Thanks for joining us at HIMSS15!

Thanks to everyone who made HIMSS15 in Chicago a successful event this year! Our first year exhibiting at HIMSS, we joined more than 1,300 exhibitors and 40,000+ attendees for this world-class event focused on major global issues in healthcare—including care coordination, population health management, and optimizing cost efficiencies.

Equicare booth at HIMSS15
Before the floodgates opened.

Prominent keynote speakers, including Former President George W. Bush and current National Care Coordinator Dr. Karen DeSalvo, addressed the necessity of patient-focused and cost-effective care, as well as the large-scale impact of developing comprehensive population health management systems.

Steve Lieber, President & CEO of HIMSS, echoed these ideas, noting that organizations must embrace technology as a vital tool for connecting people to the healthcare system and affecting critical change to improve care.

At Equicare, we support these goals in everything we do. EQUICARE CS, our comprehensive care coordination solution, helps organizations improve patient outcomes with better quality care, while increasing operational efficiency and reducing costs. Everyone wins!

 

 

 

Recognizing our success

We are plea2015 Branham 300 logosed to announce that we have cracked the “Top 250 Canadian ICT Companies” on the Branham300 in only our 2nd year on the list — moving from # 277 in 2014 to #244 this year.

We are in good company, with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector in Canada once again achieving year-over-year growth and setting a revenue record of $90.9 billion.

The Branham300 is a listing of Canada’s top public and private ICT companies, as ranked by revenues.

For more information about the Branham300: http://www.branham300.com/

 

Out and about this spring: ACCC, NCBC & HIMSS!

It’s been a busy spring at Equicare Health! After attending two workshops at the end of February—Commission on Cancer’s (CoC) Accreditation 101 in Chicago and the UPMC: Cancer Survivorship for Healthcare Providers in Pittsburgh—, the Equicare team had the pleasure of participating in two industry events in March.

Equicare booth at CoC Accreditation 101 Workshop
The calm before the storm: Equicare booth at the CoC workshop in Chicago
Ryan at CoC Accreditation Workshop, Feb 27, 2015
Ryan ready for action at the CoC Accreditation 101 Workshop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We headed to Arlington, VA for ACCC’s 41st Annual Meeting:  CANCERSCAPE, where attendees gained insights into the healthcare policy landscape, quality measures and reporting, and the potential for big data to improve care. We were delighted to demonstrate how EQUICARE CS can help cancer centers improve patient care through coordinated navigation, survivorship, distress management and patient engagement programs.

NCBC was a wonderful opportunity to visit with our current customers and make new connections with other medical and industry professionals who are as dedicated as we are to improving breast health care for patients throughout their cancer journey—from diagnosis to treatment and through survivorship.

General session at NCBC
Another packed session at NCBC in Las Vegas

The HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition starts tomorrow in Chicago, showcasing the newest technologies, trends, and solutions in health IT. Equicare will be there—with 38,000 of our closest friends— to  demonstrate how we can help cancer centers and hospitals improve patient care and increase revenues. Drop by Booth 3376 to learn how EQUICARE CS can streamline your patient care coordination and help you deliver unparalleled survivorship care. Hope to see you this week!

Gearing up for HIMSS 2015!

HIMSS 2015 logo

Chicago welcomes the 2015 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, April 12-16, 2015, at McCormick Place. More than 38,000 healthcare industry professionals are expected to attend to discuss health IT issues and view innovative solutions designed to transform healthcare. We’re looking forward to showcasing EQUICARE CS, our complete oncology patient management solution, at this annual event.

Conference education sessions include pre-conference symposia on clinical and business analytics, HIEs, innovation, mobile health, nursing informatics, physicians’ IT and more. More than 300 peer-reviewed sessions, including workshops and roundtables, round out education offerings at HIMSS15.

George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, leads a strong roster of speakers that also includes Alex Gourlay, President, Walgreens; Bruce D. Broussard, President and CEO, Humana; and Jeremy Gutsche, Founder of Trendhunter.com and Author of “Exploiting Chaos.”

The HIMSS15 Exhibit Hall will feature the Connected Patient Gallery, Federal Health IT Solutions Pavilion, HIMSS First-Time Exhibitors Area, HIMSS Health IT Value Suite, HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™, Intelligent Health™ Pavilion (formerly known as Intelligent Hospital Pavilion), and three Knowledge Centers focused on clinical and business intelligence, disaster preparedness, and mobile health.

Drop by Booth #3376 for a demo of EQUICARE CS, our innovative patient care coordination solution. We look forward to seeing you!

Seeking Health Innovation Globally

HealthXL logo

Equicare was one of nine international companies selected to participate in the third HealthXL Global Gathering on February 27th in Dublin. HealthXL is a clearinghouse for innovation in healthcare. It aims to drive innovation in healthcare by catalysing collaborations between leading global brands and the most exciting technology companies to improve the lives of millions of people. An ambitious goal that we can get behind!

A collaboration of the leading minds in digital health, the HealthXL Global Gathering brought together more than 90 healthcare leaders from around the world seeking to find the next big thing in health tech. The focus was on discovering innovative solutions to major challenges in the areas of clinical trials, COPD, and heart failure.

Len Grenier, Equicare’s CEO, presented in the heart failure session, discussing how our robust patient care coordination platform can translate from our current focus on oncology patients to patients with other chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure (CHF).

Up to 2015 we were primarily working in oncology, with the vision to move into other chronic care management areas, such as heart failure, in the future. When HealthXL invited us to present at their Global Gathering, the opportunity worked as a catalyst for us to expand into that new market.

The opportunity to present in the Heart Failure Challenge gave us a platform to showcase our product in front of a world-class audience focused on that specific area. The panel was impressed with the potential of EQUICARE CSTM to be used in coordinating the care of CHF patients from screening to aftercare.

Panelists in the session were: Conor Hanley, PhD (Senior Vice President, Chronic Disease Management, ResMed), Chris Coburn (Vice President, Innovation, Partners HealthCare),and Dr. Robert Kelly (Head of Cardiology & Director of Innovation, Beacon Hospital). Dr. Vishal Gulati, Venture Partner, DFJ Esprit, moderated the panel.

We are excited to be part of the digital health revolution being driven by organizations such as HealthXL and relish our role in helping improve the lives of patients.

Equicare: Ready for clinical use within 60 days, guaranteed.

At Equicare we’ve always worked hard to meet your timelines.  Now, we guarantee it.

60 days, guaranteed

We’re committed to making our installation process quick and painless so you can get on with working with your patients.   Our 60 day guarantee means that if we can’t get your system ready for clinical use in 60 days, you’ll get a year of free support.  Ready to put us to the test?  Great!  Get in touch to finalize your contract and get your installation started.

Still have questions?  We’ve answered some of your questions below.  Contact us anytime to learn more.

What does Equicare do in that 60 day period?
We’ll configure the software and OIS interfaces to meet your needs, analyze your workflows to identify how Equicare can integrate into your daily operations, review your needs for clinical content, and provide training.  To complete this process we’ll ask your team to participate in a few meetings, and provide us with the info we need to set up the software for your organization.

When does the 60 days start?
Every Equicare installation begins with a kick off meeting.  We’ll start the 60 day count from that day.

Is my team involved in the install process?
Yes, to qualify for the guarantee, you have to meet all project milestones that are assigned to your team. During the kickoff meeting we will review all milestones with your team and make sure that they all make sense. If you hit your milestones, but we miss the 60 day window, you get a free year of support.

We need to go live sooner than 60 days.  Can you meet a shorter deadline?
Most of the time, yes!  If you need to go live in less than 60 days, contact us and let us know your timeline.  Usually we can accommodate your needs, and move even faster than 60 days.

Isn’t the first year of support free already?
You’re right, the first year of support is included in your warranty. If we don’t make our 60 day commitment, you’ll get a second year at no cost too.

What’s included in the free support year?
If we miss the 60 day install deadline, your year of support will include all aspects of our regular customer care program.  This includes:

  • Live support: from 6am to 7pm Pacific, business days
  • Maintenance releases: these ensure your system has the latest fixes for software and security issues as soon as they are available
  • Software upgrades: we include updates to existing modules; as well as brand new features and functionality
  • Clinical Content Updates:  we update a library of follow-up templates , questionnaires and educational material
  •  Installation of all new releases: our customer support team will install all updates and upgrades to minimize interruptions of your system.

 

Welcome Randy Hemingway, Sales Manager, Northeast

Randy HemingwayPlease join us in welcoming Randy Hemingway to the Equicare team!  Randy has enjoyed an incredibly varied career in the field of oncology including roles as Director of Oncology, Dosimetrist, and Sales Manager.  He’s worked all over the world, delivering health technologies and we’re thrilled he’s now going to support healthcare providers in the Northeast.  Get to know Randy a little better here:

What was your first job?|
My very first job was in a butcher shop.  I really liked it because I got to interact with customers, and also learned what makes a great steak. I got pretty good at it, and in high school I even judged meat competitions! 

