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Ughhhhhh, this industry is putting us in a funk

by John Moore | November 21, 2008

We thought of attending the HIMSS Virtual Conference this week but went to sign-in and were shocked to be asked to fork over $80.  Having participated in these types of events in the past (another industry) we know first hand that these are dirt cheap to put together, sponsors fork over plenty of sponsorship money to get their hands on those email addresses and most presentations are typically rehashes of something one has seen elsewhere.

Needless to say, we backed out of that event.

But having gone online why not check-out what was in store for next year’s big HIMSS conference in April.  Not much of an agenda yet, but HIMSS has started to promote some of the “Big Events” (keynotes, panel sessions, etc.).  Logically looked for the consumer HIT topics and came across the following:

Personal Health Records – Hope or Hype? A PHR Point/Counterpoint Discussion
Discuss and debate the obstacles to PHR adoption and find out how “empowered” consumers will be the result of provider-centric HIT adoption rather than a cause of it.

Kim D. Slocum, FHIMSS
KDS Consulting, LLC

Lory Wood
Vice President, Chief Security & Compliance Officer Good Health Network

Empowered consumers the result of provider-centric HIT adoption rather than the cause of it???

All we can think of is what primordial hole did these folks climb out of to think such a thing.

Here at Chilmark what we are seeing among smaller practices is HIT adoption to provide better customer service.  This is a trend that will accelerate as digital natives graduate from college, start getting married, having families, etc.  Even among many of the digital natives parents, there is a move in this direction.  So, is it really provider-centric adoption of HIT, which has been abysmal, that will empower consumers (as this panel seeks to elucidate) or are consumers simply going online to research their own symptoms and conditions combined with a desire to interact with their physicians in the easiest way possible (let ask for that Rx refill via SMS) that will force physicians to adopt HIT?

Our vote is the latter.

Another thing, who are these people that will be on this panel?  Good Health Network?  Did a quick search and checked out their website – pretty weak player to say the least.  Looking at KDS Consulting did not help restore confidence either. We have nothing against either company and their representative.  But we do have a problem with HIMSS putting together a pretty weak panel to discuss what is a fairly hot, top-of-mind topic.  Would have thought HIMSS could do better than this.

Between this and the earlier post today on health plan support for healthcare reform, feeling a little jaded here at Chilmark.  Thank goodness Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which will give us all a well-deserved break.

3 responses to “Ughhhhhh, this industry is putting us in a funk”

  1. […] digital native market or more broadly, early adopters of Internet-based solutions.  Based on our feelings last week, maybe we should send a few copies of the report to the HIMSS conferenece board.  Then again, have […]

  2. It’s pretty hard to find legitimate consumer organizations speaking at any industry conferences. Substituting vendors that try to deliver products that consumers want (control over PHI) is not the same thing as having real people from consumer watchdog organizations speak.

    Patient Privacy Rights has almost 9,000 e-members in all 50 states and we lead the bipartisan Coalition for Patient Privacy, representing over 7,000,000 Americans of all political persuasions. Guess what? There is NO debate about what consumers want in HIT systems and HIE. They want control over who gets to see or use their sensitive health information. Consumers hate health data thieves and health data sellers.

    Next time you see a consumer organization listed as a speaker, find out who they actually speak for. Some are a single person speaking for herself or himself, most are lawyers or think tanks funded primarily by industry. Then there is AARP, in a category all by itself, supposedly representing consumers while profiting from insurance sales. Patient Privacy Rights started at the roots of the grassroots, with direct real world experience—me sitting in my solo office listening to how people were harmed when bosses or neighbors found out about their illnesses.

    I used to email conference organizers to point out that their ‘consumer-empowerment’ or ‘consumer-centric’ conference had no legitimate consumer organizations even speaking. Then I realized how silly that was—most have no interest in finding out what consumers really want. If they had an interest, they might want to design products and systems that we could trust and be interested in using. There is NO reason anyone should have to give up their privacy to receive healthcare or to have the benefits of HIT.

    I hope you will sign up for our e-alerts so we can count you. As you know–the more e-members we have, the stronger our voice in the battle to restore YOUR health privacy.

    Deborah C. Peel, MD
    Founder and Chair, Patient Privacy Rights

  3. John says:

    Hi Deborah,
    Great to hear from you. Yes, you raise a very valid point that most in the healthcare sector that are putting on these events fail to include the consumer voice. And while the HIMSS 2009 agenda is EXTREMELY weak on this subject, you have to give them some credit for having you speak last year.

    Will you return again this year to provide an update to those attending HIMSS’09?

    More broadly, while I do differ with some of your stances regarding privacy am in full agreement with you on the lack of consumer involvement in the HIT discussion, both from a product development standpoint and a policy standpoint. For example, where is the consumer voice in the AHIC Successor?

    We have a long ways to go, many entrenched interests to battle and will need to be creative to deliver more power to the consumer. A battle we both share.

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