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Breaking down ignorance about telehealth

AUSTIN, Texas — I’m at my very first American Telemedicine Association annual conference, which starts later this afternoon. This morning, I gave a short presentation to the ATA’s Industry Council, made up of technology vendors, about trends in the telehealth industry.

My slides are here: ATA 2013 presentation.

I want to draw your attention in particular to slide 9, which is a letter to the editor of the Kearney (Neb.) Hub newspaper. Honestly, it’s one of the most ignorant, poorly argued pieces of garbage I’ve seen in a long time, and I can’t believe the editor actually accepted it and published it with such a weak argument. (Really, there’s “no scientific way to diagnose a patient with a mental illness,” but it’s OK to make a diagnosis in person?) Unfortunately, I can believe that someone would be so misinformed about telehealth and healthcare in general (“doctors are being paid millions to visit with patients for five minutes …”).

Thankfully, a commenter took the author, Kearney resident Kristyn Drahota, to task. I took her to task this morning, too. I hope you will join me in helping to combat such ignorance about telehealth.

 

May 5, 2013 I Written By

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

More thoughts on Twitter

Though I’m still skeptical of Twitter and not ready to sign up for fear of having too many messages to read from anyone I decide to follow, I found something I might use it for. I’ve just learned that Children’s Hospital Omaha is getting ready to go live with EpicCare in orthopedics. That could have been handled in a single tweet, rather than a full blog post.

That said, I continue to fight a losing battle against e-mail. How in the world would I ever keep up with Twitter feeds?

Also, I don’t like the URL shorteners the Twitterati (did I just coin a new word?) like to use to conserve characters. With so many phishing scams out there, I’m wary of clicking on URLs that don’t make sense to me. Particularly alarming are the ones with country-specific top-level domain names. I’ve seen plenty of is.gd (Grenada) and bit.ly (Libya) and ow.ly (also Libya) links of late. With apologies to the legitimate sites out there, would you knowingly click on a cryptic URL from either an offshore tax haven or a country that formerly sponsored terrorism? What about Internet scam bases such as Russia (.ru) or Nigeria (.ng)? Just asking.

Again, Children’s Hospital Omaha is about to turn on EpicCare in orthopedics. Anyone want to tweet that for me?

UPDATE, 10:53 p.m. CDT: “Twitterati” already exists, but it’s a fairly new word. Urban Dictionary’s oldest definition related to Twitter is from Feb. 13. (There’s another, older usage that refers to Hollywood dingbats.)

April 15, 2009 I Written By

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