The countdown to HIMSS17 is on. It’s less than 3 weeks and if you’re anything like me, you’ve not figured out your HIMSS schedule yet. You’re getting those emails from HIMSS and vendors about what to do. And you’re starting to see the “HIMSS preview” type articles in your favorite publications.
As the conference website says – 5 days | 300 session | 1,200 exhibitors | 45,000 colleagues. It’s as overwhelming as it sounds.
The best way to think about it is in three ways – education, vendors, and networking. This post is the first of a three-part series – focusing on education. After all, you’re paying a hefty registration fee and travel expenses so you should get some education time in, right? It’s not just about the massive exhibit hall and seeing all your friends in the industry!
Bottom line, you need a strategy and a focus. No more getting a big thick conference book to page through in advance – it’s all online for you to peruse and develop your plan. The conference website has education organized by topics, professional roles, specialty education, and types of session.
Here are some tips as you plan your education at HIMSS17: Continue reading
I recently had an opportunity to advise an IT department on their overall lean initiative. While no two organizations have the same lean journey, there are common challenges. Visual management and huddle boards are components of a lean management system. Here are some of the common challenges you can expect to encounter and tips for success:
“Perfect is the enemy of good” – You must be willing to experiment and get messy. Visual boards take many shapes and forms. Do they help you focus on the right work and metrics as a team? It’s less important that they look pretty to the outside observer.
Standard framework with room for variation – Even if there is a standard for what all huddle boards in your organization should look like and include, there must still be room for variation by unit or team. What’s important to one team may not be important to another. If you’re ready to get started and wonder if there will be an organization standard at some point, don’t wait for it. Just get going and adapt later if a standard appears. Continue reading
I’ve written many posts on leadership. As we witness the peaceful transfer of power in the Office of the President, it seems fitting to reflect again on leadership and what we should expect of leaders.
When I think of critical leadership qualities at the executive level, I think of vision, integrity, presence, communication, and authenticity. If you look at position descriptions for executive level leaders in business, you will see all of these and more.
I’ve talked in the past about the core principles and values I share with my staff when starting a new leadership position. In that early period, I want my team to get to know me and to understand what’s important to me. I want them to hold me accountable for living these values every day in every situation. And I also expect everyone on my team to live them as we work together.
Here they are again but with a more generic description that can fit any leadership position: Continue reading
Think about the little girls you know. Did they get even more dolls for holiday gifts? Or did they get toys and games that teach creative thinking and how to build things? Or did they maybe even get toys officially labeled in the STEM category?
Social norms start young. I recently played a match game with my two-year-old granddaughter. When we matched the truck picture, she took it over to her 6-month-old baby brother as though it was his domain! This granddaughter and her two-year-old girl cousin have a variety of developmental toys. But when it’s free play, they are often clutching one of their dolls, whether it’s Princess Sofia the First or the newest Disney Princess Elena of Avalor. At least these characters are both confident, strong and compassionate princesses!
My four-year-old granddaughter isn’t as attached to dolls these days. After a break, she is back in dance class, my birthday gift to her. I know she loves it. At Christmas, with her mother’s advice, I gave her 3 months of Koala Crate – a creative, educational activity box for 3-5 year olds. She loved the first box – making stuffed reptiles and learning about them.
You may be saying it’s all about exposing kids to a lot of different things. I agree. But it’s important to not fall into the gender norms when they are young.
Let’s fast forward from my 3 little granddaughters to some of the female leaders in our health IT industry. Continue reading
It was a year ago that I did just that. I decided it was time to make a major life change professionally and personally. Since then, many people have wanted to learn how I did it. In fact, I spoke just this week with a former mentee about her next professional move.
My advice was basic. Look at your last few professional moves. Why did you want to stay somewhere and why were you willing to leave? What were you looking for in the next opportunity? And what isn’t there today that you’d look for in the next opportunity.
I told her if she looks carefully at this, she’ll see a theme as to what makes her happy and what frustrates her. Then there will be more questions:
- What kind of work do you want to do?
- What kind of team do you want to be part of?
- What mission will keep you committed and passionate?
But I told her not to get caught in the “grass is greener” trap. Because it’s not. Every organization has its crazy. You just need to figure out what that is and how to work effectively within it. Continue reading
Holiday gift lists, baking lists, family fun lists while kids are out of school and “honey do” lists while off from work…..we have personal to do lists everywhere. But as the year ends, it’s interesting to look back on some of the industry based 2016 lists and look ahead at what to expect in 2017.
