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 EHR for FREE!

First Time HIMSS: Parker Redding, Banyan Social

Posted on March 10, 2017 I Written By

Janae builds inbound social media sales and marketing plans for healthcare IT companies. Healthcare as a human right. Physician Suicide Loss Survivor. twitter: @coherencemed

One of the main themes of HIMSS was using digital tools to manage your patient engagement and social engagement online. Banyan Social was there for their first conference introducing their digital solution for storing patient permissions to post reviews or photos online. I spoke with Parker Redding from Banyan Social. They were a first time Exhibitor at HIMSS and I wanted to hear what their impressions were from the conference.  Banyan Social is a platform with marketing tools for providers including digital storage of HIPAA forms and integration with Google reviews. From their website:  “Extend your reach and grow your practice with real-time reviews, HIPAA-compliant social media posts and automated practice listings.”

What was your first health IT conference like?

“Honestly, I thought it was pretty cool. It was almost overwhelming how many people were there. It was the biggest event I’ve ever been to. It was cool to see how many people are in the Health IT space. We were constantly busy at our booth and with how many people came to our booth we didn’t really have the opportunity to explore in depth. We are unique in the Health IT space and aren’t always the perfect fit for these database guys and those kinds of people but they were always willing to refer us to the right people and who to talk to.

One thing that I liked about this event is that even if they don’t think it’s a good fit everyone is willing to be open and have a conversation. Everyone there is trying to learn more and share knowledge it’s not just “I’m trying to get my CE credits and leave.”  It’s about learning something new – about gaining knowledge.

A lot of the people who were first time exhibitors that we talked to told us how it was crazy how big it was and how many people were there. The conference was really diverse in terms of experts from different countries.  It was cool to see the big EMR or the IBM booth and to see how much effort they put into their space.

What were your goals?

Our main goal was to create partnerships with other companies in the healthcare industry and to learn more about the healthcare IT industry and how our business fits in with this. We wanted to share our HIPAA approved social media app and how doctors/clinics can use social media and reviews to engage patients.

What was your favorite part of HIMSS?

Honestly, speaking with a pediatrician that owns multiple practices the last day and learning about why he’s been in the medical industry.  Learning about how much he cared about his patients and how he knew he could make more money in another industry. It’s amazing to see how passionate people are about healthcare and being positive. He gives up money because he’s passionate about helping with children.

What did you learn about Health IT?

Bunch of nerds.  Just kidding.  I love the nerds and the developers those are my people.

What do you wish you could do differently?

I would bring more people to have at our booth. We had a consistent flow of people stopping to talk with us that we didn’t get to spend the time we wanted to connect with other companies and learn more about the IT healthcare world. You can’t complain about having a busy booth.  I would take an Uber to the conference. Trying to find a parking spot and walking a mile to get to your booth was difficult.

“We’re All Patients”

Posted on February 15, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Ever since the first #HITsm Chat of the year, I’ve been rolling around the idea of “We’re All Patients.” It was kicked off by what I think was probably a well-intentioned tweet by Andrey Ostrovsky, MD who asked to hear from patients:

This led someone to say “Aren’t we all patients at some point?” which got this response from Erin Gilmer along with a whole firestorm of other comments:

First, let’s applaud Dr. Ostrovsky for asking for the patient perspective and let’s not let the firestorm of defining patients overwhelm the fact that he wanted to hear from patients. That’s a dramatic shift from the past where patients might have been an afterthought. Dr. Ostrovsky was asking for patient input 11 minutes into a 1 hour chat. That’s a big improvement.

Second, if you look at the literal definition of patient, it says “a person receiving or registered to receive medical treatment.” By pure technical definition, it’s true that we’re all patients. Hard to imagine an adult that hasn’t received medical treatment at some point. However, when we say that “We’re all patients” it misses the point of why I think Erin Gilmer and Carolyn Thomas, who wrote the post that Erin linked to, said that we’re not all patients.

The reality is that even if we’ve all been to a doctor before, it doesn’t mean that we’re talking from our view as a patient. Many times when you go to a conference or are participating on a Twitter chat, you’re not having a discussion from your view as a patient. Often you’re talking from a work perspective or from a provider perspective and not from a patient perspective.

We know this happens a lot because you’ll often hear at conferences “This isn’t what I want personally, but this is my perspective on it.” Just because you have been a patient at one point doesn’t mean you’re speaking from that perspective at a conference, Twitter chat, blog post, etc. That’s true for me too when writing these blog posts. I’ll write from a wide variety of perspectives depending on the topic and post. It’s often not from the patient perspective.

