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Small Practice Marketing Strategies Twitter Chat (#KareoChat)

Posted on April 12, 2016 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.

Health IT Marketing and PR Awards 2016

Last week we held the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR conference which is organized by Healthcare Scene. By all accounts, the conference ran well and the feedback I’ve gotten is that people really enjoyed the event and the healthcare marketing and PR community we’ve built. During the event, we held the HITMC Awards and Kareo won the award for Best Social Media Program. This is a well deserved honor since they put a lot of work into hosting the weekly #KareoChat.

Coming out of the conference, Kareo asked me if there were some topics from the conference that would work well for the #KareoChat audience of small practice physicians. After reviewing the sessions at the conference, I realized that there was a lot of lessons from the conference that could be applied to small practice marketing. In fact, so many of the topics could be a #KareoChat of their own. With that said, they asked if I’d host this week’s #KareoChat based on topics from the conference. So, I decided to pull together a potpourri of topics that applied well to small practices.

Kareo Chat - HITMC

Here’s a look at the topics for this week’s #KareoChat:

  1. When and why should a physician practice go through a rebranding? #KareoChat @HealthITMKTG
  2. How can you use your and your competitors’ online reviews (good and bad) to your benefit? #KareoChat @mdeiner
  3. Could small practices benefit from their own podcast? Is it worth it?  #KareoChat @GetSocialHealth @Resultant @jaredpiano
  4. How and when should small practices use visual content in their office? #KareoChat @csvishal2222
  5. How can the 4 communication preferences (Facts, Futures, Form, Feelings) help small physician practice marketing? #KareoChat @ChartCapture
  6. Where and how can we use the power of storytelling in small physician practice marketing? #KareoChat @ctrappe @stacygoebel

If you’d like to join us to discuss these topics, just follow the #KareoChat hashtag on Thursday, April 14th at Noon ET (9 AM PT). I expect it will be a really diverse and interesting chat across a wide variety of topics related to small practice marketing.

Full Disclosure: Kareo is an advertiser on one of the Healthcare Scene websites.

The Power of Twitter Chats – Community

Posted on April 21, 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’ve long been a fan of Twitter chats. There’s something great about a group of people coming together regularly to discuss a certain topic. The discussion can be really interesting and insightful. Many people will follow a Twitter chat and learn about a topic they are learning about, but not participate. However, the biggest value for me from participating in Twitter chats is the relationships that are built during the chat.

Mandi Bishop tweeted something at said at HIMSS15:

Considering it’s been retweeted and favorited like crazy, the message has really resonated on social media. Twitter chats are the perfect opportunity to interact with other humans. It’s the quintessential act of being human. Yes, that means that some people will fight over a topic, some people will have good behavior, some people will have bad behavior, some people will go off topic and start talking about hoping on a boat for a vacation, etc. While not all of these things are favorable, it gives a great glimpse into the humanity of a Twitter account. That bonds people in some of the same ways that bonding with someone in person can do.

What comes from all of these human connections is the growth of a community of people interested in a similar topic area. Notice that I said they were interested in a certain topic area and not necessarily that it was a monolithic group of people with the same interests. In fact, every Twitter chat I’ve been in has an amazingly diverse group of participants. No one really knows if you have 10 followers or 33,000 followers. They judge you on the content of your tweet and not your follower count in a Twitter chat.

I’ve seen this first hand as I’ve put together the #HITMC (Healthcare IT Marketing Community) chats. The community that’s come together around these chats has been phenomenal. I think we might have gone a little fast for the community hosting the chat every other week, but we’ll remedy that soon when we move to a monthly #HITMC chat. Regardless, it’s been a fantastic way to bring together the healthcare IT marketing and PR community. It’s become sort of a rallying space for people to share their ideas, learn from their colleagues, and meet new and interesting people. That’s powerful.

I’ve seen the same thing happen in participation in the #KareoChat and #InfoTalk Twitter chats. A community really comes together in a well hosted Twitter chat. One part education and one part meeting really smart people.

I’m not suggesting that Twitter chats are the solution to all your marketing challenges. In fact, in some places, it might not be the answer. However, I’m always amazed at the power of a great Twitter chat to bring together a community of people around an important topic.

Of course, if you don’t have the energy or reach to start your own Twitter chat, you can always piggy back other popular Twitter chats: #HITsm, #hcsm, or #hcldr to name a few.

4 Great Healthcare IT Bloggers

Posted on March 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.

