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Healthcare Scene Meetup in Chicago

Posted on August 14, 2018 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’m always amazed at the power of meeting up with people in the world of Healthcare IT. It’s a surprisingly small world and it’s always great to mix and mingle with colleagues who work in the field. Often this is at big conferences, but it’s also fun to bring the community together in more informal settings near their home.

That’s why I’m excited to share that Healthcare Scene will be doing an informal meetup next week in Chicago. The meetup is happening Thursday, August 23, 2018 at Vapiano. You can find all the details and register for the event here.

One of the amazing things about the Healthcare Scene community is that we include a wide cross section of people. This is particularly true when you include the various social media communities including the #HITsm, #hcldr, and #HITMC communities as well. If you live in or near Chicago, we hope you’ll join us for a fun night of networking and connecting with those in the community.

If you can’t join us in Chicago, be sure to keep an eye on our list of Healthcare IT Conferences and Events. We’re about to update it with our Fall schedule of conferences and events. No doubt we’ll be coming to a city near you. We love meeting readers in person, so please let us know if you’ll be at an event.

What events are you planning to attend this Fall 2018 and in 2019? Are there other events we don’t have on our list that we should include? Which events do you find most valuable and why? Share with us your thoughts and perspectives in the comments or on social media with @HealthcareScene.

The Biggest Lesson Learned from IBM Watson

Posted on August 13, 2018 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.

There’s no sexier marketing story than IBM Watson. When IBM Watson beat Ken Jennings on Jeopardy, there was an explosion of coverage. The most promising area for IBM Watson was healthcare. However, as the Wall Street Journal recently reported, IBM Watson has fallen short of expectations in healthcare.

More than a dozen IBM partners and clients have halted or shrunk Watson’s oncology-related projects. Watson cancer applications have had limited impact on patients, according to dozens of interviews with medical centers, companies, and doctors who have used it, as well as documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

In many cases, the tools didn’t add much value. In some cases, Watson wasn’t accurate. Watson can be tripped up by a lack of data in rare or recurring cancers, and treatments are evolving faster than Watson’s human trainers can update the system. Dr. Chase of Columbia said he withdrew as an adviser after he grew disappointed in IBM’s direction for marketing the technology.

No published research shows Watson improving patient outcomes.

No doubt, part of the problem is that IBM Watson could never live up to the hype. The hype was too big. However, it seems that IBM Watson has really fallen short from even the most conservative hopes for it. That’s a big problem.

One thing that’s interesting about IBM Watson is that they spent no marketing on it. Especially in healthcare. At the IBM Think events the past couple years they didn’t have any healthcare press or influencers at their event. Their marketing team’s response was that they didn’t have any budget to market to healthcare because they got so much coverage for IBM Watson already.

Fair enough. IBM Watson has gotten a ton of exposure in healthcare, but maybe if they’d invited the press they could have had some real conversations about whether IBM Watson was real or was it memorex (Sorry for those that don’t know this old reference). While not always the case, the healthcare IT press and influencers are a different breed that asks deeper questions about a product and what it can do to impact healthcare. It feels like IBM Watson had so much hype that not enough people held them accountable for actually delivering results to healthcare organizations.

From the same WSJ article linked above is this great quote:

“The discomfort that I have—and that others have had with using it—has been the sense that you never know what you’re really going to get…and how much faith you can put in those results,” said Lukas Wartman of the McDonnell Genome Institute at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Wartman said he rarely uses the system, despite having complimentary access.

The concepts of AI and machine learning that IBM Watson represent are incredible and I believe will impact healthcare for good. However, it’s still not there yet. The trust isn’t there.

The core lesson I take from IBM Watson is that things like Jeopardy can create hype for a certain product, but in healthcare we need more than hype. We need trust. If a healthcare provider can’t trust the result, then your product won’t go anywhere and won’t be used. Unfortunately for IBM Watson, beating Ken Jennings on Jeopardy creates a lot of awareness, but does nothing to build trust.

The jury is still out on IBM Watson on healthcare. They’ve spent billions on it and so it’s not like it’s going to just disappear. Hopefully, it does turn the corner and becomes a trusted tool for many in healthcare. Trust just takes consistency over time. That’s an important lesson for many healthcare IT products.

