#HIMSS19 Mix Tape

Welcome to the 5th edition of the HIMSS Mix Tape.

Every year, ahead of the annual HIMSS conference, I ask a small group of people to choose a song that they believe best represents the past 12 months in Health IT. It’s my way of adding a little levity to the crazy weeks of preparation that lead up to the big event. It also a lot of fun to listen to the songs and read the reasons behind the selections.

If you have a song to add: (a) share it on Twitter with the #HIMSS19 and #HIMSSMixTape hashtags or (b) post a comment below with your selection.

Side Note: Be sure to join us at our series of #HIMSS19 meetups.

…and with that, please enjoy this year’s mix tape…

Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty. Chosen by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn @healthythinker
No I’ll stand my ground / Won’t be turned around / And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down / Gonna stand my ground. This song is really who we are as a tribe: we persist to help make healthcare better, no matter what.

In My Blood by Shawn Mendes. Chosen by Grace Cordovano @GraceCordovano
Help me, it’s like the walls are caving in / Sometimes I feel like giving up / But I just can’t / It isn’t in my blood. This captures the sentiment of patients who are caught in the vortex of healthcare. We are desperate for digital tech, for interoperability, for seamlessly coordinated care. It’s not because we are consumers. It’s because we need access to information & digital tools to get the care we need to survive. We aren’t giving up but we need HealthIT to work together to bring tech to us where we are.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm by C&C Music Factory. Chosen by Jen Horonjeff @jhoronjeff
I picked this because there is so many healthtech that comes out that makes you wonder if anyone thought to #askpatients or other end-users, be it for functionality, usability, or just whether it actual solves a real problem. I hope 2019 produces less things that make me go hmmm

Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Chosen by Amanda Greene @LALupusLady
I choose #Shallow from @starisbornmovie soundtrack for the #HIMSS19 Playlist.  The song is a conversation between a man and a woman but it could represent the many conversations that occur in the Healthcare space.  While some HCPs are diving in to the deep end, too many are not.

I wanna Try by MOUNT & Nicolas Haelg. Chosen by Dr. Nick van Terheyden @drnic1
I wanna try something good, I wanna try for you, I wanna give, wanna give something good, For you to do. But I wavered on Break Free – Taryn Southern #AI generated. There’s more than what we could be. And felt #HCIT needed Give me Your Love – Club Electric. Give me your heart, I need it.

This is Me by Kesha/Keala Settle. Chosen by Dr. Rasu Shrestha @RasuShrestha
This inspiring song lifts me up any time I listen to it, and in many ways reflects an amazing past year. It’s from the epic movie that tells the tale of a visionary and an amazing team that rose from seemingly nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. Look out ’cause here I come / And I’m marching on to the beat I drum. I feel that this song is a drum-beat to the tireless fire that burns within each of us in the healthcare industry, as we reflect on who we are, and the trails we aspire to continue to blaze – together.

It’s A Complex World by The Young Adults. Chosen by David Harlow @healthblawg
Thinking ‘bout my future makes me nervous. We are overwhelmed with possibilities, with promise, with choices to be made. While standards are emerging they are far from fixed. AI-enabled tools are perpetually on the horizon, not yet incorporated into the daily workflow.

The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles. Chosen by Linda Stotsky @EMRAnswers
This song describes the long and winding road to connected health, data sharing & interoperability. It’s a looooong and winding road, a magical destination that we continue to contemplate but never seem to reach. Too many detours, too many roadblocks and too much confusion.

Money [clean version] by Cardi B. Chosen by Lygeia Riccardi @Lygeia
Do we really have to ask why? Money (and not always the clean version) is at the root of so much in healthcare 😉

Meant to Be by Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line. Chosen by John Lynn @techguy
Sometimes in healthcare IT we get worked up over things that will likely never work out.  We try to fit round pegs in square holes.  Sometimes we have to take a minute to relax and then we’ll find the right path forward.  It’s a good message for life too.  Work hard, play hard, and if it’s meant to be, it’ll be.

War by Now The Changes. Chosen by @jamcbride
In healthcare we are on a precipice. We wield great medicine and technology but we need to fight so it’s available to all. More than ever, it’s now or never.

No Tears Left to Cry by Ariana Grande. Chosen by Nick Adkins @nickisnpdx
Providers are so fed up about sub optimal tech infrastructure, especially when they know how simple it is to use tech in their every day personal lives, that they don’t have any more tears left for the stranglehold many systems have on them.

Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen. Chosen by Andrew Richards @andrewintech
I feel like there is a building momentum in the healthcare industry to actually change things. FHIR implementations, collaboration, forward thinking medical education, partnerships. The doers of the world aren’t listening to the naysayers and it’s starting to pay off. We have a long way to go…don’t stop us now.

Feels Like Summer by Childish Gambino. Chosen by Shereese Maynard @ShereesePubHlth
Where 2017 held much disappointment in HIT, If I’m being honest, 2018 was refreshing. We saw more proof of work, more initiatives to improve interop. We said, “slow down, you may have something here.” And now things are looking brighter.

Workflow by Charlie K. Chosen by Charles Webster @wareFLO
Lots use #workflow hashtag to tweet about life’s routines: get up early, punch & watch the clock, do same thing over-and-over, our small frustrations & successes. Then doing it all again. What we all do to get by & take care of those we love..

We Are The Champions by Queen. Chosen by Gregg Masters @2healthguru
…because we are…

It’s Time by Imagine Dragons. Chosen by Jared Jeffery @Jk_Jeffery
It’s all about Interoperability. The chorus says, “It’s time to begin, isn’t it? I get a little bit bigger but I’ll admit, I’m just the same as I was. Don’t you understand? I’m never changing who I am.” 2018 was big for data. Yet to many interop feels “just the same as [it] was.”

It’s Time by Imagine Dragons. Chosen by Jamey Edwards @jameyedwards
Its’ time for our healthcare system to change. Radically.  We are all stuck in the status quo and we need to rebuild.  That rebuilding will be hard.  It’s time to say goodbye to 1 step forward and 2 step back types of incremental change. It’s time to have the courage to truly remake healthcare.

Say Something by Justin Timberlake. Chosen by Geeta Nayyar @gnayyar
Everybody says say something…then say something. Now more than ever, health IT needs us to speak up & “say something.” We’ve made good progress, but there’s more to do to improve care access & outcomes for MDs, caregivers & patients. Please “say something” along w/me, every chance you get, to advance meaningful conversation.

Burning by Bob Sinclair & Daddy’s Groove. Chosen by Mike Biselli @mikebiselli
I was in Prague during Thanksgiving holiday for vacation, and heard this song. It made me think how good things actually are and  how excited I am for the future, both personally and professionally!

Wake Me Up by Avicii. Chosen by Colin Hung @Colin_Hung
Feeling my way through the darkness / Guided by a beating heart / I can’t tell where the journey will end / But I know where to start. I chose this song for multiple reasons. First, it’s just a great song – uplifting, fun and a great beat. Second, I feel many of us in Health IT are feeling our way through the dark guided by nothing more than our passion to make things better…and we start by being the change. Third, Avicii tragically passed away in 2018. He suffered for years with poor mental health – something that many physicians, nurses and other clinicians also suffer from because of the pressures at work.

Curious about past mix tapes? Here are links to the 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 editions.


About the author

Colin Hung

Colin Hung

Colin Hung is the co-founder of the #hcldr (healthcare leadership) tweetchat one of the most popular and active healthcare social media communities on Twitter. Colin speaks, tweets and blogs regularly about healthcare, technology, marketing and leadership. He is currently an independent marketing consultant working with leading healthIT companies. Colin is a member of #TheWalkingGallery. His Twitter handle is: @Colin_Hung.


  • Thank you for all those selections Jane. Yes you did submit 5 great songs but I had to choose just one for the mix tape…that’s the mix tape challenge, to curate 1 song from each contributor. But I’m glad you added them here in the comments so that other can see. See you in Orlando!

  • My pick…if I had to pick just one (which is sooo hard) Girl on Fire, Alicia Keys. There are so many women making significant strides in our Healthcare IT industry , but there are also upcoming women who need support and words of encouragement to achieve the impossible.

  • Wonderful and thank you @Colin_Hung immensely for keeping this tradition. I’m listening as I plan my #HIMSS19 trip this morning — following this great community of SMAs. My fav song in this years collection is This is Me. Susie

  • Thanks for the comment Susan. I listen to the mix when I’m packing too. It’s always an eclectic selection of songs, crossing eras and genres. Because each song was chosen for a reason, I find that my mind tries to tie the lyrics and melodies to my own Health IT memories. See you in Orlando!

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