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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: In the Rearview Mirror

Our Family

This was a great year.  On the home front, I began the home school process with eldest son Freddie.  Younger son Isaac continues to thrive in public school. He is now a proud 2nd grader.

We moved in June to Grantville, MD population 700.   This is the town my husband Fred called home throughout his childhood.  Often our older neighbors mistake my son Isaac for the child that was Fred.  Moving was a big change after living in DC for 16 years.  Grantsville is much calmer and a better home for my active sons.  Also, we now live in the same town as my in-laws and Fred’s grave is only blocks away. 

I now belong to the local Rotary Club and volunteer at the HighlandThrift Shop.  Isaac is in Cub Scouts and we are making new friends.  This area is awash with fundraising and good causes and I am honored to take part in such worthy endeavors.

Our Church

Our family joined Christ Lutheran Church in Grantsville this fall.  It is a lovely small Church with a dedicated congregation.   Pastor Ingrid and I went door-to-door twice inviting folks to our Church.  (I love people who are brave and go along with my evangelism ideas.  Pastor Ingrid is such a wonderful servant of the Lord and leader of our congregation.)   Two new families are now attending and have decided to be baptized in the faith.  I hope for them the joy I have felt walking with the Holy Spirit in my heart.

My Car

For the first time in my 41 years on this earth I have a driver’s license.   I took the driver’s test 4 times in the State of Maryland before I passed the test.  (I took it twice in Oklahoma in 1991, so that adds up to 6 times)  Some people in my life seem to think I am good at all I do.  This goes to show I am not. I just didn’t give up.  That is really important lesson in a life.

Thank you For the Opportunity to Speak

I look back on an amazing year filled with advocacy.  I spoke, painted and wrote about health in this nation and beyond its borders. I met so very many wonderful people and look forward to working with them again.

I had the honor to speak, paint, blog and tweet at so many wonderful places in 2013.  I thank all of the organizations and venues that gave me opportunity to spread the message of patient inclusion at the policy table and the importance of medical advocacy.  I especially thank Brenda Kane and her associates at the American Program Bureau for her diligent efforts to help me speak at ever more venues.

Thank you…

Saskatchewan Academic Health Sciences Network, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. 

4th Annual Workshop on Health IT and Economics (WHITE 2013) Washington,

“Patient at the Center of Clinical Trials.” Roundtable at Lilly, Indianapolis, Indiana

Midwest Care Alliance, Columbus, Ohio

MetaStar Event, Madison, Wisconsin

St. Joseph’s Hospital, Bangor, Maine

Planetree Annual Conference 2013, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Annual Cerner Health Conference, Kansas City, Missouri

Health 2.0 San Francisco, California

Stanford Medicine X, Stanford, California

Southeastern Michigan Health Information Management Association Annual Meeting, Detroit, Michigan

2013 AHIMA Health Integrity Summit, Alexandria, Virginia

KUMC, Kansas City, Kansas

Grand Rounds Halifax Health, Daytona, Florida

Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC), Altoona, Iowa

The 32nd Annual Colorado Health Symposium, Keystone, Colorado

Merge Live User Group Conference, Chicago, Illinois

Academy Health’s Innovation Station at ARM, Baltimore, Maryland

Mississippi Calling: Healthcare Symposium- ePatient Literacy, Jackson, Mississippi

Collaboration Across Borders, Vancouver, Canada

Walking Gallery III at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and rededication of the mural 73 cents.

Genetic Alliance and Intermountain, Powerful Patient Data: Genomics and Family Health History in Health IT, Salt Lake City Utah

Kaiser Permanente Innovation Retreat, Denver, Colorado

California HIE Stakeholder Summit, Sacramento, California 

“The Role of Patient Engagement:  Diverse Perspectives from Our Panel of Experts” for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s, Center for Biomedical Informatics’ Annual Healthcare Informatics Symposium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Medseek Conference, Austin, Texas  

