Creating Value from Social Intelligence


Guest post by Nathan Sage, PA Consulting Group.

Across the world there are about 1.5 billion conversations an hour on social media platforms. Social media users share 30 billion pieces of content – comments, opinions, information videos, podcasts and photographs each month.

Yet just 15 years ago, none of this existed.

This means businesses have potential access to huge amounts of data about their markets, customers and competitors. The challenge is to turn these social media conversations from simple noise into intelligence from which they can extract the insights, the understanding and the warnings that will create or protect value.

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Insight About Waste and Tips for Productive IT Techniques throughout the Care Setting

Who among us that spend time working in health IT don’t think about ways to use the technology in practices to create efficiency and make work life better? However, on the other hand, how often do we think about the technologies and technological strategies employed in healthcare that just don’t measure up to much except for waste of time and resources.

Stepping back for a minute, but using that concept as a launching point, I recently asked several people this very question and the responses I received were plentiful. They ranged from implementing new solutions to make life easier for physicians on rounds to techniques for streamlining the use of email.

You see, electronic health records and practice portals, for example, are not the only solutions and approaches that can make us more productive or create productive IT throughout the care setting.

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What’s Your Plan? Cloud as Disaster Recovery for Healthcare IT and Healthcare Consultants

Guest post by Dan Tully, executive vice president, Conduit Systems.

“Disaster” is defined as a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, which causes great damage and results in unfortunate consequences. Hurricane Sandy – which as hard as it might be to believe,  just came upon its six-month anniversary – still comes to mind as the most recent example of the havoc that disasters can wreak. Sandy caused an estimated $50 billion in damages and healthcare IT systems, their managers and healthcare consultancies were not immune. Not to mention the devastation we just faced with the tornados in Oklahoma.

In recent years, the cloud has emerged as a powerful tool to ensure service continuity in the event of disaster, and rightfully so – it’s swift, efficient and cost-effective. A review of cloud-based solutions today for disaster recovery is a safe investment of time, resources, and eventually, capital.

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Send Money Now: HHS’ Sebelius’ Request for Funds to Support Obamacare Compared to Iran-Contra Scandal


Health and Human Services recently admitted that Secretary Kathleen Sebelius solicited private support for the implementation of Obamacare programs including Enroll America, a nonprofit group devoted to expanding access that a former Obama administration staffer runs. According to Politico and other sources, HHS says there’s no problem with her actions.

According to the report, Sebelius sought donations from healthcare companies for a group working to encourage more people to enroll in Obamacare programs. Several key leaders, primarily Republicans, say Sebelius is showing disregard for constitutional principles and may violate the Antideficiency Act — the prohibition against augmenting congressional appropriations, and executive branch ethics laws.

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The Problem with Healthcare IT: The Closer We Get to the Goal, the Farther Away the Goal Seems to Get

Farzad Mostashari recently said that 5 percent of the problem in healthcare now is people while the remaining 95 percent of the problem is systems and IT.

According the national health IT coordinator, as reported by Government Health IT, “It’s systems that let ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

However, the tools that allow us to do extraordinary things contribute to nearly all of the problems physicians and their practices face in healthcare. IT is to blame for healthcare’s problems; not lack of payment reform, overarching government intrusion, lack of research, the fact that doctors are only able to spend about eight minutes with each patient per visit, etc.

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Meaningful Use Fatigue?: Program Seems More Like Long-term Payday Loan than Professional Initiative

I can’t think of a more obvious statement than the one recently made by Impact Advisor principal Laura Kreofsky, who said recently that everyone in healthcare is going to hit a wall in a year or two and fatigue is going to settle in regarding meaningful use.

By 2015, we’re all going to be sick and tired of meaningful use.

I already am.

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View from the Hospital: Reflection on Electronic Health Record Implementation


Guest post by Rishi Agrawal, MD, MPH, physician champion, La Rabida Children’s Hospital, Chicago, IL.

“Why do I have to click so many times to order something so simple?” a frustrated resident blurted out on her first day using our newly implemented CPOE system.

Having helped build order sets as a physician champion, the best I could tell her was that many aspects of the software were beyond my control, but that it will get faster and easier with familiarity.  And it did, to a point. Within a few weeks of going live, we had more than 90 percent adoption of CPOE, a source of both relief and pride. But challenges remained.

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Lack of Hospital Prices: An Example of Complexity Confounding Reform

Guest post by Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, leader of the Hospital Performance Improvement practice at Berkeley Research Group.

One symptom of the complexity of hospitals is our inability to give consumers upfront prices for procedures and services. In May 2006, Mike Leavitt, then Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, wrote an Op Ed in which he observed:

“Americans know the price of almost everything they pay for, except for one of the most important things they pay for — their healthcare. With a point and click, they can find the price of anything from clothes to cars. Yet they don’t know what they are paying for healthcare and what sort of quality to expect in return.”

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Are 93 Percent of Physicians Really Using EHRs?

Looks like we’re getting a lot closer to a healthcare environment where nearly every practicing physician is using electronic health records.

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Why an Everyday Player is Never the Designated Hitter in Healthcare IT: The Importance of Subject Matter Experts

Guest post by Jeff Urban is the Area Vice President of MedSys Group.

With the introduction of the affordable care act, the ubiquitous feeding frenzy for HIT talent began in 2009, and has yet to slow down. As the shortage of individuals escalates, pay has accelerated to levels unseen. Hiring full-time employees by hospitals has become less commonplace, as the demand and upside of consulting is too lucrative for talent to turn down.

Prices are increasing, and the current model is becoming unsustainable. As competition becomes fiercer and decisions are being made faster and without adequate time for proper due diligence, many hospitals and staff augmentation firms feel they have found a way out. The belief that a pure information technology individual, once trained, can fill the role of a healthcare IT subject matter expert (SME) is becoming more widely accepted, and if perpetuated, has the chance to create more issues than it solves.

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