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My Overall View of Healthcare IT After HIMSS15

Posted on April 17, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As I fly home from HIMSS15 (literally), I’ve been thinking how to summarize my annual visit to the mecca of healthcare IT conferences we know as HIMSS. I’ve seen a bunch of numbers around attendance and exhibitors and I believe they’re somewhere around 43,000 attendees and 1300 exhibitors. It definitely felt that massive. The interest in using technology to improve healthcare has never been higher. This shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone. When I look at the path forward for healthcare, every single scenario has technology playing a massive role.

With that in mind, I think that the healthcare IT world is experiencing a massive war between a large number of competing interests. Many of those interests are deeply entrenched in what they’ve been doing for seemingly ever. Some of these companies are really trying to dig in and continue to enjoy the high ground that they’ve enjoyed for many years. This includes vendors at HIMSS, but also many large and small healthcare organizations (the small entrenched healthcare organizations weren’t likely at HIMSS though) who enjoyed the status quo.

The problem with this battlefield is that they’re battling against a massive shift in reimbursement model. They can try and stay entrenched, but the shift in healthcare business model is going to absolutely force them to change. This is not a question of if, but when. This doesn’t keep these organizations from bombing away as they resist the changes.

If you’re a healthcare startup company entering the battlefield (to continue the analogy), you’re out in the open and absolutely vulnerable. You’re very rarely the target of this major entrenched players, but sometimes you get impacted by collateral damage. As the various organizations throw bombs at each other you have to work hard to avoid getting in their way. This is a tricky challenge.

Even more challenging to these startup companies is they don’t have a way to access many of the entrenched companies so they can work together around a common vision. Most of the startups would love to work with the entrenched healthcare companies, but they don’t even have a way to start the conversation.

The mid size healthcare IT companies are even more interesting. They’ve started to carve a space for them in the battle and many of the entrenched healthcare IT vendors are scared at what this means for them. They’re using every means possible to disrupt the competition. At HIMSS I saw the scars from many of these battles.

Certainly this description is true of many industries. Welcome to economic competition and capitalism. Although, this year at HIMSS I found the battle to be much more intense. In the past couple years meaningful use opened up new territories to be “conquered.” There was enough “land” to go around that companies were often working to capture new territories as opposed to battling their competitors for the same opportunities. That’s why I think we’re in a very different market today versus the past couple years.

The great thing is that in periods of turmoil often comes the most amazing innovations. I believe that’s what we’re going to see over the next couple years. Although, I predict that most of these innovations are going to come from places we don’t expect. It’s just too hard for companies to innovate themselves out of business. There are a few exceptions in history and we might see a few exceptions in healthcare. However, my bet is on the most successful companies being those that choose to obliterate as opposed to automate.

What’s most exciting to me is that healthcare organizations and patients seem to be ready for change. There are varying degrees of readiness, but I believe I’ve seen a groundswell of change that’s coming for healthcare. As a blogger this of course has me excited, but as a patient it has me excited as well.

What were your thoughts of HIMSS 2015? What do you think of the analogy?

While the battle is on in healthcare IT, the best part of HIMSS is always the people. Every industry has some bad apples, but for the most part I’m always deeply impacted by the good nature of so many people I meet at HIMSS. They are sincere in their efforts to try and improve healthcare for good. We certainly have our challenges in healthcare, but similar to what George Bush said in his keynote, I’m optimistic that the good people in healthcare will be able to produce amazing results. The best days of healthcare are not behind us, but are ahead of us.

Some Inspiring and Thought Provoking Ideas from the HIMSS15 Final Keynote

Posted on April 16, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The last keynote at HIMSS is always inspiring for me. They’ve almost always ended up being one of the more prominent memories for me from HIMSS. This year was no different. I really need to chew on a bunch of what was said still, but Jeremy Gutsche was throwing out nuggets of wisdom throughout his talk. Here are some tweets that show what I mean:

HIMSS15 Social Media and Influencer Thoughts

Posted on April 15, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I think this has been the case the past couple years. The Tuesday of HIMSS seems to always be my day of social media. This year was no different. This was highlighted by a meetup that Shahid Shah and myself did at the HIMSS spot. At first I wasn’t sure if anyone would show for the event. Luckily, 1-2 people were there early and so at least we wouldn’t be talking to ourselves. In fact, Shahid asked for those that weren’t there for the meetup to free up the seats for those that were there for it. Luckily, when I wasn’t watching a whole bunch of people showed up and the event was standing room only. I guess Shahid can really draw a crowd.

