Neil Calman, MD, now in the blogosphere

I was treated to the news that Dr. Neil Calman, President of CEO of the Institute for Family Health has launched his own blog, at Of course I’m excited by this as I got to meet Neil and his care system very recently and will look forward to being updated about things as they happen with Neil and IFH. When I see Neil, instead of asking, “what’s happening, Neil?” maybe I’ll be asking, “how’s that thing happening, Neil?”

I have noticed in some of my own professional interactions that the conversations start more deeply, more quickly, when I am having them with someone who has been following a blog of mine. I have to remember what I write so I don’t tell the same story. My antidote for this is to appeal to others to have their own blogs, so they can experience the same embarrassment.

I think this is a great way to stay connected to other leaders, and hopefully we’ll have Neil write a few guest posts about the work IFH is doing to support patient centered health information technology.

Hansei and an Evolutionary Leap (x 2)

Hansei is a Japanese term for self-reflection. It’s a concept that’s used in LEAN, and I think useful in life.

For my main project, PCHIT, I am doing the official Hansei, near the 30 day mark, as my advisory committee gets ready to convene in Bethesda this week. On the general topic of this experience, I’m doing the same, informally, at the 30 day DCversary mark, right here.

Overall? Green light. It has been great to explore an entire community (and to some extent a nation) of organizations and the talented individuals in them. This is something that there wasn’t time/resource to do with a focus on a single organization previously.

Step counts on the pedometer here are about 30-40% higher each day here, which is also great. A long walk here doesn’t seem so long because of the density of stimulating things going on. The vibrancy of this experience is only heightened by the unusually sunny, rainless weather. These things make a difference.

The Evolutionary Leap comes from the fact that this is now coming to you from Mac OS X Leopard. The x2 is that this blog system is also now upgraded to the most recent version. Both experiences tell important lessons about how good I.T. can be. The Leopard upgrade – flawless, with many user-centric features that make productivity faster and more enjoyable. The blog upgrade – also flawless, but with a little more care and feeding. The open source nature of the blogging platform means that everything needed is in reach, but “activation and empowerment” are needed to make informed decisions about which parts to upgrade and the smoothest path. Leopard is a closed ecosystem, but one that is carefully managed, with great results. And I say that as someone who really isn’t a technophile. More on that later…

Photo Friday: The Hirshhorn; 30 day DCversary

This week’s photo is of people waiting at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. It came just before a viewing of a documentary about the world of art and video games called 8 Bit. I have to admit I was both a bit nostalgic and concerned at the same time when I saw images of SimCity 2000. I have an unfortunate belief that this is a state of the art video game, but apparently my information is only as current as 1993. My records are now updated…

It’s my 30 day DCversary today. I’ll post reflections on my first month on Monday. By then I should be Leopardized.


Patient-Physician E-mail: An Opportunity to Transform Pediatric Health Care Delivery

Patient-Physician E-mail: An Opportunity to Transform Pediatric Health Care Delivery — Rosen and Kwoh 120 (4): 701 — Pediatrics

Josh Seidman alerted me to this recently published study of the use of patient-physician e-mail in a smaller pediatric rheumatology practice. The study shows that the state of the art for many practices like this is still unencrypted e-mail as was used in this case. At the same time, the authors did a nice job quantifying time spent communicating this way as well as the impact on patient satisfaction. Of significance, they found that e-mail responses took physicians 57% less time on average to complete.

The article adds to the body of knowledge that this is a good thing to do. Of course, I might ask if in the future we should quantify the time savings to patients in addition to / instead of to physicians. The other curiosity I had after reading the article was the statement repeated multiple times throughout that “pediatricians are leaders when it comes to using patient-physician e-mail.” I didn’t see any data to support this. Maybe this is a bit of cheerleading to enhance adoption in the pediatrician community? At this point in our work, I can imagine that it is important to describe differences in various specialties’ use of patient centered health information technology, but not sure of the importance of singling out any specific specialty as the “leader.” Open to any comments to the contrary….

eHealth and Disparities; Remote Monitoring; the CMIO Role

October 22nd through October 24th:

Internet Holiday Over; IT System Upgrade; PCHIT Blog

I am back from my Internet holiday, and the picture below shows what an Internet holiday looks like. Not bad!

Continuing on my “own CIO” thread, I am facing a total system upgrade this week when Apple releases the Leopard operating system. I’m not really an early adopter when it comes to things like this, so I’ll wait a few days. I am most interested in the changes coming to iCal, the scheduling program that comes with Leopard. I read that Apple the company has adopted the use of iCal across its own enterprise – this bodes well for the improvements that I’ll see when I upgrade.

My return also brings the launch of the official blog for my main sabbatical project, “Patient Centered Health Information Technology” or PCHIT for short. I’ll be operating this blog with Josh Seidman, Ph.D., the President of the Center for Information Therapy, as well as clinicians who I will be working with over the six months. It’s useful to note that the blog is the kind of thing that you start small and then grow – you don’t release it as a finished Web site. This is the spirit of Web 2.0! Some of the things I mention here I’ll instead mention there, where this blog will be more about my sabbatical experience and items that I work on outside that project.


Why a blog?

A major portion of the work of this initiative is observations of patients receiving care in different health systems. The blog will tell stories in an informal way and allow others to interact with the health systems being featured.

The purpose of the blog is to showcase innovative health care organizations as they transform themselves to become more patient centric through the use of technology.

What are the benefits?

  • It will increase interactivity in the field of patient empowerment
  • It will expose innovative organizations to the world of Web2.0 technologies and their use in promoting image
  • It will assist policy makers and leaders in understanding care provision at the level of the patient

How will it be done – what are the ground rules?

Continue reading “Why a blog?”

The sabbatical part of sabbatical

I recently read another person’s account of their sabbatical where it said, “If I had it do do again, I would have taken more time off.” I am incorporating that philosophy into my experience by taking scheduled Internet holidays during this time. The first starts tomorrow, and then another one later on in the winter. Best to do it now before things switch into high gear. I’ll be back in a week. Comments on this blog will be closed, but will reopen when I return. In this week’s quote of the week on the DailyKaizen blog, I posted a story that I recently ran across that’s useful here. Enjoy!

Another Library: Photo Friday

Continuing on a theme started a few weeks ago, this week’s photo is of one of the most important libraries in the world, Library of Congress. Employing 4,000 individuals and housing 134 million items makes long cavernous tunnels like the one pictured necessary. It really is larger than life. In case you were wondering (I was), you cannot check out items from this library, and you can take your computer into the reading rooms to work, you just can’t take the computer bag in with you. Which is fine, it was worth the trip.

Jefferson Building, Library of Congress

Tunnel between Jefferson and Madison Buildings, Library of Congress

Jack on GenY and being diverse in the workplace; Alternate views in the workplace

October 7th through October 10th: