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Epiphany Healthcare Blog

ECG Management Systems Running on End of Life Operating Systems

Posted by Russ DeRemer on March 11, 2019 at 1:10 PM

From the desk of the President:

Most hospitals consider ECG management systems to be mission critical. If your system is running on a Microsoft Server 2008 operating system, that operating system will be at the end of life (EOL) on 14 January 2020. What happens when a Microsoft operating system goes end of life?

  • Microsoft will not provide patches or updates
  • There will be no technical assistance available
  • Newly identified vulnerabilities will not be addressed
  • Microsoft will not offer any types of support for EOL systems

Possibly worse than the problems outlined above, after an operating system goes EOL, those systems are often targeted and exploited by cyberattacks. Anyone facing this EOL should begin planning the upgrade of their ECG management system.

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A few warnings from the internet regarding EOL software:

Staying on EOL Software Renders Your System Vulnerable, “Hackers exist to prey on vulnerabilities, and end of life software provides them with ample opportunities.”  Read more >

Can I still use my current system?

Yes, you will be able to continue using your computer with Windows 7 or Server 2008, but they will have a major security vulnerability and may not meet required standards for governing entities like HIPAA, FINRA, etc.  
Read more >

Depending on the circumstances, one recommendation is to move the on-premise Microsoft SQL 2008 and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 workloads into the Microsoft Azure cloud.  Read more >

Note: Epiphany Cloud Services offers ECG Management in the Microsoft Azure cloud. 

I write this message to strongly encourage you to begin planning an upgrade as soon as possible. Please share this communication with people in your organization who can accelerate a system upgrade. 
More Information on Epiphany Cloud Services

Russ DeRemer
President & CEO, Epiphany Healthcare

Topics: managing diagnostic test results, Epiphany Cloud Services, Microsoft end of life

Your Hospital Needs a New ECG Management System! Now to Persuade Your Team...

Posted by Allison Fawber on January 31, 2019 at 10:45 AM

Congratulations! You’ve realized that implementing a Healthcare IT software program such as Cardio Server will help your organization become more efficient, save money, and eliminate manual steps, thus saving time. You’ve done a lot of research to get to this point. However, now you’ve reached a new challenge, which is getting your department and supervisors to agree that implementing this particular software, in fact, is the right decision for your organization. Below are a few recommendations that can help you with the next steps.

Persuade-your-team

1. Leverage testimonials and reference accounts

If you know of another hospital that has been successful with the software you’re recommending, promote their success story to your team. If you need a reference account to contact for more specific feedback regarding their opinions on Cardio Server, just ask an Epiphany Representative and we can provide references that had similar requirements.

2. Get buy-in from your physicians

If you’re making a recommendation that your physicians adopt a new software program, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re on board, or better yet excited, to use the application. Epiphany’s Physician Overview Video is a helpful tool because it’s a tour of our software from their perspective. They can also sign up for a live webinar, customized for a physician’s workflow needs.

3. Put your vendor team to work

Epiphany representatives have the tools needed to provide you with a free workflow analysis to help you position our software to your departments. The end product of this discussion is a visual overview of what manual steps our software eliminates, an estimate of potential cost-savings, and labor costs that can be reduced. Seeing the results is an eye-opener for decision-makers, as it helps determine overall ROI.

4. Reduce uncertainty

Once you make a decision on an application, let your team know what will happen next. Feel free to schedule a consultation with our Implementations Director to talk about the Epiphany process going forward. Having all of these details up front will drastically help your team and supervisors to get the big picture before a final decision is made.


We want to empower you to improve patient care at your organization, and often improving the technology behind your daily workflow is a giant step in the right direction. Consider the steps above to help get your team and/or supervisors on board. Your Epiphany team is here to help you make an informed decision that you’re happy with.

10 Requirements for a Multi-Modality ECG Management System

Topics: Cardio Server, Healthcare Technology, clinical workflow improvement, managing diagnostic test results

Same Great System Now Conveniently in the Cloud!

