HIMSS15: The Patient Takes Center Stage

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following was originally posted by Lisa Suennen on Venture Valkyrie.

Back in 2012 I wrote a blog post called SXSW: Woodstock for Geeks, which became the opening chapter of Tech Tonics, the book I wrote with David Shaywitz. In this piece, I pointed out the marked differences between SXSW vs. HIMSS, both of which I had recently experienced.   I said that HIMSS was best described as “a festival of old-school techno weenies recognizable in the wild by their big company expense accounts and the blue and gray suits that barely cover their pocket protectors.” In contrast, I experienced SXSW as an event that “would blanche at the thought of being called a conference. SXSW is more of a happening.  Rather than suits (the costume is old jeans and rock and roll t-shirts), the primary thing that comes in blue is hair.” My conclusion of the 2012 piece was this:

“In a perfect world, the ideal HIT gathering would be somewhere psychologically between HIMSS and SXSW:  fewer gray suits, less purple hair, more next generation technology, more business models that work.   If we could do a little cross breeding between species here, we just might make it work. Or we could accidentally end up with the Monster from Young Frankenstein.  Wait a minute, my God it’s brilliant! He might actually be perfect!  The Monster had both a gray suit AND a green head.  If he knows how to code, we have a winner.  Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!” (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter


Patricia Lee Stotter

Read the voices of Service: this discussion  thread is a show and tell of what women veterans have to go through to get care. It also demonstrates some traits of women warriors: generosity, tenacity , wisdom , guts and extreme moxie.

It is unconscionable that those who served have to come home and fight more battles. Shame on us.

Alana Vollmer-Bland Question…..I have a 30% rating for PTSD from Afghanistan. I told the shrink at the VA at the beginning of the claims process and then another counselor at the VA here about the sexual assault while I was on active duty. She spent 6 weeks doing intake on me and waffled between putting me in a group for combat related PTSD or a group for MST. Can I amend my claim for the MST? Or does the VA consider PTSD, PTSD? (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

TBT: Amplifying the Voices of Patients

DLN_HeadshotThis post originally ran back on June 26, 2013 but its message is still extremely important today…patient voices should be at the forefront when it comes to improving our health care system.

Big changes are taking place in our health care system – and it’s about time.  While some innovations have been occurring in limited areas around the country, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is making bigger, bolder transformation of the health care system more of a reality.  It is altering the way health services are delivered, changing the way we pay for care, and beginning to reward high-quality care rather than a high volume of services.

The new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is testing new care models like Patient Centered Medical Homes, Accountable Care Organizations, and the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative to encourage better care coordination for patients and reward high quality services. That’s especially important for women, who not only use health care services themselves, but also tend to be caregivers for children and older relatives. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

“What If 1 Million Americans Asked for Medical Records on the Same Day?”

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

farzadThe following post ran yesterday on Health Populi, see the original post here.

This was not a theoretical question Dr. Farzad Mostashari, former head of the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT in the Department of Health and Human Services, asked yesterday at the closing keynote of Day 1 of the Patient Engagement Forum.

Dr. Mostashari issued a challenged to the community of mischief-makers in health/tech patient advocacy: tell everyone you know to contact their doctors — by phone, email, patient portal, or in-person, on one designated day which he called a “Day of Action.”

Health IT journalist Neil Versel (disclosure: also a long-time friend in the field) covered this news story here in MedCity News.

In the meantime, here is my (abridged) transcript of Dr. M’s talk, thanks to my note-taking skills. My own words are between carrots <> to provide additional context. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Setting the Agenda to Create a Learning Public Health System

academyhealthIf you were opening a small business or starting a new household project, what would be your first step? You would likely read reviews and talk to experts or others who have already successfully reached similar goals in the most efficient and effective way. A common sense approach would be to look for – and identify – the best route to success, pulling information from a variety of sources.

It’s the same method we need to understand the best strategies for the nation’s public health system, which faces everyday pressures from health threats like measles, flu and antimicrobial resistant infections. The system is in a constant process of learning what works. But what would happen if we could harness gaps in information and better spread up and scale our successes? What if a sort of “Angie’s List” pointed to what works best to improve the nation’s health?  A “learning public health system” would result from better collection, integration and analysis of health data.     (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Can Social Media & Healthcare Work Together?

