(One of my) My last talk(s) about HIT?

Tweeting Regina Tweeting

When I was studying and passionate about implementing the Toyota Management System to improve efficiency in health information technology, someone said to me, “You’re going to LEAN yourself out of a job at this rate.” My response was, “I hope so.” I fired myself about 18 months later….

On Friday I was on stage with fellow crazy life rider Regina Holliday (@ReginaHolliday) at the 6th Annual Mid-Atlantic Healthcare Informatics Symposium, put on by Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Biomedical Informatics (@CHOP_CBMI), and I noticed….I can’t give a talk anymore without bringing in environmental stewardship (hashtag: #GreenHC), and I was this close to adding in a slide about transgender health issues.

I asked Regina if if would be inappropriate to include that information in the presentation, and she told me that it would be fine, since hers included references to toy stores. I probably could have weaved it all in…

Thinking outside the toy box from Regina Holliday

Something tells me though, that these are not the topics an audience interested in healthcare informatics comes to the Philadelphia Sheraton to hear about (or do they?).

On the one hand, I was told this audience wants to hear about guidelines and code sets. On the other hand, I walked into the room overjoyed that the day before Philadelphia’s city council had just passed a landmark piece of legislation supporting the health of its LGBT residents. Which is more important for health?

And yet, on the other hand, about 30-40 % of the people in the audience raised their hand when I asked if they had ever e-mailed their doctor / looked at their medical record online.

And on the other other hand, about 1 % of the people in the audience raised their hand when I asked if they had gone on a walking meeting.

And, in 2013, it is an impressive accomplishment to get 300 people at an event, so there’s much respect there – and we’re there to serve the audience, not me.

I don’t know the answer or even the question, which is why the title of this post ended up being a hedge. These are the images I presented in the end –

2013 6th Annual Mid-Atlantic Informatics Symposium from Ted Eytan

I think the work in informatics to include patients and families is definitely not done, even if it is on the launch pad, so it was most prescient and supportive for CBMI to invite me (and for me to ask them to invite Regina too, which they readily did).

I’m using the hashtags #PreventionisthenewHIT and #GreenHC and #transgender #health a lot more than I’m using #HIT. 

One thing I learned is that people who are working in HIT are actually trying to speak at non-informatics conferences, to broaden the conversation about HIT into the greater health care community. Maybe for me, then, speaking at informatics meetings will be my foray into my non-world world. How strange.

Subject matter aside, my role and the role of all physicians is always in creating environments for patients to have a voice co-lead the health system until the day they don’t have to anymore. That may include downloading Regina’s slideshare onto my laptop while 300 people look on, it’s part of the service.

In a nutshell: Crazy life ride, now with refreshed ripples on my walking jacket! And, I’m open to others thoughts who are working in HIT or not, about what the audience like this can and want to learn. Thanks a ton, CBMI, for thinking outside the toy box.

Ted Eytan, MD