Along with not necessarily speaking from your own patient perspective, it’s fair to say that just because you were a patient for some “injury or episode of illness”, it doesn’t mean you can share the perspective of a patient with a chronic condition. That’s a very different situation and one that largely has to be lived to fully comprehend.

The reality is that we need to involve as many different patient voices in our discussions as possible if we want to create solutions that benefit patients the most. On that, I think almost everyone agrees. Studies have shown that having a wide diversity of viewpoints, opinions, and perspectives provides a much better solution.

At the end of the day, we can all only share our own personal experience. I don’t want chronic patients talking for me. Chronic patients don’t want non-chronic patients talking for them. In fact, many chronic patients don’t want other chronic patients talking for them. etc etc etc

Instead, we should do everything we can to incorporate multiple perspectives into all the work we do. That’s where we’ll get the best results. We shouldn’t be so arrogant that we try to speak for someone else. However, we also shouldn’t demonize someone that tries to show empathy and raises the voice of another’s perspective either. The reality of complex problems is that we can all be right depending on perspective. So, let’s embrace as many perspectives as possible. We are all humans and most of us want healthcare to be better.

UPDATE: In a great discussion on Twitter with Erin Gilmer that was prompted by this post, Erin highlights a point that I didn’t cover well in the above commentary. She pointed out that many chronic patients’ voices have been marginalized in the past. I’d take it even a step further and say they’ve not only been marginalized but often ignored.

The reality is that the “healthy” patients have more voices making sure their (my) needs are heard. Chronic patients are smaller in number and so it’s more challenging to have their voices heard. Not to mention the last thing you want to do when you’re dealing with chronic illness is make your voice heard. However, in an impressive manner, many patients with debilitating illnesses do just that.

Erin also made a good point that we shouldn’t use “We are all patients” as an excuse to not involve expert patients at the table. We should definitely elevate their voices. As an advisor to many health IT startup companies and having written about thousands of companies, the challenge of incorporating all these voices and perspectives into a product is impossible. There are always gives and takes with limited resources. However, far too many don’t even make a sincere effort. That’s what’s sad.

This post is about elevating more patient voices from a wide variety of perspectives. That produces the best outcomes and discussions.

What’s It Take to Be a Great Thought Leader – #HITsm Summary

Posted on January 26, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

At last Friday’s #HITsm Chat, we had a lively discussion hosted by Juliana Ruiz from Bryte Box Consulting (@BryteBox) where we talked about Healthcare IT Influencers and Thought Leaders. If you missed the chat, you can read the whole transcript here.

I thought the first question summarized the chat really well as it talked about the key attributes of a thought leader.

Greg Meyer started the chat off nicely with this observation:

Greg was spot on with his comparison to a minion. We want to listen to someone who says something interesting and thoughtful and not just someone who spits out content like a robot.

His comment about thought leaders not being afraid to make mistakes drew some interesting discussion with some agreeing that mistakes are part of thought leadership, but others saying that social media and other things hold it against many leaders who make mistakes. Although, most agreed that mistakes were ok because it was part of growth.

I did argue that it really depends how the thought leader treats mistakes. Humility matters a lot when you make mistakes:

The concept of humility seemed to be an important concept for thought leaders as was illustrated by these tweets from Greg and @hospitalEHR:

Steve Sisko and @WHAMGlobal also chimed in on the importance of thought leaders to be consistent and have a clear voice and style.

Our host wrapped up the discussion of what makes a great thought leader with this insight:

I love these principles, because they apply to individuals and organizations. They apply online and offline. They apply in your work life and your personal life. There are so many opportunities for us to be thought leaders. By doing so we can impact a lot of people for good and help a lot of people. There’s nothing better in life than doing something that helps someone else.

Be sure to join us at next week’s #HITsm chat hosted by Bill Esslinger (@billesslinger) from @FogoDataCenters on the topic of “Key Components of Health IT Strategy and Disaster Recovery“.

#HIMSS17 Mix Tape

Posted on January 24, 2017 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 is a true believer in #HealthIT, social media and empowered patients. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He currently leads the marketing efforts for @PatientPrompt, a Stericycle product. Colin’s Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung

On February 19th 2017, the annual HIMSS conference (#HIMSS17) will be held in Orlando FL. It will once again be the largest gathering of Healthcare IT folks in North America with over 45,000 people expected.

Every year I look forward to HIMSS. It is the best place to see what is happening in the industry, hear the challenges that lay ahead and see what the smart minds in #healthIT are investing in. Although the sessions, keynotes and exhibit hall are all amazing, the best part of the conference is meeting people face to face – especially at the meetups and spontaneous get-togethers. I love catching up with friends that I haven’t seen in a year and meeting new ones for the first time.

For the past couple of years, I have used HIMSS as an opportunity to compile a soundtrack for healthcare – a Mix Tape that can be enjoyed during the conference (see last year’s Mix Tape here). This annual HIMSS Mix Tape is a fun way to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. As with prior years, I asked friends and colleagues on social media for the song they believe best represents healthcare. I also asked them to explain their selection.

Below are the songs chosen for the #HIMSS17 Mix Tape. What would your selection be? Let us know in the comments.


You’ll be back – Hamilton. Chosen by Regina Holliday @ReginaHolliday.

Because that song could be the words of any doctor who wants his patient compliant and silent and any government that denies care. Hence we must have revolution.

Shine – Camouflage. Chosen by Nick Van Terheyden @drnic1.

After many potential choices ranging from the deep and dark Wadruna by Helvegen through “America” by Young the Giant that celebrates the immigration to the uplifting dance song that captured what seemed to transpire for the year was “Don’t Stop the Madness” by DJ Hush and featuring Fatman Scoop (what an awesome name) I settled on Shine. That captured the spirit of what I need this year: This is the world where we have to live / there’s so much that we have to give / so try to Shine Shine Shine within your mind / Shine from the Inside / if you Shine Shine Shine within your mind.

Can’t you hear me knockin – Rolling Stones. Chosen by Linda Sotsky @EMRAnswers.

In my own life, I started my Mothers  fight for data 17 years ago. As collective patients, caregivers and advocates we are STILL  knockin and screamin “give me my damned data” Can’t you hear us knockin?

Faith – George Michael. Chosen by Rasu Shrestha MD @RasuShrestha.

My HIMSS17 playlist is inspired by some of the best singers we said goodbye to in the last 12 months – an acknowledgement that, even as we continue to push the envelope in healthcare in so many ways, life is fragile, beautiful and melodious in every one of our ups and downs. Other finalists: When Doves Cry (Prince), Rebel Rebel (David Bowie) and The Heat is On (Glenn Frey)

We’re not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister. Chosen by Mandi Bishop @MandiBPro.

The disenfranchised, the chronically or severely ill, the caregivers, and the underserved communities will rise up and be heard in the face of healthcare weaponization. We will not remain silent. We will not take it.

Sit Still Look Pretty – Daya. Chosen by Geeta Nayer MD @gnayyar

I chose this to represent the HIT chicks movement in health tech. Increasingly women are coming to the table and taking senior leadership roles in health tech which we so very much need as women remain the primary healthcare decision maker in the home with “doctor mom” being the go to for any and every illness first! Spouses rely on their wife to be the care takers when parents get older and when kids are sick and need to run to the pediatrician etc. Also, HIMSS for the first time is giving the women in tech awards which itself is a big statement.

Bring on the Rain – Jo Dee Messina and Tim McGraw. Chosen by John Lynn @techguy

We’ve got challenges all around us in healthcare, but I say “Tomorrow’s Another day, and I’m thirsty anyway, so Bring on the Rain.”  Things will get better in healthcare because so many amazing people work in healthcare and battle through the rain.

Cautionary Tale – Dylan LeBlanc. Chosen by Steve Sisko @ShimCode

A cautionary tale is a story with a moral message warning of the consequences of certain actions, inactions, or character flaws. Healthcare players – CMS, other government agencies, large vendor companies, special interest groups and others – seem to be stuck in a continual cycle of Dictate, Demand, Deviate and Destroy. Half-baked programs, ‘standards,’ reimbursement schemes, “quality measures,” and other mandates are dictated to providers, health plans and others on the receiving end.  Then revisions, waivers and deviations are made over the course of a year or two before they’re eventually destroyed. When will we learn from these cautionary tales? Don’t offer up help that you know that I won’t be needin’ / Cause I do it to myself, like I never get tired of bleedin’

You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones. Chosen by Don Lee @dflee30

Too often in healthcare we only want to look at solutions that solve for 100% of the possibilities, have proven ROI and that are already being used by our peers. That severely limits the possibilities for improvement. There’s no such thing as a sure thing. So, for 2017 I hope we can break this cycle and focus on incremental improvements. Take some shots. Be willing to fail. Think: “what can I do today that won’t require a huge budget and 1000 meetings, but might make something 5, 10 or 20% better?”.5% better today is better than “we might possibly be able to be 100% better 36-48 months from now”. So, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometime you find, you get what you need”

Livin’ On The Edge – Aerosmith. Chosen by Matt Fisher @Matt_R_Fisher

The whole healthcare industry is balancing on a razor’s edge in many respects. What will happen with the ACA, can EMRs meet their promise and what will value based cared do? All of these unanswered questions mean that these lyrics hold true: Tell me what you think about our situation / Complication, aggravation / Is getting to you

One Step Away – Casting Crowns. Chosen by Jennifer Dennard @JennDennard

While it’s a praise song at its core, its title makes me think of how close the healthcare industry is to interoperability. And yet there are still a few “small” hurdles we need to overcome. (Plus, my daughter is singing this song in her school talent show, so I have developed quite a soft spot for it!)

Record Year – Eric Church. Chosen by Joe Lavelle @Resultant

In hope that all my #HealthIT / #PatientAdvocate / #SoMe / #ThoughtLeader colleagues ignore and overcome the nonsense of the current political climate to keep making HUGE progress on the most important healthcare initiatives like Telemedicine, Interoperability, a National Patient ID,  Care Coordination, alternate payment models like Direct Primary Care, and more.  Let’s all have a Record Year in 2017!

Fight Song – Rachel Platten. Chosen by Max Stroud @MMaxwellStroud

This goes out to all the people in HealthIT that are working diligently for their vision of the future of healthcare.   In a year of major political shifts and possible policy changes, it will be important to maintain focus on our passions and continuing to move toward innovation and improvement of HealthIT.   This goes out to patient advocates from #epatients to the walking gallery, To the folks living the #startupgrind because of thier passion for a better tomorrow, and to the #HealthITChicks working towards gender parity. Like a small boat / On the ocean / Sending big waves / Into motion / Like how a single word / Can make a heart open / I might only have one match / But I can make an explosion”

Crosseyed and Painless – Talking Heads. Chosen by David Harlow @healthblawg.

There was a line/ There was a formula. But we are now in a post-factual environment. Facts all come with points of view/ Facts don’t do what I want them to/ Facts just twist the truth around. We need to focus on achievable goals, on implementing solutions that make sense independent of regulatory engines that have driven so much of health IT over the past eight years.

What Do You Mean – Justin Bieber. Chosen by Lygeia Ricciardi @Lygeia

There’s a lot of talk in health IT that you can’t take it at face value. For example, everyone says they support interoperability, and yet… we’re not there yet. Also, there’s a lot of talk about patient engagement, but is it really about involving patients in their care… or just getting them to better “comply”? Finally, is Trump really going to get rid of Obamacare, or just rebrand it? What *do* you mean?

Addicted to Love – Raymond Penfield. Chosen by Charles Webster MD @wareFLO

Raymond Penfield was 94 when he recorded Addicted to Love and became an Youtube sensation. He made it to 98. Here is his obituary. BTW he was a graduate from the University of Illinois as was I! I hope I have as much energy and spirit and health into my 90s!

Video Killed the Radio Star – Buggles. Chosen by Joe Babaian @JoeBabaian

Why? Because times are changing and status quo is being cast aside.

Truckin’ – Grateful Dead. Chosen by Brian Ahier @ahier

Because this ♫♪♪♪♫♪? ♫♪ What a long strange trip it’s been ♫♪♪♪♫♪?

Under Pressure – David Bowie and Queen. Chosen by Colin Hung @Colin_Hung

Healthcare in the US and around the world has never been under more pressure than it has now. Patients are expecting more (as they should!), governments are trying to regulate everything from drug prices to reimbursements, employers are looking to curb healthcare costs and there is tremendous pressure on the healthIT industry to work together. To me, this song is the perfect collaboration – an example of what happens when two amazing artists come together. We need more of this type of collaboration in healthcare. Plus there is one verse that is very applicable to 2017: And love dares you to care for / The people on the (People on streets) edge of the night / And loves (People on streets) dares you to change our way of / Caring about ourselves

For a full #HIMSS17 Mix Tape Playlist on Spotify, click here or play the embedded player below.

Big Hairy Audacious Goals for Healthcare IT (and some small ones too) – #HITsm Chat Recap and Commentary

Posted on January 17, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As we’ve been doing the past few weeks, we’re excited to do a bit of a recap and commentary on last week’s #HITsm chat. For those who missed it, we talked about 2017 Goals for Healthcare IT. We started off with the famous Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) idea which made for some interesting conversation. You can find the full #HITsm tanscript for this chat on Symplur.

There was a wide ranging discussion over the hour, but a certain emphasis on more empowered patients. Here’s a look at some of the interesting ideas and our own commentary on what they tweeted.

It’s sad that this is a BHAG, but it certainly is a challenging goal given the disconnected nature of our healthcare system. Not to mention perverse incentives which make sharing healthcare data difficult to achieve.

The last line of this tweet really captured me. It certainly feels like much of healthcare is more beholden to the CFO than to the patient. That’s brutal for me to even type and is far too close to reality. Does anyone see this changing in the near future?

I’m not sure if these classify as BHAGs or not. They sure feel like they won’t happen despite a lot of people interested in them becoming a reality.

Make healthcare easier? Fascinating to think about. I wonder what cost we pay because healthcare is so hard.

This is a definite BHAG. What’s extraordinary is to start thinking about the innovation that could occur if this was a reality.

I’d like to dig into this one more. Greg certainly knows a lot more about CCDA and FHIR than I do. This is a sad sign for the potential of FHIR going forward.

Topic 2 was about smaller goals that healthcare IT could achieve. I like this one from Max. It highlights a real challenge with how most EHR software programs were implemented. They were done in such a rush that most people were just training for competence. Is it any wonder that many EHR users are unsatisfied? I wonder if training them with quality in mind would change their views of EHRs.

I shouldn’t be shocked, but I’m always surprised by how valuable improving communication can be. I think that’s true in every industry and many parts of life. However, Steve’s suggestion for healthcare is a good one and would likely provide tremendous benefit.

I wonder if this goal should have been under the BHAG section of the chat and not the “simple” goals section. The problem with this idea is that in many cases HIT has been part of the problem. We need to fix that and ensure that HIT is a solution for the majority of people who use it.

I don’t see this changing, but I think it’s part of the problem. I’m always torn when I see this big party and ribbon cutting at the opening of a new hospital. Shouldn’t we be sad that they needed more beds? Shouldn’t we be celebrating when health is so improved that hospitals needed to shut down because they didn’t have enough business?

This relates to the tweet above it. We want lower costs, but who wants to get paid less?

This is very true. And I think heatlhcare IT vendors could do more than they’re doing today. Many are just coasting. Plus, all of them have been distracted by so many government regulations. Is it time to just leave health IT vendors alone for a bit to let them innovate?

Should be a fun chat. Always good to get new perspectives on learning and engagement. See you at next week’s #HITsm chat.

The Importance of Communication in Healthcare and Thoughts on How To Do It Right

Posted on December 23, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and 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 while back I had the chance to sit down with 4 healthcare experts to talk about healthcare communication. The panel consisted of:

  • Mandi Bishop, Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder of Aloha Health
  • Jessica Johnson, Director of Operations, Health Transformation at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Population Health Management
  • Ethan Bechtel, CEO at OhMD
  • Nathan Larson, Chief Experience Officer at ImagineCare
  • John Lynn, Founder of

We had a wide ranging conversation about the importance of communication in healthcare and how to do it more effectively. This is a topic that should be of interest to all of us. Watch the full video conversation below:

Happy Holidays! What more could you want this holiday weekend than some great discussion from amazing people?

Online Reputation Management: Trending Topic or Industry Shift?

Posted on December 20, 2016 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Erica Johansen (@thegr8chalupa).

It seems that in healthcare this year online reputation management has taken center stage in conversations as consumers have a larger voice in the healthcare purchasing experience. Reviews, in particular, provide an interesting intersection point between social media technology and healthcare service. It is no surprise that there is pervasive, and exciting, conversation around this topic across the industry at conferences and online.

During the #HITsm chat on Friday, we had an excellent conversation about the value of online reputation management by physicians and other healthcare providers, and what lessons could be learned from one managing their own reputation online. During our chat, we asked the #HITsm community (as patients) about their behavior leaving and reading reviews as a part of their care selection process, as well as the role that social technology plays today in the patient experience. There were some exceptional insights during our conversation:

1. Should providers be interested in their online reputation? Does it matter? There was a resounding “yes” among attendees that attention should be given to a practice’s online brand.

