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This Geek Girl’s Singing: HIMSS 14 Social Media Finale

Posted on March 14, 2014 I Written By

Mandi Bishop is a hardcore health data geek with a Master's in English and a passion for big data analytics, which she brings to her role as Dell Health’s Analytics Solutions Lead. She fell in love with her PCjr at 9 when she learned to program in BASIC. Individual accountability zealot, patient engagement advocate, innovation lover and ceaseless dreamer. Relentless in pursuit of answers to the question: "How do we GET there from here?" More byte-sized commentary on Twitter: @MandiBPro.

As one of the inaugural crop of HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors, a second-generation native Floridian, and a former Orlando resident, it is my sworn duty to summarize, recap, and perhaps satirize the last group of Blog Carnival posts, to metaphorically sing the HIMSS opera finale. And you folks submitted some doozies! I’m very grateful to the HIMSS (@HIMSS) and SHIFT Communications (@SHIFTComm) team for providing me with links to all entries. Y’all have been BUSY!

A man after my own heart, and a frequent #HITsm participant who weathers harsh criticism with witty aplomb: Dan Haley’s (from athenahealth, @DanHaley5) piece on 3 Takeaways From HIMSS – Policy And Otherwise caught my attention with the line, “Regulators are from Mars…” He stole my favorite blog entry prize with the line: “Orlando is magical when you are a kid. Kids don’t attend HIMSS.”

First-time attendee Jeffrey Ting (from Systems Made Simple) outlined his experiences with some of my favorite topics in his piece, HIMSS Reflections By A First-Time Attendee: HIEs and interoperability. I agree with him: the Interoperability Showcase’s “Health Story” exhibit was one of the best presentations of the whole conference.

Dr. Geeta Nayyar’s perspective as a board member of HIMSS and CMIO for PatientPoint gave her a unique vantage point for her post, HIMSS 14: A Truly Inspiring Event. Take note, HIMSS conference planners – your monumental efforts were recognized, as was the monumental spirit of the closing keynote speaker, Erik Weihenmayer.

HIMSS Twitter recaps permeated the blogosphere, with my favorite being the inimitable Chuck Webster’s (@wareflo) HIMSS14 Turned It Up To 11 On And Off-Line!. Chuck also periodically provided trend analysis results of year-over-year #HIMSS hashtag traffic for each period of the conference, complete with memes for particular shapes: Loch Ness monster humped-back, familiar faces of frequent tweeters.

Health IT guru Brian Ahier’s (@ahier) wrapped up the “Best In Show” of HIMSS Blog Carnival , complete with Slideshare visuals awarding Ed Parks of Athenahealth “Best Presentation” and providing an excellent summation of must-read posts.

Interoperability was one of the most prevalent themes of HIMSS, and a plethora of posts discussing the healthcare industry’s progress on the path to Dr. Doug Fridsma’s (@Fridsma) High Jump Of Interoperability (Semantic-Level) were submitted to the Blog Carnival. Notable standouts included: Shifting to a Culture of Interoperability by Rick Swanson from Deloitte, and Dr. Summarlan Kahlon’s (of Relay Health), Diagnosis: A Productive HIMSS 2014, which posited that, “this year’s conference was the first one which convinced me that real, seamless patient-level interoperability is beginning to happen at scale.”

And who could forget about patient engagement, the belle of the HIMSS ball? Telehealth encounters, mobile health apps and implications, patient portals, and the Connected Patient Gallery dominated the social media conversation. Carolyn Fishman from DICOM Grid called it, HIMSS 2014: The Year of the Patient, and discussed trepidation patients feel about portal technologies infringing on face-time.

Quantified-self wearable-tech offered engagement opportunities, as well. Having won one such gadget herself, Jennifer Dennard (@SmyrnaGirl) gave props to organizations like Patientco and Nuance for their use (and planned use) of wearable tech in support of employee wellness programs, and posited on the applications of such tech in the monitoring and treatment of chronic disease in her piece, Watching for Wearables at HIMSS14.

Finally, if you’re able to read Lisa Reichard’s (from Billians Health Data) @billians) highlights piece,Top 10 Tales and Takeaways, without busting out into Beatles tunes, you probably wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun as she and I did at HISTalkapalooza, dancing to Ross Martin’s smooth parodies. You also probably don’t have your co-workers frantically purchasing noise-canceling headphones.

