Hackathon 2.0: Bringing the Best Out of Participating Clients and Employees!

Adam Curran

Adam Curran

Product Marketing Manager at SRS Health
Adam Curran is a Product Marketing Manager at SRS. He oversees marketing intelligence to support the development of strategic marketing plans. Prior to joining the organization, he was a key member of a pharmaceutical software company’s Clinical Development Business Unit, specializing in the clinical data management elements of the drug development lifecycle. He was also the editor for their microsite’s blog. Adam has also held roles at the UK’s National Energy Foundation and Skills Funding Agency.
Adam Curran

hack2-srs-logoWe have had a lot of fun here at SRS over the last couple of weeks; don’t worry, we have still been working hard! To clarify, we have been focused on our second annual Hackathon, a collaborative forum designed to innovate meaningful HCIT solutions for specialists.

We brought together our enthusiastic employees throughout the organization as well as select clients to come up with ideas for new and useful innovations. We didn’t simply see this as a side-project; our staff was fully committed to this project, and was working around the clock over the last couple of weeks bringing these great ideas to fruition.

This year’s theme was “Problem Solved”. Cross-functional teams were created and tasked to come up with breakthrough solutions to problems that would affect the patient and/or clinical experience.

Teams were also asked to think from the point of view of a new start-up healthcare IT company and encourage to invent a solution that really responded to a need in the market today from a fresh perspective.

Each team presented their solution’s business case, along with a prototype, video, and supportive marketing campaigns. Judges selected winners, and SRS will be funding development of the innovations that they believe will have the biggest impact on providing better healthcare through technology.

Several of the ideas selected will be showcased in the Innovation Expo at SRS’ annual User Summit. Clients can see future innovations in action and add their feedback at the event. Last year’s expo was one of the highlights of the conference.

We are always looking to hear great ideas, and get very excited during the Hackathon period which allows us to bring together our creative staff and client partners. That is the thing about great ideas; you just never know where the next one will come from! This is the way to come up with solutions that are truly user-centric in design.

Click here to learn more about how we do things.

Science Friction

Scott Ciccarelli

Scott Ciccarelli

CEO at SRS Health
Scott Ciccarelli, Chief Executive Officer at SRS, has more than 20 years of diverse management and operations experience garnered as a senior executive at GE, where he headed two of the company’s businesses—most recently, GE Healthcare’s Services, Ambulatory and Revenue Cycle Solutions. His areas of expertise include business strategy, leadership development, operational rigor (Lean Six Sigma), and the delivery of enhanced value for customers through quality improvement and innovation.
Scott Ciccarelli

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Innovation ExpoWhen I was growing up, Star Trek was the vision for the future of technology: intergalactic travel, teleportation, and tools that helped doctors heal instantaneously were portrayed as de rigueur. Here in 2015, technology has not quite caught up with the starship Enterprise crew—and while medical advancements since the sci-fi series’ 1966 launch date are extraordinary, there are modern-day tools that can hinder almost as much as they help. That’s science friction, and it can get in the way of the doctor-patient encounter. Is it possible to help physicians reap the benefits of HIT while maintaining the human nuances that define the art of medicine? We think so. That’s our mission at SRS.

We shared our Mission and Vision earlier this month at our annual User Summit, and we received such positive feedback from our clients that I thought I should share it here as well. I’ve been here just over a year, and I am so excited about what has happened during that time—and even more so about what we have planned for the not-too-distant future.

Our Mission is our PACT: Passion, Accountability, Collaboration, Transparency. Far more than just a clever acronym, these core values empower us to deliver on our mission to advance healthcare by providing HIT solutions that allow providers to deliver outstanding specialized patient care. Our Vision is to be the premier HIT solutions partner for specialty practices, and ultimately advance healthcare by introducing frictionless HIT solutions… constant commitment to our core values ensures that we preserve the individuality of specialty practices by designing and implementing innovative HIT solutions that support their unique goals.

Frictionless. This clarity of purpose is deeply routed in what we heard from our clients at last year’s User Summit. Specialty practices agreed with our guiding principles—improve practice productivity, demonstrate clinical quality, increase speed and value of reimbursements, and meet government regulations—but we heard their frustration about HIT getting in the way of their patient encounters. Patients need to be able to look their doctors in the eye—not stare at the back of their heads as they click away on a computer.

So we have adjusted our course. Now, protecting the doctor-patient relationship is our North Star, and our innovative team is literally developing the HIT solutions of the future. Of course, our commitment to productivity, quality, value, and meeting governmental regulations remains steadfast, but our technology will be adding value without subtracting it from the human side.

Those who attended the Innovation Expo at our User Summit got a sneak peek at things to come—and their reactions were otherworldly. We hope yours will be too.

Beam me up,
Scott(y) Ciccarelli

What’s your dream for the future?

