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!

5 Health IT Marketing Resources You Didn’t Know You Needed – #HITMC

Posted on April 9, 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.

The inaugural Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference concluded with tears of gratitude, many tweets of thanks and too many takeaways to list here. (I suggest you check out the #HITMC tweet stream before it disappears, or watch the recorded sessions, which will soon be available via the conference website.) I will take a moment to highlight several marketing resources and tools that I heard about from attendees and speakers – services and solutions actual HIT marketing professionals rely on to more easily create engaging campaigns that connect with prospects and customers on a Human2Human level.

TheShortCutts.com
Don’t know who Matt Cutts is? Neither did I until I attended Kristine Schachinger’s session on the realities and myths of SEO. Cutts is the man at Google who can make or break a website’s Google rankings. Officially, he is head of Google’s webspam team. No matter how you refer to him, he’s certainly worth paying attention to, especially if SEO is your thing. The folks behind ShortCutts.com provide easy to understand interpretations of Cutts’s videos, which he produces prolifically to help “struggling site owners understand their site in search.”

cutts

Smartsheets.com
Smartsheets seem to be about helping users better manage workflows via online tools that allow you to “assign tasks, attach files, share sheets, view timelines, set alerts, create rollups and go mobile.” It features specific marketing templates for event marketing, campaign tracking and product launches. I’m not quite sure how it works, only that it came highly recommended from the HITMC community. I also found this article from my local paper on the way Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s paramedics and cardiologists have used Smartsheets to improve cardiac care.

smartsheet

Whiteboard Animated Videos from JillAddison.com
One attendee recommended Jill Addison as her go to source for high quality yet cost-effective animated whiteboard videos.

whiteboard

Abukai.com
Abukai provides a free service that lets you snap photos of your receipts with your phone, and then automatically dump them into an expense report – perfect for healthcare IT marketers on the go.

abukai

Rev.com
Do you have any idea how laborious it is to transcribe a phone interview? It’s extremely time consuming, and can often cost big bucks to outsource. Imagine my pleasant surprise when someone mentioned Rev.com, which provides transcription services at $1 a minute. That is incredibly inexpensive, and worth its weight in gold if you’re in a time crunch.

rev

The Health IT Marketing and PR Community on LinkedIn
“A community of health IT marketing and healthcare IT PR professionals. First started after the inaugural Health IT Marketing and PR Conference as a place to collaborate with colleagues across the health IT marketing & PR community, but welcome to anyone interesting in healthcare IT marketing and PR.” This should serve as a great resource, and I’ve already submitted a discussion around a question I didn’t get a chance to ask panelists from Agency Ten22.

linkedin

Opening up the Pandora’s Box of Patient Portals

Posted on May 2, 2013 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 received an interesting email in my inbox last week from a hospital informatics friend. He recently overheard several primary care physicians talking about the patient portal soon to be coming their way, and they were not enthusiastic about the technology.

“They were complaining about an upcoming patient portal,” he wrote, “where all lab results are visible to the patient. They worry that the flood of calls wanting more info on each lab result, especially the insignificant, will unnecessarily tax primary care. This will lead to the need for countless hours of education, and reassurance that tests not within the textbook definition of ‘normal’ aren’t always cause for concern.”

Being a patient myself, I can certainly understand where they’re coming from. I am the type who wouldn’t hesitate to call about a line item I didn’t understand or that seemed abnormal on my lab results, assuming Google (much to every doctor’s chagrin) couldn’t give me a clearer picture.

This fear of patient portals leading to unnecessary communication with the patient is not just confined to the doctors above. I heard conversation around this very topic at the iHT2 conference I wrote about last week. Some providers, like Kaiser Permanente and Geisinger, have been successfully using patient portals for years. Others, like West Georgia Health, are just beginning to plan for implementation.

I asked Thomas Graf, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Population Health, at Geisinger, what advice he has to give to facilities that are just beginning their patient portal journey. He did not hesitate in answering: “Don’t be afraid. Chaos will not ensue.” He went on to say that Geisinger physicians did not find themselves inundated with patient requests for clarifications and explanations of insignificant results. Their workflows were in fact made more efficient.

