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The Misguided EHR Replacement Decision

Posted on March 22, 2017 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.

This post is part of the Breakaway Thinking blog post series which is sponsored by Breakaway Learning Solutions, a Conduent Company.

Almost every healthcare organization I meet is talking about how to get better adoption of their EHR software. They’ve implemented their EHR as part of a massive go live. Many are even doing fine with programs like meaningful use and are working on MACRA. However, they all realize that adoption of their EHR software by end users could be better than it is today.

During these conversations, it’s easy to see how some organizations slip into the thinking that if they replaced their EHR with a new one that somehow that would spur more adoption and EHR use by their end users. When you hear users complaining about EHR software, it’s easy to blame the software itself. This is a dangerous line of thinking because that’s just not how it works. Switching EHR software does little to improve adoption of EHR by end users. EHR adoption problems that exist with one EHR are likely to exist in any new EHR.

That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate reasons for you to switch EHR. There are many good reasons to switch EHR software including when your organization is bought out and you want to align EHR software or when your product is being sunset. These can be good reasons to switch EHR and there are many more. However, it’s usually a mistake to switch EHR when you don’t have a good strategic reason to switch and lack of adoption is not a good strategic reason to switch.

When EHR adoption is lacking in your organization, instead of considering switching EHR, look at doubling down on your existing EHR. Core to successfully “doubling down” is leadership. Heather Haugen highlights this fundamental principle in her whitepaper “Leadership Insights: Gaining Value from Technology Investments when she says, “Organizations with leaders who are fully invested in the daily march toward adoption will reach the early stages of adoption quicker and enjoy a reinforced cycle of meaningful clinical and financial outcomes.”

The most successful organizations I’ve seen are led by people who understand that EHR adoption is not a one time event, but is an ongoing process of workflow improvement, training, and process modification. The value an EHR can provide is extracted as organizations incrementally improve their use of the EHR. It doesn’t happen by accident or by happenstance. It requires thoughtful and well executed leadership.

The idea of replacing your EHR to improve EHR adoption and use is often just an easy way out from addressing the real reasons why EHR use in your organization is not optimal. When this happens, you’re still generally faced with the same hard challenges after replacing your EHR. Don’t fall into this trap in your organization. If there’s not a strategic reason to replace your EHR software, then don’t. Take the energy you’d have spent replacing your EHR and make a deeper investment in optimizing your current EHR usage. That investment will pay off far more than an EHR switch.

Learn more about the Breakaway Thinking blog series sponsor, Breakaway Learning Solutions, and download their FREE whitepaper “Leadership Insights: Gaining Value from Technology Investments.”

How Technology Helps and Hurts Healthy Behavior Change – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on March 21, 2017 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’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 3/24 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Melissa McCool from Stellicare (@MelissaxxMcCool and @Stellicare). We’ll be discussing the topic “How Technology Helps and Hurts Healthy Behavior Change.”

Changing patient behavior is the key to achieving better clinical outcome and lowering healthcare costs. Of the $3 trillion spent on healthcare in the US, an analysis by McKinsey Consulting found that “31% of those costs could be directly attributed to behaviorally induced chronic conditions. Fully 69% of total costs were heavily influenced by consumer behaviors.”

Health care systems now must focus on prevention and the ongoing management of chronic conditions. This is driven by the transition to value based care, an aging population and the increasing incidence of behaviorally induced chronic conditions.

Be sure to join the #HITsm chat this Friday, March 24th, 2017 at 12:00pm ET where we’ll dive into the topic of healthy behavior change and how technology hurts and helps that goal.

The Questions
T1: How has technology helped patients make positive behavioral changes? #HITsm

T2: What role has technology had in preventing or inhibiting positive behavioral choices by patients? #HITsm

T3: If you had a magic wand, what tech element would you add so that patients could be helped in changing behaviors? #HITsm

T4: Have you ever changed any of your health behaviors as a result of technology? #HITsm

T5: What is needed to facilitate widespread health tech adoption around behavior change? #HITsm

Bonus: What health app do you use and recommend? Or have seen do good for those around you? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
3/31 – AI and Machine Learning
Hosted by @HBI_Solutions

4/7 – TBD

4/14 – TBD

4/21 – Innovation vs Incremental
Hosted by @Colin_Hung

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you have ideas for how to make #HITsm better.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

How Do We Include Every Generation in our HIT? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on March 14, 2017 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’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 3/17 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Erica Johansen with Splash Media (@thegr8chalupa and @SplashMedia). We’ll be discussing the topic “How Do We Include Every Generation in our HIT?”

Commentary on generational nuances have made their way into previous #HITsm chats and those comments usually sparked quite a discussion. So, we couldn’t think of a better way to give the people what they want!

This week, our chat will spark conversations on how generational perspectives are influencing healthcare technology, and additionally, how can we (as health IT leaders) can strive to incorporate and include diverse generational needs into the industry roadmap.

Be sure to join the #HITsm chat this Friday, March 17th, 2017 at 12:00pm ET.

The Topics
T1: What generation do you identify with & are there any stereotypes that you feel are inaccurate? #HITsm

T2: What #healthIT initiatives are setting up future generations for success? What initiatives are setting up for failure? #HITsm

T3: Is there a health concern might you share with someone in another generation? If so, how could #healthIT anticipate that concern? #HITsm

T4: If you could advise #healthIT leadership on behalf of your generation, what would you tell them? #HITsm

T5: In what ways can #healthIT cultivate meaningful engagement from every generation? #HITsm

Bonus: What healthcare technology that exists today holds untapped potential? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
3/24 – How Technology Helps and Hurts Healthy Behavior Change
Hosted by @MelissaxxMcCool

3/31 – AI and Cognitive Science
Hosted by @HBI_Solutions

4/7 – TBD

4/14 – TBD

4/21 – Innovation vs Incremental
Hosted by @Colin_Hung

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you have ideas for how to make #HITsm better.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

Are Healthcare Integration Engines Needed?

Posted on March 13, 2017 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.

In a perfect world, we might ask why health systems need to purchase an integration engine. The standards used by integration engines are pretty widespread and every EHR and Healthcare IT vendor uses that standard. Why then do we need an integration engine in the middle?

I’m sure there are a lot of reasons, but two reasons stand out the most to me are: integration costs and flavors of standards.

Integration Costs
It’s amazing how expensive it is to build integrations with EHR and other healthcare IT software. I still look back on the first lab interface integration I did. I couldn’t believe how expensive it was to do the integration and how the vendors were happy to nickle and dime you all along the way. Many of them look at it as a secondary business model.

While an integration engine can’t solve all these costs, if you have a large number of integrations, the integration engine can save you a lot of money. This includes the integration engine’s experience integrating with multiple vendors, but it also means you can often only pay your EHR vendor one time instead of getting charged for every integration.

Flavors of Standards
If you’ve ever managed an integration, you know how miserable it can be. Each side of the integration implements their own “flavor” of the standard (which makes no sense, but is reality) and that flavor can often change as the various software gets updated. It’s no fun to manage and often leads to interface downtime. You know the impact interface downtime can have on your providers who don’t understand the intricacies of an interface. No one likes something that previously just worked to stop working.

This is where integrations engines definitely shine. Their whole job is to manage these types of changes and ensure that they’re prepared for the change. If they can’t do this right, then you should search for a new integration engine. Plus, integration engines usually have tools to help you manage this and to update this as vendors change (and they will change).

Will Integration Engines Survive?
In the perfect world, we wouldn’t need an integration engine. Healthcare is not a perfect world. In fact, it’s far from it, so I see integration engines sticking around for a long while to come. They’re quite entrenched in the business processes of most large healthcare organizations.

While at the HIMSS Conference, I was talking with Summit Healthcare and they noted that they have 1 client that’s sending 5 million messages per day (Yes, I said per day!). That’s a lot of messages and that’s only one client from one integration engine. Hearing that number illustrated how valuable these integration engines are to an organization. It also flew in the face of healthcare not being interoperable. However, it illustrates how much data needs to be shared if we had true interoperability since those 5 million messages only includes a small portion of health data that could be shared.

We’ll look at diving into integration engines in more detail in future posts. I think they’re an important backbone of what’s happening in healthcare IT and many don’t realize it.

Wide Ranging Impact of A Healthcare Cybersecurity Attack

Posted on March 8, 2017 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.

David Chou recently shared this amazing graphic of the “above the surface” and “beneath the surface” impacts from cyber attacks. The above the surface attacks are those that are better know costs related to an incident. The beneath the surface attacks are the less visible or hidden costs of a cyber attack.

Which of these impacts concerns you most?

If this list of 14 impacts on your organization isn’t enough to wake you up to the importance of cybersecurity, then there isn’t much hope. However, most of the CIOs I’ve seen are well aware of this and it’s why it keeps them up at night.

