Made in USA: Enterprise Application Services

Call Today!817-210-4042

Healthcare Archives - Ayoka - Made in USA Enterprise Application Services

Healthcare Web Development: A Portal to the Future

November 17, 2015
|
0 Comments
|
Healthcare web development offers a better patient experience—and inhealthcare web developmentcentives for providers.

The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are having a significant impact on healthcare web development. According to HealthIT.gov, “With patient portal implementation, your organization can enhance patient-provider communication, empower patients, support care between visits, and, most importantly, improve patient outcomes.” That’s a great reason to get started with web development now. But launching a portal is only the beginning.

With financial incentives tied to “meaningful use”, it’s not enough to automatically enroll patients in a portal by sending them a login via email. Over time, providers will be expected to meet benchmarks for patient use of these electronic tools. Healthcare organizations must actively encourage patients to use the tools that are available to them online. Good portal design is one key to making that happen.

Adding More Functionality Improves Adoption

According to Dan Nerroth (CIO at Stericycle, Inc.), Kaiser Permanente’s portal rollout demonstrated a common patient attitude toward online access. “At first, prescription refills, a facility directory and educational materials were the most popular features on the site, which also allowed appointment scheduling. But in 2006, when PHR functions such as online test results and the ability to e-mail a doctor’s office became available, the number of website registrations jumped from 9% to 27% of Kaiser’s membership.”

It’s fine to start small, but large scale adoption requires giving patients what they really want in terms of feature sets and functionality. That’s one good reason to ensure that a portal is properly designed with an intuitive interface and more than just basic capabilities.

Is it time for a customized approach? Call Ayoka at 817-210-4042 to take your healthcare web app to the next level.

Choose a Medical App Development Company That Knows HIPAA and TMRPA

October 22, 2015
|
0 Comments
|
medical app development companyA medical app development company has to play by a lot of rules to stay compliant

As we’ve mentioned before, there are a range of compliance issues that a medical app development company needs to keep in mind when developing software in the healthcare field. The recent guidance issued by the FDA has clarified some areas of confusion. But privacy laws are still a key concern. This is particularly true for Telemedicine, mHealth, and EHR apps that collect, store, distribute, or convey private health information (PHI).

States Outpace Federal Law in Patient Protection

HIPAA regulations are strict and complex. But there’s another area of privacy law that can come into play as well. The State of Texas has its own set of privacy regulations. From the Texas Attorney General’s website: “Effective September 1, 2012, the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act provides additional protections to consumers. The Act is broader in scope than HIPAA because it applies not only to health care providers, health plans and other entities that process health insurance claims but also to any individual, business, or organization that obtains, stores, or possesses PHI as well as their agents, employees and contractors if they create, receive, obtain, use or transmit PHI.”

Others states also have laws that go above and beyond HIPAA. For example, California state law specify that privacy regulations apply to: “any business that offers software or hardware to consumers, including a mobile application or other related device that is designed to maintain medical information.” Businesses that operate in more than one state need to know and understand the health privacy implications of their healthcare software in each jurisdiction.

At Ayoka, we take the time to fully explore the legal implications of building a medical application and consult closely with our clients to ensure full compliance with state and federal PHI regulations. Contact us at 817-210-4042 to discuss your healthcare software project.

Who Owns Your Cognitive Health Research Data

September 10, 2015
|
0 Comments
|
Cognitive Health Software Development and Research Data: Don’t Lose Control!

Cognitive health software development and medical research go hand in hand. With today’s technology, it’s possible to explore, analyze, and derive value from health data in new and exciting ways. For example, one of our clients uses custom software to collect and mine data that helps identify early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease and other cognitive disorders. But not every story about the use of modern technology and the collection of medical data has a happy ending. The recent legal action involving University of California, San Diego and University of Southern California is an example of what can go wrong when policies and procedures don’t keep up with the realities of today’s data-centric environment.

Who Owns the Research Data?

This summer, two California universities became embroiled in litigation over access to data from a massive research project called the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS). When a top researcher at UCSD and some of his staff were headhunted by USC to create a new Alzheimer’s institute, his former employer was understandably upset. But the accusation that the scientist allegedly took decades of ADCS research data with him was what really caused a stir.

The Alzheimer’s research data was apparently hosted on Amazon’s cloud services. However, the staff at UCSD found that they did not retain full access to this account after the scientist’s departure. According to Amazon, since UCSD was not specifically named as the account holder, the university was out of luck. Amazon would not reveal the name of the listed account holder to UCSD due to internal privacy policies—yet insisted that UCSD contact this mystery person to get the password to the account. The cloud services provider wouldn’t let them change the password or allow them to make any administrative changes without a court order.

Whoever controls this irreplaceable data is in line to receive hundreds of millions in funding for continued research—and potentially billions in profits for treatments or therapies developed as a result. The custody battle over the ADCS data is expected to drag on for a long time. That’s bad news for ongoing research that might be interrupted as a result. Patients can’t afford to have research institutions squabble over who owns the information that could hold the key to a cure.

Key Questions to Consider for Your Software and Data

How can you keep this nightmare scenario from happening to you and your patients? If your organization is designing custom software in the cognitive health field, there are a number of concerns you should address from the outset:

  • Who owns the data that is collected using the software?
  • Where and how will it be stored?
  • If cloud storage is used, will there also be backups on alternative services or hard copy?
  • Will an individual or organization be the primary account holder for any such storage services?
  • Who can access the data? For what purposes? Can this access be restricted or terminated?
  • Are members of your organization prohibited and prevented from taking data with them if they leave to seek other employment? What data security processes are in place to enforce this policy?
  • How will you prevent your organization from losing control of data?

Having the ability to collect, store, and analyze medical data is about finding ways to better serve patients. But it pays to consider how others might want to these resources for their own benefit—and take steps to protect your data!

Six key technologies to build an ACO model

August 25, 2015
|
0 Comments
|
What’s in Store for Accountable Care Solutions?

Since Medicare unveiled its initiative to build an ACO model in 2011, hundreds of these organizations have been created across the U.S., including a number in Texas. The proliferation of ACOs has led to the development of many different accountable care solutions built from custom software to help health providers, employers, and insurers collaborate to improve care and decrease costs. Applying experience derived from the Pioneer ACO Model, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is launching its next generation ACO model to establish financial targets and expand areas of care coordination among providers and beneficiaries. Participation in ACOs are not mandatory, but offers shared financial incentives for meeting metrics for standards of care. Hospitals & Health Networks Daily (HHN) has offered great insights into the technologies that will support forthcoming ACO initiatives.

Healthcare Technology Will Drive Intelligent Improvements

The six key technologies HHN predicts will emerge include revenue cycle and contracts management software as well as systems that promote interoperability among providers. But some of the most interesting technology solutions focus on the use of business intelligence, particularly with CMS’s emphasis on hitting predictable financial numbers with the Next Generation ACO model. With development of management systems that cover the entire care continuum for individuals and populations, organizations will be able to use advanced analytics tools to uncover and refine best practices with practical application of:

  1. Dashboards (mobile apps, browsers) that encourage actions [interventions] that reduce deterioration of care or likelihood of emergency room visits. Effective dashboards will present a comprehensive view of the patient across the spectrum of a care management system
  2. Aggregation or dynamic grouping of data (e.g. through NoSQL or MongoDB ) to manage billing or compensation for ACO and traditional fee-for-service care
  3. Decision support systems (including artificial intelligence) to develop workflow engines and rule sets that improve uniformity of care and consistent application of best practices among providers
  4. Big Data or business intelligence (analytics) systems to aid decision-making based on current, comprehensive data
  5. Middleware or secure API (application programming interfaces) infrastructure to support information exchange among providers and yield a more complete perspective of the patient
  6. Wearables and mobile apps to more easily collect [additional] patient data and engage patients to track and improve their own compliance and self-management

At Ayoka, we have been fortunate to serve customers who are dedicated to the principles of a patient-centric approach to healthcare. Ayoka has built cloud-based ACO software for customers to use within their enterprise or to resell to their clients. The custom accountable care solutions we develop help deliver the insights that make this model effective for patients and rewarding as a business. Contact us today to discuss your ideas for making healthcare better!

Medical App Development Is Booming after FDA Announcement

August 19, 2015
|
0 Comments
|

Medical app development has been a thriving area of software development for some time. But FDA oversight has been a source of concern—particularly for apps that are used on mobile devices. Fortunately, the FDA recently clarified that software is only considered a ‘mobile medical app’ when designed for use as an accessory to a regulated medical device or if it transforms a mobile platform into such a device. Other types of healthcare software won’t be subject to the same regulations. Here are a few quick examples of how the FDA breaks down mobile apps into categories:

#1 Subject to Regulatory Oversight (must go through the FDA’s approval process)
  • Imaging software used to measure and analyze lesions and assess the risk of skin cancer
  • Apps that use the built-in accelerometer on a mobile device to monitor sleep apnea
  • Software that controls the delivery of insulin doses
#2 Enforcement Discretion (FDA does not intend to enforce FD&C requirements)
  • Apps that allow providers or patients to interact with electronic health records
  • Electronic resources to help patients manage their own daily care in general terms (without providing recommendations to alter or change a previously prescribed treatment or therapy)
  • Software used for automating simple tasks in a healthcare environment
#3 Not Medical Devices (no oversight)
  • General training resources for physicians and health education for patients
  • Software that enables secure, protected communication among healthcare providers
  • Automation of general operations in a healthcare setting (scheduling, billing, electronic check-in, etc.)

Ayoka is equipped to help our healthcare clients design and develop a wide variety of apps in categories 2 and 3. If your organization is seeking to deliver better patient care through improved operational efficiency and compliance, we can build an app for that!

Enabling Provider and Patient Engagement

Healthcare providers are hard pressed to give exceptional and personalized care to patients and have noted that a critical success factor in the optimization of patient care is based on consumers’ expectations that improved healthcare features truly patient-centric business models. Focusing on both provider and patient engagement before, during, and after appointments will prove to be the deciding factor in patient satisfaction and can prove to reduce healthcare costs.

healthcare and ITThe healthcare industry is changing rapidly and moving away from high-priced consultants that conduct surveys and make recommendations towards data-driven project management that scales to match workflows and processes as they evolve. Ayoka Systems has aided healthcare providers in the implementation of custom software optimized for healthcare where communication between healthcare professionals, increased insight, and mitigation of error can be performed in a secure setting that is HIPAA-compliant.

A key first step to influencing patient behavior “between visits” is digitally connecting patients to their providers. A patient-provider accessible web portal and mobile tools can serve as a means to securely exchange messages, view and share lab results, pay bills, schedule appointments, process insurance, and more. With this open communication line and increase in transparency, patients have a better understanding of their health and medical conditions, and show greater compliance in following prescribed treatment.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is requesting that healthcare organizations adopt ICD-10 code set standards and operating rules and require documentation to prove that healthcare organizations are compliant. The stages of ICD-10 implementation readiness will make or break the ability for you to engage with qualified partners and vendors who successfully implement it. Ayoka can help tailor a plan of comprehensive implementation to address your organization’s needs to help while offering continuous delivery so that we can seamlessly integrate the new ICD-10 code set standards into your existing processes and while accomodating both ICD-9 and ICD-10 while your patients and clients work with your existing services offered during and after the transition to the new ICD-10 code sets.

Today’s patients are looking for a unique, shared, decision-making approach with their healthcare provider, and offering an accessible mobile application or web portal in a confidential and secure environment will act as a catalyst engagement initiative between provider and patient. Ayoka is experienced in developing healthcare IT infrastructures that are HIPAA-compliant while supporting active patient-provider participation. Contact us today to receive a free quote on your custom healthcare software needs!

