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Posts Tagged ‘hcsm’

Top 5 Technology Trends in Healthcare – November 2012

The healthcare IT field is rapidly developing and changing. Emerging technology and updated regulations put pressure on healthcare providers and health plans to stay ahead of the curve. Perficient creates a monthly list that explores some of the current topics and issues in health IT. This list examines the most talked about issues and technologies that are currently affecting the industry.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics are able to help healthcare organizations manage clinical issues in a timely manner and analyze statistical data to identify potentially preventable conditions. Doing so can not only help organizations meet accountable care objectives, it is also able to reduce costs, waste and fraud. Providers are able to proactively provide better care, reduce costs, and more effectively meet industry standards.

Social Media

Social networking and collaboration tools provide one-to-one streams of interactive communication which enable patients to seek out information about diseases and treatment options. Social tools can also be used to facilitate collaboration within the enterprise between clinicians, researchers, and partners.

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Think Social Media and Healthcare don’t mix? WRONG!

Dan Bowman, in a recent article, quotes a family physician who feels social media has no place in healthcare.  He asserts busy physicians don’t have time to add yet another technology to their already busy schedules.  I see his point, but I have to challenge this.

Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other sites has drastically changed the way people (a.k.a patients) communicate with each other.  Accountable care, population management, and chronic disease management activities are all about enhanced communication with patients.  It would be borderline negligent to ignore social media as a vehicle to enhance this communication.

Patients have been trained from birth to delegate their healthcare decisions to their physicians.  Most completely ignore healthcare issues and activities until they get too sick to overlook their healthcare trajectories.  Reaching and training these patients before their disease becomes chronic is needed desperately to improve outcomes.

I can see a scenario where Facebook threads between the care team and the patient are used as reminders, updates, and information gathering tools for patient data.  There is far less cost to train one or five care providers than to encourage hundreds of patients to learn a new system.   Facebook is sticky.  Today’s model is to build a patient portal site that requires patients to actively connect, sign-on, and interact.  Most of them only do this when they have a specific need.  Since they are already actively using Facebook, why not build sites that meet them on their own turf?  This can still be done securely, easy to use, and relatively quickly.

Physicians have a great opportunity to market their services and reach their patients if they embrace Twitter.  The key here is to build a following.  Twitter is based on sending small sound bites to a group of followers.  Followers are people who have chosen to listen to what the sender has to say.  This is a marketer’s dream that the healthcare industry should consider embracing.  Once a physician has built a group of followers, they should post links to wellness and diet tips, new practice offerings, and other general health improvement ideas.  These posts will be immediately received by a list of patients who want to receive this kind of information.

Physicians who are too busy to learn about social media are missing a giant opportunity to educate and reach patients on their terms.  The good news is some of this can be delegated.  Hire an intern who already knows these tools and let them build an outreach.  Assign this to a computer savvy administrator.

Social media has the potential to make a huge impact on healthcare.  With some creative thinking, they not only mix, but can be a catalyst to drastically change patient motivation and interaction.

HIMSS 2012 Interviews: Why Social Media in Healthcare [VIDEO]

We asked social media influencers at HIMSS 2012 to explain the importance of social media in healthcare.

Perficient Webinar: How to Protect Patient Data in an Increasingly Social Healthcare Industry

Join us Thursday, January 26, 2012, at 12:00 p.m. CT for the Perficient Webinar “How to Protect Patient Data in an Increasingly Social Healthcare Industry.” Register now!

The role of the patient within the healthcare industry is evolving. The growth in more collaborative healthcare models is being driven by a massive and growing group of healthcare consumers popularly dubbed “e-patients.”  This new generation of e-patients are equipped, enabled, empowered, and engaged.  They are demanding a more robust health care environment that is collaborative in nature.

As these patients use the internet and social media to enhance their health, their demands for electronic medical record access, doctor competency scores, hospital infection rates, procedure prices, etc. are also on the rise. As a result, healthcare organizations are increasingly examining how social media fits into their business model.

