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Creating Amazing Connections with People

Posted on April 18, 2014 I Written By

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

I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about creating deep personal connections with the people I meet. If you remember my HIMSS post, I talked a lot about trying to do this at the HIMSS conference. It wasn’t necessarily a strategy that I’d thought out, but just a reflection of what I’d found most interesting and valuable from past conferences. There’s something valuable and beautiful about making a personal connection with someone. I think in the end it leads to great business results as well, but that’s really not the point. Life is so much better when you really connect with someone.

This concept was reinforced when I was reading Ed Marx post about taking pictures with Disney princesses. For those who don’t read the post, each Disney Princess would take a picture with him and then look him in the eyes and have a short personal discussion with him that made him feel special. I was especially intrigued by this since yesterday I took my family to Disneyland.

While at Disneyland, my 10 year old son had saved up all his money and had finally decided to buy this sword that lit up. It was his money, so I basically let him to go up with his wallet and his money and figure out how to buy the sword. I figured it was a good learning experience. He got to learn about tax and the 10 dollar sword cost him $12. He handed the cashier a $20 bill and I asked him how much change he should receive. Happily his math skills were in place and he said he should get $8 back. What happened next was a bit surprising.

The cashier said, “That’s right, but what do you think if I give you back the whole $20 and you get the sword for free?” My son was so excited. You’d think he’d won the lottery. You could see the wheels in his head churning as he pondered the fact that he got a sword and still had all his money. I think he was trying to figure out what to buy next. I suggested that when he got home he could blog about the experience (yes, my 10 year old has a blog). The cashiers were excited that he had a blog as well and asked him to write down the address so they could check it out. When they comment on his blog, I think that might get him even more excited than the free sword.

While I wonder if my son will now expect free stuff when he shops (which should get resolved when he doesn’t get free stuff the next few times he shops), this experience no doubt left a big impression on my son. My cousin who was with us messaged her friend that worked at Disney World said that this was part of the Disney “Magical Memories” program. Cashiers could give away so much free stuff. She said they’d also go out to people buying passes to the park and give away free passes. This reminds me of the Zappos Free Pizza experience that I wrote about on Sunday.

One of the big takeaways from the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference was the need to create Human 2 Human (H2H) connections (Note: The videos from the conference should be posted soon). While this is true in marketing, it’s also true throughout all parts of life. Think about how connecting with your coworkers can benefit your work life. This is particularly true if your a healthcare IT leader in your organization. Imagine the benefits to your personal life if you have hundreds of people you’ve connected with more than just the casual “Hi, how are you?”

What’s really amazing is that creating magical experiences with someone doesn’t take much. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost you anything other than a desire to connect, a change in approach, or a little creativity. Although, the most important thing you need is a sincere and heartfelt concern for others. The magic might not happen immediately, but these efforts over time will create surprising results.

#HIMSS14 Highlights: Enthusiasm for Patient Engagement

Posted on March 7, 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.

Patient engagement solutions abounded at HIMSS14, though their levels of sophistication varied. Like many other commentators, I felt this was a big jump in interest over last year. It will be interesting to see if this level sustains into 2015, and how the same products will mature come HIMSS15 in Chicago.

The theme of engagement was heard most loudly in several educational sessions I attended. I was happy to pre-register for an Orion Health / ePatient Dave event; and make time at the last minute to attend a live demo of the new Blue Button Connector, and a brief presentation by Regina Holliday, founder of the Walking Gallery.

I believe ePatient Dave (aka Dave deBronkart) has been at this awhile, but the Orion Health lunch and learn I attended was my first opportunity to hear him tell his story live. And what a compelling story it was! It certainly resonated with the audience of about 75, and I couldn’t help but wonder why he wasn’t up on stage in a “From the Top” session. The theme that ran throughout his presentation and audience questions was the need for online patient communities, and the subsequent need for providers to let their patients know about them. Websites like PatientsLikeMe.com and Sharecare.com were brought up as interesting resources.

epatientdavewp

I headed from there to the exhibit hall, where HIMSS had set up a very nice learning gallery, complete with comfy chairs, swivel desktops and a nice presentation area. Lygeia Ricciardi spent a good 20 minutes going through the new Blue Button Connector website, which you can find here: http://bluebuttonconnector.healthit.gov/. While not a true, live demo, she did offer several screenshots, and was very forthcoming about the ONC’s plans and goals for the site. Apparently they see it as almost a marketing tool, similar to the Energy Star label you see on just about every appliance these days. The Blue Button symbol will hopefully come to be recognized as an endorsement of easy access to patient data. She was frank in saying that it’s not a panacea, but will be a powerful tool in the hands of consumers, and developers who choose to take advantage of its open source code and bake it into their own apps.

bluebuttonwp

It is literally a connector. The new website simply allows patients to connect to third parties that may house their medical records, such as payers, pharmacy, labs, physicians or hospitals, immunization registries and health information exchange portals. Knowing I already have a provider that participates in Blue Button via their athenahealth patient portal, I went through the “Physician or Hospital” steps to see how the Connector worked. I didn’t see my physician listed, so I’ll likely send an email to bluebutton@hhs.gov. The Connector is in beta right now, and Riccardi mentioned they are very interested in gathering as much user feedback as possible during this process, so I encourage you to check it out and drop them a comment or two.