Digital Transformation in Healthcare – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on March 7, 2017 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’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 3/10 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Hosted by Murray Izenwasser (@MurrayIz and @AAJTech). We’ll be discussing the topic “Digital Transformation in Healthcare“.

It’s been said that no industry is immune from disruption due to digital technologies. Some ‘experts’ claim that If existing firms don’t undergo an immediate, all-encompassing and rapid digital transformation (Dx), then they’ll be disrupted out of business by those that do transform their products and services; or displaced by new market entrants that built their businesses on a digital foundation. In short, existing businesses that don’t evolve digitally will perish.

But digital transformation can mean different things to different industries; and to the people operating in and impacted by those industries.

The theme of this week’s #HITsm tweetchat is Digital Transformation in Healthcare and we’ll explore what digital transformation means in general and what it means to healthcare in particular. We’ll share important considerations to increase the likelihood of a successful digital transformation, and we’ll exchange information, ideas and opinions intended to enlighten and enhance your understanding of the opportunity digital transformation offers those operating within the healthcare industry.

Be sure to join the #HITsm chat this Friday, March 10th, 2017 at 12:00pm ET.

The Topics
T1: Everyone is talking about Digital Transformation (Dx) – but what exactly do you think Dx really is? #HITsm

T2: What do you think is most important for a successful DX project – technology, people or other ‘non-digital elements?’ And why? #HITsm

T3: What are most important components of a successful Dx effort & why? Interoperability, IoT, Analytics, Mobile, Cloud? Others? #HITsm

T4: What are the roadblocks and challenges associated with digital transformation and are any unique to healthcare? #HITsm

T5: Patient engagement & ‘empowerment’ are popular themes. How would you like to be empowered by digital transformation in healthcare? #HITsm

Bonus: What are some examples of healthcare companies that you feel have digitally transformed themselves? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
3/17 – How Do We Include Every Generation in our Health IT?
Hosted by Erica Johansen (@thegr8chalupa and @SplashMedia)

3/24 – TBD
Hosted by @MelissaxxMcCool

3/31 – AI and Cognitive Science
Hosted by @HBI_Solutions

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you have ideas for how to make #HITsm better.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

Healthcare Scene Interview with Steve Lieber at the Close of #HIMSS17

Posted on March 2, 2017 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 the HIMSS 2017 Annual conference came to a close, Healthcare Scene had the opportunity to sit down with Steve Lieber, President and CEO of HIMSS, who will be retiring at the end of the year. Being the last HIMSS conference with Steve Lieber at the helm, we wanted to get a feel for how Steve was feeling and take a look back at his 17 years at the helm of this organization.

In this interview, we talk with Steve about how HIMSS has changed over his 17 years running the organization and about some of the pivotal moments in that time. We also ask Steve about his replacement. While he didn’t give us any names he did give us some idea of the process for finding his replacement and what type or attributes the search committee will look at in selecting the new President and CEO of HIMSS. Finally, we wrap up with Steve giving some advice to healthcare IT professionals and even ask Steve if he takes pride in what he and HIMSS have accomplished.

Check out the full interview with Steve Lieber below:

Regardless of how you feel about HIMSS, it’s an impressive organization that puts on an impressive conference. It’s not easy to grow a conference to 40,000 attendees and 1200 vendors and Steve’s been at the helm of its growth. Thanks for sharing your insights with us Steve.

If you enjoyed this interview, subscribe to Healthcare Scene on YouTube and browse the full playlist of healthcare IT interviews we’ve done.

Is It Groundhog Day with Population Health? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on February 28, 2017 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’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 3/3 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Hosted by David Chou (@dchou1107) and Lisa Esch (@lisaesch). We’ll be discussing the topic “Is It Groundhog Day with Population Health?“.

Population health seems to be a hot topic in every healthcare IT circle. One of the challenges with population health is that everyone is applying the term to everything. It’s hard to know exactly what is happening with population health and what’s all talk. Plus, in many cases it feels like we’ve been down this road before.

With this in mind, join as at this week’s #HITsm Twitter chat to try and cut through the hyperbole and talk about the population health that’s really making a difference. Plus, we’ll look at how to make sure financial incentives are aligned and where population health is going in the future.

The Topics
Here are the topics to help flesh out the theme of ‘Is It Groundhog Day with Population Health?’