What are you most proud of in your career so far?
I’ve worked in International sales for over 14 years, and I’ve had the chance to introduce new healthcare technologies to Latin America, Europe, Asia, and South America.  It’s been incredibly enlightening for me to see how different each health system is, and yet how each shares common ground: a basic desire to provide best care for their patients.  While it’s been eye opening for me personally, it’s also been extremely rewarding to see how the technologies I’ve introduced change the operation of healthcare organizations, and ultimately improve the care patients receive.  Making a difference like that is something I’m very proud of.

What are you most looking forward to working on at Equicare?
I notice that while health technology is improving, we have tended to lose focus on the patient as a whole person.  In the US especially, we often treat immediate symptoms and localized problems first, which means we miss a lot of the dietary, emotional and psycho-social aspects of care.  At Equicare, we’re bringing in a continuum of care to oncology, and considering the patient’s needs in full.  This brings the patient to the center of care, which is very different from anything I’ve ever done.  This is really a monumental step for the healthcare providers, who have a more complete picture of their patient’s health, and for the patient, who can finally take a more active role in their health, confident they’re being treated like a complete person!  The fact that I have the chance to introduce these changes to the healthcare industry through Equicare is very exciting.

What do you think of the state of the Healthcare IT industry and its future?
I think that as a rule, we’ve seen a trend towards the generalization of healthcare IT, where technology comes top down from large, enterprise level systems.  While this has obvious administrative benefits, we often lose out on patient care – it’s just impossible for one of these large systems to meet the needs of oncology patients specifically.  What Equicare is doing, and what I think will become a trend, is to work from the bottom up, with a system ideal for treating specific patients, while also integrating into the larger hospital IT systems. Adding these specialized services will be a significant milestone improving relationships between patient, family, clinicians and PCPs.

The ability to track patients throughout their care is increasingly key to success.   This will be most significant in reducing the number of patients that drop between treatments, and never receive follow up.  Knowing where patients are in the process, addressing problems that arise, and sharing this information not only with other specialists, but also with the patient, again puts the patient back in the center of care.

Finally – the internet has completely changed the way we view our health.  Many patients, especially younger ones, will go online and do their own health research before even coming into a clinic.  While this  generally leads to a better educated patient population, we can’t control what kind of information patients are getting, or validate it’s accuracy.  I hope products like Equicare, which include up to date, clinical education can bridge the gap, so we can educate patients with information they can trust.

How have you seen technology improve the lives of those suffering from long term conditions or illnesses?
Specifically in oncology, I’ve seen amazing improvements in localized radiation therapy.  The ability to localize treatment has not only improved cure rates but dramatically reduced toxicities and secondary malignancies. I’ve also seen major improvements in information technology that enable us as a community to learn from our history so that we don’t repeat our mistakes.  The improvements in treatment and the increased availability of  information have enabled the healthcare community to see pretty dramatic improvements in health outcomes for cancer patients.

Now that we’re in the beginning stages of public healthcare in the US, I hope we don’t lose out on these improvements by generalizing treatment recommendations. Patients still have unique needs, and a one size fits all health system doesn’t address these issues.

What are you reading right now?
This might be boring, but mostly I read journals, and especially the Red Journal. Well that, and LOTS of emails!

You need to go on holiday tomorrow- where would you go?.
Paris and anywhere in Latin America are favorites, but if i had a choice to go anywhere, and the world were safer place I’d love to travel to Kathmandu, which is somewhere I’ve never been.

What would you eat for your last meal on earth?
I think I’ve come full circle to my first job: I’d definitely chose Filet mignon.

We’re pleased to have Randy and his expertise on our team. Want to get in touch about oncology care or the finer aspects of butchery? Please contact Randy at randy.hemingway@equicarehealth.com

 

Equicare’s Movember team – the Mid-month update

Our team of Mo-bros has been furiously growing facial hair this month, courageously sprouting mustaches to support men’s health through Movember.  Two weeks ago they looked like this, but at the midway point in November we can officially report back – the mustaches have arrived.

Make sure our team isn’t mustachioed in vain – please donate to Movember  and support men’s health this month.  Click here to learn more about Movember,  or view our team page here.

Equicare's Movember team at the mid-way mark
Getting serious about men’s health

Welcome Heather Krengel, Sales Manager, Southeastern USA

logy to improve outcomes for patient.  She will manage the Southeastern USA sales region, and we’re thrilled to have her on board.