Posted by Russ DeRemer on January 23, 2019 at 4:38 PM

Epiphany has been heavily vested in cloud computing for many years. Research and development, customer support, HR, payroll, employee benefits, document control, and our Quality System all reside in the cloud. Most businesses, outside of medicine, routinely maintain the majority of their infrastructure in the Cloud.

From Help Net Security, 07.16.2018: “86% of enterprises have adopted a multi-cloud strategy.”

Epiphany is confident that the time has come to take advantage of the cloud to manage your ECG and other clinical data.

Cloud

Recent articles discussing hospitals moving to the cloud include:

Cloud Decision Center, 07.26.2018: Exploring the Strategic Benefits of Moving to the Cloud

HIMSS Learning Center, 08.14.2018: Leveraging Cloud to Revolutionize Health IT…

HIMSS Learning Center, 06.21.2018: HIPAA Cloud Services: Run Healthcare Workloads in the Oracle Cloud

Cloud Decision Center, 06.14.2018: EHRs in the Cloud: why smaller healthcare providers are making the leap

HIMSS Learning Center, 04.28.2018: Enabling Innovation in Healthcare Through Technology…

Cloud Decision Center, 04.10.2018: Healthcare specialties find efficiencies and more in the Cloud


The cloud allows us to think about a new way to solve version-control issues. Instead of waiting for major upgrades, we will frequently patch systems with smaller security and feature updates. With the hospital’s agreement, Epiphany will commit to maintaining all of our interfaces and exports without modifications. Each patch will include documentation on the improvements. This commitment will allow hospitals to keep their system current without expensive upgrade projects.


Take advantage of the following financial benefits by moving to Epiphany Cloud Services:

• Operating budget vs. capital budget

• Reduced implementation and start-up costs

• Lower five-year lifecycle costs


Reduce your IT footprint and its responsibilities by moving the following to the cloud:

• Single-tenancy servers and data storage

• High-availability virtual environment to minimize down time

• Epiphany production and test environments

• Secure business-to-business encrypted virtual private network (VPN)

• Cyber security, malware, and virus protection

• Third-party operating systems, patches, and upgrades

• Backup and disaster recovery


Additional significant value-added capabilities from Epiphany Cloud Services:

Cardio Server Mobile included

• Proactive system monitoring to catch failures before they happen

• Frequent Epiphany software and security updates and patches

• Annual backup and disaster recovery technology testing

• Annual software version penetration testing

Contact Epiphany at (804) 744-8931 to learn more about   Epiphany Cloud Services.

 

Topics: ECG management, ECG management system, EKG management, managing diagnostic test results, Epiphany Cloud Services

Document Scanning is Not ECG Management

Posted by Andrea Allen on January 14, 2019 at 1:50 PM

Document scanning ECGs is an unfortunate reality for many hospitals. It does not manage ECGs, one of the most prolific diagnostic tests performed in a hospital, or other cardiopulmonary test results. While document scanning roughly satisfies the meaningful-use standard, it fails clinicians with its inherent delays, low-quality resolution, and lack of physician tools. It is, essentially, an expensive junk drawer where clinicians become frustrated and lose their patience.

ECG management solves all the problems of document scanning.

Delayed Access

While document scanning roughly satisfies the meaningful–use standard (diagnostic test results posted in the electronic health record (EHR) to give to the patient or for interoperability), document scanning comes with inherent delays. Most hospitals, because of a chronic backlog of patient records, scan documents into the EHR days after the patient is discharged. These delays lead to the question: How meaningful are scanned diagnostic test results if they cannot be used to manage a patient while the patient is still in the hospital?

ECG management, by contrast, transfers the ECG from the cardiograph to the management system in seconds.  Clinicians read in the management system from anywhere they access the hospital network, including their iPhones and iPads. Clinicians use electronic tools to enter interpretations, including pick-list favorites; they send confirmed results to the EHR with a single click. Those confirmed ECGs are immediately available to manage their patients while still in the hospital.

