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Telemedicine, A Lesson from Tetris, and Collaborative Overload – Twitter Roundup

Posted on April 11, 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.

Twitter is full of juicy nuggets of wisdom and insight which can inspire, motivate, and educate you. That’s why occasionally we like to do a roundup of tweets which recently caught our eye. Plus, we add a little bit of our own commentary on each tweet. I hope you enjoy. This week’s Twitter roundup has some great ideas.


This is a pretty interesting way to frame telehealth. Many of the challenges described in the image above are challenges that most healthcare organizations face. Especially larger hospitals and health systems. It’s pretty shocking to see how telehealth is a great solution for many of those challenges.

The sad part of all of this is that there is still resistance to telehealth. I understand there are complex things at play in healthcare, but this seems like an obvious one. Will telehealth finally have it’s moment? Is it waiting for something to really breakthrough as main stream?


I agree that you have to enjoy anything that starts with “If Tetris has taught me anything” as well. However, his point is a great one. I think we are suffering through this in many healthcare organizations. The errors and bad choices have really piled up and now we’re in very challenging situations. Mike Tyson is insane, but he sure makes you look at things differently.


Maybe I’m the only one that hadn’t heard of collaborative overload, but I really like the concept. I also love how this assessment breaks out collaborative overload into planning, people, priorities, and being present. Does anyone else have some good reading on this topic? I’d love to learn more.

Operational CIO vs Strategic CIO

Posted on May 30, 2017 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’ve been thinking and writing about the difference between an operational CIO and a strategic CIO for quite a while. There are far too many operational CIOs in healthcare who just want to make sure that the computers are replaced, the internet is fast and that they have good uptime. I believe CIOs that take this approach are making a mistake because they’re turning themselves into a commodity as opposed to a strategic part of their organization.

If you’re not sure of the difference, David Chou shared this great graphic which illustrates the difference between an operational healthcare CIO vs a strategic healthcare CIO.

Do you think it matters if you’re an operational CIO or a strategic CIO? I look forward to your thoughts in the comments.

We’re Great at Creating Policies and Procedures, but Awful At Removing Them

Posted on December 21, 2016 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.

Ever since I heard Tony Scott, the US CIO, talk about his goal of taking stuff off the federal books, I’ve been chewing on that concept. There’s little doubt that the federal government is really great at creating laws and regulations, but they’re really poor at getting rid of old laws and regulations. It’s hard to blame them. I don’t really know anyone that enjoys what amounts to “spring cleaning.” Needless to say, the US government could certainly be part of an episode (or even multiple seasons) of Hoarders the way they keep laws and regulations sitting around gathering dust.

While it’s easy to slam the government for their hoarding tendencies, I don’t think healthcare is immune to this problem either. Sometimes we’re required to “hoard” patient medical records by law. That’s not a bad thing since it’s good to comply with the law. However, it is a bad thing when we no longer are required to retain the data and the data in this old data has limited value.

In fact, much of that old outdated data could pose a risk to patients. We all know that many of our first IT systems were implemented quickly and therefore resulted in poorly collected data. Keeping around incorrect data can lead to disastrous consequences. It might be time for some spring cleaning (yes, it can be done in Winter too).

What’s more troublesome than this is many of the policies and procedures that exist in most hospital systems. Much like the government these policies and procedures get put in place, but we rarely go back and take them off the books. My least favorite thing to hear in a hospital when I ask why they do something a certain way is “We’ve always done it this way.”

If we don’t know why we’re doing something, that’s the perfect opportunity to ask the question and figure out the answer. Many times there is a good answer and a good reason for the policy and procedure. However, more often than most people realize, we’re just doing something because we’ve always done it that way and not because it’s the best way to do something.

I love Tony Scott’s effort to purge things from the books that are outdated, useless, or even harmful. Every hospital organization I’ve seen could benefit from this approach as well. Their organization would benefit, their employees would benefit, and ultimately patients would benefit as well.

When was the last time you got rid of a policy or procedure?

Population Health Management: Lessons Learned

Posted on August 8, 2016 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.

