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Getting Beyond the Health IT Cheerleaders, BS, and Hype Machine

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My friend Shahid is chairing a healthcare IT event series called HealthIMPACT (10% discount for Healthcare Scene readers with the code IMPACT10) and the first one of the year is taking place in Houston on April 3. Given his no-nonsense attitude and low tolerance for hype, it looks like it will be a great place for healthcare technology enthusiasts and buyers to get actionable advice on what’s real, what’s BS, what to buy, what not to buy, and perhaps most importantly, which guidance is worth following. Shahid tells me that the following important topics will be covered at the Houston event:

  • How IT can support the overarching financial, operational, and clinical goals of your organization
  • HIEs in your region and provider participation in them
  • Technologies that support value driven care and population health management
  • Cloud based systems in healthcare
  • Programs that drive patient engagement
  • Leadership strategies that drive innovation
  • Predictive analytics that improve care delivery
  • EHR implementation and meaningful use
  • ICD10 compliance, readiness and physician training

If you’re a buyer of technology, it’s certainly worth attending. If you’re selling technology and want to learn how to reach the buyers or need to talk to buyers directly it’s also worth attending. Shahid’s come up with an interesting “mini focus group” model that allows technology vendors to sit directly with buyers and pick their brains. A very interesting model that’s worth exploring.

Not only are the topics pretty relevant but he seems to have been able to convince some pretty well known Speakers to join him:

  • Edward Marx, Senior Vice President and CIO, TEXAS HEALTH RESOURCES
  • George Conklin, Senior Vice President and CIO, CHRISTUS HEALTH
  • Pamela Arora, Vice President & CIO, CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER
  • Theresa Meadows, Senior Vice President and CIO, COOK CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
  • Chris Belmont, Vice President & CIO, UT M.D. ANDERSON CANCER CENTER

Register online here and reference code IMPACT10 to receive a 10% discount for being a Healthcare Scene reader.

March 20, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

#HIMSS14 Day 1 – Interoperability, HIE and Social Media

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Well, this is technically my second or third day, but this is the first official day of HIMSS. It’s a mad house like you can imagine and the vendor hall is as big as you’d expect. You need about 3 weeks to go through it. I actually decided to do a walking meeting with someone and we basically walked the whole exhibit floor twice. Luckily, the conversation was good and we dove into some interesting topics. I also told them about my future mobile strategy for Healthcare Scene. She liked it. Hopefully I can roll it out in the next few months.

My day happened to start off with a lot of discussion on interoperability and HIE with MAeHC and then Orion Health. I think it’s really interesting to see the progress we’ve made when it comes to interoperability and HIE, but I also found it interesting that Micky Tripathi from MAeHC still described healthcare interoperability as being in its infancy. I largely agree with him and it’s really too bad. Although, it was also interesting to compare that to Orion Health talking about how they’ve proven that HIE can work. Plus, they also noted something I’ve written multiple times: Private HIEs are growing faster than the Public HIEs.

I’m still really torn on the business model for interoperability and HIEs. I don’t see a clear model in most situations. I even saw one tweet yesterday that talked about taxing on a per patient basis to pay for the HIE. I heard that in NY they’re actually literally working on a tax to fund it. However, I really think that calling it a per patient tax is a really bad way to describe the funding. I’ll certainly be covering more of my interoperability and HIE discussions in the future. Watch for those blog posts in the coming weeks.

I also did a lot of social media talk today. Together with Shahid Shah and Cari McLean we had a discussion about Social Media and Influence. It was great to see so many friendly faces in the audience. I feel lucky every chance I get to hear Shahid talk. He’s really good at reframing things in interesting ways. Plus, Cari has a unique perspective to offer from her perch on top of the HIMSS Social Media tower. I previously noted that social media has just become an integral part of HIMSS. What’s interesting is that most of the companies at HIMSS haven’t created it as an integral part of their company. Many are still learning, but it’s great to see them learn. I hope many will attend the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference where we dive in a lot deeper on these topics.

As I said to someone today, social media can provide value to every company, but not every company should do social media. Some companies aren’t ready to commit to doing social media the right way. Other companies aren’t ready to be that open and transparent. Social media is just one tool in the kit. Although, it’s a really powerful one if used properly. I’ve also been touched by the power of social media to help individuals. Social media has connected me to people that would have no doubt been back at their rooms or in the corner of the event wondering why they were there, but instead they’re out having a good time and connecting with other interesting people.

There you go. I talked about a number of other things today, but I’ll cover that over the weeks and months ahead. For now I’m calling my day today HIMSS HIE, Interoperability and Social Media day.

Be sure to also check out my #HIMSS14 Twitter Roundup and my post on Hospital EMR and EHR about the real cause of hospital readmissions. I think the later post will be a post I reference over and over as people continue to talk about solutions that reduce hospital readmissions.

February 24, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Healthcare IT Marketing

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I’m often surprised by people’s reaction when I say that I’m a blogger. Most then believe that it must be a part time thing that I do for fun at nights. While it started that way, blogging is my full time job. If it weren’t for a large number of companies who’ve supported my work over the years, I’d probably have one blog that I’d post to a couple times a month. I can’t say how much these companies support means to me.

As my blogs have grown and the industry has changed (when I started people didn’t even know what a blog was), I’ve been working to evolve with the industry. While display advertising still does quite well for me and my advertisers, there are a number of shifts happening in healthcare marketing. That’s why I launched Influential Networks, an EHR Job board, EMR and EHR whitepapers, email blasts, and a number of other projects I’m still working to officially launch like my EHR and Health IT video series.

There’s a lot happening when it comes to healthcare marketing, and next week as part of my EHR and Health IT interview series, I’m going to be doing an interview with Don Seamons from Lumeno Marketing and Shahid Shah from Influential Networks. More details on that to come, but it should be a really interesting conversation on the changing healthcare marketing landscape.

With everything I do, my goal is to provide value to everyone involved. For example, those reading the site get value from the free content that’s available to them and also get introduced to companies they may not have known about otherwise. Those companies that advertise benefit from exposure to people reading the content we create. I don’t always nail this perfectly, but I’m sincere in my efforts to provide value all around. Plus, whenever there’s a financial interest involved in something I’m doing, I try to make that clear to the reader. That way everyone knows any bias I may have and can make their own judgement on the content I provide.

With all of this in mind, I want to take a second recognize the new and renewing EMR & HIPAA advertisers.

ZH Healthcare – As most of you know, my blog run on the backs of many open source software products. So, I’m really glad to have an open source EMR company supporting EMR and HIPAA. ZH Healthcare is built on the back of the most successful ambulatory EHR software to date, OpenEMR. If you want the flexibility of an open source EHR, check them out.

Caristix – I love the tagline from their ad, “HL7 interfacing 50% faster.” I think that pretty much describes what Caristix offers to those in healthcare IT. HL7 is going to be with us for a long time to come, so every institution and company should know a great HL7 company. Check out Caristix if you’re looking to do some HL7 integrations.

Chetu – Rather than me trying to describe Chetu, check out this interview I did with Craig Schmidt from Chetu. You can see the breadth of experience they have developing software for healthcare. If you’re looking to outsource some IT development work, check out Chetu.

Renewing Advertisers
The heart and soul of our support is in our renewing advertisers. So, a big thanks to all of the companies listed below for renewing their ads with us. It’s great to look over so many of these companies who have been supporting us for so many years. Here’s to many more years working together. If you enjoy what we do here at EMR and HIPAA, check out the advertisers below and see if they offer something you’re looking for.
Ambir – Advertising since 1/2010
Amazing Charts – Advertising since 5/2011
simplifyMD – Advertising since 9/2012
Canon – Advertising since 10/2012

A number of other exciting things coming in the future. Thanks to all the readers and supporters of EMR and HIPAA.