Low Quality

Beyond the delays, we often hear that the scanned ECGs look ‘bent’ or ‘crooked’ or ‘wrinkled.’ They are low quality. Additionally, scanned ECGs lose their diagnostic aspect. ECGs calibrate at 25 mm/second, 10 mm/mV.  Document scanning corrupts calibration as it is a picture of the ECG, one cannot use calipers on a scanned ECG.  Furthermore, the standard of care in ECG interpretation is to compare the current ECG to the previous ECG and comment on what has changed. This is only possible manually with document scanning. 

ECG management, on the other hand, paints the ECG on the screen from a raw-data file feed. The quality is the same as the printout from the cardiograph. Because the ECG contains raw data, electronic calipers for measurement corrections are available. All the patient’s previous ECGs are stored in the ECG management system, serial comparison of ECG results is automatic, thus easily satisfying the standard of care.

Expensive

Document scanning is labor intensive. Multiple workflow analyses demonstrate an average savings of $7 per ECG with an ECG management system in place. Automating ECG management allows skilled staff to focus on patient care.

Junk Drawer

Imagine a junk drawer in a kitchen. It contains pens and scissors and take-out menus and birthday candles and tape and a little bit of everything. To find any particular item often requires taking everything out of the junk drawer, which is always frustrating. By analogy, the media folder or image folder in the EHR is a junk drawer. All the otherwise orphaned diagnostic test results get jumbled together in one repository (ECGs mixed with stress tests mixed with cardiac rehab results, etc.). Finding a particular test result means opening many of them until the one in question is found. Clinicians are busy. They express frustration to us about how long it takes to find a particular test result in their EHR junk drawers; sometimes they give up.

Junk drawer

ECG management, on the other hand, identifies all the cardiopulmonary modalities that apply to the patient in their own ‘buckets.’ Finding a particular ECG from a given date is simple. Clinicians use it; patient care is improved by it.

Document scanning thousands of ECGs every year into the EHR is an unfortunate reality for many hospitals.  Document scanning is an inefficient use of hospital resources and impedes the clinician workflow by its delays, lack of tools for study interpretation, and easy accessibility for study retrieval. ECG management is the real solution for achieving patient, physician, and staff satisfaction.

Contact Us for a Demonstration or More Information

 

Topics: scanning test results, ecg management software, managing diagnostic test results

Advocating & Caring: Epiphany Healthcare Observes National Health Center Week

Posted by Shannon Richter on August 9, 2018 at 6:00 PM

NationalHealthCenterWeek

Epiphany Healthcare prides itself on improving workflow efficiency for healthcare organizations.  Epiphany provides these organizations one software solution that manages all their different diagnostic tests.  Cardio Server allows doctors to access their ECG data and other diagnostic test results from anywhere in the healthcare organization, office, or home including smart devices.  This solution streamlines the nurse-to-doctor communication and gets results to patients sooner.

Learn More About Cardio Server

Health Centers are among the healthcare organizations that Epiphany helps to provide the best workflow solutions for.  Health Centers are non-profits that work toward the mission of serving to improve the health of patients in the community in which they live.

What is National Health Center Week

National Health Center Week is the time that is designated annually to recognize and bring awareness to America's Health Centers and the mission that drives them.  They provide necessary healthcare in the communities that need them most.  Their doors are open to virtually everyone.  They not only provide primary care to millions of patients but try to find solutions for the main health concerns within their community.

 Why Observe National Health Center Week

The people that work for Health Centers are on the front lines with bleeding hearts of hope and health for all each day.  Community health workers wear many more hats than simply assisting with healthcare needs.  They have many roles and are heroes of healthcare to people that otherwise have barriers to healthcare.  America’s Health Centers and their heroes should be recognized for the great work that they do.

How to Observe National Health Center Week

National Health Center Week in 2018 is Sunday, August 12th through Saturday, August 18th.  Each day has its own focus to celebrate, such as Children’s Health Day and Healthcare for the Homeless Day.  The National Association of Community Health Centers and the Health Center Advocacy Network are inviting everyone to celebrate these Health Centers and the heroes that work for them by participating in one or more of these designated days.  According to the National Health Center Week website, these are the focuses for each day.

