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Insights from #WEDI25

Posted on May 25, 2016 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.

This week I’ve been spending time at the WEDI annual conference in Salt Lake City. I’ve never been to a conference with a more diverse set of attendees. I’ve really enjoyed the diversity of attendees and perspectives that were at the conference. I was a little disappointed (but not really surprised) that clinicians weren’t part of the event. I understand why it’s hard to get them to attend an event like this, but it’s unfortunate that the physician voice isn’t part of the discussion.

Here’s a quick list of some insights I tweeted during the conference which could be useful to you:

Physician Transparency List

Posted on May 13, 2016 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 progressive thinkers in healthcare social media is Ed Bennett. He’s most famous for the Hospital Social Media list that Ed started back in 2009. That list was an eye opener for many hospitals that were debating how and if they should take part in social media. That list is still alive and is owned and managed by The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media.

Ed Bennett recently announced a new list that looks at healthcare organizations who are publishing patient comments and ratings for their physicians. He currently has 29 healthcare organizations on the list, but I agree that this will likely grow similar to how his hospital social media list grew from 150 hospitals to 1500. If you’re organization is publishing your physician’s ratings and patients comments on your website, you can reach out to Ed and get your organization on the list as well.

Physician Profiles with Physician Ratings and Patient Comments List

I also find it interesting that Ed is listing the “implementation vendors” that do survey and web integration services. Here’s who he has listed so far:

Nice work Ed, putting this together. It’s always interesting how something like a list can move people to change. I have a feeling we’ll have a move towards more physician transparency happening across the industry thanks to Ed’s latest list. Nice work Ed!

New HIM Social Community Tag – #HIMSocial

Posted on April 11, 2016 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.

HIM Social Media - #HIMSocial


I think this is a great idea by Brad Justus to bring together the HIM community on social media. We’ve seen such amazing benefits from the communities that have been created around the #HITsm #hcsm and #hcldr hashtags (to name just a few).

In response to Brad’s tweet, some people suggested that the HIM and HIT communities are very similar and that maybe there shouldn’t be two communities. While I agree that many of the topics discussed by the HIM and HIT communities are the same, the people involved in both communities doesn’t overlap all that much. Most HIT professionals don’t see themselves as HIM professionals and vice versa. Maybe they should, but that’s a topic for another discussion.

Like Brad, I’ve had a chance to spend quite a bit of time at AHIMA and other HIM related events and it’s definitely a distinct community that looks at the challenges of health information management from a unique perspective. That’s why I think the #HIMSocial tag could do very well.

There are a few challenges to creating a community around the #HIMSocial tag. First, there is kind of already a community of HIM professionals that use the AHIMA hashtag. Although, I think the #HIMSocial tag would feel a little more inclusive and even create an opportunity for collaboration with the health IT community. Second, there are still a lot in the HIM community that don’t want to take part in social media like Twitter. There are some incredible exceptions, but speaking generally there are still a lot of HIM professionals that aren’t likely to take part in social media. No doubt that will continue to change.

If you’re part of the HIM (Health Information Management) profession, take a second to check out the #HIMSocial hashtag and send some tweets to contribute to the community.

Experiences and Perspective from #NatCon16

Posted on March 9, 2016 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 past couple days I’ve been enjoying a new experience at the National Council for Behavioral Health’s NatCon Conference. It’s been quite an experience for a techguy like me to dip my toes into the world of behavioral health. Plus, in many ways this takes me back since when I started my journey into the world of healthcare, I was charged with implementing an EMR into a university counseling center. I’m no doubt one of only a few bloggers that’s ever blogged about behavioral health EMR and the challenges of implementing a general medicine focused EMR (most of them anyway) in a counseling center.

As I noted in my previous post, what’s surprising is how many things behavioral health EMR has in common with the rest of the healthcare world. That theme seems to carry through.

However, today I had a couple more insights. First, we think we have it complex when it comes to medical care and sometimes it is very complex. However, the challenges that behavioral health professionals face is much more challenging and often absolutely gut wrenching. Hearing some of the stories just tugs at your heart in an extraordinary way. It definitely takes someone special to work in the behavioral health field. That’s especially true given the many stigmas they have to battle against. It was amazing to hear how many times the stigma of behavioral health was discussed at the conference. It’s unfortunate how much stigma holds us back.