Screening of 73 Cents and Q&A in Austin, Texas

NCAL HIMSS Chapter on Patient Engagement, Fairfield, California

ACMA (American Case Managers Association), San Diego, California

Genentech Meeting, San Francisco, California

HDX Conference, Boston, Massachusetts

Third Annual Crossing the Infrastructure & HITECH Meaningful Divide Symposium….”“The Patient and Technology:  Partners in Care,” King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Maine Association for Healthcare Quality, Bangor Maine

Patient Safety Awareness Week, Calais, Maine

Our City Film Festival, Washington DC

Expectations: University Hospitals Case Medical Center has a Quality and Patient Safety Fair, Cleveland, Ohio

Artist onsite HIMSS Patient Experience with HIT, New Orleans, Louisiana

JHU/NHGRI Genetic Counseling Training Program at NIH, Rockville, MD

The Walking Gallery

We had a successful crowd fund earlier this year on Medstartr with the help of Cancer 101, raising $10,000.00 to pay for a mini documentary of the Walking Gallery.  The documentary is posted online and free to share.  Please share widely as it is a good way to explain the movement.  

The Walking Gallery of Healthcare from Eidolon Films on Vimeo.

The Walking Gallery now has 269 walkers who wear their jackets around the world.  There are 23 artists who have painted in the Gallery; seven new ones joined us in 2013.

We now number 300 jackets.  That is a mighty number.

The last jacket painted in 2013 is entitled “The Rolodex.”  I painted it for Cathy Collet who is better know as @ALSadvocacy on twitter.

As I was designing this jacket, Colton (our family friend and 4th grade pupil) asked what was the thing that I was painting.  I told him it was a Rolodex.  He asked, “What is a Rolodex?”  I smiled at this small digital native and explained before computers we kept our business contacts, friends and family’s information in these handy devices. 

As I explained the concept of a Rolodex, I thought of the many years that I would spend the quiet days between Christmas and New Year’ cleaning out old cards and making room for new ones.  I would pull card after card of sales reps who had moved away, friends whose Christmas cards came back “return to sender” and the cards of friends and family who had died. 

I looked at Colton and explained everyone in the Rolodex I was painting died as result of ALS.  He asked me what was ALS.  I explained it was a disease that made it hard to use your muscles.   First walking would be hard to do, then using your hands and then talking.   As the disease continued a patient would talk using their eyes, then finally they would not be able to breathe.  They would descend into the complete silence in the end.

Colton said, “That sounds like a hard way to die.”  I told him we could do something special for these people we lost.  We could tell their story.

I told Colton, “After Fred died I Googled him.  He had only two hits.  One was from the obituary in the paper and one was from American University where he worked.  Then I spent the last 4 years on medical advocacy and speaking about Fred.  Would you like to see how many hits Fred has now?”

Colton nodded yes and his eyes grew big as he looked at the result: Frederick Holliday II PhD had over 6 million hits. 

Online the names from a Rolodex live on.  We get to meet Cathy’s friends and family; Barbara Brenner, Betty Collet, Pat Dwyer, Ben Harris, Scott Curtis Johnson and Rob Tison.  We see them leave the dusty card and walk into an eternity of advocacy.

That is my 2013 in the review mirror.  The things we did, the people we met will create ripples in the years to come.  We will never really finish this time in our lives nor truly say goodbye to those we love; this time continues in our hearts and within our digital lives.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Christmas Tree of 1987

I looked upon the crumpled box with its porcupine interior of evergreen branches and smoothed out the bill in my hand.  Scrawled in red sharpie the price of $1.00 drew me toward the dismembered tree.  I was so fortunate that I still had a little bit of baby-sitting money.  I was also fortunate that the yard sale with its precious box was only a block from my home, well within the dragging ability of my 15-year-old self.   The only problem was buying this tree would be an act of defiance.

The last time we had a Christmas tree and celebrated Christmas in my home I had been five years old.  That was the last time our family had any extra money.  I remember my mother giving me a Teddy bear that year and telling me wistfully that she would never be able to afford another gift so grand.   As the years past and bills were often left unpaid, celebrating was an extravagance that we could not afford.  So rather than take handouts or charity, my Father forbade much celebration of the blessed day.   He would let Mom make a nice meal if she did not have to work on Christmas.  He would let us visit our Aunt’s house and celebrate there in the days after Christmas.  But there was to be no Christmas tree in our house.

