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Are We Controlled By Software?

Posted on April 21, 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.

This is a powerful question and an important one for our health. I’ll admit up front that I’m a major lover of technology and the way it has impacted my life for good. I fundamentally believe that technology has the potential and opportunity to improve so many things in our lives. That includes our health and wellness.

However, David Chou asks a very good question about how much software (and more broadly technology) control our lives. The cartoon is interesting as well since it talks about software eating our relationships. To some extent that’s true. I’ve known a lot of kids that have grown so in love with video games that they have a hard time relating to people. That’s a major problem. I know many people who have unsafe technology addictions.

While I think it’s true that technology can control our lives, ruin our relationships, and even cause health issues, I don’t think we should lay the blame at the feet of the technology. We’re all human and are given the opportunity to choose what we allow to control us.

I think right now about my kids currently running around outside in this wash area with the neighbor kids playing some game they made up with wizards and dragons (Don’t ask me!). Each Saturday I take my kids to the park while I play ultimate frisbee. Next to the fields are these massive piles of dirt and my kids can’t wait to go play in these piles of dirt. They build forts, tunnels, tracks for balls, and just goof around on them. They have the time of their lives. This stands in stark contrast to the jokes people post on Facebook that say “When I was a kid, this was our playground” on top of a picture of dirt. I guess that’s still my kids playground despite all the technology that’s available.

Don’t get me wrong. My kids love technology too, but trying to say that software controls our lives or is eating our relationships is a fallacy. If it is, it’s because we’re letting it do it. If we let it do it, then yes our relationships will suffer and that will impact our health.

Of course, the alternate view of all this is that some of the very best and most popular technologies in use today actually are about connecting people. Think about all the various social media. I know and interact with thousands of people I’d have never know if it weren’t for Twitter. Technology can often facilitate the building of relationships. Plus, it can extend and deepen a relationship with someone who would have otherwise fallen off the map.

A principle I’ve learned over and over again is that most technology has a double edged sword. It’s how you implement it and how you use it that determines it’s value. Plus, you have to remember that sometimes the best solutions aren’t technical. Just because you can do something using technology doesn’t mean you should. That said, technology can improve a lot of things if implemented appropriately. You’d think these concepts would be common sense, but you know they often say that common sense isn’t so common.

The Double Edged Sword of Healthcare Culture

Posted on March 25, 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.

Rasu Shrestha, MD shared the tweet above today which caused me to ponder on the impact of culture on healthcare. This tweet was particularly interesting coming from Rasu who has created a unique culture of innovation within healthcare at UPMC.

While at RSNA, Rasu recounted to me how his UPMC innovation offices shares a building with the Google office. When interviewing candidates, many of those prospects interview at both UPMC and Google. There’s no way that Rasu and his team can compete with Google as far as perks. However, there’s no way that Google (at least the offices in Pittsburgh) can compete with the impact UPMC can have on the lives of individuals.

If it weren’t for the culture and mission of Rasu and UPMC, then they wouldn’t stand a chance recruiting people away from Google. However, that mission makes all the difference for the right person. Plus, if that person doesn’t understand the mission, then UPMC doesn’t likely want them in the first place.

While I believe that Rasu has created a special culture of innovation, the same can’t be said for much of healthcare. In fact, if you read the tweet at the top another way, healthcare culture is holding innovation behind in so many ways.

Said another way, Culture trumps everything and that can be good or bad.

A culture of innovation is great, because it spurs more innovation. A culture of being closed. A culture of fear. A culture of bureaucracy. Those can all be extremely damaging and stifle innovation and change that could improve healthcare.

I want to be careful to say that I’m not advocating a culture of recklessness. Culture can be taken too far either direction. However, I know very few people in healthcare who are reckless and I know a lot of people in healthcare who are paralyzed by a culture of fear.

Take a second to think about your culture and the impact for good and bad it has on your and your organization’s choices.

Communal Themes Between Behavioral Health and General Healthcare – #NatCon16

Posted on March 7, 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.