New World, New Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Lester Parada

Lester Parada

Director of Professional Services at SRS Health
Lester Parada is the Director of Professional Services overseeing the Implementation, Training & Consulting and Forms teams. He has a background in business development, product management, project management and client relations. His passion lies in maximizing client value by optimizing workflows and technology.Lester is a certified PMP, SCM and CSPO and has an MBA with a concentration in marketing.
Lester Parada

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new-world-blogI am not the first and will most certainly not be the last to discuss the shift from the fee-for-service model to the value-based model. Additionally, I do not claim to have any answers on where we will end up on the continuum between the two. What is obvious, however, is the fact that we need to begin looking at how we measure success today and how it will be measured tomorrow.

Most articles and studies today focus on large, complex health systems because they are at the forefront of the changes. Given the rocky start to programs like the 2-year-old CMS Pioneer ACO program—where 75% of participants failed to earn bonuses—the buzz on the shift to value is less than positive. So the question remains, how do we get ready for the shift and avoid the pitfalls seen by the health systems?

Change your KPI (Key Performance Indicator) perspective!

Practices today are very focused on cost reduction. As with any business, if you reduce unneeded costs, and maintain revenue, you increase profitability. Well, what if we translated that in the value-based world to Cost of Care? Imagine that you start this now and can soon prove that by reducing unneeded tests, prescribing generic drugs, and adding a rigorous pre- and post-surgery education program, your total Cost of Care is lower. This information could be used to gain bundled payment bonuses, not to mention the added benefits of cost reduction itself.

Other KPIs that should change are around patient access and engagement. Most practices have adopted the meaningful use benchmarks as their high-water mark for portal usage. However, we should change the conversation to true Patient Engagement. Rather than X% of providers sending a message to a patient or completing a VDT task (patients viewing, downloading or transmitting their clinical record), track the value added by your portal. Ask yourself if patients with a portal are more loyal? Do they add on more ancillary services that you provide? Do they refer more new patients to your practice? Do they have a better pre- and post-surgery experience? Aside from these more qualitative measure that can increase value, you can track cycle times for clinical and non-clinical processes, which directly impact costs to you in terms of staff time.

Last but not least is something that health systems already track but that can be adapted to the specialty ambulatory setting, Capture Rate. This is the portion of the patient’s total care that is captured by your practice. This means driving adoption of “other” services or simply grabbing market share. This KPI can be driven up by providing advanced access. This may mean having a percentage of the schedule open for on-demand access, or adding e-visits, or expanding hours. You can dovetail this with a portal to provide a more self-serve model. The concept here is that if you can provide more of the touch points in your practices, you can reduce costs along the continuum of care.

Experiment, Adjust, and Communicate.

Defining your KPIs is the first step towards creating a measurable improvement. While the ones above are some suggestions, your team may come up with more targeted KPIs based on your practice goals. A few quick tips as you go forward.

  1. Keep it simple – KPIs are not about data for the sake of data. Pick 1 or 2 and experiment.
  2. Be ready to pivot – We learn the most from mistakes and there is nothing wrong with changing course when you have more data.
  3. Consider both short- and long-term goals – Don’t try to jump to 100% value-based KPIs in 1 step.
  4. Communicate! – The biggest mistake you can make is not involving your entire organization. The full team must understand the end goal and then progress toward it. Nothing kills an initiative like the lack of a sense of ownership.

What are your teams doing to get ready for the shift to the value-based model? Do you have KPIs that you’d like to share?

What is all this talk about “The Cloud?”

Christopher Locke

Christopher Locke

Manager, Software Packaging and Releases, Software Development at SRS Health
Prior to joining SRS over 6 years ago, Chris was an installation technician for IBM providing hardware and software services. Over the past 20 years, Chris has used his automation expertise for software packaging and deployment, as well as software development process automation. He currently oversees all releases, cloud deployments, and installation packaging at SRS. In his free time, you will find Chris attempting some form of home remodeling in between his family's sports activities.
Christopher Locke

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cloud-gears-blogOver the past several years, you probably have heard people talking about “The Cloud.”  It sounds very exciting and mysterious! You may have thought:

What is The Cloud?
Am I in The Cloud?
How can I use this whole Cloud thingy?
I want to be in The Cloud!

Let’s see if we can ’demistify’ Cloud-computing and put your mind at ease. In its simplest form, Cloud computing is the centralized sharing of applications, services, data, and resources from a variety of computing devices. What that means is, anything you do on your device is stored somewhere other than in the device itself. Think of The Cloud as a central repository for e-mail, photos, videos, and other data that you can access using the Internet. A Cloud computing company is keeping your data safe and sound for you, so you don’t have to carry around bulky hardware or worry about setting up security solutions. The Cloud also allows you to share or collaborate.

Still confused?

