Monday, August 1, 2011

What I Did at Summer Camp... I Mean at a Summer HealthCamp in Florida :-)

Out of the blue, I received a direct message on Twitter from “HealthCampFLA” telling me that they had spoken to the founder of The HealthCamp Foundation, Mark Scrimshire, and that would like me to call them regarding HealthCampFLA. Until that point in time, I was fairly certain that I was not going to be able to attend this particular HealthCamp being held in Tampa, Florida on July 30, 2011, due to time constraints. As soon as I was able, I phoned both Joel Lopez and Brenda Young who, along with Tracy Ingram, were the local co-organizers for this Florida HealthCamp with the Twitter hashtag #hcFLA. I could tell immediately, during our initial conference call, that these two people were very serious about executing a world-class event there in Tampa. As a veteran of many HealthCamps I was intrigued by this relatively isolated, local group and the incredible speakers that had committed to participating. The opportunity to interact with the awesome folks at the facility sponsor, Kforce, coupled with a great speaker line up began to tilt the scale towards attending. I must say though, it was the opportunity for lunch with my Grandmother in Sarasota that sealed the deal :-).

I may have forgotten to mention that the final decision to attend this HealthCamp was made a scant 24 hours before I needed to board the flight to attend. After a frantic scramble to arrange flight, car, hotel, etc., I was sitting in a big ol' jetliner heading to DC to get to Tampa, thinking how incredible it was to be part of this amazing movement that brings together people from all industries associated with healthcare: Innovators, Patients, Providers, Payors, Technologists, “BrainHackers”, Quantified Self participants, Artists, Writers, Marketers and Social Media mavericks. What more can a healthcare Geek wish for?

Landing in Tampa, we headed to check out the “unconference” space at Kforce with the organizers. There we met Shelby and Hernan, who were our point people at Kforce, to review the facility, layout ans plan for the next day. Awesome people, awesome place and we left there excited for the event. The proximity to downtown Ybor City lent itself to the group going out for an excellent Greek dinner at the incredible Akropolis restaurant. The grilled octopus and tsatziki were no match for this hungry crowd but handily beat any such delicacy I've had stateside and swept me back to Rhodes in my mind. A nice healthy evening of eating, laughing and drinking- all in moderation- turned a group of strangers into lifelong friends ready for the next day's HealthCamp.

Waking up late, from an incredible night's sleep, I dropped the top on the rental Mustang and hit the gas pedal. We had people to meet and things to learn! Moments later, I wheeled into the KForce parking lot ready to rock. It was obvious that the team had been hard at work, tables set up, registration organized, wireless setup and A/V in place. Another magical HealthCamp transformation of a blank canvas space was ready to go. Waves of attendees filtered through registration and into a Health Geeks disneyland; smart people, great topics and entertaining, informative speakers. The day was shaping up nicely. As usual, I wished that I could participate in almost every session but was physically able to attend only a quarter of the discussions. Four rooms were organized with a wide variety of topics, suggested and presented by the attendees, and the show began. I, like many of the hardcore Health Geeks present, HAD to attend Dr. Joe Francis' “BrainHacking” discussion- I mean, come on- Neuron spikes, nail guns, brain to machine interfaces and memory erasure- If THAT is NOT breakfast discussion, I don't know what is :-).

 Following the first session on BrainHacking (which I tweeted about on #hcfla) I proceeded to the forum on presenting Innovation and technology to hospitals, presented by the entertaining and knowledgable Ford Kyes (cheered on by his better half, Barb). OK, so you THINK you know how the healthcare purchasing decisions are made...I'd wager you could learn A LOT from Ford when he speaks about the influence and motivation of a hospital's Board, C-suite, Physicians, Customers and Managers...a WHOLE lot! If you ever need a coach, call Ford Kyes, and tell him I sent you. If he can't help must be REALLY skilled, savvy and experienced. If you get a chance to learn from this man, take it!