Second, we need better collaboration between behavioral health providers and the rest of the healthcare system. In a private Q&A I saw with Dr. Kevin Pho (better known as @KevinMD), he clearly articulated how there’s only so much he can do to help a patient with behavioral health issues in his 10-15 minute appointment slot. We have to work together to solve these problems or it will never get better.

As I think about the need for collaboration and overcoming stigmas, I can’t help but think of the Twitter Chat session I attended at the conference. I’ve always been amazed by how an open platform like Twitter can bring together so many communities of people around a common cause. These communities can break down barriers and stigmas. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. I see it happening every day on social media. The news media likes to only cover the bad effects of social media, but there is a tremendous amount of good that comes from actively participating in social media as well.

All in all, #NatCon16 was an eye opening experience for a blogger like me. It gave me a reminder of how challenging behavioral health is, but also the tremendous opportunities that are available to do so much good in the world when we tackle these challenging problems and are successful.

Around the Twittersphere – Healthcare Simplicity!

Posted on February 25, 2016 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.


Complexity has a home in healthcare. However, simplicity is hard everywhere.


Simplicity in action!


Seriously? We’re still talking about pagers? In healthcare, yes we are! How sad is that? There are simpler, better solutions.

Meet the HIMSS Social Media Team – #GoesBeyond

Posted on February 19, 2016 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.

A few weeks ago, I took part in an initiative that Greythorn (Full Disclosure: Greythorn pays to post jobs on our Healthcare IT Central job board) started around the great hashtag #GoesBeyond. Using that hashtag they’re asking people to recognize people in healthcare IT that are doing amazing work. You can read my first #GoesBeyond post that recognized the work of Steve Sisko.

For my next #GoesBeyond post I want to recognize the whole HIMSS Social Media team. Many people don’t realize how much work this team puts in to make HIMSS one of the most social media driven conferences in the world and far and away the most tweeted healthcare conference in the world.

That’s why I’m highlighting the whole HIMSS social media team for #GoesBeyond. I hope many others who read this will take part in the #GoesBeyond effort and highlight other people in the healthcare IT community that deserve recognition. There’s nothing better we can do for the community than to show gratitude for each other.

The HIMSS social media numbers don’t lie. Check out the Twitter activity alone around HIMSS:
HIMSS-Social-Media-Growth
While most people are familiar with the @HIMSS account which boasts 74,753 followers (and growing), I’m sure that many don’t realize that the HIMSS LinkedIn group has 166,325 members. These are extraordinary numbers and they don’t happen by happen stance. This kind of growth only comes through consistent focused effort in creating and sharing amazing content and engaging and facilitating the discussion on each platform.

What’s impressive is that it’s not a large team that makes all this stuff happen. Here’s the 4 main team members:

Say what you will about the HIMSS machine, what makes this group of social media ninjas special is that they truly do care about healthcare and want to find the best way to improve healthcare through the use of technology. Each one of them truly is a mission driven individual.

A great example of this is their work creating the official HIMSS16 Hashtag Guide. A lot of social media people could have easily just hopped on some generic hashtags that anyone could have created around the buzzwords at the conference. Those hashtags would end up being as meaningless as the buzzwords themselves. Instead they created hashtags which represent directions we need to head and goals we should achieve.

For example, they used #Engage4Health to represent patient engagement, but that we are engaging patient with a clear purpose. The #HITworks hashtag is another great example where they’re working to extract the clear value that technology can provide healthcare. Of course, the #IHeartHIT hashtag which started last year tells the personal stories of how technology can impact healthcare.

My favorite place I’ve seen the HIMSS social media team “go beyond” is in the imagery they’ve created. Take a look through all the images shared on the #HIMSS16 hashtag and you’ll see that many of the best ones were created by this team. It’s no wonder that this team was recognized with the HITMC Award for Best Social Media Program last year.

HIMSS is right around the corner. Good luck to this team as they try to curate more tweets than anyone can handle. Not to mention all the new video activity we’re going to see on Periscope and Blab. They’re certainly worthy of the #GoesBeyond hashtag.

About #GoesBeyond
In this series, writers take time thank an individual who #GoesBeyond expectations to make an impact in their community or industry. Read other posts in this series on LinkedIn and Twitter, then write one of your own on your favorite blog, LinkedIn pulse, Medium or other platform. Use #GoesBeyond and @mention the person who has made such a big difference, then copy this paragraph so others know how they can participate, too.

Doctors and Disaster Relief: the Value of Technology and Data for HealthTap

Posted on February 2, 2016 I Written By

Andy Oram is an editor at O'Reilly Media, a highly respected book publisher and technology information provider. An employee of the company since 1992, Andy currently specializes in open source, software engineering, and health IT, but his editorial output has ranged from a legal guide covering intellectual property to a graphic novel about teenage hackers. His articles have appeared often on EMR & EHR and other blogs in the health IT space. Andy also writes often for O'Reilly's Radar site (http://radar.oreilly.com/) and other publications on policy issues related to the Internet and on trends affecting technical innovation and its effects on society. Print publications where his work has appeared include The Economist, Communications of the ACM, Copyright World, the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Vanguardia Dossier, and Internet Law and Business. Conferences where he has presented talks include O'Reilly's Open Source Convention, FISL (Brazil), FOSDEM, and DebConf.

In November 2015, when Tamil areas of southwestern India suffered from serious monsoon-related flooding that killed hundreds and caused the major city Chennai to essentially shut down for a week, local residents asked for help from an unusual source: HealthTap, the online service that offers medical advice and concierge care. This article explains the unique technical and organizational resources HealthTap offered, making it a valuable source of information for anyone in the disaster area with a cell phone or Internet access. At the end I will ask: what can public health institutions do to replicate HealthTap’s success in aiding the people of Chennai?

Disaster response from an unusual quarter
HealthTap, an online service connecting doctors and patients, has grown gradually but steadily in scope over the five years since its launch. It began by providing personalized answers, directly from practicing doctors, to individuals dealing with routine health issues such as pregnancy. HealthTap supported an ever-growing library of answers and continually added new services, leading to a concierge service. It expanded its services for doctors as well, providing easy consultations and discussion forums. It added a corporate (B-to-B) service that companies could offer to all their employees. And now, generalizing from their experience in Chennai, they have launched HealthTap SOS for disaster relief.

The Chennai intervention was requested by one of HealthTap’s clients, a company called Flex that had some employees in Chennai. When HealthTap started looking around for doctors in its network who had flood-related expertise, it turned up so much useful help that even the HealthTap leadership was surprised. CEO Ron Gutman explained to me that many doctors grew up in India, perhaps even got their degrees and practiced there, then moved to the US and joined HealthTap’s network. They are now able to help their country and local communities without actually traveling back.

HealthTap then discovered that their 85,000 doctors, located primarily in the United States, have come from 101 countries. Many languages are spoken, and many doctors intimately understand the cultures of other countries, as well as the medical conditions and disaster-related problems faced in them. HealthTap even organized psychiatrists and psychologists to advise and calm residents in the disaster area.

The organizational and technical elements of marshalling expertise
Public health and disaster agencies have networks of experts too, of course. But Gutman explained that these institutions can’t maintain a network as large and diverse as HealthTap just to prepare for occasional disasters. HealthTap’s strength is that it can redeploy a network developed to handle everyday medical conditions and turn it into a resource for communities struck by flooding or other disasters.

Doing so depends on the generosity and humane response of the doctors, of course, but it also requires a detailed understanding of the expertise offered by each of the 85,000 doctors in the network. According to HealthTap, they obtained crucial information on disaster recovery through crowdsourcing: they reached out to their network and asked the doctors to provide tips and checklists for managing during disaster situations. This turned up an abundance of information and offers to help.

Thus, HealthTap exemplifies the highly connected, intelligent expert network described in Beth Simone Noveck’s book Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing. Such a network is more than a loose association of people in a given discipline: it is highly structured using details provided by individuals about themselves, or information collected from routine interactions.