Does the privacy of health and openness of social media work?

Social media has many uses, from the basics of being able to stay abreast of what your friends and colleagues are doing, to a way for companies to communicate with their customers.

It is a way of sharing the big or small moments in your life, but it can be so much more than that.

This is especially true in healthcare, where despite the clear confidentially restrictions put on how people can communicate, it is making a big difference – as will be discussed by Dennis Jolley, Chief Marketing Officer from Gillette Children’s Specialty, at the Digital Health Innovation Summit. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Founder Robin Strongin helps Women in MedTech Group Launch at MassMEDIC Forum

The article below originally ran on April 9 in MedTech Boston and can be accessed here. Many thanks to Disruptive Woman Randel Richner who invited Disruptive Women Founder Robin Strongin to participate in this launch. Can’t wait to hear more from this group!

StronginThe first-ever Women in MedTech event launched last week in Waltham, MA as 125 women gathered for a MassMEDIC-sponsored forum titled “Disruptive Technologies in Medicine.” Its founders frame their goal: “To unite New England medical device executive women by providing an inspirational and educational leadership forum.” The message: “You will hear us now.”

Randel Richner, President of Richner Consultants, opened the forum. “Today is a dream of mine, to have all of you in this room,” she said. Two powerful influences have guided her life: her dad, who said, “You will always work,” and Robin Morgan’s 1969 book, Sisterhood is Powerful. Richner started her career as a dialysis nurse on a bus, but has taken her work many places since. She has been called incendiary – inflammable and provocative – and effective, and she believes deeply in an Alibaba quote: “To be more successful, bring in more women.” (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

TBT: Culture of Shame

lydia brownApril is National Autism Awareness Month so for today’s TBT post we are running one by Lydia Brown who is an Autistic and multiply-disabled activist, scholar, and writer.

Growing up, my understanding of “disability” was limited to signs for “handicapped parking” with a white stick figure in a wheelchair and “special needs” children, who were always looked at from afar, and who would be described in low, quiet tones just in case they heard themselves being described.

I was not diagnosed until I was thirteen.

The word disability was not a word I associated with myself for years after receiving my diagnosis. It’s not a word with a very positive history or even a well-known one. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

HeARTSpeak: Exponential Expansion of Exposure

Patricia Lee Stotter

The Billion Women Rising (through its veteran arm) has included our art and Disruptive Women through our blogs. Very exciting. Here is their first post from the Service page.

#‎VetsRising ‪#‎1BillionRising SEEKING: Women Veteran Artists

Women veterans created this art.
Art that heals.
Art that informs.
All art is owned
and copywritten
and all that jazz.

To empower women veterans, HeART Speak is a collaboration with VET USA, SERVICE: When Women Come Marching Home, and Disruptive Women In Healthcare. Your support is appreciated! (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Glimpse of 12th Annual World Health Care Congress

kymThank you, Disruptive Women in Health Care, for the opportunity to attend the 12th Annual World Health Care Congress and Exhibition (WHCC) held in Washington, DC on March 22nd-March 25th.

Despite thirty-two years of repetitive engagement with the healthcare system to manage my four unique cancer diagnoses, my fifteen-year marriage to an MD informatician, my two years as a Patient Opinion Leader and my role as founding Co-chair of the Patient Experience Council, I had vague knowledge of the business of healthcare prior to attending WHCC.

As a real world, experienced Patient Opinion Leader, I carry balanced messages forward to inform industry leaders of patient-centric issues and opportunities, as well as messages about healthcare system challenges and innovations back out to patients to convey the vital role they each play in transforming care. Healthcare conferences provide a prime opportunity for this pivotal exchange of information and building of shared empathy to occur. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

College Students are Going to the Dogs

Glenna Crooks

And, more of us should join them.

Here in Philadelphia, Drexel University has become the first university in the nation to hire a permanent certifiedtherapy dog to be part of life on the campus. Other universities have dogs, but limit them to certain buildings or to certain students.

At Drexel, “Jersey” is around for all the students. He has office hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the third floor of the recreation center.