Who is the Real EHR Customer?

Posted on August 2, 2018 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.

What a fascinating question from Clay Forsberg. In my experience writing about the EHR space, the EHR customer is the healthcare provider and not the patient. In fact, I think the impact on patients played a very small role in most EHR implementations. I don’t remember ever seeing an EHR RFP that had much of any focus on the patient. The closest you might come is that the EHR would need to have a patient portal or something along those lines. Have you seen patient focused sections of EHR RFPs? If so, I’d love to see them. If not, I’d love to see it too.

When EHR software was first being purchased (technically it was EMR at the time), the decision was largely around how they could better handle things like E/M coding and being able to use the automation in the EHR to be able to bill for higher levels of care (ie. more money). This is what’s led us to EHR note bloat.

Following this EHR era was what I call the golden age of EHR adoption fueled by $36 billion of meaningful use money. I was shocked at how irrational the market became as doctors chased EHR software that would get them access to the meaningful use dollars and avoid any penalties. There was no time for doctors that purchased EHR software in this era to really think about patients. They were too focused on the government handouts.

Long story short, the patient has generally been far from the thoughts of those purchasing EHR software. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think most people purchasing EHR wanted to recklessly damage the patient. In fact, EHR benefits the patients in a lot of ways (access to the records is one example). However, it’s not any stretch to say that those selecting and implementing EHR software weren’t trying to improve the patient experience. If it was, they would have made different choices.

The question is will this change in the future. Or maybe even more importantly is will EHR vendors be able to evolve in a way that patients will benefit. I think we will see some evolution in this regard, but I don’t expect to see a sea change when it comes to EHR software’s focus on the patient. I think instead we’ll see 3rd party software that will change the patient experience. Some of them will integrate with EHR software which is why EHR APIs are so important, but I’m not looking for the EHR to make the patient their customer. Maybe they should, but I don’t see it happening.

Hospital EMR and EHR Post #1450

Posted on August 1, 2018 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.

When I first started blogging, I’d celebrate every milestone imaginable. When I’d published 10, 20, 50, 100 blog posts. They were all causes for celebration. Not to mention 10,000 pageviews and then 20,000 pageviews, etc. 13 years into my blogging journey and over 12,000 blog posts later and it’s easy to forget to celebrate the various blog accomplishments.

With that said, I was really proud today to see that this will be the 1450th blog post on Hospital EMR and EHR. That’s approximately 200 blog posts a year since the start of this blog 7 years ago. I’m really proud of this accomplishment because the hospital IT space was quite foreign to me when I started. I still remember some of my first meetings with Dana Sellers formerly from Encore Health Resources and how she started my education on the hospital IT space. In fact, I still thank her for that education every time I see her. However, that thanks goes out to thousands of people who have shared their knowledge, insights, and experience. That includes Anne Zieger who’s contributed almost half of the blog posts.

I dove into the stats for this site from this year and took a look at the top 5 blog posts. What’s fascinating is that none of the top 5 blog posts were from this year. Seems like content last a very long time and older content can drive some of the most traffic. There are a lot of lessons available from looking at this top content.

1. Why Is It So Hard to Become a Certified Epic consultant?
Shout out to Nate DiNiro for this post back in 2011. It might be one of the only posts he did for us. He’s right that getting Epic Certified is a golden ticket of sorts. A simple example of supply and demand. Epic has kept certifications in short supply. So, the cost of someone who is Epic certified has gone up. His question at the end of the post is a good one that’s still not answered. Or at least the answer so far is that proprietary systems are winning. I hope that’s not true forever.

2. Will Medical Coders Be Needed in the Future? – HIM Scene
The future of the medical coder is an interesting one. I still think my assessment of the situation is still clear. Coders are here to stay. Technology will help them though.

3. Why Do People Dislike Epic So Much? Let Me Count The Ways
This post is ironic giving the top post where people want to get Epic certified. There are a lot of people who really love Epic. The times I’ve interacted with Judy I can understand why they do. She’s a smart businesswoman and has had success for a reason. She understands that the key is relationships with the customer.

