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!

Ice Storms and The Benefit of a Connected EHR

Posted on March 6, 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’ve often heard the good and bad stories that come out of disasters like Hurricane Katrina or Superstorm Sandy. In some cases, the EHR is a savior and is able to get the doctor the data they need because the EHR is still up and running and can be accessed remotely. In other cases, the power supplies are flooded and the EHR is down for the count (check out this video interview where I discuss why Las Vegas data centers don’t have these natural disaster issues).

A similar story hit my inbox right before HIMSS that looked at the benefits of having an EHR during all the ice storms (#Snowmageddon as Jennifer Dennard called it).

What happened in this story is that hundreds of patients and medical people were stuck at the physician office because of the storm (ironically this was at University of Alabama – Birmingham health system, the same place that brain surgeon walked 6 miles in the storm to do surgery). No one brought their medications, since they assumed they’d go in for a 15 minute appointment, then go home for the day. This left the patients and the practice in a challenging situation.

The good part is that the Kirklin Clinic, where this occurred, was on the Cerner EHR which had ePrescribing and access to the patients prescription history. Plus, there was a pharmacy a few minute walk away from the clinic.

This is a pretty small example, unless you’re the patient trapped in the clinic and needed access to your meds. Then, the fact that the clinic could quickly access your med history and write a prescription for you to get your medication while you waited out the storm is literally a life saver.

The problem with stories like this is that they’re hard to add in to an EHR ROI calculation. I believe there are hundreds of small examples like this where a connected EHR with your medical history can not only provide better patient care, but also save lives. There’s just no good way to put a possible saved life on an ROI calculation.

EMR, HIPAA & EHR Jobs

Posted on April 13, 2012 I Written By

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

Today I happened to meet with someone who was working a Las Vegas job fair. It was convenient for me to stop by while he was there, so I did so we could talk business. I’ll be honest that it bothered me a little bit personally to see the hundreds of people standing in line waiting to enter the job fair. Sure I’d seen and heard the reports of the 5000 people who showed up for 750 jobs. Although, it’s quite a different thing to see it first hand. Thankfully, I had my business discussion and left before I had to hear the hard stories that I’m sure many of them could share. Then again, I’m sure I would have also seen some amazing optimism and excitement from those looking to land a job to change their life.

On my drive home, I couldn’t help but think about the healthcare IT job situation. We’ve often written about the shortage of qualified healthcare IT & EHR talent to be able to service the onslaught of EHR software that we are seeing right now. Even for EHR vendors it’s a bit of a dog fight to get the very best people to work for them. Yet, I’ve also heard on EMR Thoughts from far too many healthcare IT certificate program students that can’t find a job. I’m not going to lie to say it makes my heart break. I do what I can and refer them to people I know who help with this stuff for a living, but it’s hard.

I think Jennifer Dennard must feel very similar to me since she’s written on the healthcare IT Worforce development and social media resources for healthcare IT job seekers to just name a few of her posts on the subject. It’s just a hard contrast for me to see hospitals and other healthcare related companies that can’t find qualified people and so many people still without jobs.

I’m not sure how many people know that I have an EMR and EHR job board. It’s not a real big thing, but it has a ton of different EMR, EHR, HIPAA, and Healthcare IT related jobs posted there. Here are a few that were posted specifically for the EMR and EHR community:
EMR Software Programmer
Director, HIPAA Compliance
Ambulatory EMR Server Administrator

The jobs listed above appear in the sidebar of many of the Healthcare Scene websites. Hopefully this is one small way to help both EHR and Healthcare companies find qualified talent and help those searching for a job in healthcare IT learn more about the needs and open jobs.

Preparing for HIMSS 2012 – #HIMSS12

Posted on January 19, 2012 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 seems like everyone I talk to or interact with in the Health IT world is in full on HIMSS 12 preparation mode. I only attended my first HIMSS 2 years ago in Atlanta. So, I’m mostly a newbie at HIMSS. I sometimes long for the days when I just went to HIMSS with little real planning. I just went and enjoyed myself.

