Friday, November 30, 2007

Health 2.0 In Action . . .

While catching up on my RSS feeds this evening a ran across a couple of interesting posts showing Health 2.0 in action.

The first takes you on a tour through the eyes of a new diabetic from Richard MacManus at Read/WriteWeb.

The second, I would suggest you bring at least fifty bucks, from Page Thompson over at change:healthcare takes a look into the dark and humorous world of the costs for strep tests.

The third example comes from Dr. Parkinson's new (old) approach to providing care through technology and house calls. A while ago he mentioned in a post (Food Photography) his approach to helping a patient with weight and obesity problems. This recent Chicago Tribune article again mentions his simple but effective approach to monitoring his patients food intake using Flickr. In the Q/A Dr. Parkinson explains his approach:
Q. How do you treat obesity?
A. I use the Internet as much as possible. I use Web sites like or to help patients understand how much they eat. I encourage them to start a flickr account to post photos of what and how much they eat. I can comment on portion size, fat content, etc. Having a visual record of all of the food you eat is quite powerful. I calculate how many calories they should take in to lose weight by a certain date. I do frequent follow-ups via IM or e-mail to see how they are doing and to let them know that there is one other person in the world who cares and supports them. My role is that of informative coach.
(Note: This approach to fighting and changing his patient's eating/weight problems reminded me of a modern version of what I saw my dad, a West Virginia country doctor, did on a regular basis when we went out to dinner. We would inevitably run across one or more of his patients and their families. His patients (especially those who I suspect he had advised they needed to lose weight and exercise more) would sheepishly look at their plates piled high and offer excuses of why they were eating so much or didn't have more greens and vegetables on their plate. I've got to believe this daily monitoring by the physician will help to change the patient's approach to eating -- the patient become accountable every day.)

As Health 2.0 matures we are seeing health consumers and those involved in the process (and business) of changing health care through technology and social health networking giving us concrete example of what might be possible. This wasn't around a year ago when I started down the path of trying to understand, grasp and apply health 2.0 thinking to the industry. Examples like these are moving us from concept to reality.

The Health 2.0 Spring Fling follow up conference set for March 3-4, 2008 in San Diego should bring us more concrete examples of how real people are using Health 2.0 technologies to drive change. Matthew Holt summarizes the approach to the conference as follows:
In the annual Health 2.0 event last September we heard from leading edge companies. The Spring Fling will be smaller and more intimate, and it will be themed around the experience of actual users. It will also explore a specific topic in more depth. This Spring, we will focus on consumers & providers connecting using Health2.0 tools and technologies.

Here is just a peek at what you can expect at Health 2.0 Connecting Consumers & Providers

In the months preceding the event, we will send camera crews out to follow real-life patients and providers using Health 2.0 technologies. With input from industrial designers and experts in ethnographic research, we will bring you experiences from the front-line delivered over video at the event.

On stage, interspersed with the videos, we’ll have real patients and physicians discussing their experiences using Health2.0 technologies. We’ll also be hearing from health care luminaries and technology companies pushing the limits of communities, tools, and search.
While you are at change: healthcare don't miss Christopher Parks current post adding his own perspective on meeting Bill Frist and follow up on Adam Bosworth's thoughts on the Aspen Institute health conference. Christopher is at the heart of the change going on and has insight on the practical realities where others may not. The statistics on the costs of health care if we continue the current path are unfathomable. Without real change focused on preventative care, chronic disease management and simple things like getting Americans to eat less (and better) the system will break.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Lesson For All West Virginia Expatriates: Country Road Less Traveled

Rodriquez is running to Michigan for the $$$ and prestige. Sad ending to his career here in West Virginia. The Detroit Free Press writes:
Rodriguez had a 10-minute meeting with his team early this afternoon, told the 11th-ranked Mountaineers that he was leaving for Michigan and went back to his office, according to West Virginia media reports.

His players had little comment but looked downtrodden.
Nice story about Coach Rodriquez decision from Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports. A story that all West Virginia expatriates should read. A story of recognizing the benefits of staying home (or coming home) and making great things happen here.

Congratulations to Coach Rodriquez, Coach Stewart (a native of my hometown of New Martinsville), Coach Casteel (a native of Paden City just down the road from New Martinsville), the rest of the coaching staff and all the Mountaineer players on a great win Saturday over Connecticut.

Good luck the West Virginia Mountaineers this coming week against Pitt in the Backyard Brawl. Here is hoping that Pat White and the rest of the Mountaineers take the growl out of the Panthers and head toward New Orleans. My favorite Pat White video from the 2007 edition of the Backyard Brawl in Pittsburgh. BEAT PITT!

Note: Wondering whether
Dan Wetzel is from West Virginia and related to the namesake of the county where I grew up, Wetzel County, made famous by the great Indian fighter, Lewis Wetzel. My Coffield family actually traveled to West Virginia (then Virginia) in the mid 1700s with the Wetzel family who settled in what is now Marshall County. One of my distant relatives married Martin Wetzel, Lewis' older brother.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Traditions: Turkey, Black Friday, Diet . . .