What was impressive was the mix of the audience. There was a large group of some of the most influential people in social media (I won’t name names since there were too many and I’ll forget someone), along with a number of newer people. I love that mix and particularly love the new people that are still finding their way. Sometimes they seem a bit like dear in the headlights. That’s ok. That’s part of the fun of learning.

What’s clear to me is that social influencing as really matured for many people, but there are still a lot of people that are trying to figure it out. It’s amazing to see the difference. I’ll be interested to watch this evolve. I still see so much opportunity with it and many aren’t taking advantage of it.

Then, my night was capped off with the New Media Meetup at HIMSS15. This is the 6th year I’ve hosted this event and it seems to get better each year. I’m always humbled by the list of people that register to attend. Plus, I’m extremely appreciative of Stericycle and Patient Prompt that basically through a big party for all these amazing people. It’s always amazing to see the broad spectrum of people that attend and how down to earth they are even given many of their significant social influence. Plus, what an amazing preview for the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference.

I didn’t go into many details on what was at the session or who attending the New Media Meetup, but you can get a lot of that information by checking out the #HITMC hashtag. Thanks to all of my new and old social media friends that made today special. I keep learning from you.

I’ll leave this with just one insight that really hit home to me when I shared it in the meetup. Really caring about the people you’re connecting with, the topics you’re sharing and the work you’re doing really comes through in social media. If you’re faking it, people will usually see that. Plus, really caring about those you connect with on social media and the things you share will change your life in really amazing ways.

Reminds me of the wrestler, Jessie Ventura who became governor of Minnesota. One time I heard him say he didn’t have to have a good memory, because he always said what he thought and never told things that were half true. On social media, if you’re faking it, it makes it hard to remember all the things you’ve faked. If you’re authentic and real, it makes it so much easier.

A Few Quick HIMSS15 Thoughts

Posted on April 13, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today’s been a long day packed with meetings at HIMSS 2015. I need to reach out to HIMSS to get the final numbers, but word is that there are over 40,000 people at the show. In the hallways, the exhibit hall and the taxi lines it definitely seems to be the case. I’m not sure the jump in attendees, but I saw one tweet that IBM had 400 people there. Don’t quote me on it since I can’t find the tweet, but that’s just extraordinary to even consider that many people from one company.

Of course, the reason I can’t find the tweet is that the Twitter stream has been setting new records each day. The HIMSS 2015 Twitter Tips and Tricks is valuable if you want to get value out of the #HIMSS15 Twitter stream. I also have to admit that I might be going a bit overboard on the selfies. I think I’ve got the @mandibpro selfie disease. Not sure the treatment for it since my doctor doesn’t do a telemedicine visit while I’m in Chicago.

I’ve had some amazing meetings that will inform my blog posts for weeks to come. However, my biggest takeaway from the first official day of HIMSS is that change is in the air. The forces are at work to make interoperability a reality. It’s going to be a massive civil war as the various competing parties battle it out as they set the pathway forward.

You might think that this is a bit of an exaggeration, but I think it’s pretty close to what’s happening. What’s not clear to me is whose going to win and what the final outcome will look like. There are so many competing interests that are trying to get at the data and make it valuable for the doctor and health system.

Along those lines, I’m absolutely fascinated by the real time analytics capabilities that I saw being built. A number of companies I talked to are moving beyond the standard batch loaded enterprise data warehouse approach to a real time (or as one vendor said…we all have to call it near real time) stream of data. I think this is going to drive a massive change in innovation.

I’ll be talking more about the various vendors I saw and their approaches to this in future posts after HIMSS. While I’m excited by some of the many things these companies are doing, I still feel like many of them are constrained by their inability to get to the data. A number of them were working on such small data sets. This was largely because they can’t get the other data. One vendor told me that their biggest challenge is getting an organization to turn over their data for them for analysis.

While it’s important that organizations are extremely careful with how they handle and share their data. More organizations should be working with trusted partners in order to extract more value out of the data and to more importantly make new discoveries. The discoveries we’re making today are really great, but I can only imagine how much more we could accomplish with more data to inform those discoveries.

Have We Forgotten About Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX)?

Posted on April 10, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

When Healthcare.gov ran into problems we heard all about the health insurance exchanges (HIX). Since Healthcare.gov hasn’t run into any issues we aren’t hearing about health insurance exchanges nearly as much. The exception might be the states that were running their own HIX and failed. I’ve seen a number of those stories out there.

However, I think that the HIXs have largely left the healthcare dialogue in general. I’m sure the payors involved in the exchanges are still highly involved, but most people aren’t following it.

This was driven home to me when I saw the following two tweets and images about HIXs.

