Friday Noon #HITsm Tweet Chat About Periscope and Blab in Health, Healthcare & Health IT

[Briefly: monitor #HITsm on Twitter from noon to 1:00 PM EST on Friday, October 30th. Watch for the following questions and weigh in! T1: What are healthcare privacy issues re Periscope and Blab? T2: How would you use Periscope or Blab-like interactive video in healthcare? T3: How is video social media psychologically different than text-based social media? T4: How could Periscope or Blab help during a zombie apocalypse? T5: Any workflow issues integrating Periscope or Blab-like interactive video into healthcare scenarios? Then tweet your comments while including the #HITsm hashtag! Don’t forget @Jimmie_Vanagon’s blab immediately after! Here are more instructions on the HL7 Standards website.]

Thank you Michelle (@michnoteboom) and Chad (@OchoTex) at @HealthStandards, from @Jimmie_Vanagon and myself (@wareFLO), for this opportunity chat about interactive social video streaming apps and services, such as Periscope and Blab, during the weekly Friday #HITsm tweetchat (Noon EST).

Both Periscope and Blab allow broadcasters to quickly and easily stream live video. Both leverage Twitter (Periscope is owned by Twitter) to announce video activity. Viewers can make text comments directed toward the broadcasters or other viewers. Viewers indicate “likes” while watching (floating hearts and applause indicators). “Scopers” and “blabbers” can follow each other, getting notifications of when broadcasts are scheduled or go live. Periscope is great for video selfies or interviews, giving people tours (such local attractions), and overviews of ongoing activities (crafts, hobbies…). Blab is great for creating instant, pop-up talk shows, in a Hollywood squares format (though there are only four squares).

As has been the case with many technologies, including social technologies, imaginative minds in healthcare and health IT are seeing a myriad of uses for services such as Periscope and Blab. Periscope and Blab have obvious uses in marketing and public relations, but this tweet chat is about non-marketing uses of Periscope and Blab (and similar services) in health, healthcare, and health IT. I mention healthcare in addition to health IT because since Periscope and Blab are IT, when they are used in health and healthcare they are examples of health IT.

I’ve now seen scores of different uses of Periscope and Blab (plus as many suggested applications) falling into the non-marketing use of Periscope and Blab category. Here is a (non-mutually exclusive) list of general use cases.

  • Interactive broadcasting and conversation about health and healthcare: Health education, physical fitness, patient community building and support, CDC public service announcements and crisis management (“In case of zombies, don’t panic, just follow these simple precautions, any questions? Really? Right now? We’ll send someone over right away.”)
  • Interactive broadcasting and conversation about health IT. (I’d have used Periscope and Blab in a big way when I taught medical informatics courses. I use Periscope to broadcast interviews from health IT conference and to stream my own presentations there as well.)
  • Obtaining data from Periscope and Blab for public health and crisis management purposes. (I’ve already seen interactive maps of video streams of growing, moving hurricanes. Wind velocity and damage assessments could be derived in real-time from this kind of video evidence.)
  • Finally, when application programming interfaces for widely available interactive social video streaming services become available, I think we’ll see an explosion of creativity, creating new and unusual mashups of interactive social video streaming with other traditional and non-traditional health IT platforms. For example, a dermatologist might start a broadcast with “I’ve never seen a skin lesion like this before: Help!” And hundreds of bored dermatologists around the world might tune in. Or, in the case of a patient, “I’m about to get a diagnosis I’m afraid of… is anyone available to go with me?”

I’ve scoped hundreds of times, mostly about personal stuff and tours of my home town. I’ve blabbed a couple of dozen times. I am truly excited about this this technology. I must be, since this is the only sentence in which I utter my favorite word: Workflow.

Anyhoo, here are some of my recent blog posts about Periscope and Blab, plus my #HITsm questions, put together with the help of @Jimmie_Vanagon, who, by the way, is having a blab (Interactive Video Streaming Health IT after #HITsm w/@jimmie_vanagon & @wareFLO < Chrome please!) immediately after the October 30th, #HITsm chat. Please join us! The blab will be an extension of #HITsm conversation, plus a tutorial about how to use Blab. If you've been thinking you need to get around to investigating this crazy new stuff, this is the idea moment. We hope you'll take a seat and.... BLAB!

