Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Speaking with Authority: 10 Behaviors HealthIT Speakers Should Adopt to Own the Room

Imagine being asked to deliver a speech on HealthIT. As a professional, the next common sense question would be, "In which area of IT would you like me to concentrate?" Now imagine the conference promoter answers, "Whatever you think our audience would like." That very scenario happened to me recently but instead of panicking, not sure whether I could produce a speech within the time frame given, I decided to take it on as a challenge. Achieving that goal also gave me an opportunity to query: What does resonate with HIT audiences and are there universal standards speakers can use to own the room on any HIT subject? I decided all speeches needed to address two areas: the subject and the visual. The following outlines behaviors I feel will work for all speakers, while being flexible on time constraints.

Subject: The three Ps
  1. Passion: Are you passionate about a particular HIT subject? It is easier to deliver on a subject you actually like.
  2. Popularity: Will your audience like the subject? All HIT subject-matter is not created equal. Try to stick with subjects that are popular or are currently affecting the industry. For example, more people will show up to hear a speech on how to protect systems from ransomware than will show up for how to install billing software.
  3. Profession: Are you an expert on the subject? You can't sell what you don't know. Your audience will more than likely have knowledge of the subject already and trying to deliver information on which you are not truly familiar could damage you credibility. 
The objectives of selecting a topic should meet at the intersection of the three Ps.
Visual: The number one thing you need to remember; you are part of the visual! Don't be a distraction from your own content. Dress appropriately.
  1. Don't start the presentation by apologizing to your audience. Don't apologize that the topic isn't sexy. Don't apologize that you're feeling a little under the weather. Don't apologize that they have to be there. Just don't apologize!
  2. Don't ask your audience if they can hear you. If they can't hear you, they will let you know.
  3. If you use PowerPoint, don't use fonts that are too small to be viewed by the whole audience and don't say things like, "I don't know if you guys in the back can see this . . .," 
  4. Don't constantly say, "I'll come back to that later. Make your point in the moment. Your audience won't remember the reference later and you'll lose the room.
  5. Don't promise to keep things short. This is impossible. You were give an allotted time to speak. Speak!
  6. Try to keep words like, "um" and "so" to a minimum or try not to say them at all. They create a distraction & eventually that's all your audience will hear.
Last, save some time for Q & A. Your audience will want to clarify information received. And there you have it; universal rules we can all use to give amazing presentations and get the next invite.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

HIT Crush Thursday: Finding Solutions that actually solve problems for independent practices

If you've been following along, you know I've been obsessively searching for health IT solutions for my behavioral health and small provider practice clients. This is no easy task. First, small practices generally lack the resources to invest in comprehensive IT solutions. Second the notion of adopting new technology and having the talent to manage it can seem daunting to a provider. Last, providers aren't marketing professionals; they're clinicians for the most part. They need simple solutions and someone to bottom-line ROI expectations for them. Add to this the need for ongoing support and continued learning options and what you have is an enormous mountain to climb. That being the case, I've been reviewing small practice solutions and I think I've identified one I can endorse.
Kareo is a provider of tech-enabled practice solutions for small providers. Being from the west coast, Kareo has their head in the clouds. Cloud-based and optimized for mobile practice management, Kareo is proving to be a credible player in the provider solution field. Not a company to rest on their growing reputation, Kareo recently announced the launch of what they claim is the first and only complete, seamlessly integrated tech platform, built for the specific needs of independent provider practices. Oh really, I said, "I'll be the judge of that!" And so off I went to YouTube and what I found had me not only glued to my screen, but also to my tablet, researching everything about Kareo's Go solutions. Having spent the last couple of days testing and stalking, I'm going to go ahead and call it; "I've got a crush on you, Sweetie Pie".
I won't go into a full review of the product; there's an excellent demo option by way of Kareo's website. You can find it here: Just click on the link to schedule a demo. That being said, here's what I like about Kareo's solution that will resonate with small and independent practices:
  1. Use-friendly website: Kareo's landing page is designed for ease of poking around and finding the right information for the right provider type. There's little guess work in finding what you need. Also, users have a chat option on every page. The layout and ease of navigation is as comfortable as a couch your favorite coffee shop. 
  2. Billing Analytics: A lot of solution providers offer analysis but what make Kareo's different is the ability to look at "How much did I bill" and "How much did I collect" with custom time periods. Why is this important? Independent providers have non-traditional growth periods. For example: community practices should see an increase in patient traffic from March to May of their fiscal year. "Why is that," you might ask. I'd tell you but that's not the focus of this post so pay attention! The ability to isolate time periods lets providers target the right information and not spend unnecessary time that could otherwise be spent taking care of patients. This is a great feature.
  3. Marketing option: Kareo's model offers a way for patient contact to be noninvasive post visit, at which time all critical physician scoring is done. That is to say, the patient can provide
    feedback, can post to social media, can get feedback, and can make additional appointments. Score! What's different about Kareo? The coaching offered by Kareo's team explains the importance of this function in a way providers can easily understand and I believe it will aid in employee and provider buy-in. 
  4. Price point: The Kareo solution offers discounts for multi-user engagement and for non-physician stakeholders. This is very important for diverse provider-types. It’s rare that everyone involved in management practice is a physician. Offering plans for non-physician providers makes this solution a smart and economical choice for independent practices. What’s different about Kareo? The prices are very indicative of Kareo's mission to bring tech within reach of independent practices and "to free doctors' hands for the important work of patient care"(Kareo, 2015).

So that's it; give me a simple solution that's packed with value and a hint of ongoing support and I'm on board.  You can visit Kareo's website here: and look for my follow-up on this post. I'm having my providers tell me what they think. Go forth and care!