Jersey was adopted from the Delaware County SPCA by Kathryn Formica, coordinator of student fitness and wellness at the University and it was her idea to have him join as part of the university’s permanent team of staff. Hespent several months in training and passed Therapy Dogs International and Canine Good Citizen tests and he’s been a real hit on campus. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

The Rocky Road from the Military to the VA

diana d 2While serving in the military, few think about what comes next.  What happens if you are injured and the physical, mental, emotional damage does not go away? Who is tasked to make you “whole” again through health care and compensation?  It is a process with which most civilians, and many service members and their families have little familiarity. It is cumbersome, and starts when the individual is still in the service, with a transition program and virtually no follow up by the military.

For the last twenty years, the Department of Labor (DOL) Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) has provided grants to the National Veterans Training Institute (NVTI), which operates within the University of Colorado at Denver (UCD) to develop and implement training programs for the Department of Defense (DOD)  to provide transition information to active duty personnel before they leave the military. To keep it simple, they titled the training “Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and taught the material to DOD personnel in a “train the trainer” model. While the intent and objectives were clear, and the benefits to military personnel enormous, implementation and utilization of the training was and continues to be inconsistent. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Comparative Effectiveness Research: Through the Lens of Medical Innovation

Randel Richner

Disruptive Women is embarking on an exciting week…Tuesday we head to NYC where we will be emceeing XX in Health as their retreat takes over the boy’s club (The Harvard Club). Then on Thursday we will be talking to women in tech at MassMEDIC. So as we interact with new disruptive women this week we wanted to reflect back and run some powerful posts from the past. Be sure to check the blog all this week for some of our favorites.

The Top headline of FDA News Device Daily today read, “Comparative Effectiveness Research has Benefits, Risks Experts Say”. Why would Device Daily consider comparative effectiveness to be risky? Many obvious concerns come to mind. There are distinct risks that the process imposed on the device industry may stifle growth. Worries abound related to the direction policy makers may employ such as when studies will be required (e.g., at the early stages of development, or later in the cycle of real-world experience), how studies will be conducted (e.g., by the government or a public/private entity), who will determine the type, scope, design and rationale for conducting such studies, what the studies will be used for (e.g., to restrict coverage, to control access). (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Both of Them

Regina Holliday

Disruptive Women is embarking on an exciting week…Tuesday we head to NYC where we will be emceeing XX in Health as their retreat takes over the boy’s club (The Harvard Club). Then on Thursday we will be talking to women in tech at MassMEDIC. So as we interact with new disruptive women this week we wanted to reflect back and run some powerful posts from the past. Be sure to check the blog all this week for some of our favorites.

Do ever think of animals or fictional characters can well represent the personalities of new people you meet?

regina h 1

I often do.  It helps me remember them and their personality.  When I first met Matthew Browning it was on Twitter and I knew him by his description: Founder YourNurseIsOn.com, CEO Targeted Instant Communications, Inventor IntelliBlast Communications System, RN, MSN, FNP, Healthcare 2.0, Husband & Daddy, :-)   When I met Matthew in person I thought of the 1984 film: The NeverEnding Story.  In particular I thought of the character known as Rock-Biter.  This character is tall and strong with a deep rumbling voice.  It was a perfect fit for Matthew. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Mental health is a basic human right to fight for

Agnes Binagwaho, MD

Disruptive Women is embarking on an exciting week…Tuesday we head to NYC where we will be emceeing XX in Health as their retreat takes over the boy’s club (The Harvard Club). Then on Thursday we will be talking to women in tech at MassMEDIC. So as we interact with new disruptive women this week we wanted to reflect back and run some powerful posts from the past. Be sure to check the blog all this week for some of our favorites.

The following post by Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Rwanda, is part of Disruptive Women’s “The Value of Health: Creating Economic Security in the Developing World” series. Dr. Binagwaho is a pediatrician specializing in emergency pediatrics, neonatology, and the treatment of HIV/AIDS in children and adults. She has served 4 years as Chair of the Rwandan Steering Committee for the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and was responsible for the management of the World Bank MAP Project in Rwanda, while also serving on the country’s High Commission on Aid Policy.

A few days ago the world celebrated Mental Health Day, and more recently it was the Human Rights Day, as such I have decided to post a reflection on the rights of all people to access mental health care as a part of the access to health care as a basic Human Right. I especially dedicate this reflection to the issues surrounding access to quality mental health care services for women. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter