Entries in healthIT (14)


Secondary Data Usage in Healthcare

I was guest speaker at the March 22, 2012 “Let’s Talk HIT” series hosted by Scratch Marketing & Media in Cambridge, MA. The topic I chose was Secondary Data Publishing in Health. Health Content Advisor’s parent company, InfoCommerce Group, has a long history of guiding business media companies in constructing data products, but increasingly we are finding interesting examples of secondary data products that develop as a by-product of technology companies. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) represents one of the more compelling examples of information technology that has the potential to spawn a new generation of data products.

Scratch Marketing has posted the video of the talk, which was structured as an interactive group discussion, in 8 parts. See their YouTube page for the list of segments:

See the event recap by Lizzie McQuillan at Scratch Marketing here:

Also, for a provocative view, read Marya Zilberberg, MD, MPH’s takeaway from the evening’s discussion:

Thanks again to Scratch and the many Boston-area (stretching all the way out to the Berkshires!) health IT, public health, healthcare publishing, entrepreneurs, and marketing experts who attended and participated in the discussion. Scratch Marketing added Twitter handles to the video, which helps tremendously in identifying each speaker.


Event Planning for 2012

At this eventful time of year, I thought I would hold off from sending a long post and instead focus on conference and event schedules. Don’t worry, the year-end review/look ahead post will be forthcoming after the 1st of the year.

There are so many good events to choose from, especially in the healthcare and health IT spaces, that it’s difficult to decide where to devote time-constrained resources. The Events page that we added to the Health Content Advisors site earlier this year lists all major events that I or my colleagues will be attending. At this point, only past 2011 events are listed, but we’ll update the list over the holiday period.

Somehow, I chose a fantastic mix of live events to attend last year and I hope to make a repeat appearance at all of these events in 2012. I’m making plans for #HIMSS12, February 20-24 in Las Vegas now and hope to add the SIIA IIS conference, January 24-25 in New York to the list for 2012.

When we update the Events page, we’ll add links to blog posts, pictures and videos from the events. As a preview, here’s a short video interview I did with at the Health2.0 conference in San Francisco:

Also, please check out my previous post on Using Game Dynamics that includes a link to a video of my session at Data Content11 that focused on using game dynamics in market research and provides examples from healthcare research, including PatientsLikeMe.   

That’s it for now. Happy holidays and best wishes for a 2012 that exceeds your expectations!





Stay Tuned for Health 2.0 Coverage

This blog took a hiatus in August, but will be back in force for the remainder of September. I’ll be attending the annual Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco next week and look forward to some related events starting on Friday, September 23 (HealthCamp SF Bay), the Rock Health BootCamp on Saturday, and the pre-conference Patients 2.0 meeting on Sunday.

Health Content Advisors is a media sponsor of Health 2.0 this year, so watch for daily updates to this blog, along with my Twitter feed @janicemccallum that will post more frequent updates from the meetings.  Follow the conference hashtag #health2con for updates from the entire group of attendees.

On the topic of conferences, the InfoCommerce annual event, Data Content11, is coming up soon (November 2-4) in Philadelphia. As always, some healthcare companies will be represented on the program, but the focus is on the broader issue of how to build successful data publishing businesses. This year’s conference program theme is: Cloud, Crowd, and Curation.  Join us for B2B data publishing’s best networking event and to learn from our Models of Excellence companies how to create and sustain high value data businesses.

For those who want to know more about Data Content11, please contact me at  Or, drop me a line if you want to meet up in San Francisco.


Will Health IT Mergers Help Drive Productivity in Healthcare?

Healthcare insiders –and even casual observers—know that the health IT sector is overcrowded with too many vendors that have overlapping functionality. This fragmented and crowded health IT market confuses buyers and leads to costly and inefficient implementations of technology that is intended to improve efficiencies.  A recent blog post by John Lynn (@techguy) provides a useful illustration of how the fragmentation affects provider networks and alliances.  Personally, I wouldn’t want to be the CIO who had to deal with multiple IT vendors within a single institution, never mind dealing with the entire mosaic of vendors by function and across institutions in a formal or informal network of providers.

So, it is easy to predict consolidation between competing players that serve the same functions.  Just last week there were two acquisitions within the medical transcription sector that illustrate this trend: Nuance Communications acquired WebMedx and MedQuist acquired M*Modal.

IT won’t deliver true workflow efficiencies—and accompanying productivity gains—unless vendors  take a systems view of processes and focus on improving the workflow instead of simply digitizing existing paper-based processes.  I’m not saying anything new here. Anyone who has read Clayton Christensen’s Innovator’s Prescription or has lived through a disappointing EMR implementation project understands the problem.  We need a rationalization of vendors and solutions across the entire system. Vertical consolidation within each subsector reduces the confounding number of options for buyers, but doesn’t necessarily solve the larger problem of improving productivity (and by productivity I mean better outcomes and improved efficiency).

In a tangentially related event last week, the Society for Participatory Medicine (#S4PM) held a tweetchat that included some discussion of doctor-patient communication when the doctor is facing a computer screen. Unfortunately, existing EHR/EMR systems haven’t been optimized for the doctor-patient encounter. Voice input, touch screens, direct-from-device input, and even Kinect-style input all represent technologies that could vastly improve the data collection process during, before and after patient visits. Although it’s a small step, I am hopeful that the recent acquisitions in the medical transcription segment allow the consolidated companies more leeway to formulate a wider range of productivity-enhancing voice-data solutions and are representative of future merger activity to come.


Health IT 100: Leaders in Healthcare Social Media

Just a quick note to thank everyone who voted for me in the HIT100 poll. I was delighted to be ranked #8 among an elite group of health IT specialists and industry leaders.

For more detail and information on the follow-on poll to name the top 5 health IT social media influencers, see Keith Boone’s post.

A special thanks to Michael Planchart (@theEHRguy) who conceived of the poll. The results are very helpful in steering people to the highest quality disseminators of health IT information.  I’m truly honored to be in the company of everyone who is on the list.