I’ll admit that I haven’t dug into the exchanges lately either other than when I tried them out at the end of last year when I had to find a new insurance company (Side note: the price on the HIX was more than what I could get separate and they weren’t offering me a subsidy, so I didn’t end up using the HIX). Since I haven’t been involved or watched what’s happening with HIXs, I can’t say if they’re a good or a bad thing. What I do know is that they’re playing a huge role in healthcare and how and what health insurance people are getting. So, maybe we should be paying more attention.

Maybe some of my readers are following it a lot closer than I am doing. If you are, please enlighten us in the comments.

Healthcare Scene #HIMSS15 Guide

Posted on April 9, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If you read this and any of the other Healthcare Scene blogs or follow us on social media, you know that #HIMSSSanity is upon us. Yes, it’s the Thursday before the big HIMSS Annual conference in Chicago.

I’ve often described my visits to the HIMSS annual conference like a kid in a candy store. As a blogger the model is pretty simple. I need: content, readers, and advertisers. Everywhere I look at HIMSS you can find potentially all three of those things. That’s why I’ll be there all week enjoying time meeting with lots of really interesting people and companies.

My HIMSS schedule is packed with meetings. I think when all is said and done I’ll have about 30 must attend meetings and hundreds of casual meetings and networking with people. I always love meeting readers in person at HIMSS, so please find me and come say hi. Luckily, in our HIMSS 2015 guide we have a number of options where you can find me. Plus, I’m listing a number of other talks/sessions/features at HIMSS that have caught my eye. Here we go:

HIMSS Opening Reception
I’ve had mixed experiences at the HIMSS opening reception. I usually like to check it out and see what HIMSS has done. Plus, it’s a great place to meet random people. One challenge I have with social media is that it now facilitates me meeting a lot of the same people. That’s a great thing, but does sometimes limit meeting new people. I love the HIMSS Speakeasy theme for the opening reception. I heard that the live music will make for the perfect #HIMSS15DanceOff setting.

iPatientCare
If you’re interested in “What comes after MU? Real digital attention to your patients” then you’re going to want to join Shahid Shah at the iPatientCare Booth #2941 on Monday 4/13 at 2:30 PM CT. They’ll be discussing the questions: What are you doing to manage chronic care in your organization? Is your approach to interoperability bad for patients? What are you doing to manage chronic care in your organization? Changing reimbursement is going to require true patient engagement (not just MU required engagement). In this talk at the iPatientCare booth, Shahid will dive deep into what true patient engagement looks like.

Social Media and Influence Meetup
This meetup will be hosted by myself and my partner Shahid Shah at the HIMSS Spot (North Hall – B Lobby) on Tuesday 4/14 at 12:30 CT. This will be one of the best places to come and find me. Plus, we always have a great crowd and an even better discussion with those that attend. In some ways this will be a small preview into the larger 2 day healthcare IT marketing and PR conference. We hope to see lots of the #HITMC community there.

SAP Healthcare
The famous Shahid Shah together with Dr. David Delaney, SAP’s CMO, will be leading a great discussion at SAP Booth #2656 on Tuesday 4/14 at 2PM CT. The discussion will be around the topic “Driving Clinical Value and ROI Out of Your Data” and will cover questions like: Is data really generating clinical value? Is anyone really driving clinical value from data? Do we have the resources we need to generate ROI from our healthcare data? These are some really important questions for healthcare and I’m sure the discussion will be great.

New Media Meetup Sponsored by Stericycle
We posted about the New Media Meetup before and so hopefully you’ve registered to attend. If you haven’t, there are only a very few number of slots left and then we’re at capacity. This really is a who’s who of healthcare IT social media influencers. I’m proud to host the event and have loved working with Stericycle and Patient Prompt to plan it. We’ve got a lot of fun things and great giveaways planned for the event. Can’t wait to see everyone there.

Vocera
Vocera has a whole schedule of talks to choose from. The one by Rhonda Collins, CNO at Vocera called “Navigate the Storm without Creating Your Own Twister” caught my eye. I think we can all relate to the storm of healthcare IT priorities and challenges. Although, the Sue Murphy, Exec. Dir. of Patient Experience & Engagement at University of Chicago Medicine, session on Transforming Patient Experience Using Care Rounding also looks interesting.

#iHeartHIT Meetup
I really wanted to make this meetup, but it looks like I’m booked other places. Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. I believe the HIMSS social media ambassadors will be there. Luckily, I think I’ll see them at some of the other events. It also means that it will likely generate a lot of tweets so I can kind of experience the event later.

