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Staying Safe (and Healthy) During #GeorgiaSnow

You may have heard about the #Snowmadgeddon taking place in the South this week. As a resident of Georgia who commutes into Atlanta, I can safely say our fair city is in no way prepared to handle driving in such weather. We’re just not cut out for it. I tend to think in Twitter terms, so I’ll call it an #AtlantaFail. But, I must point out that situations like this, thankfully, bring out the best in most people. I saw many good Samaritans attempting to help stranded motorists during the four and a half hours it took me to get from the office park I was visiting to the closest friend’s house I could find. The friend, a fellow #HITchick, graciously opened her home to me and a friend I made at the networking event I attended earlier in the day.

snowtweet

How does this tie into healthcare? I want to say a big thank you on behalf of patients everywhere to the ambulance drivers and EMTs that attempted to drive through the icy conditions last night to help those in need. I saw several ambulances on our drive last night, and heard many more sirens. Like the new friend I made, there were many folks in Atlanta that assumed they’d be traveling to their home states at the end of the workday. For those out-of-state residents that had health incidents during the #Snowpocalypse (another popular euphemism that has popped up on Twitter), I sincerely hope that digital tools helped their caregivers treat them more quickly and more effectively.

I also want to say a huge thank you to the school staff, teachers and bus drivers who did their best to help ensure Georgia’s school children remained safe and warm, even though it meant spending the night at school for some.  As a room mom, my next move will be showering our teachers with gratitude. As has become so evident over the last few years, healthcare starts at home and in our communities, and it definitely does my heart good to think that our kids were being taken care of while many of us were stuck in cold cars on treacherous roads.

I’ll be back on track with healthcare IT-specific topics next week. Stay safe and warm out there, folks!

January 29, 2014 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

Off Subject: Black Friday

What’s your thoughts of Black Friday? Yes, this post has nothing to do with EMR and EHR, but you should be on vacation and spending time with family. Plus, if you’re at work you could probably use a diversion as well. So, let’s talk about Black Friday.

I ironically posted a Healthcare IT Black Friday post over on EMR and HIPAA today. I’ll be interested to see how many people like the idea of giving the gift of e-learning this holiday season. Nothing like giving the gift of learning. Although, I’m sure many would love chocolate as well. Of course, no reason you can’t do both.

How do you approach Black Friday? Do you brave the stores and find great deals? Are you like me and think that most of the black friday deals aren’t all that big of a deal?

As someone who doesn’t mind crowds, I don’t mind the crowded shopping. In fact, I kind of relish in a packed mall, full of people hustling and bustling around during the holiday season. My wife on the other hand hates it. However, I don’t see any need to get out and do all my shopping on Black Friday.

I don’t see shopping for gifts as a chore, but as a fun time to find something that will brightens someone’s day. I definitely don’t go overboard on gift giving. I try to be thoughtful and provide something of meaning and value to the people who receive my gifts. If I can’t find something that reaches those goals, I usually don’t give a gift.

Since I can’t resist comparison, I think this is a little like healthcare IT. Too often we try to force something that doesn’t make sense. That almost always leads to a failed or defunct project. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be creative. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t push the envelope. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t create change in our organizations. In fact, I’d argue that it will take extra creativity, pushing the envelope, and change to do what we know we should be doing in healthcare IT.

Either way, I guess you could call this my day off from blogging. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Regardless, I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend.

November 29, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Fourth of July

As usual, I’ve created a Fourth of July post on EMR and HIPAA. Otherwise we’ll be taking the day off. I think you’ll enjoy that post.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone!

July 4, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Memorial Day

We took the day off from posting today for Memorial Day. Although, I did write this personal story about Memorial Day for those that might be interested.

It’s always great to honor those who’ve fought for us. I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day and not a great BBQ Day.

May 27, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

What flows through you into the world?

On this lovely Friday I thought I’d throw out something that I heard at TEDMED that was quite profound. One of the organizers asked the following question that had impacted his life:

What flows through you into the world?

It’s a powerful concept to consider what we’re doing of good in the world. In fact, he asked some follow up questions for those of us in healthcare.

Are you in healthcare to do good? Or just to make money? Or just to provide for your family? Or just because you have no other choice?

I remember when I first got my job in healthcare I was really empowered by the idea that maybe something I did could help save someone’s life. It’s amazing how the mundane gets in the way of that broader vision. Although, I feel pretty good about what flows through me into healthcare IT and EHR. It just can always be more. I hope you’ll join me in thinking about this idea this weekend.