Getting back to the note from my friend, he went on to ask, “Is there such a thing as too much information, or is HIT finally democratizing medicine enough that patients will be motivated to understand more about their own healthcare? Do the docs have a point, or have they just historically been lazy about communicating with patients, and now have to come to grips that patients can see the man behind the curtain?”

I don’t think it’s a question of laziness. I think it’s a question of access and time. Ten years ago, some of us didn’t have a small computer in our pockets, readily available to offer medical information whenever we needed it. So, we turned to the phone and called our doctor. Today, as I mentioned above, patients are much more likely to research symptoms and conditions online before initiating conversation with their PCP. Some doctors might groan about Google, but wouldn’t they rather have a motivated patient – someone who wants to learn about their condition – rather than an apathetic one?

Isn’t patient engagement the name of the game these days? Hopefully, doctors will be pleasantly surprised at the benefits their portal brings to patient care. They might also be surprised at the new level of engagement their patients now have access to.

EHR and mHealth Successes and Fails: Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on March 31, 2013 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.

Patients are somewhat taught to fear sharing medical data. While privacy is important, especially when it comes to health, being more willing to share medical data can yield great results. The key is knowing who to share information with, and who to avoid. 

EHR vendors can be tricky when it comes to keeping clients around. Sometimes, they don’t really have a choice because the EHR holds client information “hostage” when the client says they are switching EHRs. However, this is a sneaky tactic, and there are many other ways to keep an EHR client longer — most importantly, providing a great product.

While many aspects of HIT have come to a halt, mHealth continues to flourish. There are many things that other parts of HIT can learn from mHealth’s success. First, mHealth doesn’t focus on every patient at once. Next, it is an unregulated industry. And finally, the projects are marketed directly to consumers and paid for by them as well. 

Are you a hospital leader and curious about what technologies you should be watching out for? Well, the ECRI Institute has compiled a list of technologies they feel executives should be looking at this next year. This list includes Electronic Health Records, mHealth, imaging and surgery, and more. 

When an EHR fails to work correctly, how do physicians deal with it? Researchers have observed clinical workflows to answer just that question. The observations concluded that while there was no correct answer, many use paper to record information. Hopefully, this study will show EHRs where their gaps are, and help them to correct them.

There are so many consumer medical devices out there. What makes one stand out from the best? And which one has the best form factor? Wrist bands or chest straps…hand held or pocket stored? Chime in over at Smart Phone Healthcare.

CMIOs Bridge the Clinical & IT Gap

Posted on February 27, 2013 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.

It’s been interesting to see the evolution of conversation around healthcare IT at the provider-focused events I’ve attended over the last two years. Panels of hospital executives at first spoke about the benefits they were likely to see as a result of the HITECH Act and their facilities’ subsequent plans for EMR implementation. One-year later, it was all about best practices for go lives. Today, conversation has reached the “now what?” phase.

This was definitely top of panelists’ minds at the recent Georgia HIMSS Lunch & Learn, which offered attendees a hearty Italian meal and the chance to hear area CMIOs converse around the topic of “CMIO 2.0 – Leading Healthcare Transformation.” While “transformation” tends to be a bit overused, I think it was an apt word based on the remarks from moderator Debbie Cancilla, Senior VP and CIO at Grady Health System; Julie Hollberg, MD, CMIO at Emory Healthcare; Daniel Wu, part-time CMIO at Grady; Roland Matthews, MD, physician champion at Grady; and Steve Luxenberg, MD, CMIO at Piedmont Healthcare.

I hate to play favorites, but Wu was my favorite panelist. Calling himself the “least tech savvy CMIO in the country,” he was engaging and a good sport when it came to verbal sparring with his Grady colleague, Cancilla. No one in the audience was fooled by his self-deprecation, of course. Wu, who is also Assistant Medical Director at Grady’s Emergency Care Center, and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Emory University’s School of Medicine, knows a thing or two about healthcare IT, having put in an EMR for Grady’s emergency department. He continues to serve as a physician champion for the hospital.