#HITsm at #HIMSS15
This year, #HITsm is mixing it up with their meetup. They’re basically having a panel discussion with Keith Boone, Rasu Shrestha, MD, David Muntz, and Douglas Fridsma, MD. I believe that Mandi Bishop is moderating. Seems like the topic du jour is going to be interoperability given the panelists. Should be a great panel for that topic. I’ll be the heckler in the back or maybe I’ll just save my heckling for Twitter.

Bush Keynote
The keynotes this year are pretty disappointing for me. I think Bush’s keynote will likely be the most interesting. Although, I always love hearing people like Jeremy Gutsche as well. Of course, I think you’re crazy to actually attend the keynote. Why do I want to watch a little small person up on stage? I’ll be watching the keynotes from the comfort of the press room (plus, they have internet and power).

HIMSS Block Party – This is similar to the opening reception. The block party idea is pretty cool. I’m quite sure you’ll find me in the Little Italy area. #ItalianFoodAddict

HX360
I’m always intrigued by the unique tracks that HIMSS puts together. This year it’s called HX360. This consists of a bunch of programming and also a section of the exhibit hall. Looking at what this area has to offer gives you a good idea of what HIMSS is thinking about the future of healthcare IT.

So many more things could be listed like the CHIME Fall Forum at HIMSS15 on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, there are a lot of evening events including the popular Encore/Next Wave Connect Pub Nights, athenahealth Cloud Party, HIStalkapalooza, Anthelio Casino Night, Divurgent’s summHIT, and AEGIS Odyssey (yes, it’s a massively beautiful yacht) to just name a few.

I personally fly in on Saturday and out on Friday. I’m still looking for something great to do on Wednesday and Thursday evening. If some people are going to be there Wednesday and Thursday evening, maybe we could do something fun together. I’d love to hear people’s ideas if you’re around.

Why Traditional IT Model is Untenable & New Models are Needed

Posted on April 8, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

A picture worth a thousand words. I’ll be chewing on this one for a while. Thoughts?

Government Surveillance and Privacy of Personal Data

Posted on April 6, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Dr. Deborah Peel from Patient Privacy Rights always keeps me updated on some of the latest news coverage around privacy and government surveillance. Obviously, it’s a big challenge in healthcare and she’s the leading advocate for patient privacy.

Today she sent me a link to this John Oliver interview with Snowden. The video is pretty NSFW with quite a bit of vulgarity in it (It’s John Oliver on HBO, so you’ve been warned). However, much like Stephen Colbert and John Stewart, they talk about some really important topics in a funny way. Plus, the part where he’s waiting to see if Snowden is going to actually show for the interview is hilarious.

The humor aside, about 10 minutes in John Oliver makes this incredibly insightful observation:

There are no easy answers here. We all naturally want perfect privacy and perfect safety, but those two things cannot coexist.

Either you have to lose one of them or you have to accept some reasonable restrictions on both of them.

This is the challenge of privacy and security. There are risks to having data available electronically and flowing between healthcare providers. However, there are benefits as well.

I’ve found the right approach is to keenly focused on the benefits you want to achieve in using technology in your organization. Then, after you’ve focused the technology on the benefits, work through all of the risks you face. Once you have that list of risks, you work to mitigate those risks as much as possible.

As my hacker friend said, “You’ll never be 100% secure. Someone can always get in if they’re motivated enough. However, you can make it hard enough for them to breach that they’ll go somewhere else.”

The Healthcare Penalties Are Coming!!

Posted on April 3, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

We all know about the Meaningful Use penalties. The PQRS penalties. The Value Based Modifier penalties. Individually, they’d all be annoying, but I don’t think most healthcare organizations have understood what these penalties will be in aggregate.

This hit home to me when I was reading a smartly titled post by Jim Tate called “What you don’t do in 2015 will cause 9% CMS penalties in 2017” Here’s how he describes the penalties that are in store for healthcare:

MU: Failing to achieve MU in 2014 will bring a 2% penalty beginning in 2016 with a 1% annual increase up to 5%.

Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS): Non-participation brings a Medicare reimbursement reduction of 2.0% in 2016 based on 2014 data.

Value-Based Modifier(VBM): The VBM, which many providers are not aware of, is linked to PQRS. Beginning in 2016, eligible providers (EPs) in groups with 10 or more EPs will be subject to a penalty based on performance. In 2017, this will include all EPs, not just those in larger groups.

Taken together, this adds up to a 9% penalty in 2017 based on 2015 participation.
To avoid these penalties, immediately assess your current participation in the MU, PQRS, and VBM programs. If you are not on track you must take steps to mitigate your risk as soon as possible.