May 17, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

I’ve mostly taken the day off today since my kids are out of school for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. I have been keeping an eye on the Presidential Inauguration and its messages for healthcare.

Outside of that, my plan is to take a bit of a break from work and spend time with my kids. I know that between now and HIMSS is a complete sprint for me and so it’s nice to have a little break before I start sprinting.

I always take a second to think about and thank all those healthcare workers who don’t have today off because healthcare never stops. I’m deeply appreciative to those who make that sacrifice. Some try to diminish that sacrifice by saying it’s their job, but that doesn’t change the sacrifice in my mind. Particularly because it’s true on every single holiday.

For those of you not working, what’s your plans for today? Anything fun and exciting? We’re thinking about taking our kids hiking. Yes, that’s the beauty of living in Las Vegas.

I woke up this morning to my son making a 3 course breakfast for my daughter (cereal, pancakes, and toaster strudel). Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make it wonderful. Considering the battles my son and daughter have had, it’s nice to see him do something nice for her.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

January 21, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

Happy New Year! EMR and EHR Stats Report

Happy New Year to everyone!

I hope that everyone has had a safe and wonderful holiday season. Mine has been better than expected. I had a wonderful 2012 and I’m looking forward to an even better 2013.

I got a report that had some interesting stats related to EMR and EHR for 2012 that I thought I’d share.

In 2012, there were 300 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 748 posts.

The busiest day of the year was February 14th with 4,885 views. The most popular post that day was EMR and EHR Vendor List.

I really find my list of most popular posts ironic since so many of them were from past years. Luckily most of them are still valid today:
1. Evaluations of AllScripts EMR
2. Great Chart Comparing Meaningful Use Stage 1 with Stage 2 and 3
3. Funny Physician Exam Room EHR Etiquette Video
4. Allscripts May Sell Out to Private Equity Buyer
5. The Advantages of EMR Systems

I’m really proud of the way we covered all that happened with Allscripts this year. That top post has 143 comments on just that post. I think that many in that comment thread have gotten some help from others commenting. It’s been a hard year for Allscripts users. The EHR Etiquette Video is a good laugh if you need something to make you smile.

EMR and EHR has had visitors from 160 countries in all, but the US is far and away the top readership.

I hope you enjoyed the stats and thanks for reading! Here’s to a wonderful 2013!

January 2, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus. Healthcare Scene can be found on Google+ as well.

#HITsm and #hcsm Highlights Around Twitter – Healthcare and Social Media

If you are avid follower of the #HITsm Chats, you probably noticed it was MIA this week, and also will be next week. So, instead, here are a few interesting tweets I found from doing a search for #HITsm and #hcsm on Twitter. I highly recommend doing that every once in awhile…there’s some pretty interesting information to be found. With that, here are some of the highlights I found from those searches (it was hard to pick just a couple!) I saw a lot about social media, so I thought I’d focus on that today.

This is a really fascinating article. Did you know that 90 percent of people ages 18-24 trust health information found on social media? Kind of scary in some ways, since, well, there’s definitely some incorrect information out there. It also puts a lot of weight on the shoulders of those that do provide the information, to make sure it’s accurate, up-to-date, and informative. To be honest, I sometimes trust sites like WebMD more than my own doctor! Social media and mobile devices are here to stay in the healthcare world, that’s for sure. I think this article gives some good information on the pros and cons, as well as how healthcare providers can benefit, which brings me to the next post…

Well, this is the opposite of what I read (and preach) a lot. A waste of time? The previous article talked about how it can be very beneficial for healthcare providers. The main arguments are that there is no return on investment (ROI), it can be dangerous when it adds to the likelihood of a doctor being burnt out, and it’s just a fad that is going to blow over and isn’t worth investing time, unless you have a lot of time and want it to be a hobby, or your company has products and services the customer pays for. I don’t agree with these statements, and believe that it is worth putting the time and effort into…but I suppose only time will tell which side of the fence is correct.

Aren’t patients the most crucial aspect to any healthcare provider? So empowering them is so important, and this article talks about how social media is doing just that. It has five ways it empowers patience, which, in a nut shell, are:

  1. Connecting people suffering from a disease or ailment with others…so basically, helping people not feel so alone in their health struggles, and get support from others that “get it.”
  2. Patients can learn about different treatment options and about medical devices more easily. When a person just relies on their doctor for information, some of these options can be overlooked (and often are.)
  3. Patient’s who like being self-advocates are likely to become community advocates as well
  4. Patient’s are given a “voice” to talk about their experiences and thoughts
  5. There are social networks dedicated to certain diseases or conditions.

And finally, this doesn’t have anything to do with the other tweets I’ve mentioned, but it made me laugh. The sledding blogger on the far left looks familiar, doesn’t he?

December 22, 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.

Bringing up Your EMR in an Era of Meaningful Use

By now I assume most of you have read the recently released final rules for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use – or at least the plethora of synopses available online. (It wouldn’t hurt to read what Lynn Scheps wrote about meaningful use stage 2 over at EMRandHIPAA.com.)

Whatever level of knowledge you may possess about these rules and how near or far they deviate from those proposed, I think we can all agree that the EMR industry (developers and end-users) is suffering immense growing pains as vendors and physicians adjust to the Meaningful Use scheme. (I use that term in the British sense, by the way.)

Julie McGovern, CEO of Practice Wise, cleverly equated implementation of an EMR to being pregnant in a recent blog:

“In the beginning, you are tired and often feel like you have morning sickness. The first trimester is the hardest. In the second trimester, you start to get your legs under you, your energy starts to return, and you feel less beaten down by the EHR. By the third trimester, you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s starting to be second nature, the product is making more sense (hopefully), you’ve got good workflows and everyone is starting to forget how hard the first trimester was.”

I’ll go one step further and equate utilization (i.e. the regular use of an EMR after go-live) as relates to the various stages of Meaningful Use with bringing up that baby. I might even disagree with her – pregnancy is often the easy part (provided you’ve had no complications along the way, of course, be they IT, managerial, administrative, cultural or otherwise). You’ve got the PR-friendly ribbon-cuttings, parties and press releases that hospitals often initiate around their go-lives. Well-deserved events, to be sure. But then come the hard parts, when you and your colleagues integrate that new bundle of joy into your daily lives (i.e. workflows).

Eventually the EMR will develop its own personality, form bonds with its users, bring joy to many for the clinical outcomes it improves, and hopefully not cause too many tears of frustration along the way. Hopefully it will gossip with its peers at other hospitals, and even aspire to interoperate in the same circles as its distant cousin – health information exchange. You can bet that it will end up costing more money than you had anticipated – upgrades, add-ons, etc.

The years will go by – 2014 and 2016 will be here before you know it. Hopefully, the EMR that caused so much joy when it was first brought into this world shiny, new and virus-free will still bring a smile to the face of its users, and better care to the patients whose information it so closely guards.

August 29, 2012 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

Getting Patients Comfortable with EMRs

Sometimes I feel as if the healthcare industry head honchos from every vertical get together once a month and determine when and how they’ll put out major press announcements. Sometimes they just seem so well timed. Take, for example, the release of a new video from the ONC’s HealthIT.gov website, “Health IT For You: Giving You Access to Your Medical Records.”

I really like the style of animation, and the incorporation of mobile devices like tablets into the video. My favorite line: “It’s time healthcare caught up to the way we live the rest of our lives.” So true! (Pretty clever of them to put a billboard for HealthIT.gov on the side of a bus that drives by.) Overall, it’s well done, short and simple enough to get the point across to patients that may be in waiting rooms. I hope that providers will think to incorporate it into their digital communications as well, and that the ONC will consider putting one out in Spanish.

If you have the nearly 3 minutes it takes to watch the video, you’ll notice the “padlock” image that appears over every transmittal of patient-to-doctor data, symbolizing that the information is secure, and presumably HIPAA-compliant.

Which brings me to that PR synchronicity I mentioned above. Results from a Harris Interactive survey conducted on behalf of the Breakaway Group, released around the same time as the video, found that “[b]arely a quarter of U.S. adults want medical records converted from paper to electronic, and 85% of the public [surveyed] expressed concerns about electronic health records.” Some of those surveyed cited concerns over privacy – thus, I suppose, inclusion of the “padlock” images in the ONC video.

This small swirl of press around patient engagement – a hot topic in healthcare at any time these days – serves to reemphasize the need for continued focus on patients’ knowledge of and reaction to electronic medical records. What with all sorts of ancillary reports coming out about physician adoption of, happiness with and resignation to this technology, it’s important to realize that it is the patient that should ultimately benefit – in a variety of ways – from the implementation.

August 10, 2012 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company's social media strategies for Billian's HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.