I did say I’d be singing to bring HIMSS to a virtual close.

Can’t wait to get back to the metaphorical microphone for HIMSS 2015 in Chicago!

Counter Intuitive Findings from Patient Portal Use

Posted on May 16, 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 patient portal is becoming a really hot topic in healthcare. I think we can attribute much of the discussion to the EMR meaningful use requirements to engage with patients in a patient portal. I recently started a thread on LinkedIn based on a post by Jennifer Dennard called Opening up the Pandora’s Box of Patient Portals. The conversation in the thread was great, but David Voran, MD provided some incredibly valuable insight that I wanted to share with all of my readers. The following are Dr. Voran’s comments based on his experience using a patient portal.

Long have exploited the portal in our organization and we’ve now progressed to where the entire chart is available to patients. Can begin to list the results but here are my counter intuitive findings:
1) The more barriers a clinician erects between them and the patient the MORE work they wind up doing.
– Those of us physicians who have configured the portal to have most message types routed directly to the physician wind up answering less messages at the end of the day.
– Typically physicians will have all medication refill requests, questions about the last visit, requests for visits, etc. routed to a nurse or a pool to attempt to answer first. The majority of the time the person receiving this message can answer only part of the question and will then send a message to a physician for direction; the physician responds and then the nurse will interact with the patient; then the physician has to approve any orders or actions taken. This usually involves having the physician receive or respond in some way to 2 messages in their inbox. Those of us who receive the patient’s message directly answer one.
– Many other examples but typically those physicians who have barriers are answering or responding to 35-50% more messages than those who have no barriers.

2) The more the patient has access to the more engaged they will be and the more accurate the record will be. The patient is the best auditor of the record and will point out inconsistencies that can be corrected.

3) If the physician is the one to enroll or engage the patient. Those physicians who promote the portal will get 60-75% utilization of the portal. Those that are passive will see about 30% response rate.

4) Aggressive use of the portal will eliminate up to 8 hours of patient related phone conversations per nurse per week.

Meet the Bloggers Panel Video and Dell Healthcare Think Tank at HIMSS12

Posted on March 9, 2012 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.

Meet the Bloggers Panel at HIMSS12
As many of you know, I was on a Meet the Bloggers panel at HIMSS 2012. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Charles Webster, MD (@EHRworkflow) was sitting on the front row filming us the whole time from a video camera he had attached to his hat #hatcam. I think some good information was shared for those interested in using blogging and/or social media in healthcare.

The moderator of the panel was Brian Ahier and the panelist were Healthcare Scene contributor Jennifer Dennard, Neil Versel from Meaningful Health IT News and Carissa Caramanis O’Brien of Aetna.

Neil was gracious enough to do all the work of embedding each video clips into a Meet the Bloggers at HIMSS post. So, instead, of embedding them all here, head over to his site to enjoy them. I will just embed one video of me talking about healthcare social media below:

One thing became abundantly clear at HIMSS. I love social media and know a little something about it. One of my favorite meetings was with a health IT vendor who wanted to tell me about them and talk about blogging/social media. They started asking questions about blogging/social media first and an hour later we were out of time. That interaction made me wonder if I should put together some one or two day social media training/strategy sessions for vendors. I think one key to social media is authenticity which means I think it’s hard to outsource it.

Dell Healthcare Think Tank
I didn’t participate in the Dell Healthcare Think Tank that happened at HIMSS, but two writers for Healthcare Scene did: Jennifer Dennard and Neil Versel. They posted the whole video for the event and I’ll embed it below. I was able to watch a good portion of it and found a number of the comments quite interesting. I find it really intriguing that Dell would hold an event like this. In many ways, this is how I get the knowledge and insight that I post on this blog. I spend time with many of the people that attended the think tank and we talk about the healthcare IT world.

Kaiser’s Mobile App, EHR Anxiety Coding, EHR Accessibility Challenge and EHR Design

Posted on January 29, 2012 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 back with our weekend round up of interesting tweets from the Twittersphere. We’ve got some really interesting ones to consider this week. So, much is happening in healthcare IT. Hopefully I can provide a good insight to some of the trends that are most interesting. No doubt this will be a challenge as we head into what is one of the most busy healthcare IT news cycles of the year around HIMSS.

Now, on to the various EHR and Healthcare IT tweets:


Kaiser Permanente just made 9 Million EHR records available on line to the patients. That’s definitely worth talking about. Go read about it in Jennifer’s post.

This tweet just made me laugh (although, if you’re experiencing it, it’s not that funny):


I think they probably need a DSM-IV code.


I know there are a number of companies working on this. The problem isn’t the technology to get the Qcode to access your patient record. It’s aggregating your patient record in some place so that it’s accessible. That’s going to take a long time (if ever) to get it all connected.


I’m fascinated by this idea as well. I hope some companies will take it really seriously. The interesting thing is that often by making software accessible, you also learn a lot about how you can simplify the software.


Dr. Rick does a great job starting the conversation around EHR usability. I can’t imagine the effort he put in just to create the first post. Of course, it is a first offering, but I’m really glad that he’s started a deeper discussion around EHR usability. My only disappointment is that he isn’t posting them on one of my sites instead of HIStalk. Regardless, by the looks of the discussion in that post it’s going to drive some really interesting conversation that will hopefully result in improved EHR design.

HITR – Health Information Technology Research Hub and Social Network

Posted on November 15, 2011 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 imagine that many of you have seen some people talking about HITR around the web. It’s a website backed by the people at Porter Research and Billian’s HealthData. I know that I first saw it a few months ago and wasn’t quite sure I understood what they were trying to do. I couldn’t tell if they were trying to be Sermo, a private healthcare IT social network, or something new. The lack of clear vision for me meant I set it to the side.

While attending AHIMA this year I had the chance to spend quite a bit of time with a number of different people from Billian’s HealthData and Porter Research. We had a great time talking about all sorts of things, but they of course told me that I should look more at their new HITR product. I told them I’d take a look not knowing what to really expect.

A week or so ago, Jennifer Dennard set up a demo of HITR for me. While still a nascent product, I was intrigued how they used their knowledge and experience in healthcare research and embedded it so fully in the product. I guess I could have and should have assumed as much, but I was reasonably impressed with the idea of having a hub for healthcare IT research. I know how much I and other IT people love our data.

One interesting thing about HITR is the give to get model that they’ve set up. Basically they’ve arranged it so you give your feedback on your products to get access to other information and research from your peers. I imagine they’ll be adjusting this model over time, but it kind of reminds me of the open source model where everyone contributes a little bit and everyone benefits from the other people’s efforts.

The real challenge that HITR faces is just making sure they get enough people involved and participating to make the information they collect valuable. Plus, they have to get enough people and the right people on board. I’m not sure how scientific the results will be considering it’s a basically self selected example. I can’t remember if they include qualitative results along with the quantitative, but that could be really helpful even if the results aren’t scientifically correct on the quantitative side.

One other concept that they said they were exploring with HITR is the idea of getting connected with referral sites for a healthcare IT product that you’re considering. I REALLY love this idea. In my e-Book on EMR selection I recommend finding some referral sites and visiting them to get a feel for that EHR software in practice and to talk with a doctor who actually uses that EHR software day in and day out. The problem is that if you ask the EMR company for some referral sites they’ll give you a bias list. I suggest in the book to ask for their entire client list. However, I think using HITR could be another interesting way to find a referral site outside of the EMR vendors’ pre-groomed list.

I asked Jennifer Dennard to send me a list of some of the other benefits of using HITR. This should also give you a decent feel for what they’re working on with HITR.

I’d list the benefits for everyone as:

  • Ability to connect with peers
  • Blogs
  • Groups
  • Discussions
  • Job boards

Benefits to providers that take surveys would include:

  • Ability to gauge how your employees evaluate the systems you’ve put in place at your facilities
  • Ability to see how those same systems are rated by your colleagues at peer institutions
  • Ability to start a more in-depth dialogue with HITR connections about HIT systems you may be considering for your facility, and their experiences with those same systems
  • Ability to influence future HIT product development

Benefits to vendors include:

  • Ability to view how their systems are evaluated by their customers
  • Ability to correspond with providers for product management/development purposes
  • In the near future, vendors will be able to sponsor surveys through HITR to deploy to their chosen audiences – customers, prospects, etc.

If you have a chance to sign up for HITR, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience. Like I said, it’s a new site, but has some interesting possibilities if they execute it right.