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Podcast: Panel discussion on mobile healthcare

Nearly two months ago, I was honored to be a participant in the closing panel session at the mHealth Initiative’s 2nd mHealth Networking Conference in San Diego. I happened to record the audio of that session directly off the sound board. I present that recording here.

Other participants on the panel, which addressed hype vs. reality in mobile healthcare, were: C. Peter Waegemann, mHealth Initiative founder; John Mattison, M.D., CMIO of Kaiser Permanente; and Paulanne Balch, M.D., physician lead for KP Health Connect messaging.

You should know my gravelly, hesitating voice by now. The man with the German accent is Waegemann and the other male voice is Mattison’s. Obviously, the female voice belongs to Balch, though mHealth Initiative President Claudia Tessier makes a couple of appearances.

Podcast details: Panel discussion from mHealth Initiative 2nd Networking Conference on hype vs. reality, featuring Neil Versel, Peter Waegemann, Paulanne Balch, M.D., and John Mattison, M.D. Recorded Sept. 9, 2010. MP3, stereo, 128 kbps, 77.6 MB, running time 1:21:26.

0:00 Intro (Waegemann)
0:45 Hype around untethered PHRs (Versel)
2:40 PHRs and projections for future (Mattison)
5:50 Why there’s hype (Versel)
7:15 Consumer perspective on connectivity (Balch)
8:15 “Mind-blowing” applications in m-health (Waegemann)
8:50 iPhone replacing the stethoscope (Versel)
9:45 M-health as the “horseless carriage” (Balch)
10:25 What problem m-health addresses and what’s missing (Mattison)
12:10 Power of text messaging (Versel)
12:55 Patients texting during exams (Balch)
13:35 Audience question: What’s next after m-health
13:55 M-health is an enabler (Waegemann)
15:15 Too much unfiltered information (Mattison)
16:55 Movement to a knowledge-based society (Waegemann)
18:00 Machine-data interactions, escalated to experts as needed (Mattison)
19:00 Vision of personalized shopping experiences to choose healthy food (Balch)
19:45 Evolution of information sharing in healthcare (Waegemann)
21:40 How computers have changed teaching to focus on heuristics (Mattison)
23:15 Understanding context (Versel)
24:10 How m-health will change health information management (Waegemann)
24:35 The evolution of transcription and HIM (Claudia Tessier)
26:30 Changes in how information is collected (Balch, Mattison)
27:30 What you can’t find on the Internet (Mattison)
28:15 Audience comment: The future will favor those who can integrate information
28:55 Different types of information processing (Mattison)
29:30 Audience question: Where does consumer trust come from in healthcare?
31:25 Loss of collegiality due to EHRs and text messaging (Mattison)
33:45 Trusted entities (Mattison)
35:40 Generational differences in trust of doctors (Versel)
37:40 Lessons from early adopters (Balch)
39:25 Migration away from direct social contact (Mattison)
41:00 Systems for patients to describe their conditions (Waegemann)
41:50 Clinical Document Architecture to handle structured and unstructured data (Mattison)
44:35 Gaming for better health (Balch/Mattison)
45:50 Audience question: How much leadership does Kaiser show in this area?
46:30 Aneesh Chopra’s visit to KP’s Garfield Center (Mattison)
48:20 Can other organizations close the digital divide? (Waegemann/Mattison)
49:45 Kaiser looking at open-source technology (Mattison)
50:25 Power of text messaging and social networking (Balch)
50:50 Encouraging healthy behavior through information (Waegemann)
51:40 Embracing basic mobile technologies (Versel)
53:25 Mobile is changing economics of healthcare (Mattison)
54:30 Consumers equating more care with better care (Versel)
55:30 Technology vs. cultural attitudes (Mattison)
56:15 Audience comment: Fee-for-service model needs to change
56:40 Kaiser vs. fee-for-service model (Mattison)
58:20 Audience question: What is boundary between health/fitness and clinical/therapeutic apps?
59:25 Standards for evidence-based medicine (Mattison)
1:02:15 Audience question: How do you accelerate cycle time for discovery?
1:02:35 EHR as an observational, enrollment and tracking tool (Mattison)
1:04:00 Consumers will drive app acceptance (Balch)
1:04:20 User interfaces (Waegemann)
1:04:55 No comment (Mattison)
1:05:10 Audience question: Will mobile widen digital divide between healthcare and “enemies” of population health?
1:07:05 Who is custodian of individual data? (Mattison)
1:08:20 Knowing consumer preferences (Balch)
1:08:40 Wish list for m-health (all panelists and some audience members)
1:20:10 “Journey” of mobile health (Waegemann)

October 29, 2010 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Healthcare can take a lesson from airline fees

Here’s an idea so radically simple, it just might work.

All the new fees airlines have imposed in the last few years seem to be as popular as a trip to the doctor. But healthcare should follow at least one example to make trips to the doctor a bit more palatable–and safer, too. Plus, practices can benefit from greater efficiency if not also a little extra revenue.

When booking a ticket, airlines now charge somewhere in the range of $15-$25 to speak to a live person, either on the phone or at the airport. That’s because they want you to use their automated, online reservation systems. Customers generally don’t mind doing the work because they get to pick the flights, routings, times and prices most suited to their own needs and they enter all their personal data themselves. It’s more accurate and it saves time and money for the airlines. If customers want the added assistance of a real human being, they can pay for the service.

A medical practice should operate the same way. Let patients book appointments online. Let them fill out their medical histories online, too. Link the data they enter to practice systems so appointments go right to the practice management system and patient history goes to the EMR that most physicians will have (right?) by 2015 or so. You save staff time–even some physician time in the case of medical histories–and avoid errors that come from having to interpret patient handwriting and key their information into the system.

Give patients a financial incentive to use these automated options. Some practices already charge administrative fees to handle the paperwork our inefficient health system often requires. Waive those fees for anyone willing to enter data online rather than making an appointment over the phone or filling out the dreaded clipboard while sitting in the waiting room.

If you’re not comfortable charging an administrative fee, consider waiving co-payments for patients choosing the self-service option. Many of those charges go uncollected anyway.

October 27, 2010 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

On the bookshelf …

In case anyone out there still reads physical books, “Reengineering Health Care: A Manifesto for Radically Rethinking Health Care Delivery,” by Jim Champy and Dell Chief Medical Officer Dr. Harry Greenspun, cracked the top 10 of 800-CEO-READ’s Business Book Bestseller List for August.

I have a review copy of the book and expect to start on it in the next few days. Just don’t ask me to write a review. I barely keep up with this blog, ya know. But here is a review from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Note that the reviewer was surprised to learn the book wasn’t about the so-called healthcare reform law, that the national media somehow think is a massive overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system.

October 3, 2010 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.