Tuesday, February 28, 2012


I liked how Colin Hung (@Colin_Hung) put it in his blog “white space dominates” at HIMSS12  - I was afraid maybe it was just me – was I working too much and not looking hard enough for the new and exciting.   So, I have waited an entire weekend before writing my final blog HIMSS12.  I went back and reread some of the blogs I posted after HIMSS11 including two of my favorites The Patient as a Consumer and The New Economy.   Ironically, not most heavily trafficked but a good glimpse into the way I see things.

I debated back and forth about what to post – I could blast a few people and companies for same-o-same-o booths, technology that is still behind the times, promising more than they can deliver, or when people said or did things that were “just business” but were frankly just wrong.    It seems like everyone was focused on refinement of existing ideas instead of pushing anything new.   The most disappointing comments I heard circled around “proprietary” databases and not sharing information.   I wish I would have had the gumption to say…… brrring brrring – that’s the 80’s calling and they want their proprietary database back.  Or quote my friend Epatient Dave "Give me my Darn Data" (this is a G rated blog so I changed the wording a bit)  I know that sounds a little childish as a response but after I got over being angry (which for me equated to tears) – I realized that companies that believe that it’s better to stifle innovation are going to get left behind at some point.  Proprietary databases are just pride lived out in our geekery.

The most exciting things were announcements from the government on ICD-10 and MU #2 – I read a great blog about this by @JohnSharp  http://healthworkscollective.com/node/29411

“Big Data” we are generating more data than ever before – the EMR is just part of it – the tip of the clinically documented iceberg.   I was enamored by @ReginaHoliday ’s profound statement that her husband posted 6 different times on his facebook conditions that could have indicated he had kidney cancer.    We document our lives to 400 of our closest friends….if the data were analyzed what would it tell us?   I have a fb friend who's husband is manic depressive and you can tell distinctly when he is not taking his medication by her status updates.  The scary thing – that’s just a second subset of self-reported data.   How about the 5 medical devices that are hooked to you when you are in the hospital – how about fitbit – how about (you fill in the blank) etc.  I could more than 20 areas where data resides that “could” tell us something about an individual health.   I live in the acute care space because that’s where my data resides today – but the lines are blurring which is a good thing.   To me – this is really the most consuming part of my career.  Do you devour information in a manner that let’s you apply it into other learning? 

Before my head explodes – I want to share with you my favorite comment at the HIMSS show.  I was able to meet a Kevin from North Shore LIJHC.  He comes from outside of healthcare into a fast changing world – which he likened a lot to the other industries he has been in where technology and data changed the way we do things.  As we started talking about big data – medical device data – EMR reference data - my hands were waving as I got more and more excited…… He replied with a fantastic east coast mixed with Irish accent – “Kourtney, you are trying to win the Super Bowl when today all we need is a first down.” 

Folks, don’t let big data scare you.  We each have a subset of information that we are good at – that we know and understand better than anyone else.   Today – by the next HIMSS – we need a first down.  We need to gain 10 yards.   Sustainability will be driven by our ability to work with others.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

HIMSS Day #2

Shameless Plug -  I present today at  Booth #8310 at 11:00am – you can see a demo of Aperum and get some insights into how we work with hospitals to reveal data to improve HCAHPS #4. 

The only word I can use to describe day two….busy….running from meeting to meeting and trying to squeeze in seeing some new and cool technology.    It seems this year that everyone is saying the word “Data” and how much they care about it much more than years past.   As I listened to different people describe their products it was all about the analytics and improvement and their ability to provide more data.  It’s pretty mind blowing…however I was given the best quote of the conference at dinner last night from the CIO of North Shore LIJ Health System.  (If you stop by the booth #8310 – I will tell you)
So, instead of telling you about every booth I went to yesterday – I want to highlight the one that impressed me the most.  I have to admit, I was reluctant to go to the Versus booth, but a very persistent marketing person from their organization emailed several times.  RTLS is a competitive space with a lot of technology differences – while I am not 100% sold on the hardware side of Versus – their software blew me away.      The roundtable presenter was a hospital person talking about her experience – talking about actual documented savings.   Then their Sales team spent time one on one with me presenting the software and new analytics tool.  Loved it – drill down reports – well laid out – very impressive.  Versus # 5852 – ask for Susan.  Other vendors should take note of this professional group. 

I ended my day at The Walking Gallery - the best part of my day.  I was able to see my friend Regina Holiday.  She is so impressive - she just wants to make things better - she is not looking to gain anything for herself execpt the opportunity to share her story.  She is so focused on the patient - so focused on finding ways to encourage people like me.  If you haven't met her - don't have a jacket - contact her @reginaholiday 

I will challenge you all - the data is not yours.  I get it rules, HIPPA, proprietary......but the data is not yours to hold. It's not my data. Your technology is a tool to enable the care of an individual.  What is your motivation? 