Clinical Cases and Images looks at the predictability of humans courtesy of Google Trends. Below is an example of the traditions of turkey (blue), Black Friday (red) and diet (orange). Advice for the holidays from my dad, a retired family physician from Wetzel County, "everything in moderation." Please remember to think about and share with each other why you are thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Should Hospitals Blog?

Practical advice from Tony at Hospital Impact on the question of "should hospitals blog?" Good advice for anyone thinking about starting a health related or business blog.

I regularly follow both Nick Jacobs at Nick's Blog and Paul Levy at Running a Hospital cited in Tony's post. Both are examples of extremely successful blogging hospital CEOs who understand the Live Web medium. Take for example the fact that Paul commented on Tony's post four hours after it was published (see the post comments).

I agree with Tony's perspective and warning when he says:
It's a lot of work and there is no hard-core ROI, but for the right type of person, it pays off in other ways. Both of these CEOs can probably point to examples where their blog put out a PR fire before it could start. They've built trust and credibility through the blog. They've humanized the hospital through the blog. So when fires do come (and of course, they will), they're well positioned to engage authentically. We are entering an age where proactive transparency is rewarded and reactive transparency is lame.
One word of warning. Don't blog if your organization:
* Doesn't trust their employees.
* Doesn't want to hear bad news.
* Wants absolute control over their message and reputation (this isn't happening anymore anyways)
* (the kicker) Doesn't have someone who's really wired to do it.

Music From The Mountains: Who was Johnnie B. Good?

West Virginia has always had a rich music history and is still creating a rich musical history through Mountain Stage (and Newsong), Vandalia, Appalachian String Band Music Festival, All Good Music Festival, and from every nook, cranny, hill and holler.

Last week the first annual West Virginia Music Hall of Fame inductions occurred in Charleston. It was a all star night event and all the living inductees made it to the event. In attendance were For more on the inductees check out the Virtual Hall of Fame. Also read the insight from The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame at LA Woman by emcee for the evening and West Virginia native, Ann Magnuson.

Included in the class was pianist, Johnnie Johnson (wikipedia entry)who is considered by many to be the father of rock 'n' roll piano. He played with Chuck Berry and was the inspiration for the classic, "Johnny B. Goode."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Create WV Conference Wrap Up

Due to prior commitments and client demands I wasn't able to attend the Create West Virginia Conference held this week at Stonewall Resort.

Over the past two days I received a number of emails and facebook comments from friends and colleagues about the quality of the content and expressing excitement about the event. If you didn't attend and want to get a flavor for the sessions be sure to check out some of the presentations on the Create WV website and wrap up comments and photos on the Create WV Blog. For more read what other are saying about the conference.

I was particular interested in the presentation by Anthony Salcito, General Manager U.S. Education for Microsoft, after reading the live blogging notes by Lee Kraus who blogs about learning and technology issues out of central West Virginia. Read through Mr. Salcito's presentation for some eye opening facts about what we all face as a result of the growing global community. His slides remind me a bit of the video, Shift Happens - Globalization.

Photo courtesy of one of West Virginia's most creative artists, Charleston Jupiter Hamilton.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

WVHCA Issues Proposed Amendments to Cardiac CatheterizationStandards

The West Virginia Health Care Authority issued and approved on November 14, 2007, proposed amendments to the Cardiac Catheterization Standards.

The Notice of Public Comment Period indicates that comments must be submitted to the Authority by December 14, 2007.

Monday, November 12, 2007

WVHCA Approves New Certificate of Need CT Standards

Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette reports on the board decision by the West Virginia Health Care Authority approving new Computerized Tomography (CT) Standards under West Virginia's Certificate of Need Program. The proposed standards will now be sent to Governor Manchin for final approval.

Eyre reports:

A state agency cleared the way Wednesday for doctors across West Virginia to put diagnostic imaging equipment in their offices, a move hospital executives predict will drive up health costs and force them to raise rates.

West Virginia Health Care Authority members voted unanimously to approve standards that doctors’ offices must meet before the state allows them to buy and use computed tomography machines, also known as CT scanners.

The authority wrestled with the standards for nearly a year. “We tried to strike a balance between all of the competing interests,” said board chairwoman Sonia Chambers. “We tried to keep the best interests of the citizens of West Virginia in mind.”

The authority plans to send the standards to Gov. Joe Manchin, who has 30 days to give them final approval. . .

For more background information check out my previous post. Additional background information, including comments by various groups on the proposed standards, can be found on the the Authority's CT Services Workgroup Meeting site.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Spread The Word: World Diabetes Day

Fellow health care blogger, Amy Tenderich of Diabetes Mine asked that I help spread the word about National Diabetes Month (November) and World Diabetes Day on November 14. Here is her post, Diabetes Mine: World Diabetes Day Agenda Grows, and Grows...

On November 14 landmarks around the world (including the Empire State Building) will be lighting up using the color of the World Diabetes Day logo.
Why don't we light up something in West Virginia to show support? Why not the WV Capitol?

Why should West Virginians care about this? West Virginia ranks #1 in Adult's with Diabetes in the United States at 11.1% (U.S. Average is 7.4%). For more information check out the WV Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (note: the summary info indicates WV rate in 2006 at 12.1%).