Instead of getting a break after HIMSS, I’m doing back to back conferences as I attend the National Council for Behavioral Health’s NatCon Conference in Las Vegas. If you’re following along at home, the twitter stream for the event is #NatCon16 and is full of a ton of gems from the conference.
Chris Matthews and John Lynn at NatCon
Today I got the chance to hear and meet two of the keynote speakers: Chris Matthews and @KevinMD. Chris Matthews provided a lot of great insights into the political environment and a lot of amazing insider stories. My biggest takeaway from his talk is that we’re stuck in a massive quagmire and I don’t see much of that changing in the future. Presidential candidates can make all the promises they want, but they mean nothing if they don’t have the political support and finances to pay for it. @KevinMD was great to meet and hear talk about the benefits of using social media. Of course, he was mostly preaching to the choir for me. However, I’m sure that his comments were extremely eye opening for many in the audience.
KevinMD and John Lynn
Besides these two keynotes, I attended a few different sessions in the tech track of the conference. The most surprising thing to me was how similar these sessions were to any sessions you might have in any healthcare IT conference. This wasn’t really shocking, but it was a surprise that the messages and challenges were so much the same. Here are a few examples:

Third Party App Integration with EHRs
In one session, the vendors were talking about their inability to integrate their behavioral health apps into the various EHR software. They all said it was on the roadmap, but that there wasn’t an easy way for them to make it a reality. One of them appropriately called for EMR customers to start demanding that their EHR vendors open up their systems to be able to integrate with these third party apps.

Fear of Social Media
I usually find at conferences that this breaks out into two groups. One group loves social media, embraces it and benefits from it. The other group is totally afraid of the repercussions of using it. @KevinMD offered some great insights on how to overcome this fear. First, don’t say anything on social media that you wouldn’t say in a crowded hospital hallway. Second, start by using something like LinkedIn or Doximity which is a more private type of social media and are both professional networks. The real key I’d suggest is that you should own your brand. Don’t leave your brand image up to other people.

Business Models
There was a lot of discussion around various uses of technology in behavioral health and the need for the business models to catch up with the technology. Many would love to use all these technological advances, but they aren’t sure how they’re going to get paid for doing so.

I’m sure I could go on and on. I know that many in the general medical field look at behavioral health as a totally different beast. No doubt there are some differences in behavioral health, but I think that we’re more alike than we are different. Looking forward to learning even more over the next two days.

Social Media Tips for #HIMSS16 – More Than Just Tweets

Posted on February 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.

The massive HIMSS 2016 Annual Conference is just around the corner and I’ll be participating in it in a big way like usual. I already posted about the 7th Annual New Media Meetup at HIMSS and my session with Shahid Shah on “Marketing to Customers in an Uncertain Healthcare IT Marketplace“. Would love to see any and all of you at those events. I was also blessed to be selected as a HIMSS 2016 Social Media Ambassador (Maybe I should have said #HIMSS16 instead of HIMSS 2016). It’s an amazing group of people and so I feel so thankful to be in such great company.

It’s been fun to watch the evolution of social media at HIMSS. I’m sure one day my kids will look back and say “weren’t you one of the pioneers that use to use that old platform called Twitter which we read about in our history books?” I’ll be happy to say Yes!

Next week Shahid and I are doing a webinar on “Why Don’t People Care About What You’re Selling at HIMSS?” and this is one piece of a slide we’ve been preparing for that webinar:

HIMSS Social Media Growth

That’s incredible growth. In fact, I just did a quick query and there have already been 35k tweets to the #HIMSS16 hashtag and we’re still over 2 weeks away from the event. The explosion of social media sharing that happens during the 5 days of the event hasn’t even started. That’s some extraordinary growth, but that also means there’s a lot more noise.

While Twitter is a fantastic tool, there’s much more to social media than just Twitter. In fact, because Twitter has become so popular (see graphic above), your investment in other social media platforms are likely as important as your investment in Twitter. Let me cover some other social media avenues you might consider using before, during, and after HIMSS.

