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The Connection of Sports and Healthcare

It seems like the soccer tide has hit the US as more and more as ESPN finally decided to broadcast the entire World Cup. The viewer numbers have been great. I expect many in healthcare will be tied to their computers or a TV in their hospital watching the US play Germany today. While not totally universal, it’s amazing the way sports can bring people together.

I was reminded of this when I saw this tweet from Mass General Hospital in Boston:

I’m a Dolphins fan, but understand why many would love to see Gronk and other Patriot players at their hospital. Pretty cool. Plus, so many hospitals are non-profits, so I guess this is considered charity work for the players. No doubt sports can be a great way for a team to bond together.

Of course, what does this have to do with healthcare IT? Nothing really. Unless you’re the IT director at a hospital that’s watching your bandwidth consumption during the 2 hours of the World Cup go through the roof. That would be interesting to see.

I guess it’s fair to say I have a bit of World Cup fever as well.

June 26, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

What Can a Hospital Learn from Snapchat?

For those of you who don’t follow the trends, Facebook started the social network fun. Although, more and more youngsters are moving from Facebook to Instagram. Now, we’re seeing more and more people using Instagram and Snapchat. I’m sure some of you reading this are saying, “What’s Snapchat?”

Here’s a good description of Snapchat for that aren’t familiar with it:

Using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as “Snaps”. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (as of April 2014, the range is from 1 to 10 seconds),[6] after which they will be hidden from the recipient’s device and deleted from Snapchat’s servers.

In the Facebook world, Zuckerberg told us all that we should all use our full name and that we should share everything with the world and keep it as a kind of history of our life forever. That’s been a really popular model and has a lot of benefits. However, the popularity of Snapchat shows that there’s also a lot of value in something that has much more restrictive and temporary life.

To describe it more simply, people are getting more interested and sophisticated in their approach to privacy.

Today, I think it’s fair to say that we have the Facebook model for data. Any data we collect we need to keep and preserve forever. The idea of ever deleting data is a sin of the highest degree. There are a lot of reasons why this model is used in healthcare. However, I wonder if a hospital could benefit from a snapchat like platform that allows you to communicate across the organization without the eternal nature of that conversation being stored in the patient record forever.

I’m sure the privacy advocates will come out and say that it’s a terrible idea. Why would healthcare providers want to communicate something that doesn’t get documented in the chart. Plus, heaven forbid something be said that the patient doesn’t get to access and see. All of these concerns are overblown. I know they are, because these private conversations have been happening since the beginning of medicine. They just happen in the hallways or on a phone call instead of an online message.

Much like consumers, we need to get a lot more sophisticated in our approach to how we handle our communication and the privacy of that communication.

May 2, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

HIMSS CIO Forum

If you’re in the hospital space and you don’t know about the 2014 CIO Forum at HIMSS, then you’re really missing out. The event is put together by CHIME and HIMSS and it is one of the largest group of hospital CIO’s that you will find anywhere. The only place that might have more hospital CIOs is the CHIME Fall Forum. Imagine a ballroom full of the top hospital healthcare IT leaders and that’s the CIO Forum at HIMSS.

Sadly I won’t be arriving until late on Saturday and so I’ll miss the opening reception, but I’m definitely planning to stop by the Sunday sessions after I take care of my church duties (which during HIMSS is ironically a fun place to meet HIMSS attendees). Sunday they have a list of speakers, but the biggest value is being able to connect and learn from the hospital CIOs.

As I posted about today on EMR and EHR, I love the social media at HIMSS, but I also love the experience at the CIO Forum.

Wow..this sounds like a big sales pitch. Well, I have no reason to pitch it. I just thought some readers might not know about it and be interested. Plus, if any of you are attending as well, I’d love to meet you. It’s certainly become an important part of my time at HIMSS.

Let me know what other parts of HIMSS you’re looking forward to attending. I’ve mostly put off my schedule for now, but in the next couple days I’m going to start scheduling it all out. Any feedback or suggestions are certainly welcome.

February 11, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Kaiser Sales and IT Implementation Process

I was really impressed by this blog post by Danielle Cass, Innovation Evangelist in Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation & Advanced Technology Group (sounds like a fun, but tough job) on the HBR blogs. If you’re trying to sell something to hospitals, then you should really take the time to read the whole blog post.

Danielle opens with the crux of the challenge that any healthcare innovation meets when they try to get a hospital to adopt their technology.

No matter how many creative solutions we drum up to improve quality of care and service in the U.S. health system, they won’t do much good if only a few clinicians and institutions know about them and apply them.

But how do you overcome obstacles to spreading innovation, like fear of change, resource constraints, and slow, consensus-based decision making? By connecting people so they can quickly and easily share insights, collaborate on prototypes, and draft off one another’s enthusiasm and momentum. As Atul Gawande put it in a recent New Yorker article, “Human interaction is the key force in overcoming resistance and speeding change.”

In the rest of the post, Dannielle goes through the process of how a new innovative technology was introduced at Kaiser. It provides as clear a look as I’ve ever seen into the challenge of selling into hospitals and getting the technology implemented. It’s a slow process with a lot of challenges.

No doubt Kaiser is a unique institution, but from my experience many hospital systems experience some of the very same problems. It’s very easy to talk about innovation, but it’s a harder thing to get that innovation to diffuse through the organization.

Maybe this is just top of mind as I plan the first ever Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference, but it really illustrates the challenge that health IT companies face selling their product into hospitals. It’s a major process to find the right people and get the right people on board with the vision of your product.

January 14, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Hospital CIO Challenges at CHIME13

For those who haven’t discovered my new EHR video website, you should go check it out now and sign up for it’s email list. I’ll be doing regular interviews with some of the top healthcare IT leaders in the country. I think many of you will enjoy it.

This week however, I knew I’d be at the CHIME Fall CIO Forum and so I decided to twist things up a little and have our very own Anne Zieger interview me about what I’d seen and heard at CHIME. We talk a lot about the challenges hospital CIOs face when it comes to meaningful use, ICD-10, HIEs and changing reimbursement. I think you’ll enjoy the insights that are shared. Enjoy the video embedded below (please excuse the poor lighting, but maybe that’s better since it’s me on camera).

Also, let us know if there are other people you’d like to see us interview. We’re always interested in hearing our readers/viewers thoughts on where we should take it.

October 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

Facebook Like Now Covered by the First Amendment – Applications for Healthcare

A big court case, Bland v. Roberts, has recently ruled that the Facebook Like is now covered by the first amendment. This was an overturn of a previous lower court ruling. Here’s the summary of the case from The Atlantic:

In November of 2009, B.J. Roberts, the sheriff of Hampton, Virginia, ran for re-election. A group of workers in Roberts’ office, however, among them one Bobby Bland, weren’t enthused about the prospects of their boss’s continuation in his role. So they took to their Facebook accounts to protest the run: They Liked the campaign of Roberts’s opponent, Jim Adams. Despite the minuscule mutiny, however, Roberts won the election. He then chose not to retain Bland and the others as his employees. The dismissals, Roberts said at the time, were the result not only of budgeting concerns, but also of the workers’ hindrance of “the harmony and efficiency of the office.” The sheriff had not liked his workers’ Likes.

Bland and his colleagues took Roberts to court, arguing that, in the dismissals, Roberts had violated their First Amendment rights. In April of 2012, however, the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia dismissed the case on the grounds that a Like didn’t involve an “actual statement,” and therefore was “insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection.”

Yesterday, however, that decision was overturned. A federal appeals court ruled that a Facebook Like is, indeed, a form of expression that is covered by the First Amendment. Clicking a button is, per the decision, a protected form of speech.

Of course, those reading this must be wondering how this applies to healthcare.

Some of you might remember last month when several Spectrum Health employees were terminated over a picture posted to Facebook. The employee who posted the picture was fired and so was everyone who liked it.

I’m not saying that these cases are the same. Posting a picture that could be considered a violation of HIPAA and could be a violation of an organizations social media policy is different than a police officer liking an opposing Sheriff’s page. However, I wouldn’t want to be Spectrum Health if the employees who liked the Facebook photo brought a wrongful termination lawsuit. There are a lot of intricacies to a case that covers so many areas of the law.