4. Epic’s 13 Principles
Anything Epic does well on this site. It’s like an Apple story in technology. Seeing these 13 principles was eye opening and is still something I think about regularly when I think about Epic the company. It explains a lot of things about them.

5. Opening the Door to Data Analytics in Medical Coding – HIM Scene
I’m proud that we have a second HIM Scene blog post in the top 5. We’ve worked hard to provide some great content for the HIM professional. I’m happy we’ve been so successful and that in some ways we can bring the HIM professional and the HIT professional together in one community. This post was a good one on data analytics and medical coding.

Of course, on this milestone posts, I always want to thank the sponsors that keep this blog alive. The publishing business is a hard one and so we always appreciate sponsors that trust us with their brands and their marketing dollars. We treat it with respect and always want to provide as much value in return to them. A big thank you to Stericycle Communication Solutions, Ciox, Atos, and Liaison Technologies for all the support.

Thanks to all of you who read, comment, and share our posts as well. We’re lucky to be part of such a special community.

Medical Coding, Revenue Cycle Management and the EHR – HIM Scene

Posted on July 31, 2018 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.

It’s unfortunate, but true that very few healthcare organizations thought about the impact the EHR selection and implementation would have on things like medical coding and revenue cycle management. The later has gotten more attention after hospitals implement an EHR and then run into cash flow problems when they realize their collections have started piling up after the EHR implementation. However, it’s surprising how many coding and revenue cycle management challenges exist post EHR go live.

With this in mind, Healthcare Scene recently talked with Susan Gatehouse, CEO of Axea Solutions, at the HFMA Annual conference about how EHR impacts medical coding and revenue cycle management. She shares some great insights into the topic and some practical ideas for those dealing with these challenges. Plus, we ask Susan what thing stood out to her at the HFMA annual conference.

Check out our interview with Susan Gatehouse:

*Note: This video was originally live streamed to Facebook, so please excuse the poorer quality video and audio.

Be sure to check out all of the Healthcare Scene interviews on YouTube. If you’d like to receive future HIM posts in your inbox, you can subscribe to future HIM Scene posts here.

Healthcare AI Adoption Curve – Where Is Your Hospital At?

Posted on July 30, 2018 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 above image is the best one I’ve seen when it comes to the adoption and integration of AI into healthcare. Of course, this same chart has been used to describe the integration of technology into healthcare in general. The reason this chart is so relevant is that very few healthcare organizations have reached the point where they are an IT enabled business with IT embedded in business with hybrid, cross-functional roles. If this is true for technology in general, AI is still way out there.

In fact, the one complaint I have about this chart is that it’s missing a bubble that should say “What’s AI?” Ok, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but not much for many healthcare organizations. They’d more appropriately ask “How can I use AI in healthcare?” but it’s about the same point. Most aren’t there yet, but they’re going to have to get there. AI is coming and in a big way.

The good news is that most of the AI a healthcare organization will use will be embedded in the IT systems they purchase. This is why it’s so important that healthcare organizations have good vendor partners. Healthcare organizations aren’t going to enable this AI future. They’re going to partner with vendors who bring the AI to bear for them. When David Chou shared the image above, he asked the right question “What is your role as the CIO for the adoption of AI?” How many of you know the answer to that question?

If you’re not sure the answer, check out this other image and tweet that David Chou shared about using AI for automation:

I agree 100% with David Chou that if you want to start thinking about how to utilize AI, then start with repetitive tasks which can and should be automated. Take the mundane out of your healthcare providers lives. That will create some early AI wins that will help you to be able to build an AI driven culture in your organization.

Using Video Cameras in Healthcare to Improve Care

Posted on July 27, 2018 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 must admit that I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into when I scheduled this video interview with Paul Baratta, Business Development Manager for healthcare at Axis Communications. However, I was intrigued by the idea that they were using thermal cameras in healthcare to detect various healthcare incidents.

The great news is that Paul Baratta really opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities for how various cameras (standard and thermal) can help a hospital work more effectively. Along with talking about the thermal cameras they’ve implemented in hospitals, we also talk about other ways that cameras can help an organization run smoother and more efficiently. Think about a video camera monitoring an IV bag. That’s cool tech. We also talk about the privacy issues related to cameras and the privacy benefits of using thermal cameras. Plus, I ask Paul about the cost and ROI of cameras and whether they’re reasonable for every size healthcare organization or not.