Side Note: Before I cover the non-Twitter social media options you might consider, I want to mention that Twitter is still extremely powerful. My mention of other social platforms isn’t to diminish the power of Twitter, but instead to expand the scope from one powerful tool to many powerful tools. Plus, I made a bunch of HIMSS Twitter tips and tricks last year and those still apply.

LinkedIn – In many ways, LinkedIn is even more powerful to Twitter. This is particularly true in the business world. I’m still surprised how many people think that LinkedIn is still their online resume. It is that, but it’s so much more. There are hundreds of amazing groups (see the Healthcare Scene group) on LinkedIn that cover every topic imaginable. Join them and participate in the discussions. You’ll be amazed at the connections you make. No doubt many of the people in those groups will also be at HIMSS. Find them. Connect with them and then meetup in person at HIMSS. That’s a powerful use of social media.

Blogging – While a tweet is easy to create, a blog post has a much longer lasting impact. Because of all the activity around HIMSS, a really well done blog post can more easily “go viral” during HIMSS. I’ve seen well done blog posts make the rounds in a fantastically powerful way thanks to the #HIMSS16 hashtag. Those blog posts are often what people are talking about over drinks or in booths at HIMSS. If you don’t have your own blog, try LinkedIn’s blog or medium or even leverage Healthcare Scene’s blogs.

Facebook – People often forget that Facebook can be a powerful tool for yourself or your business. Everyone is on Facebook (give or take a few million), and there’s no better way to connect with someone than doing it both personally and professionally. Plus, there are Facebook groups where like minded people are having work conversations (Here’s the Healthcare Scene Facebook group) or sharing and consuming content. Join those conversations and you’ll be surprised how quickly you can connect to and learn from amazing people.

Periscope – Watch for Periscope to have a break out year at HIMSS this year. I’m not a huge fan of Periscope for a lot of things in healthcare IT, but live events is the perfect place for Periscope. I’ll be searching through Periscope to find who is broadcasting periscopes from HIMSS16 so I can see some of the interesting things I missed. Plus, I’ll likely be doing some periscopes from HIMSS16 myself, so watch for those.

HIMSS Mobile App – I’ll admit that this is a new one for me. I just downloaded the HIMSS Mobile App and I’m excited to see how well it works. While many people think it’s a way to find sessions, maps, etc, the mobile app is much more powerful as a way to connect with people. Unlike Twitter, the mobile app won’t likely have all the noise that exists on Twitter because you can’t automate what’s posted to the mobile app as easily as you can Twitter. Take some time to be active and share insights on the mobile app. I think you’ll be surprised at the impact you can have if you do so.

Those are a few suggestions. Let me know any other thoughts or suggestions you have on how to leverage social media before, during and after HIMSS16.

#HIMSS16 Mix Tape

Posted on February 5, 2016 I Written By

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin is a true believer in #HealthIT, social media and empowered patients. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He currently leads the marketing efforts for @PatientPrompt, a Stericycle product. Colin’s Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung

On February 29th the #HealthIT community will descend on Las Vegas for the annual HIMSS conference and exhibition.

One of the best parts about attending HIMSS is getting the chance to meet people in real life who I interact with through social media. There is nothing quite like meeting someone face to face for the first time yet feeling like you already know them. I think hugging and fist bumps are the official greetings at HIMSS. It’s an absolute blast to be able to share stories and laughs with likes of Mandi Bishop, John Lynn , Rasu Shrestha and Wen Dombrowski.

With an expected attendance of 45,000 this year, I’m hoping to meet even more people than ever before at the various HIMSS gatherings.

Last year, ahead of HIMSS15, I decided to do a fun blog post. I asked some friends to send me a song they thought reflected what was happening in #HealthIT at the time. I compiled everyone’s selections along with the reasons behind their choice. I called it the HIMSS15 Mix Tape. The response was amazing. I had so many people DM me and stop me at the conference to give me their song choice. Even John Lynn blogged about it.

This year, I asked an even larger number of friends to contribute a song. So without further rambling, here is the #HIMSS16 Mix Tape. Enjoy!

HIMSS16 Mix Tape

Night on Bald Mountain – Disney’s Fantasia. Chosen by Regina Holliday @ReginaHolliday. “Disney. Because although morning will come, we now walk among the terrors.”

Confident – Demi Levato. Chosen by Mandi Bishop @MandiBPro. “For a couple reasons: 1) it’s beyond time #HealthITChicks / #WomenInHIT got equal recognition and pay for their contributions to the field, and I’m seeing an increasing strength of voice supporting those efforts, 2) patients have had enough of their attempts to engage being discounted by clinicians and other caregivers, and we are all demanding respect and inclusion at the table of our healthcare decisions.”

Stronger – Kelly Clarkson. Chosen by John Lynn @techguy. “This should be the anthem of those of us in healthcare IT.  First, do no harm, but don’t be afraid to take some risks and make mistakes.  Not taking some risks is killing more people than doing something and sometimes making mistakes.  Healthcare will be stronger for the mistakes we make.”

Runnin’ Down A Dream –  Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Chosen by Melody Smith Jones @melsmithjones. “I got into this industry because my grandmother died of cancer in rural USA in 2003. I’ve been running down the dream of care everywhere ever since. I believe 2016 will bring us the most growth in Connected Health that we have seen to date.”

Talk to Me – Stevie Nicks. Chosen by David Harlow @healthblawg. “The chorus includes the line: “You can talk to me/You can set your secrets free, baby” which can be read as a coded message to legacy systems … One of the verses goes: “Our voices stray from the common ground where they/Could meet/The walls run high/ … / Oh, let the walls burn down, set your secrets free” — a prescient call to interoperability, to communication, to enabling broader collaboration across provider, payor and health care information technology silos. We’re almost there, Stevie.”

Heroes – David Bowie. Chosen by Nick van Terheyden @drnic1. “Because I love that track and was sad to see David Bowie leave this universe. But also: We need to be heroes for Healthcare and I hope Healthcare Technology can beat the madness of our system and Ch-ch-ch-ch-change the world:

A million dead-end streets / And every time I thought I’d got it made / It seemed the taste was not so sweet…… / We can be Heroes, just for one day / We can beat them, for ever and ever … ICYMI – I blended the lyrics from David Bowie’s Changes with Heroes”

Another Brick in the Wall – Pink Floyd. Chosen by Rasu Shrestha @RasuShrestha. “In memory of Meaningful Use ‘All in all it was just a brick in the wall…’ “

Numb – Linkin Park. Chosen by me @Colin_Hung. I think many physicians, nurses, administrators and patients are numb from all the competing priorities this past year and from the years of chasing Meaningful User dollars. I think this verse sums it up:

I’m tired of being what you want me to be / Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface / Don’t know what you’re expecting of me / Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes / (Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow) / Every step that I take is another mistake to you

Fire – Jimi Hendrix. Chosen by Chad Johnson @OchoTex. “The reason is simple: HL7 FHIR continues to dominate the headlines and discussions around health data interoperability, and rightfully so. FHIR will bring exciting changes to interoperability.”

Taking Care of Business – Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Chosen by Charles Webster @wareFLO. “Taking care of business in healthcare means getting sh*%$t done. Effectively and efficiently accomplishing goals is only possible with great…wait for it…WORKFLOW”

I Want It All – Queen. Chosen by Joe Lavelle @Resultant. “Because we want it all – Interoperability, “our damn data”, #mhealth, Patient Engagement, Population Health, Telemedicine. etc.”

Robot Rock – Daft Punk. Chosen by AJ Montpetit @ajmontpetit. “We’re heading to the integration of AI into healthcare to create a streamlined experience, and assist in comprehension of all the multiple factors that each patient has individually.”

Upgrade U – Beyoncé. Chosen by Cari McLean @carimclean. “I’ll go with a song that not only always makes me dance but one that reflects a growing happening in healthcare. I chose this song because the EHR replacement market is growing as the rip and replace trend continues and health information exchange is prioritized.”