I was back at the Learning Gallery the next afternoon to hear Regina Holliday of the Walking Gallery speak, and she did not disappoint. Like a preacher that just can’t stay in the pulpit, Regina passionately talked about the power patients have when they come together and demand change. It was my first time hearing her speak live and I was not disappointed. It was a powerful sight to see close to 30 Walking Gallery members stand up at the end of her session and show their jackets. Why they were not on a larger stage in front of a capacity audience is beyond me.

walkinggallery

That’s it for my notes from HIMSS. Next up on my conference dance card is the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference, taking place April 7-8 in Las Vegas, and hosted by Healthcarescene.com. I hope to see you there!

#HIMSS14 Twitter Roundup – Take 2

Posted on February 25, 2014 I Written By

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

We’re back again with some interesting tweets that I found from today’s #HIMSS14 Twitter stream.


Little summaries like this is why I love Twitter and why you can enjoy #HIMSS14 even if you don’t attend. I’m not sure I agree with the idea of a common EHR, but all the various EHR software need to exchange data.


There’s certainly a balance with the data. I’m honestly not sure if structured or unstructured will win out.


I like what Stoltenberg is doing as well. Although, I’ll be even more interested in their answers to the questions they receive.


We do have more knowledge in healthcare than ever before. Although, I think we’re still just at the brink of the information we will have in healthcare. We do need to start now to make sure we find the best ways to appropriately filter the information so that only the relevant information is shown in the right context.


The best part of HIMSS is the people. Especially when you dig in and learn the true realities. Most have really good intentions and goals.


One of the really beautiful parts of social media. Meeting people you feel like you know because you’ve engaged with them on social media.


Thanks Mandi for this amazing picture of the New Media Meetup. The place was hoping and so many people told me so many kind things about the event. I’m glad that so many people enjoy the event as much as I do. Thanks to Stericycle Communication Solutions for making the event go off so well. An enormous thanks to @tammylinntran and @mandibpro for helping me out at the check in. They are both beautiful people inside and out.

#HIMSS14 Twitter Roundup

Posted on February 24, 2014 I Written By

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

I think that Jim Hollis captured part of my experience at HIMSS14 really well:

Indeed! I’m so busy at HIMSS with meeting and talking with people that I have little time to tweet. I just do a little in the evening when I catch up and might send out a few tweets here or there. With that said, the #HIMSS14 hashtag has been hopping. Here are a few of the interesting tweets I found during day 1 of HIMSS.


I had another doctor tell me almost exactly the same thing today. It was her first time at HIMSS and it was interesting to have her describe the different in what she saw and heard at HIMSS and the realities she faced back at work.


Definitely interesting to see the packed room at HIMSS. I think that everyone is trying to figure out how analytics will influence outcomes, because no one knows how to do that yet. I wonder if the session did anything to improve on people’s understanding. My guess is it probably didn’t do much for those that attended.


This is a little self serving since it was from the session I did today with Shahid Shah and Cari Mclean on Social Media and Influencing. People had kind things to say about the event, so hopefully those that attended got value.


I just love these kind of pictures. Sorry you can’t blow it up bigger, but it covers most of the topics you’d expect to see.


I didn’t see this in person, but it looks pretty killer. I wonder what software they use to control them all. Or maybe they’re not connected to any specific software to coordinate them. Cool look though.

Also, it’s not a tweet, but check out this video that CDW launched at HIMSS (What Does the Doc Say?):

Some Frank #HIMSS14 Advice

Posted on February 20, 2014 I Written By

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

HIMSS 14 Keynote Area
*The above picture is a preview of the HIMSS 14 stage from @eqrunner. It’s coming together nicely.

As I mentioned previously, I’ll be at HIMSS 2014 in Orlando all next week. It’s a great event for me to get a really good feel for what’s happening in the healthcare IT industry. I’ve gone through hundreds of PR pitches from companies and have my agenda full of meetings where I’m looking to extract the latest trends and happening in the healthcare IT and EHR industry.

However, if you’ve never been to HIMSS before, it can be an overwhelming experience. While this is only my 5th HIMSS, I think I have some insights and suggestions that will help you have a better experience. Plus, for fun you can look back at the HIMSS suggestions I made back in 2011 and see how they differ today.