This post was inspired by Dave Newman’s post which listed his 4 favorite health IT bloggers. In his list, I’m in great company alongside Marsha Tatt, Shahid Shah and Ed Marx. What I loved about Dave’s description of each is that you knew he actually read each of the sites regularly since he summed us each up very well.

Also to answer his question “Does he [John Lynn] ever sleep?” Yes, I do sleep. My favorite response is “Sleep is for the weak…and sometimes I’m weak.”

I think the reason I loved Dave’s post so much is that it hearkened me back to my early days of blogging where people would do posts like this all the time. This was pre social media. Twitter didn’t exist and Facebook was for college campuses. The idea of a healthcare IT blogging “community” has kind of gone away in a lot of respects. There are a bunch of bloggers, but not much of a blogging community.

I miss those days, but I’m not sure it’s an awful thing. The reason there was a blogging community before was that the blog was the only format people had to share their ideas and thoughts about what was happening. So, the blogs and the comments of blog posts was this amazing way to connect with people who had common interests. That blogging community has now moved to social media where we have Twitter communities. Many people who were blogging and who would blog are now just sharing their thoughts on Twitter and other social media. In many ways that’s a lot easier than starting a blog. Plus, those communities are really strong.

What’s clear to me is that people’s desire to connect with other people in a community and people’s desire to share their ideas and thoughts will never end. It’s just the format that will change.

With all of that said, I still have a friendly affection for bloggers. Particularly bloggers that can slay the content beast and regularly publish thoughtful content. While I like many of you don’t follow that many bloggers fanatically like I might have done before (I use social media to bubble up the interesting content), I still am fond of some really exceptional healthcare IT bloggers who I do read regularly. Here are 4 of the many I could highlight.

Life After Epic – Epic is the Apple of Healthcare IT. They have such tremendous fan following on each side. Plus, they are incredibly secretive about many of their business practices. Everyone likes to know a secret, so it’s always fun to read some of the behind the scenes insights that Life After Epic provides. I hope he/she brings on some other former Epic people to contribute content to the site so that the site is always updated on the latest perspectives. In fact, they need a button that lets someone submit info to them to be published. They should continue to publish it anonymously, but not accept anonymous submissions.

EMR Advocate (Jim Tate) – If you care about meaningful use, then Jim is a must follow. He’s deep in the meaningful use attestation and audit world. Plus, he’s just a fantastic individual. While he doesn’t post as regular as some, whenever he posts it’s interesting.

HIStalk – When I first found HIStalk 10 years ago, it wasn’t that interesting to me since I wasn’t deeply entrenched in the industry. However, as I dug in and understood many of the inner workings of healthcare IT, I started to appreciate HIStalk so much more. I can’t imagine the number of hours Mr. H spends and has spent creating all of the content he creates. He deserves a lot of credit for the work he’s done. If you’re entrenched in healthcare IT like me, you’ll enjoy and appreciate the work they do on HIStalk.

HealthSystemCIO (Anthony Guerra) – Ever since Anthony and I first battled it out on a “Meet the Bloggers” panel at HIMSS (we have very different views on how to approach content), I’ve respected the work he’s done. He has a very ardent view of how to approach content and I respect him for sticking with it all these years later. Although, his work I love the most is when he writes about his personal experiences. I always love a good story and Anthony’s great at telling stories.

There you go. 4 great healthcare IT bloggers. Notice that I didn’t say “favorite” since it’s impossible for me to choose a favorite, or a top, or a greatest. Plus, the comparison doesn’t matter to me. Variety is the spice of life, so I love mixing in a variety of great bloggers.

Which bloggers do you read regularly? Which bloggers are your favorite? Which social media personalities do you wish were blogging?

Live Stream of Health IT Marketing and PR Conference and Free Guitar Giveaway

Posted on April 3, 2014 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.

Next week (April 7-8) the inaugural Health IT Marketing and PR Conference is happening in Las Vegas. As most of you know, I’ve worked really hard to make this a great event for everyone involved. A look at the final agenda for the conference should give you an idea of how great this event is going to be.

Free Live Stream
For those of you who weren’t able to make it to Las Vegas for the event, we’ve put together a free live stream of the conference. All you need to do is go to that page and register. Then, we’ll email you the details you’ll need to access the live stream. We appreciate Health Innovation Media and Supernap which provided the technology and support needed to make the live stream available for FREE.

Guitar Giveaway
One of the speakers has also put together a great free guitar giveaway for those attending the conference or watching from home. Chris O’Neal from peer60 and formerly of KLAS will be giving a presentation on How to Influence Ratings, Marketing Research, and Analyst Firms from 9:30-10:30 a.m. PT on Monday, April 7 of the conference. To enter, tweet how many minutes and seconds into his speech Chris will repeat the famous Rolling Stones song title, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” Be sure to mention @peer_60 and include the hashtags #HITmc and #guitargiveaway.

Here’s a simple link that will prime your tweet with everything you need to enter except the guess itself. Check out the peer60 blog post which has all the details, rules, and a picture of the guitar they’re giving away.

The official hashtag for the conference is: #HITMC. Following and participating in the conversation is a great way to see what’s happening at the conference and to connect with those interested in this event. We look forward to seeing you online and many of you in Las Vegas.

Don’t forget to register for the live stream.

Connecting Smart Mobile Devices to the EHR

Posted on January 9, 2014 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

My colleague, John Lynn, posted a hilarious CES marketing video advertising a new product it calls the iOximeter.  The iOximeter, which operates on both the iOS and Android platforms, is an independent device which attaches to smart phones, turning the phone into a pulse oximeter.

I strongly suspect that an i-glucose meter, i-scale and i-blood pressure cuff designed for the mass consumer market are starting to make major headway.

Not to be Scrooge at the Christmas party — I think such devices are a very positive development — but I’m left wondering what the purpose of getting the data onto the phone really is.  After all, unless the data gets to a physician conveniently, and ideally comes to live in their EMR, just how much good does it do?

On the consumer side, it does little but add bells and whistles to products consumers are increasingly used to using anyway, given that the price point for these devices is low enough that they’re sold in consumer pharmacies.

On the provider side meanwhile, you’re left with data that, while it might be arranged in pretty charts, doesn’t integrate itself easily into clinicians’ work flow.  And with EMRs already dumping huge volumes of data into their laps, some physicians are actively resisting integrating such data into the records.

No, the existing arrangement simply doesn’t do anything for clinicians, it seems.  Yes, consumers who are into the whole Quantified Self movement might find collecting such data to be satisfying, but the truth is that at this point many doctors just don’t want a ton of consumer-driven data added to the mix.

To make such phone-based devices useful to clinicians, someone will probably have to create a form of middleware, more or less, which accepts, parses, and organizes the data coming in from mobile health app/device combos like these.  When such a middleware layer goes into wide use, then you’ll see hospitals and doctors actively promote the use of these apps and devices.  Until then, devices like the iOximeter aren’t exactly toys, but they’re not going to change healthcare either.

EHR Vendor Says Good Bye to Meaningful Use

Posted on December 30, 2013 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.

ComChart Medical Software, LLC president, Hayward K. Zwerling, MD, earlier this month posted a letter on The Health Care Blog saying that the ComChart EMR would no longer be meaningful use certified. Here’s a portion of the letter that describes the reasoning:

ComChart EMR will continued to be certified as a Complete EMR for Stage I Meaningful Use. Unfortunately, we will not be able to meet the Stage 2 (or greater) Meaningful Use certification requirements as these requirements are technically extremely difficult to implement.

In addition to the Meaningful Use mandates, there continues to be a never ending stream of new mandates such as ICD-10, PQRI, Meaningful Use 2, Meaningful Use 3, SNOMED, ePrescribing, LOINC, Direct Project, health information exchanges etc. As a result of the mountain of mandates, ComChart EMR and the other small EMR companies will have to choose to implement the mandates or use their resources to add “innovative” features to their EMR. Unfortunately, the small EMR companies do not have the resources to do both.

(I suspect this is also true, to some extent, for all EMR companies.)

While the individual people involved in promulgating these EMR mandates (mostly) have the best of intentions, they clearly do not understand what transpires in the exam room, as many of the mandated features confer little or no benefit to either the patient or the healthcare provider.

In addition to a lack of understanding of what is important during the process of providing healthcare, it has also become apparent to me that the Federal and State health information technology agenda is now largely driven by the strongest HIT companies and health institutions; the individual physician is only an afterthought in the entire process.

This choice basically means that anyone interested in meaningful use and EHR incentive money won’t be doing so with ComChart EMR. The regulations say that even someone attesting to meaningful use stage 1 in 2014 has to use a 2014 certified EHR. ComChart won’t be able to meet that requirement.

I knew that this was going to happen with a number of EMR vendors, but ComChart really missed a huge opportunity with this announcement. The most damning part of the letter is when Dr. Zwerling says “we will not be able to meet the Stage 2 (or greater) Meaningful Use certification requirements as these requirements are technically extremely difficult to implement.” I was aghast by this statement. So much so that I had a brief email exchange with Dr. Zwerling to see if he really meant what he said. Was it that they weren’t able to meet the requirements or that they chose not to meet them?

He responded, “Anything can be done, it is just a question of how much resources are going to be thrown at the problem and what is not going to get done return.”

It seems that Dr. Zwerling didn’t consult a PR or marketing person on how to make the most of this decision. Any of them would have told him that this decision could be a huge opportunity to differentiate the ComChart EHR from all the hundreds of certified carrot chasing EHR companies out there.

If Dr. Zwerling had asked me, I’d have told him that he should have said, “ComChart EHR has talked with our hundreds of physician end users about meaningful use and EHR certification and we’ve found that they don’t value any of the meaningful use criteria. Because of doctors desire to not be bogged down by meaningful use requirements, we’ve chosen to listen to our doctors and focus on what makes doctors lives easier. We’ll continue innovating our product to the needs of doctors, but we’ll be letting doctors drive that innovation versus some committee in Washington.”

I could keep going, but you get the idea. ComChart could have told every doctor out there that they were the ULTIMATE PHYSICIAN EHR that cares so much about the physicians who use their EHR that they’re shunning meaningful use because it’s detrimental to the way physicians should be practicing medicine. Making this case would not be hard and the message would resonate with the majority of physicians.

I’m not sure if this strategy would work or not. Government money that’s perceived as “free” is a hard opponent. However, government bureaucracy and headaches are an easy target that everyone understands and hates. In ComChart’s case, saying that they essentially aren’t capable of the complex meaningful use requirements is sending the wrong message. All doctors hear when they read this is that your EMR development team isn’t sophisticated or strong enough to keep up. What a missed opportunity and likely the nail in ComChart’s coffin!

Hopefully this is a warning message to any other EHR vendors who choose to go the route of shunning meaningful use and EHR certification. I’m not sure that shunning MU is a winning strategy for an EHR vendor, but being the physician advocate at least gives them a fighting chance.

Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference

Posted on December 9, 2013 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 Background Story
A number of months ago, a marketing manager at an EHR vendor asked me if I knew of any Healthcare IT focused marketing conferences. As I considered the question, I realized that there wasn’t a conference focused on B2B healthcare marketing. Sure, there were plenty of general marketing conferences. There were even a few consumer/patient focused marketing events. However, I didn’t know of any B2B marketing conferences that understood the unique characteristics of marketing to hospital executives and doctors.

After telling this marketing manager that I knew of no such event, she replied that I should create the event and that she’d be the first to register. It took me a little while to see if indeed their was a need for this type of event and if I could create an event that provided real value to those who attended. After careful consideration and planning, I’m extremely excited to announce the inaugural Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference.

The Conference Content
As I started thinking about what a conference like this would look like, I realized pretty quickly that I needed to have both PR and marketing involved in the event. I believe the line between PR and marketing is getting grayer and grayer every day (although, I’m looking forward to a healthy debate about the difference at the event). Hopefully the event can help both specialties discover new techniques and improve on their current techniques.

I also decided early on that this event should include a healthy dose of marketing and PR experts from outside of healthcare to balance out the normal healthcare IT marketing and PR discussions. By incorporating interdisciplinary learning from other industries, I believe that we can stretch our thinking and discover new ways of doing health IT marketing and PR.

Besides the speakers, the conference will provide a great opportunity to network and connect with so many great healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals. As is often the case with conferences, some of the best learning happens while breaking bread with your peers.

Founding Attendees
The conference will be held April 7-8, 2014 in Las Vegas. On the website, you can sign up as a Founding Attendee today. Along with a pass to the conference, Founding Attendees will also get their company promoted on EMR and HIPAA (this website), admission to a Founding Attendee ONLY dinner on April 8th, and our love and appreciation for supporting the conference. We’ll only be offering the Founding Attendee registration until we roll out the full conference website in early January.

Founding Sponsors
Below, you’ll find the four founding sponsors for the inaugural event. Each of these companies are deeply involved in healthcare IT marketing and PR and bring a lot of expertise and experience to the conference. I appreciate their faith in trust in our ability to put on a really great event. I’m proud to have each of them as founding sponsors of the event.

Agency Ten22

Billian

Dodge Communications

Aria Marketing

Over the next few months we’ll be announcing all the details for the event. Be sure to follow @HITMarketingPR on Twitter to see the latest event updates and announcements. In the mean time, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions in the comments or on our Contact Us page.