May 22, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

This Week in Health Innovation and The Coming Mobile Health Startup Revolution

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After the great experience many of us had at the Dell Healthcare Think Tank event, Gregg Masters asked if Shahid Shah (my partner in Influential Networks) and I would take part in an online interview he does called This Week in Health Innovation. This is one element of the Health Innovation Broadcast Consortium that Gregg and a few others have put together. We had a great 30 minute conversation about some of the major trends we saw happening in healthcare IT and then we even went into an overtime discussion for another 10 minutes. The time flew by in our discussion, but I think there were some really good nuggets shared in the interview. You can listen to the full interview in the embed below.

Listen to This Week in Health Innovation on Blog Talk Radio

I was also recently asked to do a guest blog post for the NYEC (New York eHealth Collaborative) blog. First, I have to say that I love that their blogging. Second, as many of you know, I’ve been participating in the Digital Health Conference in NYC that the NYEC puts on every year. It is a really great event.

With that background, I think that many of my readers will enjoy my guest post titled “The Coming Mobile Health Startup Revolution.” This is really coming, but I don’t think it’s going to come as most current mobile health people expect. A long series of incremental technology advancements have us prepped for an explosion of innovation in healthcare. I just hope that the healthcare structure doesn’t slow it down.

April 5, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Where You’ll Find Me at HIMSS 2013

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I can’t believe that HIMSS 2013 is finally here. Well, it’s almost here. I fly out on Saturday, and I’m seeing the tweets come in from the various vendors who are arriving in New Orleans to setup their booths. For those that can’t attend, we’ll do our best to give you a peek into the event. For those that can attend, I always love to meet those who read EMR and HIPAA in person. The following is a list of events that I’m hosting, participating in or otherwise engaged. All of these events and more are also listed in the Influential Networks HIMSS 2013 Event Guide.

I look forward to seeing many of you at these great events and in the hallways of HIMSS. It’s always great to see old friends and make new ones.

#SocialMedia and #Influence Tweetup
Monday, March 4, 2013
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Description:
Discuss the best approaches to influencing audiences around your ideas, products or services with John Lynn and Shahid Shah, InfluentialNetworks.com. Learn how social media can be used to get your messages out to those who matter. Discover common myths and misconceptions about new media, and learn proven strategies and techniques to get the most out of social media.
Location: Social Media Center

Discussion with Rita Bowen, Chief Privacy Officer at HealthPort, About HIPAA Omnibus Rule
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Description:
Come learn from one of the leading experts on HIPAA, Rita Bowen, as she discusses the latest details on the new HIPAA Omnibus rule with John Lynn, HealthcareScene.com.  We’ll talk about all the changes with business associates, how to make sure your compliant, and making a smooth transition to the new rule.
Location: HealthPort Booth #6841

New Media Meetup at #HIMSS13 Sponsored by docBeat
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Description:
Great food, free drinks, and time to mingle with the best and brightest that healthcare social media has to offer.  Come and meet people you’ve only connected with online and find new friends.  The New Media Meetup is where the online world meets offline.
Location: Mulate’s Party Hall – 743 Convention Center Boulegvard, New Orleans, LA
Register to attend: http://tinyurl.com/HIMSS13NMM

Point of Care Video with Metro
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Description:
Come learn more with John Lynn, HealthcareScene.com, about Metro’s latest point-of-care systems, AccessPoint mobile computing system, and their Metro Access platform.  We’ll be shooting a video of their latest products.  Don’t worry, you don’t have to be in the video unless you want to be.
Location: Metro Booth #6312

February 28, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Using Influencers to Differentiate Your Health IT Products

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Shahid Shah and I have been working together for the past little while on a new company called Influential Networks. It’s been a really amazing experience for me to work alongside Shahid and to learn from his amazing expertise.

As HIMSS fast approaches, Shahid and I decided that it would be helpful for us to share some tips and tricks to improve a company’s marketing and messaging strategy and how they can use influencers in that strategy. We’ll be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, January 29th at 2:00pm EST to share these tips. The tips we will be sharing apply at HIMSS or to any company looking to differentiate their product or service in the healthcare market.

For those who don’t want to wait or can’t attend on Tuesday, last Thursday we teamed up with HIMSS Social Media gurus, Cari McLean and Michael Gaspar, to do a similar webinar focused on differentiating your product and services at HIMSS. You can download a recording of that webinar here.

Much of the content in the webinar on Tuesday will be similar to the one we did with HIMSS, but with a few different twists. Plus, we’ll save time for Q&A at the end of the event where you can get your company specific questions answered. Here’s a short outline of the major subjects we’ll cover:

  • Describe the expectations of attendees and why they attend
  • Provide suggestions for how to clearly differentiate your products and services
  • Explain some of the common mistakes exhibitors make
  • Plan what to do before, during, and after the conference

You can register for the Tuesday webinar online. Everyone is welcome to attend.

If you have any specific questions you’d like to make sure we answer at the webinar, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to answer them for you.

January 25, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

The Current Health IT and EHR Bubble

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I had a really great conversation with Shahid Shah, Jenny Laurello and John Moore at Health 2.0 about the bubble that we’re sitting in right now. John Moore’s response to my question, “When do you think the bubble will pop?” was priceless: “Which bubble?” Yes, we might be seeing multiple bubbles in healthcare IT: EHR, HIE, mobile health, etc.

For this blog, I’m most interested in the EHR bubble. Obviously, the bubble in this case is the creation of the $36 billion in EHR stimulus money that’s being handed out thanks to ARRA and the HITECH act. With over 600+ EHR vendors and a limited number of customers (I think there’s about 700,000 physicians in the US), there are going to be quite a few EHR vendors that won’t make it.

With that said, I don’t think the EHR bubble will pop like it has in other industries. In fact, I think the current IT industry bubble is going to be a much bigger problem. What’s amazing to me is how you can make a decent EHR business with only a few hundred doctors. Sure, a few hundred doctors won’t create 10 times return to investors, but those who take a conservative approach to building their EHR company could get by with what I believe is an astoundingly small customer base. Physicians are just that valuable.

Shahid Shah described EHR as a cottage industry and so cottage EHR companies will survive. I’m not exactly sure how he’d described cottage industry, but I think the regional nature of healthcare is definitely an influence on this. I’m sure many could argue that long term this strategy won’t work, but I believe at least for the forseeable future we’re not going to see the EHR bubble pop for a while.

As I think about the EHR companies I know, they all seem to have plenty of cash to make it through meaningful use stage 2 and likely all the way to meaningful use stage 3 at least. We’ll see how the smaller EHR companies do post meaningful use stage 2, but I don’t see any EHR vendors not making it to meaningful use stage 2. They’ll at least make it to MU stage 2. Then, based on their adoption results (or not) we may see a few EHR vendors run out of money.

What do you think? Are we in an EHR bubble? When will the EHR bubble pop? What other healthcare IT bubbles do you see?

May 16, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Commentary and Resources – Meaningful Use Monday

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For this week’s Meaningful Use Monday, I decided I’d go through the large list of meaningful use stage 2 commentary that’s been put out over the past week. I’ll do my best to link to some of the most interesting commentary, summaries, etc of meaningful use stage 2 and point out some resources that I’ve found useful.

John Halamka on Meaningful Use Stage 2
First up is the blog post by John Halamka about MU stage 2. I really like his recommendation to read pages 156-163 of the MU rule (PDF here). Sure, the rule is 455 pages, but many of those pages are a recap of things we already know or legalese that is required in a government document. Halamka also created a meaningful use stage 2 powerpoint that people can reuse without attribution. Worth looking at if you’re not familiar with MU stage 2 or if you have to make a presentation on it.