I’ve compiled some of the most interesting health care and technology lists to share as we approach this annual turn of the year. You’ve probably seen some of them already.
There are the best places to work lists where we can all learn best practices to attract and retain talent in a competitive market: Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare 2016 and Becker’s 150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare 2016. And more specific to IT, there is Healthcare IT News’ Best Hospital IT Departments 2016. Check out their profiles and possibly get some new ideas to apply in your own organizations. Continue reading
If you are like me, you’ve recently done some online shopping – if not for holiday gifts, then for yourself. And your experiences have probably ranged from easy and awesome to frustrating and difficult.
Without naming any companies, I’ll describe the optimal experience, but also what we all too often run into.
The most satisfying experience is when the retailer already has some key information about you so the transaction can be completed with just a couple clicks; they also offer a real-time chat with a service rep if you need it. We keep going back to those sites.
The frustrating ones are confusing: too much back and forth between multiple screens and not at all intuitive. If something is backordered, they don’t tell you until the end of the process. Then, you have to start over and give your information again. In the end, you may get the product you want (or something close) but it took too long and was difficult. Continue reading
It’s that time of year. With the holidays upon us, you may have a slightly more relaxed schedule at work. And you may be taking stock of where you are in your career and what might be next.
I talk with a lot of people looking for career advice. It might be millennials early in their career who are thinking about their next opportunity. It might be mid-career management positions who are looking for that next step up. Or it might be people late in their career who are thinking about stepping off the permanent track for a less than full time work situation and a more balanced lifestyle to spend time with family or travel.
Regardless, the questions to consider are similar for everyone:
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your key strengths and areas of expertise?
- What new skills do you want to develop?
- What new areas do you want to learn about and develop expertise in?
- What kind of organization and culture do you want to work in?
- What family situations do you need to consider? Are you starting a family, do you have young children at home or teenagers who need a different kind of support? Are you caring for elderly parents? What are your spouse or partner’s work hours and flexibility?
- Do you want to and are you able to relocate to another part of the country? Are you open to anywhere or specific regions?
- And last, but not least, what are your financial requirements?
I recently participated as the CIO reviewer on a HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 validation. The long travel to the West Coast aside, I was happy to contribute my time and expertise to be exposed to an advanced
Source: HIMSS Analytics
organization and to meet a wonderful group of leaders. The review team also included a Chief Medical Information Officer and the HIMSS Analytics Regional Director for North America.
As of the 3rd quarter this year, only 4.6% of hospitals have achieved Stage 7 while 30.5% have achieved Stage 6. Just over a third of hospitals are currently at Stage 5.
All three hospitals I’ve served as CIO have achieved Stage 6. Getting from Stage 6 to 7 is a significant leap. There is a greater focus on analytics and using the data from the electronic health record to improve patient outcomes.
From the HIMSS Analytics website, here is how Stage 7 is described: Continue reading
You will be hearing a lot about Cuba after the death of Fidel Castro. I am certainly not an expert on Cuba, but I learned a lot about the country and its people recently on an 8-day Road Scholar tour. And I was particularly interested in learning about their healthcare system.
“I wanted to see and experience Cuba before it drastically changes with American influence and investment”. That was the sentiment from many of our fellow travelers.
The trip was called “People and Society: Cienfuegos to Havana”. It included day trips to Trinidad and Santa Clara plus a stop at the Bay of Pigs on our way to Havana. Everywhere we went, we experienced the cultural arts first hand – music and dance from young grade school age students to seniors well into their 80’s. We heard a chamber orchestra and saw a contemporary dance show.
We heard lectures on history, politics, and religion as well as how Cuban millennials view the future. We learned how negatively the U.S. embargo has impacted the people of Cuba. And how they want the embargo fully lifted but with future U.S. investments and development managed.
We had a chance to sit and talk for an hour with a young man who works in a telecom job in health care. I asked about electronic health records and he said they are in the process of implementing a system they have developed.
When I got home and caught up on my email, I learned that a 15-member delegation of healthcare executives visited Cuba while we were there. That delegation was led by former HHS Secretary and Governor Mike Leavitt, and included Dr. David Blumenthal, former National Coordinator at ONC and Stephen Lieber, HIMSS president and CEO. Stephen wrote an insightful blog on the experience. The delegation was a mix of vendor, consulting and provider executives who had gone to see the Cuban healthcare delivery system up close. Continue reading