#HITsm questions:

T1: What are the obvious (and non-obvious) privacy issues of using Periscope and Blab in healthcare? Can they be managed? How?

T2: If you had access to Periscope and Blab APIs (plus money and resources) what kind of interactive video streaming system would you build? (or would like to see built)

T3. Psychologically, how are Periscope and Blab different from Twitter and Facebook? Relevance to health, healthcare, or health IT?

T4. If you were on the run during a zombie apocalypse, how would you prefer CDC reach you? Twitter, Facebook, Periscope or Blab?

T5. Are there any interesting workflow issues weaving Periscope/Blab-like functionality into traditional HIT systems?

P.S. I know. I lied. About the workflow thing.

Blab Profile. (so you can follow me there!)
Periscope Profile (you’ll need the iOS or Android app to follow me)

Blab Profile. (so you can follow Jim there!)
Periscope Profile (you’ll need the iOS or Android app to follow Jim)

P.S. Periscope of DC sunrise morning of #HITsm tweetchat during which I talk about the tweetchat and invite scopers to it.

P.S.S. Here is an example of using Blab during the recent National Health IT Week.

P.S.S.S. Practice Blab 9:30 AM EST morning of the Friday noon EST #HITsm tweetchat and post tweetchat Blab (1 PM EST). Might require Chrome to view.

Periscope And Blab For Health IT Marketing & Public Relations: November’s HITMC Tweetchat (11/3 Noon EST)

Many thanks to @TechGuy for this opportunity to contribute questions to the HIT Marketing and PR tweet chat (#HITMC, 11/3, Tuesday, Noon EST). My frequent Blab colleague-in-arms @Jimmie_Vanagon may, or may not, briefly appear: HE’S SEEING PATIENTS! 🙂

My five questions appear at the end of this post, but they evolve out of a conversation I’m having with you in my head, as I write this post.

Periscope and Blab Background

Periscope and Blab allow broadcasters to quickly and easily stream live video. Both leverage Twitter (Periscope is owned by Twitter) to announce video activity. Viewers can make text comments directed toward the broadcasters or other viewers. Viewers indicate “likes” while watching (floating hearts and applause indicators). “Scopers” and “blabbers” can follow each other, getting notifications of when broadcasts are scheduled or go live. Periscope is great for video selfies or interviews, giving people tours (such local attractions), and overviews of ongoing activities (crafts, hobbies…). Blab is great for creating instant, pop-up talk shows, in a Hollywood squares format (though there are only four squares).

Marketing and Public Relations and Periscope and Blab

The single largest category of use for Periscope and Blab is marketing. Cross index “Periscope” and “marketing” and you’ll get over two million hits in Google. Not bad for for something released only six months ago.

I’ve taken courses in marketing (as an undergraduate). I think workflow is an interesting way to market health IT products. I help market health IT products to improve healthcare workflow. But I don’t think of myself a marketing professional, more of as a healthcare workflow tech evangelist.

However, YOU are marketing and PR professionals, so I created some questions that you might be able to address to help me understand how Periscope and Blab can be used to market health IT.

I found this recent slideshare 5 Creative Ways to Use Meerkat or Periscope In Your Marketing. You may wish to quickly flip through the slides.

  • Authentic look behind the scenes
  • Exclusive promotion or deals
  • Ask me anything or Honest Hours
  • Creative and Unique Engagement Initiatives
  • In the moment story telling

So, my first question is this: which of these five uses of interactive social video-streaming lends itself to health IT marketing and public relations? I can think of several potential answers, but I’m more interested in what you (and John have to say) on this topic.

My second question is this: Could blab be used for any of these purposes? Several seem like they could be adapted to the a talk show-like format. Blab works particularly well with a co-host. If one host has technical problems (a frequent occurrence) the other can take over. If no-one shows up to feel empty seats, the hosts can chat. Let’s say you have a special guest, who is going to participate in an Ask Me Anything/Honest Hour. The second host can step into the audience and two audience members can literally pop into existence in own of the two remaining Hollywood Squares.

Let’s shift gears. What about public relations and Periscope or Blab? Periscope seems ideal for some forms of crisis communications, from either an authoritative agency such as the CDC, or perhaps a beleaguered health IT organization, attempting to get out in front of a rapidly evolving story. Blab might also be the most effective here. Imagine a healthcare organization PR professional hosting a blab and interviewing their President and CEO. Further, imagine allowing viewers to participate. Yes, this would be scary. But it could also be extremely authentic and effective.