Health Affairs on MU Stage 2
Health Affairs has a nice blog post covering meaningful use stage 2. They offer “3 highlights that seem particularly important:”

  1. The bar for meeting use requirements for computerized provider order entry (CPOE), arguably the most difficult but potentially the most important EHR functionality, has been raised: now a majority of the orders that providers write will have to be done electronically.
  2. There is a major move to tie quality reporting to Meaningful Use. We knew this was coming, but CMS has laid out a host of quality measures that may become requirements for reporting through the EHR.
  3. Health Information Exchange moves from the “can do it” to the “did do it” phase. In Stage 1, providers had to show that they were capable of electronically exchanging clinical data. As expected, in Stage 2, providers have to demonstrate that they have done it.

Health Affairs also talks about the timeline for this rule and the feedback that CMS is likely to get on MU stage 2. I’m sure they’re going to get a lot of feedback and while they suggest that the rule will look quite similar to the proposed rule, I expect CMS will make a couple strong changes to the rule. If nothing else to show that they listened (and I think they really do listen).

Stage 2 Meaningful Use by The Advisory Board Company
The Advisory Board Company has a good blog post listing the 10 key takeaways on stage 2 of meaningful use. Below you’ll find the 10 points, but it’s worth visiting the link to read their descriptions as well.
1. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) affirms a delay for 2011 attesters.
2. Stage 1 requirements will be updated come 2013.
3. Medicaid definitions are loosened; more providers are eligible.
4. While the total number of objectives does not grow, Stage 2 measure complexity increases significantly.
5. Information exchange will be key, but a health information exchange (HIE) will not be necessary.
6. Patients will need to act for providers to succeed.
7. Sharing of health data will force real-time, high-quality data capture.
8. More quality measures; CMS’ long term goals—electronic reporting and alignment with other reporting programs—remain intact.
9. The Office of the National Coordinator’s (ONC) sister rule proposes a more flexible certification process and greater utilization of standards.
10. Payment adjustments begin in 2015.

AMA MU Stage 2
The American Medical News (done by the AMA) has a blog post up which does a good job doing an overall summary of where meaningful use is at today (post MU stage 2). Meaningful Use experts will be bored, but many doctors will appreciate it.

Justin Barnes on Meaningful Use Stage 2
Justin Barnes provides his view on meaningful use stage 2 in this HealthData Magement article. It seems that Justin (and a few other of his colleagues at other EHR vendors) have made DC their second home as they’ve been intimately involved in everything meaningful use. I found his prediction that the meaningful use stage 2 “thresholds and percentages will remain largely in place come the Final Rule targeted for August, and should not be decreased via the broader public comment phase next underway like we saw with Stage 1.” Plus, he adds that the 10 percent of patients accessing their health information online will be a widely discussed topic. Many don’t feel that a physician’s EHR incentive shouldn’t be tied to patients’ actions. Add this to the electronic exchange of care summaries for more than 10 percent of patients and the healthcare data is slowly starting flow.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 and Release of Information
Steve Emery from HealthPort has a guest post on HIT Consultant that talks about how meaningful use stage 2 affects ROI. This paragraph summarizes the changes really well:

The bottom line for providers is that Stage 2 MU changes with regards to these specific criteria will drive organizations to implement a patient portal or personal health record application; and connect their EHR systems to these systems. Through these efforts it is expected that patient requests to the HIM department for medical records will decrease; as patients will be able to obtain records themselves, online and at any time.

e-Patients and Meaningful Use Stage 2
e-Patient Dave got together with Adrian Gropper MD, to put together a post on meaningful use stage 2 from an e-Patient perspective. This line sums up Adrian Gropper MD’s perspective, “My preliminary conclusion is that Stage 2 is a huge leap toward coordinated, patient-centered care and makes unprecedented efforts toward patient engagement.”

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Standards
Those standards geeks out there will love Keith Boone’s initial review and crosswalks from this rule to the Incentives rule here.

Shahid Shah on Meaningful Use Stage 2
I like Shahid Shah’s (the Healthcare IT Guy) overview and impressions as well. He’s always great at giving a high level view of what’s happening in healthcare IT.

Are there any other meaningful use stage 2 resources out there that you’ve found particularly useful or interesting?

