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Will Big Media Spoil HealthIT for the Little Guy? – #HITsm Chat Topic

Posted on August 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.

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 8/31 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by ShereeseM, MS/MBA (@ShereesePubHlth) on the topic of “Will Big Media Spoil HealthIT for the Little Guy?“.

We’ve all witnessed big tech’s recent push into healthcare. Atul Gawande is in a deal with Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway, and it looks like we might be seeing our EOBs being sent to us from Google fairly soon. Amazon’s hired 20,000 doctors. Ok, that was an Onion article, but illustrates the point.  And now comes big media into our little world. And in an industry that still resists change, healthcare technology is still small. But what would make media companies want to dabble in the healthcare IT space. Well, to understand the why, you must first understand the who.

The “who” is Comcast Corporation. Comcast, the big media company, best known for broadband solutions, is now making a play for healthcare technology. Comcast recently entered a joint venture with the Independence Healthcare Group, in which the two will build patient-centered digital platforms for Comcast’s 60 million plus customers. The collaboration looks to make the patient-provider communications seamless by allowing patients to view needed information and to-do lists prior to operations and other engagements. Time will tell if this is finally the project for Comcast, as their prior attempts to break into the market, initially partnering with Kaiser Permanente on a now defunct pregnancy app and later with a UC Davis partnership on health and nutrition videos, were both colossal failures.

The “who is also Cox Communications. Cox tried to make a statement in the healthcare IT space by partnering with Cleveland Clinic to develop Vivre Health, a home health product and service delivered by broadband. The venture failed and Cox eventually pulled out. But like Comcast, Cox believes they have now found their footing. They are banking on the value of remote patient monitoring and in 2015 they purchased Trapolla. The product is now in development.

Now that we know the who, let’s concentrate on the why. The easy answer is market share. The healthcare market is worth more than 3 trillion dollars, according to CMS estimates. It’s only intuitive that other industries would come calling. Media companies may see healthcare IT as an opportunity to capitalize on a growing industry while their own industry may be cooling off. Companies have to leverage their current capabilities to drive growth in others sectors. Media companies are in a unique position to do just this.

The interest in healthcare tech by big media may have a negative impact on smaller or independent brands. Based on broadband alone, smaller companies can’t compete on the scale of companies like Comcast and Cox Communications. Could the current interest in the market, which is growing, mark the end for smaller companies? Time will tell but what is certain is that nothing in healthcare comes quickly. Big media may find it hard disrupting in healthcare where the small guy may already have the lay of the land. And small or not, already vested players won’t sit idly by while big media giants come it and try to dim their flame.

Join us for this week’s #HITsm chat to discuss big media in healthcare. What will be the impact for good and/or bad? How will they fair? Is this a good choice for them?

Topics for this week’s #HITsm Chat:
T1: Does big media belong in healthIT? #HITsm

T2: Will big media make seismic gains and at what cost to smaller companies? #HITsm

T3: What sound contributions can media make to health IT? #HITsm

T4: How can smaller companies compete with big media in the health IT space? #HITsm

T5: Given; healthcare is like no other industry, due to regulations. Will the complexity of it discourage big media? #HITsm

Bonus: Big media and big tech, what problems in healthcare would you like to see them tackle? Price Transparency? Prescription drugs? The opioid crisis? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
9/7 – International Healthcare: Standards, Patients, and Personal Experiences
Hosted by Jessica Maxine Selby (@JessMSelby)

9/14 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

9/21 – Human Centered Design in Healthcare #PatientsMatter
Hosted by Jen Horonjeff (@jhoronjeff) from @Savvy_Coop

9/28 – How Does Interoperability Affect Technology Adoption in Healthcare?
Hosted by Niko Skievaski @niko_ski from @redox

10/5 – TBD
Hosted by Joy Rios (@askjoyrios) and Robin Roberts (@rrobertsehealth)

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.

A Hospital CIO Perspective on Precision Medicine

Posted on July 31, 2017 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.

#Paid content sponsored by Intel.

In this video interview, I talk with David Chou, Vice President, Chief Information and Digital Officer with Kansas City, Missouri-based Children’s Mercy Hospital. In addition to his work at Children’s Mercy, he helps healthcare organizations transform themselves into digital enterprises.

Chou previously served as a healthcare technology advisor with law firm Balch & Bingham and Chief Information Officer with the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He also worked with the Cleveland Clinic to build a flagship hospital in Abu Dhabi, as well as working in for-profit healthcare organizations in California.

