In this end-of year edition of UHIN’s bi-monthly newsletter you’ll find helpful tips, the latest from Standards, the newest offerings from UHIN, and much more! If you have a comment or if there is a topic you would like to see us cover in an upcoming issue, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Year in Review
UHIN had a busy 2018 and we’re very proud of the important advancements that we achieved during the year. As you know, we’re constantly striving to positively impact healthcare through reduced costs, improved quality, and better results driven by innovative healthcare technology solutions. Here are just a few of the accomplishments UHIN achieved during the year.
- Celebrated our 25th anniversary of serving the healthcare community.
- Expanded Patient Centered Data Home (PCDH) to exchange appropriate patient data with HIEs in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.UHIN is now connected to 18 states across the country – and growing!
- UHIN’s chief information officer participated in the CIO Forum at the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), the public advisory body that advises the Health and Human Services Secretary and reports to Congress on HIPAA implementation.
- We partnered with the Minnesota Department of Health to provide clearinghouse services.
- UHIN hosted the annual HIT Conference centered on patient information technology. The conference featured a panel of experts actively working on the opioid crisis, as well as industry leaders discussing the importance of patient-directed exchange, interoperability on a state and national level, and other interesting topics.
- Several of UHIN’s IT team participated in the HL7 FHIR connection “connect-a-thon” with developers from around the country.
- Refocused our staff around product teams to enable even greater concentrated efforts to address the needs of our members.
- Successfully recertified with EHNAC.
- Provided a new telephonic call-back feature for customers contacting Customer Service.
Of course, we are also all very proud that Teresa Rivera, our president and CEO, was selected as a Utah Business Magazine Healthcare Hero this year as well.
Everyone at UHIN is excited about the prospects for 2019 and we look forward to continuing working closely with the healthcare community to improve the lives of patients and ease the administrative burdens of providers.
THE TRAINING TIP
One of the most rewarding aspects of working in the healthcare field is the consistent opportunity to learn new skills. But let’s face it, sometimes learning something new can be a challenge! The good news is that learning is a skill in and of itself, and you can hone that important skill by employing some good habits. So next time you’re faced with learning a new skill, use these learning strategies:
- Take notes: Studies show that people who passively listen to new information will only remember a fraction of the content. To increase your ability to remember the important information later, take notes. You don’t need to write everything down, just what you believe is the most important information. It’s also more beneficial to take hand-written notes – the process of actually writing information down by hand makes it easier for your brain to remember it later.
- Translate: No, we don’t mean into a different language (hey, unless that helps you)! We mean translate the new information into familiar terms and situations. This process benefits both memory and understanding of the context. It’s enhancing your learning process by leaning on your existing experience and knowledge. For example, if you already know how a heart works and you’re learning about automotive fuel pumps, you might make a mental analogy that fuel pumps are like hearts because both pump essential fluids to areas where they’re needed.
- Practice: We wouldn’t expect anyone to learn a musical instrument in one sitting, right? Of course not, we know that it takes practice. The same is true for learning something new in a professional setting – it can’t happen instantly. When you’re learning a new skill, set aside some practice time to go over the new information and behaviors, run through the new process a few times to ensure you’re finishing all the required steps, etc. Don’t put off practicing – a delay of even a day may result in forgetting important information or steps.
- Teach: Often, teachers discover that they gain greater understanding and insight of new material during the process of determining how to explain it to their students. Therefore, if you’d like to reach an even higher level of proficiency, try teaching what you’ve learned to someone else!
You’ve probably heard the term “phishing” and know that avoiding it is an important part of keeping protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII) safe. But what exactly is phishing, and how do you avoid it?
Phishing, of course, is an alternate spelling of “fishing” and was first used by hackers over 20 years ago when they “lured” AOL users to divulge passwords. It’s spelled with a “ph” in honor of the first form of hacking, “Phone Preaking,” from the 1970s!
You’ve probably received an email from a prince seeking help depositing a large amount of money, that’s phishing. But hackers seeking PHI and PII are much more sophisticated…and much more successful. Every year 11 million Americans are affected by a loss of PII and $2.3 billionhave been lost to CEO email scams!
So, what’s the best way to guard against phishing emails?
- Stop to reassess the email and employ the acronym FAKE:
- F– Feeling: does it trigger an emotion
- A – Action: you’re asked to do something
- K – Know: do you know the sender
- E – Expect: were you expecting the email
- Don’t click any unfamiliar links or urls. Numbers, hyphens and strange country codes (i.e. .za or.ru) are signs that the email was generated from an untrustworthy source. You can hover over links to see the url.
- Don’t trust any attachment that you aren’t already expecting. And question archive files like .zip, .rar and .7z – these are a prime vehicle for hackers to hide malicious files.
- Don’t open Office files – like Word or Excel – with Macros because they can contain embedded code. You can identify these files as .docm, xlsm or .pptm.
- Be wary of files with double extensions like file.gif.exe.
Most importantly, verify the email. Just because an email came from the CEO or another executive doesn’t mean they actually sent it. If the language in the body of the email doesn’t sound like your boss, or if the email contains a request to transfer cash or any other information, take a minute to verify. It’s better to ask than to explain you’ve helped a hacker!
NEW IN THE CHIE
The CHIE data is growing every day. We’re pleased to announce two very important additions:
- St. Mark’s Family Practice is now sending Advanced Directives and POLSTs to the CHIE. These important end-of-life documents can be found both in the Care Management tab in the patient summary section, and in the Advanced Directive tab under the More Information section.
- Need to know at which of Granger Medical Clinics nearly 20 locations your patient experienced a medical encounter? Now you’ll find that important information both in Granger’s ADT notifications and its transcription feeds!
STANDARDS: NCVHS PREDICTABILITY ROADMAP
At times, national standards have seemed to struggle to keep up with the fast-paced healthcare industry. The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), which serves as an advisory body to HHS and reports to Congress on HIPAA implementation, has long been looking to mitigate the issue. To address the situation, NCVHS has published a draft Predictability Roadmap, which aims to identify actions that will result in more timely and predictable industry updates. The current draft proposal includes several bold changes that would significantly alter how the healthcare industry creates, approves and implements updates to our standards.
UHIN’s Standards Committee submitted comments to NCVHS on the proposed Predictability Roadmap. You can learn more about NCVHS and view the proposal here.
SAVE THE DATE – STANDARDS WEBINAR
Save the date January 16, 2019for the webinar “The Gold Standard…of Standards,” which will discuss the role of standards and how they are developed. You’ll be able to register for the webinar soon – check the UHIN events page for all of our upcoming webinars. https://uhin.org/events/.
WHAT’S ON YOUR CORRESPONDENT’S MIND? A NEW YEAR.
For the past few weeks, your intrepid correspondent has been receiving many emails predicting what 2019 holds for healthcare. More rollback of the ACA? Even greater focus on the opioid crisis? Medicaid expansion in more and more states? The only clear vision he sees in his crystal ball is the continued growth of data sources for the CHIE, expanded connectivity, and greater interoperability for patients, providers and payers alike. If you’d like to share your prediction, you can reach him at email@example.com.