2. As a patient, have you ever read a review after being referred to, or before selecting, a new physician? Perhaps unsuprisingly, most attendees supported trends in consumer behavior by reading reviews of physicians online.

3. Have you ever written an online review for a healthcare experience? If so, was it generally positive or negative? Suprisingly, the perspective of our attendees suggested that the consumption of reviews was more common than the creation of them. Most folks just won’t review unless they felt compelled by an experience that surpassed,or fell too short, of expectations.

4. Is there an expectation that providers (individual and/or organizational) respond to social media engagements by patients? Our attendees chimed in that maybe it isn’t so much that there is an expectation, but it could signifantly help a negative review or solidify a positive one.

5. What would a healthcare provider who is exceptional at managing their online reputation look like? Examples? Stellar examples shared illustrated folks that have harnessed the power of social media to augment their patient expierence and brand. For example:

Bonus. What lessons could be learned from managing your personal online reputation that could guide provider reputation management? This question took a different turn than I initially anticipated, however, for the better. Many insights shared included mentions to social platforms and meeting the patients where they are. There is so much opportunity for the next phase of healthcare social media as platforms begin to cater more to feature requests and uses based on consumer trends. (One great example of this is the Buy/Sell feature added to Facebook Groups.)

Additional thoughts? There were some flavorful insights shared during the chat that are worth an honorable mention. Enjoy these as “food for thought” until our next #HITsm chat!

I’d like to say a big “thank you” to all who participated in the last #HITsm chat (and are catching up after the fact)! You can view a recap of these tweets and the entire conversation here.

#HITsm will take a break for the next two weeks over the holidays, but we will resume in 2017 on Friday, January 6th with a headlining host Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) and the @CMSGov team (@AislingMcDL, @JessPKahn, @AndreyOstrovsky, @N_Brennan, @LisaBari, and @ThomasNOV).

#HITsm Origin Story

Posted on December 14, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

For those who aren’t familiar with the #HITsm hashtag on Twitter, it’s an extraordinary community of people that are passionate about healthcare IT. At the center of the #HITsm community is the weekly #HITsm Twitter chat which has happened every Friday for the past 6 years at Noon ET (9 AM PT). During the week, the #HITsm chat is still extremely active as those in the community share ideas, concepts, and have discussions about healthcare IT.

I did a quick report on Symplur for the #HITsm hashtag and it’s had over 4000 participants sharing 21,577 tweets and generating 154,799,908 impressions in just the last 3 months. Needless to say, it’s a vibrant and passionate community that’s focused on the challenges, problems, and opportunities in healthcare IT. It’s also been an extraordinary way to connect with other people passionate about the impact of technology on healthcare.

Over the past 6 years, Corepoint Health on their Health Standards blog (Use to be known as the HL7 Standards) has been the host of the #HITsm chat and community. However, starting this month, Healthcare Scene has taken over responsibility as host for the #HITsm chat. It’s an extraordinary opportunity and a challenging responsibility to continue the legacy of such an important community.

What many people that are newer to the #HITsm community probably don’t realize is that the #HITsm chat was the genius of Erica Johansen (Better known as @thegr8chalupa). While working at Corepoint Health, she had the great idea to create this healthcare IT community on Twitter. About 6 months later, Chad Johnson (@ochotex) took over the reigns and ran the #HITsm chat with help from a number of other people.

It’s too bad that so many new #HITsm members weren’t familiar with Erica and the great work she did cultivating the initial community. She brought a special energy to the community which is typified by the hashtag on her Twitter profile #alwaysbesparkly. I knew when we took over the #HITsm chat that I had to find a way to bring a little bit of Erica’s sparkle back to the community.

With that in mind, this week Erica will be hosting our weekly #HITsm chat on the topic of reputation management. Plus, she’ll be working with us to coordinate and facilitate hosts and topics as part of our team of #HITsm curators.

Healthcare Scene was also lucky enough to spend some time with Erica when she was attending a conference in Las Vegas. We capitalized on this opportunity by doing a video with Erica about the origins of #HITsm and where she’d like to see the #HITsm community go in the future. If you’ve enjoyed the #HITsm community or are new to #HITsm, you’ll enjoy this video interview with Erica:

Thank you Erica for creating this wonderful community and sharing the #HITsm story. We look forward to working with you to grow the #HITsm community going forward!

If you want to learn more, join the #HITsm Twitter chat every Friday.

5 Tips to Help You Create Awesome Content to Market Your Healthcare Practice

Posted on November 9, 2016 I Written By

The following is a guest blog post by Alex Membrillo
While the phrase “content is king” has surely worn out its welcome, there’s no denying that one of the most effective ways to get noticed, build an audience and grow your practice is to produce high-quality content.

The “blog” is still the most thought-of content type out there, but in more recent years, healthcare practitioners are testing out new waters, such as video marketing and podcasting.

Regardless of your preferred form of content, one of the biggest struggles the busy healthcare professional encounters when trying to market his/her practice is finding ideas to talk about.

These 5 tips should help you create awesome, high-quality content that will demonstrate your expertise and expand your reach to new prospects.

1. Look no further than your calendar
Each month marks at least one – if not a handful of – observances related to the healthcare industry. October, for example, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. November is American Diabetes Month. June 27 is National HIV Testing Day.

Each of these observances provides a foundation and direction for you to create content around. For October, for example, you could create four blog posts (scheduled once per week) that discusses a different perspective of breast cancer.  For June 27, you could create an infographic that outlines what to expect when getting tested for HIV.

The benefit of turning to your calendar for content ideas is two-fold:

  1. You can plan your content well in advance, so that you’re never left scrambling at the last minute
  2. You can take advantage of the social conversations going on in places like Twitter and Facebook (using hashtags or tagging key influencers helps immensely)

You can turn to to get a list of the observances taking place each year.

2. Tap into the existing news trends
One thing you can always count on is that health and sciences will always be covered in the news. Whether it’s a breakthrough drug, a new form of alternative care, a controversial surgery or statistics that demonstrate a trend in human health (such as obesity), health is always on the front-page, so to speak, of news.

This is a tremendous opportunity for you to create relative, real-time content that folks are talking about at this very moment.

If, for example, Good Morning America just aired a segment on the latest development on the Zika virus, you can be certain that millions of folks will be searching online – and on social media – for terms related to Zika.

By producing your own commentary or perspective on the matter, you can win over some of this traffic and come across as an expert and influencer.

3. Find out what your audiences want to know about
The whole purpose of creating quality content is to provide something of value for folks who conduct online searches.

What better way to produce relative content people actually care about than to go straight to the source?

You can do this a few different ways:

  1. Conduct a survey on your blog or through email, asking your readers what topics they’re most concerned about or would like for you to cover. Survey Monkey is a good free tool to use.
  2. Look at the blogs and social profiles of your local and national counterparts. What are they writing about that seems to have garnered audience response?
  3. Use keyword research. If you know who your audiences are, then you can figure out what search terms they use on Google. These key terms will serve as the subject matter of your content.

4. Don’t resist the list
One of the most effective types of blog posts is the “list.”

5 Ways to Reduce Stress at Home. 10 Reasons to Lower Your Salt Intake.

These types of articles speak directly to the human mind, which likes to group and classify things. A list article tells the reader: This is what you’re going to get, nothing more, nothing less. Readers like this, because they know they’ll be able to skim the list and absorb its value without having to commit to a ton of reading.

Just by thinking in “list” form, you’ll likely come away with a few story ideas. If, for example, you’re an orthopedic surgeon, think to yourself, what would my readers want to know? Perhaps you might come away with ideas such as:

  • Five Ways Runners Can Reduce Joint Pain
  • 7 Reasons Why You Don’t Need Back Surgery
  • The 3 Exercises You Can Do at Home to Strengthen Your Bones

5. Go ahead – reuse, recycle, repurpose!
If you’ve actively been producing content, then there’s no need to reinvent the wheel each and every time. Why not go back over your existing content and figure out a way to spin it into something new?

Is there a new angle you can focus on? Hospitals, for example, could take an article that highlights one field and rewrite it to focus on another one.

Perhaps an article you wrote last year is outdated and could benefit from the inclusion of the latest study or statistics. Create that new post, and link to the original one.

Let’s say, for example, you’re a plastic surgeon who wrote a popular blog post last year about the use of Botox for patients suffering from excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Since then, you’ve had a few clients see remarkable benefits from this procedure. You can then update your blog post with patient testimonials and promote it again across your digital channels.

Billions of content is produced daily – getting noticed can be a challenge

As a healthcare professional, your time is already extremely limited, but you know the importance of marketing in order to grow your practice.

Use these 5 tips above to help you quickly come up with high-quality pieces of content that’ll attract your prospects and demonstrate your expertise.