I paid the nice lady at the Church yard sale my dollar; she even threw in a few ornaments in with the purchase.  I hefted the unwieldy box and carried it home.  Our house door was a bit of a challenge to navigate with the heavy box, but I carried it through the living room and into my bedroom. 

Once in my bedroom, I dumped the contents upon the floor.  The tree was a post with many small holes and the evergreen branches had colors coded on each twisted metal end.  It took a while to figure out the coding system but soon I had a somewhat cooked tree with smattering of ornaments. 

With the rest of my babysitting money I bought items at the dime store that I could afford for my family. My mother would get a new coin purse and chocolate covered cherries.  I bought my brother Eugene thin mints.  The most extravagant gift would go to my sister Esther.  I found a wonderful Mickey Mouse doll at the gift shop I knew she would love.   I wrapped the gifts and put them underneath the Christmas tree that stood within in my bedroom.

Then I waited.

I waited to see what Dad would do.  I waited to see if he would smash it all.  I waited to see if he would whip me for my impudence.   He looked in my room at the tree. He looked at me. I crossed my arms across my chest and stared at him.  He worked his jaws and I saw the anger muscles in his face move threateningly, but he turned and walked away saying “You better keep that in your room, girl.“

I sighed with relief and knew I had just witnessed a Christmas miracle.

That Christmas was a slight reprieve in a time of great stress within our family, but in the face great adversity my defiance would only grow.  In the fall of 1989 Dad would threaten to kill us all and Esther and I would run away from home to live in a youth shelter.  A restraining order was issued against my father.  My mother filed for divorce.  By December Esther and I were home again and my father was out of the house.

The Christmas Tree of 1989 was set up in the living room and my Mother even set out her fragile Santa mugs so long hidden safely in a box.  In the days before Christmas, the doorbell rang.  Two strangers stood beneath our thresh hold with two paper grocery bags filled with wrapped gifts.  They were volunteers at the shelter who had heard the testimony I had given against my father.  They knew about our years without Christmas.

That year was the best Christmas ever.  The crooked tree stood so proudly in our living room with the lovely gifts underneath.

In the years since that very special Christmas, I worked 16 years in a toy store.  During the holidays people would buy gifts for poor children who otherwise would go without. I have been so honored to help customers make such purchases.  Sometimes as these customers would finish out their purchase they would say, “I just hope the child will appreciate this gift." I would assure them, “It is very much appreciated.”

This year I am a member of the Grantsville Rotary Club.  I was able to give gifts to children in need through the efforts of the Rotary Club in Garrett County Maryland.  I am so glad to give back as God has blessed me with good health and wholesome work.

This Christmas season I was able to host an arts workshop at Christ Lutheran Church in Grantsville.  It was a very snowy day so the attendance was light, but we were able to raise $100.00 with the help Diehl’s Ford, Grantsville Liquors and attendees.  The money raised went to the Dove Center in Oakland, Maryland.  The Dove Center is a shelter for those who suffer domestic abuse. 

Each year the Dove Center has a Christmas fundraiser called the Festival of trees. They auction Christmas trees created by local community members to raise money for the worthy cause.

They know the power of a simple Christmas tree to change the life of one family, as do I.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.
~Regina Holliday

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Best Practices Every Medical Conference Should Embrace

(I rarely do a list post, but could not help myself today (blame it on my daily reading of @Cracked…)

I often attend medical conferences and hear about the best practices applied within medicine, but I rarely hear about best practices applied to the medical conference itself.  In a world of often shrinking budgets and limited bandwidth, we must choose carefully which conferences we should attend.  Embracing some of the suggestions below can make an event a must attend inspirational and renewing moment in our lives and careers.

1.     The standing table, lounging chair and the walking meeting

I recently returned from a wonderful roundtable discussion on clinical trials in Indianapolis.  We had great conversations about open data and patient participation.  The only bad part of the meeting was the back pain I began to suffer after sitting for a few hours.  I am among the ever-growing group of people who work at standing desks.  So staying seated is a special kind of agony.  Fortunately, I am also without a modicum of decorum and had access to my huge suitcase, so I made a standing table MacGyver style during the meeting.       

