Coronavirus and Digital First Thinking in Healthcare – #HITsm Chat Topic

We’re excited to share the topic and questions for this week’s #HITsm chat happening Friday, 2/28 at Noon ET (9 AM PT). This week’s chat will be hosted by Mandi Bishop (@MandiBPro) from Gartner on the topic of “Coronavirus and Digital First Thinking in Healthcare”.

We’ve all read the books and seen the movies: “Outbreak”, “Contagion”, “World War Z”, “I Am Legend”. They’re entertaining, and sometimes even linked to facts and actual events – yet they’re still ultimately works of fiction. But what happens when science fiction becomes simply science? How will our approach to health and healthcare have to adapt to survive and overcome a zombie apocalypse-esque infectious disease threat?

While it’s got more in common with the flu than with zombies, COVID-19, still commonly known as “Coronavirus”, is disrupting global economies. Its novel nature and rapid proliferation are exploiting weaknesses in healthcare, private enterprise and government systems’ preparedness for such an event. Critical manufacturing and supply chains have been interrupted, for everything from consumer goods to medical equipment. Travel restrictions are increasing, and related transportation and hospitality industries are reeling. Healthcare facilities in affected areas are overrun. Citizens are being bombarded with conflicting messaging and guidance from their government institutions, scientists, and influential celebrities.

Although the WHO is currently referring to the virus’ spread across continents as “epidemics in different parts of the world”, it acknowledges that there is “pandemic potential”. Because the virus is novel, there is no vaccine, and our bodies have not developed an effective immunoresponse, so those who are exposed are very likely to contract it. People don’t get sick in predictable ways – and many are asymptomatic – so containment is difficult. Airports and ports all over the world are on alert for sick passengers, but if there are no visible symptoms of illness, existing screening protocols are ineffective. The disease is going to continue to spread – so how can we prepare, and what can we do amidst an outbreak?

With disruption of healthcare system status quos across the globe imminent, COVID-19 offers us a real-world proving ground of digital business models and solutions versus entrenched practice and administration. In the spirit of the science fiction depictions of our current situation: if the fate of humanity rested on our willingness to disrupt ourselves, could we do it – and how could we make sure it made a difference?


Join us for this week’s #HITsm chat where we’ll discuss the coronavirus and healthcare.

Topics for this week’s #HITsm Chat:

T1: What #COVID19 #Coronavirus news sources do you find credible? How could #healthcare and government leaders use digital tools – including #socialmedia platforms & influencers – to share factual #publichealth information? #HITsm

T2: Is your workplace offering #COVID19 #Coronavirus preparedness information? Is it affecting policies such as travel or remote work? Do you feel their preparations are adequate – & if not, what would you have them do differently? #HITsm

T3: How could #digitalhealth solutions be more effectively employed to detect & manage #COVID19 #Coronavirus outbreaks? What role will/should #telehealth & #IoT devices play? #HITsm

T4: How should #SDOH community service partners be engaged to assist with #COVID19 #Coronavirus? What role should they play – and what tools could enable them (healthcare & otherwise)? #HITsm

T5: Will #COVID19 #Coronavirus force acceptance of digital medical evidence & IRB approval standardization across institutions? Will it accelerate innovation & adoption of digital diagnostics & therapeutics – & will @FDAGov inhibit or enhance opportunities? #HITsm

Bonus: How should #COVID19 #Coronavirus preparedness address reimbursement? Is there an opportunity to develop net new approaches to value-based care and payment that incorporate #pharma, payers, providers, #publichealth, education & #SDOH community services? #HITsm

Upcoming #HITsm Chat Schedule
3/6 – Chronic Care Management
Hosted by Joy Rios (@askjoyrios) and Robin Roberts (@RRobertseHealth) from Chirpy Bird (@chirpybirdhit)

3/13 – No Chat, but Enjoy #HIMSS20

3/20 – HIMSS and CHIME Spring Forum Wrap Up
Hosted by the CHIME Liaisons

3/27 – #UnblockHealth
Hosted by Grace Cordovano (@GraceCordovano)

4/3 – TBD
Hosted by TBD

4/10 – Emerging Strategies for Measuring and Managing Provider Burnout
Hosted by Jeffrey Becker (@BeckerJMB)

We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.

If you’re searching for the latest #HITsm chat, you can always find the latest #HITsm chat and schedule of chats here.

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.