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Healthcare IT Cartoons – Fun Friday

Posted on June 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’ve had a lot of people say that they love when we do Fun Friday. The work we do in healthcare is serious, but we can’t take ourselves too seriously. This cartoon really made me laugh and highlighted how impacted our lives and likely our health are by this notification world we live in. I think we’re all familiar with that addiction. Ironically, that’s why I turn off all notifications on my phone unless I’m waiting for a specific call.

This one seems timely given all the health reform news. Some might consider it controversial, but I’ve never shied away from controversy. This topic is complicated, but those of us in healthcare can appreciate this “medical condition.”

Cost of a Breach, Proper Medical Record Disposal, and Delayed Breach Notifications

Posted on June 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.

Time for a quick roundup of HIPAA related tweets from around the Twittersphere. Check out these tweets and we’ll add in a bit of our commentary.


Matt’s correct that it’s not all avoidable, but at $380 per record that’s expensive. Breaches are expensive everywhere, but especially in healthcare. When you look at how insecure various industries are, my guess is that healthcare would be near the top of the list as well. That’s a problem.


I’m with Danika Brinda as well. I have no idea why this is still happening. Are people really that uneducated and naive when it comes to disposal of paper medical records? Hire a company with a great reputation if you’re not sure how to do it properly yourself.


Happens all the time. The fine for the delay is more than the damage of the breach itself. There should be no reason organization’s delay in their efforts to notify patients of a breach. Doing so can be a very expensive prospect. Plus, it’s the right thing to do for the patients.

Clinical Intelligence – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on June 20, 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, 6/23 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Megan Janas (@TextraHealth) on the topic of “Clinical Intelligence.”

The word “Intelligence” is on the move in organizations. Creeping out from a corner of business that was once reserved for planning, strategy and competitive analysis- the intelligence of today is found in departments and teams and increasingly in the software suites that assist people with work. In hospitals and healthcare, clinical intelligence has deeper meaning than just “what AI programs are on the horizon and which one might we use.” Clinical Intelligence is dynamic, requiring multiple decisions and multiple steps to drive the sweeping change needed to usher in a new era of work and patient care. Healthcare will face challenges with next generation tech. However, with the right teams, forward thinking, and change agents, professionals can acquire meaningful Clinical Intelligence to transform their organizations and the patients they serve.

Let’s look at what defines Clinical Intelligence in order to break it down. An article from HIMSS describes Clinical Intelligence as:

“Clinical & Business Intelligence (C&BI) is the use and analysis of data captured in the healthcare setting to directly inform decision-making. It has the power to positively impact patient care delivery, health outcomes and business operations.” –Source

Clearly, Clinical Intelligence is in every level of a healthcare organization. That’s important, because for Clinical Intelligence to impact all areas, it has to be intentionally networked into each department. Clinical Intelligence thrives with interoperability, data, and analytics converging to help organizations make informed decisions from patient care to financial assessments. Teams need to evaluate their current capabilities, plan, and employ leaders with strong communication skills to convey the vision and objectives. This begins with a snapshot of where an organization falls on the data analytics spectrum. Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics make up the spectrum. Descriptive analytics tell a team about what has already happened from data collected around clinical documentation, claims, surveys, and lab tests. Predictive analytics takes the Descriptive data to make conclusions about future events. Lastly, Prescriptive analytics goes beyond prediction to reveal what steps to take should a prediction materialize. Moving through the data spectrum is an objective healthcare organizations will need to tackle to achieve CI.

In order to apply analysis to data sets, teams need to make sure the data that they have is relevant and large in scope to help guide their decision making. Additionally, professionals need to ask questions about data sets including, the type of data needed, the sample size, the available data, the bias that could be baked in, and if there are other sources of comparable data. The availability of public data is widely growing with resources including the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Furthermore, the world of machine learning is assisting like never before, offering help by allowing teams to skip over data prep to pre-packaged data sets collected from a variety of sources. IBM Watson and IPsoft Amelia are just two examples of artificial intelligence machine learning making huge advances in several industries.

The data hospitals and others amass through their collective workings, build upon strategies organizations can deploy to reduce costs, improve care, assist with safety and patient outcomes. Suddenly, using data becomes an advantage, a competitive resource edging a health entity over their peers. The pursuit of Clinical Intelligence results in cross departmental learning and knowledge not previously available. Examples of Clinical Intelligence are found in a variety of healthcare settings. Wake Forest Baptist Health in North Carolina used analytics to assist in their oncology infusion center to assist with patient flow. The results were felt across the center with nurses less rushed and the pharmacy processing requests faster. Patients had fewer delays and overall the work environment improved. Montefiore Health System uses a predictive analytics tool to help identify patients at high risk of death or intubation within 48 hours of admittance. Mayo Clinic has additional tools to catch sepsis and treat it faster. These examples are just some of the ways in which analytics become valuable transformational assets.

The time to begin moving towards organizational Clinical Intelligence is presently with the preparation of data collection. Machine learning, and analytics offer health systems a new frontier of discovery; benefitting the decision making of every person involved in patient care.

Resources and Other Clinical Intelligence Reading:

  1. Clinical and Business Intelligence
  2. Turning Healthcare Big Data into Actionable Clinical Intelligence
  3. Four Keys to Successful Digital Transformations in Healthcare
  4. Better Questions to Ask Your Data Scientists
  5. The Most Valuable Resource is No Longer Oil, but Data
  6. Does Your Company Know What to Do with All its Data?

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat focused on Clinical Intelligence. We’ll use the following 6 questions as the framework for the discussion:

This Week’s Topics
T1: What are some benefits and obstacles to Clinical Intelligence? #HITsm

T2: How can health organizations best prepare for machine learning & AI? #HITsm

T3: Data has been described as “digital oil”. What’s its value and worth to a healthcare org? #HITsm

T4: How can leaders convince skeptics that Clinical Intelligence is valuable to an organization & patients? #HITsm

T5: How long do you estimate it will take for Clinical Intelligence to be within a healthcare system? Why? #HITsm

Bonus: Do you have an example of healthcare using analytics to learn? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
6/30 – EHR Optimization
Hosted by Justin Campbell (@tjustincampbell) and Julie Champagne (@JulieEChampagne)

7/7 – International EHR Adoption: Challenges and Solutions
Hosted by Stefan Buttigieg, MD (@stefanbuttigieg)

7/14 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

7/21 – Meeting the Patient Where They Are
Hosted by Melody Smith Jones (@MelSmithJones)

7/28 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

8/4 – TBD
Hosted by Alan Portela (@AlanWPortela)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

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

Jabba the Hutt EHRs Are Alive And Well

Posted on June 19, 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.

If you follow @ehrandhit on Twitter, then you might have noticed that we’ve set it up to tweet out links to articles from Healthcare Scene’s database of 11,000+ blog posts. Sometimes I see these tweets and I remember amazing posts like the one I saw today about Jabba the Hutt EMR.

Here’s the concept of the Jabba the Hutt EMR as I described it back in 2011:

Many long time readers of EMR and HIPAA will know I like to call big, bulky, old EMR software systems, Jabba the Hutt EMR. I think comparing these old legacy EMR software to Jabba the Hutt is a great comparison. For those that don’t know Star Wars that well (and I’m no expert), Jabba the Hutt was a very powerful figure. Although, over time he’d grown so big that he wasn’t very nimble (to say the least). So, despite his power and prestige, there was little to admire about him.

Does that sound a bit like some legacy EMR software? They’re big and powerful figures in the industry. However, their software has grown to the point that it’s clunky and not very nimble. Getting something changed on it is difficult and it’s built on a platform that makes it hard to add new features. Thus, they are Jabba the Hutt EMR.

I love that I had “long time readers” in 2011, but I digress. Does this still sound like a lot of the EHR vendors out there? The cynic might suggest it’s every EHR vendor. Good thing I’m not cynical.

In that post I went on to list things that might be characteristics you could look for to identify the Jabba the Hutt EMR software. It has some good ones, but I think it’s time to update the list. Here’s an updated list that you might find beneficial (and a little entertaining).

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you’re part of every interoperability organization, but not actually interoperable.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
it costs as much for consultants to implement your software as your software.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you hard coded 16 RXNorm codes to pass certification.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you EHR certification is your EHR innovation plan.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
your programmers have never spent time in a clinic or hospital observing users.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you’re afraid to talk to the media.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
your patient portal is your patient engagement strategy.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
HL7 and FHIR are your API strategy.

You might be a Jabba the Hutt EHR if…
you put AI and machine learning in a press release after implementing basic slicing and dicing analytics.

As I said in 2011, the more of these your EHR has, the more likely they’re a Jabba the Hutt EHR. I’m sure many of you could add to the list. Please do so in the comments.

Why Small Medical Practices Are at Great Risk for a Cyber Attack

Posted on June 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.

The good people at ClinicSpectrum recently shared a look at why small practices are at risk for a cyber attack. They label it as why your EHR is at risk for a cyber attack, but I think their list is more specific to small practices as opposed to EHR. Take a look at their list:

Each of these issues should be considered by a small medical when it comes to why they are at risk for a cyber attack. However, the first one is one that I see often. Many small practices wonder, “Why would anyone want to hack my office?”

When it comes to that issue, medical practices need to understand how most hackers work. Most hackers aren’t trying to hack someone in particular. Instead, they’re just scouring the internet for easy opportunities. Sure, there are examples where a hacker goes after a specific target. However, the majority are just exploiting whatever vulnerabilities they can find.

This is why it’s a real problem when medical practices think they’re too small or not worth hacking. When you have this attitude, then you leave yourself vulnerable to opportunistic hackers that are just taking advantage of your laziness.

The best thing a medical practice can do to secure their systems is to care enough about having secure systems. You’ll never be 100% secure, but those organizations who act as if they don’t really care about security are almost guaranteed to be hacked. You can imagine how HHS will look at you if you take this approach and then get hacked.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on June 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 6/16 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Danielle Siarri (@innonurse) on the topic of “Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).”

As technology continues to evolve, the clinicians’ skill set will need to continue to keep up with the health tech evolution. Virtual reality actually stimulates our senses together in order to create the illusion of reality. Augmented reality (AR) is a blend of virtual reality (VR) and real life. AR users are able to interact with virtual contents in the real world and to distinguish between the two. A new term Mixed Reality is a hybrid reality that merges real and virtual worlds to produce new environments /visualizations where physical/digital objects co-exist then interact in real time. Currently VR and AR are being used to simulate and support medical and nursing training as well therapy for patients for anxiety and pain control.

Clinical practitioners are using VR prior to surgery instead of sedation. In Sweden, pharmacist are using VR for pain control. At a California hospital VR is being used for children with terminal cancer to “transport” them during long hospital and facilitate end of life care. Physiologist are using VR for agoraphobia and treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to expose patients mentally without physically putting them in challenging environment.

Join us for the #HITsm chat for the topics of VR/AR in healthcare technology.

This Week’s Topics
T1: What are some ways you have seen VR/AR used to improve the patient’s experience? #HITsm

T2: What are some uses of Mix Reality that could be applied to clinical education? #HITsm

T3: What are implications of using 360 videos and VR with patients with limited mobility? #HITsm

T4: What are some of the future implication of AR, VR, MR in healthcare technology and why? #HITsm

T5: What are the barriers to implementing and widespread adoption of VR/AR into practice? #HITsm

Bonus: What efforts are in place to improve the divide in education and digital health literacy with VR/AR? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
6/23 – Clinical Intelligence
Hosted by Megan Janas (@TextraHealth)

6/30 – EHR Optimization
Hosted by Max Stroud (@MMaxwellStroud), Justin Campbell (@tjustincampbell), and Julie Champagne (@JulieEChampagne)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

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

Healthcare Password Cartoon – Fun Friday

Posted on June 9, 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’ve become a fan of @drmaypole on Twitter. He’s a cartoonist pediatrician and regularly tweets out cartoons like the following one:

I don’t know about you, but I’ve become really efficient at the password reset process on a number of websites that I only use once or twice a month. They set such restrictive policies on their passwords that I can never remember them since I use them so rarely. It’s just easier to reset it and create a new one. This cartoon captured the password issue really well.

Health System & Health Plan Innovation, Change & Growth During Uncertain Times – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on June 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, 6/9 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by @HCExecGroup, @_GWConnect and @_GuideWell as part of #AHIPInstitute on the topic of “Health System & Health Plan Innovation, Change & Growth During Uncertain Times.”

Major forces of change – including consumerism, value-based care, risk-sharing between health systems, providers and payers, the need to address health equity, and new market entrants – have ‘invaded’ healthcare in the United States over the past decade. Moreover, the Affordable Care Act, ongoing regulatory pressures and uncertainty resulting from healthcare reform efforts have further amplified the need for health systems, health plans, hospitals and healthcare providers to evaluate new business models and diversify their business; all while devising innovative ways to stay relevant and competitive in their markets as they improve health outcomes, lower costs & improve equity for all.