Several telling themes emerged from panelists’ comments and audience questions, which I’ll share in part 1 of this post. I’ll cover challenges specific to each panelist and their facility next week in part 2.

gahimssCMIOpanel

Left to right: Julie Hollberg, MD, CMIO, Emory Healthcare; Roland Matthews, MD, Physician Champion, Grady Health System; Steve Luxenberg, MD, CMIO, Piedmont Healthcare; Daniel Wu, part-time CMIO, Grady; and Debbie Cancilla, CIO, Grady. Photo courtesy of Georgia HIMSS

Shining a Light on CMIOs
This was the first all-CMIO panel I’d ever seen, which may be indicative of their general reluctance to be put in the spotlight, and perhaps the increasingly important role they play in HIT implementations of all kinds. (I also wonder if the title of CMIO is growing. If anyone has statistics on that, please share.) Cancilla noted it was time for CMIOs to get in the healthcare transformation conversation, and while these four seemed at no loss for stories to tell and pain points to share.

CMIOs Don’t Play Favorites
When it comes to the clinical side of the house versus the IT side of the house, the panelists agreed that sometimes the two just don’t understand each other. And that’s where the CMIO steps in, acting as interpreter, smoother of ruffled feathers, and occasionally spokesperson for both departments to the higher ups. In describing his role, Luxenberg described himself as an objective third party, coming in to finesse sticky situations between clinical and IT staff. I got the impression from him that CMIOs often have more success in resolving disputes because they don’t have allegiance to one particular department, but rather the hospital as a whole.

(Sidenote: Wu mentioned a hilarious cartoon by Atlanta-based anesthesiologist Michelle Au that highlights the delicate verbal dance CMIOs must do when talking with various medical specialties. Check out “The 12 Medical Specialty Stereotypes.” It’s worth noting Wu would be considered a “cowboy.”)

Getting it Done for the Patient’s Benefit
Because they represent the interests of the hospital, these CMIOs ultimately hold themselves accountable to the patient, and benefiting the patient is a big part of the message they have to convey to clinical and IT folks, especially during times of implementation. Luxenberg noted that he gets better EMR buy in from different departments when he highlights the benefits to patient care, rather than focusing on details specific to one department in particular.

Talking with different departments does mean, however, that CMIOs must step out of their comfort zones and really get familiar with the pressures of each area within their facility. Conveying this information is where a great relationship with the CIO comes in. For the CMIO’s objectivity to truly be valuable, that assessment must be meaningfully discussed with the CIO. As Cancilla mentioned, CIOs need to step up and strengthen relationships with their CMIOs. All the panelists and Cancilla agreed the communication from the top down and bottom up is key to successful adoption of healthcare IT.

Sebelius’ ACA Highlights Need a Dash of HIT Benefits for Parents

Posted on January 3, 2013 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.

As a mother of young children, I have the pleasure of trying to squeeze in routine, pediatric dental appointments during Christmas and summer breaks. This time around, I had the added pleasure of taking my daughter to a new dentist – one within the same group she’s been going to for all of two years, but at a different location. Though I had her dental records transferred from the previous office, I still had to fill out a plethora of new patient forms upon arrival at the new location. Needless to say, the smile I gave the receptionist as she handed me a sheaf of papers asking me for redundant information was somewhat thin.

I passed the time flipping through the pages of a recent Parents magazine, and imagine my surprise when I came across an interview with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius regarding the Affordable Care Act and its implications for women and families. I thought it was a good idea on the part of Parents editors to have Sebelius explain – succinctly and briefly – the highlights of the ACA, especially pertaining to preventive services and the supposed affordability of health insurance once health insurance exchanges get up and running in 2014.

Being that I had just wasted 15 minutes of time filling out duplicate paper forms, I felt that a sidebar on the benefits of healthcare IT might also help out harried mothers like myself. Bullet points would include:

* Do your mental health a favor and avoid filling out paper forms in waiting rooms while your children “entertain” others with their shenanigans/arguments. Do business only with “digital” docs – those who utilize electronic medical records, enable sign-in via the Web before you arrive at the office, and are willing to communicate via email. Those that offer telemedicine services (provided your insurance will cooperate) are an added bonus if your family lives somewhat off the beaten healthcare path.