In addition to her extensive professional and clinical qualifications, we also learned that Heather has experience in lawn maintenance and a sweet tooth for coconut cake – we think she’ll fit right in here.  Get to know her here:

What was your first job?
Well there were no child labor laws back then…… I helped my brother mow grass and haul hay during a Mississippi summer (bad idea). He stiffed me a few times and I soon found that working in the local grocery store was much cooler!

What are you most proud of in your career so far?
My background is clinical Oncology. So definitely the fact that I have been able to help folks through some of the most difficult times in their lives with care, compassion, laughter, and grace. You can earn stripes on a resume, but nothing takes the place of holding the hand of a person who has reached the end stage of their life. Learning how to do that has given me a certain freedom in life.

What are you most looking forward to working on at Equicare?
I can’t wait to help educate cancer care sites on how to build strong successful navigation and survivorship programs that will serve them and their patients well for years to come. There is a clear, growing need for both of these right now, and folks need to know how it can be done well from the get-go.

What do you think of the state of the Healthcare IT industry  and how it relates to oncology?
The Oncology industry is booming! With the aging of the “baby boomers” and even the generation that followed, we are starting to need more and more health care. Thankfully there are more choices in treatments and technologies and increasing numbers of places in which to be treated. Healthcare IT is absolutely vital in order to link technologies together with sites and services to help give the patient the most beneficial outcome. It’s not “one stop shopping” any longer. Healthcare IT must be able to connect various networks together in order to follow and track that patient for best practices and outcomes. I’m so thankful to represent one of the software companies that can do just that.

How have you seen technology improve the lives of those suffering from long term conditions or illnesses?
I am a huge believer in early detection! Whether it be through genetic testing, age appropriate examinations, or preventive care, we could not have seen the survivorship and wellness numbers expand the way they have over the last couple of decades without the advances in technology. I have seen adults that were diagnosed with colon cancer or breast cancer who were able to spare their children the same fate due to a simple blood test – that’s the kind of technology that I can get excited about.

What are you reading right now?
The Boys in the Boat

You need to go on holiday tomorrow- where would you go?
New Zealand. I hear the hiking and people are amazing.

What would you eat for your last meal on earth?
That one is easy, my mother’s homemade coconut cake. Probably the entire thing.

Want to get in touch with Heather to discuss your survivorship and navigation program needs  (or just share your magic advice for managing a three year old)?  Heather will be be happy to hear from you at heather.krengel@equicarehealth.com

CASE STUDY: Southside Regional Medical Center Installs ECS

“EQUICARE CS is incredibly intuitive and user friendly.  The great service and easy-to-use interface has made implementing ECS at Southside extremely easy, and we’re very pleased with the results.”
Lori McNulty, RN,
Oncology Nurse Navigator, SRMC

pdfDownload the SRMC Case Study (pdf)

BACKGROUND

Southside Regional Medical CenterThe Cancer Center at Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) offers advanced technology for treating a wide range of cancers and is fully accredited with Commendation by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC). SRMC has a busy radiation therapy center that diagnoses nearly 500 new cases of cancer each year. In 2012 the center introduced a medical oncology program, added a full time Nurse Navigator to their team, and began seeking a software tool that would enable the provision of organized navigation and survivorship care for their patients. Additionally, as the next phase of CoC  accreditation requires that cancer centers have a formal plan for the delivery of continuum of care services (which include navigation, psychosocial distress screening and survivorship  programs), SRMC wanted to be proactive in providing these programs to maintain their  accreditation.

Initially using a paper based system to track patient navigation, SRMC was seeking a  software solution that would provide the tools necessary for the Navigator to centrally track patients in both Radiation and Medical Oncology. SRMC was also looking to provide  long term survivorship care plans, distress assessments, questionnaires, and educational materials for their patients. SRMC wanted to ensure that all of the information collected  through the system would be available to the full care team, including care providers working externally. Finally, with a rapidly growing cancer program, SRMC also wanted to ensure that  their selected solution was scalable, intuitive and easy to use, with minimal administrative overhead.

SOLUTION

Southside Cancer center selected EQUICARE CS (ECS) as their navigation and survivorship  tool in March 2012 and went live with the system three months later in June 2012. The installation process began with a kick off meeting at which members of both the Equicare and SRMC teams discussed and agreed upon IT needs, workflows and other system configurations, and was followed by routinely scheduled status meetings to ensure the process went smoothly. SRMC’s Nurse Navigator is the primary system user and administrator, but ECS is also used by infusion nurses, social workers interns and others.