In addition to this information-rich database of physicians, HealthTap has developed another technical advantage–once again, a set of tools they developed rigorously over time to facilitate routine care, but that also proves invaluable in emergencies. Their sophisticated search service can turn up information quickly that is relevant to the person logged into the system, based on information that the person reveals about himself or herself. HealthTap’s rating system (similar to those used on travel sites or other crowdsourced recommendation systems) brings up the best information out of millions of potential answers in their database. Although most of the Chennai residents asking for help found answers quickly in HealthTap’s database, HealthTap can also connect a person quickly with a clinician for one-to-one service. Because of the immense value of personalization, HealthTap suggests that public health workers set up an account with HealthTap before emergencies develop (an account they offer for a very modest charge).

General lessons
HealthTap did a great thing in Chennai, and their SOS service promises to be widely useful, especially in a world increasingly hit by climate change. But a private company such as HealthTap shouldn’t be the only institution with these resources for public health. Public agencies should take a leaf from Noveck’s book to set up expert networks with background on potentially useful experts.

Public health agencies already offer information during emergencies over the phone, broadcast media (do you ever hear “The following is just a test” announcements on the radio?), and popular information dissemination networks such as Twitter, but they could collect more information (voluntarily) from residents and allow them to connect to experts to answer specific questions when there is a need. For instance, if you depend on a medication and are running low in the aftermath of a major storm, you could find out from a specialist how to cope without it.

Technology and modern social organization offer a lot of tools to help the world deal with emergencies. Consider the well-known Ushahidi service, created in 2008 to coordinate input from local residents suffering from political violence and now used in a variety of situations. OpenStreetMap has also served disaster relief, used as resource along with Ushahidi during the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Public health agencies can learn from organizations such as these, along with HealthTap, to save lives.

Meet Steve Sisko (aka @HITConfGuy and @ShimCode) – #GoesBeyond

Posted on January 28, 2016 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 healthcare IT recruiters at Greythorn (Full Disclosure: Greythorn pays to post jobs on our Healthcare IT Central job board), have started to share stories on a new hashtag called #GoesBeyond. As part of this effort, they’re highlighting people in healthcare IT who go above and beyond and deliver something special. Check out this great #GoesBeyond featuring Regina Holliday to see what I mean. I’m all about the idea of recognizing people who are doing great work and contributing to healthcare IT in a way that goes above and beyond, so I thought I’d join in on the fun.

Over the past couple years I’ve been impressed by the work of Steve Sisko and his efforts to go above and beyond on social media. If you don’t work in the payer world, you might not know the name Steve Sisko, but if you participate in healthcare social media you probably do know Steve’s aliases @HITConfGuy and @ShimCode. Not only is Steve prolific on social media, but the quality of information he provides is off the charts. I’m always amazed how quickly Steve can pull up a high quality resource during Twitter chats or other social media engagements.

As part of Steve’s creation of the @HITConfGuy Twitter account, he also launched the blog HITConfGuy.com. On this blog Steve provides his unique mix of humor and high quality content to both entertain and inform those of us who spend time at healthcare IT conferences. However, I believe that Steve’s posts on HIT Conf Guy are even more valuable to those who don’t spend their time traveling to healthcare IT conferences as part of their career.

A great example of this is Steve’s 30 tips for attending the HIMSS 2016 conference in Las Vegas. This is so chalk full of tips, I just laugh when I see other people trying to post about tips for #HIMSS16. I think to myself, Steve’s already posted all the tips you need and he’s likely done it better than what others throw together last minute. You might also want to check out his post on social sharing at healthcare IT conferences like HIMSS and you’ll bust a gut laughing at his useful (and some not so useful, but funny) Totally Unofficial HIMSS Hashtag guide.

Beyond all his work providing tips, tricks, and humor around healthcare IT conferences, Steve has spent countless hours curating what I’d call his list of healthcare IT lists. If you’re looking for who to follow in healthcare social media, his lists can help you. If you want a list of healthcare IT resources, he likely has one. He even put in an extremely large amount of time into filtering through the mass of #HIT99 tweets to create the #HIT99 list.

