Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and HIPAA for FREE!!

The Importance of Marketing in Healthcare IT

Posted on April 9, 2018 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 spent last week in New Orleans at the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference and enjoyed mixing and mingling with the amazing marketing and PR professionals found in that community. It’s a truly unique conference where attendees collaborate, share, and sincerely care for each other’s success. I feel privileged to be a member of the community.

I was lucky to kick off this year’s event and I started with this slide:

I imagine many people reading this might not agree. However, marketing in and of itself is not evil. Sure, everything can be evil. Technology can be good or evil. People can be good or evil. Healthcare organizations can be good or evil. However, that doesn’t mean that just because something can be used for evil that it is evil. That’s true for marketing which can get a bad rap. As they say, one rotten apple spoils the bunch.

The reality is that healthcare needs more effective healthcare IT marketing.

One of the biggest problems I see when I talk to people in healthcare IT is that many healthcare IT professionals don’t know the available tools, technologies, solutions, and vendors that are out there. They don’t know how these different companies can help them solve their most pressing problems. There’s a lot of health IT professionals that are doing the best they can with what they have, but they don’t have an easy way to know what solutions they really need. Most are so busy with the operational challenges of their job that they don’t have time to understand how a new technology or other solution could make their lives easier and improve their healthcare organization as well.

Many of the healthcare IT vendors who attended the 2018 Healthcare IT Marketing and PR conference have solutions which can improve efficiency, lower costs, and increase revenue. However, not enough healthcare organizations know about their solutions. That’s where marketing comes in.

This is also why we decided to create a sister conference called Health IT Expo. While some solutions come from a vendor, a lot of solutions can also come from your peers. We don’t do enough peer sharing in healthcare IT. Health IT Expo is the perfect venue for healthcare IT professionals to come together to share ideas, resources, solutions, and even commiseration when there is no clear solution. There’s a power in creating these types of deep connections at a conference. Especially when they carry after the conference. (Note: A little birdey told me there are a few free passes left for HIT professionals at provider organizations)

One of the biggest goals we have at Healthcare Scene is to improve healthcare providers’ discovery of the latest and greatest healthcare technology that truly improves care, lowers costs, increases effiency, and benefits your organization. If you have ideas on how we can do this better for you, please reach out to us with your ideas. We also have a few things we’ll be announcing shortly that will hopefully help bridge this gap as well.

What approaches do you take to knowing the latest technology trends in healthcare? Share your ideas and experiences in the comments.

Hospital Recycling Bins May Contain Sensitive PHI

Posted on April 6, 2018 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

A group of Canadian researchers studying hospitals information security practices found that hospital recycling bins contained a substantial amount of PHI.

The researchers, who summarized their findings in a letter published in JAMA, spent two years collecting materials from the recycling bins at five teaching hospitals in Toronto. The “recycling audit,” which took place November 2014 and May 2016, included­­­­ data for inpatient and outpatient care settings, emergency departments, physician offices and ICUs.

When they did their audit, the researchers found more than 2,600 items which contained personally identifiable information, including 1,885 items related to medical care. The majority of the items containing PHI (65%) had been created by medical groups.

Their audit also found that the most common locations at which they found particularly sensitive patient-identifiable information for physician offices (65%) and inpatient wards (19%).

The most commonly-found items included patient-identifiable information included clinical notes, medical reports (30%), followed by labels and patient identifiers (14%). Other items which contained PHI included diagnostic test results, prescriptions, handwritten notes, requests and communications, and scheduling materials.

According to the researchers, each of the five hospitals they audited had policies in place to protect PHI, along with secure shredding containers for packaging up private information. That being said, they guessed that as the hospitals transitioned to EHRs, they were discarding a high volume of paper records and losing control of how they were handled.

I don’t know what the EHR adoption rate is in Canada, but nearly all U.S. hospitals already have an EHR in place, so on first glance, it might appear that this couldn’t happen here. After all, once a hospital has digitized records, one would think the only way hospitals would expose PHI would be when someone deliberately steals data.

But the truth is, a great deal of hospital business still gets done on paper, and it seems likely that one could find a significant number of documents with PHI on them in U.S. recycling bins. (If someone was willing to do the dirty work, there might be a meaningful amount of PHI found in regular garbage cans as well.)

