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Had anyone else seen these stickers? I thought they were awesome and a great reminder that not everything can be solved with technology. As literally @techguy on Twitter, this might sound a bit odd coming from me. However, I’ve often said that I think technology can make almost everything better, but that doesn’t mean it should.

In the healthcare IT world, you could solve a problem with technology, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best solution. In many cases the solution is something much simpler. For example, sometimes you have to trust people. It’s a scary idea for many leaders, but it’s something I’ve seen in the very best organizations. They build a culture of trust that’s incredibly powerful. It’s amazing how many things become simpler when you have trust.

Back to the original picture at the top. I’m reminded of this beautiful story Allison Massari recounted at the CHIME CIO Forum at HIMSS this year. At one point in her story Allison recounted how she was laying in the hospital bed in incredible pain (for those not familiar she had a huge portion of her body burned in a car accident). A nurse came into her room and after seeing Allison realized the extreme pain she was going through. Allison recounted that the nurse stopped what she was doing, gently took her hand and spent a moment with her consoling her.

I love technology as much as the next, but there’s no app that looks into someone’s eyes and sees their pain. There’s no app that will stop and hold your hand and console you.

April 29, 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.

Should Health IT Consulting Companies Do Software?

I’ve had a lot of conversations recently with a lot of the top health IT and EHR consulting companies out there today. I imagine this is partially a result of attending the CHIME Annual Forum and also bringing the Healthcare IT Central’s job board into the Healthcare Scene network. Either way, I’ve been intrigued by all the various approaches that healthcare IT consulting companies take.

In one of my conversations, someone suggested to me that if a health IT consulting company does software and consulting, then it angers the health IT software vendors. On its face you can see where this could be a challenge. In some cases it can turn a consulting company into a competitor with the software company. I think there’s a nuanced way to approach this that can avoid the issue in many cases, but no doubt it takes a unique leader with a special vision to handle the balance.

In another conversation with Ivo Nelson we were discussing his software and consulting company. I asked him why he had two companies with practically the same name and addressing much of the same market area. He then told me that it was because he believed that it was really hard to have a software company and a consulting company under the same roof. As we talked more I realized that the real challenge is that if you try and do both, one of them becomes the red-headed step child that doesn’t get enough attention (nothing against red heads or step children since I love them both).

What do you think? Can a consulting company also be a software vendor? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.

December 4, 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.

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.

Honoring Government Furloughs

With so many government employees on furlough today, I thought I’d honor them by doing the same on this blog. At ONC, only 4 people were not furloughed. That’s amazing. Should we feel bad for those 4 that are still at work?

Next week I’ll be at CHIME most of the week. So, this cartoon about the government sequestration (which caused similar issues to the furloughs) seemed appropriate. If you’ll be at CHIME 2013, I hope you’ll say Hi.
Government Furlough Cartoon

October 4, 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.

Big Data, Predictive Analytics Priorities For Healthcare Organizations

Leveraging big data and healthcare analytics are key initiatives for C-suite healthcare executives, but barriers to making progress still remain, according to an item in iHealthBeat.

According to a survey by the eHealth Initiative and the College of Health Information Management Executives, about 80 percent of CIOs and other C-suite healthcare executives see big data and predictive analytics use as important goals for their organizations, iHealthBeat reports.

But it won’t come easy. In fact, 84 percent of respondents said that implementing these strategies and tools are a challenge for their organization. And only 45 percent said they had a plan in place to manage the growing volume of electronic data.

The survey, which questioned 102 executives in May and June, found that 90 percent of respondents used analytics for quality improvement, 90 percent used analytics for revenue cycle management, and 66 percent used analytics for fraud prevention. Also, 82 percent of survey respondents said that population health management is important to their analytic strategy.

Meanwhile, 82 percent of those responding said that health information exchange is important, according to iHealthBeat.

As for data sources, administrative- and claims-based data were most used, at 77 percent and 75 percent respectively. Eighteen percent of respondents’ staff were trained to handle the data, and 16 percent used third-party organizations to overcome staff shortages for data analysis.

Despite execs’ enthusiasm for big data/predictive analytics use, however, significant obstacles remain to rolling out such programs, iHealthBeat reports.  According to a separate CIC Advisory survey, budget strain and lack of needed skills is delaying the use of analytics at many healthcare organizations.

According to that survey, building an enterprise analytics system is held back by the difficulty of integrating different analytic systems. Moreover, most organizations don’t have a dedicated analytics or business intelligence team, and many rely on outside analytics consultants.

All of that being said, it seems guaranteed that hospitals and other healthcare organizations will eventually find a way to leverage big data. Healthcare organizations expect to keep ramping up their spending on data discovery and predictive analytics in coming months and years, research suggests.

In the mean time, however, there’s a ton of work to do, staff to be hired and trained and integration to be done. It’s going to be an uphill battle.

August 16, 2013 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.

Planning for EHR Consultants in an EHR Go Live

At CHIME 2012 I asked David Tucker, MBA, MHA, FCHIME, VP of National Sales at ESD and Kelly Mulligan, RN, BA, Chief Operating Officer at ESD about how a hospital CIO should plan for an EHR consultant. While we’d love to think that a hospital could just ask for an EHR consultant and have one there the next day, the reality is much different. Sure, you could have an EHR consultant there the next day, but if you want the best EHR consultants it takes some forethought and planning to make sure you get on their schedule. David Tucker, former hospital CIO, talks more about planning for EHR consultants in the video below.

December 13, 2012 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.

Why Don’t We Groom the Next Generation of Health IT Leaders?


What’s really interesting about my tweet above is that the person that asked me why their weren’t young people at CHIME was actually the wife of someone attending CHIME. She was a healthcare IT outsider that was just observing the situation from the outside.

It’s a very good question and all that I could tell this nice lady was, I don’t know. The reality is that CHIME and all the other major health IT conferences should be embracing and facilitating the next generation of health IT leaders. If they don’t then healthcare will be in a bad position. The next generation of hospital CIOs need to learn from the current crop of hospital CIOs.

I know that I ruffled some feathers with my previous post about the “Old Boys Club” of Healthcare IT, but this is another example of it. I was amazed that I was the youngest person at CHIME and by a long shot. The only people that came close in age were some of the vendors participating in the event.

What are we doing in healthcare IT to groom the next generation of leaders? From my view, not very much. It’s unfortunate, because your hospital CIO won’t live forever (as hard as he may try).

November 21, 2012 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.

The Cloud and Hospitals

Let’s talk about The Cloud and Hospitals for a minute. At a session I attended at CHIME a hospital CIO said, “There’s still a lot of unknown with cloud.”

At first I was a little taken back by the comment. As an IT guy, it seems like cloud has been around forever. Plus, I would bet that every single hospital has a number of cloud based IT systems in their IT environment.

What then could be the unknown issues with the cloud that this CIO was talking about?

I found this really great resource on the IBM website about the cloud and healthcare. They hit on what is probably the biggest unknown with the cloud, HIPAA. Here’s a section which describes why it’s such an unknown.

Cloud providers hold a unique position as BAs entrusted with EPHI. When HIPAA was enacted, the concept of “the cloud” didn’t exist and probably could not have been predicted. Covered entities and other BAs are increasingly choosing to store health information in the cloud.

Then he adds in these cloud challenges:

Transferring data to the cloud comes with unique issues that complicate HIPAA compliance for covered entities, traditional BAs, and now cloud providers themselves. They include issues of control, access, availability, shared multitenant environments, incident preparedness and response, and data protection

All of these should provide any hospital CIO a moment of pause. As another hospital CIO I talked with said, “we’re still doing the cloud, but we are careful about who we work with in the cloud and how we do it.”

I think this will be the reality for the forseeable future. It takes a really well done trusted relationship for a hospital to trust a cloud provider. In the small ambulatory practice space it’s very different since there’s little doubt that the cloud provider can do much better than your neighborhood tech guy. However, this is not the case in hospitals where the decision to use the cloud or your existing in house IT staff and resources is much more complex.

The reality is that every hospital is likely going to have a mixed hosting strategy with some software hosted in house and some software hosted in the cloud. This means that every hospital CIO is going to have to figure out the cloud even if there’s still some difficult to answer questions.

November 1, 2012 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.

My Surprise Breakfast with Epic CEO Judy Faulkner

One of the highlights of my experience at CHIME 2012 was a surprise breakfast that happened on the final day of CHIME. I actually was a touch late to breakfast after skipping out of a mostly empty room talking about HIPAA (imagine that on the last day of a conference). I got my breakfast and sat down at a table of what turned out to be mostly hospital CIOs.

Meals at CHIME turned out to be a great time to meet, connect and learn from the hospital CIOs that attended. A lively conversation was happening when a lady sat down next to me. I looked up and to my surprise the lady sitting next to me was none other than Judy Faulkner, CEO of Epic. I’m sure she had no idea who I was and I later realized that she likely sat next to me because on the other side of her was a hospital CIO she wanted to apologize to for something that had happened months before.

As an EHR blogger, I admit that I was probably a bit star struck sitting next to Judy. This was probably accentuated by the stigma (right or wrong) that Epic doesn’t like the media very much. So, I decided that rather than probe into Judy like a normal media person (I prefer to be a thought leader as much as I am a journalist anyway), I decided to just sit back and mostly listen.

It made for a really interesting experience since one of the first things Judy talked about was apologizing to this hospital CIO. I’m sure the cynics out there would say that she was probably apologizing because she wanted to further Epic’s business with that CIO. However, that wasn’t the impression I got from Judy. Instead, I got the impression that she had a real feeling of guilt that something she had done had caused other people some amount of trouble. In fact, how troubled she was by something most of us wouldn’t think twice about I think says something about Judy. I think some like to characterize her as a tough, driven, hard-nosed, business woman. Maybe she is in the boardroom, but my experience at breakfast was of her as a very thoughtful caring person.

When I told some of my colleagues about my experience with Judy, she told me I’d been seduced. Maybe she’s right. From my experience I saw a very kind, compassionate Judy.

I’ll wait to share all of the things I learned from my time with Judy for another time, but I did also have an interesting conversation with Judy about Twitter and social media. I think the conversation began because I playfully suggested that she should post whatever we were talking about to Twitter. I say playfully, because I was quite sure I’d never seen Judy on Twitter or any other social media and so I was interested to see her response. She responded something like, “I hope I live my whole life and never go on Twitter.”

While I was partially taken back by the sharpness of her response (Although, thinking back I shouldn’t have been surprised), I replied that “Twitter’s not about ‘what I ate today’ and that there was real value to engaging on Twitter.” To Judy’s credit, she then asked why I thought she should be on Twitter.

My response in the moment was pretty terrible. I told her about Twitter’s ability to “connect people.” While this is valuable to many people, the last thing that Judy wants in her position is more random people connecting with her. After giving such a lackluster response, I decided a broader answer I could have given would be, “Social media is about people and people are the most valuable asset in the world. Social media leverages people in amazingly powerful ways.”

That answer is still not perfect without examples and application, but at least the answer applies more broadly in a way that she could benefit from social media. After this experience, I asked myself if I was doing a keynote on healthcare social media, what would I say?

I’ve already come up with 21 ways to benefit from social media. I’ve also started creating a list of very specific examples of social media in healthcare. If you have more examples, I’d love to hear them in the comments. It only seems fitting that I’d use social media to help me put together this resource, right?

I’m still debating the best way to spread what I gather about healthcare social media, but I think it needs to happen. I still run into far too many people that think that social media is just about what you ate for lunch or your drunken pictures with friends. More people need to be informed about the amazing possibilities with healthcare social media. Plus, next time I happen upon breakfast with Judy Faulkner, I’ll have a much better answer for her.

October 29, 2012 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.