Short and Sweet today – If you have a chance I present today –  Booth #8310 – you can see a demo of Aperum and get some insights into how we work with hospitals to reveal data to improve HCAHPS #4.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HIMSS 2012 Day 1

HIMSS is an ADD nightmare – moving shapes, lots of people, so much to take in and experience.  I get a little overwhelmed with the amount of information to absorb.    My day was spent in meetings with clients and colleagues understanding how different technologies could impact healthcare.   Looking into products, services, and software that Sphere3 clients would find of value.

My day started with a great meeting with a friend from Press Ganey – excited to go by their booth #552 tomorrow and take a look at their technology offering.  I am always impressed with people who know their offering well and know how it specifically impacts the hospital and patients. 

 I headed to the Cerner booth where I was able to enjoy a few moments with Clay Patterson.  We chatted about Health + Care (my favorite tag line at HIMSS because Cerner really means it),  the HIMSS show, and of course Sporting KC.   Then I enjoyed a presentation on Clarvia – Cerner’s latest acquisition.  I think is a great product.  It has that has the ability to apply data into the assignment models for the floor.  They focused on the dollars saved which don't get me wrong - is impressive and had great impact to the hospital bottom lineHowever, what I saw was a tool that would create a an incredible environment to ensure that patients are cared for in the most effective way by optimizing the hospitals ability to leverage available staff.   It was geeky and cool (my highest compliment)  It will play into their suite of products well.  If you get a chance stop by Cerner’s booth # 476 and ask to see a demo of Clarvia.

I walked over to see the new GE Teligence workflow station that will challenge the Rauland Staff Terminal and the HilRom Graphical Room Station.   Their workflow station matches the competition in the ability to provide automatic alerting at the press of a button but really lacks the visual appeal of the two other products.  Don’t get me wrong - just because it’s not pretty does not mean it’s not effective, but I have concerns with all of these types of stations.  Is there a true ability to improve care and reduce workload?   The fuzzy line between automation and documentation is not well reported.   The only think I will add about the GE is that I am a little surprised that a company that offers EMR and owns a nurse call company would not make some logical alignment between the two products….you have all the pieces and they could talk to each other…in a really meaningful way.  See it for yourself at Booth #2635

While walking over to the Centrak booth – I happened upon Tibco #3571 really interesting take on compiling data and utilizing a “collaboration tool” which is much like facebook to drive better understanding.    Tibco, was really interesting.

The final booth I visited was Isorona # 12414 – the booth is in the lower level by the interoperability show case.  It is a software based medical device data collection tool - I assume kind of like capsule.  It would have been nice to see more about the product and learn more about it while there at the booth.  The description I received was that it collects the data from multiple sets of data and distributes them to EMR and alarm/alert software.   

Tomorrow you will catch me checking out medical device connectivity tools and you may even find me at the Burwood booth – great people who I really enjoy – in booth #8310.  If you have suggestions on booths I should see and maybe blog about send me a twitter message or comment on the blog.   @Sphere3CEO

All in all this has been a great day - while I am not a big fan of Las Vegas – the venue is actually a lot more convenient than most of the other cities HIMSS has been in years prior.  There is a lot better access to coffee and easy walk to the convention center – it’s nice to get some fresh air. (just avoid the smokers and the people with the little papers…oh my gracious)  

Friday, February 10, 2012

HIMSS 2012

I am really looking forward to HIMSS this year - it's always a lot of fun to see everyone and catch up on the year.  For the first time Sphere3 will be not simply attending HIMSS - we will be displaying in two of our partners booths. 

This is our new video that has had over 100 views in the past 2 days.

The Burwood Group is a consulting firm out of Chicago that really has an incredible practice around healthcare technology.  I have had the pleasure to work with them on several projects in the past year and would highly recommend their services to any hospital.  Their clinicians are really well spoken people with a great depth of knowledge in technology and transition planning.   

I will be presenting at their booth on Thursday at 11am  you can register here http://www.burwood.com/himss12

We will also have the pleasure of being a part of the Connexall Booth.  Connexall is an industry leader that has more than doubled their market size in the past year.  Their team is lead by John Elms and Mary Baum.  They are aligning the brand of Connexall US with transformational care by spending a great amount of time listening to hospitals across the United States.

As I did last year - I will be updating the blog throughout the conference sharing thoughts and learning.  Send me an email if you would like to see Aperum in person and we can coordinate a time to meet.