Optimal Healthcare Information Technology to Track Interventions

May 21, 2015
|
0 Comments
|

Hospitals and other health care organizations have been working with software development companies to reduce medication errors by utilizing health information technology (HIT), improving processes with the help of evidence-based management, mitigating risk of errors that cause harm, and building a system that prioritizes security for safety and quality care. Ayoka’s experience with clinical analytics, HIPAA compliant software, and health records management provides a robust foundation for providing security, privacy, and records analysis through data monitoring, reporting and business intelligence solutions like evidence-based management.

healthcare_software_developmentMost medical records are still stored on paper, which makes it hard to coordinate healthcare, measure quality or reduce medical errors. It’s estimated that storing medical records on paper costs twice as much as electronic claims. The Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA have been a driving force behind the overhaul of current healthcare practices. Medication errors reported to the FDA stems from an array of influences, from poor communication, misinterpreted handwriting, drug name or label confusion, lack of employee knowledge, and lack of patient understanding about a drug’s directions. “But it’s important to recognize that such errors are due to multiple factors in a complex medical system,” says Paul Seligman, M.D., director of the FDA’s Office of Pharmacoepidemiology and Statistical Science.

Healthcare systems that utilize HIT, like computerized physician order entry (CPOE), automated dispensing, barcode medication administration, electronic medication reconciliation, and access to personal health records, have seen a drop in medication errors while automated notes and records, order entry, and clinical decision support among providers report fewer complications, lower mortality rates, and lower costs. Ayoka’s experience in custom software development for health care companies have offered the ability to receive data in real-time and open communication lines between medical and pharmaceutical staff, while complying with HIPAA and other regulations to avoid misappropriationEMR applications for mobile devices and smartphone software development provide new options for health records management, and these interactive applications may be used to educate patients about appropriate medication use and remind them to refill or take medications as prescribed. Online connectivity would bring about a more sophisticated style of monitoring, interaction, and communication between health care providers and patients.

Overall, discussions around electronic medical records (EMR) with concern of the health and safety of patients are leading to an increase demand for medical software development with the goal of accessibility and readability coupled with a competent HIT infrastructure for optimal health records management. Serving clients through close collaboration is our goal at Ayoka, a Texas software development company. Call us today at 817-210-4042 to experience true service in healthcare application development!

Tracking Quality and Costs in Health Care

May 19, 2015
|
0 Comments
|

As with most everything in today’s enterprise, data is needed to get an understanding of costs and quality. A lack of understanding and access to robust IT infrastructures that support and track interventions along with reporting analytics to monitor initiatives adds to the challenges that health care providers face, but creating these systems with a custom software development partner and tailoring these core functionalities to your needs will prove a great return on investment.

Pharmaceutical AnalyticsAntibiotic utilization can be tracked by drug and clinical software applications from desktops and mobile while adhering to governmental regulations with the goal of limiting their use in both inpatient and outpatient settings, which is increasingly important given how often these drugs are inappropriately prescribed. Ayoka’s experience in custom software development for health care companies have been able to offer real-time data and open communication lines between medical and pharmaceutical staff, while complying with HIPAA and other regulations to avoid misappropriation. Having this information in real-time is enabling pharmacy directors, proving that there’s a better way to stay connected and manage information through data among separate locations and different staff. Together we are improving the flow of information across the system so everyone is working from the same playbook. Software has a paramount role to play in reducing readmissions and in managing chronic diseases, which affects nearly half of the American population and often involves the administration of two or more drugs.

Leading providers of both inpatient and outpatient pharmacy management and consulting services to hundreds of hospitals in America are aware that pharmacy is driving 10-15% of their expenses, and they are excited by the new ability of having key performance metrics for pharmacy in real-time with the help of evidence-based management. New, innovative, health care companies are including pharmacies and pharmacists in their long-term plans regarding hospitals and health systems to improve the accessibility and quality of care. There has been a sudden growth of interest and need for action among large health systems that manage both hospitals and pharmacies, and health care companies need help to work through the benefits of leveraging pharmacy across the continuum of care to improve quality, reduce costs and even become a profit center by opening hospital-branded pharmacies.