However, as health care professionals venture into this new space many red flags and warnings are being issued.  The same collaborative nature that makes social media appealing also increases concerns for patient data.  Unfortunately, there is little in the way of advice on the matter, and healthcare organizations have been shy with advancing social media policies of their own as a result.

Join Perficient as we explore how to use collaborative technologies to enable patients in a partnership with their providers through HIPAA compliant channels of communication.  If done properly, then the benefits of online communication will far outweigh the costs.

Register for the webinar and you will be entered to win a Perficient client badge to the February HIMSS conference in Las Vegas!

2011 Top #HITsm Contributor Awards

Just in time for the season of celebrations, the #HITsm Twitter community, focused on creating discussions on Health IT, has announced its 2011 Top #HITsm Contributors list. The list is broken into Individual Contributors, Organizations and Publications. Perficient Healthcare, under the Twitter handle @Perficient_HC, is proud to be recognized in the Organizations group for its contributions. Also, Perficient’s own Melody Smith Jones was recognized as an Individual Contributor under her handle @MelSmithJones!


So, in the spirit of celebration, we would like to recognize some of the individuals we have had great #HITsm interactions with in 2011, some from the HL7 Standards list, and some of our own.

@OchoTex – One of the faces behind the list. While obviously not included, he has been the man behind many of the weekly #HITsm chats, responsible for engaging this great community.

@NateOsit – Never afraid to voice an opinion during weekly #HITsm chats, and always on the ball with news! Great at starting discussions, collaborating, and getting exciting conversations started.

@motorcycle_guy – The #HITsm resident standards expert who posts great content under his own blog that gets everyone thinking.

@techguy – Blogger extraordinaire and all-around nice guy! Be sure to check him out at any of our healthcare conferences, and you won’t be disappointed.

@EMRAnswers – Great friend of Perficient and passionate health IT advocate. Each family has a glue that binds them; she’s ours.

@TheGr8Chalupa – Playful instigator of the #HITsm community. Who doesn’t love a lady who likes black coffee and dark beer?

@MelissaColeHTR – We think the future leaders of healthcare will be the RN’s and doctors that truly know healthcare technology. She’s one of them! Melissa’s positive attitude and encouragement have touched many members of the community.

@SmyrnaGirl – A passionate Health IT advocate. Make sure to check out her many articles on Health IT News.

@DrNanN – Feels like an old time friend at this point. Check out the numerous podcast interviews we did with @DrNanN on how Health IT connects her to her patients.

@ahier – When we think of Health IT leaders, we want to be Brian when we grow up! Check out our interview with him at HIMSS 2011.

@2healthguru – Curious about the latest news on ACO? Just ask Gregg!

@pjmachado – One of the few Health IT geeks that has as much to say in the provider space as he does in the payor space.

@janicemccallum – She fits the definition of Health IT influencer. Check her out in the interview we did last year at HIMSS on BI and Meaningful Use.

If you’re interested in becoming part of the #HITsm community these are just a few of the people we recommend engaging with. Also, join our weekly Tweetchats, starting up again in January 2012 – more information at Thank you all for such a great #HITsm year – we are looking forward to new faces and continued conversations in 2012!

Who have been your most valuable #HITsm contributors this year? 

Regina Holliday & The Art of HealthVault

Last week I attended the Microsoft Connected Health Conference in Chicago, I was invited to guest blog at the conference by the Microsoft Partner team and you can read my Day 1 and Day 2 recaps. A highlight of the conference for me was finally meeting the marvelous Regina Holliday in person.  Regina is a Patient Advocate and gifted story teller.  She shares her journey and vision so eloquently both through her art and her moving presentations.

Regina Holliday shares her story at the Microsoft Connected Health Conference

Regina created a painting representing the themes of the conference and when it was complete, she stopped to share what it was all about…

Next up for Regina, meet her at The Walking Gallery June 7th at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington DC., where Regina and friends will bring art & patient advocacy to life.