What I take away from this is that hospitals need to have stiffer policies in place to protect against paper-based security breaches. It may be time for hospital administrators to pay closer attention to this problem.

Cybersecurity Lapses Might Be Killing Patients

Posted on April 4, 2018 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

Nobody would argue that data breaches are good for patients. After all, health data management is challenging enough without having to deal with outside attacks. But could they actually be killing patients? One researcher argues that this is indeed happening.

According to research by Dr. Sung Choi of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, hospital data breaches are linked to more than 2,100 patient deaths per year.

One key reason for this phenomenon is that data breaches create distractions for doctors which can extend far beyond the actual incident. This seems to be associated with an increase in patient mortality rates, he said. He also noted that it can be costly for hospitals to address images created by the data breach, which may divert resources better spent in patient care.

What’s more, breaches trigger a whirlwind of administrative activities, including remediation efforts, regulatory increase in litigation in the years that follow. This presents yet another distraction from focusing on care delivery.

To conduct his analysis, Dr. Choi used data from CMS and HHS, comparing patient care data at hospitals that have and have not experienced a data breach. He found that there were 305 hospital breaches between 2012 and 2016, exposing 14 million records.

One of the metrics Dr. Choi reviewed was the proportion of who died within 30 days of being heart attack patients who die within 30 days after being admitted to hospital. He found that this rate increased by 0.23% with one year after the breach, and by 0.36% two years after the breach. This adds up to an additional 2,160 additional patient deaths each year, he said.

What’s more, hospitals that experienced a health data breach took far longer to administer an ECG to newly-admitted patients, the data analysis concluded.

It’s worth noting that this phenomenon is not well documented as of yet. While data breaches are clearly correlated with some additional patient deaths, Dr. Choi seems to concede that he hasn’t found a direct causal relationship between breaches and mortality across the board.

Still, it stands to reason that cybersecurity problems would have some impact on patient care quality. Now that we’re armed with this data, we have even more compelling reasons to avoid breaches. Let’s hope that the hospital industry’s track record on health data security improves in the near future.

Apple’s Full-Court Move Into Healthcare – Game Changer or Flash In the Pan? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on April 3, 2018 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 excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 4/6 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Joe Babaian (@JoeBabaian) on the topic of “Apple’s Full-Court Move Into Healthcare – Game Changer or Flash In the Pan?”.

The past week has been filled with excitement about @Apple’s move into healthcare. For the followers of #HITsm, #hcldr & #HITMC this has been one of our top topics! We all care about access and ownership of our healthcare data in a coherent and interoperable way. We hang on the various new initiatives, promises, and false starts offering the opportunity to finally pull all this together.

Apple has laid down the gauntlet: @chrissyfarr writing for @CNBC “Apple’s plan to put health records on your phone has huge implications for medicine”

  • Apple announced on that it has expanded its health records product to 40 health systems and 300 hospitals, and it’s opening it up to all iOS users.
  • “Doctors put patients in charge,” Apple’s news release reads.
  • “We view the future as consumers owning their own health data,” Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, said in a recent interview with CNBC.


The reaction has been enormous:

  • Apple is changing the game, breaking the mold.
  • Apple is hyping a partial measure to a select group only within a walled garden.
  • Apple is laying the groundwork for flipping the paradigm going forward.
  • Apple is promoting Apple.

These are just some of the comments I’ve been hearing. In some ways, the reaction is almost political and veers away from sober reckoning and gets close to Apple “fanboys” vs. everyone else. This isn’t the approach we should take during a time of disruption – we must dive more deeply and look for the pros and cons while putting aside our preconceived notions. With a powerful foundation, Apple is one of the few organizations with the ability to pull something like this off – both logistically (40 systems / 300 hospitals!) and technologically. By this same token, Apple has been known to embrace their own vision and expect everyone else to do the same – right or wrong.

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat as we discuss the following:

T1: How is Apple’s plan for health records truly altruistic and game-changing or just a flash in the pan? #HITsm

T2: How might Apple’s entry into 40 systems & 300 hospitals make this effort successful by the very nature of the massive roll out? #HITsm

T3: Why have so many other health record / access initiatives with similar goals failed to catch fire and truly succeed? #HITsm

T4: What will be needed for Apple’s push to reach the majority of patients in an effective way? Or is this impossible? #HITsm

T5: What will you do when presented with an iPad upon admission and instructions for using your iPhone for total access to your health records and care? #HITsm

Bonus: Does it matter if the solution for health records and data lives on iOS or Android? Shouldn’t we all get behind what works with the right vision versus looking to pick things apart? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
4/13 – How to Evolve Healthcare Conferences in the 21st Century
Hosted by Steve Sisko (@shimcode)

4/20 – TBD
Hosted by Burt Rosen (@burtrosen) and the #WTFix team

4/27 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

#HIMSS18: Oh The Humanity

Posted on April 2, 2018 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Sean Erreger, LCSW or @StuckonSW as some of you may know him.

It was a privilege to attend the 2018 HIMSS global conference this year. Having blogged and tweeted about Health IT for a couple of years, it was great to finally live it. By taking a deep dive, attending presentations, demoing products, and networking; I came to a greater understanding of how Health IT tackles the problems I hope to solve. From a social work perspective, I continue to be fascinated with the idea that technology can facilitate change.  Getting lost in artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and predictive analytics was easy. It was exciting to learn the landscape of solutions, amount of automation, and workflow management possible. As a care manager, I believe these tools can be incredibly impactful.

However, despite all the technology and solutions, came the reminder that Health IT is a human process. There were two presentations that argued that we can’t divorce the humanity from health information technology process.  First was on the value of behavioral science and secondly a presentation on provider burnout and physician suicide.

The Value Of Behavioral Science

This was a panel presentation and discussion moderated by Dr. Amy Bucher of Mad*Pow including Dr. Heather Cole-Lewis of Johnson and Johnson, Dr. David Ahern of the FCC, and Dr. John Torous of Harvard Medical school. All experts were a part of projects related to Personal Connected Health Alliance. They asked attendees to consider the following challenges and how behavior science play a role…

Questions like how do we measure outcome and defining what “engagement” look like are key to how we build Health IT.  Yes, things like apps and wearables are cool but how do we measure their success. This can often be a challenge. It often feels like health IT is trying to outdo each other about who is coming up with the coolest piece of technology. However, when we get down to the nuts and bolts and start to measure engagement in technology, we might not like the results…

This presentation reminded me that technology is not often enough. Valuing the importance of “meeting people where they are”, may not include technology at all. We have to challenge ourselves to look ethically at the evidence and ensure that digital health is something a patient may or may not want.

Technology as a Solution to Physician Burnout and Suicide

It was reassuring to know even before I got to HIMSS that suicide prevention was going to be part of the conversation. Janae Sharpe and Melissa McCool presented on physician suicide and tools to potentially prevent it. This presents another human aspect of Health IT, the clinicians that use them. The facts about physician suicide are hard to ignore…

As someone who has done presentations about burnout and secondary trauma, I am acutely aware of how stressful clinical care can be.  It is unclear whether technology is a cause but it is certainly a factor, even in physician suicide. The research on this complex, but to blame the paperwork demands for burnout and physician suicide is tricky. To attribute a cause to things is always a challenge but my take away is that the Health IT community might be part of the problem but the presenters made a compelling case that it should be part of the solution. That not only reducing clicks and improving workflow is needed but providing support is critical.

They talked about the need to measure “burnout” and see how the Health IT community can design technology to support those at risk.  They have created a scale called the Sharp Index to try to measure physician burnout and also build technology to provide support. This seems to be striving for that right mix between measurement in the hopes of making space for human processes in a complex technology space.

Cooking The Mix Between Tech and Human Care

These presentations leave Health IT with many questions. Apps to provide a means of clinical care exist but are they working? How can we tell we are getting digital health right? How can we tell if technology is making a difference in patients’ lives? How do we define “success” of an app? Is technology having a negative impact on clinical care and clinicians themselves? If so, how do we measure that?

These questions force us to take an intentional look at how we measure outcomes but more importantly how we define them. Both presentations stressed the multi-disciplinary nature of health information technology development.  That no matter what the technology, you need to ask what problem does it solve and for who? As we consider building out AI and other automation we need to keep the humanity in healthcare.  So we can better care for ourselves as providers and ask what patients need in a human centered manner.

