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On the 1st Day of #HITChristmas … Joy Rios from ChirpyBird and HIT Like a Girl Podcast

Posted on December 13, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One day as I was thinking about the holiday season, I was inspired by some people who had sent us 12 gifts to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. I’ve always loved the 12 days of Christmas ever since someone secret santa’d our family with big boxes of 12 gifts. I’ll never forget that really nice red backpack I got that Christmas.

Inspired by that memory, I decided to celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas here at Healthcare Scene by featuring 12 amazing people in healthcare IT. I just tweeted out a request for interesting healthcare IT people, companies, initiatives, etc that deserved a Christmas gift. So, for the next 12 days, we’ll be featuring a different one each day for our #HITChristmas. We hope you enjoy this spectrum of the broad Healthcare IT Community. We have some amazing people.

On the 1st Day of #HITChristmas we’re excited to feature, Joy Rios from ChirpyBird and HIT Like a Girl Podcast.

Tell us about yourself and ChirpyBird.

I’ve been working in healthIT since 2010, first with the EHR Incentive Program and later with PQRS. Now I work mainly in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) domain of CMS’ Quality Payment Program. Over the years, as I have learned about each of these programs, I’ve made a real effort to share my findings in the hopes of setting healthcare professionals up for success as they transition to value-based care. I’ve created several online and in-person training programs to help others navigate MIPS. I’ve also written 3 books, outlining the changes to each year’s rules for quality reporting.

Chirpy Bird Health IT Consulting is an extension of this effort. Our mission is to accelerate the adoption of value-based care through MIPS consulting. You can read more about us here:

People often ask where we got our business name. It’s a mix of the founding partners first names, Joy and Robin, so it made us think of a happy, or chirpy bird.

What are the good and the bad parts of the MACRA/MIPS government programs?  

The good: 
I think that there’s an opportunity to drive massive, bold changes in healthcare. For example, MACRA, along with the quality reporting programs that came before it, have contributed to the mass adoption of EHR technology nationwide, and is currently using its forces to push for interoperability.

In 2019 and going forward, MIPS has been modified to better address behavioral health issues, and specifically the opioid epidemic. I’m very excited to see what impacts can be made through a national focused effort to address the healthcare industry’s part in the opioid crisis.

The bad: 
Change on the scale of the value-based-care magnitude is going to take time. The transition should be looked at like a marathon, not a sprint. And unfortunately, we are a country with a hyper-focus on short-term gains.

As we transition to a more connected digital healthcare arena, we are at risk of doing more harm than good if the time isn’t taken to consider patient safety or quality during technology implementations.

A methodical approach, with a goal for continuous improvement rather than perfection will go a long way.

Where do you think all of these government regulations are heading?  Will they continue on their current course or do you expect big changes in the future?

If I could use my crystal ball, I’d predict that the MIPS program will be around at least through 2025, and in that time the number of private insurers will continue to dwindle, likely not to a single payer model, but it may potentially come close. Value-based care is here to stay as the fee-for-service model cannot be sustained.

The biggest changes will be in interoperability, tracking outcomes, as well as in patient engagement and experience.

You also do the HIT Like a Girl Podcast. Tell us about that and your goals for the podcast.

I have been incredibly inspired by the contributions and accomplishments of women in healthcare and yet when I got to health conferences, I just don’t see as much of their work displayed or their voices heard on stage.

If I could outline the HIT Like a Girl podcast ingredients, there’s a little “being the change you want to see in the world” mixed in with “empowered women empower women,” and a touch of “start before you’re ready.”

We want to highlight the role women play in the many areas within healthcare, learn from them, and share their experiences with our listeners. We strongly feel that knowing that there are ladies out there pushing their personal and professional boundaries allows others to follow their lead.

Our goal is to amplify their efforts and accomplishments to change the narrative and recognize more openly what women are bringing to the table in the health IT arena.

If you’ve missed an episode, check out

What would you like to see happen to better help women in healthcare IT?

It’s pretty simple. We believe that it’s time to end the age of the male heavy panel or “manel,” as it is often called and that women in healthcare should be recognized for their efforts, expertise, and contributions.

There is no shortage of smart women working in health IT.

Personally, I’d like to see more women in leadership roles of large corporations.

You are one of the nicest people in the world.  Is it hard to be that nice?

LOL. Thanks for this complement. I’m a pretty positive person – my name is Joy, after all – and in general, I find that being nice takes little effort. When I smile while on the phone, I truly believe that the person on the other end can tell. Taking a kind posture has definitely helped me have more open and meaningful interactions with people and it’s quite possibly led to more opportunity.

In the sense that “it takes one to know one,” I am very grateful to work not only with smart people, but also kind ones.

What can the healthcare IT community do for you?

Great question! If you work with doctors or other MIPS eligible clinicians, talk to them about the electronic exchange of health information among their provider networks and with their patients. Encourage them to get the technical capabilities such as a Direct address (aka HISP address) in place and are using 2015 Edition certified EHR technology for the 2019 performance year .On a practical level, these are the building blocks needed to be in place for interoperability to be achieved.

Be sure to follow all of the 12 Day of #HITChristmas.

Will Chatbots Be Embedded In Health IT Infrastructure Within Five Years?

Posted on December 10, 2018 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare branding and communications expert with more than 25 years of industry experience. and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also worked extensively healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. She can be reached at @ziegerhealth or

Brace yourself: The chatbots are coming. In fact, healthcare chatbots could become an important part of healthcare organizations’ IT infrastructure, according to research released by a market analyst firm. I have my doubts but do read on and see what you think.

Jupiter Research is predicting that AI-powered chatbots will become the initial point of contact with healthcare providers for many consumers. As far as I know, this approach is not widespread in the US at present, though there are many vendors developing tools that they could deploy and we’ve seen some success from companies like SimplifiMed and big tech companies like Microsoft that are enabling chatbots as well.

However, Jupiter sees things changing rapidly over the next five years. It predicts that the number of chatbot interactions will shoot up at an average annual growth rate of 167%, from an estimated 21 million per year in 2018 to 2.8 billion per year in 2023.  By that point, healthcare will represent 10% of all chatbot interactions across major verticals, Jupiter says.

According to the market research firm, there are a number of reasons chatbot use in healthcare will grow so rapidly, including consumers’ growing comfort level with using chatbots to discuss their care. Jupiter also expects to see healthcare providers routinely use chatbots for customer experience management, though again, I’ve seen little evidence that this is happening just yet.

The massive growth in patient-chatbot interactions will also be fueled by a rise in the sophistication of conversational AI platforms, a leap so dramatic that consumers will handle a growing percentage of their healthcare business entirely via chatbot, the firm says. This, in turn, will free up medical staff time, saving countries’ healthcare systems around $3.7 billion by 2023.  This would prove to be a relatively modest savings for the giant US healthcare system, but it could be quite meaningful for a smaller country.

As healthcare organizations adopt chatbot platforms, their chief goal will be to see that information collected by chatbots is transferred to EHRs and other important applications, the report says. To make this happen, these organizations will have to make sure to integrate chatbot platforms with both clinical and line-of-business applications. (Vendors like PatientSphere already offer independent platforms designed to address such issues.)

All very interesting, no? Definitely. I share Jupiter’s optimistic view of the chatbot’s role in healthcare delivery and customer service and have little doubt that even today’s relatively primitive bots are capable of handling many routine transactions.

That being said, I’m thinking it will be more like 10 years before chatbots are used widely by providers. If what I’ve seen is any indication, it will probably take that long before conversational AI can truly hold a conversation. If we hope to use AI-based chatbots routinely at the front end of important processes, they’ll just have to be smarter.

The FHIR Backpedal, Voice Interfaces, OpenNotes, and Complacency – Twitter Roundup

Posted on December 6, 2018 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Let’s take a quick trip around the Twittersphere and share some of the best healthcare related tweets we’ve seen recently. Plus, we’ll add a little commentary for each tweet as well. We hope you’ll add your commentary on Twitter with @healthcarescene and in the comments.

This might be a media back pedal. Everyone I’ve talked to that really understood FHIR has always said that the FHIR standard was not the end all be all interoperability solution. In fact, they specifically noted its limitations. Of course, that didn’t keep many outlets from reporting FHIR as the cure all. Glad to see they’re finally reporting on FHIR accurately. It’s good, but not a cure all interoperability solution.

Anyone that’s heard Colin Hung speak knows this is going to be a great webinar. Voice search and voice interfaces have become extremely popular. If you want to learn how they’re impacting healthcare, sign up for Colin’s webinar.

Powerfully simple story.

I think Aimee underestimates the power of complacency. However, I hope she’s right since long term complacency will feel really bad.