Give Me Novacaine – Green Day. Chosen by Linda Stotsky @EMRAnswers. “LOL- because providers are in PAIN!!! They need something to soften the blows”

Changes – David Bowie. Chosen by Brad Justus @BradJustus. “A classic from a classic and something that is a constant in #HealthIT”

Fight Song – Rachel Platten. Chosen by Jennifer Dennard @JennDennard. “I think it encapsulates the #healthITchicks ethos – not to mention patient advocates’ – quite well :)”

 What Do You Mean – Justin Bieber. Chosen by Sarah Bennight @sarahbennight. “For SO many reasons. What do you mean MU is going away? What do you mean you need me to fill out ANOTHER demographic profile, what do you mean you don’t have my allergies? What do you mean by interoperable? I could go on all day, but we all have real jobs to do….like to figure out this healthcare IT thing :) Plus in the Justin B song…you hear a clock…do you ever feel like Health IT is running out of time? I don’t agree with JB on ANYTHING, but I agree we are running out of time.”

Shape of Things – David Bowie. Chosen by Pat Rich @pat_health. “In my mind this song evokes the futuristic world of health IT in a steampunk/sci-fi sort of way”

Hello – Adele. Chosen by Bill Bunting @WTBunting. “Because there is an emerging side of healthcare that’s trying to break free and be heard (i.e. adoption), and no one is answering the call to do so”

Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie. Chosen by Joy Rios @askjoyrios. “There is so much pressure to get through these health IT initiatives unscathed and there’s so much at risk if they get it wrong.  I see providers across the country dealing with so much change, when they mostly just want to focus on their practice. Unfortunately, the changes are not letting up. I feel like the healthcare system is right in the middle of its metamorphosis… not a caterpillar anymore, but by no means a butterfly!”

Please Please Me – The Beatles. Chosen by Jim Tate @jimtate. “Providers want better EHRs”

New New Minglewood Blues – The Grateful Dead. Chosen by Brian Ahier @ahier. “Because I was inspired by this @healthblawg post ‘The New New Meaningful Use’ “

EHR State of Mind – ZDoggMDChosen by Andy DeLaO @CancerGeek. “Does it really need an explanation? J”

Dha Tete – Pandit Shyamal Bose. Chosen by Wen Dombrowski @HealthcareWen. “Some reasons I like this song:

  • Focus, Mindfulness
  • Flow states
  • Collaboration, Staying in Sync with each other (it is actually 2 people duet)
  • Speed, Moving fast
  • Precision, deciveness
  • Artistry, Beauty”

You Can Get It If You Really Want – Jimmy Cliff. Chosen by Steve Sisko @ShimCode. “I believe true, widespread interoperability is not that far away. The technology, standards (FHIR, OpenNotes), and group consensus (outfits like CommonWell, The Sequoia Project) are finally coming together.

You can get it if you really want / But you must try, try and try, try and try / You’ll succeed at last

Do you have a song you think reflects #HealthIT or healthcare at the moment? Add it to the comments below!

[Update: Here is a link to a Spotify playlist of the entire #HIMSS16 Mix Tape https://open.spotify.com/user/12163763158/playlist/7mO6DlpVa4MoJ7roW0bqiG or if you like videos, here is a YouTube playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOxadHqniaPTYUUY5cMSmW14VZQpngUOU]

Healthcare Podcasts – Do You Listen?

Posted on December 24, 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.

Most of you know that I’ve started regularly doing a series of Healthcare Scene interviews. I have to tell you that it’s a lot of fun to sit down with really smart people and have them share their knowledge with the Healthcare Scene community. At the start of 2016, I’m planning to turn those interviews into the Healthcare Scene podcast. Thanks to the ubiquity of smart phones which provide easy access to podcasts and easier options for playing your cell phone through your car speakers, I see many more people subscribing to podcasts than did in the past.

Leading the Healthcare podcasting world is a group of 4 podcasters that now actually do a combined show as well which they call the Healthcare Podcasters. I couldn’t find a specific landing page for the Healthcare Podcasters because I think all 4 of the podcasters rotate who hosts the combined show and because it’s so new. I’ve attended a few of them and it’s always interesting to see how they’re trying to use the platform. You can see their latest episode here.