* Healthcare will become more affordable once consumers start making an effort to patronize providers that have a reputation for high patient satisfaction and quality scores. Get engaged via websites like Healthgrades.com to start sifting through local MDs’ scores and reviews.

* Assuming you’re a connected parent – one that routinely uses a smartphone and/or tablet, ask your healthcare provider about apps specific to any wellness or illness issues your children may be experiencing. I certainly wouldn’t mind switching out my children’s Toca Boca screen time with educational health games and stories.

These were just a few of the items running through my mind when my daughter’s dental hygienist asked if she had x-rays last time around, adding that those hadn’t come over yet from the other office, and the process of looking them up was overly complicated.

As Seth Meyers says on SNL, “Really?!”

Homegrown Health IT Innovation Takes Center Stage

Posted on November 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.

I’ve had the good fortune over the last few months to be involved in the marketing efforts surrounding the Health IT Leadership Summit happening next week at the Fox Theatre in my hometown of Atlanta. A joint effort of the Technology Association of Georgia’s (TAG’s) Health Society, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the annual event does a wonderful job of spotlighting the strides Georgia is making in healthcare IT, both on the provider and vendor sides.

I’m particularly excited to learn more about the four finalists of the Intel Innovation Award, which will be presented to the winner at the summit. I think it’s no coincidence that Solo Health, last year’s winner, has seen a number of newsworthy business developments happen since accepting the award in the Fox’s Egyptian Ballroom last November.

I thought I’d share a brief synopsis of the finalists (courtesy of their respective websites), and then take bets on who will take home bragging rights!

AirWatch (@airwatchMDM)
“AirWatch is the leader in enterprise-grade Mobile Device Management, Mobile Application Management and Mobile Content Management solutions designed to simplify mobility. More than 4,700 customers across the world trust AirWatch to manage their most valuable assets: their mobile devices, including the apps and content on those devices. Our solutions are comprehensive, built on a powerful yet easy to use platform by leaders in the mobile space.”

In a word, it’s all about security in healthcare right now, as iPad minis, iPhone 5s and yes, even a new Blackberry or two make physicians that much more likely to join the BYOD movement. AirWatch is certainly in the game at an opportune time.

CardioMEMS (@cardioMEMS)
“CardioMEMS is a medical device company that has developed and is commercializing a proprietary wireless sensing and communication technology for the human body. Our technology platform is designed to improve the management of severe chronic cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and aneurysms. Our miniature wireless sensors can be implanted using minimally invasive techniques and transmit cardiac output, blood pressure and heart rate data that are critical to the management of patients. Due to their small size, durability, and lack of wires and batteries, our sensors are designed to be permanently implanted into the cardiovascular system. Using radiofrequency, or RF, energy, our sensors transmit real-time data to an external electronics module, which then communicates this information to the patient’s physician.”

I first came across this company nearly two years ago, when I heard founder Jay Yadav, M.D., speak at a TAG luncheon, and I’ll be eager to see how their technology has evolved since then. From an EMR perspective, I’m especially interested in where the real-time data goes when a physician receives it. Is it fed into an EMR, perhaps? I’m taking a field trip to the CardioMEMS office next week, so hopefully I’ll find out. I’d also like to get their thoughts on the FDA’s move to regulate mobile health apps, which I assume will impact them in some tangential way.

Cooleaf (@cooleafhealth)
“Cooleaf is the easiest way to enroll in classes and programs for your health while earning rewards. Our mission is to harness the power of classes and programs to enhance the well being of the planet. We founded Cooleaf on the following principles:

  • There is no “one size fits all” solution in health and wellness
  • Living a healthy life should be easy
  • If you live a healthy life, you should be rewarded
  • If you live a healthy life and get rewarded, you should own those rewards
  • If you’re guided by experts face-to-face, you’re more likely to achieve your health goals (and enjoy yourself)”

Certainly the most consumer-oriented of the bunch, the Cooleaf website seems like a great way to get employees engaged in wellness initiatives. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few payers start sniffing around as its user base grows, and resource database moves beyond Atlanta-based locales.