Keep Meetings Short … or Long
We covered keeping meetings short in my 2011 post as well. Although, I’m considering a more nuanced approach to the idea of short meetings. This year I was really close to shunning short meetings and engaging in all long meetings with both sides of the conversation well prepared for the meeting. I didn’t quite get there, but I think there’s a case to be made for some long and some short meetings. However, you don’t want something in the middle where you avoid really digging in because of time. I’ve personally chosen to schedule mostly 30 minutes meetings with 30 minutes between meetings. That means that if the conversation is really interesting, I can extend to 45+ minutes before I have to run (sometimes literally) off to my next meeting.

Cut Through the Puffery and Buzzwords
There are going to be a lot of people spewing all sorts of puffery and buzzwords. Don’t be afraid to call people out on it. You don’t have to be mean and disrespectful, but be frank and honest with the people you meet. The best way to get to a deeper conversation is to not be afraid to challenge what someone’s saying. Just do it in a way that’s interested as opposed to bombastic. Ask thoughtful questions and listen more than you talk. Don’t be afraid to dig in a little and connect with someone or some company on a deeper level. Sometimes that requires you sharing a little of your insecurities as well. If everyone you talk to says everything is rosey and perfect, than you’ve missed out on really connecting with someone.

Plan Travel Time
Related to the last point, plan on plenty of travel time between meetings. The convention center and exhibit hall are large. It can take you 10-15 minutes of fast walking to just get from one end to the other. It’s always better to be 15 minutes early and have a little time to browse the surrounding booths or grab a drink before the next meeting than it is to be 5-10 minutes late. Late meetings happen at HIMSS, but I try to really avoid it. It’s respectful of the person I’m meeting.

Don’t Follow the #HIMSS14 Hashtag During HIMSS
I use to love the #HIMSSXX hashtag, but now it’s too much during the show. You can’t keep up, there’s too much repetition, and other poor quality tweets. I do suggest you browse #HIMSS14 leading up to HIMSS. Identify 20-40 key people you should follow and add them to a Twitter list. Then, just watch the Twitter list. Start by adding @HIMSS14 to the list and then I’m a little bias to @ehrandhit, @techguy, and @healthcareITJob. I also look forward to tweets from independent thinkers like @fredtrotter, @MandiBPro, @john_chilmark, and @laurencstill to name but a few (Apologies in advance to the hundreds of others that I could have listed).

Skip Most of the Keynotes
I usually get excited for the HIMSS Keynotes. This year they are pretty disappointing to me. I would like to hear Erik Weihenmayer, but will sadly be on a plane. Also, I’ll probably hear what Hillary has to say, but it seems a bit much to have two Clintons in a row. Considering her pending presidency run I don’t expect any fireworks from her. The other keynotes have the government muzzle and if you’ve been to mHealth Summit and/or Health 2.0, then you’ve heard the Aetna pitch before. Needless to say, I’m not going to HIMSS for the keynotes. Plus, anything really interesting that’s said will be tweeted out thousands of times. That’s enough for me.

Carefully Select Sessions
As an extension of the keynote comments above, be really careful which sessions you choose to attend. Avoid ones that look like a sales pitch for a specific company. I know that my colleague Neil Versel loves the HIMSS sessions. I usually lean away from them towards more time on the show floor.

One session I’m torn on is the CCHIT Summit with four of the past ONC heads. I have little doubt it will be standing room only (not fun), but I’m not sure it will be anything special. They have a reporter from the Wall Street Journal who’s been covering Obamacare (Note: not the HITECH Act) that won’t likely be able to dive into the real issues and challenges with meaningful use and healthcare IT. I do love to hear Dr. Brailer talk, but Farzad is probably a couple years from being really interesting. His heart is still very much with his colleagues at ONC and so it should be. I wish HIMSS would focus their sessions on practical sessions only. Leave all the big picture thinking and pontificating for the interactions at the event.

It’s About People
I’ve found my HIMSS experience is always directly related to the quality of people I spend time with at the event. If you can find and surround yourself with really smart people, you’re going to come away from HIMSS with a lot of value. The good part is that with 37k+ people at HIMSS, there are a lot of amazing minds in attendance. The only challenge is finding them. To use a baseball analogy, if you can bat .200 when it comes to meeting with smart, insightful people at HIMSS, you’ll go away happy. Up that to .300 and you’ll never stop going. I’ve found Twitter a great tool for learning about someone before meeting them and then engaging them for a meeting at HIMSS.

Get Power When You Can
While I think that mini battery chargers are a great thing to have, I’ve always found that it’s best to get power when you can get it. It’s always annoying at the end of the day when your cell phone is flashing red as you try to get one more text or tweet out before it dies. This has been less of an issue for me with my latest Samsung S3 and Chromebook(10-12 hours of batter life), but with the long days at HIMSS I still just get power when I can.