Some conferences already provide standing tables around the back of the room and I say kudos to you!  Health 2.0 is one, but if you know of others please give them a shout out in the comments section.

On the flip side of the coin of attendee comfort is the lounging couch.  As we invite more and more patients to medical conferences it behooves us to remember, many attendees are listening while in pain.  I applaud the all the conferences that offer a cool down or comfort room where attendees can recline.  But sadly, such rooms rarely have access to the content feed of the live sessions that are ongoing.  Medicine X is the first conference I have attended that offered lounging couches to any who needed to rest while taking part in the live event.   It was rather epic to see that level of inclusion.

Another great addition to the conference venue is the walking meeting.  My friend Ted Eytan, MD introduced me to this gem.  Don't feel your conference has to be contained within four walls.  Go "on the lam" in a official capacity and have some of your breakout sessions outside while walking.  It is incredibly refreshing!  

2.     Inviting e-Patient Scholars and Patient Advocates

The ePatient movement is really expanding.  More and more patients are taking a hand in their own medical futures and helping shape health policy.   Their questions during Q&A sessions often change the direction of the conversation of the conference itself. Their keynotes and panel speeches help other attendees to express their own personal health stories.  Many of these patients and advocates have very strong social media profiles and their live-tweeting of events has exposed conference conversations to the wider world.  Look no further than Medicine X to see the enormous potential of e-Patients to spread the content of a conference.  

“But where do I find such e-Patients?” I often hear in response. Well @speakerlink is a great place to start looking for potential attendees and speakers.  Another avenue is participation in online discussion groups on Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn.  The future in medicine is "Patients Included." 

3.     You must list your #hashtag on Symplur

I can talk about the power of twitter to spread your conference message until I am blue in the face, but without analytics to support my point it is only so much hot air.  Thank you Symplur Hashtag project for providing proof of the power of conversations.  For free.  I ask conference managers to please to list their conference hashtag on Symplur.  Symplur will archive those tweets for easy access and provide  analysis of the day.  Your data will add to the ever-greater haul of big data available for analysis to determine trends within healthcare. If you do this prior to your conference it is a great tool for pre-promotion.  (If you wait till the day of the event attendees like myself will often do it for you, but don’t count on that as a back-up plan)  

It is a win/win situation.   Now all those ePatients can tweet and spread the conversation and you have proof of the level of spread.  You just have to focus on how to fund those e-Patient Scholars.

4.     Crowdfunding at the Medical Conference

Hosting a medical conference is expensive.   It is somewhat terrifying to know you have to come with thousands of dollars to make your vision of a conference a reality.  Even a conference run on a bare bones budget will cost about 25K.  Sponsors are great if you can get them (thank you Cerner!) and a well established conference often can.  For the rest of us crowdfunding is a godsend.  I personally have worked with both @medstartr and @Healthtechhatch for crowdunding in the conference world.  We focused the crowdfunding effort on travel and lodging scholarships for e-Patient scholars.  Working in partnership with a non-profit in line with our conference mission was a great help in securing funds.  

But the power of crowdfunding attendance to enable participation in continuing medical education is not limited to conference organizers.   E-Patient scholars and patient advocates should consider this route to cover their participation expenses in health conferences and classes that do not offer sufficient scholarship options.  A proof of concept is our dear friend @AfternoonNapper who has done so much for the role of the patient in the world of medicine.

5.     Traitwise surveys are the way to go.

So how many of you look at that after-conference response survey in your email in box and whoop with joy?  I bet very few of you do, unless it is a @Traitwise survey.   Not only does Traitwise have a pleasing graphic interface and font selection not reminiscent of the early 1990’s, their surveys are fun.  They keep you in the loop and informed on how your response fits into the greater data set of the conference.  And after you complete your conference survey, you can keep going, filling out survey after survey for the good of mankind.  One of my fellow e-Patients did exactly that after the Partnership with Patients conference.  They broke the record for most answers in one session with over a thousand.  (Another reason you should invite e-Patients: We are very giving people.)

6.     Teach attendees how to live-tweet

One of my favorite quotations is probably misattributed to Sen. McCarthy:  “Beware of Artists they mix with all classes of society and are therefore the most dangerous.”  Yeah, artists specialize in mixing it up, but to do that they need a forum. 

Nowadays Twitter is that forum, for artists and everyone else.

If you are running a medical conference for the good of your attendees and the wider world of medicine, you have several goals.  You want to break even.  You want people to have an enjoyable time.  But most of all, you want people to walk away inspired to make this world a better place.  In healthcare, many individuals feel they do not have a voice in policy discussions.  I am not just talking patients here.   I have spoken to a great many doctors and nurses who feel like they have worked to make a better system for 20 years without sufficient progress.  They are discouraged and feel alone.  I challenge all of you conference planners to get them live-tweeting, to help them realize there are hundreds, even thousands who think as they do. 

I have attended two conferences wherein the conference planners designed an entire webinar around teaching attendees how to live-tweet.  One of these events offered a webinar and 1-800 number support to walk attendees through the entire process.  The conference organizer
offered raffle items at the event that attendees who live-tweeted were eligible to win.  So many new twitter voices joined a wider conversation due the efforts of one conference planner. 

Do you want your conference to live beyond the after-conference survey?  Do want your attendees to act upon the content they absorbed?  Then help them tweet; help them discover the voice they always had.

Remember, online the Q&A never has to end and the microphone is accessible to everyone. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Healing Through the Pain"

I met Courtney Mazza many years ago as a fellow preschool teacher at CCBC.  She is beautiful person overflowing with kindness.  My husband and I sat beside her and her husband at many school events. Courtney was one of the wonderful people who stepped forward to help watch the children when Fred was sick.  In the years hence she has helped so many times.

In 2011 when I first decided to create The Walking Gallery, Courtney said she was willing to paint.  After me, she has painted the most jackets in the gallery.  This month she is presenting a show at the MOCA Gallery, (Georgetown) 1054 31st St NW, Washington DC.  The show is called “Healing Through the Pain.”

This show features paintings created by Laurie Tylec, John Paradise, Tom Hill, Roger Anthony and others.  I have several pieces on display with these other wonderful artists.

On Friday November 15 will be a screening night. The mini doc on The Walking Gallery will be shown for the first time.  This film was created by the amazing Ben Crosbie and Tessa Moran at Eidolon Films.  I hope many of you will be able to attend!  Thank you Courtney for all you do!

Here is the program for the night:

THE PROGRAM [Note: This event WILL involve nudity* (at least one female model; optionally others of all sexes)]
6 - 6:30 Meet the Artists & curator Courtney Mazza
6:30  Work of Walking Art: Danyell Truesdale will be body painted with UV paint
7:30  Screening begins:
• The Walking Gallery (world premiere)--documentary featuring founder and lead artist Regina Holliday, and second lead artist and D.C. liaison Courtney Mazza
• 73¢--a mini documentary of Regina Holliday painting the mural that changed her life as her husband died; 73¢ at 5001 Connecticut Ave., D.C.
• A documentary of Roger Anthony tattooing
• Clips from A Painted City, by Caitlin Carrol, featuring D.C. muralists Regina Holliday & Byron Peck
• A documentary of St. Elizabeth's art therapy with the criminally insane, designed to improve self image and inspire confidence in these outliers to society
THROUGHOUT THIS EVENT, licensed massage therapist Rebecca Menso will be offering guests healing massages on site.  Clothing is OPTIONAL!
FOLLOWING THE SCREENING:  Roger Anthony will tattoo live onDanyell Truesdale, Walking Art--featuring CRACKS, attesting her struggle with her mother's crack addiction.

Monday, October 14, 2013



This is the painting “Launch.”  It is my third painting onsite at Health 2.0's annual conference. This year Health 2.0 was held Sept 29-October 1st, 2013 and I love painting at Health 2.0.  There is a kind of frenetic energy that fills the air.  It is a unique passion fueled by the panicked reality of a start up and copious amounts of caffeine.