So, my third question is this. What might be some best practices for using Periscope or Blab during some sort of organizational crisis management situation?

My fourth question is about product demos. The only software features I’ve seen demoed on Periscope is, wait for it, Periscope! Even though Periscope (and especially Blab) are low resolution, the Periscope screens that founders and user interface designers have demoed via Periscope were quite legible. And here’s the thing. I find most software product demos over the web to be extremely dry and sterile. This was not the case regarding Periscope. The Periscope demoers positively beamed and their hands practically shook with excitement, as they flipped Periscope back and forth between their face and their software. So my fourth question is this: Would you or someone at your company be brave enough to actually demo new product features over Periscope? How would you pitch this internally?

My fifth and final question is, what about Blabs with users of your software products? Just think of it. Three happy users in different part of the country, actually clicking around and talking about what they like about your product. What better testimonial could possibly be had? So my question is this: What could go wrong? (from the “wrong” folks showing up in the audience, posting comments, and, maybe, even getting a Blab seat, which, by the way, only happens if the host allows it, and they can be “kicked” from a seat, and even blocked from posting comments….)

I think Periscope and Blab open up an incredible world of health IT marketing and public relations opportunities, but also open some interesting cans of worms. Can you ignore Periscope and Blab? I don’t think so, at least not long-term. But what is the best way to get your feet wet, so to speak, and to begin to understand and master this fascinating new health IT marketing and PR technology? (Gee, maybe that’s question number six!)

#HITMC questions

T1. Which of 5 listed uses, from Honest Hours to Authentic Looks Behind scenes, lend themselves to HIT marketing & PR?

T2. What about Blab? Story-telling? Exclusive deals? (Like QVC) Other creative engagement initiatives?

T3. How could your organization stay ahead of a crisis narrative thru use or Periscope or Blab?

T4. Can Periscope be an effective way to demo products or new product features? Why?

T5. Imagine using Blab to interview happy users sitting in front of their software. What could go wrong? How to avoid?

Notes For CMIOchat Tweetchat on Road to Interoperability That I’m Going to Miss (Boo-Hoo!)

For Important tweet chats (such as #CMIOchat) I actually prepare notes and sometimes a pre-tweetchat blog post. Unfortunately it is an hour to the chat and I forgot I have to head out the door to pick up someone at the airport!

So, for what they are worth, here were my notes… and perhaps a bit of an X-ray inside my head re my workflow-angle on interoperability. I’m sure you’ll notice stuff is pretty good toward the beginning and falls apart toward the end… but there are some interesting links you may find interesting, such as a presentation I gave in South Africa in 2010. Anyway, I’m heading out the door. Chat is on #CMIOchat hashtag and starts at 7:00PM. I’ll try to listening via smartphone (when I’m not driving!).

Sorry for typos! Will be full present next time. But anyway, in the meantime, IF YOU HEAR WORKFLOW, TWEET @wareFLO!

Chuck, DC. Wrote 7000-word, 5-part series in Health IT News on Task & Workflow Interoperability [link] #CMIOchat

Achieving Task and Workflow Interoperability in Healthcare: All Together Now!

T1. What are the challenges we encounter as patients and informaticists in the road to interoperability? Are you optimistic that we will get to true interoperability?

I feel our major challenge is pivoting from data-centric to more workflow-centric (or at least equally workflow-centric) views and emphases regarding the purpose and design of EHRs and health IT systems.

T2. What would a truly inter-operable, unified patient medical record look like from a functionality, user interface and operational perspective?

When most folks speak of interoperability they usually talk about syntactic and semantic interoperability. Syntactic is the “shape” of messages, which determines whether they can be parsed and transmitted between systems. Semantic is the meaning of a message, and whether a message means the same thing in two different systems. However, there are a number of more levels of interoperability above syntax and semantics.

The next level up is called pragmatic interoperability. I’m very familiar with the words syntax, semantics, and pragmatics because I am ABD (All But Dissertation) in Computational Linguistics. I’ve written (and tweeted) extensively about pragmatic interoperability, and how it requires workflow technology to be accomplished, which is why I often call it workflow interoperability.

Let’s consider what “functional”, “user interface”, and “operational” mean in the context of pragmatic/workflow interoperability.