Precision Medicine and Genomic Medicine are important topics for every hospital CIO to understand. In my interview with David Chou, he provides the hospital CIO perspective on these topics and offers insights into what a hospital organization should be doing to take part in and be prepared for precision medicine and genomic medicine.

Here are the questions I asked him, if you’d like to skip to a specific topic in the video or check out the full video interview embedded below:

What are you doing in your organization when it comes to precision medicine and genomic medicine?

How Will Patients Choose Healthcare?

Posted on May 19, 2015 I Written By

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

In a recent conversation with Medhost CEO, Bill Anderson, he asked the question that’s the title of this blog post: “How Will Patients Choose Healthcare?” He then proceeded to answer his question by saying, “Healthcare will buy on brand like they do in their other purchasing decisions.” It’s worth adding that Bill and Medhost are working to build their YourCare Everywhere brand in healthcare. You can decide if their business efforts are skewing his perspective or not.

For me, I find the question absolutely fascinating and an extremely important question for healthcare organizations. This question is becoming more and more important since the shift to high deductible plans is forcing patients to be more selective in how they choose their healthcare provider. Will brand be the way that people choose healthcare?

One challenge I have with this idea is that healthcare is a complex decision. I don’t know many people who make impulse healthcare provider decisions. I wonder if there are other complex decisions we could learn from. What is true is that healthcare decisions are often crisis decisions. In a crisis, where do people turn? I think the answer is the brands they know.

As I look at healthcare, which organizations have a true national healthcare brand? The first one that comes to mind is Mayo Clinic. Cleveland Clinic seems to be working down a similar path. Are their others? There are very few national healthcare brands that are trusted.

There are many local healthcare brands. Dignity Health has been pouring money into commercials in Vegas to build their brand. I assure you the commercials are all brand. Intermountain has a brand in Utah and Partners Healthcare has a brand in Boston. We could argue whether they have good or bad brands since they are both so dominant in their region. There are many other examples of local healthcare brands.

On the other side of healthcare brands is the CVS Minute Clinic, Walmart, and all the other retailers trying to make a space for themselves in healthcare. Also competing for brand recognition with a similar direct to consumer, retail healthcare play are the telemedicine providers like MD Live.

Long story short, we’re seeing patients having more power when it comes to selecting their healthcare provider and we see a ton of brand competition. Will a healthcare organization be able to survive without a major investment in their brand? What does this mean for small physician practices?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about what’s happening with healthcare brands. Do they matter? In what ways will they matter? What should a healthcare organization be doing to shore up its brand?

How Much of Healthcare Business is Healthcare?

Posted on January 27, 2014 I Written By

Kyle is CoFounder and CEO of Pristine, a VC backed company based in Austin, TX that builds software for Google Glass for healthcare, life sciences, and industrial environments. Pristine has over 30 healthcare customers. Kyle blogs regularly about business, entrepreneurship, technology, and healthcare at kylesamani.com.

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to welcome Kyle Samani, Founder of Pristine, as a regular blogger here on EMR and HIPAA. I first met Kyle when he was a high school student working at his father’s EHR company. It’s amazing how far we’ve both come since then. You can find all of Kyle’s EMR and HIPAA posts here.

In The Great Re-Bundling of Healthcare, I argued that healthcare will be rebundled along new dimensions because technology will break assumptions that predicated bundling in the analog era of healthcare delivery.

In that post, I noted that a few industries have been completely dismantled and rebundled by technology:

The print publishing industry – newspaper and magazines – thought that their unique value was in their core product – news, editorials, and classifieds. But the unique value they delivered was in printing and distribution. When the Internet reduced the cost of printing and distribution to effectively $0 and free news became the standard, their businesses collapsed. Print publishers are left servicing the paper news market, which is a fraction the size of the overall digital news market.

Taxi companies thought that their local, retail, administrative, and regulatory overhead was necessary to solve the get-from-point-a-to-point-b problem. Using the Internet, Uber, Lyft, and SideCar proved that none of those overhead functions matter, enabling a new era of get-from-point-a-to-point-b solutions. Taxi companies are left servicing the I-haven’t-heard-of-Uber and there-aren’t-enough-Uber-drivers markets, both of which are rapidly shrinking.

Hotels thought constructing buildings and staffing employees was the only way to solve the get-a-place-to-stay-for-the-night problem. Using the Internet, AirBnB proved that anyone can solve the get-a-place-to-sleep-for-the-night problem for anyone else. Hotels are left servicing the high-end, premium service market in the get-a-place-to-stay-for-the-night business.

These examples beg the question: when healthcare is completely rebundled around digital delivery, what businesses will healthcare providers really be in?

