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Does Healthcare IT Need Some Celebrity Endorsement?

Posted on March 17, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Yesterday, I was part of the Dell Healthcare Think Tank event at SXSW. It was a great event that covered a broad range of topics over 3 hours of discussion with some really amazing people like Dr. Eric Topol and Mandi Bishop to name just two of the many. If you missed it, they’ve posted the 3 part recorded live stream.

At one point in the Think Tank discussion, someone suggested that maybe we needed Kim Kardashian to endorse a national patient identifier in order to get it the attention it deserves. The example of Dennis Quad was cited as the model. Basically, a celebrity who is impacted by some ineffective part of the healthcare system. Although, I don’t think anyone would have an issue identifying Kim K, so the national patient identifier and Kim K might not be a match.

There’s no doubt, celebrity has power that can be leveraged to get healthcare messages out. We all know what damage Jenny McCarthy has done with her comments about vaccinations. Something to remember about the double edge sword of celebrity power.

With this on the top of my mind, I was intrigued by this image that came floating across my Facebook page:
Colts Cheerleader Promoting Health

This seems like a mix of celebrity (I think NFL cheerleaders qualify) and sex mixed together to try and improve health. There’s no doubt this ad will catch the eye. I’m not sure this is the best executed campaign. I’m sure some people will try watermelon and tomato from this ad, but does it really promote healthy eating?

One thing is for sure, the right celebrity focused on the right topic can bring a lot of exposure to a topic. We saw that with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as well. Could we push some healthcare IT issues forward using celebrities? Which topics and which celebrities?

The Week of the EMR Celebrity

Posted on July 18, 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.

What a strange week in healthcare IT it’s been, particularly where EMRs are concerned. First came breaking news that Kim Kardashian’s privacy potentially had been breached (insert ironic arch of eyebrow) by Cedars-Sinai employees who had inappropriately accessed patients’ private medical records last month. Then came much more noble press via NPR, which has devoted a series on All Things Considered this week to profiling the world of EMRs:

I had to shush my husband – clap a hand over his mouth, actually – when the NPR interview with Farzad Mostashari came on. “I’ve met that guy!” I told my husband. “He’s a celebrity in our industry, but for all the right reasons!” It was almost invigorating, especially after reading Kardashian headlines, to hear him discuss the many points we’ve all been debating and/or covering for the last few years. He was just as much a compelling cheerleader for the adoption of EMRs and the impact they are likely to have on patient safety as he had been when he bounded across the stage at HIMSS a few years ago.

Which brings us to the middle of the week, when CMS released its latest set of data touting the latest round of EMR success:

  • More than 50% of eligible health care professionals and 80% of eligible hospitals have begun using electronic health record systems since the meaningful use program launched in 2011
  • Shared more than 4.6 million EHR copies with patients;
  • Sent more than 13 million appointment, test and check-up reminders;
  • Checked medication interactions more than 40 million times; and
  • Sent more than 190 million electronic prescriptions

I’m beginning to think that CMS and federal agencies like the ONC are really getting the hang of this media game. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that NPR ran its stories the same week CMS released its latest success story. I just wonder how the general public is digesting this information. With 80% of hospitals now on EMRs, it’s a safe bet that the majority of patients in this country (even Kim Kardashian) have information stored away in one. Are they beginning to realize the benefits this technology brings to their care? Or are most patients still uneasy with the lack of eye contact from their doctors, who are now glued to a computer screen?

Do the CMS numbers tell the whole truth? Has patient safety increased to the detriment of patient satisfaction with bedside manner? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.