As you can imagine, HIMSS is a perfect place for me and my business. I’ve often told people that the core of my business is great content and advertisers. Turns out that every booth and every person at HIMSS is possibly both. For me, it’s like being a kid in a candy store. So, many exciting things to try (and you might even say you get sick after “eating” too many as the flavors all run together). To be quite honest, I love the entire experience. I was meant for the system overload that happens at HIMSS. I love large crowds of people and being overstimulated. I guess that’s why I love living in Las Vegas (which is also convenient for this year’s HIMSS).

HIMSS Attendee and Exhibitor Count
Enough about me. What can we expect at this fantastic affair called HIMSS 2012? Last year there were 30,000 attendees and I wouldn’t be surprised if this year it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 35,000 people attending HIMSS. During an #HITsm twitter chat about HIMSS, I said that there would be at least 1000 vendors exhibiting at HIMSS. If I remember right (I can’t find the tweet), one of the HIMSS staff corrected me and said there would be 1100 companies exhibiting at HIMSS this year.

What does all this mean? Well, as my mother always told me: You can’t do everything. I’d always look at her shaking my head saying, “You’re right….but I’m sure going to try.” I think this describes my approach to HIMSS as well. Although, each year I am getting more selective on what I spend my time doing.

Press at HIMSS
I’m sure that many reading this are wondering how they can get some coverage on the Healthcare Scene blog network at HIMSS. Considering the 40 or so emails from PR people that I have filed away already, I’m going to have to apply a pretty strict filter.

What then are my filters?

First, if you’re an EHR company, then I’m probably interested in connecting with you in some form. Although, if you’re an EHR company that’s just seen me and has nothing new to say, then I’ll probably pass at this HIMSS. To be honest, I could probably fill my entire schedule with just EHR companies considering how many EHR companies there are out there. Plus, I think I’m going to bring around my flip video and do an EHR series called “5 Questions with EHR Companies.” I’ll see how many EHR companies I can get to answer the same 5 questions.

However, an entire week of just EHR talk would be a little rough. Plus, I asked on Twitter if I should look at things outside of EHR and they all said I should. I’m a man for the people, so I must listen. How then could another healthcare IT company get me interested in meeting with them at HIMSS?

The best way to get me interested in talking with your company is to provide something that will be interesting, unique and insightful to my readers. Remember that my main goals are great content and advertising. If you provide me with great content that my readers will love, then I’ll love you and likely write about that content.

I didn’t realize this when I started blogging, but I’m not like a lot of journalists. I don’t go to any conference with stories in mind. I’m not digging around HIMSS to try and find an ACO story for example. Instead, every person that I talk to I’m trying to discover what stories are being told at HIMSS that are worth telling. I’m always happy when people help me find interesting stories.

Social Media at HIMSS 12
Speaking of finding stories. One of the most interesting ways I use to find stories and connect with people is through social media and in particular Twitter (see this post I did on EMR and HIPAA about Twitter). I guarantee you that Twitter usage at HIMSS 12 is going to be off the charts. There is going to literally be no way to keep up. I love the idea that Cari McLean had of the HIMSS Social Media Center summarizing the most important tweets during HIMSS. Granted, that’s an almost impossible task to ask anyone to do.

