Countdown to HIMSS17 – Part 3: Networking

The countdown to HISS17 is in the final days. As I wrote the past two weeks, the best way to think about your prep for HIMSS17 is in three ways – education, vendors, and networking. This post is the last in a canstockphoto6370084three-part series – focusing on networking. It has to be the last, you’ve probably finalized your schedule for education and vendors. Now, you’re thinking about what to pack at this point. For us Northerners that means pulling out some summer like clothes and shoes – I’m looking forward to that part!

Have you been to HIMSS conferences before and know tons of people in the industry? If so, networking is probably not an issue for you. Are you relatively new to HIMSS conferences and want to make a lot of new connections? If yes, then this post might be useful.

I know a few things about networking.  After all, one of my daughters’ nicknames for me is the “network queen”. Here are some tips to consider:

Scheduled receptions and meetups – There are plenty of these including an orientation for first time attendees, opening reception for all attendees, local chapter events, vendor receptions, and topic focused Continue reading

Tis the season to give back

I am committed to developing the next generation of leaders. I also give generously to non-profits that I care about. This week, those two passions converged.

I hosted a “lunch and learn” with five women from Cisco. Jay Roberts, director operations sales, has been a strong supporter of Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT), like many leaders in technology companies. At the annual MCWT gala fundraiser in October, I donated a “lunch and learn” session. I offered to meet with four women over lunch to have an open discussion on women’s leadership issues. Jay bid it up until he had no more competition. He then went back to Cisco and recommended a group of women to participate.

The women who lunched with me all currently work in the sales division for this technology company. They have different backgrounds in terms of college experience, technology education, and family history. They shared their stories and challenges with me. I asked each of them what they wanted to get out of our two hours together. After all, they all had plenty of work to do back at the office.

They wanted to talk about: work life balance and making time for self; how to lead with assertiveness and compassion yet not mother staff; common mistakes women leaders make; and where best to focus their volunteer energy.

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Power of Collaboration

It was a long but productive 24 hours. A team of us from the health system flew to Durham, NC, on Tuesday evening, spent a 10 hour day on Wednesday at Duke Medicine, and then flew home. It was a site visit aimed toward learning from each other and determining opportunities for collaboration.

UMHS and Duke have similar profiles: our overall size, IT infrastructure and core applications. We are in similar places on our EHR journey with Epic. And we are both very focused on analytics – the impetus for our visit.

Duke’s CIO, Dr. Jeff Ferranti, and I know each other; we thought the proposal for a visit was a great idea. Our Chief Medical Information Officer, Dr. Andrew Rosenberg, and Duke’s Chief Health Information Officer, Dr. Eric Poon, planned and organized the day’s agenda.  We let Andrew and Eric run with it and they did a terrific job!

Two important clinical leaders joined our Michigan team of several senior IT leaders — Dr. Jeff Desmond, our Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Steve Bernstein, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs. We needed them there as we talked broadly about analytics and support for population health. Continue reading

Where do new ideas come from?

New ideas can come from many places. Are new ideas the same as “innovation” which has become almost a buzzword these days? According to Webster’s Dictionary, the answer is yes. Innovation is defined as “the introduction of something new OR a new idea, method or device.”

In the past week, I’ve met with health care CIO colleagues from around the country, heard some excellent speakers at our UMHS annual leadership day and met with my staff at our semi-annual all staff meeting.  New ideas came from all those varied places.

Meeting with CIO colleagues last week, I heard a lot of great ideas. I learned about a new mobile app that addresses the stress that families feel when their loved one is in surgery because they lack information. I learned about a storefront “genius bar” service inside a hospital that helps patients and families sign up for the patient portal, get information about the best mobile health apps, and connect their FitBit or glucose monitoring device to health apps. I learned how one colleague is applying a successful implementation go live readiness assessment approach to ongoing project and support work. And I learned how a colleague is leveraging a product’s additional functionality only to realize that we haven’t begun to make the most of that same product here at UMHS. I will be sharing all these ideas in more detail with my leadership team in the coming days. Continue reading

The power of learning from your peers

I spent the better part of a day this week at the annual meeting of the Epic Michigan Users Group (we call it eMUG). But I don’t want to focus on Epic. I want to talk about the value of learning from your peers. It could be any vendor or any user group.

This was our fourth annual eMUG conference. Given space limitations, we had 200 attendees last year and with the venue this year we were able to accommodate 400, a significant increase. With 11 health systems in Michigan on Epic, that’s a good size group from each organization.

When asked for a show of hands on how many had been to Epic’s national user group meeting (UGM) before, only 25-30% of the attendees raised their hands. Local user group meetings like eMUG give many more staff a chance to attend and connect with their peers. National user group meetings are costly with airline and hotel expenses for a couple days.

This eMUG meeting was a content rich day: Continue reading

In a bow: HIMSS15 wrap up

The biggest HIT event of the year is over – more than 43,000 attendees, over 300 education sessions, and over 1,200 exhibitors. Say what you want about the long taxi lines at the end of the day, all in all the service provided by HIMSS, hotel and convention staff was great. Say what you want about the slow performance of the HIMSS15 mobile app, there were many other ways to find out what was happening and where you needed to be. I will say though that our UMHS users would be all over me if our systems had such slow performance – I guess for an app that has the life cycle of a 4 day conference, you can get away with it. But let’s hope for improvements next year!