Alpha and Omega: The A to Z of Me - The painting Regina created at the Microsoft Connected Health Conference

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Meet us at the Microsoft Connected Health Conference #MSCHC2011

Microsoft Connected Health Conference 2011

The Perficient team will be exhibiting at the Microsoft Connected Health Conference on May 27th & 28th in Chicago this week. The event Hashtag is  #MSCHC2011 – of course we’ll be live tweeting from the event so if you can’t be there in person please follow us at @Perficient_HC and @Perficient_MSFT for up to date information on content shared at the event.

The speaker line-up for the Microsoft Connected Health Conference is impressive and includes Thomas Goetz, Executive Editor, Wired Magazine; Author of The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine and Dr John Kenagy; Author of Designed to Adapt: Leading Healthcare in Challenging Times and Will Disruptive Innovation Cure Healthcare?

Regular Twitter contributors on #HealthIT John Moore (@john_chilmark) from Chilmark Research and Dr Bill Crounse  (@Microsoft_MD) and #HCSM & Patient Rights Advocate & Artist Regina Holliday  (@ReginaHolliday) are also included.

It promises to be an interesting and informative Conference.  Stay tuned!

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The Movement of Patients and Physicians into Social Media

Perficient has created this series, “Responding to Healthcare Consumerism with Social Media” in order to identify the benefits and drawbacks of using social media and collaboration tools in healthcare, explore the doctor and patient communities currently interacting online, outline social media’s impact on the quality of care, and use current innovations to predict the future of social media collaboration in the healthcare industry.

While I don’t know many physicians that are still making house calls these days, I would venture to say that social media and collaborative technology tools have the power to bring patients and doctors together in a fashion similar to those old fashioned house calls.  All of the mechanisms are in place to drive a fresh collaborative healthcare environment.  As will be detailed in a future post, creating a high technology social environment where patients and physicians can interact can revolutionize the delivery of healthcare. 

However, the current reality is much different than the sunny future I see ahead.  Patients are online.  Physicians are online.  However, these two groups are running in different social circles.  While many often get caught up in the “frivolity” of online and social media, this presents a true medical problem.

Approximately one-third of adults in the US are using social media to collect health information.  According to a recent Health Dialog survey, only 25% of individuals searching for health information online verified the source.  Scarier yet, 58% of individuals surveyed assume a diagnosis based on the information they gathered online. 

Welcoming physicians into this conversation would definitely help this issue, but many rightly believe that physicians, and healthcare organizations in general, have been slow to adopt social media into the practice of medicine.  Based on the benefits and drawbacks highlighted in our earlier post in this series, I can understand why.  However, the emergence of physicians navigating social media is progressing.  It is my belief that the direction of this momentum could naturally progress into a new model for delivering healthcare. 

Manhattan Research reported that 60% of physicians actively use social networks or are interested in social media.  To date, there are 1327 physicians listed as doctors on Twitter using  However, the real growth is being fueled by physician-only social networking sites like Sermo, Ozmosis, and SocialMD.  The truth is that most doctors work in small practices, are overworked, and geographically dispersed.  As a result, it is difficult for physicians to collaborate with other medical professionals.  These physician-only social networking sites have offered a welcome refuge for learning and collaboration that help physicians filter through the overflow of health information they receive.  Doctors are able to share favorite journal articles and research and participate in online forums.  Many social media communities are now including education portals with CME courses and webinars.  As these physicians collaborate in social networks, medical knowledge spreads more quickly, which results in faster adoption of the very best clinical practices.  This results in better patient outcomes.

Sermo’s CEO, Daniel Palastrant, has been quoted as saying, “Physicians are actually turning to these mediums to better diagnose their patients and provide better care.”

Many brave MDs are now venturing out into the blogsphere and dispensing medical advice based on their experience and research.  This is a great start.  In the next post of the series, we will discuss how adding collaborative technologies to this existing social infrastructure, where patients are seeking more information and physicians are optimizing the care they deliver, can combine to impact the overall quality of care.

4 Benefits & 4 Drawbacks to Social Media in Healthcare

Late last week, during the Perficient 2010 Q4 Earnings Call, our CEO Jeff Davis stated:

“One of the things that you’re seeing…is a demand for transparency in healthcare, and consumerism in healthcare, and really focusing on the end consumer, and social media may well emerge as a strong play there.”  

Social media is atwitter with similar sentiment.  Our previous post, “Why Social Media in Healthcare?”  resulted in important conversations on the topic during the first days of HIMSS 11.  We have created this series, “Responding to Healthcare Consumerism with Social Media” in order to continue this important conversation.  This series aims to identify the benefits and drawbacks of using social media and collaboration tools in healthcare, explore the doctor and patient communities currently interacting online, outline social media’s impact on the quality of care, and use current innovations to predict the future of social media collaboration in the healthcare industry.

We will begin this series by identifying the benefits and drawbacks of social media, and collaboration tools in general, for participating healthcare organizations.  Ultimately, it is my hope that enthusiasm around these benefits, and problem solving around the drawbacks, will fuel creation of a more consumer-centric healthcare system.

 Benefits of Social Media in Healthcare

  1. Quick Dissemination of Medical Information:  There is a lot of bad medical advice available online, and healthcare patients are consuming this information at a record pace at their own parel.  This highlights an incredible opportunity for healthcare organizations, by way of their marketing department, to demonstrate thought leadership in today’s most important healthcare topics, such as diabetes, allergies, and geriatric medicine.  Through the dissemination of medical information that is accurate and actionable, healthcare organizations can not only improve general health and well-being but also grow patient rosters and the bottom line as a result.  Other industries have learned that providing free content that demonstrates thought leadership often brings sizeable rewards.  Those same industries would be green with envy at the interest healthcare organizations would receive from the remarkable content they could create.
  2. Healthcare Access Across Vast Distances: Last week I was forwarded a blog post by Houston Neal titled Social Media Can Improve Healthcare, But Are Doctors Holding Us Back?  In this post Houston states “Social media allows us to share information at a speed and distance that was once impossible.  It presents a new opportunity to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases.  In some cases, even save lives.  But we still need more engagement from healthcare professionals.”  Having lived in both rural communities and a foreign country where I did not speak the native language, I can personally attest to the tremendous opportunity that healthcare organizations have through the adoption of collaboration and social media tools to provide quality care to individuals that may not have access to medical advice otherwise.
  3. Mechanism for Cost Control:  As stated by Microsoft’s Dr. Bill Crounse (@microsoftmd) during the Meet the Bloggers forum at HIMSS11, social media is the most cost effective way to promote a message.  Smart marketers already realize this, which is why smart marketing professionals were early adopters of social media.  However, social media can go beyond the marketing department of healthcare organizations.  Social media and collaboration tools can provide an incredibly cost effective way to monitor and dispense healthcare services.  Healthcare organizations have an incredible opportunity to differentiate themselves as low cost providers of high quality medicine through the use of social media and collaboration tools.  We will be exploring this very topic in great detail in a future post.
  4. Collaborative Nature of Social Media:  In many cases, industries outside of healthcare become guinea pigs for technological advances that can be later used in the healthcare industry.  Social media has, in countless instances, leveled the playing ground between companies and their consumers.  Companies are now vigilantly perusing social media networks for traces of customer sentiment around their brand in hopes that they can react.  They are also leveraging the power of social media offensively to build brand awareness, prove thought leadership, and innovate.  Healthcare organizations have incredible opportunities to harness the power of social media to achieve these same ends.  However, if healthcare organizations are slow to invest in the tools and functions necessary to respond adequately to healthcare consumerism, then they could be at an incredible disadvantage if social media takes over their brand while they are not looking. 

 Drawbacks to Social Media in Healthcare

  1. Privacy Concerns:  Violating HIPAA privacy policies can result in stiff penalties.  As such, the same open nature that makes social media appealing also increases concerns for healthcare organizations.  There is little in the way of advice on the matter, and healthcare organizations have been shy with advancing social media policies of their own.  Progress in this area, though slow, is forthcoming.  Health and Human Services will be creating guidelines for social media use, and the American Medical Association recently released guidance to physicians using social media in their document Professionalism in the Use of Social Media
  2. Lack of Training in Collaborative Technologies: Many are intimidated by the rapid pace of social media, and doctors are no exception.  As stated by Kevin B. O’Reilly of American Medical News, “There is little professional guidance to help physicians navigate connections with patients on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.”  My recommendation?  Join social media and ask the healthcare social community some questions.  Due to its very nature, social media is filled with highly collaborative people who are willing to help a newcomer.  Veterans in social media enthusiastically provided advice to newbies at the Social Media Center at HIMSS11.  If you are particularly interested in Healthcare IT, then you can view our white paper on getting started on our HIMSS landing page.  (Insert shameless plug here)  
  3. Limits on Holistic Patient Information:  For obvious reasons, doctors are hesitant to provide medical advice to “online patients” when they have very little in the way of holistic medical history.  Doctors have very good reasons for shining light in your eyes and listening to you breath during an office visit.  Interacting with patients online admittedly limits a physician’s access to important information.  As a result, this new social medium for disseminating healthcare services creates questions related to liability for misdiagnosis.  The reactionary nature of laws, particularly in regulating the use of new technologies, make healthcare organizations very skeptical about the social media scene.
  4. Social Stigma: While there is a growing movement of physicians participating in social media, Dr. Ferdinand Velasco (@ftvelasco) and Dr. Joseph Kim (@drjosephkim) are two great examples, there is another group of physicians that look down on the practice.  They may wonder if a “real doctor” would be navigating social networks.  They also may wonder if social media compromises the existing patient/doctor relationship.  With the popularity of physician-only social media outlets like Sermo, I’m confident that these questions will be worked out within the medical community to the benefit of social media as a whole.  

So, what do you have to add to this topic?  Are there any benefits or drawbacks that I have neglected to mention?  I look forward to addressing this topic in further detail in future posts.

Recommended Links

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts by American Medical News

Five Recommendations from AMA by Health Populi

Why Social Media in Healthcare?

Phil Baumann (@PhilBaumann) who can also be found at @HealthIsSocial had a great blog post this morning titled “A Note to Readers” in it he posits that

“…. it’s the emerging ideologies concerning Healthcare and Social Media that are giving me pause.

Why? Because I feel that we’re not taking enough alone-time to step back and critically think about what all this technology deeply means.”

Phil brings up some great points in this posts and one of the responses via Twitter was from Dr Howard J Luks (@hjluks) who reminded us of his recent posts “Social Media and Healthcare – Where are We?” and “Better…(and Time to Move Forward)” that refer to the circular nature of discussion that can occur in the Health Social Media space and include some great comments like this from Andrew Spong (@AndrewSpong)

Welcome to the summit of Mount Frustration. We puff and wheeze to get to the top, only to find that everyone is either still following along behind us, or has already begun their descent into the Land of Possibility that lies beyond”

I think this discussion is especially interesting with the Annual HIMSS Conference kicking-off in Orlando this week-end and with the huge focus that HIMSS (@HIMSS) is placing on Social Media with the Social Media Center on the exhibitor floor this year and at least 12 dedicated Social Media Focused sessions. Not to mention the increased number of vendors that have joined on the Social Media band-wagon.  I hope they are here to stay and that they join in & help to evolve the discussion…

In my opinion the way we do business is changing.  Social Media is a key part of the change.  We are headed back to an era where relationships matter and where trust is key.  The difference is that now when we look for information the first place we go might be Google or Bing (for me its Twitter). As both engines license Twitter data, social search is going to become more important.  If there’s a greater understanding of Social Media, how to engage and what kind of information to share, it should drive increased innovation simply because awareness will be heightened.  As there is increased innovation leveraging traditional IT platforms, health IT costs should decrease, hopefully freeing up funding for further innovation. Social Media can help drive this awareness.

So while the conversation may be circular in nature at times, it’s because we are evolving and learning from those that already understand and are willing to share their knowledge.  Knowledge that can lead to innovation that can benefit us all. Remembering of course how Nick Dawson ( @NickDawson) finishes the weekly #HCSM (@HealthSocMed ) Twitter chats “We are all Patients” and we are social creatures!