Enjoy a Night Out
While many people look at these evening parties as a time for some craziness at HIMSS, I look at them as a way to connect with someone on a more personal level. There’s something that connects people in a new way when you’ve shared an evening with someone with some good food, drinks (I take Sprite), music, and maybe some singing or dancing. It’s all about relationship building and enjoying time together with people you enjoy. In fact, I’ve enjoyed planning out our evening plans on Twitter with many people. Unfortunately, my event on Tuesday evening is at capacity, but here are some of the other events close to the convention center that I’ll likely stop by: Perceptive Software, Kronos, and Qlik (The ICEBAR is a pretty cool venue).

Looks like Orlando is ready for HIMSS 2014. They have the signs up in front of the convention center:
HIMSS14 Orlando Sign

Finding #BlueButton at #HIMSS14

Posted on February 18, 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.

I am having trouble believing HIMSS 14 is just a few days away. I am really looking forward to getting out of Georgia’s erratic weather and into Florida’s warmer temps. At least Orlando weather isn’t erratic. Check out the forecast:

weather

While I don’t think I’ll have time to lounge by the pool, I do anticipate having some fun playing tennis with a few #HITchicks early Monday morning. I hope Orlando’s daily rain shower holds off until later that afternoon.

I’m also looking forward to the Siemens Media Breakfast, a Lunch and Learn with ePatient Dave, HISTalkapalooza, the #HITsm tweetup, a session on health information and the Disney experience, the Georgia HIMSS networking reception, and of course the New Media Meetup (where you can meet many of your favorite Healthcarescene.com bloggers).

As I’ve been so focused on Blue Button news lately, I thought I’d see how many HIMSS sessions will be devoted to the topic. A quick search at HIMSSConference.org yields three:

sessions

The last session seems the most consumer-friendly, and right up my alley based on its objective of covering the current state of Blue Button, and its general description:

“Join experts from the from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in an interactive session to learn more about several major developments in the world of consumer and patient engagement enabled by technology, and how you can participate. This session will cover policy initiatives, standards development, and resources available to members of the private and public sectors from ONC and our many collaborators.”

In other Blue Button news, it appears that “Blue Button healthcare technologies [are] primed to explode in [the] private sector,” according to a brief article at FederalNewsRadio.com. This is basically a rehash of last week’s news that several pharmacy associations and large retailers like Kroger, Walgreens and CVS are working to “standardize their prescription data based on Blue Button policies,” but it serves as a good reminder that Blue Button started out as a VA initiative. Is it just me or does it seem that much of today’s healthcare IT started out via government development or government mandate/incentive?

Feel free to drop me a line if you know of more Blue Button-related activities at HIMSS, or have other interesting events you think I (and my readers) should check out next week.

Social Media at #HIMSS14

Posted on February 10, 2014 I Written By

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

It’s been really amazing watching the evolution of social media at HIMSS. It wasn’t too long ago that Shahid Shah was trying to convince HIMSS that bloggers should be invited to the event. Shortly after that, HIMSS held a set of Meet the Blogger panels and then put together a full blown HIMSS Social Media center with a number of great social media meetups at the conference. This year HIMSS even launched its social media ambassador program with our very own Mandi Bishop taking part.

This year I think we’re seeing the evolution of social media into essentially a standard part of the HIMSS conference. Just like you expect conference sessions, keynotes and an exhibit hall at the conference, you now expect social media to be there as well. Social media is finally a permanent tenant at HIMSS.

A you can imagine, much of my HIMSS participation will include and be influenced by social media. Shahid Shah, Cari McLean and myself will be hosting a #SocialMedia and Influence Meetup on Monday Feb 24, at 3:30 PM at the HIMSS Spot. Our plan is to dig deeply into social media and how it can be used most effectively. I’m sure the conversation will leak over into Tuesday night’s 5th Annual New Media Meetup. The event is nearly at capacity and should be the highlight of my HIMSS experience. A big thanks to Stericycle Communication Solutions for sponsoring the event.

Plus, I believe these two HIMSS events will be an amazing prelude to what we’re doing with the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference. At HIMSS we only have a couple hours, but at this conference we’ll have two days with some of the best health IT marketing and PR minds.

Of course, the #HITsm tweetup is also a great time to see so many #HIMSS14 social media influencers as well. Plus, I hear they’re looking to have a little different format this year than last. My hope is that this year we have more chance to meet and interact with those in the community who we’ve mostly known virtually.

What’s also been amazing to me is how much action the #HIMSS14 hashtag has had already. It’s certainly dominated by the companies that will be at HIMSS, but it’s been extremely active. If that’s a preview of what’s to come, then it will be interesting to see how much value will come from the #HIMSS14 stream during the event. Will there be so much noise in it that it’s not as valuable to follow?

Less than two weeks until HIMSS. Can’t wait to indulge in the 1200+ vendors and 35,000 attendees. I guess I am an #HITNerd.