Risk mitigation is the right way to describe it. As I mentioned in the beginning, I don’t think that many providers are planning ahead to avoid these penalties. I also don’t think they realize the long term consequences of the choices they make today.

Thanks Jim for waking us up to the reality.

Healthcare IT Marketing and PR on the Mind

Posted on April 2, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Healthcare IT marketing and PR have been on my mind lately as I’ve been preparing for the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC) and for HIMSS. We’ve published the full HITMC program if you haven’t seen it yet. It’s going to be a really amazing 2 days of learning for me and everyone who attends. Hopefully many EMR and HIPAA readers can make it. There’s only 5 days left to register for the event, so do so now if you’d like to attend.

We’ve certainly seen the evolution of marketing here on EMR and HIPAA. At first people mostly wanted to buy a link to their site from us since we were on the first page of Google for the term “EMR”. (Side note: Don’t buy links. That’s a bad strategy today.) Then, we started doing banner ads and those have always performed really well for our advertisers since we have such a targeted, niche audience. Recently we’ve been expanding our email marketing, event marketing and sponsored content packages. They’ve really become fully integrated marketing packages that touch on email, social media, blogs, and display advertising. It’s exciting what we’re able to deliver sponsors of our site.

10 years later it’s amazing to think back on the 2239 posts we’ve published, the 9743 comments that readers have contributed and the 10,689,418 pageviews for EMR and HIPAA. I wonder how many emails we’ve sent out with our content over the years, but I don’t have a good way to track it. Just last year I estimate that this blog has sent out 1.25 million emails. Wow! Thanks to all of you who read and contribute.

Every 6 months or so I like to highlight the companies who support the work we do here at EMR and HIPAA. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to be a full time blogger and provide you the content I do. Take a second to look through the list and see if one of them might be able to help you solve a problem you’re working on in your job.

Vocera – Vocera is an interesting story for me, since they acquired a secure messaging company I advised (docBeat). Since that acquisition, I’ve been lucky to advise them on some marketing and they’ve also been sponsoring a number of Healthcare Scene email campaigns. They offer a pretty compelling set of secure, real-time communication solutions for healthcare. Plus, they have a good announcement coming out at HIMSS that I think will set them apart from the other secure messaging solutions out there. Although, I’m not allowed to talk about the announcement yet. You can see Vocera’s HIMSS 2015 plans if you want to meet with them in person and learn about the announcement.

Iron Mountain – It was fun working with Iron Mountain on their Healthcare Information Governance Predictions and Perspectives series. You can find all the entries in that series here and my entry here. Plus, I was able to participate in their #InfoTalk Twitter chat which was really well done as well. I hope they continue the discussion, because it’s an important one.

ClinicSpectrum – Regular readers should be familiar with ClinicSpectrum. They’ve been contributing some great content in our Cost Effective Healthcare Workflow Series. I love how they’re interested in taking the discussion beyond just EHR and meaningful use into how a practice or hospital can optimize their use of technology. Plus, they’re really passionate about the hybrid workflow which mixes technology and people to find the optimal solution. We need more of this optimization in healthcare.

The Breakaway Group (A Xerox Company) – You’ll also likely be familiar with The Breakaway Group and their Breakaway Thinking Series. I’ve always loved the researched based perspective that they provide to the challenges that face healthcare IT. Plus, they offer some unique perspectives on training and learning in healthcare. One of the biggest challenges with any healthcare IT implementation is getting the training right. The Breakaway Group is dead set on solving that problem.

Ambir – Ambir’s been supporting the work we do here since January of 2010. Amazing that they’ve been with us for 5 years. I think that was before I even quit my day job. Most people know them as a scanner company, but word on the street is that at HIMSS 2015 they’ll be announcing a new tablet based product. I’ve heard the concept and I think it’s a really creative approach to solving healthcare’s workflow challenges.

HIPAA Secure Now! – We’re seeing a big wave of healthcare organizations and business associates finally starting to do something about HIPAA. Much of this has been pushed by meaningful use’s risk assessment requirement, but it’s also been driven by all the breaches. HIPAA Secure Now! is offering our readers Free HIPAA Security Training.

Colocation America – Colocation America has been supporting us for 2 years. It’s no surprise that more and more companies are looking to outsource their hosting to a HIPAA compliant hosting solution. Healthcare companies don’t want to be in the hosting business. They want to be in the healthcare business. So, working with a company like Colocation America for their HIPAA compliant hosting needs just makes sense.

A massive thank you to all the companies that support the work we do. We look forward to seeing many from the EMR and HIPAA community at HIMSS in Chicago and then at the Health IT Marketing and PR conference in Vegas.