Getting Beyond the Health IT Cheerleaders, BS, and Hype Machine

My friend Shahid is chairing a healthcare IT event series called HealthIMPACT (10% discount for Healthcare Scene readers with the code IMPACT10) and the first one of the year is taking place in Houston on April 3. Given his no-nonsense attitude and low tolerance for hype, it looks like it will be a great place for healthcare technology enthusiasts and buyers to get actionable advice on what’s real, what’s BS, what to buy, what not to buy, and perhaps most importantly, which guidance is worth following. Shahid tells me that the following important topics will be covered at the Houston event:

  • How IT can support the overarching financial, operational, and clinical goals of your organization
  • HIEs in your region and provider participation in them
  • Technologies that support value driven care and population health management
  • Cloud based systems in healthcare
  • Programs that drive patient engagement
  • Leadership strategies that drive innovation
  • Predictive analytics that improve care delivery
  • EHR implementation and meaningful use
  • ICD10 compliance, readiness and physician training

If you’re a buyer of technology, it’s certainly worth attending. If you’re selling technology and want to learn how to reach the buyers or need to talk to buyers directly it’s also worth attending. Shahid’s come up with an interesting “mini focus group” model that allows technology vendors to sit directly with buyers and pick their brains. A very interesting model that’s worth exploring.

Not only are the topics pretty relevant but he seems to have been able to convince some pretty well known Speakers to join him:

  • Edward Marx, Senior Vice President and CIO, TEXAS HEALTH RESOURCES
  • George Conklin, Senior Vice President and CIO, CHRISTUS HEALTH
  • Pamela Arora, Vice President & CIO, CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER
  • Theresa Meadows, Senior Vice President and CIO, COOK CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
  • Chris Belmont, Vice President & CIO, UT M.D. ANDERSON CANCER CENTER

Register online here and reference code IMPACT10 to receive a 10% discount for being a Healthcare Scene reader.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Okay….now I’m curious. What are the criteria to be considered part of the cheerleader squad? This PR agency wants to be sure we are providing valuable, actionable, practice, relevant content….NOT HYPE! And we’re open to your guidance.

  • It’s interesting how in high school you always wanted to be a cheerleader, but in marketing you don’t want to be seen as the cheerleader;-)

    I think your description describes what you need to do to avoid hype. You have to focus on what really matters to the customers. Provide value to the customer as opposed to trying to sale your product. A deep understanding of the domain will create a relationship where people trust your views and then can talk about what you’re doing to solve their problems which you understand deeply.

  • John, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Beth — “cheerleaders” in my mind are those that push technology and the hype machine is built around that push. If content is built around workflows, workflow optimization, and those tasks within existing or new workflows that optimize patient care through the use of technology then that’s real value.

    For a great example of how to build content around clinical workflows, check out HRSA’s guidance here:

    It’s surprising to me how many of us in the tech business suggest usage of technology without a deep understanding of workflow. Progress will come when tech meets workflow in a measurable way.

    That was a great question, Beth. Clearly you’re someone who does care about value.

  • @ Beth – wait a second, a PR firm wants to make sure they’re not being a cheerleader??

    I think you’ll find, generally, the cheerleaders are involved more at the big biz level (hospitals) where the naysayers are generally more at the private practice level.

    At least, that’s how I see it…generally.

  • You need to find a way to tie-in Justin Bieber somehow 🙂

    Seriously though, I have talked with Shahid in the past.
    He’s very helpful.

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