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: DCscopes.com). 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.


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