T1: What did you see last week at #himss17 that excited you about population health? #HITsm

T2: Why has this taken so long? We have been talking about value based care since 2011, has any progress been made? #HITsm

T3: Are the financial incentives aligned to moved towards a population health approach? #HITsm

T4: Who are the disruptors that you see so far? #HITsm

T5: What’s next and how do you see this play out? #HITsm

Bonus: Do you think population health impacts your personal health? How? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
3/10 – Digital Transformation in Healthcare
Hosted by Murray Izenwasser (@MurrayIz and @AAJTech)

3/17 – TBD

3/24 – TBD

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you have ideas for how to make #HITsm better.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

HIMSSanity Recovery Tweetstorm Chat and Health IT Insights – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on February 23, 2017 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’re taking a little different approach for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 2/24 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). Since this week many of the #HITsm community were busy at the HIMSS Annual Conference in Orlando, we wanted to give people a bit of a break from the regular chat and test out a simple, new approach to the chat in what we’re calling the HIMSSanity Recovery chat.

Instead of sharing 5 topics to discuss, we’re asking everyone in the #HITsm community to share a “Tweetstorm” (check out this article that describes a Tweetstorm pretty well.) that offers some insights into the healthcare IT community. Maybe it’s a story from your experience at HIMSS17, insights into a certain topic, a message of gratitude, a rant on an important topic, a deep look into a subject that matters to you, etc. Of course, you’re welcome to join us even if you didn’t participate in HIMSS in any way shape or form. As long as you have a viewpoint and perspective, you’re welcome to join and share a tweetstorm.

All you have to do to participate is

1. Select a topic, subject, story, or rant you want to share.

2. Share a series of tweets that are numbered (ie. 1.) and end each tweet with the #HITsm hashtag.

3. Check out other people’s tweetstorms and reply to their perspectives.

4. Repeat if you have more than one tweetstorm to share.

Here’s a simple example of a tweetstorm you might share in 8 successive tweets:

1. We need to improve the patient experience in healthcare #HITsm
2. Healthcare organizations that choose not to improve the patient experience are going to be at an extreme disadvantage. #HITsm
3. As value based reimbursement efforts get rolled out, the right patient experience is going to be essential. #HITsm
4. First, it will attract the best patients to your organizations #HITsm
5. Second, it will provide you the opportunity to truly engage with your patients which is necessary in value based reimbursement. #HITsm
6. Third, if you don’t do it, your competitors across the street will and you’ll have a challenge being competitive. #HITsm
7. If you’re not working on the experience your patients have in your office, you should start now. #HITsm
8. Focusing on patient experience is the right thing to do for your patients and your business. #HITsm

That’s all. Easy enough right? I look forward to reading everyone’s #HITsm tweetstorms! Don’t worry if they don’t all go out at Noon ET (9 AM PT). Feel free to share them throughout the full #HITsm hour or even after. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments.

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
3/3 – “Is it ground hog day with population health?
Hosted by @dchou1107 and @cschealth

3/10 – TBD

3/17 – TBD

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you have ideas for how to make #HITsm better.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

#HITsm and #hcldr Meetup at #HIMSS17 (And Online)

Posted on February 21, 2017 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 was excited to join forces with my friend Colin Hung and do a combined meetup with the #HITsm and #hcldr communities at the HIMSS 2017 conference. There’s so much overlap between the two communities, we didn’t see any reason to do something separately.

After a lot of discussions, we decided to go back to our roots and return to the old meetup style. So, we’re meeting in the lobby outside of Hall D on Tuesday, 2/21 at 10 AM ET (7 AM PT). We’ve also enlisted the help of some great people to facilitate those who show up for the meetup (Thanks @mandibpro, @shahidnshah, @sarahbennight).

There’s not really a formal agenda per se. However, we do have a fun social activity for people to participate in. Plus, even if you’re not at the event, you can participate remotely. Here’s the format if you plan to participate remotely.

At 10 AM ET (7 AM PT), you can start by introducing yourself, what you do, and a fun fact or something interesting about you.

Shortly after that, take out a piece of paper or a whiteboard in your office and answer the question “How can we #ImproveHealthcare?”. Once you’ve answered the question on paper or the whiteboard, take a picture of you with the answer and tweet it out with the question “How can we #ImproveHealthcare?” and the hashtags: #hcldr #HITsm and #HIMSS17.

The great news is that @JoeBabaian will be taking care of managing those that are participating remotely. Plus, those of us that are in attendance live will be doing the same. So, we will be able to see the remote messages and those people following along remotely will be able to see our messages from HIMSS.

That’s all. Simple and sweet. We hope you’ll join us. Plus, if are following along at home, you can check out all of the tweets people are sharing here.