[need more here]

T3. How would such a unified medical record support patient engagement or activation, or facilitate self management of one’s own health?

[workflow -> life-flow, my WF tech and patient engagement paper]

Patient Experience And Engagement, Workflow And Workflow Tech: What Is The Connection?

T4. How would physicians and other clinicians engage with the data from such a record to enable both personalized medicine and population health?

[closed loop model of EHR productivity, my 2010 MedInfo South Africa, Cape Town paper here]

Clinical Intelligence, Complex Event Processing and Process Mining in Process-Aware EMR / EHR BPM Systems

Business Process Management at the AHIP National Conferences on Medicare & Medicaid

The AHIP National Conference on Medicare & Medicaid just took place in Washington, DC. You can think of this as the public program version of the AHIP Institute conference I attended in Nashville during June. That conference focused on commercial health insurance payers and health plans. This conference focused on multi-billion dollar federally-funded health plans covering many tens of millions of Americans.

As usual, my workflow radar was on and antenna up, looking for interesting healthcare workflows and workflow technology content. I visited every website of every exhibitor to see what their “workflow stories” were, and then tweeted about it during the conference on the #McareConf and #McaidConf hashtags. I created a Twitter list of AHIP/CMS exhibitors, if you are interested in following them.

In this post I’d like to highlight perhaps the most sophisticated use of Business Process Management (what workflow tech is called these days) that I have seen in the health plan insurance payer space.


Joe Miller, Director of Strategy and Innovation, AmeriHealth Caritas, laid out challenges and opportunities for improving the health of its 6.9 million members across 16 states plus Washington, DC. Prominent in their solution is Business Process Management (BPM).


I was initially alerted this would be an exceptionally interesting presentation when I say these labeled icons in the upper right: ALERT/WORKFLOW, PROCESS/ACTION.


Before we drill down into the BPM solution, let’s review the problem commercial and public health plans need to solve. Customers, including Medicare and Medicaid customers demand more collaboration among everyone involved in their care. The more payment rewards value, the more it rewards collaboration, necessary to create value for patients. Cost pressure requires elimination of redundancy, rework, and mistakes, all of which require more collaboration.

Part of the problem is the potential for missed opportunities. These include widespread electronic health records, availability of their and other data, and health information exchanges to move that data where it is needed.

However! Along with these pressures and opportunities comes risk! Risk includes real and perceived threats of breaches of patient data, increased amounts of bad data, and changing consumer preferences (what do health plan customers “really” want?).


Magnifying and complicating the above drivers, opportunities, and risks, are a plethora of new data sharing opportunities, patient engagement channels, and complicated relationships with care givers and care support organizations.


Then there it is! Prominent in the technology mix necessary to solve these problems and grasp these opportunities, AmeriHealth Caritas is using Business Process Management (the Appian BPM app platform). I think it’s worth transcribing this entire slide and considering each bullet in turn.

  • Institute integrated business process management (that is, “integrate” into existing, evolving infrastructure, such as master data management and enterprise service bus)
  • Detail cross-functional workflows for defined stages of provider enrollment and maintenance (that is, integrate workflows across the functional silos present in most healthcare organizations)
  • Create role-specific user interfaces (UIs) for desktop and mobile (show all and only the necessary data, at each workflow step, to every user, which dramatically reduces time to learn and increases productivity)
  • Stream role-pertinent news, trigger tasks, provide pinpoint data access, and produce status reports on work in progress (generally, keep everyone up-to-data about peripheral but potentially relevant information, automatically begin workflows, and provide transparent views of all workflow task status from the beginning to the end of critical workflows, so no task languishes and everyone is on the same page)


Above is an impressive list of BPM benefits: improved management of provider networks, more accurate data, more timely processing, greater efficiency due to automated task assignment, calendaring, task tracking, and cross-functional (cross-departmental) hand-offs. Plus the ability to more quickly role out new products and services. Finally, improved provider information ensures more effective medical spending and more informed members making better decisions.


Before I end this post, I want to circle back to several very interesting slides. First, there is this “Keys to Successful Data Sharing — Workflow and Analytics”. I’d like to call your attention to alert and event types, plus risk level and category. By combining ATD (Admission-Transfer-Discharge) information from the health information exchange with clinical information about the patient, health plans can trigger carefully designed workflows — in real-time — that is, soon enough to actually have an impact of the health outcomes of the patients involved.

