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Healthcare IT Marketing and PR on the Mind

Posted on April 2, 2015 I Written By

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meaningful Use Doesn’t Address ‘Hybrid’ Transition Period

Posted on July 7, 2011 I Written By

Some 10 years ago, when I first started covering health IT, a lot of the talk was about the “modular” approach to EMR adoption, i.e., put in a piece at a time during a transition period. Much of that had to do with the state of technology at the tail end of the dot-com bubble, when companies developed applications to address one small problem, often in the hopes of getting a larger firm to shell out big bucks for their idea. (Wouldn’t you know, that’s how many vendors, most notably GE Healthcare, put together end-to-end enterprise systems.)

Implicit in any step-by-step transition to EMRs was the idea that there would be an interim period where providers would have to run dual electronic and paper systems. It’s a notion that’s always been with us, but how many people still think of it?

I got a reminder this afternoon when I spoke to Ken Rubin, Iron Mountain‘s senior VP and GM for healthcare, who was talking about results of a new survey on progress toward meaningful use. (I was ostensibly doing that interview for InformationWeek Healthcare, so look there tomorrow for coverage. Here, I just want to talk about one aspect of the conversation.) Rubin noted that there seems to be a sort of “no-man’s land” between the paper and digital. “I don’t see a real, well-defined way of dealing with the hybrid world,” when hospitals and medical systems are switching to EMRs while still retaining old paper records.

Obviously, Iron Mountain would like to sell some scanning, data management and shredding services to healthcare organizations, but Rubin has a point. The rules for meaningful use Stage 1 don’t say a thing about what you’re supposed to do with existing paper files, and it doesn’t appear that Stage 2 will address that issue either.

Do you scan all the old files immediately, or wait until each patient’s next visit, then chart electronically going forward? What do you do with the files of inactive patients? Do you archive records in house or offsite? Do you still need rows of files taking up valuable square footage that could be put to better use? What do you do with clerical staff?  Do file clerks become managers of electronic health information, or do you need to replace those people with others trained in HIM?

Rubin noted that this limbo often works against organizations trying to overcome physician resistance to change. “The faster you can get to the other side, the faster you’ll get physician adoption,” he said.

That all makes good sense to me. CIOs and practice managers, what do you think? Have you addressed hybrid workflow during this transition period, or is the siren call of federal dollars for meaningful use too strong?