About Alex Membrillo
Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal Web Solutions, an award winning healthcare marketing agency based in Atlanta, GA. His innovative approach to digital marketing has transformed the industry and delivered remarkable results to clients of all sizes and markets. Visit to find out more about Cardinal Web Solutions.  

Follow him on Twitter @Alex_Membrillo

The Exciting Future of Healthcare IT #NHITWeek

Posted on September 28, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and 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 time I went to my wife’s OB/GYN appointment and I was in shock and awe with how well the doctor remembered my wife’s past pregnancies. Literally down to the tear that occurred. The reason I was in shock was that she prefaced her memory of my wife’s medical history with “Your old chart is off in storage, but as I recall you had a…”

While year later I’m still impressed with this OB/GYN’s ability to remember her patients, I know that this is not always the case. Doctors are humans and can’t possibly remember everything that occurred with every patient. Humans have limits. In fact, doctors deserve credit that they’ve provided such amazing medical care to so many patients despite these limits.

My esteem for doctors grows even greater when I think of the challenges associated with diagnosing computer problems (Yes, I am the nerd formerly known as @techguy). It’s not easy diagnosing a computer problem and then applying the fix that will remedy the problem. In fact, you often find yourself fixing the problem without really even knowing what’s causing the problem (ie. reinstall or reboot). While fixing computers is challenging, diagnosing and treating the human body has to be at least an order and probably two or more orders of magnitude more complex.

My point is that the work doctors do is really hard and they’ve generally done great work.

While I acknowledge the history of medicine, I also can’t help but think that technology is the pathway to solving many of the challenges that make doctors lives so difficult today. It seems fitting to me that IT stands for Information Technology since the core of healthcare’s challenges revolve around information.

Here are some of the ways technology can and will help:

Quality Information
The story of my wife’s OB/GYN is the perfect illustration of this potential. Doctors who have the right information at the point of care can provide better care. That’s a simple but powerful principle that can become a reality with healthcare IT. Instead of relying on this OB/GYN’s memory, she could have had that information readily available to her in an EHR.

Certainly, we’re not perfect at this yet. EHR software can go down. EHR can perpetuate misinformation. EHRs can paint the incorrect picture for a patient. However, on the whole, I believe an EHRs data is more accessible and available when and where it’s needed. Plus, this is going to get dramatically better over time. In some cases, it already is.

Deep Understanding of Individual Health Metrics
Health sensors are just starting to come into their own. As these health sensors create more and more clinically relevant data, healthcare providers will be empowered with a much deeper understanding of the specific health metrics that matter for each unique patient. Currently, doctors are often driving in the dark. This new wave of health sensors will be like turning the lights on in places that have never seen light before. In some cases, it already is.

Latest Medical Research
Doctors do an incredible job keeping up on the latest research in their specialty, but how can they keep up with the full body of medical knowledge? Even if they study all day and all night (which they can’t do because they have to see patients), the body of medical knowledge is so complex that the human mind can’t comprehend, process, and remember it all. Technology can.

I’m not suggesting that technology will replace humans. Not for the forseeable future anyway. However, it can certainly assist, inform, and remind humans. My phone already does this for me in my personal life. Technology will do the same for doctors in their clinical life. In some cases, it already is.

Patient Empowerment
Think about how dramatic a shift it’s been from a patient chart which the patient never saw to EHR software that makes your entire record available to patients all the time. If that doesn’t empower patients, nothing will. I love reading about how many kings use to suppress their people by suppressing information. Information is power and technology can make access to your health information possible.

Related to this trend is also how patients become more empowered through communities of patients with similar conditions and challenges. The obvious example is Patients Like Me, but it’s happening all over the internet and on social media. This is true for chronic patients who want to find patients with a rare condition, but it’s also true for patients who are finding the healthcare system a challenge to navigate. There is nothing more empowering than finding someone in a similar situation that can help you find the best opportunities and solutions to your problems.

In some cases, patient empowerment is already happening today.

Yes, I know that many of the technologies implemented to date don’t meet this ambitious vision of what technology can accomplish in healthcare. In fact, many health technologies have actually made things worse instead of better. This is a problem that must be dealt with, but it doesn’t deter me from the major hope I have the technology can solve many of the challenges that make being a doctor so hard. It doesn’t deter me from the dream that patients will be empowered to take a more active role in their care. It doesn’t deter me from the desire to leverage technology to make our healthcare system better.

The best part of my 11 years in healthcare IT has been seeing technology make things better on a small scale (“N of 1” –@cancergeek). My hope for the next decade is to see these benefits blow up on a much larger scale.