In the examples above, the Internet empowered laymen to circumvent legacy establishments. Using the Internet, laymen performed the same tasks more affordably than traditional retail businesses.

With Watson-like self-diagnostics; an army of cheap, connected, sensors; and a wealth of freely available information on the web, laymen will increasingly self-diagnose and self-medicate whenever and however possible. This process will start at the low end – the simple stuff such as common colds, simple bumps and bruises – and increasingly move up market.

Over time, tri-corders (such as Scanadu), smartphone EKGs (such as AliveCor), smartphone ultrasounds, CTs, MRIs, and blood tests will empower patients to gather all of the necessary diagnostic information without ever visiting a retail medical facility. Patients will send data to providers electronically and consult with providers via video conference. The web will obviate the need for most retail overhead, capital expenditure, and labor cost associated with most care delivery.

Medicine will be disrupted from the bottom up. Hospitals won’t completely go away, but they will be left servicing the high-end of the market – ICUs, surgery, labor and delivery, and other high-acuity conditions – just as hotels, print publications, and taxis service the most expensive segments of their respective markets. The vast majority of care will be delivered as virtually and cost effectively as possible.

By circumventing retail establishments, medicine will centralize as geography loses relevance. Just as the hotel and taxi industries consolidated around mega-platforms such as Uber and AirBnB, healthcare will consolidate around provider hubs that service enormous populations. The mega healthcare systems will have the tools to centrally manage populations and interact with them contextually. The major health systems of the analog era that were bounded by geography will battle to become national behemoths as geography becomes irrelevant. Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and others are already doing this by establishing virtual clinics across the country.

Why did the publishing industry, taxi industry, hotel industry, and travel agency industries collapse? Why will all of the old practices of medicine collapse? Cost. The most costly aspects of delivering care are labor and retail overhead. As increasingly small, localized, connected computers gather an increasingly large amount of data, computers will help patients self-diagnose and self-medicate without the need for expensive retail or labor overhead. Computers will automate inherently repetitive processes.

So how do I answer the question I posed in the title of this post? I’ll do some high level math. About 15% of the cost of delivering care is associated with billing and administrative overhead. About 40-50% is provider labor. There’s another 5-10% is spent on other miscellaneous expenses. And the remainder of costs are in capital expenditures including retail overhead. I suspect that 50-60% of total healthcare costs could be cut when healthcare is fully digital.

Cleveland Clinic Opens Medical Notes, Medical Bridges to Nowhere, and Patient Data Integrated Into Care

Posted on January 19, 2014 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 hate that this is news. As if this is a huge breakthrough.


I wonder where people want their EMR to go. Or maybe that’s the problem today. Doctors don’t want their EMR to connect to anything.


How critical is this to our future? I think this will be the future of care, but I think we’re a long way from really deriving value from it.

Must Watch Cleveland Clinic Empathy Video

Posted on September 17, 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.

Cleveland Clinic has put out a really amazing video looking at Empathy: Exploring Human Connection. The video asks the question: “What if you could see people’s thoughts, feelings?” What an incredible concept and so beautifully displayed in this video. Take a minute to sit back and ponder this video. Don’t be afraid to shed a few tears.

EHR Expert Jobs, Healthcare Social Media, MU Attestation Data

Posted on March 31, 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.


I guess Cleveland Clinic doesn’t think the government trained EHR workforce. I know a lot of them that can’t get a job in any EHR position.


This story is a crazy one and spiral out of control is the right term. Although, this post by Amanda Blum is the best look at the issues from my point of view. Dr. Nick is right that you do have to be careful. In fact, the case above wasn’t even something that happened on social media. It was something that happened in person at a conference and then social media blew it up. So, I’d actually argue that it’s more important than ever for you to be involved in social media. That way if something does blow up, you see it and can deal with the situation before it spins out of control.

What I do hate most about the story is the lack of civility and not giving people the benefit of the doubt. I hate that part of the way society is heading. Communication can solve a lot of issues if people would just use it. Instead, we assume the worst in people. That’s unfortunate.


Evan’s opening line to the blog post says, “CMS just released the December 2012 attestation data, and one thing is abundantly clear—many EHR vendors will not be around to see Stage 2.” I don’t agree with his conclusion. I expect we’ll have nearly as many in meaningful use stage 2 as we did in stage 1. Meaningful Use stage 3 is likely where we’re going to see fallout. Although, it does beg the question of how many EHR vendors will stay in business without EHR incentive money?

I’ve often said that it’s surprising how good of a business you can run with just a few thousand doctors.