Here are the 4 podcasters that take part:

It’s interesting to see the mix. You can pretty much find a podcast on any topic that interests you these days. Some other great healthcare podcasts I’ve seen vary from The Change of Shift nursing podcast by Sean Dent to The Awesome DPC Doctor Show! podcast which talks about direct primary care. Jared Johnson created a list of a number of other healthcare podcasts too.

What do you think of all of these podcasts? Do you listen? Do you have others that you listen to and enjoy (healthcare related or not)?

I’d always been kind of down on podcasts, but as it’s become easy to get them on our wirelessly connected mobile devices I’ve become more of a fan. Between time in the car and exercise (which many are doing), you can really listen to a whole lot of audio content.

Figure 1 – The Quiet Medical Education and Collaboration Platform

Posted on December 22, 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 a healthcare IT blogger, I try to keep up to date with the latest happenings in healthcare IT. Of course, it’s impossible to keep up with everything, but I’ve generally heard of tech companies that are getting traction in healthcare. Either someone tells me about it, I see it on social media, or the company reaches out to me directly to have me write about them. However, sometimes companies quietly do their work and don’t ever hit my radar while they’re gaining significant traction. That was the case with Figure 1 who I first saw on a venture capital blog I read regularly.

The venture capitalist described Figure 1 as instagram for doctors. I’d describe it as a medical education and collaboration platform. Both are pretty accurate depending on your goals. The former is better for raising money and the later is better for understanding what Figure 1 actually does.

No doubt what Figure 1 has built is impressive. They have over half a million healthcare professionals (I think they’re close to a million, but they seemed to be waiting to announce when they actually hit that amazing milestone) on their platform that are viewing images on their platform. Maybe more impressive is that over 50,000 healthcare professionals use Figure 1 on a daily basis and Figure 1’s “medical cases” have been viewed over 1 billion times. They have a very international audience with healthcare professionals from over 100 countries (They verify professionals in over 75 countries). That’s a really significant international medical community.

This is no surprise to me. The first EMR forum I was part of 10 years ago when I started this blog created a section of the forum where doctors posted various medical images. It was a really popular part of the site and doctors seemed to love it. So, it made total sense to me that a mobile optimized version of what was happening on that forum would be even more popular.

Just to put what Figure 1 is doing in perspective, here are some user stories that Figure 1 shared with me:

“I saw a patient who was immunocompromised and had ecthyma gangrenosum on Figure 1 recently, and then later I saw it in person on a child. I’ve never seen that kind of rash before in person, and I knew exactly what it was because I’d
seen it on Figure 1. I treated the patient for exactly what it was instead of something else.”

And now for an international take on what Figure 1 is doing:

Dr. Hugo Zuniga is a family physician working in the Peruvian rainforest in a rural farming community of about 2000 people. As the only physician in the area, Dr. Ziniga is forced to treat many injuries, illnesses, and infectious diseases. Specialists are only available to the community via larger hospitals outside the rainforest. These hospitals are far and require a planned ride to reach them. The cost of visiting these hospitals is typically more than members of the community can afford, so Dr. Ziniga often lends money to his patients for treatment.

Dr. Ziniga says that Figure 1 helps him treat his patients. As an example, he speaks of one particular case where he was able to aid a five-year-old patient with a recurring infection. The patient was sent to a large hospital outside the rainforest for surgery, but the doctors there sent him back untreated, saying he didn’t need surgery.

When the patient returned to the community, Dr. Ziniga felt the other doctors had made the wrong decision. Suspecting that the patient’s adenoids were causing the recurring infection, he posted a photo to Figure 1 asking others if they agreed. After receiving support from the international Figure 1 community, Dr. Ziniga sent the patient back to the hospital, where he was given the surgery he needed.

Dr. Ziniga has no ambulance and few medical supplies. But now, with Figure 1, he says he doesn’t feel as isolated anymore.

I’m really impressed by Figure 1’s approach. It’s largely being done outside of the medical establishment, but it’s generally complimentary to the medical establishment. It’s not easy getting 100 doctors on any platform. Half a million healthcare professionals is really impressive. I’d love to know what you think of what Figure 1 is doing.

#MGMA15 Tweetup and Hosting This Week’s #KareoChat

Posted on October 7, 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 busy fall conference season is upon us and the fun begins. Honestly, I love traveling to all of these events (other than that part about leaving my family). I seriously feel lucky to take part in so many amazing healthcare IT and EHR related events. I know that some people see them as work, but they are all learning and fun for me. I guess I’m weird like that.

MGMA 2015
Next up on my calendar is MGMA this weekend. MGMA 2015 is in Nashville which is exciting for me since I’ve never been to Nashville. I hear that Nashville is chock full of great healthcare IT companies. My schedule is already jam packed with meetings. I’m also excited to see what practice managers are going to say about the current state of healthcare. I’ll be evaluating them for EHR PTSD (Although maybe it will all be ICD-10 PTSD).

If you’re going to be at #MGMA15 or live in Nashville, the good people at Stericycle have put together a tweetup on Monday, October 12th from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM at the Fuse Sports Club inside the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Covention Center. You can find all the details for the tweetup and RSVP here. Everyone’s welcome to attend the tweetup whether they’re attending MGMA 2015 or not. I hope to see many of you there.

Hosting the #KareoChat
Kareo Chat Hosting by John Lynn
I’ll be once again hosting this week’s #KareoChat where we’ll be discussing Ways to Grow and Market Your Practice. The chat happens every Thursday at 9 AM PT (Noon ET). I hope you’ll be able to join us tomorrow. Here’s the 6 questions we’ll be discussing:

  1. What are the most effective ways to market your practice today?
  2. Which new opportunities are you watching that you believe will eventually help grow your practice?
  3. What tools or technologies do you use to help grow and market your practice?
  4. How do you engage your existing patients in your marketing efforts?
  5. What sources do you look to to stay up to date on the latest marketing practices?
  6. In what ways can small practices compete against large health system competitors when marketing their practices?

This topic is becoming more and more important to small practices who are trying to figure out how to survive. I hope you’ll all join me on the Twitter chat and share your insights into the topic.

Full Disclosure: Kareo is an advertiser on Healthcare Scene.

The 3rd Annual Health IT Marketing and PR Conference (#HITMC)

Posted on September 25, 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 take a short break from our regularly scheduled programming to talk about the announcement of the 3rd Annual Health IT Marketing and PR Conference. For those not familiar with the event, it brings together the leading marketing and PR professionals working in healthcare. It’s an extraordinary group of people even if I’m quite biased since I organize the conference.

My own bias aside, each year I’m amazed at the community that’s formed around the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference. It’s a really unique event since there’s no other place for health IT marketing and PR professionals to get together and talk about the unique challenges of marketing to healthcare.

This year we decided to move the conference out of Las Vegas to Atlanta. It made sense to try an east coast location in 2016 since HIMSS and ANI are both in Las Vegas next year. We’ve got a great venue at the Loews hotel in midtown Atlanta. The conference center at the Loews is on the 14th floor and has floor to ceiling windows with amazing views of Atlanta which will make for a really nice event.

As per usual, we’re holding the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference about a month after HIMSS on April 6-8, 2016.

If you have some expertise in healthcare marketing and/or PR, then the call for speakers is open for the event as well. We always get a lot of great submissions, but we particularly love those who provide some real life case studies of their experience marketing to healthcare and those that think outside the box in how and what they present. We’re always trying to implement new ways to create unique conference engagement.

We’ve already gotten a lot of support from sponsors for the event, but there is still room for more if you offer something valuable for healthcare IT marketing and PR professionals. You can check out the HITMC sponsorship options if you’re interested in the options we have available.

The early bird registration for the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference will save you $500 if you register between now and November 30th. Plus, since you’re a reader of a Healthcare Scene blog, you can get an additional $100 off by using the promo code: HITRocks when registering for the conference.

We’re excited to see many of you at HITMC 2016, but if we don’t see you there we hope to see you at one of the other healthcare IT events we attend.