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Are 3 Square Meals the Key to Avoiding Hospitalizations?

Posted on July 16, 2015 I Written By

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin is a true believer in #HealthIT, social media and empowered patients. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He currently leads the marketing efforts for @PatientPrompt, a Stericycle product. Colin’s Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung

We’d like to welcome a new guest blogger to our ranks. If you’re on social media, you probably know Colin Hung (@Colin_Hung), Co-Host of #hcldr. Colin is also head of Marketing for @PatientPrompt, a product offered by Stericycle Communication Solutions. We look forward to many posts from Colin in the future.

On our weekly #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat, we had two special guests who have done pioneering healthcare work – Leonard Kish (@LeonardKish) and Dave Chase (@chasedave). Together Kish and Chase authored the #95Theses, a wonderful call-to-action for those of us in healthcare that’s written in same style as the seminal Cluertain Manifesto.

The first topic of last night’s #hcldr chat was “What are some creative/effective ways patients can use to avoid hospitalizations?”. There were many interesting and insightful answers, but one tweet from Chase really caught my eye:

The first statement was fascinating – Meals on Wheels as a way to reduce hospital admissions.

This concept is at the heart of the discussion around Social Determinants of Health (#sdoh) – a topic that has gotten a lot of buzz over the past couple of years. There is a really great definition of SDOH on the WHO website. I’d also recommend this blog post from John Lynn on a similar topic from earlier this year.

As we move towards a system that is based on wellness rather than sickness, I wonder if healthcare providers and organizations will look to preventative measures such as providing meals or teaching basic nutrition as a way to keep their communities healthy? Will the day come when this type of service will become necessary for a provider to remain relevant?

I doubt that most providers and healthcare organizations will reach this point by their own volition. However, I do believe that some innovative organization and entrepreneurial companies will emerge that will make this a reality in specific communities.

I would love to see a future where we will have community wellness centers where we used to have hospitals – places where local people can gather to learn about how to stay healthy and get social as well as emotional support from their peers. These centers would be helped by a network of technologies that combine an individual’s personally tracked data with insights gleaned from “Big Data” analytics resulting in a personalized wellness plan. A plan that includes recommendations for 3 square meals each day that would optimize a person’s health and has the facilities to then create those meals and a mechanism to deliver them (especially to elder adults who lack mobility).

I am excited and intrigued by the possibility that something as simple as a meal can be the key ingredient in reducing healthcare costs while improving health.

Know anyone who is doing this already?

Finding New People on Healthcare Social Media and The Power of Showing Gratitude

Posted on July 13, 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.

I know that many in healthcare aren’t sure how to get started with social media. The reality is that Twitter is not very fun until you’re following 50-100 smart people that share interesting content, tweets, images, and videos. Once you do that, your entire Twitter experience changes because it’s a great font of learning and connection.

In case you don’t read one of my other blogs, EMR and HIPAA (and if you don’t why don’t you?), we recently announced the #HIT99. For those that don’t want to click into the post, you can basically include the hashtag #HIT99 in a tweet along with someone you want to nominate for the #HIT99 and why you’re nominating them. You can see that a lot of #HIT99 nominations have occurred.

For those of you new to social media, following people nominated to the #HIT99 is a great way for you to discover smart, interesting people in healthcare IT. Follow 50-100 people nominated and you’ll start to love Twitter and all you learn on it. The #HIT99 is a smorgasborg of social media discovery and connection. Finding new, interesting people to follow is always a treat. The #HIT99 provides the perfect opportunity to find and connect with new people you’d have never “met” otherwise.

Of course, if you’re already on social media, there’s a lot more to the #HIT99 if you participate. The #HIT99 asks that you mention why you’re nominating someone. These displays of gratitude are powerful for you and the person receiving it. Even if you don’t want to participate in the #HIT99, think about doing something similar using whatever medium you prefer. It’s a powerful idea that will reap major rewards for everyone involved.

I look forward to many in the Hospital EMR and EHR community participating in the #HIT99. In case you need an example, here’s a nomination that I sent (and is a great person to follow):

Let’s let the social media connection and gratitude flow! We can use more of that in this world.

8 Things the Hospital Website of the Future Will Include

Posted on May 15, 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.

The Wall Street Journal has an article that talks about what the hospital website of the future will look like. In the article, the writer offers these 8 suggestions for what a hospital website will include in the next 10 years:

  1. Real-time patient reviews and observations
  2. Quality ratings
  3. Your protected medical record
  4. Literally see a clinician, right now
  5. Advanced help with medications
  6. Prices
  7. Consumer specials
  8. Food ratings

The only one I’d really argue with is the quality ratings item. I think that measuring quality is a really challenging thing and I’m not sure anyone will do it well enough that hospitals will be publishing those ratings on their website.

What’s more important about this list is that almost every one of them could be implemented in a hospital today. There is nothing on the list is not easily achieved technically. A few of them have some financial challenges like “literally see a clinician, right now”, but many in telemedicine are working on that as well.