 

Sunday, 8/12: Legislative Appreciation Day

Monday, 8/13: Honoring Health Center Heroes

Tuesday, 8/14: Public Housing Health Centers Day

Wednesday 8/15: Healthcare for the Homeless Day

Thursday, 8/16: Agricultural Worker Health Day

Friday, 8/17: Patient Appreciation Day

Saturday, 8/18: Children’s Health Day

 

If the focus days do not hit home with you or you’d like to show your appreciation to your community’s Health Center heroes in another way this week, by all means please do so.  Shout out to your Health Center heroes this week and show them some love.  Epiphany wishes all of our Health Center organizations and their staff a happy National Health Center Week.

 Help Your Healthcare Heroes Become Workflow Heroes

 

Topics: HealthIT, EKG management, ECG results, Healthcare Communication, Healthcare Technology, device integration, managing diagnostic test results

#1 Rated Orthopedic Hospital in the US Goes Live with Epiphany's Cardio Server and Improves their ECG Workflow

Posted by Kevin Sekula on August 7, 2018 at 11:35 AM

When asked why Epiphany’s Cardio Server appealed to him, Carl Navarro, Chief of Cardiopulmonary Services at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), responded, “They put all of the diagnostic test results from all of the modalities on one screen. It is a huge advantage to now have a dedicated cardiopulmonary database whereas before, the hospital was using three different systems. Now, ECG, PFT, and Holter studies are all in the same place on the same screen.” 

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 1.06.41 PM

HSS in New York City went live with their Cardio Server system the week of June 18-21st. They are managing multi-modality diagnostic test results with Epiphany. Ranked #1 for Orthopedics by US News & World Report, the hospital’s mission is to lead the world as the most innovative source of medical care, the premier research institution, and the most trusted educator in the field of orthopedics, rheumatology, and their related disciplines.

Carl Navarro continued to share other great results about their new workflow after implementation. “Cardio Server is going to be a huge time saver for the staff. In the past, the staff had to credit all the ECGs that were read without an order,” he claimed. “Now, all of the studies have a matching order, making it easier for the staff to capture revenue that was formerly lost.” In addition to this labor/cost savings, Carl sang other praises about working with Epiphany. He chose Epiphany’s Cardio Server because he could tell that Epiphany makes customer satisfaction a big priority. In fact, feature requests and feedback from the customer go to Epiphany’s engineering team to be included in the next software release.

besthospitals HSS

In summary, Carl Stated that Epiphany:

  • Improved their order workflow by making sure every ECG is linked to an order, thus saving the technician valuable time and reducing the chances for clerical errors resulting in possible revenue loss.
  • Provided a better workflow to assign studies to the correct MD so that we no longer have to worry about the wrong provider reading a study.
  • Made all of the pertinent departments’ studies viewable in one system.
  • Assigned a strong implementations team with excellent onsite training for an overall great implementation. Epiphany’s team members felt like an extension of our own team and the Epiphany project team really drove us to set up the right kind of workflows for our facility. 

Darlene Rowman, the lead Cardiopulmonary Tech at HSS, stated she has used two other widely known systems before Cardio Server. She said Epiphany’s Cardio Server is by far the most user-friendly system. “The software is very intuitive, easy to use, and it didn’t take long at all to train their staff.”

One of Epiphany’s Clinical Training Specialists, Tammy Smith, received wonderful feedback on Epiphany’s report tool. The technician she worked with mentioned that what could take her a week on their previous system would now only take a few minutes.

Now that the hospital staff has been using the system for a little over a month, our Customer Advocacy Specialist reached out to see how they were doing. She was told that the doctors are doing “phenomenally well” using the new system.

Epiphany wants to partner with you throughout all stages of your project. After your decision to adopt our system, we make sure it will work the right way for your organization and that it will maximize your efficiency. If you are wondering how our project implementations work, or how we handle post go-live support to maintain a continued partnership with you, sign up for a free consultation below.

Get Your Free Consultation with Epiphany's Implementations Director! 

Topics: Improved Efficiency, solving workflow problems, workflow improvement, clinical workflow improvement, match order to study, managing diagnostic test results

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