For a deeper dive into each presentation, I have created twitter recaps of both the Behavioral Science Panel and the presentation on Physician Suicide.

About Sean Erreger
Sean is Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York. He is interested in technology and how it is facilitating change in a variety of areas. Within Health IT is interested in how it can include mental health, substance abuse, and information about social determinants. He can be found at his blog www.stuckonsocialwork.com.

Healthcare Dashboards, Data, and FHIR

Posted on March 30, 2018 I Written By

The following is a guest blog by Monica Stout from MedicaSoft

We live in a dashboard society. We love our dashboards! We have mechanisms to track, analyze, and display all sorts of data at our fingertips any time of the day or night and everywhere we turn. We like it that way! Data is knowledge. Data is power. Data drives decisions. Data is king.

But what about healthcare data? Specifically, what about YOUR healthcare data? Is it all available in one place where you can easily access it, analyze it, and make decisions about your health? Chances are, it’s not. Most likely, it’s locked up inside various EHRs and many tethered (read: connected to the provider, not shareable to other providers) patient portals you received access to when you visited your doctors for various appointments. In some cases, the information that is there might not be correct. In other cases, there might not be much data there at all.

How are you supposed to act as an informed patient or caregiver when you don’t have your data or accurate data for those you are caring for? When health information is spread across multiple portals and the onus is on you to remember every login and password and what data is where for each of these portals, are you really using them effectively? Do you want to use them? It’s not very easy to connect the dots when the dots can’t be located because they’re in different places in varying degrees of completeness.

How do we fix this? What steps need to be taken? Aggregating our health information isn’t just collecting the raw data and calling it a complete record. It’s more than being able to send files back and forth. It’s critical to get your data right, at the core, as part of your platform. That’s what lets you build useful services, like a patient dashboard, or a provider EHR, or a payer analytics capability. A modern data model that represents your health information as a longitudinal patient record is key.

Many IT companies have realized HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is the preferred way to get there and are exploring its uses for interoperability. These companies have started using FHIR to map health information from their current data models to FHIR in order to allow information exchange.

This is just the beginning, though. If you want robust records that support models of the future, you need a powerful, coherent data model, like FHIR, as your internal data model, too.  Then take it a step further and use technologies similar to those used by other enterprise scale systems like Netflix and LinkedIn, to give patients and caregivers highly available, scalable, and responsive tools just like their other consumer-facing applications. Solutions that are built on legacy systems can’t scale in this way and offer these benefits.

Our current healthcare IT environment hasn’t made it easy for patients to aggregate their health information or aggregated it for them. If we want to meet the needs of today and tomorrow’s patients and caregivers, we need patient-centric systems designed to make it easy to gather health information from all sources – doctors, hospitals, laboratories, HIEs, and personal health devices and smartphones.

About Monica Stout
Monica is a HIT teleworker in Grand Rapids, Michigan by way of Washington, D.C., who has consulted at several government agencies, including the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She’s currently the Marketing Director at MedicaSoft. Monica can be found on Twitter @MI_turnaround or @MedicaSoftLLC.

About MedicaSoft
MedicaSoft  designs, develops, delivers, and maintains EHR, PHR, and UHR software solutions and HISP services for healthcare providers and patients around the world. MedicaSoft is a proud sponsor of Healthcare Scene. For more information, visit www.medicasoft.us or connect with us on Twitter @MedicaSoftLLC, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

Cybersecurity Report Card:  Better Performance, But Not Great

Posted on March 29, 2018 I Written By

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

A new research report from HIMSS has concluded that while healthcare organizations are improving their cybersecurity programs, there’s still a number of things they could do better.

The study drew on responses from 239 health information security professionals. Their responses were gathered from December 2017 to January 2018. While respondents came from a number of settings, the largest number (31.5%) were with hospitals, multi-hospital systems or integrated delivery networks.

One key point made by the study was that significant security incidents are projected to continue to grow in number, complexity and impact. That’s reflected by responses from survey participants, 75.7% of whom said that their organizations experienced a significant security incident in the past 12 months.

The top threat actors attacking these organizations included online scam artists deploying phishing and spear phishing attacks (37.6%), followed by negligent insiders (20.8 %) or hackers (20.1%). In many cases, the initial point of security compromise was by email. Time it took to discover the incident included less than 24 hours (47.1%), one to two days (13.2%) and 3 to 7 days (7.4%).