[The following paragraph is me editorializing…]

This kind of real-time process-oriented (what academics call “process-aware”) coordinated collaborative health plan activity is simply not possible without the kind of functionality and flexibility provided by modern business process management.


Finally, here is a classic box-and-arrow “marketecture” diagram for a planned consent management solution. It was explained that as data and workflow fall into place, it is realized that the health plan needs a sophisticated and comprehensive means to make sure all data, pushed through all workflows to patients and providers, complies with all necessary regulations … in real-time. While not specifically labeled “BPM”, this is the technology that will implement the necessary internal and external workflows depicted on the left side of the diagram.

The AHIP National Conference on Medicare & Medicaid in Washington was by all accounts a fantastic conference. I especially enjoyed hearing about the Celebrating 50 Years of Public Programs session from @cFisherAppian (The Path to an Easy, Powerful, and Unified Health Plan System).

To get to an easy, powerful, and unified health system, we need easy, powerful, and unified technology.

Clearly AmeriHealth Caritas is well on its way to its own version of this easy, powerful, and unified health plan information and workflow infrastructure. And they are doing so with the most sophisticated application of Business Process Management I’ve yet seen in the health plan space, commercial or public.

Tribes and Silos in Social Media: Twitter, Blab, Periscope and other Examples

I got truly excited when I found out the topic for this week’s Healthcare Leadership tweetchat: Tribes and silos in healthcare. I’ve written about healthcare silos at length, specifically “workflow silos” on the @HL7Standards blog. I’ve been in silos, back on the family farm in NW Illinois (they are dangerous!). And I’ve talked about mental silos, at length, with Medical Anthropology graduate students (here a couple of amusing stories about those interactions.)


Immediately after this week’s #HCLDR tweetchat, starting at 9:30PM EST, @Jimmie_Vanagon is hosting a Blab on the same topic (tribes and silos in healthcare). To familiarize yourself with Blab video conversation format, I hope you’ll watch a bit of last week’s #HCLDR blab (immediately above) on Coping with Death in Healthcare.

Let’s jump into the questions!

T1 What areas of healthcare are most prone to silos and siloed thinking, & what are the negative aspects of this?

The following areas may not (or may!) be the most important silos in healthcare, but they are the most important silos to ME.

  • Silos separating healthcare workflows.
  • Silos separating thinking about healthcare data vs healthcare workflow.
  • Silos among healthcare and health IT social media, such as tweet chats versus Blabs and Periscopes.
  • Silos separating thinking in healthcare and health IT from thinking and technology in other industries.

T2 What are best ways to break down silos and better utilize tribes in healthcare?

Frankly? Persistence. Insistence. To overcome resistance. This is exactly my MO re getting folks in healthcare and health IT to take workflow and workflow technology seriously. That, and do your homework, know the subject, have the right credibility, navigate the politics, etc., etc., etc. (as Yul Brenner said).

T3 What healthcare tribe do you belong in, if any? Are you ‘tribal’? Would you like to change that or do you see as a good thing?

Due to education (almost a half dozen degrees) and personal proclivity (verging on dilettantism) I belong to many tribes. However, I’ll focus on a new tribe that I am trying to create: The Workflowistas. Using social media I basically recruit from multiple tribes into a growing tribe of folks who understand healthcare workflow and workflow technology and aim to change healthcare and health IT with that understanding.

T4 How do you see the role for twitter (if any) in breaking down healthcare silos & boundaries and providing bridges between tribes?

Regarding tribalism, Twitter is a two-edged sword. On one hand it makes connecting people in other tribes absurdly easy. On the other hand it also makes it easy for folks with similar mindsets to find each other and ignore the rest of the world. This is Twitter’s fundamental Thesis versus Antithesis. What will be the resulting Synthesis? I think we will see both greater understanding and communication AND insularity and echo (chamber) ing. What an extraordinarily complex, and exciting, system of communications and willful ignorance, such as the world has never seen before!

One strategy I keep trying, over and over, but with only highly uneven success, are various sorts of mashups.

