Yesterday, my day started out a bit differently than usual. I was up much earlier in order to get to the Boston Seaport Hotel for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network Breakfast. Schwartz MSL Boston was the event’s corporate sponsor. Well, the traffic was awful (I intend to call the MassPike to suggest that the FAST PASS be accepted at the Cash Only toll booth)… but I digress.
It was definitely worth the ride in. Our guest of honor and featured speaker that morning was Carmen Ortiz, United States Attorney. If you don’t know, Ms. Ortiz was nominated by President Barack Obama as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November 2009. She is the first Hispanic and the first woman to represent Massachusetts as United States Attorney.
Wow! These events typically feature amazing, interesting, successful women, but I must say Ms. Ortiz was all that and more. She was genuine and “real.” She gave us advice, she told some stories and most importantly—she inspired us. She inspired us to be mentors, to take risks, to lead by example, to be role models for young girls, to remember our roots and to believe in ourselves. Ms. Ortiz was “leaning in” long before Sheryl Sandberg coined the phrase.
Ms. Ortiz talked about management style, suggesting that a manager inspires her team to produce and to succeed. An inspiring manager brings out the best in her team; she can make you laugh but also challenge you. A manager puts the organization first; she leads by example—rolling up her sleeves doing the work alongside her team, not just delegating every task. And by doing so that manager inspires every team member to bring their best game.
Leadership—good leadership—is a delicate balance of honest feedback and appreciation. Make sure your team/staff knows you value them.
Women tend to second guess themselves. I think she’s absolutely right about that. Before you go for that new job or promotion, you question your resume, your accomplishments—you may even doubt your ability to do the job. Men tend not to have these issues. So, as Ms. Ortiz recommends: take risks. We may not pick the family we are born into, but we do get to choose our spouse, our friends, our work colleagues—so choose wisely and surround yourself with family, friends, colleagues who support you, who believe in you. It’s a sign of strength to ask for help. Know yourself and know enough to get help when you need it.
And when you do succeed, don’t forget to send the elevator back down for the next woman to ride up.
By Helen Shik on May 22, 2013 12:02 PM
There are some times in your career that you feel like you are truly making a difference and the first week of May was one of those times for the Schwartz MSL Healthcare team.
We had the opportunity to once again work with the wonderful folks at the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) to raise consumer awareness in Denver and surrounding cities about the importance of heart health, and, most notably, help educate the public about two serious yet widely misunderstood arrhythmia disorders: atrial fibrillation (AFib) and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). This patient education and awareness campaign was HRS’ way of giving back to Denver, host city for Heart Rhythm 2013, the organization’s prestigious annual scientific conference.
The Schwartz MSL team recognized that in order to reach a large and diverse audience and truly make an impact, we needed a surround sound approach that leveraged, but didn’t rely solely on, local media coverage and advertising. More than that, we wanted to put residents in touch with experts for live conversations about warning signs, symptoms and treatment options. Similar to our campaign last year in Boston, we set out to hold a public awareness event.
With a little more than a month to plan and execute, the Schwartz MSL team quickly mobilized, securing a location in downtown Denver with lots of foot traffic, making sure we had all the necessary permits from the City, and hiring tent and furniture vendors. Keep in mind that we did this all from almost two thousand miles away in Boston with none of the team ever having visited Denver! We often tell our clients that in today’s always-on world, location really doesn’t matter, and nowhere was this mantra more apparent than in planning the HRS event. The Schwartz MSL team quickly was able to establish relationships with key local departments in Denver — Park & Recreation, Chamber of Commerce, Travel and Visitor Bureau, and Mayor and Governor’s offices—enabling us to get the intel and influence we needed to pull off a great event.
To help promote the event and drive attendance, Schwartz MSL conducted traditional and social media outreach to local outlets, including the Denver Post, and local broadcast stations tweeted and shared on Facebook about it to their followers. In addition, we secured more than a dozen calendar listings in outlets in and around Denver and developed a flyer about the event that was distributed by street teams in the city in the days leading up to the main event.