Population Health Management Lessons Learned

I’m always on the lookout for best practices and insights that will help readers. This slide from the #HFSummit was a great look into insights into population health management. In some ways population health management is an old area, but with technology and new data sets it is also a very quickly evolving area. In case you can’t see the picture above, here are the lessons learned from population health management:

  • Segment high-risk populations
  • Harness advanced analytics
  • Use patient registries and medical homes
  • “No outcome, no income”
  • Go upstream
  • Eat your own cooking
  • Focus on the whole population
  • Meet people in their lives
  • Emphasize wellness and prevention
  • Think outside the box
  • Leverage technology
  • Partner, partner, partner

I think many of these are obvious and generic. However, a few of them are likely foreign to many healthcare organizations. As you look through the list, don’t compare yourself to other organizations. Instead, focus on where you’re at and where you want to be. We have too much comparing in hospitals and health systems and not enough leaders that are working to be the best they can be. We all don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but we also shouldn’t just follow like minions with no thought as to where we’re going.

Top 10 Traits of a Good Leader

Posted on October 12, 2015 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 church on Sunday we had an interesting lesson on leadership. While the spiritual application won’t be the same on this site, it was interesting to think about the leadership principles from a hospital CIO or other hospital IT leadership perspective. The instructor shared a list of the top 10 traits of a good leader as identified by the American Management Association as follows:

  1. Be Results Orientated
  2. Be Consumer Focused
  3. Have a Vision
  4. Be Strategically Focused
  5. Effectively Get Work Done Through Others
  6. Be Good at Dealing with Conflict
  7. Ask Great Questions
  8. Make High-Quality Decisions
  9. Be a Trusted Leader
  10. Be an Incredible Communicator

Just for comparison’s sake, here’s a look at the 8 traits of being a good church leader that were shared:

  1. Lead by Example
  2. Humility
  3. Spiritual Knowledge
  4. Knowledge
  5. Loyalty
  6. Unity
  7. Love and Expressions of Confidence
  8. Delegating Authority

This list is worthy of every leader pondering. I know a number of these items inspire me to be better at that goal. At church we also had a discussion that these leadership principles must be based on love as the motivating factor. While that’s a bit different from a spiritual perspective, I still think the principle of love is important for every leader. The healthcare IT leaders that love what they do are the most effective I’ve seen. Plus, when you love the work and mission of your organization it’s much easier to work on the things that will make you a better leader.

Sometimes We Forget the Consequences of Doing Nothing

Posted on March 18, 2015 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.

Healthcare IT publications like to hop all over a story that talks about the negative side effects of EHR or some other technology in healthcare. The train wreck is something that people love to read about and so publications love to lather up the story and report all of the problems and challenges a hospital faces when going electronic.

This isn’t an awful thing. We should be aware of the challenges related to implementing technology in healthcare. Hopefully that extra exposure will help us to improve the technology so it’s no longer an issue. However, we have to be careful to not skew our view of technology based on what’s being reported by the healthcare IT publications we read.

The problem with basing our assessment of something on the media is that it’s not exciting for them to report on benefits that have become part of the status quo. No one’s going to read the article that says lives are saved because a doctor can read the chart since it was typed as opposed to illegibly written on paper. Being able to actually read the chart has become so common place, that we’ve started to take it for granted. Medical students today might never have the opportunity to read paper medical hieroglyphics. That’s a fantastic thing, but it doesn’t make for a good story.

It’s almost like we ignore the benefits once they become part of the fabric of how we practice medicine. Plus, we don’t even think about the negative consequences we’ve avoided. As someone told me recently, “No one gets paid for the crisis they averted.”

As part of our analysis, we have to remember to compare the status quo to the alternative and not to the ideal. That’s not to say that we don’t continue to strive for the ideal. We absolutely should push towards it. However, it does mean that we keep a proper perspective on reality and don’t forget the past.

The Value of Goals in Hospital IT

Posted on December 17, 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.

When someone sends me a press release that says that a hospital has attested to meaningful use or has achieved HIMSS stage 7, I kind of roll my eyes and move on. As a blogger, it really doesn’t tell me much about that organization. It’s one small data point in what I try to look at in the broader health IT ecosystem. Now, if I don’t see these things happening, I’ll start to wonder what’s going on. However, one individual announcement to me isn’t that interesting.

That’s not to say that healthcare organizations shouldn’t participate in programs like meaningful use and the various HIMSS stages. Sure, the incentive money is great and the adoration of your colleagues at HIMSS when you achieve HIMSS stage 7 is great as well, but that’s not why you should do either of these (ok, maybe the money in MU is worth doing it for).

The best reason your organization should look at going after something like HIMSS stage 7 is because there’s a lot of value in an organization working towards a goal. Of course you should look at the goals you’re trying to achieve to make sure your pointed in the right direction, but nothing unifies an organization like trying to achieve a special recognition. It’s hard to underestimate the value that’s created working towards a common goal.

Having an ambitious goal for your organization helps everyone in your organization to perform better and takes your organization to a higher level than you could have ever dreamed. We could argue over the value or lack thereof of meaningful use. What can’t be argued is the way organizations have come together to be meaningful use compliant.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of celebrating these achievements. While it’s one thing to celebrate your achievements internally (and you should), it’s also really valuable for those in your organization to receive accolades and recognition from their peers in other organizations.

Next time you look at some of these recognition, definitely consider if they espouse the values your organization wants to achieve. However, also take into account the powerful force a high goal and recognition for achieving that goal can provide your organization.

Is Healthcare So Distracted by the Trees That We Can’t See the Forest?

Posted on October 14, 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.

I was listening to a healthcare IT professional talk recently about the challenges they face in the trenches. In a somewhat exasperated way they said more or less that “We have to be careful that we don’t get so distracted by the trees that we can’t see what’s happening with the forest.

What an amazing insight! As a healthcare IT professional, it’s really easy to get bogged down in the operational day to day requirements. Whether you’re dealing with meaningful use requirements, prepping for ICD-10, upgrading your EHR software, managing your patient portal, updating your CDS rules, or any of the myriad of regular IT support like desktop replacements, network upgrades, firewall management, etc etc etc, it’s easy to get bogged down in this more operationally focused work. How many healthcare IT professionals keep an eye on what’s happening with healthcare in general?

Unfortunately, I think far too many of them are completely overwhelmed with operations. Most of them don’t realize the movement towards a more engaged patient. A lot of them don’t know about the shifting reimbursement towards a new value based reimbursement model. Most are up to date on the ICD-10 delays, but few understand if the ICD-10 delays are a good or a bad thing for healthcare.

In some ways, that’s not a terrible thing. There’s a real power in being focused on the project at hand and executing it at the highest level possible. Especially if you have a great leadership organization that’s keeping a keen eye on macro healthcare trends that need to be considered by your hospital.

However, even the very best leaders can learn and benefit from a highly involved workforce that understands not only the immediate operational needs of the organization, but that also have a broader understanding of why certain projects matter to an organization in the bigger picture. There’s nothing more challenging to a leader than to push forward a project which isn’t understood as being important by their staff.

Like in most things in life, it takes balance. Finding that balance in your organization can provide some amazing results.

Hospital IT Executives Versus Doctors

Posted on February 19, 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.

I just got sent a thread from a physician forum that reminded me of the often deep divide that exists between hospital IT executives and the doctors that work at those hospitals. Obviously there are a wide range of hospital governance structures. Some where the doctors own the hospital and so this dynamic isn’t always the same. However, I’ve found that it’s often the case that doctors don’t feel like the IT executives at the hospital listen to their needs and the IT executives feel like the doctors get everything that they want.

The reality is usually somewhere in between. However, perception is an individual’s reality. Changing either groups perception is really difficult.

There isn’t any simple way to solve this problem and to be quite frank you can’t ever completely solve it. The best you can do is for both sides of the equation to involve and understand the other side’s perspective. The problem is that it’s really easy for either side of the equation to basically give up trying. When one side stops, the other side often retaliates and then you’re in for real trouble.

Here’s the reality for doctors. A whole slew of government mandates are being heaped upon healthcare IT and this is going to change the way they practice medicine. Some of it will be good and some of it will be bad. As one doctor recently told me, he’s had to change the way he’s practiced medicine every decade. Some change is inevitable. Most hospital IT executives don’t like it any more than you do, but it’s just the reality of the current environment.

Here’s the reality for executives. We can do a much better job of implementing healthcare IT. This will require extra planning. It will require the proper staff, but done well you can minimize the impact on doctors. No doctor wants to be a data entry clerk and you don’t want your highest paid people being one either. Fight against irrational timelines that aren’t reasonable and be an advocate for well done plans and not just ones that meet the deadline.

From my vantage point, both sides of the equation can do better. If we’d all just take a little time and walk in the other person’s shoes we’d likely do better. If we don’t, it’s going to get really ugly really quickly. In some cases, it’s already started.