If I were to describe these changes, I’d suggest that the shift you see described is one of a website that looks to engage the patient versus today’s hospital website which generally tries to not engage the patient. This will be a welcome shift for patients and a major culture shift for hospitals.

John Oliver Nails the Patents Discussion

Posted on April 21, 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.

I’ve long had an issue with patents. On the one hand, I agree that we need to protect someone’s efforts to invent something. On the other hand, I’ve seen patent trolls that literally use patents to stifle innovation and put companies out of business. If you aren’t familiar with what’s happening, watch the video of John Oliver below where he describes the patent problem so well.

As more and more hospitals invest in commercializing their research this discussion is going to be very important for these hospitals. It will be interesting to see how this discussion evolves over time. Not to mention the legislation around patents.

Mostashari’s Call for “Day of Action” Is a Double Edged Sword

Posted on April 13, 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.

Neil Versel has a great article on MedCity News that covers some comments from Farzad Mostashari at HIMSS 2015. Here’s a section of his article:

Patient advocates are planning a “day of action” to generate mass demand for consumer access to medical records in the wake of a plan to roll back the Meaningful Use requirement for engaging patients in their own care.

“I think we need to show the policymakers that they’re not just pushing rope here. We need to show that there’s demand,” former national health IT coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari said Sunday afternoon during a preconference symposium on patient engagement before the start of HIMSS15 in Chicago.

While I think that Farzad’s suggestion is noble in idea, my gut tells me that it could backfire in a very significant way. You have to remember that a call for a “day of action” is a double edge sword. If that day goes off successfully, then it could make a great case for why we should be requiring the 5% patient engagement in meaningful use as opposed to the single patient record download that’s just been proposed.

However, the opposite can also happen too. If you call for a day of action and then patients don’t request access to their records, then it will lead many to say “We were right. Patients don’t care about accessing their patient records.” This conclusion would be incredibly damaging to the movement towards patients’ getting access to their medical records.

This would be true even if there were other reasons that the day of action wasn’t successful. For example, if you do some poor PR and marketing of the day of action, then It could very likely fail. I’m talking big boy PR and marketing to really get the word out to patients. Healthcare social media and even all of the attendees at HIMSS won’t have the power to get the word out about this idea in order to really see it take off.

While I think the goal is noble and Farzad is right that patients need to really start demanding their data, I think this idea of a “Day of Action” could end really poorly if we’re not careful about it.

The Future of…Healthcare IT

Posted on March 23, 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.

As part of HIMSS 2015, they’re holding a blog carnival where people throughout the healthcare IT community can contribute blog posts covering 5 different topics. Each topic looks at “The Future of…” and then “Connected System, Big Data, Security, Innovation, and Patient Engagement.” I thought the topics were quite interesting, so I created a post for each of the 5 topics. Here’s links to each of them:

I’d love to have you chime in on each of the topics that interest you. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my commentary and prognostication. Even better, feel free to write your own blog post on any or all of these topics. They are important topics that will make up much of what happens in healthcare IT.

Are there any other “Future of…” topics you wish would have been discussed?

Is Your Hospital Embracing or Ignoring Social Media?

Posted on March 16, 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.


At this point, I don’t think there’s any argument that social media influencers our health choices. In the above mentioned survey, 40% of them realize that it’s impacting them. Trying to say that social media doesn’t influence health decisions is like trying to say that your friends and family don’t influence your health decisions. Social media is the new way we communicate with friends and family. They influenced our health before social media and are still doing it, but in the new social media medium.

We know that social media is influencing health decisions, but is your hospital embracing the power of social media or trying to ignore it? I bet most hospital CIOs have no idea. I bet most hospital CMO (Chief Medical Officers) don’t know much better either.

There’s a simple way for you to know how well your hospital is embracing social media. Just ask yourself the question, “Is social media in my hospital considered a marketing and PR task?”

If the answer to that question is yes, then you have not embraced social media in your hospital. Certainly there is a lot of opportunity for a hospital marketing and PR department to use social media and they should (Side Note: I have a conference focused on hospital social media, so I intimately know the power of it in marketing and PR). However, if social media is only considered a marketing and PR task, then your hospital is missing out on so many benefits that can come from a hospital using social media.

The first step to embracing this culture is involving your hospital CIO and hospital CMO (Chief Medical Officer) in social media. They’ll have ideas and insights into how to use social media that go well beyond marketing a hospital’s services. In the new value based reimbursement world, this new form of outreach and connection to patients is going to be critical.

The second step to embracing hospital social media is to put budget and resources (ie. people) behind the initiatives that are created by your marketing/PR team, IT team, and medical team. There’s very little value that’s created from a meeting of these people without the ability to follow through on the ideas and suggestions they create.

Sadly, most hospitals have never even had this meeting (possibly because they don’t want to commit the resources). Those few hospitals who have had this meeting haven’t committed the resources needed to turn their ideas into reality. I think these are both failed strategies for hospitals that will catch up to them in a big way. I think a hospital’s approach to social media will soon tell us a lot about a hospital’s approach to patient care.