This painting is split between two canvases and represents division.  Division of conferences, as this week of focusing on health was divided between Stanford’s Medicine X and Health 2.0.  Matthew Holt runs Health 2.0 with his partner Indu Subaiya and Larry Chu runs Medicine X.  I am a friend of these two leaders and both are members of The Walking Gallery.  I happily attended each event, gladly hugging each host in a joyful greeting. I guess they must be one degree of separation from a hug.

But there is more division than overlapping conferences.  I almost named this painting “Intestinal Sky.”  Look at those looping guts of storm clouds rolling in.  Yep, a $#!* storm is coming.  We are in a time of great change.  Meaningful Use is marching through its Measures and ACA is being implemented.  Yet, as I sit down with my friend Kolya, I plot and plan a future where he can work to the full extent of his amazing mind and frail body.  In times like these, the fantasy of care for all seems so very far away.

A divided House

The divide goes deeper, as I paint the Government enters shutdown.  Then great minds are taken from us as Farzad Mostashari, Lygeia Ricciardi and Claudia Williams must leave the venue and abandon their mission.  Farzad’s last speech as National Coordinator is stolen from him by machinations of a divided house.  Deven McGraw offers to lay bare their testimony before those gathered and the ONC staff slowly walks away.

Goodbye ONC

I hear about Killer King Hospital from Sajid Ahmen CIO of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital.  I hear him speak of a hospital that showed so little care for its patients that a patient died in the ED and the janitor cleaned up around their body. I began to paint a hospital that was antithesis of its mission.

A divided Hospital

Sajid explained that the facility is to re-open in 2014 with a new vitality and mission.   Yet, I paint it as it was but now adorned with a construction tape “Under Construction for 20 years.”  I write this because I hear that phrase at venue after venue, “It takes 15-20 years to create change in Healthcare.” 

I scream no!  I say cut through the tape of obstruction and demand change before others die.

So here at Health 2.0 we storm the barricades.

We mount our smart phones and ram them straight through the digital divide.   We can follow the rallying cry of Jamie Heywood’s “Patients Like ME is still here!” Or we can the share the brave stance of Alex Drane as she tells us to talk about death and Engage with Grace.  We can listen when Susannah Fox tells us to never forget paper and pencil are also data capture tools. We can cry when Susannah bravely reminds us: caregivers are the ones who wipe.


In this crowd there may be those who could care less about a dental app that can create better pricing through price transparency.  But I care, as I know that there are people who die from a simple tooth abscess for the want of affordable dentistry and perhaps brighter can change that. 

The division stops here.


This is the third appearance of Ramin Bastani from the Unmentionable’s Panel in a Health 2.0 painting. He has re-launched as Hula.  Here Ramin opens his zipper app with the woman who once slapped him when he inquired about her STD status.   Ramin, like Jamie, is still here.  He is still hopeful.  He still plans to change the world. He still has the charisma and energy that he had three years ago.

You know what else he has? He has three years of research on data access and a deep understanding of privacy legislation in 50 states.  Add to that a steely determination under that charming smile.

Ramin is dangerous.
Alex is dangerous.
I am dangerous.

We will tell you the truth and we will do it with technology.

You want to know the best way to deal with a divide? A bridge is really helpful, but at Health 2.0 we are shifting the earth itself beneath the feet of the leaders in healthcare.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reporting out from #CHC13

The opening day of the Cerner conference was a wonderful day!

I was honored to meet with Ross Martin, MD from AMIA and member of The Walking Gallery for a quick breakfast.  He told me about the speech that he delivered on Saturday.  I was happy to hear about it as I noticed the twitter stream blew up with positive feedback.  Ross wove technology together with his family patient story in an inspiring presentation that they will talk about at Cerner for years to come.

At lunchtime I met with the wonderful Matt Dunn who often tweets from the Cerner handle.  We had a wide-ranging conversation that covered children’s literature, professional organizations and the future of health informatics. 

As the day progressed, I saw more and more tweets using the conference hashtag: #CHC13.  At 4:15 I met Brian Carter from Cerner and a fellow member of the Walking Gallery.  We headed over to the convention center to sit among the hundreds gathered to hear four visionary keynotes.

Daphne Bascom introduced the night’s speakers and set the inspiring tone of the session as she used the conference motto: “It starts with me.” She reminded us anyone could be a change agent.  Our first speaker was Sajjad Yacoob, MD Chief Medical Information officer of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  Sajjid mentioned how it was very important to think about system design goals long before you ever involve a vender. He also emphasized focusing on the baby in the bed rather than the tech in the cloud.

Next up was Brian Yeaman, MD Chief Medical Informatics Officer from Norman Regional Health System in Oklahoma.  I was pretty excited to hear him speak as I grew up in Oklahoma and most my family still resides in the state.  He reported out the success of the state Health Information Exchange using the new moniker “Global Medical Record.”  I think that is rather a catchy title. He also spoke to us about the tornadoes that caused such havoc this past year.  He explained how their hospital’s electronic health records coupled with the ease of data exchange allowed for providers to better care for patients in the aftermath.

Next up was Jonathan Bickel, MD Director of Clinical Research Informatics, Boston Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Bickel explained the power of algorithms to predict the paths of hurricanes and discover patients suffering from domestic abuse.  He also pointed out the data set available for EMR use was better than clinical trial data as the data pool was far more diverse.

The last speaker was the amazing Rebecca Onie, co-founder and CEO of Health Leads.  I had the honor of seeing Rebecca present at TedMed in 2012.  She is a big proponent of addressing root causes that make patients suffer.  If a patient needs food to address a state of malnutrition then food should be able to be prescribed.  If a patient is returning to the ED due to asthma attacks brought on by a cockroach infestation in the home, the health system should be able to help remove the pests that are causing the root problem.  I love Rebecca.  She is my kind of disruptor.

That was the first day of the Cerner Conference and I was so glad to be there.           

Monday, September 30, 2013

Returning to Cerner

Returning to Cerner

In a little less than a week, I will return to Kansas City to attend the Cerner Health Conference 2013.  It has been a year since my last visit when Cerner hosted the Partnership with Patients conference.  People in the wider world of patient advocacy are still talking about that amazing event.  For one weekend last September, Cerner’s educational building became a social media hub and epatient epicenter.  We even trended on twitter in Kansas City.  It was the kind of event that stirred hearts and minds.   

This year I will do something very different at Cerner.

I will not paint.

I will not speak.

I will not moderate sessions of a patient conference.

Instead, I will blog and live tweet.  I, who have so long endorsed social media as a powerful voice in and of itself, will stick my courage to the testing place and prove that the online voice is just as powerful as any orator.  Cerner is paying me as a keynote speaker, but my stage will be the internet.

I look forward to seeing old friends and hearing new thoughts.  I look forward to returning to the company that gave me my first speech with listening ears and a questioning mind.  I shall tweet to @Cerner and with the hashtag #CHC13 and spread the word about innovation and new products in Kansas City.  I will report debate.  I will bring with me the questions that I hear at so many conferences regarding EMR systems.  I will listen eagerly for answers, for I have never regretted attending a Cerner event.  I cherish the knowledge I have gained while listening to those so willing to teach me when I was just known as Regina, the widow of Fred Holliday.  Now I may be known as Regina the founder of the Walking Gallery, but I will listen to the wisdom of the staff at Cerner.  Cerner invites patients to sit at their table.  I can think of few venders who can claim the same.

Now, I must admit it will be quite odd for me to sit back and focus just on writing when traditionally I do two or three things at once.  But I think that this event will be an exciting one as things are rapidly changing in electronic health records as the measures of Meaningful Use march forward.

Cerner Health Conference 2013 takes place October 6-9th and I will be there on the 6th and 7th.  Due to a prior commitment I can stay no longer than those days, but I am sure that those hours will be sufficient to report out current Cerner projects.  Happily, I will be able to chirp in with follow-up questions while on the road as @cerner is one of the most responsive corporate twitter accounts within health care.

So dear friends and faithful readers, wish me luck, and follow me on twitter as I explain HIT content and health policy from Kansas City.