Of course, the HIMSS related hashtags will be another great way to filter through the various HIMSS related tweets that are happening. Here are some of the ones I’m sure I’ll be using:
#HIMSS12 — official hashtag for the event
#HSMC — HIMSS Social Media Center
#HITX0 — HIT X.0: Beyond the Edge specialty program
#LFTF12 — Leading from the Future specialty program
#eCollab12 — eCollaborative Forum
Here’s a bunch more HIMSS related social media hashtags you might want to consider:

HIMSS Social Media Center
If you love social media like I do, then you’re also going to love the HIMSS Social Media Center. They’re doing a number of Meet the Bloggers sessions again and I’ve been invited to participate in the Health IT Edition of Meet the Bloggers at HIMSS. I’m on the panel along with: Brian Ahier (Moderator) Health IT Evangelist, Mid-Columbia Medical Center, Jennifer Dennard, Social Marketing Director at Billian’s HealthDATA/Porter Research/HITR.com, Neil Versel, Freelance Journalist and Blogger, Carissa Caramanis O’Brien, Social Media Community and Content Director, Aetna. Should make for a pretty interesting conversation. Plus, you know I always like to mix it up a bit.

New Media Meetup at HIMSS
More details coming soon. We’ll have to work on Neil Versel’s idea of starting a Twitter storm to get Biz Stone to come to the HIMSS meetup.

Dates of HIMSS
Be sure to check the dates of HIMSS. As Neil Versel noted, it’s a little different days than it’s been in the past. I personally like these dates better than the other ones.

There you have it. I thought I’d do a short post on HIMSS and I guess I had a lot more to say. I’d love to hear if you’re going to HIMSS. If you know of any events, sessions, parties, announcements, technologies etc. that I should know about at HIMSS, let me know.

And the most exciting part of HIMSS…seeing old friends and making new friends. I can’t wait.

EHRs Get the Celebrity Treatment

Posted on August 17, 2011 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.

Earlier this Summer, I came across news that Greenway Medical Technologies – a developer of electronic health records (EHRs) and practice management and interoperability healthcare IT solutions located just outside of Atlanta – had taken to endorsing pro golfer Jason Dufner. It came as no surprise to me that a healthcare IT company was seeking to increase its profile among the general public. There has been a noticeable shift in increasing the public’s awareness of the impact of healthcare IT solutions on the patient care they will one day inevitably receive. It’s been a smart move on the part of providers and vendors alike to acquaint people with the technology that our government has spent so much time and energy on promoting. I was surprised, however, that Greenway Medical had chosen the celebrity endorsement route. (Golf wasn’t surprising, though. Greenway Medical’s CEO goes by the name of Tee Green.) How much increased visibility, not to mention interest, could a spokesperson bring while swinging a club on the fairway?

His first sponsorship outing at the British Open garnered little fanfare, as Dufner didn’t advance very far. Greenway Medical’s luck changed, however, as Dufner’s skill – and Tiger Woods’ ultimate absence – led him to place second at the PGA Championship last week. Held in Atlanta, the event offered a good excuse for my some of my colleagues at Billian’s HealthDATA, Porter Research and HITR.com to take a field trip to the Atlanta Athletic Club, where I suspect much of the local healthcare industry put in appearances over the tournament’s several days.

I’d have to agree with the Steve Campbell at EMRDailyNews.com, who offered congratulations to Dufner in a recent post “for a wonderful performance at the PGA and to whoever at Greenway made the decision to sponsor Mr. Dufner. The return on investment for that sponsorship just turned very positive.”

I’d also have to agree with one of the post’s commentators that “[r]egardless of his finish, Dufner and Greenway’s [credibility] rocketed this weekend with all of the primetime PGA coverage. Hours of it. And both Dufner and Greenway are classy and humble, in victory and defeat. Bottom line: EHR industry was another winner this weekend simply based on these associations.”

Perhaps Greg Fulton, Public and Media Relations Manager at Greenway Medical, puts it best: “Our main motivation was we felt it was time to continue to bring recognition to the entire health IT industry, now that initiatives like meaningful use are proving to be successful, and we have industry partners who have had good experiences being involved with the PGA TOUR.

“With Jason, we felt like we were partnering with a person first, a golfer second. He really does believe in the goals of innovative and sustainable care coordination that EHRs and healthcare IT can bring. He set up a foundation in his home state of Alabama following the tornado damage there to help people needing ongoing health services, for example.”