HIMSS15 and Hospital Marketing Conference

Posted on March 4, 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.

I was looking over my calendar yesterday and realized that the HIMSS Annual conference is just around the corner. I’m sure that many of you know about the event that brings together over 1200 healthcare IT vendors together with somewhere around 30,000 attendees. Long story short, it’s a massive healthcare IT event that brings together so many people in the healthcare IT industry.

Since we live, breathe and sleep healthcare IT, it’s an amazing event for us to connect with thousands of healthcare IT professionals. Plus, we do a lot of work with vendors who are exhibiting at the event and want to help differentiate themselves from the other 1200 vendors. If you’re from a vendor that’s interested in what we have to offer, reach out to us on our contact us page.

Will you be at HIMSS 2015? If so, we’d love to know about it and love meeting our readers in person. I’ll be leading a social media and influencer meetup at HIMSS and we’ll be announcing the details for the New Media Meetup on Tuesday evening very soon.

If you won’t be at HIMSS, check out our Spring 2015 Healthcare IT Conference and Event schedule to see where else we’ll be.

Hospital Marketing, Social Media, and PR Conference
One of the events on that list is the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference which we organize. We’ve really worked to expand the event to be of interest to hospital marketing, PR and social media professionals. For example, we’ve added a number of hospital marketing focused sessions to the conference program.

It’s always interesting to see who takes on the marketing and social media responsibility at a hospital. Most CIOs see it as a marketing function even though there are a lot of really technical aspects to the marketing and social media needs of a hospital. We have a session at the conference that highlights what an integration of the IT team and the Marketing team can mean for your organization. It’s amazing the difference it can make.

What other healthcare IT events do you have on your agenda this Spring? I always love to hear what people find interesting.

The Healthcare Social Shakeup Infographic

Posted on February 3, 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.

Yesterday, I tuned in for a bit of the ONC Annual meeting. I caught the tail end of the Fireside chat with Karen DeSalvo, and Thomas Daschle and Bill Frist, MD who were both previously senate majority leaders. Near the end of the discussion, Bill offered up that social media is going to be the way that the change happens. He even commented that many in DC (and I think he was including the medical community as well) aren’t that keen on social media. However, he said that 300 million people (seems to be referencing Facebook’s number) are on it and that’s where the conversation and influence are happening.

It was quite an interesting moment to hear someone like him talk about many people in his position’s opposition (or at least dislike of) social media and how it was going to happen anyway. With that as context, I was intrigued by this Healthcare Social Shakeup Infographic by CDW Healthcare. The title of their post sharing this infographic was called “Healthcare has officially gone social!” The same sentiment that Bill Frist shared. I love this excerpt from their post:

So no matter which role you play in the giving and receiving of care, social media is shaking things up and beginning to foster some amazing results: better knowledge of health conditions, increased dialogue, connected support and more patient engagement.[emphasis added]

Healthcare social media is here to stay. The problem is that in most hospitals we’ve treated social media as a marketing task. It’s a technology, but tech doesn’t take any ownership of it. It’s interaction with patients and possibly patient care, but medical doesn’t want to be part of it. It will take all three groups at a hospital to really do it well.

Here’s the infographic mentioned (Thanks CDW Healthcare):
Healthcare Social Media Infographic

Hospital Marketing

Posted on January 30, 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.

I mentioned previously and some of you might have noticed the banner at the top of Hospital EMR and EHR that I organize the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC). In case you haven’t seen the details, it’s happening May 7-8, 2015 in Las Vegas. Early Bird registration is over tomorrow, and so I’ve been seeing a wave of registrations hitting my email inbox as people register at the last minute. It’s been fun and exciting to see the healthcare marketing and PR community come together. If you’re not in that community, please share the conference with your colleagues who are.

This year, we’ve started wading slowly into the general healthcare marketing world. I’m excited by a number of hospital focused marketing presentations that we’re going to have at the event. Sure, there are a lot of sessions on content marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Branding, PR, and social media that apply regardless of your type of organization. However, I’m excited to learn from some real experts in the hospital healthcare marketing space.

If you’re interested in what the conference will cover, we posted a preview of the HITMC 2015 sessions. Although, we still have a number of tricks up our sleeve that we haven’t announced yet. It’s going to be an exciting event.

If these topics interest you, be sure to also check out the #HITMC hashtag on Twitter. We held our first ever #HITMC Twitter chat and it was an extreme success. We’ll be doing another #HITMC chat on 2/24/15 at Noon ET (9 AM PT) where we’ll be talking about making the most of HIMSS. We’ll post the exact topic for the #HITMC chat a week or so before the chat on the Health IT Marketing and PR Conference blog.

Finally, I’d be remiss to do a post on hospital marketing and my conference and not mention the marketing event of the year: The Super Bowl. Let’s have a discussion in the comments about your favorite commercials and other social media you see during the Super Bowl. I’ll come back and add my comments as well.

Plus, my prediction: Seahawks for the Win! Who are you picking?