I’ll leave the deep analysis on market trends, vendors, and big announcements to the professionals who write for a living. I have a day job to get back to. But I will share a few highlights and thoughts after my time in Chicago: Continue reading

Make the most of HIMSS15

The health IT event of the year is almost here. Yes, just a few more days until HIMSS15 and time for education, networking and vendor exploration. Whenever HIMSS is in Chicago, some people worry about the weather. But it looks like well have high temps in the 60s so you southern and west coast folks can leave behind your boots and gloves!  I am sure the Boston attendees will not bring snow.

March to HIMSS Post Icon-Sue Schade BlogIve attended HIMSS many times and have learned how to make the most of my time there. So, whether its your first HIMSS or you are a veteran, here are some useful tips:

Education sessions – The best ones will be standing room only.  If you really want to hear a particular presentation, get there early. Room locations may be very far apart so map out your next session. Pay attention to the session designation in the listing – basic, advanced, or intermediate.  The last thing you want to do is walk half a mile to get to a session that is targeted at a different level audience.

Networking – Networking is one of the greatest values of this annual event. HIMSS provides many ways to find people with similar interests as yours. Plan ahead: Continue reading

Surfacing problems, prototyping solutions

According to Wikipedia, “a hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects”. Hackathons are a great way to surface problems and prototype solutions in a short time period.  I just participated in my first hackathon and what an eye-opener it was.

Last week, four different IT groups participated in “Hacks with Friends”: central campus, school of medicine, school of dentistry, and the hospitals and health centers.  It was a grassroots event organized by staff. It was great to see such talent and creative energy in one room.

Every available surface was used to brainstorm and organize ideas.

For two days, over 100 participants in 20 teams worked to develop projects in 3 categories  – gamification, collaboration, and play (which turned out to be the catch-all category for a problem you wanted to explore or experiment with). Projects could be either externally focused on our customers or internally focused on improving processes for technical staff. Many teams included members from the multiple IT groups solving common problems.

Each team was to develop a minimally viable product (MVP). An MVP is a simple way to address a problem that adds value, is demonstrable. An MVP can be an improved process, a new way of doing things, or an old tool applied in a new way.

Poster presentation proposing FitBit integration with UM’s wellness app.

Each team had to create a winning presentation in three stages. First they needed to create an elevator description of the project, including problem statement, solution and differentiators. Then, they needed a five minute poster presentation. If chosen as a finalist, the team needed to prepare a seven minute demonstration of their product.

To succeed, the team needed to understand the strengths of their team members and welcome a broad range of experiences into the team. Best ideas come from co-design. A great reminder that hackathons are not just for people who can code!

Laura Patterson, the UM CIO, Ted Hanss, the Medical School CIO, and I were the judges. We applied these criteria:

  • Fit to category – how well does the project fit the selected category?
  • Feasibility – would this work in the real world?
  • Completeness – how far did the team get in the allotted time?
  • Documentation – did the team document what they learned?

The winning team, “Magic Mirror,” hard at work.

The products proposed were creative and exciting.  Some examples:

World of Workcraft – a game to track what we are learning everyday – books, articles, courses, conferences.

Active You – integrating FitBit with the ActiveU mobile app. I think a high percentage of the 11,870 participants in this UM employee wellness program would love this!

Rundeck – a way to automate system administrator tasks using the Rundeck tool.

The winner of the Hacks with Friends event was Magic Mirror – putting student photos in their profiles in the new learning system to help faculty get to know students and students get to know one another. The runner-up was Go Phish – an interactive training tool to help people recognize phishing email leveraging gaming technology.

The coveted “golden hard drive” trophy.

But from another perspective, Activity in Motion (AIM) was the winner for me.  This was a team led by Sally Pollock, Manager of IT Service Management from my IT department, that developed a multi-platform application to capture and centralize major incident activity real-time.  Benefits include: providing real-time information, minimizing distractions during the major incident call, minimizing the duration of the major incident, capturing a list of participants, making activity highly visible and storing it in a database, where it can be used for reporting and the post incident review process.

The team’s presentation helped me realize the current state of managing major incidents and how a simple app like this could improve the process. I jumped on it.  I asked the team to present to my leadership group meeting on Wednesday and we gave directional support for this solution. They will come back in a month with recommendations on how to fit this solution into our current major incident process.

A great example of how a hackathon opened one leader’s eyes to a problem that needed to be solved.

Networking, learning and giving back

I’m heading to the CHIME Fall Forum for a few days. Many of my health care CIO colleagues will be there. I look forward to the chance to network and learn from them in track sessions, and hear from keynote speakers. I’m even being pressed into service on a panel called “Leadership Stories Worth Telling” as there was a last minute cancellation.

I have been active in professional organizations for many years. Anyone who doesn’t take the opportunity to get involved in such organizations is limiting their own professional development and, in turn, limiting what they can offer to their employer.

I remember many years ago when I attended my first professional conference. Continue reading