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Primary care is the primary battleground in healthcare.

February 24, 2020

Call it Prime-ary care. Amazon has launched a virtual care service for all its Seattle-based employees. The service includes text, video, and in-person care. And a “care courier” to deliver meds at home. One can assume free, same-day shipping.

The battleground for healthcare is in the frontlines of care – namely primary care. Health systems are competing with each other, with insurers, and now with tech firms to gain and retain the attention of consumers. Digital front doors are all the rage.

We feature two contrasting pieces this week on the technology approaches to execute on digital engagement with healthcare consumers. Aaron Martin, Chief Digital Officer of Providence Health, makes the case that it is incorrect to rely on EHR systems to drive consumer engagement. On the other hand, NYU Langone strongly embraces the EHR system as the primary platform to deliver virtual care.

With all the raging debate about patient access to their medical information (ONC chief Rucker has said the final HHS ruling will come “relatively soon”), an idea whose time has come is that of a model data use agreement. After all, if patients win the battle for access against EHR vendors only to lose it to wily digital health startups and tech firms, what would be the point of it all?

The ONC released its final report on strategies to reduce clinician burden from EHR systems. The focus is on documentation,reporting, and usability.

Digital transformation in healthcare: our picks for the week

Amazon Care goes live for its Seattle-based employees

Amazon employees and their families living in Seattle will now have access to tech-enabled Amazon Care. Call it Prime-ary care?

Physicians, Hospitals Meet Their New Competitor: Insurer-Owned Clinics

Large insurance companies have been steadily moving into primary care to gain better control over healthcare spending and steer plan members to preferred hospitals.

Relying on Your EHR to Drive Consumer Engagement? Here’s Why That Alone Won’t Work

Aaron Martin, Chief Digital Officer of Providence Health, argues that many health systems are making an incorrect connection between the EHR as a strategic digital asset and the growing need to digitally connect with consumers.

How NYU Langone Health Grew Its Telemedicine Program

NYU Langone relies heavily on its core EHR platform to drive virtual care initiatives. A centralized strategy helped expand the number of specialties offering virtual care — and treat more patients in need.

Why patients and providers need a model patient data use agreement

Model data use agreements in healthcare – an idea whose time has come.

ONC advisory group wants to add price transparency, data privacy focus

The interoperability rule will be finalized “relatively soon,” says ONC chief Dr. Donald Rucker. As in HIMSS 2020?

Final Report Delivers a Strategy to Reduce EHR Burden

The ONC released its final report on reducing the burden on clinicians from EHR systems. The 3 big areas of focus are documentation, reporting, and usability.

Big Tech to Face More Requirements in Europe on Data Sharing, AI

The EU leads the way on regulating AI and making big tech firms more accountable for content.

High Performers Show the Way Toward AI Adoption

The maturing practice of AI and what companies do right in successfully adopting AI.

Superfast 5G Rollout Hits Slow Patch, Some Equipment Suppliers Say

Rollout of superfast 5G wireless networks has slowed, despite spending on 5G infrastructure that is expected to approach $4 billion in 2020. Blame the NIMBYs – partly.

‘Virtual Pharmacology’ Yields Unprecedented Biological Clock Breakthrough

Ready to beat jet lag for good? I am. UCSF scientists are close to inventing the pill I’ve been waiting for all my life.

The latest from Damo Consulting

Podcast- Episode #36: With Paul Black, CEO, Allscripts

“Every patient has a right to control where their health data goes.”

The WITCH Monthly Monitor (January)

Our monthly update on major global IT consulting and services firms in healthcare. It provides latest financial and market performance updates on WITCH companies along with other global IT consulting firms.

Why interoperability is cool (again)

The ability to gain access to the data through reusable APIs significantly improves developer productivity, enabling CIOs to achieve more with the same resources.

White paper: What health systems must do to accelerate digital transformation

Our latest white paper explores how health systems can accelerate digital transformation.

The WITCH Report: 2019 Mid-Year Review

A review of the financial and market performance of global technology consulting firms in healthcare.



Coronavirus conversations

March 23, 2020 Starting this week, I am doing a series of podcast interviews with healthcare IT leaders who are now in the spotlight as

Extreme social distancing

March 16, 2020 For the coming weeks, this newsletter will focus on curating articles from credible sources that provide useful information on the coronavirus crisis.

What Hath God Wrought?

March 09, 2020 I borrow the subject line this week from the first ever telegraph message by Samuel F.B. Morse in 1843. Now, as then,

No handshakes, please. Namaste.

March 02, 2020 As I write this, HIMSS2020 is set to proceed as scheduled, with additional precautions to prevent any possible risk of infection with