Definition of MASH-UP: something created by combining elements from two or more sources, such as

  • a piece of music created by digitally overlaying an instrumental track with a vocal track from a different recording
  • a movie or video having characters or situations from other sources
  • a Web service or application that integrates data and functionalities from various online sources

Early on, it’s hard to remember, blogs and Twitter were two different tribes. Twitter was an alternative to blog posts. This idea seems ridiculous now, blogging and tweeting so leverage each other. For years I’ve tried to figure how to best merge, leverage, literally combine, my blog posts and Twitter. Tweeting links posts, tweeting links to anchors within posts, embedding tweets in posts, tweeting screen captures of paragraphs within posts, and so on.

I believe the same thing will happen to video streaming, such as with Periscope and Blab. Right now they are seen as competing alternatives. In five years it will be like it is now for blogging and tweeting.

It seems to clear to me that twitter streams and video streams are complementary. I love Twitter. It literally changed my life (for the good, in a big way). But (A), something was missing, though I could not put my finger on exactly what that missing thing was. And (B), I keep hearing rumblings that Twitter is in some sort of trouble. I am always the first to jump to Twitter’s defense, as recently as last week!

But here is the problem, even if I ignore (A), even if current Twitter is just fine to me, if there are enough other problems elsewhere, then I worry Twitter might go away or becomes something I don’t like. That’s why I was so pleased to see (C) Twitter buy Periscope ($100M) and (D) most analysts applaud the purchase. I’ve been predicting, and see no reason to change those predictions, that Twitter and Periscope will become an increasingly seamless experience. I even predicted Periscope would add the ability to tweet screenshots a week before it actually happened (I’d seen no rumors).

Twitter doesn’t own Blab, but Blab does a pretty good job of integrating with Twitter. Once can tweet from Blab. One can find the Twitter account for a Blab profile. We’ll likely see more of this, unless Blab seems too much like a competitor to Periscope (in which case we’ll see Blab-like features appearing in Periscope).

I believe I was the first to actually Periscope an entire healthcare tweetchat. On a whim I read and commented on #HCDLR tweets. And believe it or not, a couple dozen folks showed up to watch, listen, and comment! However, if interested in best practices, I wouldn’t watch my Periscope, I’d watch Doc. Nieder’s Periscope (YouTube archive below) during a #HCLDR tweetchat about authentic listening in healthcare. Wow! It confirmed to me that for some topics, I love to have the right person skim and pull out the best golden nuggets, and their own unique perspective: in person, instead of just strings of characters.

I even wrote a blog post about possible implications of Periscope and Blab for tweet chats, titled: Periscope, Social Video-Streaming, and Health IT Social Media Tweetchats: Disruptive, Additive, Or Complementary?

Boy was that post prophetic! Some strongly believe Blab and Periscope are disruptive and others just as strongly believe they are complementary. I think this is a good thing. The Next Big Thing seldom arrives without controversy. In fact, being controversial is almost a prerequisite for even being a candidate for The Next Big Thing. Of course, one must also keep in mind, just because something is controversial, doesn’t mean it really is The Next Big Thing.

I hope to see you at @Jimmie_Vanagon’s post #HCLDR Blab about silos!

P.S. If you fall in love with Periscope and Blab as much as I have, I hope you’ll consider presenting at the The First Annual Blab & Periscope Healthcare Online Conference!

Please RT!

The First Annual Blab & Periscope Healthcare Online Conference!

First Annual Blab & Periscope Healthcare Online Conference!

Date: TBD
Location: Everywhere, including your pocket
Hashtag: #HCblab?
Registration: Free! (Just show up!)

Call For Proposals:

We take great pleasure in inviting you to present at and/or attend the First Annual Blab & Periscope Healthcare Online Conference. This will be the most exciting healthcare and health IT live-streaming social media event of the year. Our committees are working to ensure a varied program focusing on healthcare, information technology, and social media, all of which will be delivered via live streaming social media, especially Blab and Periscope (but also potentially covering similar live-streaming social media, such as Meerkat).

Tweet or DM your proposals to @Jimmie_Vanagon or me (@wareFLO).

If you have any questions about the conference, please do not hesitate to contact Chuck Webster, MD (@wareFLO, or Jimmie Legan, MD (@Jimmie_Vanagon,

Your presence at this conference is important to us. We look forward to seeing your there.


