September 10th, 2013
By Kathryn Doyle, freelance writer
Big data is everywhere: in electronic health records, on the Internet and in our bodies. This data can be harnessed in a number of unexpectedly cool ways to benefit patients and providers:
1. Finding adverse drug reactions (ADR).
Researchers can verify bad drug reactions and detect new ones, according to a new study. Computer scientists at the New Jersey Institute of Technology examined 12 years of electronic health records (EHRs) from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, comparing medication orders and inpatient lab results. They found that a computer program plumbing EHR data was more accurate at identifying known drug-event pairs and identifying new ones than existing methods.
2. Spotting unknown drug interactions.
Even if two drugs went through trials separately and were deemed safe, they might not have been tested with the drugs taken together, as was the case with the antidepressant Paxil and the cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol. That’s where data mining came in. Researchers at Stanford University in 2011 devised an algorithm to detect side effects from drug combinations. Aimed at tens of thousands of EHRs, the algorithm noticed that patients taking both drugs had higher blood glucose levels, which is dangerous for people with diabetes.
3. Reducing hospital-acquired infections .
FactSpotter, a Xerox text mining technology, was part of a three-year infection detection project in France. Using EHR data from intensive care unit, brain surgery, stomach surgery and knee pain patients at a hospital in Lyon, FactSpotter organized the information into narrative order, including drugs, bacteria, infections and temperatures. The technology could be used to point out risks for infections before they happen.
4. Bypassing clinical trials for research.
Electronic health record databases of clinical information could theoretically make every patient in the U.S. a participant in a vast, ongoing clinical trial for researchers of many disciplines. Clinical trials take a lot of money and time to organize, but mining existing data from millions of patients would spare those resources and also offer sample sizes more robust than anything previously seen in research. Kaiser Permanente is currently using this method to examine a link between statin drugs and lowered risk for prostate cancer recurrence.
In May, the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general’s office gave state-based fraud-control units leave to use federal funding for data mining tools. The office expects the data-analysis tools to recover about $60 million of fraudulent Medicaid billing over the next 10 years. Predictive analytics tools review claims before they are paid and look for questionable billing practices or unusually long lengths of stay, spotting anomalies like a Detroit podiatrist billing Medicare $700,000 for “toenail removals” that turned out to be just toenail clipping.
This article was first published on HeatlhBiz Decoded.
April 9th, 2013
By Ken Syme, senior vice president, Global Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Purchasing, Xerox
Behind the scenes at Xerox, hundreds of individuals in Global Purchasing manage Xerox’s yearly spending for business services, contract labor, facilities, information technology, marketing, transportation, business travel and vehicle fleet as well as direct production material suppliers, contract manufacturing, and design partners who help Xerox produce digital publishing systems, office printers, and multifunction devices and associated inks and toners.
To ensure that we deliver the most cost efficient service to the company, we have developed a robust set of world class procurement tools such as competitive analysis and best of breed modeling. These, along with powerful product cost engineering systems help ensure we are able to deliver our cost productivity targets.
From offices in North America, Europe, and Asia, Xerox Global Purchasing team has achieved a significant milestone. Xerox just became the first company to successfully achieve the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) Gold Certification at a global level.
What this means is that Xerox is achieving leading benchmark levels in all aspects of ethical, sustainable and strategic procurement, when measured against CIPS standards. These standards are structured around things like leadership and organization, strategy, people, process and systems, and performance measurement and management.
As you can imagine, a lot of work goes into achieving these standards. I’m proud of the work we do here at Xerox and want to thank everyone who helped make this certification possible.
March 11th, 2013
By Sherman Parker, vice president and general manager, Public Sector, Xerox
It’s no secret that we’re living in tough economic times and turning an optimistic lens on the road ahead can be difficult. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised at the rather upbeat and enthusiastic mood at this year’s Beyond the Beltway conference – an annual briefing on the state and local government IT market.
Allow me to share some important takeaways from the event, so my fellow government IT leaders, and citizens alike, can share in my optimism:
- Collaboration – 67 percent of state government CIOs ranked centralized services as their primary goal. This means decreased security gaps, increased productivity and improved office efficiencies. Government leaders can partner with companies like Xerox to assess their IT infrastructure to uncover flaws and suggest improvements.
- Security is top of mind – In today’s hyper-connected world, security is essential and government agencies are not taking it lightly. Governments should consider collaborating with industry IT leaders that have the technology and nimbleness to respond. Xerox, together with McAfee and Cisco, introduced ConnectKey this year to provide a range of advanced features and technologies to help ensure important information stays secure.
- Mobile – Now more than ever, people are relying on mobile devices as their primary source for communicating – whether it be sending simple emails or managing their bank accounts. Government CIOs are recognizing the need to invest in mobile device management. According to a recent survey, 60 percent of workers want to print from their mobile device. Government leaders are seeking new ways to embed mobile into their infrastructures.
According to the Center for Digital Government, things are getting better. State spend has increased by 2.2 percent. 42 states enacted higher general fund spending. Confidence is up. People are pleased to be working in the state and local government. They are starting to think creatively and look for ways to make up for the deficits.
Witnessing this, as a citizen and as someone in the business, makes me more optimistic than ever.
October 20th, 2011
By Laurie Riedman
So I’m not surprised that Xerox received a Software category Technology Innovation award this week from the Wall Street Journal for some really cool technology called Virtual Help Desk.
Help is sort of a swear word for me (or at least I find myself swearing a lot when I use it). You see, I’m the self-sufficient type. I’m also a tad technically challenged. It’s a combustible combination.
On top of that – I’m an independent consultant that works from a home office. For me time is money, so when a printer, computer or other techno device stops working, I really don’t have time to flip through my printer manual for technical instructions. I resort to hitting the reset button way too many times, and praying the device will eventually come to its senses. H-E-L-P! Sound familiar?
According to ethnographers at Xerox this scenario is common. They studied the way customers respond to printer issues and found that what we really need — is real time help. A person – not a manual – to guide us through the steps we need to take – right then and there.
Virtual Help Desk does just that.
So hats off to the team of really smart researchers from the Xerox Research Centre Europe who created this cool Web-based 3D virtual reality tool. Virtual Help Desk gives Xerox customers like me instant access to live support for their printer or multifunction device – while I’m standing at the printer.
Here is how works:
Let’s say the document I need to pick up isn’t printing. Rather than freaking out like I would normally do – using Virtual Help desk – I can calmly (notice the word calmly) press the ‘Help’ button once (notice the word once) and I will be automatically connected via a call to the support desk. As the agent accepts the incoming call, the system uploads a 3D model of the printer while gathering and displaying data on the status of the machine. The system simultaneously uploads the same 3D model on the screen in front of me so I can see exactly what the help desk agent is suggesting I do. In moments, I’m having a real-time multimedia conversation and can address the problem right then and there.
So, it’s understandable that the panel of esteemed technology gurus at the Wall Street Journal gave this team the prize! Not only does the Virtual Help Desk promise to ease customer frustration and shorten customer care calls – more importantly — for customers like me – it gives me the freedom to focus on my real business..
September 29th, 2011
Xerox public relations coordinator, Global Public Relations
Remedies vary for this all-too-common phenomenon. If it’s a momentary brain strain you’re experiencing, try taking a walk, reprioritizing your to-do list, resting briefly, planning activities you enjoy or just momentarily stopping whatever brought on your condition.
However, if you’ve been accused of discussing work while you sleep or find yourself not living fully in the present, it may be time for an extended breather. In my world, I know it’s time to take a break when what my family calls the “thinking-about-work-face” has made one too many appearances during the weekend.
Time away from the office used to elicit feelings of guilt and anxiety. I wondered what I was missing and who might need a response from me on one matter or another. But I’ve learned that time away is an important key to sustaining success at the office.
If an “official” vacation is not in the cards right now, plan to take a day or an afternoon off. You’ll find the break can have the same benefits as a more extended vacation. For example, it could help:
- Promote creativity
- Increase productivity
- Improve quality of work and life
- Relieve stress
- Renew enthusiasm
Years ago, I went to graduate school full time but also opted to be a full-time intern. I watched my mother do the same for years without any effects and thought “if she can do it, why not.”
Apparently, I’m adopted. By the time I graduated; I had hit my wall.
So after graduation but before starting a new job, I took a much needed vacation. When I returned, I started my job refreshed and ready to go with a new appreciation of an extended breather.
Therefore, if and when you hit your wall, take some time away. The benefits of a well-deserved break are worth the time in the long run.
August 16th, 2011
If you don’t think there’s a lot of email flying around these days, consider this: In the time it takes you to read this sentence, some 20 million emails entered cyberspace.
Now take a good look at your inbox. As businesspeople, we’re sending or receiving a total of 105 emails a day. While you’re quickly trying to figure out if you’re above or below average (I’m unfortunately way above average), know that one thing is certain—most of us don’t worry much about how our email gets to its destination, we just want to make sure it does.
But managing complex email systems isn’t easy, especially if you’re a government agency facing an ever- tightening budget belt and increasing pressure to streamline operations.
That’s one reason the state of Florida turned to ACS, A Xerox Company to develop and manage a statewide email system. The state says it will eventually save $15 million by consolidating more than 30 separate state email systems into a single solution that will improve communication, reduce costs and give state employees more freedom to focus on citizen service instead of redundant administrative tasks.
And when it comes to email, government agencies have special security and compliance needs and the solution we’re helping Florida with will make sure those requirements are met.
Because we have a deep understanding of how government agencies work is a key to why ACS is the one of the largest providers of services to the public sector. As our clients’ needs change we’re able to help them find ways to meet new challenges and transform operations, just as we’ll do in Florida.
You can learn more about our solution at
http://www.acs-inc.com/government-it-services/enterprise-email-services.aspx, and after that, it’s OK to go back to checking your email.
March 16th, 2011
– By Russell Peacock, president, Xerox North America
How can municipalities stretch tightening budgets even further? By taking another look at the way they manage print. Cities across the U.S. are re-evaluating how, where and when they print documents to save money, meet environmental sustainability goals and to let employees focus on community service instead of print-related activities.
For example, the city of Rochester, N.Y. will save $2 million over the next five years – using the tools Xerox uses to save millions for large corporations – to better control print costs and keep employees and their print technology working more efficiently.
Using a managed print services (MPS) strategy to consolidate and replace unused or outdated printers, Rochester will also add 24 Xerox ColorQube® 9200 Series multifunction printers (MFPs) to save money on color printing and meet green goals with solid ink technology, a cartridge-free design that generates 90 percent less supplies waste than traditional laser printers.
Finding ways to reduce costs and re-invest money into community programs tops “wish lists” across the public sector – check out this video about what Rochester discovered using MPS, and check out our YouTube channel for examples of other cities doing the same.