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Social Media: How, Why and What?

Lately I’ve had numerous discussions with people about Social Media, why I use it, how I use it and which tools I use.  So I figured it may make sense to write about it!

I use Social Media because it’s an incredible tool to seek & find information and thought leaders. In addition Social Media can serve as a conduit to both develop and deepen relationships.  I’ve learned so much from people I’d never have the opportunity to encounter in daily life and discovered depth to many I do know, in addition to finding common interests that likely wouldn’t come up in normal conversation. I use a limited set of Social Media platforms & tools. Social Media facilitates the other things that I do in my day to day personal & professional life.

The tools I use…

I love Twitter’s simplicity, the ability to jump on & see what’s happening at that moment in time across my Tweetstream. I like how TweetDeck can organize my lists and key words and show me a snapshot of what’s happening around a specific topic or area of interest. Twitter is an amazing tool to give you a pulse on what’s going on in addition to breaking news & event updates. It can also serve as a public conversation & real-time connection tool at conferences, providing updated information, additional insight & links. Not to mention widening the audience to those not participating in person.  I’ve learned from shared information at several conferences I did not attend in person last year and the information can be found later – the Library of Congress is even archiving our Tweets! I’ve found so many people to learn from on Twitter and developed professional relationships & made friends which is why I’m in awe of this powerful tool.

LinkedIn for me is like a self-updating rolodex. A modern version of exchanging business cards, but the business card never goes out of date.  In today’s world where people may only be associated with a particular organization for a few years at a time, it’s the perfect tool to keep track of who is doing what & where. In this world of transparency, it can also give you a pulse on what is happening at a particular company, their employee demographics etc. If your competition says they have a strong local presence in a particular market or skill-set & their LinkedIn employees suggest a different story, it begs some question… Not to mention the ability to get some insight into the people you will be meeting with & a snapshot of their social presence as it’s likely linked to their LinkedIn profile.

Facebook came later for me. I initially saw it as a tool for keeping in touch with friends & family & as such would decline invites from business colleagues. I then started to look at it differently and started to see Facebook like my office. If someone were to visit me, we’d initially talk about our respective week-ends for a while & they would see the photos of my family, my son’s artwork & other random artifacts from my personal life. Once I started to look at it like that & interact with professional colleagues there, it changed the relationship dynamic. It’s amazing how a glimpse into someone’s personal life can help to forge additional connections as you find areas of commonality that may never be uncovered in occasional small talk.  Perhaps you visit the same places from time to time, see humor in similar things, find inspiration in similar things – or your kids/grandkids are the same age, it all drives towards deeper relationships both personal & professional.

My final key tool is my phone – formerly an iPhone, now a Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7. Microsoft has done a really good job with the People Hub & seamless Facebook integration. Although I would really like to see them build on it & add Twitter integration to the People Hub. This is truly the beginnings of a really ‘social’ phone. Looking forward to when TweetDeck get their Windows Phone 7 application ready too!

I like to think of myself as a connector – always looking to connect people & information to each other to drive more meaningful relationships. Social Media works for me because it facilitates all of this.

I’m looking forward to the HIMSS11 Conference in February & to seeing what goodies the HIMSS team has in store for us this year. Last year there were several very interesting Social Media focused sessions.  Not to mention the promise of reconnecting with many of those that I have learned from & been inspired by during the year – the wonderful members of the HCSM & HealthIT communities!

See you at HIMSS11?

The Power of Twitter: Connecting People and Information, Fast!

I’m a big fan of Twitter.  I use it to find & share information & to connect with people that share my interests.  As such I’m an active participant in several Twitter communities including the Healthcare, Health IT, Health Social Media, SharePoint & Microsoft Partner Communities.

Yesterday Dux Raymond Sy (@MeetDux) posted a link to an excellent analogy on what Twitter is all about.

…and a little later I had my own real life example of the power of Twitter to connect people & usable information real time that mirrored Dux’s analogy.  You see Dux is someone I know from the SharePoint community & Dr Kent Bottles (@KentBottles) is part of the Healthcare community… Read the rest of this post »

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