Jimmie Legan, MD
Co-Chair, Blab & Periscope Healthcare Online Conference

Chuck Webster, MD, MSIE, MSIS
Co-Chair, Blab & Periscope Healthcare Online Conference


Is this announcement for real? What date should we pick? How long should the conference be? What should be the conference format? The following are some ideas we’re throwing out for discussion.

A half day on Saturday, say 10AM to 2PM EST, seems to us to be a reasonable compromise, re day of week, time zones, and time commitment. Three parallel tracks — healthcare, technology, and social media — seems to cover all the necessary bases. If we are inundated (we hope we are!) with ideas and proposals for presentations and panels, then we can run sessions in parallel. If we aren’t inundated 🙁 then we can consolidate tracks down two or one tracks.

We envision a mix of prescheduled Blab and Periscope online streaming sessions. Periscope will be used for solo presentations and plenary keynotes. Blab will be used for panel discussions. While we want to plan ahead and prepare as much great content as possible, we also realize that Periscope and Blab are ideal for spontaneous get togethers. So, at the risk of considerable online social media mayhem, we encourage attendees who are not on the “official” schedule to get bees in their bonnets and ‘scope and blab before, during, and after the conference.

And of course Twitter will be used for a myriad of things, from conference announcements (“such and such a panel is starting NOW at this URL…”), to audience kibitzing and peanut throwing, to stuff we can’t even imagine at this time. But that’s how Twitter was and is, and how Blab and Periscope are and becoming. We see the First Annual Blab & Periscope Healthcare Online Conference as a means to fan the collective and individual creative flames of a nascent healthcare, health IT, and health live-streaming social media community.

Who knows what will happen? Jimmie and I certainly don’t. But we do know it will be very, very fun!!


If you are new to live streaming or don’t even have a Periscope or Blab account, the following is an example of the kind of panel interaction we hope to see at the conference. The topic was Coping with Death in Healthcare, and was moderated by Jimmie Legan, MD, during a recent Healthcare Leadership tweet chat. 37 people showed up to this impromptu interactive video chat!


The Health Information Exchange, Workflow, Business Process Management Angle

This week’s #HITsm chat is about Health Information Exchanges. Which is great!

If you cross-index “Health Information Exchange” with “workflow” in Google there are over 100,000 hits! Of course, I take every opportunity to pivot from healthcare workflow to healthcare workflow technology. The purest example of workflow technology is Business Process Management (BPM), until recently seldom seen in healthcare. Sooo…

I cross-indexed “Health Information Exchange” with “BPM”. The following are quotes, paraphrases, images and links from this search.


Business Process Management and Customizable Workflows

SyntraNet proves a powerful standards-based business process management engine to define and manage business processes based on process graphs. Process graphs support complex workflow patterns and standard patterns can be assembled together to define extremely complex processes.

Unlike “free-form” process definition languages based on sequencing series of activities, business processes defined with process graphs can be validated and analyzed to detect process problems and bottlenecks.

SyntraNet provides a library of standard process definitions for administrative, clinical, revenue management, and patient facing workflows.”

The following is off of the IBM website. BPM has a key place in their HIE marketecture.



“HIXNY, for its part, is aiming to extend its SOA framework to include business process management and business activity monitoring.”

Health Information Exchange Critical But Suffers From Complications

“Siemens is employing business process management middleware from Tibco, which automates processes that can be handled automatically and tracks the workflow of those requiring manual intervention until they are complete. Siemens uses the same software in other industries … “Healthcare is among the last industries to get business process management

The Quest For Population Health Management

“With many HIEs having their functional roots as interface engines/integration brokers, they can also potentially provide some of the workflow, process coordination and business process management required as organizations drive towards becoming accountable care organizations (ACOs).”

Health Information Exchange Functionality and Technology Selection Criteria

Not Health Information Exchange, but rather an Health Insurance Exchange, none the less I was impressed to see “Business Process Management” mentioned 27 times.

State of Ohio Health Insurance  Exchange Planning: Strategic Architecture Blueprints Report  

And back on the IBM website…

“you likely want to integrate the IBM WebSphere Process Server for human-centric BPM around the NHIN specifications. The ESB tied with the Process Server is a powerful combination that can enable NHIN Direct as it matures”

An overview of NHIN and NHIN Direct for software developers

You get the basic idea. Business Process Management, the modern day descendent of the workflow management systems I’ve been working with for decades (but is still practically unknown in healthcare), is finally infiltrating into health IT.