Despite these risks, and the effort required to protect their data, healthcare organizations with cybersecurity programs are improving their performance. They’re devoting more resources to those programs (55.8% of current IT budgets), responding to problems identified by regular risk assessments (with 83.1% adopting new and improved security measures in the wake of those assessments) and regularly conducting penetration testing and security awareness training.

On the other hand, HIMSS found that most healthcare organizations, cybersecurity programs still need improvement. For example, staffers face major obstacles in remediating and mitigating security incidents, particularly having too few cybersecurity personnel on board and a lack of financial resources. HIMSS also noted that educating and testing “human components” for security vulnerabilities is critical, but may not be included in many efforts.

In some cases, organizations don’t have formal insider threat management programs. While many respondents (44.9%) said they do have insider threat management programs and policies in place, another 27% said those programs were informal. And 24.2% said their organization had no insider threat management program at all.

In addition, risk assessments vary widely across the industry. Popular sources used to gather cyber threat intelligence include US CERT alerts and bulletins (60%) and HIMSS resources (53.8%), but many others are used as well.

The net of all of this seems to be that while healthcare organizations have gotten smarter where cybersecurity is concerned, they need to invest more in specialized personnel, improve staff training, remediation and risk assessments and stay alert. As the number of attacks continues to grow, nothing else will get the job done.

Health IT M&A Video Interview with Dexter Braff

Posted on March 28, 2018 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 number of mergers and acquisitions that happens in healthcare is really quite astonishing to me. This is true for healthcare organizations, but also for healthcare IT companies who continue to consolidate. No doubt this isn’t going to change since it’s the nature of business.

Considering many of our readers are impacted by all this M&A activity, I thought many would find it valuable to learn from a real expert in healthcare M&A, Dexter Braff. Dexter is the President of The Braff Group who has done over 300 healthcare M&A transactions. Needless to say, Dexter has a lot of stories to tell.

The Braff Group only works on the sell side which means they only represent companies trying to sell. If you’re interested in the world of healthcare M&A, then you’ll enjoy this video interview. Also, in the interview Dexter and I talk a bit about the marketAlert he wrote called “In The Land of Unicorns, How Do you Value a Health Care IT Company?” It’s a great read if you want to learn about oversized valuations and why companies pay premiums for “unicorn” companies or as Dexter calls them, “minicorns.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m on The Braff Group’s advisory board for healthcare IT and The Braff Group is sponsoring the Health IT Expo conference I organize. In fact, if you want to hear more from Dexter and ask him your own questions about M&A, you can join us at Health IT Expo where he’ll be presenting a session.

If you have other questions for Dexter, leave them in the comments and we’ll be sure they get answered. Plus, as we mention in the video, as big health IT M&A events happen we’ll be sure to hop on video again with Dexter to talk about those events.

What is Patient – Centric Care? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on March 27, 2018 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 excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 3/30 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Linda Stotsky (@EMRAnswers).

There was a lot of discussion about patient-centric care at #HIMSS18. What is it? Have we changed our approach to patient-centric design and communication?

Enabling patients to feel respected, valued as a person, is a multi-faceted task that involves more than HIPAA compliance. “Being treated with dignity and being involved in decisions are independently associated with positive outcomes”, according to a 2005 abstract in the Annals of Family Medicine. We talk about best practice guidelines and principals, yet how far have we come in the last 13 years since that statement was released?

Patient-centric care is defined as “respectful of and responsive” of individual patient preferences, needs and values. These values guide shared decision making, communication and treatment options, balancing clinical knowledge with patients’ wants, needs, and opinions. There is no “one size fits all” approach.

Patient-centric healthcare changes the paradigm from information and interactions that emanate with the provider, to information and interactions that begin and end with the patient, respecting his/her cultural values, practices and autonomy. Processes of care, progress and prognosis, plus an ability to recognize and respond to a patient empathically, communicate a desire to understand the patient perspective.

Do our present systems limit involvement from a time perspective?  Are we too busy clicking data boxes that we forget to pull away from the screen to engage in a two-way discussion?

