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What are you #HITThankful for?

Posted on November 23, 2017 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 speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

It’s Thanksgiving in the US and for many this means spending time with family and friends over insane amounts of cooked poultry (or tofu for our vegetarian friends). It is also the time to stop and think about all the things we are thankful for.

This year, Brian Mack @BFMack, Marketing & Communications manager at Great Lakes Health Connect and member of the #HITsm #HITMC and #hcldr communities, started the #HITThankful hashtag as way for people to share what they are thankful for in HealthIT.

From the tweets that have been shared it’s clear that being thankful for family is at the top of the list, but there have also been many who have been thankful for supportive coworkers and online friends.

This year I am tremendously thankful for the support of all my friends and colleagues in healthcare and HealthIT. I seriously would not have made it through the year had it not been for the encouragement and thoughtfulness of friends like John Lynn, Rasu Shrestha, Joe Babaian, Robert Blount, Nick Adkins, Regina Holliday, Nick van Terheyden, Sarah Bennight, Amy Hamilton, Brittany Quemby, Erin Wold, Cristina Dafonte, Janae Sharp, Tim Kinner, Dennis Nasto, Steve Nickerson, Daniel Kube and Colleen Young.

I got a wake-up call in the spring this year and it forced me to give serious thought to where I was heading professionally. Over the summer I must have spoken with at least 100 friends and family who all told me the same thing – it’s time that I get back to doing something I love doing. For me that’s helping small HealthIT companies grow into big ones. I’m thankful to have the opportunity now to pursue my passion.

I do have to give a special shout-out to John Lynn who has allowed me to contribute blogs to HealthcareScene.com and for believing in me. You are a true friend John and I’m so happy that we are now getting the chance to work together more closely.

I also have to thank everyone in the #hcldr #HITMC #HITsm #pinksocks #HTReads #HealthITChicks #HealthXPh #irishmed and #hcsmsa communities. All of you inspire me to keep the flame burning.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Vendor Involvement in Online Communities – Caution but Proceed Forward

Posted on May 22, 2017 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 speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

At the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit #HMPS17 (May 8-10 in Austin TX), I presented alongside Dan Dunlop @dandunlop President of Jennings and Cindy Price Gavin @cindypricegavin, Founding Executive Director of Let’s Win! Sharing Science Solutions for Pancreatic Cancer. The three of us will discuss Online Communities

The same week on the #hcldr tweetchat we asked the community for opinions on vendor involvement in online healthcare communities:

  • Should healthcare vendors join online communities or stay clear?
  • Should online communities like #hcldr #lcsm #LupusChat or #bcsm be accepting of sponsorships or would they lose too much credibility?

These questions generated a lot of discussion and a variety of viewpoints were shared.

In general, most people were favorable to vendors participating in online communities – as long as they didn’t try to push their products/services while interacting with community members.

One particularly interesting viewpoint was shared by Ken Gordon @quickmuse:

Ken’s point is well made: people want to connect with people, not faceless company avatars. In an online community, members want to interact with other members and get useful information. So if a company wants to participate, one easy path to success is to allow individuals from the company be the participant not the company account itself. The company “wins” twofold with this approach. First, employees will feel valued and trusted since the company is allowing them to express themselves online. Second, the company will gain goodwill be seen by the association to active members who are contributing to the conversation.

There are plenty of great examples from both the #hcldr and #HITsm communities. Just look at @TextraHealth, @OchoTex, @burtrosen, @MandiBPro, @drnic1 and @techguy – each represents the company they work for/at AND contributes to the community as unique individuals. They are all trusted individuals and by extension we look upon the organizations they represent more favorably.

One of the most important factors to vendor involvement in an online healthcare community is disclosure. This was brought up several times when #hcldr discussed the second question:

Many recommended that community leaders establish clear guidelines for how sponsorship money would to be used and to publish what vendors could expect/not expect in return for their $$$.

Other practical advice for community administrators and hosts included:

Personally, I believe vendors SHOULD get involved in online healthcare communities – even if just to listen to what their target audiences are saying. They could learn so much just by seeing what topics are being discussed and the frustrations people are experiencing. Product marketers and developers would have a field day with all the information being shared online.

One word of caution though – when vendors do decide to participate, they need to realize that many in the community will be very skeptical at the start. Online communities are typically outgrowths of individual passions and interests. As such, corporations can be viewed by many as “invaders” into a private space. So caution…but please proceed forward.

Does Telemedicine Require a Higher Degree of Health Literacy?

Posted on December 8, 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 speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.

Last week’s #HITsm chat was hosted by Joe Lavelle aka @Resultant on the topic of #telemedicine. It was a lively chat with many interesting insights and opinions. Two tweets in particular caught my eye:

and

Both these tweets got me thinking about how patients approach a #telemedicine encounter. Do patients feel they need to be more self-aware about their own health or be more health literate in order to participate in #telemedicine? Basically are telemedicine patients more active in their own care than those that see doctors in-person?

I was really curious to learn more about the patient side of the experience so I reached out to a friend who uses #telemedicine to see a specialist. When I asked my friend (who asked me not to use her name) if she treated telemedicine appointments any different than regular appointments she laughed. It turns out that before telemedicine was made available to her, she did not have easy in-person access to a specialist she needed. This was a function of living in an out-of-the-way rural area that only has a small Urgent Care Center nearby. Here is what she had to say about telemedicine:

After I was diagnosed with my illness, I had to start using telemedicine to see a specialist – otherwise I would have to drive 3+ hrs to the city to see him. I do prepare for my telemedicine visits a little differently than people who see a specialist in-person. I keep my own personal health diary. It’s basically a journal where I jot down how I’m feeling. I note any symptoms I have or any changes in my health. I review my health diary each telemedicine visit. I also bring any test results or other information that I may have. I also write down the questions I want to ask so I don’t forget.

I remarked that this is a lot of preparation for a doctor visit and that she must consider herself really engaged in her care. She didn’t think so: “Colin, if I don’t do these things, I won’t get anything valuable from the doctor. I do the things I do because I HAVE TO. I don’t really have a choice. My specialist doesn’t have a lot of tele-appointment slots so if I don’t get everything I need, I have to wait a long time. ”

It’s only a sample of 1, but I have to say that I consider my friend to be in the actively-involved-in-their-own-health category. In her case geographic circumstance is the primary motivation for her active involvement. I wonder if patient engagement will be an unintended benefit of telemedicine. I am definitely going to be watching to see if this happens. In the meantime I would be very interested in hearing from other people about their telemedicine experience.

Healthcare Analytics

Posted on February 21, 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.

Each week, the #HITsm community does a Twitter chat. This week it was hosted by @ahier and was focused on the topics of analytics. It was good timing considering we’re going to be innundated with healthcare analytics discussions at HIMSS 2014. Here is a look at the questions asked during the chat:
T1: What true models for analytics and data driven healthcare actually exist?

T2: Who’s going to win the analytics market battle: EHR vendors or the analytics specialty vendors?

T3: Should certification for analytics and clinical data warehouses be included in meaningful use?

T4: What are the concerns and benefits around marrying clinical, claims, and consumer retail purchasing data?

You can find the full transcript of the chat here. For those not wanting to read the whole chat, here are some tweets of mine I think you’ll find interesting:

I think this gives you a pretty good view into what I think about healthcare analytics. I’d love to hear yours.

Do Hospitals Think About Patient Engagement?

Posted on August 2, 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.

This week’s #HITsm chat revolves around the subjects of patient engagement and patient experience. For those not familiar with the #HITsm chat, you can follow the #HITsm hashtag on Twitter and every Friday at Noon ET various people from healthcare IT get together to discuss 4-5 questions. For example, here are the questions for this week:

T1: How would you define patient engagement vs patient experience? Does the difference matter?
T2: Is improving patient engagement a prerequisite to improving patient experience?
T3: What #HealthIT solutions have you seen that are effective at improving patient engagement? Which are not?
T4: Should patient engagement technologies be mandatory and should there be penalties for not adopting them?
T5: What #HealthIT solutions do you predict will be the most effective at improving patient experience? mHealth? Big Data? Quantified Self?

I took a look at the topics today and decided to look at many of these questions from a hospital perspective. I found this to be a real challenge, because I really don’t think that most hospitals think about patient engagement. They certainly have things they do that engage patients, but most hospitals have a goal to stop engaging with patients.

There are a whole series of projects that hospitals are taking on now that engage the patient, but that’s not how I think most hospital administrators think. I’ve never heard a hospital CIO say, “We need to do more patient engagement.” Instead, they think about ways to lower readmissions. They think about ways to decrease length of stay. They think about ways to improve how quickly they collect payments.

The interesting thing is that some of these goals can be achieved through patient engagement. However, if we use that terminology I think that most hospital execs will turn off the discussion. I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong that hospital executives think this way, but the worst thing that can happen is for hospital executives to turn off the discussion.

I think a similar thing can often happen with the idea of patient experience. Most hospitals are just trying to keep their heads above water, so trying to take on patient experience is a real challenge. However, I’ve heard some amazing discussions from hospitals in competitive regions really taking patient experience to the next level. In many ways, their discussion of patient experience feels more like what you’d hear at a five star hotel than a hospital.

What are your thoughts when it comes to patient engagement and patient experience from a hospital perspective?