By combining the efforts of seemingly disparate pharmacies and health systems with custom software, these facilities can generate additional revenue, improve outcomes post-discharge by reducing readmissions and reduce hospital employee benefit drug costs. Serving clients through close collaboration is our goal at Ayoka, a Texas software development company. Call us today at 817-210-4042 to experience true service in enterprise application development!

Ayoka’s Approach to ICD-10 Integration

February 20, 2015
|
0 Comments
|

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is requesting that healthcare organizations adopt ICD-10 code set standards and operating rules as early as, requiring documentation proving that healthcare organizations are compliant and that they have completed end-to-end testing with their partners.

At Ayoka, you can count on your ICD-10 implementations being both compliant and fully functional without having to worry about reimbursement issues or Internal integration involves identifying and merging the individual processes of ICD-10 to seamlessly integrate it into your existing processes. Comprehensive implementation timelines that address your needs will help along with open communication between us so that we can seamlessly integrate the new ICD-10 code set standards. We will help to optimize the flow of processes by helping you identify, add, or remove any steps for review and approval before validating the test region to make sure all of the required processes have been integrated correctly. Making changes and testing those changes in the internal systems before testing new implementations with external partners, ensuring continuous delivery, will prove paramount in the migration from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Testing on the external servers should consist of both small and large clients with a wide array of different submission and data input-both manual and automated testing is beneficial. It is important to establish the confidence that both historical transaction data and new incoming data will be passed successfully. High-volume procedures, diagnoses, DRGs, and payers should be the first priority.interruptions to workflow with payer-to-payer testing validations. Integration with large payers, like Medicare and Medicaid, ensures that data received is properly transmitted to the payer receiving them. It will provide increased visibility and validation to the entire testing process. With healthcare as an evolving industry, web based applications provide the greatest flexibility toward future changes in HIPAA, as well as mergers or acquisitions among your healthcare customers.

Coordination of the internal transition plan with product implementation along with addressing potentially necessary system upgrades/replacements that will be necessary to accommodate ICD-10 will prove necessary for seamless integration with existing ICD-9 standards. Addressing the costs involved and determining when upgrades or new systems will be available for testing and implementation for the new code set standards, along with offering customer support and training can all be addressed in-house at Ayoka! Ayoka’s highly collaborative approach to custom application development services emphasize local, hands-on interaction with team members that visit your organization, meet in person, and talk to your end-users. This level of customer service is the foundation of Ayoka’s custom application development services.

We will accommodate both ICD-9 and ICD-10 as your customers and clients work with services offered both before and after the transition to the new ICD-10 code sets. The CMS website has official resources for ICD-10 and will continue to add new tools and information to the site throughout the course of the transition.

ICD-10 Integration. Are You Ready?

February 17, 2015
|
0 Comments
|

The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) is a revision of the ICD-9-CM system currently in place. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is requesting that healthcare organizations adopt ICD-10 code set standards and operating rules soon, requiring documentation proving that healthcare organizations are compliant and that they have completed end-to-end testing with their partners.

Internal integration involves identifying and merging the individual processes of ICD-10 to seamlessly integrate it into existing processes. Optimize the flow of processes by identifying and adding/removing any steps for review and approval before validating the test region to make sure all of the required processes have been integrated correctly. After internal integration, internal end-to-end testing is performed to ensure that all of the processes and systems are moved to the test server. Making changes and testing those changes in the internal systems before testing new implementations with external partners, ensuring continuous delivery, will prove paramount in the migration from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The goal of internal integration is to validate that the entire system is functioning efficiently with no major issues and validating all internal/external reports by encouraging the end users to test, then validate, the ICD-10 data outputs. If ICD-10 implementation has properly integrated on the test server, then we’re ready to push code to the external servers for partner testing.

Testing on the external server should consist of both small and large clients with a wide array of different submission and data input-both manual and automated testing is beneficial here. It is important to establish the confidence that both historical transaction data and new incoming data will be passed successfully. High-volume procedures, diagnoses, DRGs, and payers should be first priority. If the payer organization implements a certification process for partners passing this phase of testing, then it will be easy to recognize the client’s ability to accept ICD-10 standards with the new implementation. Trading partner testing on external servers ensure that trading partner transactions are validated against the implementation guides. If you integrate a single clearinghouse to submit all of your claims then external testing will be greatly simplified while facilities that directly submit claims, including government claims, should test with every partner. Most of the time and effort for testing ICD-10 integration should be spent executing this phase since it’s one of the most important phases that will prove ICD-10 readiness.

The stages of ICD-10 implementation readiness will make or break the ability for you to engage with qualified partners and vendors who successfully implement it. One of the best practices successfully implemented by partners, is to involve multiple vendors responsible for each phase of testing. Payer-to-payer testing can validate future integration with large payers like Medicare and Medicaid and ensures that data received is properly transmitted to the payer receiving them. It will provide increased visibility and validation to the entire testing process. With healthcare as an evolving industry, web based applications provide the greatest flexibility toward future changes in HIPAA, as well as mergers or acquisitions among your healthcare customers.

Health Interoperability Met With Investigation

July 29, 2014
|
0 Comments
|

As Federal Health IT professionals take interoperability as a priority in an attempt to promote health information exchange, they were met with what may be misappropriation from doctors and other IT professionals and found themselves in an investigation on what entities are behind what’s being called the “information backing problem.”

healthcare and IT

The Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT, or ONC, stated that they “should take steps to decertify products that proactively block the sharing of information because those practices frustrate congressional intent, devalue taxpayer investments in [certified EHR technology], and make [the technology] less valuable and more burdensome for eligible hospitals and eligible providers to use.” A series of questions have been submitted related to ONC’s budget and its intent to collect millions of dollars in fees from health IT vendors.

Studied physician and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) states that “it may be time for us to look closer at the activities of vendors in the space, given the possibility that fraud is being perpetrated on the American people.” The Appropriations Committee has requested a detailed report of the extent of information blocking and solutions to combat and end the problem in question. Four members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce have the following four questions for ONC chief Karen DeSalvo:

  • When the authorization for the Medicare and Medicaid Inceantive program expires, under what statutory authority does ONC believe it is able to regulate Health IT and electronic health records, particularly in (but not limited to) non-Meaningful Use areas?
  • The FDA is provided with the authority to regulate medical devices by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. What similar authority does ONC point to, going forward, to participate in regulatory activities in coordination with the FDA and the FCC?
  • To what extent does ONC’s NPRM on 2015 Edition EHR Certification represent a broader shift in focus from coordinating and promoting efforts related to interoperability, privacy and security, and quality reporting criteria, to the regulation of data collection, functionality requirements, and other areas where market forces are more likely to promote innovation and efficiency?
  • What role does ONC plan to play moving forward on issues including, but not limited to, Health IT safety and EHR certification requirements? How will the recommendations of ONC’s Federal Advisory Committees guide these plans? Will ONC’s role be limited to the scope of these recommendations?

Chief science and medical officer of the West Health Institute, Joe Smith, stated that “Interoperability is essential to the more automated, connected and coordinated health care delivery system we all want and deserve, and it is an absolute requirement to make the ‘meaningful use’ program meaningfully useful.”

PatientsKnowBest.com

January 29, 2009
|
0 Comments
|

Patients Know Best (PKB) is a network for patient health record (PHR) practitioners.  PKB wanted a web-based application that will allow individuals to retrieve knowledge about their patient records through the integration of their PHR results and a wiki managed and maintained by PKB. Ayoka developed this application using Ruby on Rails with a MySQL database.

“It was a pleasure to work with the Ayoka team on my Patient Medical Records web application. They were responsive, the design was great, they stuck to my budget, and an independent code audit I did later showed they created high-quality code. I highly recommend Ayoka.”
– Mohammad Al-Ubaydli, Founder, PatientsKnowBest.com