What if I told you that you probably use The Cloud all day, every day? Some simple examples of Cloud- computing include applications like Facebook and LinkedIn, services like Gmail and Twitter, resources like Wikipedia or Google, and all kinds of data. For most of us, every time we snap a selfie, it is stored in The Cloud. All of these aspects of Cloud computing are available to us on almost all of our devices. We can share our personal pictures, videos, and e-mail on all of our laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even our watches!

So how does SRS use The Cloud?

You may be surprised at the answer. Every time you load your main dashboard, shared Cloud resources put together the screen to display your requested data. Every Rx transaction is routed through the SRS eRx Pipeline to be analyzed and submitted for the patient and communicated with the pharmacy. Every ICD-9, ICD-10, or HCPCS code is selected from a shared Cloud data resource. Patient data files are transferred through a routing system called CCX. The SRS Patient Portals are complex Cloud applications offering data to patients whenever and wherever they request it. The benefits of Cloud computing are endless.

So the next time someone mentions “The Cloud” you can confidently respond: “I am all about The Cloud!”

PQRS and Prada: The Importance of Building Your Quality Wardrobe

Christine Schiff

Christine Schiff

Government Affairs Specialist at SRS Health
Christine has been with SRS for over 5 years, working in Government Affairs and serving as the HIPAA Privacy Officer. She is devoted to providing excellent customer service, and she translates this passion into the work she does to support government program compliance. She has an expert understanding of MU and PQRS and serves as a valuable client resource.

Prior to joining SRS, Christine worked at NYU for 11 years where she also obtained her Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management.
Christine Schiff

prada-blogWith summer now in full swing, I’m going through my summer attire and have found myself questioning my fashion style. I feel like it’s time to trade in my classic look for something more stylish!

I see a similar trend when I talk with clients about PQRS reporting—they are looking to revamp their reporting style. With more providers subject to penalties under both the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and the Value-Based Payment Modifier (V-BPM) programs, there is more riding on quality reporting—so it is important to ensure you are dressed for success.

Why building the right quality reporting “wardrobe” is important to your revenue:

If not reporting PQRS in 2015:

  • All PQRS-eligible providers are subject to a 2% PQRS penalty in 2017 and
  • An additional Value-Based Payment Modifier penalty based on group size:
    • 2% for Solo practitioners and groups of 2-9 providers
    • 4% for groups of 10 or more providers

If reporting PQRS in 2015, practices will be evaluated on quality and cost:

  • Solo practitioners and groups of 2-9 PQRS-eligible providers could see a potential increase of up to 2% in 2017
  • Groups of 10 or more providers could receive between a 4% penalty and a 4% incentive

Select the option that’s the best style and fit for you from the list below:

This chart summarizes the PQRS reporting options. The definitive source of requirements is: www.cms.gov/pqrs.

This chart summarizes the PQRS reporting options. The definitive source of requirements is: www.cms.gov/pqrs.

Are you dressed for quality reporting success? Let us know what ensemble fits you the best!

Cultivating Innovation – One Hack at a Time

Ryan Newsome

Ryan Newsome

Vice President of Software Engineering at SRS Health
Prior to joining SRS almost 10 years ago, Ryan started his career as a software engineer for Map Info/Pitney Bowes. Throughout the years Ryan has been an expert in all things web, interoperability, and in agile leadership. He currently oversees all of product engineering at SRS and has led SRS’ transition to an Agile/Scrum Development Methodology. In his free time, you can find Ryan either skiing, cycling or spending time with his family. Fun Fact: Ryan played Division 1 Soccer at Sienna where he attended on a scholarship. Goal!
Ryan Newsome

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HackathonNo lazy hazy days of summer for SRS. This week SRS is hosting its inaugural annual Summer Hackathon. What is a hackathon? A hackathon is an event for computer engineers, programmers, designers, and other creatives from across the company to collaborate in the design and build of new products and/or features within a finite amount of time. The word hackathon is a portmanteau of the words “hack” and “marathon.” “Hack” is used in the sense of exploratory programming activities, and “marathon” is used to convey the intensity, competiveness, and focus required to deliver a working solution in a short period of time.

So why hack? These intense tech benders create a venue for self-expression, creativity, and innovation leveraging technology and collaboration. It allows us to approach challenges differently, which can result in innovative ideas and solutions to existing and future problems in healthcare. In fact, hackathon ideas often turn into real-world products and features.

The theme for this year’s Summer Hackathon is based on healthcare productivity. We received over 40 ideas from across the organization—ranging from existing product line enhancements to new product lines based on emerging industry trends. Out of all the ideas submitted, the product development team has selected 15 ideas to pursue. Each team will demo their concepts in a “science fair” style format at the conclusion of the event. Prizes and recognition will be awarded based on presentation, creativity, and impact on healthcare productivity.

The team is very excited about our first hackathon. We believe investing in innovation is paramount to our clients’ success, and leveraging tools like hackathons to foster and cultivate innovation will ultimately provide premier creative solutions that will drive value for our clients and their patients.

It all starts with an idea… any ideas to share?