March 5, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

EMR and Healthcare IT Blogging Community – Let the Sparring Begin

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I remember when I first started blogging about EMR and health care IT about 5.5 years ago, I searched out whatever EMR and healthcare IT blogs I could find. The first three blogs that I can remember finding (and loving) were Neil Versel’s blog, Shahid’s Healthcare IT blog and Will Weider’s Candid CIO blog.

I loved reading Neil Versel’s blog because he was actually a professional journalist in the healthcare IT arena. I learned a lot by watching what he did. In fact, I think some of my writing style came from reading his blog. Along with his blog, Shahid provided HITsphere where I could see the posts from other bloggers. Plus, in the early days the traffic from HITsphere to my blog was really great. It’s hard to have a blog that no one reads. I loved the Candid CIO. Partially because the writing was so good and Will is a really smart guy. Partially because I was completely intrigued that the CIO of an organization was blogging. At that time I think I also aspired to be a CIO like Will. Funny how life changes and I prefer to be a blogger now. I’ll leave the stress of CIO to Will. I’m happy to say that all three of these bloggers are still wielding their blogging sword and I still enjoy reading their work.

Needless to say, the EMR and Healthcare IT blogging community has gotten much larger than it was 5.5 years ago when I started. Like many things, with that growth a lot of things have changed. Some for the good and some for the bad. One thing that I miss is all the interaction we use to have as bloggers. Certainly some of that interaction has moved to Twitter and other social media sites. However, I wish we had more interactions with bloggers like we use to do when there were only 5 of us out there.

I personally like to call it blog sparring. Basically, you take someone else’s post and provide the opposing perspective or at least you add to the conversation that they started. I love these types of interactions with other bloggers. Plus, I love the deep dive into a specific topic that happens when you do this type of blogging. As a reader, I think it’s fun to read the various blogger’s perspective on the topic.

So, on that note, I’m going to make the next week, Blog Sparring Week. I’m going to find interesting posts from some of the best EMR and healthcare IT bloggers out there and I’m going to write a post in response or in addition to the comments they made. This way, you’ll get to know some of the other interesting bloggers out there, but you’ll also get the chance to read some interesting in depth commentary.

Hopefully, the bloggers I write about will join in on the fun by either replying to my blog posts or blog sparring with other EMR and healthcare IT bloggers.

If you have posts you think I should consider, let me know in the comments.

July 1, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Regional Extension Centers (RECs) and HITRCs

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One area of the HITECH act that I haven’t heard discussed nearly enough is the Regional Extension Centers. Sure, I’ve heard them mentioned in passing plenty of times. However, I haven’t heard any real good information on what’s being done to make sure that these RECs are going to be successful in their goal of 100,000 providers becoming meaningful users of EHR’s by 2011.

Yes, that’s a pretty big hairy goal. Especially considering the EHR adoption rates up until today. Not to mention, these Regional Extension Centers (RECs) are going to have to find a way to effectively help doctors sort through the 300+ EHR vendors that are on the market with more coming out every day. This is not an easy task to accomplish and will require a lot of great tools to do it effectively.

Shahid, The Healthcare IT guy, created an interesting post about the Regional Extension Centers where he talks about the challenge these RECs will have to “offer unbiased advice on the systems and services best suited to enable the priority primary-care providers to become meaningful users of EHRs. Regional Centers will avoid entering into business arrangements creating an actual or apparent conflict of interest.”

Can you imagine the lobbying that will happen by the big EMR vendors towards these RECs? The reality is, who else can these RECs turn to for “unbiased” advice on EMR selection and implementation? I can’t imagine that the people behind these RECs just want to be a marketing front for EMR vendors who pay to lobby them. Seems pretty clear that you have to be really careful where you get your information.

Of course, this is just one of the many challenges that these RECs face. Personally, I hope that the RECs are incredibly successful and do a great job assisting doctors to find and implement the right EHR. However, if these RECs aren’t careful, they can actually have the opposite effect on EHR adoption.

If people have more information on these RECs, I’d love to hear more. I’m interested in doing what I can to help these RECs succeed.

March 23, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.