Needless to say, after this interview, I’m even more confident that video cameras are going to be an important part of the wired room in healthcare. To see what I mean, check out my interview with Paul Baratta from Axis Communications.

Let me know what you think of the use of video cameras in healthcare. Do you disagree with any of the comments I or Paul shared? Do you see other applications where video cameras could make a difference in healthcare organizations? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments or on Twitter with @HealthcareScene.

If you enjoyed this video interview, be sure to Subscribe to the Healthcare Scene channel on YouTube and view the playlist of all our video interviews.

Optimizing Expensive Medical Device Utilization in Hospital Systems

Posted on July 23, 2018 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 the HFMA Annual Conference, Healthcare Scene had a chance to interview Brett Reed, CEO of Cohealo, where we learned about their unique approach to expensive medical equipment in hospitals and health systems. We loved their novel approach to helping hospitals and health systems save money and better utilize the assets they’ve already purchased since it’s not something we’d seen many healthcare organizations do effectively. Most have been too distracted by their EHR implementations to think about this. Now’s a great time to move past the EHR into other technologies that can help a hospital or health system.

In our interview, Brett shares the origin of the company and how Cohealo can help a healthcare organization with tracking equipment, sharing equipment, and managing equipment requests. Considering the cost of these expensive medical devices, there are a lot of opportunities for healthcare organizations to save or make more money by using these underutilized resources more effectively.

To learn more, watch the video interview below or on the Healthcare Scene YouTube channel.

If you enjoyed this video interview, be sure to check out the full list of Healthcare Scene interviews.

Also, let us know what you thought of our interview with Brett Reed from Cohealo. Do you think this is a valuable solution? Are you doing this type of medical device tracking in your organization? Do you hear the complaints from nurses and providers that there’s not enough medical equipment for them to do their job effectively? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter @HealthcareScene.

The Challenge of Medical Records Requests in the Healthcare Business Office – HIM Scene

Posted on July 10, 2018 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.

While at the HFMA Annual Conference (Formerly known as ANI), Healthcare Scene was able to sit down with Kim Charland, BA, RHIT, CCS, Director of Revenue Cycle Services at MRO, to talk about some unique issues with Release of Information (ROI) coming out of the healthcare business office.

This was an issue I hadn’t thought much about previously, but it makes a lot of sense that medical billing professionals probably aren’t the best people to be handling release of information to insurance companies. Billing professionals’ goal is to get paid, not ensure that they’re doing a proper release of information to payers. Plus, most of them have billing expertise, not ROI expertise. It makes a lot of sense for the business office to involve HIM professionals with release of information expertise into the process.

To learn more about this topic and what MRO is doing to help healthcare organizations address this compliance issue, watch the video interview below with Kim Charland:

If you’d like to receive future HIM posts in your inbox, you can subscribe to future HIM Scene posts here.

“You’re Already Your Own Doctor”

Posted on July 3, 2018 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 always thoughtful Rasu Shrestha, MD, shared this image and tweet on Twitter:

I really appreciate Rasu pointing out how much of our health is influenced outside of the doctor’s office. Also, I love that Rasu is asking for participatory medicine and for patients to demand to be participants in their care. However, I wonder if the quote he shared from Tom Ferguson, MD is a bit too far: “You’re Already Your Own Doctor.” Of course, what’s amazing is that Dr. Ferguson was saying this in 1985. That’s surprising, but I wonder if the statement actually discourages doctors from having patients involved in their care.

I get the idea that many patients have been treated poorly in the past. However, how future patients respond will often determine how doctors will respond to them in the future. It doesn’t take many bad experiences for doctors to not want to have patients involved in their care. So, patients should demand participation in their care, but they should do so with respect.

What’s ironic is that those same patients who want doctors to respect them and respect their input as patients, treat their doctors with disrespect. I understand that many patients get burnt out. However, it’s amazing how care providers turn off when they’re disrespected. If the goal is to create more patient involvement in their care, we have to be careful not to burn bridges for other patients. I think calling the patient a doctor is going to far. Once again, it’s about participation in your care and not the patient becoming the doctor.