SRMC analyzed their workflows and use cases prior to installation and as a result, were able to launch with customizations specific to their organization including unique documentation, specific categorization and display of various assessments, and several custom fields. Equicare provided training, suggestions, and back-end development, but with the configurable design of ECS, the SRMC team was able to  perform many configurations on their own.  SRMC ramped up their Navigation program over a period of time and as of April 2013 all patients requiring Navigation were entered using ECS.

SRMC’s nurse navigator  uses the system to track referrals and patient appointments, distribute and collect responses to distress screening assessments, add notes to patient records, assess pain, provide nutritional and educational information, and track the financial resources that are sourced for patients. The system is also used to generate a variety of reports including system utilization and user time tracking, referrals assessment, changes in patient distress over time, patient outcomes, and navigational summaries. SRMC uses the survivorship functionality in ECS to provide their radiation oncology patients with long term survivorship care plans that include treatment summaries, care team information, follow-up plans, and educational information specific to each patient. This printed plan is generated through ECS by the radiation therapy RN, and then provided to patients at the one month follow up appointment after radiation completion.

Results

EQUICARE CS meets the needs of SRMC by providing organizational, clinical, and administrative benefits, as well as enabling their maintenance of accreditation compliance. By taking advantage of the navigation features in ECS, the center can include more patients in their navigation program, and by providing survivorship care plans and distress assessments they may also improve the quality of care for patients. With EQUICARE CS, Southside is on track to provide full navigation, psychosocial distress screening, and survivorship programs in  order to meet the next phase of CoC accreditation requirements.

Through ECS, SRMC’s Nurse Navigator has the tools to become more efficient in tracking referrals, appointments and assessments, and the center can therefore include more patients in the navigation program. The number of patients included in the Navigation program has approximately doubled since ECS was implemented. Additionally, Equicare’s navigation tools provide the center with a centralized way to store and access documents, patient details, and care team information, which ensures that accurate data is available to all members of  the care team, regardless of their physical location. As the center continues to grow, they will also have the capability to easily scale their  program to include more campuses and care team members.

By providing patients with distress assessments and questionnaires that can be completed prior to their appointments, SRMC minimizes the time patients spend waiting in the clinic, which may improve satisfaction with care. Additionally, through analysis of patient responses, SRMC now provides feedback to patients in distress, and aggregates population data to determine points of care where the patient experience can be improved. SRMC’s provision of long term care plans in printed format can also improve patient care by reducing the distress patients may feel at the end of treatment, which is often a time of uncertainty

Prior to ECS implementation, the generation of printed care plans was prohibitively time-consuming, and so this information was shared with patients orally. Through ECS survivorship care plans are now provided to 100% of Radiation Oncology patients, many of whom have provided positive feedback to the center on the content of these plans. Additionally, the inclusion of targeted educational material in these plans ensures patients are aware of side and late effects of treatment, and provides suggestions for health and nutritional activities that can improve outcomes.

As a busy and growing cancer center, it was important for SRMC to minimize the administrative overhead involved in implementing a new tool like ECS. The Equicare project team fixed issues as they arose, and also added feature requests to the product road map to ensure future releases better meet SRMC (and other customer) needs. ECS was intuitive and easy for SRMC’s team to learn, and the software has rapidly become an integral part of their cancer program.

SRMC sought out a care coordination solution to improve the quality of care for patients, and thereby maintain CoC accreditation; with ECS, the center is on track to do both. Not only do the tools in ECS provide functionality to improve the patient experience and meet CoC requirements for continuum of care, but the reports generated by ECS make providing information to auditors faster and easier. Additionally, by documenting Navigator time, and the benefits to patients, SRMC can rapidly evaluate and rationalize the investment in a Navigation program.

ABOUT SOUTHSIDE REGIONAL  MEDICAL CENTER

Southside Regional Medical CenterSouthside Regional Medical Center is a 300-bed, general acute care hospital located in central Virginia. The hospital has more than 1,500 employees and the medical staff is comprised of nearly 340 physicians representing more than 35 specialties.  The 420,000 square foot facility is situated on a 50-acre campus and offers the latest technology in order to serve more than 200,000 local residents. SRMC offers a full array of comprehensive outpatient services on its main campus and boasts five satellite outpatient centers: Southside Regional Renal Services (Petersburg), Southside Behavioral Health Services (Petersburg), Southside Rehabilitation Services (Petersburg and Colonial Heights), and Colonial Heights Imaging, a full service diagnostic imaging center (Colonial Heights).  The hospital is also home to three professional schools: Southside Regional Medical Center School of Nursing, School of Radiation Sciences, and School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. A new cancer center will open on campus, adjacent to the hospital in January, 2014. For more information, please visit: www.srmconline.com

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