Key patient-centered principals include:

  • Respect for the patient voice
  • Care coordination
  • Educational resources
  • Physical and emotional support (empathy)
  • Patient Safety
  • Access to all aspects of care (data, physical access, and communication)

Please join us for this week’s #HITsm chat as we discuss the following:

T1: What is a persistent patient centric approach? #HITsm

T2: Why are we still struggling to meet the educational needs of all patients? #HITsm

T3: How can we close the gaps in care management? #HITsm

T4: Who should carry the patient-centric care flag and lead the progress forward? Payers? DPC? HC Orgs? #HITsm

T5: What are a few “short wins” we can do NOW to improve patient-centric care? #HITsm

Bonus: What do you do when you experience care that is less than patient centric? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
4/6 – Apple’s Full-Court Move Into Healthcare – Game Changer or Flash In the Pan?
Hosted by Joe Babaian (@JoeBabaian)

4/13 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

4/20 – TBD
Hosted by Burt Rosen (@burtrosen) and the #WTFix team

4/27 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

AHA Health Forum – A Valuable Potential Partner for HealthIT Companies

Posted on March 26, 2018 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 speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

In the hyper-competitive HealthIT market, getting to your target audience within healthcare organizations is critical to success. Cutting through the noise and gatekeepers, however, is difficult. One effective strategy is to partner with an organization that has a trusted relationship with healthcare organizations and collaborate with them to leverage those connections.

The team at the AHA Health Forum has been helping companies for years do just that. I had the chance recently to sit down with Kathleen Wessel, Vice President of Business Development at AHA Health Forum. I asked her about the Forum and what recommendations she has for breaking through the noise in HealthIT.

Kathleen will be a panelist and a sponsor at the 2018 Healthcare IT Marketing & PR Conference.

Tell me about AHA Health Forum and the work it does.

Kathleen: Health Forum is a strategic business enterprise of the American Hospital Association, dedicated to providing insights, resources and innovative services to support our hospital members . This position makes us an indispensable resource for businesses seeking to engage the hospitals we serve.

Can you give an example of how a company might work with AHA Health Forum?

Kathleen: In addition to event sponsorships, conferences, and networking opportunities that connect you with the c-suite, we offer a level of program sophistication and service that isn’t seen elsewhere in the health care space. This includes opportunities such as multi-channel behavioral campaigns to nurture highly targeted audiences, trusted health care data to identify market opportunities, intimate executive events with attendees who have pain points aligned to a vendor’s solution, and lead assist programs to pre-qualify sales ready leads.

What are three things Health IT marketers should do to help identify and deliver messaging to hospital decision makers more effectively? 

Kathleen:

  1. At a high level, educate yourself on latest health care trends and challenges. In account-based marketing, know what is important to the hospital or hospital system. Annual reports, press releases and other public information sources provide a good starting point for individual hospitals.
  2. A closer focus on data can help you learn more about your audience. Leveraging your own internal client data and trusted external health care industry data can lead to breakthrough thinking—helping you grow markets, uncover new opportunities, and can help sales engage in higher value conversations with prospects.
  3. This brings me to my next point. A solutions provider that knows its audience inside out can use this intel to make content that is relevant. As health care leaders face unprecedented change, they don’t just need any content, they need quality content and are looking for solutions.

How is Health IT marketing changing?

Kathleen: Marketers have their work cut out if they’re going to get their message and brand noticed by hospital leaders. In the age of content and information overload, to be heard, you have to be credible and intentional. Health care leaders pay attention to information coming from their peers and institutions they trust. This will require marketers to cultivate client champions and integrate their stories and voice into their marketing campaigns. Marketers would also be wise to make investments in co-branding with trusted associations.

Being a “partner” vs a “vendor” is something we hear a lot about in health care, what does that exactly mean? What makes a company a good partner? 

Kathleen: Vendors focus on why their solution is best in the category; and if the challenge doesn’t fit, a ‘vendor’ tells the client to change to accommodate their solution. In contrast, a partner understands what is important to the hospital and focuses on how their solution can help the hospital achieve its strategic objectives. A partner will work to adapt to a specific challenge. In addition, the hospital looks at the partner for thought leadership, as a trusted advisor who can help guide them through the changes and disruption taking place in the industry.