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The Big Takeaways from The Breakaway Group Healthcare Forum at TEDMED

Posted on April 17, 2013 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.

I had the tremendous opportunity to spend the day hearing and interacting with a group of healthcare leaders across the entire spectrum of healthcare. I was invited to the Healthcare Forum as a guest of The Breakaway Group. They’d told me that the group would have a large number of influential people in healthcare and they were right. Along with recognizable names like Dr. Farzad Mostashari, Glen Tullman and Lee Shapiro were a number of hospital CEOs, CIOs, and CMIOs. There were doctors, insurance executives, and many other executives which made for a very well rounded and interesting discussion.

I won’t go through an entire recap of the event and all the things that were shared during the various presentations. If that interests you, go and read through my @ehrandhit tweets and check out the #simplehealth hashtag and you’ll get a good overview of everything that was presented from those of us live tweeting the event.

I do want to highlight a couple key takeaways and then suggest a list of major themes we’ll be confronting in healthcare.

Farzad Mostashari, MD was the event keynote with a great view on the future of healthcare. Farzad’s intro was perfect when Charles Fred, Founder & CEO of The Breakaway Group, said, “The wedding of healthcare and technology is over and Farzad has joined us for the marriage.”

Farzad’s message covered a lot of ground including a message of optimism for healthcare, the need to affect all parts of healthcare both small and large, and using the “most underutilized resource in healthcare…the patient.” He also talked about the need for some accountability in healthcare. Farzad suggested that there’s no “scale” in healthcare that we can step on and know how well we are doing. We need the data to be able to tell us how we are doing so we can improve. Without the data we almost always overestimate how good we are and underestimate the things we’re doing poorly.

One of the most powerful concepts Farzad discussed was around being careful not to change healthcare from a social contract into a financial contract. He said, “Incentives and money aren’t always the same.” This point was illustrated brilliantly by one of the attendees who said, “An ACO should be the way we live and breathe healthcare every day and not just a reimbursement program.” I think we often need a reminder to not let the business of healthcare overwhelm the care provided.

Finally, for those of us who love EMR and EHR, Farzad offered this incredible perspective on where we are at when it comes to EHR progress, “We are at about 50% EHR adoption and about 5% workflow adjustment.” It’s the first time I’ve seen him acknowledge the idea that EHR adoption isn’t enough. In fact, the initial implementation of an EHR is just the very first step in a process of really optimizing the EHR for your workflow and for improved patient care. It does make me wonder what things ONC might do in the future to try and address the 95% of EHR workflow adjustments that remain.

I’m sure I’ll be pulling nuggets of information out of Dr. Jennifer Brull, Bill Rieger, Dr. CT Lin, Ashwin Ram, and Heather Haugen’s talks in future posts. They all offered some unique insights into quality of care, EHR leadership, patient engagement, patient portals, and EHR implementation.

Here’s the list of themes from the day as identified by those who attended:

  • Using Data
  • Transparency
  • Need for Leadership to Change
  • Adoption vs. Implementation (EHR)
  • Patient and Family Involvement in Care (through social media often)
  • Change Happens at a Different Pace for Different People

And then we identified the following important future healthcare topics:

  • Interoperability
  • Social and Mobile
  • Patient Engagement
  • How Do We Ask the Best Questions
  • Make the Right Thing to Do, Easy
  • Big Data, Small Actions (for doctors and patients)
  • Changing Reimbursement

The Healthcare Forum at TEDMED was a well organized event that provided a lot of food for thought. My only complaint from the experience was that pretty much everyone in the room could have been a speaker at the event. Thinking about that makes me wish there had been more time to hear from those in the audience. Although, it isn’t a bad thing to leave us thirsting for more.

Read more coverage from TEDMED from Xerox on the Real Business at Xerox blog and follow@XeroxHealthcare.

Investors Want Allscripts CEO Axed

Posted on May 24, 2012 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

Not long ago, Allscripts  management went through a dramatic shakeup, with the firing of one board member, the loss of three others and the departure of the company’s CFO.  (It’s rumored that Allscripts’ chief marketing officer is headed for the door soon, as well.)

The Street didn’t react well to these boardroom shenanigans. The company’s stock plunged 40 percent in the wake of these changes, and the stock’s reputation was trashed, with several ratings falling from “buy” to “neutral.”

CEO Glen Tullman survived that round of bloodshed, but it seems he’s still at risk for losing his job.  Healthcor Management, LP, which owns 5.5 percent of Allscripts shares, has filed a suit against the company which demands that Tullman resign.

Healthcor has filed a lawsuit against Allscripts, ostensibly over its process for selecting board members, designed to give it more control of the company. Among other things, it demands that Tullman be removed as CEO.

Healthcor is alleging that Tullman has failed to execute well as CEO, leading to poor financial performance of late. It’s also challenging Tullman’s $7.2 million compensation in 2011, arguing that he made more money than CEOs of comparable companies that

What’s more, the chairman and key board members have left the company were the last ones who could oversee Eclypsis products that came on board when Allscripts acquired it. Definitely not cool. I have to say that if these were the last Eclypsis leaders on the board, I would have busted my tail to try and keep them, not dumped the chairman just like that.

On top of all that, Healthcor isn’t fond of the new director picks, including former Cerner COO Paul Black and Robert Cindrith, formerly chief legal office and senior vice president at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Healthcor is demanding that it have the right to submit its own candidates.

It’s worth noting, however, that Healthcor doesn’t seem to be in a rush to dump its stock. Why?  Because before it filed suit, Healthcor asked Allscripts to consider any and all moves which might make everyone involved whole, including a sales of the business.  Interesting stuff, if your head isn’t on the block.

Bottom line, my guess is that Tullman will be able to stay in place if he does something dramatic to fix things and reassure investors that they’ll get their profits. Whether that will involve a sale is yet to be seen.