The most amazing part of all of these efforts by Steve is that he doesn’t get paid anything to do it. Maybe he has some longer term aspiration of making these efforts into a business (I don’t know either way), but to date he’s done all of this to contribute to the healthcare IT community. In fact, I’ve often heard Steve bristle at some of the things that happen on social media that were so revenue driven. Steve really does want to improve healthcare.

That’s why I’m highlighting Steve Sisko for #GoesBeyond. I hope many others who read this will take part in the #GoesBeyond effort and highlight other people in the healthcare IT community that deserve recognition.

About #GoesBeyond
In this series, writers take time thank an individual who #GoesBeyond expectations to make an impact in their community or industry. Read other posts in this series on LinkedIn and Twitter, then write one of your own on your favorite blog, LinkedIn pulse, Medium or other platform. Use #GoesBeyond and @mention the person who has made such a big difference, then copy this paragraph so others know how they can participate, too.

The EMR and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Posted on January 19, 2016 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.

Today I was included on what I’d consider a tweetstorm about the EMR and they ways it can impede the Doctor-Patient relationship. I thought many of you would find his comments interesting and might want to add to and extend his comments.

Those are some strong opinions? While I’d love to visit his office, I don’t really need to visit it. I’ve seen many doctors not use the computer in the exam room so they could focus on the patient. In fact, I’ve seen the whole spectrum of computer use in the exam room from a lot to none. My conclusion is similar to the one that Amy Hamilton described here. The setup can really impact the experience of the patient.

I do agree with Dr. Ashinsky that many doctors are spending too much time on the data/computer and not enough time on the patient. That doesn’t mean that the data isn’t important, but many have taken it too far.

What do you think? Does the computer get in the way of he doctor-patient relationship?

Eric Topol tweeted one suggestion:

Healthcare IT Vendor Blogs

Posted on December 24, 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.

After 10 years and 9404 blog posts later, I’ve come to know a little something about blogs. You might also say that I’m totally bias about the power of a well written blog. The reality is that blogging is just a simple way for anyone to publish content online. Blogging has really opened up the opportunity to publish great content to everyone.

With that said, it’s not easy sustaining a blog with great content. The tyranny of time is real and however far ahead you get on your blog, time will eat that away before you can blink your eye. It takes a real commitment to keep a blog up to date with regular content.

To honor some of these efforts, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite healthcare IT vendor blogs. It’s great to acknowledge the effort these vendors put into creating great content. Sure, they likely want to get more exposure for their companies. That’s a given, but that doesn’t diminish that many healthcare IT vendors are creating amazing free content on a regular basis on their blogs. Here’s a quick look at a few that I enjoy.

Information Advantage Blog by Iron Mountain – This blog focuses deeply on the challenge of health information management and topics such as: health information governance, medical records scanning, health data storage, etc. Those in the AHIMA and HIM community will really enjoy the blog, but there’s a little something for anyone interested in healthcare IT.

HL7 Standards by Corepoint Health – Most of you are likely familiar with this blog since it’s the home of the #HITsm Twitter chat. They post the host and topics for each week’s #HITsm chat, but they do much more. The HL7 Standards blog has a wide variety of amazing healthcare IT content from a diverse group of guest bloggers. They rarely put up a post that’s not worth a read.

Kareo Blog by Kareo – The Kareo blog is home to Kareo product updates and the #KareoChat, but they also regularly post some great content. Kareo has long been the advocate for the independent small practice physician. Therefore, you can imagine that their content is all focused around that audience.

CloudView Blog by athenahealth – This blog is a reflection of the athenahealth CEO, Jonathan Bush. You never know what to expect. No doubt Jonathan Bush has created a culture at athenahealth that’s trying to push boundaries and we often see that reflected on the athenahealth blog. In fact, the best posts on the athenahealth blog come from Jonathan Bush himself. I also love that the CEO of the company is present on the blog. Some might argue that it’s not really Jonathan writing the post, but when you read his posts it’s all Jonathan coming through in the message.

There are many more great healthcare vendor blogs out there. If you have some favorites or ones I should check out, please share them in the comments. If we get enough recommendations we’ll do a follow up post featuring other healthcare IT vendor blogs.

Enjoy the light reading this holiday weekend!

Full Disclosure: I’ve written a few posts over the years for the Kareo and Iron Mountain blogs.