In another international example, 15 nurses were fired from a hospital for liking someone’s comment which was critical of the hospital. Certainly the Philippines has different laws than we have in the US. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar thing happen in the US. Considering the latest ruling, I’d be really careful if I were a hospital firing someone based on social media.

My favorite thing is when healthcare organizations try and control and restrict social media. As many institutions have learned, that’s impossible to do. Instead, it’s much more effective to educate and inform people on their use of social media. The best reason you should educate and inform as opposed to control and restrict is the message it sends to your employees. The former sends a message of trust and respect while the later does the opposite.

September 23, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

A Quick Hospital View from SXSW

I’m in the middle of the arduous two-fer of HIMSS and then SXSW. I guess I should call this the year of the enormous conferences since I started the year at CES. The amazing thing is that healthcare is starting to have a larger and larger presence at CES and SXSW (of course it is HIMSS). I personally came to SXSW with a number of goals in mind. Although, I must admit that finding something interesting for hospitals was not really on that list.

Fast forward to yesterday when I was taking a brief moment in the blogger’s lounge to get off my feet, power up, and browse what was happening online. Across my Twitter stream came a tweet from one of my hospital colleagues that included the hashtag #sxsw. You can imagine my surprise. In fact, I thought for sure that she must have just been watching the SXSW proceedings from back at her Ohio home. I dropped her a message that I’d love to see her at SXSW if in fact she was at the show.

Well, I was wrong and she was indeed at the show. In fact, when I met with her I learned that not only was she at SXSW, but it was her second time attending. We joked about how amazing it was that she was able to get the travel/training approved for SXSW a second year. Of course, she tole me that she found a couple great ideas last year that they implemented, so it made the case for coming this year event better.

I actually talked with her about a new Physia product which we haven’t announced. Plus, I suggested she check out docBeat’s secure messaging for healthcare solution while she was at SXSW since she mentioned wanting a secure text message solution for their residents. So, even if she finds nothing else, I think she now has something interesting to take back to her hospital that she wouldn’t have seen if she wasn’t at SXSW.

I guess the leaders of SXSW were right when they said that you never know who you’re going to meet at SXSW. They call it serendipitous interactions. Obviously it was quite a surprise for me to meet this hospital connection in Austin when I live in Las Vegas and she lives in Ohio. I have a half dozen other interesting interactions that I would have never expected at SXSW. On the one hand the event is so large that you don’t know where to turn and what to do next. On the other hand it’s been a tremendous experience meeting and learning from people across the spectrum of life.

I’m not necessarily suggesting that every hospital needs to come to SXSW, but I’ve been surprised how even a healthcare IT nut like me could find much value at SXSW.

March 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 14 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

EMRs Snag Just One VC Investment Last Quarter

If you’re looking for signs that the EMR market is consolidating, especially on the small vendor/startup side, consider the following data and see what it tells you. To me, it suggests very clearly that the days of unbridled EMR startup growth are tailing off quickly.

According to a report by Mercom Capital Group, VC funding in the health IT sector was strong in Q3 2012, with $194 million going into 37 deals during the period.  This is the 5th quarter in a row that the dollars invested in HIT ventures has gone up, Mercom reports.

Health information management companies got the most funding in the sector ($101 million across 20 deals), dwarfing the $39 million sunk in mobile health and $26 million in social health networking companies.  That being said, EMRs only logged a single $1 million investment during the last quarter. Meanwhile, there were two EMR M&A transactions this quarter.

Far more interesting is the list of deals that were closed in other subsectors. For example, he top HIT VC funding deal in Q3 was $25.5 million raised by Telcare, a mobile health company using cellular machine-to-machine to manage chronic illnesses. Other deals included $20 million for Connecture, an online health insurance process automation company focused on health insurance exchanges and $13 million for eClinical technology provider Clinipace.

While it’s not exactly a set-game-match point to make, I’d argue that this data is instructive. VC money is migrating away to infrastructure plays, mHealth and social health networking, next-round investments which are likely to make the make the right investors a bundle.

Another way of putting this is that while we’re not seeing any signs that EMR vendors are outta luck, EMR startups aren’t the hot, sexy thing on the block any more. Could it be that we’re finally seeing the market mature and beginnings of M&A and business failures in some EMR sectors?  In a word I’d say, “yes.”

November 27, 2012 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies.