head-on is the West Health Institute (WHI). WHI is convening a conference, “Igniting an Interoperable Health Care System,” which will be co-hosted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the federal government’s top agency addressing health IT issues. The conference aims to “identify critical success factors for the continued transformation of our nation’s health care system.”

Here’s the conference announcement:

The full-day conference will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, February 6, 2014. There is no charge for the conference. It is open to policy makers, federal agencies, advocacy organizations, business leaders, business development executives, and product and technology specialists with a focus on or interest in health care information technology, particularly in the area of medical interoperability.

More information on the conference is available here, and a link to WHI is here.

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iSirona is looking to hire 300 employees over the next three years as it expands its operations in Panama City, Florida. During a press conference at a private event held for iSirona employees and guests earlier this week, Governor Rick Scott announced the company will create 300 jobs over the next three years.

This should come as welcome news to qualified job-seekers: This year, iSirona was named one of the Best Places to Work in America by Outside magazine and one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare.

Auston Conrad, iSirona’s manager of culture and talent, says employees appreciate the company’s truly innovative corporate culture. “iSirona’s culture is based on the idea that autonomy breeds invention. We believe that when high-performance people are allowed freedom and flexibility, they thrive. And that’s when the magic happens. By cultivating innovative minds, we’re able to deliver groundbreaking healthcare technologies to our clients.”

iSirona not only seeks people who value hard work, but also those who value all Panama City has to offer—from community involvement and participation in charity events, to the fresh air, sand, and sea surrounding its bayside offices.

Sean Gilder, an iSirona employee, expressed gratitude for his job in an email to iSirona CEO Dave Dyell. “At iSirona, I have been able to find a job that I love, working with amazing people. It’s better than the type of job I was hoping to find through a recruiting agency, but right here in Panama City,” he wrote. “I can’t wait to come to work every day, and at times I have to make myself go home in the evening.”

iSirona employee Sean Gilder and his family iSirona employee Sean Gilder and his family

 

Established in 2008 and headquartered in Panama City, iSirona helps clinicians make more informed decisions about patients by providing an easy-to-use approach for medical device integration. Medical device integration syncs device data, such as blood pressure and temperature readings, with hospitals’ electronic records, giving clinicians access to near real-time patient information throughout a healthcare system.

Since the beginning of 2012, iSirona has grown from 31 employees to over 180. With this expansion, the company will triple its employee head count.


 To view current career opportunities with iSirona visit http://www.isirona.com/opportunities.

 

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We were honored to spend some time on November 18 with Florida Governor Rick Scott! Governor Scott attended an event in Bay County to announce that iSirona plans to expand its operations in Panama City by creating 300 jobs over the next three years.

“iSirona’s expansion in Panama City is a reflection of our state’s pro-business climate and unmatched quality of life that provide information technology companies with the workforce and opportunities needed for growth,” says Governor Scott. “This climate has helped to create more than 365,000 private-sector jobs in the last two years and resulted in the lowest unemployment rate in five years, which is great news for Florida families and the future of our state.”

For anyone paying attention to iSirona the past few years, the announcement of the company’s expansion should come as no surprise. Earlier this year, iSirona was named one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” by Forbes magazine; in 2012, it was named the fifth fastest-growing private company in U.S. healthcare by Inc. magazine—in addition to earning spots on the magazine’s coveted Inc. 500 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for two years running; and just last month, iSirona received Inc. magazine’s Hire Power Award, which recognizes U.S.-based private companies that are leading the nation’s job creation efforts.

“We consider Florida and Panama City to be partners in iSirona’s success,” said Dave Dyell, iSirona founder and CEO. “We continue to be pleased with the statewide commitment to nurturing the high-tech sector, and we are delighted that our ongoing success is bringing more high-value jobs to Panama City.”

According to Panama City Mayor Greg Brudnicki, who also attended the event, “iSirona has been an integral part of the downtown Panama City fabric and, now with this significant growth, will continue to be a catalyst to help complete the redevelopment of the downtown area.”

To read more about iSirona’s expansion in Panama City, visit http://bit.ly/1bOQDcI.

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Back in August, Modern Healthcare announced its 2013 list of Best Places to Work in Healthcare and published the list online in non-rank, alphabetical order. The official rankings were recently revealed at a live awards gala on October 24th, with iSirona snagging the number #14 spot!

“We are incredibly honored to be named on Modern Healthcare’s list of Best Places to Work in Healthcare,” says Dave Dyell, iSirona founder and CEO. “We have an exceptionally committed team that cares deeply about the company. And that’s what drives success.”

Dyell says the company strives for a culture based on mutual respect among employees and employer. There’s an overall atmosphere that promotes employee innovation and freedom. With its bayside office in Florida, employees are encouraged to take meetings outside and the company sponsors charity events at the request of employees.

To make its list selections, the Modern Healthcare program collects information from both the employer and employees of participating companies. Employers complete a survey detailing company benefits, demographics, policies, and practice. In turn, employees are asked to answer an in-depth set of questions.

For iSirona, this recent recognition by Modern Healthcare adds to an already impressive string of honors it has received so far this year, including:

  • Inc. 500 list of nation’s fastest-growing private companies (rank #14 in healthcare and #200 overall)
  • Forbes list of America’s Most Promising Companies (rank #29)
  • Outside magazine’s list of Best Places to Work in America (rank #28)
  • Inc. magazine’s “Hire Power” Award

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front-doorToday, advanced self-monitoring devices—such as at-home blood pressure cuffs, glucose monitors, and even smart scales—offer many potential benefits to post-discharge care and chronic disease management. Indeed, by actively engaging patients in the measuring, monitoring, and management of their conditions, self-monitoring can result in better health outcomes, reduced readmissions, and lower health care costs.

The actual outcomes of self-monitoring, however, depend greatly on how well patients stick to their monitoring plans and how effectively they use the knowledge gained from their readings to help manage their conditions.

Unfortunately, non-adherence rates for chronic illness regimens and lifestyle changes are around 50%. With such poor adherence, self-monitoring cannot successfully achieve its desired outcomes.

In order to realize the maximum benefits of self-monitoring, clinician support is critical. That is, physicians must be able to access and monitor the in-home data, track adherence, and keep an eye out for any changes in the patient’s condition. Providing quick access to in-home data not only enables doctors to tweak medications when needed—without requiring an office visit or hospital readmission—it also strengthens patient-doctor communication. Regular feedback from physicians and clinicians can provide the extra push many patients need to improve adherence, make lifestyle changes, and become more accountable for their own health conditions.

Self-monitoring has been around for years, but until recently, the data collected at home could not be leveraged to its full potential. Today, new technologies offer the opportunity for self-monitoring to rise to a new level—with better and more sustainable outcomes.

“iSirona offers an in-home device connectivity solution that gives clinicians near real-time access to the data patients collect at home,” says iSirona Chief Nursing Officer Mary Carr. “Our home health solution integrates device connectivity with innovative health information exchange technologies—like EMRs and patient and clinician portals—to improve chronic disease management, lower healthcare costs, and achieve better health outcomes.”

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medical device integration demands nurse involvementToday, more and more healthcare organizations are looking to IT healthcare solutions to prepare for compliance with a wide range of regulatory mandates and new healthcare guidelines.

To be of any value, however, IT healthcare solutions must significantly improve the delivery of care. To accomplish this, the product development process must include the involvement of clinical experts. Indeed, based on their “front-line” knowledge and experience, clinicians can provide many important functions within product development. For example, they can:

  • Provide insight into what nurses want and need from technology in order to help companies develop solutions that support clinical workflow patterns and improve patient care
  • Monitor current healthcare needs and trends to serve as a foundation for innovative product development and new business initiatives
  • Advise on new product design and suggest product modifications, with a focus on practical use in a clinical environment
  • Act as liaisons between product developers and hospital and health system end-users to facilitate the implementation and application of new products and solutions

According to iSirona Chief Nursing Officer Mary Carr, iSirona understands that clinical information is critical to the development of effective IT solutions in healthcare. “As a leading provider of device connectivity solutions, we are committed to developing solutions that positively impact clinical workflow and reflect the current needs and trends in the healthcare industry,” Carr says. “To this end, we currently have 18 clinicians on staff, with an average of 15 years clinical experience each.”

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