We also wanted the experience for people who attended to be interactive, so we worked with HRS on patient risk assessments that were loaded onto iPads. Using these online quizzes, the Schwartz MSL team guided people through a short series of questions about their health, family history and lifestyle. Armed with a topline assessment of each individual’s risk for SCA and/or AFib, our team then connected each attendee with a member of our team of cardiologists, nurses and allied health professionals who had volunteered their time for one-on-one conversations. Then, thanks to HRS partner AliveCor, attendees were also able to get their EKGs taken right on an iPhone. As a result, each attendee left not just with information, but personalized data on their own heart health, risk and steps they can and should take to protect themselves.
The Schwartz MSL team also didn’t stop at just an event. We developed and rolled out three weeks’ worth of radio ads throughout Denver promoting the event and helping to educate listeners about cardiac arrhythmias, AFib and SCA. We worked with HRS to sponsor a local Denver Rapids professional soccer game where HRS’ PSA was played for several thousand attendees. We also worked with Denver Governor John Hickenlooper’s office to secure a proclamation declaring the month of May as Cardiac Rhythm Awareness Month in Colorado, and with Mayor Michael Hancock’s office to proclaim May 8, the day of our event, as Cardiac Rhythm Awareness Day in Denver. These proclamations also gave a level of timeliness to our media pitches around local patient stories and local physician experts.
Despite a raw and rainy morning, the event on May 8 was a success. Attendees completed the risk assessment, met with a health professional and left armed with the information they garnered from these conversations so they could make follow-up appointments with their own doctors if needed. One woman even commented that she was having trouble getting an appointment with a cardiologist about AFib, so she came to this event and the one-on-one time she got with a physician was incredibly valuable. Many more people came by simply to learn about AFib and SCA and left with materials that will help them better understand these conditions. The Schwartz MSL team also distributed several hundred magnets developed to provide the public with simple steps for monitoring their heart rhythm at home, a simple task that can help close the gap between early detection and the life-threatening consequences if these conditions are left untreated.
The Schwartz MSL team really felt like we made a difference in spreading the word about SCA and AFib to local residents in Denver at this fun and educational event. Plus, the multi-faceted campaign continues to yield results with additional patient stories, expert physician commentary, PSA viewings and social media buzz that are still appearing.
Thanks Denver and HRS for a great event!
By Lauren Arnold on May 21, 2013 3:12 PM
It's important to keep a close eye on trends in social media, especially as adoption rates grow and communities begin to form on a range of topics. That thought process is what prompted me to reach out to a friendly group of health IT influencers on Twitter to learn more about how and if they use Facebook to stay on top of relevant companies and industry topics for their jobs as journalists.
Less than an hour after sending my tweet, I received responses from five different journalists who verified that they do utilize social media for work, but that they each used social media a bit differently. The Healthcare practice at Schwartz MSL was interested in learning more so we developed a survey to connect with an even larger group of influencers. We asked the group to tell us if they use social media for professional use and which channels they use for this purpose. We decided to focus on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, as our clients have seen the most success with these sites.
Social media skeptics might be surprised to learn that a healthy 82.6 percent of our survey respondents are not only using social media for personal use, but they're using it to gain knowledge about companies and topics that they may later report on. This means that they're following status updates, reading consumer responses and participating in the health IT conversations on their own accounts.
Which social media tools were the most popular for professional use among our health IT influencers? Find out here:
- Twitter is clearly the king when it comes to social media participation for reporters, with 94.7 percent of our social media users stating that they use the popular social media site for professional use.
- Coming up behind Twitter was LinkedIn, not surprisingly, as the social networking site is a great way to stay apprised of news and events related to companies of all sizes. And 68.4 percent of our social media-touting influencers say they log onto the site to do just that.
- Google+ proved to be popular with 42.1 percent of our survey's social media users, a number that may be surprising to some until taking a step back to understand the level of interaction encouraged on the site. Reporters, The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, vendors and more have been known to gather on the still young social media channel for interactive health IT-related Google+ Hangouts.
- Facebook is a site that many still reserve for personal use only. Our survey results reveal that only 31.6 percent of influencers use the site for professional purposes.
Our survey is truly a testament to the power of social media for both B2B and B2C companies. Many B2B companies tend to shy away from prioritizing social media accounts, however, the fact that 82.6 percent of the boldest and brightest health IT influencers use social media in some capacity for their jobs should encourage social media skeptics to log on and share pertinent company information with targeted communities. After all, you don’t want a reporter to see a customer complaint on social media before you do!
If you would like to learn more about how to integrate social media into your healthcare business, feel free to contact our Healthcare Social Media Practice Group at email@example.com.
By Jordon Goulder on May 9, 2013 1:41 PM
Schwartz MSL had another significant presence at HIMSS in New Orleans this year. We had a record 15 clients exhibiting, who offer an array of solutions aimed at consumers (mHealth), payers/brokers (claims management software, analytics), hospitals and health systems (health information exchange, security), healthcare providers (electronic medical records, clinical decision support) and even employers (benefits management).
- Securing protected health information (PHI) and keeping it compliant with the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- Interoperability and secure delivery of information across diverse healthcare networks.
- Perhaps the biggest announcement at HIMSS13 was when five marquee Electronic Health Record vendors (Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, Greenway and McKesson, which collectively represent more than 40% of the hospital EHR market) launched the CommonWell Alliance to promote greater access to health data through improved interoperability. To quote the press release, the initiative is designed to create “a national and trusted health information exchange to break down information silos in healthcare (and) improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of care delivery.”
- There was also a very popular “HIMSS Interoperability Showcase” which featured live demos and education sessions. Key panels, education sessions and exhibitions included:
- “Introducing the Blue Button Plus” by Pierce Graham-Jones, West Health Innovator-in-Residence (HHS), and Ryan Panchadsaram, Presidential Innovation Fellow, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. Blue Button+ is a blueprint for the structured and secure transmission of personal health data on behalf of an individual consumer. It meets and builds on the view, download and transmit requirements in Meaningful Use Stage 2 for certified EHR technology.
- “Extra-Sensitive PHI: Appropriate Sharing Using Data Segmentation for Privacy” by Scott Weinstein, JD, Presidential Management Fellow, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer , Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Discussed the types of healthcare data that require additional protection and special handling beyond HIPAA requirements, the applicability of Privacy Metadata as a means to enable electronic implementation of various disclosure policies, the common attributes of Privacy disclosure policies, and how standards can be used to electronically enforce a prohibition on redisclosure.
- “Malice, Mistake and Misuse: Managing Privacy and Security in an Insecure World” a Lunch & Learn session sponsored by PwC
- “Locking Down the Cloud for Healthcare: Security is Not a Myth” a Lunch & Learn session sponsored by FireHost
- Getting a handle on the growing BYOD trend in hospitals and creating policies that ensure collaborative care that utilize smartphones and other devices does not compromise security.
- Schwartz MSL client Imprivata demonstrated both Imprivata OneSign and Imprivata Cortext, a free HIPAA-compliant texting solution, and had nine hospital and health system customers on hand giving presentations.
- Like the “Interoperability Showcase,” the dedicated “Mobile Health Knowledge Center” area was also a hit at HIMSS. Sessions and demos included:
- “Mobility and BYOD: An Uneasy and Inevitable Relationship” sponsored by Gartner
- “Leveraging Smartphones to Simplify Communication across Multiple Systems”
- “Mobile and Wireless Technologies in the Hospital – Now & Soon”
- “Tackling the ‘Achilles Heel’ of Mobile Medicine”
- “Top Five Information Risk, Security, and Privacy Considerations for BYOD"
By Doug Russell on April 2, 2013 12:58 PM
The biggest challenge for HIMSS 2013 attendees will be to break away from the Morial Convention Center to sample New Orleans’ many delights. We encourage you to sample New Orleans’ rich cultural experience. If you are a runner or walker, grab a map and sketch a route for a morning walk or run. Better yet, invite a client or prospect to join you.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Stroll through the French Quarter: The historic French Quarter is filled with shopping, dining, entertainment and fantastic architecture. Start your day with breakfast at Mother’s or Café Du Monde, grab a muffuletta sandwich at Central Grocery and end the day with traditional jazz while dining at Palm Court Jazz Café.
- A sweet note: Open your ears and explore the abundance of NOLA music venues such as the venerable Preservation Hall (for classic jazz), Maple Leaf Bar, Tipitina’s Uptown, House of Blues, Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro and Club 300 Jazz Bistro.
- Those with families are sure to enjoy the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of the Americas, Carousel Gardens Amusement Park in New Orleans City Park or a ride on the St. Charles Streetcar.
- Get in the mood for your visit by reading John Kennedy Toole’s masterpiece, A Confederacy of Dunces, or viewing A Streetcar Named Desire with Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. Those with an iron constitution and love of colorful nightlife may wish to replicate Anthony Bourdain’s itinerary in “The Layover: 36 Hours in New Orleans.”
- Or, visit one of the more than 1,150 restaurants within the city limits. The renowned chefs of New Orleans are a passionate bunch. So go ahead and try a creole, Cajun or French signature dish during your stay.
By Doug Russell on February 27, 2013 2:11 PM
Back in November, we published a blog post and Wait A Minute video describing why industry analyst relations are important to so many of our client engagements.
Today, with the HIMSS13 Annual Conference & Expo in New Orleans less than two weeks away, we thought we'd revisit that post, and expand upon it with a short list of some of the key industry analysts we've worked with in our healthcare IT practice. For those interested in information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare, these are some of the industry's leading influencers and thought leaders. They are worth getting to know.
While the departure of Forrester's Elizabeth Boehm, Principal Analyst, Healthcare & Life Sciences last year was a significant move, others of note at that noted firm include:
- Craig Le Clair, VP, Principal Analyst serving Enterprise Architecture Professionals, covers a range of topics including invoice management, medical health records, information management, customer communications management and financial compliance.
- Ellen Carney, Senior Analyst serving eBusiness and Channel Strategy Professionals, focuses on the eBusiness strategies, technologies, adoption trends, and best practices of property and casualty, life, group, and health insurers globally.
- Joanne Galimi, Managing Partner in Gartner's Consulting Organization. Covers healthcare and insurance.
- Robert H. Booz, VP and Distinguished Analyst. Monitors business and technology trends in the health payer industry.
- Thomas J. Handler, M.D., Research Director for the Healthcare Provider Analyst Group. Covers everything from telemedicine to EHR systems to clinical applications.
- Wes Rishel, VP and Distinguished Analyst, Healthcare Provider Research Practice. Covers electronic medical records, interoperability, health information exchanges and the underlying technologies of healthcare IT, including application integration and standards. Follow Rishel on Twitter at @wrishel
- Barry Runyon, VP, Healthcare Provider Research. Covers mobility, clinical and patient portals, vendor neutral archives, legacy decommissioning, remote hosting and cloud service delivery models, and enterprise awareness.
- Vi Shaffer, Research VP and Global Industry Services Director for Healthcare Providers.
IDC Health Insights
- Scott Lundstrom, Group Vice President, IDC Health Insight's research-based advisory and consulting offerings, covering payer, provider and life science segments.
- Lynne A. Dunbrack, Program Director, Connected Health IT Strategies Program.
- Judy Hanover, Research Director, Provider IT Strategies.
- Janice W. Young, Program Director, Payer IT Strategies.
- John Moore, Founder and Managing Partner - Follow John Moore on Twitter (@john_chilmark) and on his blog.
If you have further questions, or want to learn more about industry analyst relations and the programs we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Give us at call at (781) 684-0770 to arrange a meeting at the upcoming HIMSS show in New Orleans.
By Doug Russell on February 20, 2013 4:07 PM
Many healthcare IT companies are wondering if federal regulators will drop Meaningful Use news during the upcoming HIMSS13 conference. It’s a reasonable concern, since last year the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) unexpectedly announced Meaningful Use Stage 2 rules on the third day of the conference.
However, hospitals, health systems and physician's practices can breathe a sigh of relief. While the ONC has drafted preliminary recommendations for the final stage of the federal electronic health record (EHR) incentive program, the earliest the industry will see Meaningful Use Stage 3 is 2016. Stage 2 won’t even begin until 2014 for the earliest adopters.
Draft Stage 3 Rules: A Higher Threshold
Released in November 2012, the public comment period for the draft Stage 3 rules has already ended. The early stage objectives largely reaffirm Stage 2 goals and place higher thresholds for showing Meaningful Use. For example, the draft Stage 3 rules require hospitals and physicians to:
- Use computerized provider order entry (CPOE) for referrals/transition of care orders directly entered by qualified licensed healthcare professionals. Stage 2 required CPOE only for medication, laboratory and radiology orders.
- Implement 15 clinical decision support interventions or guidance related to five or more clinical quality measures that are presented at a relevant point in patient care for the entire EHR reporting period. This is an increase from the five required in Stage 2.
In addition, some Meaningful Use objectives and measures may be retired, including:
- Recording patient demographics;
- Recording and charting changes in vital signs; and
- Recording smoking status for patients 13-years-old and older.
Many in the industry criticize other new objectives as being too difficult to achieve. For example, one new item would require providers to give 10 percent of patients the ability to submit patient-generated health information and request an amendment to their health record online. The rule is designed to either improve performance on high-priority health conditions and/or increase patient engagement in care. However, some physicians don't have control over patient behavior and may find it difficult to meet this requirement.
Another tentative Stage 3 rule could require physicians and hospitals to provide care synopses, setting-specific goals, and instructions for care during transitions of care. However, not all EHRs can be programmed to extract this additional data automatically.
Some organizations, like the American Medical Association, say that much of the Stage 3 criteria would be extremely difficult for physicians to meet, causing some practices to fall short of requirements and exposing them to lower Medicare payments.
Similarly, John Halamka, vice chair of the Standards Committee and CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said that while the Standards Committee generally agrees with ONC’s current goals for Stage 3, it is concerned about whether they are realistically achievable, considering that standards and interoperability for certain EHR functions and clinical procedures are still evolving.
The American Academy of Family Physicians went so far as to send a letter requesting that ONC delay implementation of Stage 3 until 2017. Glen Stream, AAFP board chair, wrote, "We remain concerned that HHS is attempting to raise the bar for what constitutes meaningful use before the majority of physicians and hospitals are able to achieve the meaningful use Stage 1 or 2 objectives"
A group of EMR vendors also want Meaningful Use Stage 3 deadlines be moved up to a later date and the focus shifted to put a greater emphasis on interoperability. The group, the HIMSS EHR Association (EHRA), represents 40 vendors pulled together by HIMSS that include both enterprise and physician-oriented vendors, such as: athenahealth, Cerner, Epic, eClinicalWorks, Emdeon, Meditech, McKesson, Siemens, GE Healthcare IT and Practice Fusion.
According to a letter by EHRA: “The EHRA strongly recommends that Stage 3 focus primarily on encouraging and assisting providers to take advantage of the substantial capabilities established in Stage 1 and especially Stage 2, rather than adding new meaningful use requirements and product certification criteria. In particular, we believe that any meaningful use and functionality changes should focus primarily on interoperability and building on accelerated momentum and more extensive use of Stage 2 capabilities and clinical quality measurement.”
Ushering in New Models of Care
Overall, ONC designed Stage 3 to support new collaborative care models, with shared responsibility and accountability. ONC said that "Stage 3 is the time to begin to transition from a setting-specific focus to a collaborative, patient- and family- centric approach." Just how ONC will go about this should become clear as the healthcare industry trudges the road forward.
There will be several sessions pertaining to Meaningful Use at HIMSS13, and new to the show is the Meaningful Use Experience. This dedicated area for EHR vendors and providers will make it easy for attendees to find Meaningful Use products that have been certified to meet all mandatory criteria.
Thea Lavin, vice president at Schwartz MSL, will be at HIMSS and would be pleased to meet you to talk about meaningful use and other healthcare IT issues. You can reach her at 415-512-0770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Thea Lavin
By Davida Dinerman on February 15, 2013 12:58 PM