Blog Archives

NoCA HIMSS Meeting in Fairfield, CA – supporting links

I will be in the social media panel at the Patient Engagement HIMSS meeting for Northern California. More details here:

First I will publish a few links related to my talk. I will then update throughout the day for a nice reference for all attendees.

I’m going to talk about:

– Regina Holliday’s Walking Gallery

– The Preeclampsia Foundation and its supportive Forum

– The Society for Participatory Medicine (SPM)

Main website –

Blog –

Journal of Participatory Medicine –

Twitter: @s4pm #s4pm

– e-Patient Dave deBronkart and his latest book Let Patients Help!

– Dr. Danny Sands

– SPM President Sarah Krug is Executive Director of Cancer 101

– Casey Quinlan Wrote Cancer for Christmas and strong social media presence

– Howard J. Luks, MD – Practicing MD with strong social media presence Also one of the founders of the Symplur healthcare social media hashtags project  

– Hugo Campos the ICD User Group 

– Kelly Young’s Reumathoid Disease blog

– Fibromuscular dysplasia Facebook group

– Christine Miserandino’s lupus blog But You Don’t Look Sick 



Farzad Mostashari’s Keynote at HIMSS

I’m going to start with the last session I attended at HIMSS13, Farzad Mostashari‘s keynote presentation on Thursday morning. This year I attended quite a few ONC presentations. In the previous years I was too angry with the lack of progress to be able to listen, but this year I sense progress in the air with the push for having the patient more involved in their care, primarily by pushing to give patients their data. 


Mostashari’s keynote was very thoughtful and interesting. It touched on a lot of thorny aspects of healthcare and demonstrated that the ONC is thinking about the real issues that confront clinicians and patients alike. 

He started with an articulated reason of why we are pushing for better and more data in healthcare: because it would help us use that data to make better decisions beyond our intuitive and often wrong beliefs.  He illustrated the point with a study in which male actors were interviewed on a breezy tall bridge by a female interviewer that gave them her number after the interview. Same experiment was repeated on a sturdy bridge. The people on the tall bridge called the interviewer more. Their brain interpreted the rapid heart beat with having feelings for the interviewer. It is difficult to judge the data in the middle of the fire…

He had calls for engaging the patient more often with one simple suggestion that I liked: ask your patients how are you doing. Doctors almost never hear from patients that left the practice. Did they leave because they are doing well or because they were unhappy or maybe they died?

The call for implementing health IT continued with a comparison between paper system and electronic systems. I thought this was a false problem especially for the HIT group: it’s not paper vs. electronic that is the problem, it’s bad (difficult to use, non-intuitive) electronic systems vs. good (helpful, easy to use, meaningful) electronic systems.


By the end of the talk he had great suggestions to make the right (and most common) thing to do easy and default, to create workflows that make sense and to MAKE PLANS WITH PATIENTS. 

He talked about how standardization is needed and a necessary step before studying variations. The variations should be used to learn things, they should be documented and recorded. His observation that “The Problem is NOT too much standardization in Healthcare” was received with loud laughter. It does sound good… now how do we go about making this easy for providers. Here‘s how bad processes can hurt people and cost more money in the long run. 


A Patient at the @HIMSS13 Conference

I am quite a dedicated IT person and e-patient. I love my medical data, I want my data and because I can’t yet get my data, I can at least hang out with the people that work on giving me my data and try to nudge them to give me my DAM data faster. So who do I get to hang out with?

– The HIMSS eConnecting to Consumers Committee – HIMSS is a very large Healthcare IT organization that brings together providers, vendors, consultants, government and, hopefully, in the near future, patients. The eConnecting to Consumers Committee aims to push Healthcare IT people and their organizations towards better engaging with consumers: patients, caregivers and families. The group organizes a yearly conference that I just attended last week. This year there was a great emphasis on patient engagement and I tried to attend a lot of sessions on the subject.

– The Society for Participatory Medicine (SPM) – is a non-profit organization that gets together patients, clinicians, and other people involved or interested in the healthcare system and in giving patients the tools and information to maintain their own health

I am volunteering for both groups and they recently became partners. I had to be there to see this in practice. The following blog posts will cover the education sessions I attended at the conference.

You will notice pictures attached to the notes – they are skechnotes that I drew/wrote during the session. I learned about the book/technique from a doctor blogger – Dr. Bryan Vartabedian – and it worked quite well for me. They are not very good sketches as I just started down the path. even so, I love rereading my notes which is  a first for me after a conference.