And this is a very good thing.

I hope you’ll catch up on this remarkable technology by reading one or both of my recent 5-part series!

Heavy Emphasis on ‘Workflow’ In Cerner Health Conference #CHC15 Twitter Stream

And so that is exactly what I did! I’m sure there will be more tweets about workflow from the Cerner Health Conference. I’ll archive them here. If there’s enough, maybe I’ll analyze, categorize, tabulate, etc. If you’re into workflow, tweet about it! I’ll find you and make you a workflow star. Well, at least in this blog post. Check back!

My tweets about workflow on the #CHC15 Twitter thread.

It’s The Workflow: Four Questions About National Health IT Week

This is my long-form discussion of this week’s #HITsm questions about the just finishing incredible National Health IT Week (#NHITweek). Before I get into those details, I just want to let you know I hope you’ll join me for a “blab” immediately after today’s (Friday) #HITsm tweetchat from Noon to 1PM EST.

Topic 1: A lot has happened in the last year. What health IT developments are you celebrating during #NHITweek?

Interestingly, EHR workflow was the subject of considerable conversation at the Second Annual NHIT Collaborative for the Underserved Conference. Luckily, I Periscoped that panel discussion (video and partial transcript in my I Found Workflow at National Health IT Week!).

The biggest thing I’m celebrating is a remarkable surge of workflow emphasis and workflow technology among HIMSS 2015 exhibitors. Every year I search every website of every HIMSS conference exhibitor. Starting in 2011, at the very low level of only two percent, the percent has doubled every year, going from 16 percent last year to over a third this year. Since there is only a 100 percents in a hundred percent, I didn’t think the percent could double from 2014, yet it did. These statistics are born out by lots of other anecdotal evidence: conversations, white papers, product announcements, and workflow-oriented startups.

Topic 2: Where do we need the most improvement in health IT to move the needle on care outcomes by this time next year?

I think we’re essentially looking at a continuation and acceleration of an already existing emerging trend, to talk about healthcare workflow in sensible, non-superficial terms, to embed workflow engines and related technologies into existing health IT platforms, and acknowledge and encourage a wide array of startups targeting what I call task and workflow interoperability.

Topic 3: Every #NHITweek HIMSS makes 3 asks to Congress. Where do you feel Congress can make the biggest impact on IT-enabled health?

My number one ask is that Congress, the Federal Government, and the ONC, simply not get in the way of the above natural response of a health IT market to healthcare information and workflow management needs. This includes avoiding more micro-management of health IT user requirements. Let the users determine their own user requirements.

Topic 4: #IHeartHIT reveals human narratives behind health IT. How can these stories progress efforts in usability, empowerment, policy?

Hmm. What is the connection between healthcare workflow and healthcare stories and narratives? I’ll direct you back to Aysha Corbett, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and VP for Quality Improvement, Provider Recruitment/Education, at a local Washington DC health system. The panel was Health IT Innovation and Research. I expected to hear about wearables, precision medicine, and the Internet-Of-Things, and I did. But I also heard a front-line EHR-using physician practically pleading to fix EHR workflow. And she told it as a story, from when they got their EHR in 2009 all the way up to now. You can read my paraphrase of her comments, but I really hope you listen to her narrative, starting at about 30 minutes into the Periscope/Katch archived video.

I just love real-time interactive live-streaming social media video! I’ve tried Periscope (even started a meetup: Blab is fantastic for instant, popup, talk shows. I’ll be fascinated to see how this sort of tech integrates with health IT and health IT social media!

I hope to SEE you, via Blab, right after today’s #HITsm tweetchat from Noon to 1PM EST.

Replay Mid National Health IT Week Blab: Many Thanks to Participants!

Many thanks to everyone who showed to our mid-week National Health IT Week blab, Wednesday, 2PM EST, 2015. About eight folks took turns in the hot seat, so to speak. The rest asked excellent questions and, in several cases, gave us technical advice. Special thanks to @cfisherappian (Upper left: for getting the blab listed an an official National Health IT Week activity), @JaredPiano (Lower left: for moderating), and @Jimmie_Vanagon (Lower right:for moral support!).

Let me know if you’re hosting any blabs on health IT. I’d love to attend, watch, even opine, if allowed!

P.S. You can find the blabs stats and comments here.