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Healthcare Twitter Roundup

Posted on May 1, 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.

It’s that time again for a quick roundup of some interesting tweets happening out their in the wonderful twittersphere.


This series of responses made me laugh. Mostly because my response was totally facetious (and just like me in real life). I wouldn’t have said it if it were true. 33 Charts is an amazing blog. Especially if you love social media and healthcare.


Since we’re talking social media and healthcare, this tweet seemed appropriate. I love when people say that they don’t like Twitter because they don’t care what someone ate today. My do people that say such things not understand the real power of social media. I sum it up by saying that Twitter is amazing at connecting people.


Fine, if @ahier and @janicemccallum say I must read it I will. Although, I’ll actually book mark and and post about it later.


I’m a sucker for charts. These are quite interesting. At least if you care about the costs of healthcare and where the money is spent.


I’m not sure if I’m ready to usher in the digital pen and paper technology as the path to meaningful use. Although, many of you will likely remember how much I enjoyed Shareable Ink when I first saw it.


I’m not sure about the article, but I love the commentary on blogging. I love the comments on the blog. They definitely do a great job of balancing out and mistakes in my posts. Not that I’ve ever created a “biased post.” Not me;-)

Shareable Ink

Posted on April 13, 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.

Ever since HIMSS (still seems like yesterday, but was really a month and a half ago), I’ve been wanting to do a writeup about the company Shareable Ink. A number of people asked me at the show what the most innovative thing I’d seen at HIMSS was and my most common answer was Shareable Ink.

The interesting thing about Shareable Ink is that they provide such an interesting middle ground between a technical solution and continuation of paper. I remember about 5 years ago when I heard someone describe the perfect clinical documentation system. It was completely flexible. Required little to no training. Supported every possible documentation style. etc etc etc. Then, they acknowledged that what was being described was the paper chart. It was then that I recognized that while EMR can provide some benefits that paper charts can’t provide, paper charts also had some advantages that would be difficult to provide using an EMR. (See also this post about EMR’s being designed as more than a paper chart).

I think this background is why I found the Shareable Ink approach to documentation so fascinating. I really see it as an interesting way to try and capture the benefits of granular data elements and electronic capture of the data while still enjoying the benefits of paper.

My simplified explanation of the Shareable Ink technology is as follows. You print out a form that you want to use for the patient visit. Each page that’s printed out has a unique background (although it just looks like a colored page to the naked eye). When you use the Shareable Ink pen to write on the printed out page, the pen uses a camera to record what you wrote on that page and where you wrote it. Then, once you sync the pen it recreates the document you wrote on in the system.

It also has some really interesting advanced functionality as far as being able to do check boxes on the printed out form and even will convert your handwriting into text on the electronic document if you wish. I’m certainly not doing all of the features justice in this description, but I think you get the general idea. It’s a pretty cool demo if you get a chance to see it. I wish they had some videos on their website of it in action so I could show you. (UPDATE: Stephen from Shareable Ink sent my this link to a YouTube video of it in action. I’d like to see a few more specific examples of it in action like I saw at HIMSS, but it does do a pretty good job of showing some of what I described above.)

I think they’re also taking a smart approach to the market. Their strategy was to focus on areas of healthcare that were slow to go electronic: Anestheiologists, Emergency Room, Hospitalists and ambulatory Physicians. A smart plan since this hybrid paper/electronic system might get those that love their paper off the fence and into the digital world.

I do have some concern about how well this would do over the arc of the day. How often would there be issues with a pen that frustrates the providers? How much work is it to print off the sheets for each patient? How well could this integrate with an EMR (although, I’d love to see it used with a number of the “Hybrid” EHR vendors out there)? Not to mention, how will the syncing of the pen work? Will it sync flawlessly every time or will you have a bunch of doctors wondering where the documents are/were since the pen didn’t synch for some reason?

I’ll be keeping an eye on Shareable Ink and how well they do. There’s certainly an existing market of users that love their paper and so I’ll be interested to see how these doctors like Shareable Ink’s technology.

An interesting side note is that I find it interesting that Shareable Ink left the Boston area and moved their headquarters to Nashville, TN. Very interesting move I think.

EHR Innovations Have Gone Missing at HIMSS11

Posted on February 23, 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.

One of the most disappointing parts of HIMSS for me is that the really creative and disruptive innovations are missing from HIMSS. There are a few items I saw like the Shareable Ink technology, some of the Nuance NLP/voice recognition work, and a pretty cool biometric kiosk by Fujitsu (which I’ll blog about later). Sadly I wasn’t seeing the really creative innovation coming from the EMR companies (and I talked to a lot of them) at HIMSS. I think there’s two possible things at play in this regard.

First, meaningful use is probably largely to blame for much of the lack of innovation that I saw. As someone told me, the regulation of EHR software has damaged and deterred the innovation. I guess you could say I’ve seen some interesting and innovative ways to approach meaningful use, but being innovative in meeting a government regulation is not the innovation I want to see. I think it’s generally clear that EMR vendors have spent the last development cycle focused on EHR certification and meaningful use.

I asked one large EMR vendor about this idea and what innovations their EHR had available. I don’t think he was very comfortable with the assertion. In response, he described how at his EMR company, they had a team that was focused on EHR certification and the meaningful use requirements but that they also had a whole other group that was focused on customer’s needs and meeting those customer needs.

It’s incredibly interesting that so many EHR vendors responded to my innovation (or what differentiated them from other vendors) by playing the EMR usability or “Doctors like using our EMR” better card. That’s related to the above, we have a group that focuses on our customer’s needs.

Certainly focusing on customer requests and needs is vital. However, it seems fitting to mention the oft quoted, “If I asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse. – Henry Ford” Seems like HIMSS was just displaying the faster “horses” [EMR].

A second possibility is that maybe EMR software has become a commodity. Maybe the reason we don’t see that much innovation is because EMR software has now basically become a commodity. I certainly heard many EMR vendors suggest that EMR is basically a commodity service now and that many other factors will determine the success of the EMR company instead of the EMR software itself. I argue that once you reach a certain set of features, functions and successful installs that the software itself does become secondary to the success of most EMR companies. Does that mean EMR is a commodity?

The other angle that a few new EMR vendors are taking is that EMR is not a commodity. It’s just that all the current EMR software is junk. Most then like to compare EMR software to tablets. The Apple iPad came along and finally presented what amounts to an incredibly well thought out and designed tablet and is destroying the market. These new EMR vendors see their product as the innovative “iPad” of EMR software.

Only problem is that I have yet to see any EMR company have an iPad-onian moment.

I could easily argue that the iPad was the most marketed IT device on the HIMSS exhibit floor. Yet, an Apple booth was absolutely no where to be seen.

I wonder what kind of EHR could be so innovative and disruptive that it would be the talk of HIMSS even if they didn’t exhibit?

EMRandHIPAA.com’s HIMSS11 coverage is sponsored by Practice Fusion, provider of the free, web-based Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system used by over 70,000 healthcare providers in the US.