Monocle Health (@monoclehealth)
“Monocle Health Data is the only company solely dedicated to providing independent, unbiased healthcare provider ratings and rankings based on both price and quality, for both episodic care and chronic illnesses.

Monocle’s tools – price rankings, quality ratings and analytics-based reporting – are the foundation of true healthcare price and quality transparency.”

As a patient – especially one who is in need of new family physicians – I am especially interested in transparency. How do the doctors in my area stack up against each other when it comes to patient satisfaction, quality and what my hard-earned dollars will get me? As patient engagement efforts continue to take off, so too I think will provider comparison tools such as this.

Only time will tell which of these Atlanta-based companies will win. I’ll follow up in a subsequent post with the victor’s details, and future plans for continuing to change the landscape of healthcare IT.

HIT Acronyms Leave Me Needing a Nice Glass of Wine

Posted on November 27, 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.

I had quite a learning curve to overcome when I first started working in and writing about healthcare nearly four years ago. I quickly realized that industry insiders peppered their conversations, blogs, tweets and presentations with acronyms that no mere mortal (or patient) could be expected to easily derive definition from. Only after months of immersion was I able to grasp the meaning of acronyms I heard on an everyday basis.

I was reminded of this when several popped up during a recent #HITsm tweetchat.

Gregg Masters, i.e. @2healthguru, made a good point in response:

Is healthcare as an industry alienating patients with this type of healthcare-ese? Do healthcare acronyms make patients feel less confident when speaking with care givers – perhaps more willing to gloss over certain issues because they are not confident in their understanding of certain terms and conditions? I can only imaging how amplified this problem is with the non-English speaking.

As we spend time talking about patient engagement and education, let’s not forget that concepts and terms that we take for granted may not be fully understood by the majority of healthcare consumers. Care givers should set aside time with patients to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to understanding healthcare terms.

That being said, the next time new healthcare acronyms crop up, I’ll kick back and have a glass of wine before diving into definitions.

New Healthcare Facility Experiences IT Growing Pains

Posted on November 15, 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.

Well, dear readers, if it’s not one thing it’s another. Our family has been plagued by broken bones (documented in a recent blog), as well as the sinusitis and bronchitis that have plagued so many other families as of late. Like a typical mother, I put off going to the doctor in the hopes that the malady would run its course, as my colds typically do. But after four weeks (one spent on holiday in the Virgin Islands), I woke up with new, more intense symptoms, and so decided to seek professional help. (I’ll leave it to you to determine if the copious amounts of rum punch and lengthy amount of time spent getting to and from Tortola in any way impacted my condition.)

I was faced with several options: try to get seen by my primary care physician, who, since my move, is now inconveniently located. (Note to self: seek new PCP closer to home.) Try my luck at the Walgreens clinic nearby. Or, go to the urgent care center down the street.

I bypassed Walgreens because I’ve had insurance issues there in the past. (As I drove past, I noticed they are excitedly welcoming back Blue Cross Blue Shield customers.) I faced the same problem at the urgent care center, so decided to try my luck at a previously unconsidered option – the new WellStar Acworth Health Park.

Larger than a typical medical office, but smaller than a typical WellStar hospital, the health park offers a variety of services – urgent care; pediatrics; a variety of specialists; pharmacy; and family, internal and OB/GYN medicine, among other services. I was pleasantly surprised to find that its café offers Starbucks coffee.

Just a few months old, its interior and exterior are pristine – open, airy spaces, fountains and lots of glass accents are certainly a nice change from the typical, closed-in feel of most phsyicians’ offices I’ve visited. The staff was welcoming, sympathetic and accepting of my insurance, much to my relief.

It even had a concierge/upscale feel. Complimentary single-serve coffee was available in the urgent care waiting room, as were a variety of cold beverages. A good portion of the waiting area was given over to kids’ amusements, which I hope my girls will never have to amuse themselves with! I definitely appreciated the wifi throughout the facility. These little perks are so nice when a long wait is in front of you and you’re well enough to take advantage of them.

Being that it is a new facility, it is still experiencing growing pains, most noticeably in the need for additional physicians. Fortunately, I didn’t arrive on a day where patients were wrapped around the building waiting for the doors to open, as the pharmacist told me has happened before. Nevertheless, I did wait a considerable amount of time on the single physician on staff that day. Even he mentioned the need for additional MDs in the face of great community need.

He was cheerful and paid attention to my concerns, even apologizing for the paper prescriptions. Turns out WellStar plans to transition from NextGen to Epic early next year, and is waiting for that process to start in order to bring the health park on board with new, system-wide electronic medical records and e-prescribing. He was very enthusiastic about the conveniences afforded by healthcare IT, which makes me think perhaps I should consider a WellStar physician in my search for a PCP closer to home.

The pharmacy was experiencing its own growing pains, most notably with its consumer-facing payment system, and phone lines. But, the staff’s smiling faces, good attitudes and a fresh cup of coffee helped allay any frustration on my part.

Coincidentally, I came across a press release later that day detailing WellStar’s just-announced partnership with Piedmont Healthcare. They’ve teamed up to form the Georgia Health Collaborative, which, according to Piedmont’s press release, will enable the two “to share intellectual knowledge concerning clinical care and seek cost reductions through economies of scale.”

I’m all for economies of scale, but hope my family won’t have to experience them via unexpected or put-off illness anytime soon.

Highlights From Dr. David J. Brailer at 2012 NYeC Digital Health Conference

Posted on October 15, 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.

While not everyone can make it to the NYeC 2012 Digital Health Conference, John is making sure everyone can enjoy parts of the conference from home. Dr. David J. Brailer, former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and current Chairman of Health Evolution Partners, is a keynote speaker at this week’s conference, and spoke today on HIT.

Throughout the presentation, John live tweeted some highlights, as well as his own thoughts. Here are some of his tweets — if you want to see more, be sure to follow @EHRandHIT on Twitter.

If you present at the conference, what were some favorite insights from Dr. Brailer?

Retail Clinics Buddy Up with HIT and MU Lessons from a 3 Year Old

Posted on August 23, 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.

It seems I can’t read a blog, tweet or even old-fashioned newspaper these days without coming across some headline having to do with retail health clinics buddying up to healthcare IT. Announcements from two companies come to mind.

The first involves SoloHealth – developer of health and wellness kiosks. It received FDA approval for its product earlier this summer, and followed that development up with news of financial investment from benefits company WellPoint. It also has announced plans for a national rollout of its kiosks sometime this fall. Assuming its website is up to date, there are SoloHealth Stations across the country at retailers like Walmart, Safeway, Publix, Sam’s Club and Schnucks. CVS appears to be its only traditional retail clinic customer at the moment.

The second involves Greenway Medical – well-known developer of electronic health records for a variety of healthcare organizations, including Walgreen’s Take Care Clinics. It currently has placed its PrimeSuite EHR in more than 700 Take Care pharmacies, and just this week announced plans to implement a custom EHR – WellHealth – to coordinate other types of care in Walgreen’s locations. I’m assuming the two EHRs will play nice with other from an interoperability standpoint. Implementation of all WellHealth systems is expected to be finalized by the end of next summer.

I can’t help but point out that both of these companies are based in Atlanta, and I know for a fact that their team members congregate at similar networking events, so I wonder if we’ll see some synergy between them in the near future.

In any case, if predictions of retail clinic growth prove to be true – a recent Rand Report notes that use of retail health clinics quadrupled between 2007 and 2009, and will continue to grow – it seems likely that we’ll see HIT companies popping up in clinics across the country.

On a completely unrelated note, my daughters and I joined the rest of my company’s team members at the annual Lekotek Run 4 Kids last weekend. We had a great time and enjoyed helping out a great cause. I was a bit apprehensive that my youngest would enjoy it. Before the race began, she came up to me with number in hand and asked, “Is it okay if I lose?” Happily, she declared herself a winner after crossing the finish line and receiving a medal along with her sister and all the other kids.

I wonder if this is a sentiment physicians in smaller practices sometimes have as they consider implementing an EHR in the hopes of receiving Meaningful Use incentive money. Do some just want to throw in the towel and “lose?” Do some not want to even start the race? I’m always looking for additional Meaningful Use wisdom from the under-6 set, so please enlighten me in the comments below.