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Meaningful Use Stage 3 to Come Out Before HIMSS15?

Posted on March 11, 2015 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.

Madelyn Kearns from Medical Practice Insider is reporting that we might see meaningful use stage 3 regulations before HIMSS. Here’s the exact quote from Robert Anthony, deputy director of CMS’ quality measurement and health assessment group:

“We will have two regulations that will come out in time to discuss meaningful use”

It’s hard to imagine that one of these 2 regulations will not be meaningful use stage 3. No doubt CMS and ONC will want to get some feedback from the HIMSS community on meaningful use stage 3. What better place than at the conference?

Madelyn aptly points out that Robert Anthony already has one session scheduled at HIMSS to discuss the meaningful use stage 3 requirements. I have a feeling that is going to be one of the really well attended sessions. Especially if the MU stage 3 rule does come out before HIMSS.

I realize that CMS is bound by laws on when they can announce the various rules and regulations, but I hope they’ve planned out the timeline better than they’ve done in the past. My colleague Neil Versel at Meaningful Health IT News has regularly pointed out how the rules always seem to go public on a Friday. He’s hypothesized that it was the case that they were trying to hide something. I think that’s true for many Washington news stories, but I think it was coincidence in meaningful use’s case.

Even worse than a Friday is the Friday before HIMSS. Talk about ruining the weekend before HIMSS. Although, if I remember right one time they announced the rule in the middle of HIMSS. I remember meeting with a number of EHR vendor’s government relations people who were grumbling about the late night reading of the meaningful use rule that they’d be consuming all night in the middle of the craziness of HIMSS.

Hopefully CMS has learned from past experience and has planned properly to be able to announce the meaningful use stage 3 rule well before HIMSS. Doing so will give people time to look over the rule so they can have a meaningful discussion of the rule at HIMSS as opposed to some frenetic review of what’s been proposed.

Either way, I’m very interested to see what meaningful use stage 3 will look like. My prediction is that it won’t be dramatically different from stage 2. It will be more of the same with maybe 1-2 additions. It’s too bad, because I’d still love to see them blow up meaningful use. Every doctor I know would love to see that as well. Instead I think we’ll be saying “more of the same.”

Athenahealth Goes After Hospitals and Tavenner Steps Down

Posted on January 22, 2015 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.

There were two big pieces of news this week that I thought I’d discuss. Hopefully you’ll also add your thoughts and insights in the comments.

1. Athenahealth Moves Into Hospital Market With Acquisition Of Atlanta Startup RazorInsights
I thought the announcement of this acquisition was really interesting. Literally the day before this came out, someone asked me what I thought of Athenahealth. After some discussion, they said do you think they’ll take on Epic and Cerner. I quickly responded, “Well, they don’t have an inpatient EHR, so they don’t have a dog in the fight.” Well, now they do have a dog in the fight. Of course, RazorInsights still isn’t a big competitor of Epic and Cerner. However, if I know Jonathan Bush, that’s the ambition. At least that’s what his numerous cloud rants lead you to believe that he thinks he can take down Epic and Cerner with one single word: Cloud. We’ll see what RazorInsights can do under the Athenahealth umbrella.

2. CMS Leader Marilyn Tavenner Steps Down
Neil Versel has a great article covering Tavenner’s departure. His comments are pretty interesting when it comes to her staying low-profile and away from the media during her tenure at CMS. She’s certainly taken a lot of heat from the botched rollout of Healthcare.gov and other programs.

Personally, I’ll most remember her for her promise at HIMSS 2014 that ICD-10 was going to happen and that healthcare organizations better be ready. Of course, we know how that story played out with Congress passing a few lines in the SGR bill to delay ICD-10 another year. Given Tavenner’s promise, I’m quite sure she was blind sided by Congress’ move as well.

I’m not sure her departure is a good or a bad thing for healthcare. I’m sure that the healthcare behemoth will move along like it always has. Best of luck to her wherever she lands. No doubt working in the government in a high profile position is a rather thankless job that usually pays below market wages.

Who do you think will take Tavenner’s position at CMS? Does it matter?

EHR Blogger Attrition

Posted on May 12, 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.

Someone at HIMSS asked me who the up and coming healthcare IT bloggers were in the industry. It was an interesting question. It’s not really sexy to start an EHR blog right now. The golden age of EHR blogging is over and I’m interested to know where EHR and healthcare IT blogging is going to go in the future. The good part is that the use of technology to improve healthcare is never going to go away. It may not be called EHR, but we’ll always be working with the latest technology that can make healthcare better.

As I look through the list of health IT and EHR bloggers on HITsphere, It’s really interesting to see how many bloggers have stopped blogging in the 8.5 years since I started.

Even more than dedicated health IT and EHR bloggers, we’ve seen a lot of company bloggers basically stop as well. For example, I miss seeing Evan Steele’s weekly posts on the EMR Straight Talk blog. Of course, he’s now moved on from the day to day of SRSsoft. I guess that’s a natural part of the cycle, but it’s too bad a company doesn’t continue on with the blog. (UPDATE: After Evan Steele posted a transition post and the people at SRSsoft have taken up and continued with regular blog posts from the new CEO and also many of their staff. I love when there’s a culture of blogging at a company. Nice work SRSsoft) Not that keeping a blog with fresh content is easy. It’s not.

There are still quite a few bloggers that started blogging about the same time as me and are still doing their thing. A few that come to mind include: Neil Versel, HIStalk, Healthcare IT Guy, Lab Soft News, and Christina’s Considerations.

That’s not to say that there aren’t still some great health IT blogs out there. There are still quite a few good ones, but not many new ones. Knowing that I’ll anger some people I don’t list (feel free to mention your blog in the comments and I’ll see about doing a future post with ones not listed here) here are a few of the ones I think do great work: Manage My Practice, Health System CIO, Chilmark Research, and HITECH Answers.

I just remembered this CDW list of Top 50 health IT blogs. It has some other good ones as well. Although, I might be bias since 8 of the 50 are part of Healthcare Scene. I’d love to hear what other blogs you read or places you go for great content.

Digital Health, Connected Health, Wireless Health, Mobile Health, Telehealth – You Choose

Posted on May 7, 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.

Neil Versel posted a great poll asking people which term they prefer. You can vote on it below:

I usually don’t dig into the terminology and branding side of things. At the end of the day, for me it’s all about making sure that we understand each other. If you call something digital health or connected health or mobile health, they’re all the same genre of item. To be honest, I mostly ignore all of those words and want to know what the application actually does.

However, Neil brought up a good point in his post about the lack of consensus in his poll. Here’s his summary of the poll results:

In any case, these results, however unscientific they may be, are representative of the fact that it is so hard to reach consensus on anything in health IT. They also are symbolic of the silos that still exist in newer technologies.

Consensus in healthcare is really hard. I’m reminded of what someone at the Dell Healthcare Think Tank event I participated in said, “Healthcare is second only to florists when it comes to market fragmentation.” It’s like steering a ship with hundreds of rudders all pointing different directions. Certainly not an easy task and not something I see changing soon.

All I Got for Christmas was a New Digital Health App

Posted on December 26, 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.

Last week, I wrote that “All I Want for Christmas is a Doctor’s Appointment.” Turns out what I got – a flu-like cold – put that need into perspective. As luck would have it, I had recently read an article by fellow Healthcarescene.com blogger Neil Versel about AskMD, a new app from the folks at Sharecare. Being a mother of two children who are both in school, and thus exposed to their fair share of colds, I thought I’d get good use out of the symptom checker, which Versel explains, enables users to “choose which symptoms they are feeling and then see which potential health issues they might have. The app then walks the user through a “consultation” in which the app will ask the user a series of questions to identify more specifically what the symptom feels like, when it started, and if there are any other symptoms accompanying it. After the “consultation,” the user can enter in any information about medications that they are taking. When users have finished entering information, AskMD generates a list of potential problems the user might have ordered by the commonality of the potential problems.”

Before rushing to try and make an appointment with my local primary care physician during Christmas break, I decided to give AskMD a whirl. Anything that could potentially save me a co-pay, crowding into a waiting room with other sick folks, and then ultimately being told by my kindly nurse practitioner that the only treatment is rest and fluids, would be beneficial. After entering in an initial main symptom, the app took me through a series of 19 questions, resulting in a list of 11 possible causes, plus a link to find physicians and prepare for my visit. The list of physicians was helpful, and I was surprised to see that Cartersville Medical Center, where I had surgery over the summer, sponsored the results. It’s promising to see small, community hospitals are recognizing the importance of digital health tools.

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While a nasty cold wasn’t something I had bargained for over the holiday, it’s nice to know that a digital health app can bring me some peace of mind as I decide whether to treat my symptoms at home, or ultimately go into the doctor’s office. What digital health app did this Christmas bring your way? Or perhaps a new EMR was on your wish list? Let me know what health IT tools you’ll be ringing in the new year with in the comments below.

Farewell Farzad

Posted on October 6, 2013 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.

As you know, each weekend we pull a few interesting tweets and usually provide commentary on each. This weekend we thought we’d just feature some tweets from Farzad Mostashari’s colleagues as Farzad leaves ONC. If you know of others, please share them in the comments. Also, check out Neil Versel’s interview with Farzad. Farzad will be missed.


Farzad is now Farzad_md on Twitter.

Dilbert Digital Health Cartoon

Posted on August 18, 2013 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.

How can you not love Dilbert? I once heard Scott Adams speak at a conference and it was spectacular. I laughed the whole time and left with an important message. Neil Versel says he spoke at HIMSS in 2005. I can only imagine what he’d say about Healthcare today.

Oh yes, you probably want to see the Dilbert Digital Health cartoon. I’d put it here, but it seems right to have you click the link and check it out on Meaningful Healthcare IT News since he found it.

I love digital sensors. There’s certainly plenty of FUD around them, but for every bad thing there’s a handful of great benefits.

I hope you enjoy a little weekend humor.

Chance to Support Neil Versel and a Great Cause

Posted on August 5, 2013 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.

Most of you know my colleague, Neil Versel who writes the Meaningful Health IT News blog and has also written for pretty much every major Healthcare IT publication that’s existed. I recently got a note from Neil that he was going to participate in a 100 mile bike ride (a century ride as they call it) called the Wrigley Field Road Tour. As part of this ride he raises funds and awareness for two great causes: World Bicycle Relief and Chicago Cubs Charities. By supporting Neil and these charities, you will help fund the provision of bicycles for African students in desperate need of transportation to school as well as helping to better the lives of Chicago-area youth.

Of course, Neil’s too shy to share his story about the ride, so I’ll do it for him and then make a special offer:

The Wrigley Field Road Tour holds a special place in my heart. In 2011, it was my first-ever century ride. After training all summer, my parents made the trip to Chicago for the weekend and followed me up to the finish in Milwaukee, even though my dad was gravely ill and was barely able to travel. Though he could not even get out of the car at the finish, he told me how proud of me he was and that he hadn’t seen me that happy in years. The next day was my parents’ anniversary, and we had brunch at the Drake Hotel in Chicago, where they were married 45 years earlier, a beautiful capper to a perfect weekend. It would be the last visit my dad would make and the last anniversary my parents would celebrate together, as he succumbed to a terrible disease called multiple system atrophy (MSA) in May 2012. Amid all the sadness, my memory of my first Wrigley Field Road Tour is a daily source of inspiration for me.

As of now, Neil’s raised $295 of his $1000 goal. Let’s see if we can come together as a health IT community and push him over his goal. I just donated myself and I hope you will too.

Plus, Neil has made an even better offer:

If I meet the minimum of $400 by August 10, I get a free guest pass to the afterparty on the field at Wrigley, featuring a private performance by the BoDeans, as well as all you can eat and drink. If I get to my goal of $1,000 by August 10, I can bring two guests. I, of course, will pick from my donors. It could be you.

To sweeten the pot even more, I’ll offer a 1 hour call/video chat/meeting to the first seven people/organizations who contribute $100 or more to support Neil. You can use that hour however you want. If you want me to consult you on blogging, social media, or some other topic, we’ll do that. If you want me to talk to your CEO or other experts, I’m happy to do that (which will likely lead to a blog post). Nothing like supporting a great cause and getting something valuable in return.

Let’s make this happen. We only have until August 10th, so go support a great cause today!

Legacy EMR Bloggers

Posted on May 23, 2013 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 had an Italian friend of mine (I lived there for 2 years) find me on Facebook. I hadn’t seen or heard from the man in 10, almost 11 years. It was a joyous reunion and fun to catch up. I really hold relationships dear and truly love seeing people I haven’t seen in years.

One of the funny blogger stories I have was when I reached out to Christina Thielst from Christina’s Considerations. She loves to tell this story to people. First, you have to know that Christina’s blog was one of the first healthcare IT blogs I found when I began blogging 7.5 years ago. In fact, I must admit that I barely knew her name. I always just thought of her as the RHIO (there’s an old term for you) blogger.