When I asked if Greenway Medical would consider entering into other celebrity endorsement deals sometime in the near future, Fulton explained the company’s celebrity strategy a bit further: “At HIMSS10 [in Atlanta], we did have Atlanta radio station deejay Melissa Carter, then of Q100, speak at a Greenway reception to her definite need for EHR data exchange and automated referrals, because she is a kidney transplant patient who needs that constant care coordination. And that’s what would make sense for what type, you ask, of celebrity or sports partnerships to undertake – ones that have a foundation in or can bring industry recognition and tell the story of the advancement of healthcare.”

Is it any wonder that Greenway Medical just announced its customers have secured more than $1 million in Meaningful Use incentives? How many more providers – many of whom are, it’s safe to say, avid golfers – are now aware of the company and will soon look into its products?

I’ll be interested to see what sort of healthcare IT celebrity endorsement pops up next, and where. NASCAR seems a likely candidate. I wonder if Danica Patrick has a coordinated care story to tell?

Thanks for Having Me – New EMR and EHR Blogger, Jennifer Dennard

Posted on June 22, 2011 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.

Editor’s Note: The following is an introduction to a new blogger in the EMR and EHR family, Jennifer Dennard. You’ll be able to read all of Jennifer Dennard’s posts here.

Little did I know 10 years ago as I sat through my graduation from journalism school at the University of Georgia that healthcare would be the industry in which I would find my writing niche. The minor in French hasn’t been put to good use, I’m afraid, and my corresponding aspiration to live abroad, writing for French Vogue, is still in the backseat of the Ford Escort I left in Athens, waiting to be fulfilled.

I’m sure I’m not the only college graduate who has left a few dreams behind. I was, however, one of the few in my class who put their degree to good use. The poor job market left many working in retail right out of school, but I somehow landed a job with Billian Publishing, working for Textile World Magazine. French Vogue it was not, but a greater professional stepping stone I could not have asked for.

Fast forward to 2011 and the publishing industry has changed dramatically, as has healthcare. Billian’s publications came and went, though Textile World and its sister publications are still kicking. Marriage and parenthood brought me closer to the world of healthcare and a role in social media marketing.

I like to joke that it was during my second maternity leave that I became addicted to Twitter. (I’ll blame it on my alter ego, @SmyrnaGirl.) A lot of time was spent in rocking chairs – much of which became devoted to playing around with the new social network. (I’m on Facebook, but not nearly as active.) Once back at work, I convinced the higher-ups (who, thankfully, have always been supportive of my new ideas) to allow me to use Twitter for marketing purposes, which, truth be told, only furthered my addiction.

The Dennard Family, Summer 2010

The @TextileWorldMag account was booming, but healthcare soon called my name from across the hall. Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research – also Billian Publishing companies – were in need of marketing assistance and I was ready for a new challenge. With the help of a few like-minded individuals, we worked to truly understand what healthcare was all about for our business and those of our customers – no small challenge as healthcare reform was ushered in – and to transition that knowledge into effective editorial marketing. (I like the term “branded” marketing, myself.)

To make a long story even longer, I am now Social Marketing Director at Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research, responsible for their overall social media strategies. This involves daily use of LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, not-so-daily use of Foursquare, developing educational webinars around our products and services, managing editorial partnerships with industry-related websites, and staying abreast of the latest marketing developments these platforms enable. And I do a bit of writing for their websites and e-newsletter, the Healthcare Intelligence Hub.

Perhaps the part of my job that I love the most is the fact that I get paid to stay educated about a subject I have a true interest in – one that affects everyone I know. And then on top of that, I get to write about it! Which is why it pleases me so much to join the EMRandEHR.com team, whose writers I’ve been following for awhile now.

Do I need another excuse to peruse my favorite industry news sites and blogs? Not really. Will I take advantage of the excuse to stay up a little later, scribbling my thoughts down on how my daughter’s pediatrician’s new EMR will affect our next office visit? You betcha.

This is one dream that won’t get left behind.