This chat will explore topics related to innovation and factors impacting how healthcare organizations change and grow during this uncertain time. Join us Friday, 6/9 at Noon ET (9 AM PT) for a lively discussion.

This Week’s Topics
T1: What specific ‘areas of opportunity’ must health plans/systems address to improve health outcomes, lower costs & improve equity? #HITsm

T2: What must health systems & health plans focus on over next 8 to 18 months regardless of health reform outcome? #HITsm

T3: Who’s most likely to disrupt healthcare: insiders or outsiders? And what barriers do each face – right now or in near future? #HITsm

T4: What technologies will do the most to move healthcare supply-side toward improving outcomes, lowering costs & enhancing equity? #HITsm

T5: Incentives drive innovation. How can they be aligned to meaningfully support innovation that improves outcomes & lowers costs? #HITsm

Bonus: What are examples of innovative healthcare programs, processes, people and organizations – U.S.-based or elsewhere? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
6/16 – Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Hosted by Danielle Siarri (@innonurse)

6/23 – Clinical Intelligence
Hosted by Megan Janas (@TextraHealth)

6/30 – EHR Optimization
Hosted by Max Stroud (@MMaxwellStroud), Justin Campbell (@tjustincampbell), and Julie Champagne (@JulieEChampagne)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

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

Legal Ramifications of EHRs Selling Data

Posted on June 6, 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.

Prompted by an engagement with prominent healthcare lawyer, Matt Fisher (@Matt_R_Fisher), on Twitter, Healthcare Scene decided to sit down with Matt to talk about the challenging topic of EHR vendors selling patient data. As a basis for the discussion, I suggested to Matt that EHR vendors were selling the EHR data and so we should dive into the details of when they are legally allowed to sell EHR data and when they are not.

That’s exactly what we did in my video interview with Matt Fisher below. Turns out there are a lot of little nuances to when and how an EHR vendor can sell patient data and HIPAA is only one of them. Plus, Matt and I also talk a bit about how a doctor and a patient can try and find out when and where their patient data is being sold. Learn about all the details in this video:

Is there anything you would add to the discussion? Were there any details or questions you think we missed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to get the answers.

HIPAA and Facebook Are Diametrically Opposed

Posted on June 5, 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 tweeted this from the CHIME Fall Forum last year, but the idea is still on my mind. First, are HIPAA and Facebook diametrically opposed? Second, if they are or they aren’t, what does that mean for healthcare?

I’m not sure the intent of the person who said that Facebook and HIPAA were diametrically opposed, but I think it’s a reasonable observation. Facebook cares about getting and sharing as much information about you as possible. HIPAA cares about trying to protect your information.

While I think this is fundamentally how these companies think, the reality of what they do is much closer than people would think at first glance. While Facebook certainly wants to collect all of your personal data, it also has become quite sophisticated in its efforts to allow you to control how your data is shared. This wasn’t something that came naturally to them, but was forced upon them by years of crazy indiscretions which forced their hand.

HIPAA has come from the other end. While HIPAA is the portability act and not the privacy act (common mistake), that’s not how it was viewed when it was implemented. Everyone in healthcare saw HIPAA as a way to inhibit data sharing as opposed to a way to provide a framework for secure data sharing. In many cases, that’s still how people use HIPAA today. However, we’re starting to see that change as healthcare organizations have realized that their organizations need to share data. While not as progressive as Facebook in their data sharing controls, healthcare has become much more specific about how, when, what, and where they share patient data.

While we can find plenty of privacy and security issues with Facebook and HIPAA, I’d argue that both of them have become much more sophisticated in their approach to privacy and security. I believe this trend will only continue to get better.

What does all of this mean for healthcare?

Healthcare can learn a lot from Facebook when it comes to creating sophisticated privacy options that put the patient in control of their health data and allow the patient to control if and when that data is shared. However, we shouldn’t be surprised when we implement these controls and patients start sharing in ways that might feel risky to us. We may want to consider even more training on these sophisticated sharing options than what Facebook did for their users.

No doubt there’s a power in health data and much of that power is unleashed when it’s shared with the right people. The best thing we can do to unleash this power isn’t to create a free for all data sharing approach, but instead to take a more sophisticated data sharing approach that puts the patient at the center of the decision making process.