Well, 6 years or so later I saw her name and picture on LinkedIn and so I decided to request that we connect. She politely replied that she declined my connection because she only connected with people she knew on LinkedIn. I was a little sad at the response, but replied that she probably had forgotten me and that we’d known each other’s blogs for many years. She then replied with a request to connect and an apology for not recognizing my name. It turns out she was like me and only knew the name of my blog and not my name.

As I thought about these long term relationships it’s fun for me to look back at which blogs were around when I first starting blogging about EMR. Here are a few that come to mind:

Neil Versel – I’m happy that I now consider Neil a friend, but when I first started blogging I looked to him and learned. He was and is a professional journalist and I was just a hack. I learned a lot from him and modeled a lot of what he was doing.

Healthcare Guy – I was always amazed at the stuff Shahid would write on his blog and enjoyed HITSphere which he created. Now he’s my partner in two businesses which we first talked about creating after we met in person at a HIMSS press room. I’m still amazed every time I’m on a call with Shahid. I like to just sit back, listen and learn from him.

HIStalk – I think Mr. H remembers those good old days. The funny thing is that when I first came across his posts they didn’t make much sense to me. They’re so full of industry jargon that it was like reading another language for me. Of course, now it’s often news and rumors I’ve already heard, but I still enjoy his wit. It’s like picking up the healthcare IT tabloids. You can’t look away. Plus, Inga is a sweetheart, even if she won’t tell me who she is. Maybe the Inga mystery is better.

Dalai’s PACS Blog – Sadly someone I have yet to meet in person. The PACS blog was and always has been an irreverent mix of many topics sprinkled with PACS talk. I have a feeling that the blog reflects the writer, which is why I’d love to one day meet him.

The Medical Quack – Barbara Duck has always been a good friend to me. I’ve always hated her blogger design, but she seems to like it. Barbara and I first met on the EMR Update forum (where I really cut my EMR teeth), and she’s always been a kind, but passionate lover of healthcare. I still remember how brave she was to be developing an EMR on her own (she’s since shut it down).

Candid CIO – Still one of my favorite blogs to read. I think Will is one of the smartest hospital CIOs that I’ve met. He has great insight and a great view of his job as CIO. Plus, I love a hospital CIO that’s willing to take time to blog.

The Healthcare Blog – I’m not sure if this one started a little after mine or if I just didn’t find it until after. Although, it was one of the early ones and had great writers like David Kibbe and Vince Kuraitis. Plus, the always interesting Matthew Holt. It’s not exclusively healthcare IT (which is my love), but a huge portion of it is about health IT.

When I think about all of these blogs that have been there since the beginning it’s fun to see so many of them still around and blogging today. That’s a special commitment. Although, I also realized that when it comes to blogs, you might call us the Legacy EMR bloggers. To use my own analogy, are we the Jabba the Hutt EMR bloggers? In some ways I think I am. The question is whether a blogger does better with age like a fine wine or if it just rots and gets thrown out.

Escape the Fire – Healthcare Documentary Film

Posted on March 8, 2013 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 first heard about the Escape the Fire film coming out when Neil Versel posted about it on Meaningful Health IT News. I was really intrigued by the things he mentioned about the film and now after seeing the film I wasn’t disappointed. The film does a good job describing some of the major challenges associated with healthcare today.

Here’s the trailer if you want to learn more about what Escape the Fire is about:

For those interested in just seeing the film, you can buy Escape Fire: Fight to Rescue American Healthcareon Amazon or you can watch the Escape the Fire video on CNN this Sunday, March 10 at 8:00pm & 11:00pm ET. It’s great that CNN has picked up the documentary and will be getting it out to a larger audience.

I also love that the Escape the Fire website has a place where you can “Engage the Issues” and do something in your sphere of influence to improve healthcare. The amazing thing is that we can all do something. Even if that something is as simple as living a healthier lifestyle. That will make a huge difference.

As you’ll see in this movie, the problems in healthcare aren’t simple. In fact, they are very complex and hard to overcome, but one of the first steps to solving the issues is understanding them. This film is a good start to helping a larger group of people understand the issues that plague healthcare.

One challenge I did have with the movie was that it felt like two videos pushed into one. On the one end was the current state of the healthcare system and the other was the military healthcare issues. While there’s certainly plenty of issue overlap, I think that this could have easily been divided into two films as opposed to cramming the two subjects into one.

While I think most of the issues presented in the film aren’t anything new for those of us in healthcare, it was nice to see them all laid out in one place. I’m sure I’ll be thinking a lot about what’s presented for many years to come.