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Health IT List Season – A List of Lists

Posted on July 11, 2012 I Written By

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

Everyone on the internet loves a good list. I know that when I see a list tweeted by someone I feel that natural impulse to click and see who made the list. There’s something about a list that is captivating and fascinating. Plus, if there’s a potential that we could be on the list, then our interest in that list skyrockets. Most of the time the order of the list doesn’t matter. There’s little need to put any sort of rigor into who makes the list or not. People are naturally attracted to lists. I’m sure there’s some cultural reason for this, but regardless of the why it’s just the current state of affairs.

Over the past couple weeks, it seems like it’s the season of the Health IT lists. Every other day or so another health IT list comes out. I predictably click through to see who or what’s made the list. Every once in a while I even make a list and I must admit that it’s quite exciting. There’s something beautiful about having your name in lights. Add in the social media response that often accompanies making a list, and it’s really quite intoxicating. I of course try not to inhale.

I actually partially questioned one of the current list making efforts, the #HIT100, near the end of the #HITsm chat this week. I tweeted, “That’s the real problem with the #HIT100 It’s hard to really rank it and is easily gamed. #HITsm” Michael Planchart that puts together the #HIT100 replied, “I don’t understand why it would be easily gamed? #HIT100 #HITsm” Instead of sharing how people could game the ranking, I instead replied, “It’s not a large enough community to really do a ranking. The list is interesting regardless of how they are ranked #HIT100 #HITsm”

Interestingly enough, someone who saw our conversation privately sent me this message, “Here’s some reasons: New accounts created to vote. Non-industry people voting, staff voting en masse for boss, Mom voting, etc.” and then this follow up “We all have out pet projects and little ego things! :’) Thinking of a blog post about this – but don’t want to alienate #HIT100 friends :)” He was right about treading lightly (a challenge for me) so you don’t alienate others in the Health IT community. Although, by doing so we also miss out on some really meaningful conversations.

Michael also responded, “The purpose of the list is to introduce #HealthIT folks to each other. The ranking is just the fun part of it. #HIT100”

I agree with Michael that it’s a great way to learn about new #HealthIT people on Twitter. Although, I think Michael underestimates the power of the rankings. As I described above, being ranked and where you rank has a much bigger impact on people both consciously and unconsciously. To be honest, it’s part of the reason why I haven’t actually nominated anyone to the #HIT100….yet(?). I’d probably have to sit down and nominate 100 health IT people myself to do it justice. There’s just so many good ones, that I’m not sure where I’d start.

I actually like the way that Michelle McNickle (I’ve fallen in love with her work lately) handled her list of 10 Health IT bloggers on Healthcare IT News. Instead trying to rank them and instead of trying to be complete, she just said that these were “some of the best HIT bloggers actively using Twitter.” The ironic thing was that similar to that telephone game we’d play as kids, the list got tweeted as “Top 10 Health IT Bloggers.”

I also loved that Kristi Ellis (one of the @HealthyComms Twins) took the #HIT100 and made it into a blog post. I hope that the #HIT100 spawns more lists like this from people in the industry. One thing I would have loved to see in that blog post was a short description of why Kristi added that person to her list.

We need more blog interaction like Kristi is doing and now to some extent I’m doing with this post. I’ve discussed this a bit before, but I think in the age of Twitter were losing out on some of the deeper conversations. Instead of putting together a thoughtful blog post reply to someone else’s blog post we just post it on Twitter with 2 words or hit the retweet button and move on. Each of those has its place, but a part of me still yearns for those blog responses which add depth to the conversation.

There you have it. A few thoughts on the various health IT lists I’ve seen being passed around. What do you think? I know I can’t wait until I see the next list. Let me know if you know of others.

Combating Mobile Health Threats: 13 Tips Everyone Should Read

Posted on June 29, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

There is a common theme I’ve noticed while I’ve been researching mHealth over the past few months: a great concern for safety and security. No one wants to download an app, or have their doctor use some kind of technology, if the information could somehow be leaked. A few months ago in Utah, there was a huge security breach where Medicaid and CHIP recipient’s information (birthdays, social security numbers, addresses…you know, all that information no one wants a hacker to have) was stolen. This kind of opened my eyes to how there needs to be security measures in place to make sure things like that don’t happen. While that didn’t have to do with security within mHealth, I feel like similar things could happen with patient information being transmitted within mobile devices.

So is there anything that can be done to protect this information? Well, I think for apps, it starts with the creator making sure there is a secure network. However, apps aren’t the only mobile health devices. There’s USB devices, laptops, and tablets as well. Michelle McNickle, New Media Producer for Healthcare IT News over at mhimss.com, posted 13 tips from ID experts on how to fight mobile device threats:

  1. Consider USB Locks
  2. Try geolocation tracking software or services
  3. Brick the device if it gets stolen or lost
  4. Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt
  5. Forget about “sleep” mode
  6. Recognize that employees will use personal devices
  7. Use strong safeguards to permit access to PHI through mobile devices
  8. Educate employees on the importance of safeguarding their mobile devices
  9. Implement electronic protector health information (EPHI) security
  10. Work to get ahead of the BYOD upgrade curve
  11. Have a proactive data management strategy
  12. Keep in mind transparency and end-user consent opt-in.
  13. Remember that the mobile Web and “app” landscape is not your father’s Internet

While some of this tips didn’t really pertain to me, overall, I found the list to be very helpful. Awhile back, I downloaded an app on my phone that allows me to “brick the device”, as was mentioned in step three. While the only part of the app I’ve (thankfully) had to use was the feature that sets off a very loud alarm because I couldn’t find it (we’re talking ambulance siren loud), I’m glad I would be able to wipe data if I truly did lose it and didn’t want my personal information stolen. Whether you are a consumer, employer, or a creator of apps or technology, reading through this list is important. More detailed explanations of each of the points can be found here.

Tips For Doctors Entering the Social Media World

Posted on June 13, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about physicians and social media. Since then, I read another article about why physician’s should get involved. Mike Sevilla, M.D., a family physicians and blogger, listed six reasons and told his journey with social media over the years at the Connecting Healthcare + Social Media Conference a few weeks ago. The reasons he gave were:

1. To tell your story

2. To find a community

3. To express opinions and commentary

4. To discover what you are passionate about

5. To conduct social media marketing

6. To manage your online reputation and streamline your practice

The article I linked to goes into more details, but as I thought about it, these seemed like some very helpful tips. Let me talk about number six for awhile. When I was searching for a OB/GYN, and later, a pediatrician, I read pages and pages of reviews for doctors. It amazed me how many negative reviews were on there. I mean, some of they could have been justified, sure, but I felt bad for some of the doctors that might not have even known those reviews were out there and had no way to defend themselves. My doctor was incredible, but a few disgruntled patients wrote terrible reviews online about him, which probably pushed people away from going to him. If a doctor is involved with social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or even just reading comment boards, he or she may be able to defend their reputation, and then create a better image with their patients. I’ve found that when I’ve become friends with past teachers, employers, or co-workers, my opinion of them almost always changed. I saw that they were human — they had friends, family, likes, dislikes…everything.

I think a lot of these tips point to one thing — bettering your image and becoming involved. I think that’s great. There is definitely an art to social media, and not every doctor is going to be great at it. However, over at mHIMSS.com, web content producer for Healthcare IT News Michelle McNickle created a great list of 10 physicians to follow on Twitter. You can find more out about each of the site I just linked to, but for conveniences sake, here is the list:

1. Kevin Pho, MD — @kevinmd

2. Mike Sevilla, MD — @drmikesevilla

3. Val Jones, MD — @drval

4. Tim Sturgill, MD — @SymTym

5. Bertalan Meskó, MD — @berci

6. Shelley Binkley, MD — @healthewoman

7. Mark Browne, MD — @consultdoc

8. Joseph Kim, MD — @DrJosephKim

9. Jay Parkinson, MD — @jayparkinson

10. Mehmet Oz, MD — @DrOz

So, if you are a doctor, follow the above tips to start your journey into the social media world. And for anyone who wants to have daily tips, ideas, or thoughts from doctors, you might start by taking a look at the 10 doctors mentioned above.