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I’ve finally joined The Walking Gallery

This isn’t exactly breaking news — that happened in the craziness of HIMSS17 a couple of weeks ago — but I am now a member of The Walking Gallery of Healthcare. The Walking Gallery is a series of paintings on jackets, mostly, but not completely, created by artist/patient advocate Regina Holliday, meant to spark conversations about healthcare.

Each painting depicts a difficult healthcare situation that the wearer or a loved one of the wearer experienced. In my case, it is the story of my late father’s terrible experience in a poorly run community hospital as he was dying of a rare disease called multiple system atrophy, and my own advocacy as a result of his ordeal.

Holliday calls this one, “Miles to Go Before I Sleep,” likely because I undertook a bike tour from Chicago to Washington, D.C., in 2014 in my dad’s memory, and, likely, because I am a notorious night owl/occasional insomnia sufferer. I think there’s also some meaning in the fact that I have been a restless advocate, via my writing, for better care since I had to witness his suffering nearly five years ago. (I didn’t get to see a draft of the painting until I received my jacket, which is only fair, since as a rule, I don’t let story subjects see copies of my work prior to publication.)

The painting of me as a child is based on this photo of me as a baby. My dad didn’t have a mustache for long, but he did when I was a toddler.

To this day, my mother will tell you I was the most beautiful baby she ever saw. That’s a completely objective statement because she has no inherent bias at all.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I absolutely love the final result of the painting, which includes purple, the color of MSA awareness, at least in North America. The jacket itself cost a whopping $50 at Marshall’s because I wasn’t sure if people sent expensive or cheap sportcoats to be painted.

 

March 7, 2017 I Written By

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

Surprising results in the HIT100 list

The third annual HIT100 list, ostensibly listing the 100 most influential Twitter accounts in health IT, has been published at Healthcare IT News, and I’m more surprised than flattered to be at No. 44, named 14 times by tweets carrying the #HIT100 hashtag. More accurately, I am in a five-way tie for No. 41, with the likes of: “social venture entrepreneur” Sherry Reynolds (9,000 Twitter followers); Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO and health IT rock star Dr. John Halamka (10,600 followers); health IT product strategist Lisa Crymes (2,200 followers); and pre-eminent health IT social media researcher Susannah Fox of the Pew Internet & American Life Project (13,800 followers).

That doesn’t seem right, does it?

It also doesn’t seem right that I’m ahead of: “E-Patient” Dave deBronkart; true digital health rock star Dr. Eric Topol; The Health Care Blog and Health 2.0 founder Matthew Holt; Chilmark Research’s John Moore, one of the most insightful analysts I’ve ever come across; KevinMD founder Dr. Kevin Pho (though he focuses on a lot more than just health IT); health economist and patient engagement guress Jane Sarasohn-Kahn; well-known EHR consultant Jim Tate; health IT policy expert Shahid Shah; and, coming in at 100 on the list, White House CTO and technology entrepreneur-in-residence Todd Park, who previously was CTO at HHS and co-founded Athenahealth.

It’s nice to be mentioned among and even above some of those names, and I thank those who voted for me. I also thank the more than 3,600 people who follow me on Twitter. But am I really more influential in health IT than any of the people I mentioned above? I doubt it.

What are your thoughts? Is there a better way of measuring influence than just counting the number of people who tweeted your name with the #HIT100 hashtag?

For the record, topping the list was Dr. Wen Dombrowski, who is about as active as they get when it comes to health IT social media. No arguments here, though I wouldn’t have objected either if Brian Ahier, Regina Holliday, Lionel Reichardt, Gregg Masters, Paul Sonnier (his Digital Health LinkedIn group just passed 19,000 members) or Keith Boone had been No. 1. A case also could be made for John Lynn, founder of the Healthcare Scene network, which hosts this blog.

And then, there’s this:

July 25, 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.

10 years later, there’s still a quality chasm, and Senate Dems are wusses

It’s been a full decade since the Institute of Medicine published the second volume in its landmark series on patient safety and quality of care, Crossing the Quality Chasm. We appear to be not much closer to achieving a high-quality health system as we were 10 years ago.

Last week, as you may have already heard, a paper in Health Affairs from researchers at the University of Utah concluded that adverse events may be 10 times more prevalent than previously believed and that errors may occur in an astounding one-third of all hospital admissions. The research team, which included such luminaries as Dr. David Classen, Dr. Brent James and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement‘s Frank Federico, also said that their estimates probably were on the conservative side.

Patient-safety advocate Regina Holliday finagled her way into the Health Affairs briefing on the subject on Thursday, and was disappointed by her observation that patients were almost an “afterthought” in a discussion on how to close the gaping chasm. Holliday, a sometimes painter, expresses her frustration in words in this interesting blog post and on canvas. Note that she depicts Accountable Care Organizations as a unicorn.

Do I have to remind you of who used to be the driving force behind the IHI? That of course would be Dr. Donald M. Berwick, the administrator of CMS that Republicans want to kick to the curb because they think they can score political points against the Obama administration. For that matter, the Obama administration and Democrats in the Senate are willing to sacrifice Berwick because they clearly lack the cojones to stand up for better healthcare. Yes, I said cojones. Sue me.

Please read and share my series of posts on Berwick if you haven’t done so already.

Berwick political saga is a tragic attack on better healthcare (March 14)

More reasons why CMS needs Berwick (March 20)

Slams on Berwick getting pathetic (March 23)

 

April 10, 2011 I Written By

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