After that presentation, I needed to reflect, took a few minutes to meet some participants (like Carlos Garcia from Orlando) and forgot to remember, that I forgot meeting, @MissDestructo in between seminars... must have been that BrainHacking memory erasure going viral ;-) (a twitter joke for those confused). Afterwards, for lunch, we went for some amazing Cuban food a retro-swanky club next door and met even more remarkable people doing innovative “stuff”- Coders, coding. Innovators, Innovating. Busy Business types with their busy business buzz and some Healthcamp sponsors, initiates and old friends, as well. Yum, Yum, and did I mention YUM!! The food was good, too! After lunch, we looked like a pack of sweltering penguins waddling back to the Pole, full, ready for more HealthCamp- or a well-timed siesta. I had strategically picked the after lunch slot to present about the use of communications technology (like to effect better healthcare outcomes for patients. I figured if the idea could capture, awaken and inspire HealthCampers in a Cubano Coma- then, and only then, could it have a shot on the open market. Right?

Well, let me say that the interest, feedback and interaction was beyond reaffirming, the excitement was palpable and the possibilities presented by the attendees for the use of this technology were nothing short of revolutionary! The possibility of immediate inter-connectivity between healthcare facilities and their staff by two-way phone, text and email had made our lunchtime lethargy a distant memory. The potential for future applications of this technology, in various arenas, had sparked the organic synthesis and interplay of complex use cases, integrations and adaptations from a group of participants who had never heard of the technology. THAT, to me, is what HealthCamp is all about- WE are a much more powerful force than YOU or I alone - I firmly believe that the collective WE has the power, ingenuity, determination and desire to not only change healthcare for the better- but to change ourselves, individually, and collectively for the better- and THAT is why WE are here.

After my interactive presentation, demo and brainstorming session,  I was fortunate enough to meet several more inspiring attendees. This included the quietly powerful, and moving, Oliver DeSofi who, ironically, was presenting the next discussion I was going to attend. Oliver is a simple man with a simple mission- to share his moving story- and to make sure others can learn from his experience. And learn we did! Oliver related his life to us; from a story book of dreams, a life of adventure and intrigue, of successes and failures and of his eternal Love and compassion for his wife. When she was diagnosed with severe MS, Oliver changed his career from CEO to part-time self-employment and became the primary caregiver for his beloved. He experienced the inhumanity, incompetence and injustice of American “Healthcare” first-hand, with his own experiences, and second-hand through the suffering of his wife at the hands of the “establishment”. The healthcare system treated Oliver and his wife like insignificant specks on the face of humanity, like ignorant consumer peons who were simply some figures on a spreadsheet, unworthy of respect, dignity and compassionate, competent care. Like all of us, Oliver knew better and navigated this morass to find, and provide, the very best care for his wife.

What I saw was a giant of a man, unabashedly sharing the depth of his love, respect and concern for for his spouse with a room full of strangers while recounting his ingenuity in navigating the system to achieve the best results for his better half. I was moved to tears as he recounted the imaginary “vacations” he would re-create for his wife when she became to ill to travel, as they loved to do. He would talk her through the journey to the airport, through check-in, security and onto the “airplane”. He would then pour first-class champagne, request first-class appetizers and settle in with his sweetie for an “in-flight” movie. They would then imagine that they had landed in some new, exotic travel destination, see the sights and talk her into a peaceful, fulfilled slumber. Oliver may not know this, but I'll never forget what my many years as a nurse (and his story) have taught me- there is no greater strength than genuine love, compassion and caring- THAT is what makes a male into a Man, and Oliver is one hell of a man. Check out his book “Caregiving: MyStory, Your Guide”” and be prepared to laugh, and cry, your cynicism away. I will be sure to introduce Oliver to Regina Holliday, ePatientDave, Trisha Torrey and Chuck Denham because THEIR story MUST be heard!

Brain teased and highly stimulated, I simply HAD to end the day with another BrainHacking session that took us another level down the rabbit hole. Presented by the tireless Tracy Ingram we explored “bio-rhythm resonance and the diurnal beats” (great band name?) Imagine if we could reset our body's rhythm using sub-audible auditory stimulation? Who do what??? Imagine if your heartbeat was irregular and you were exposed to a diurnal beat that approximated a healthy heartbeat. Is it possible that your body would seek resonance with the health rhythm? If it did would it be considered “fixed”? If it was “fixed” would it stay that way? Why or Why not? Too much? OK, how about a little energy balancing- say a body meridian out of whack- could it be re-tuned to a more harmonious state via aural stimulation? If it could, would this have health benefits to the one “re-tuned”? Wanna drive the FDA nuts? Simply “prove” these treatments work and you'd be well on the way. Biofeedback, BrainHacking, Auditory Rebalancing, and Diurnal beats...When was the last time you were “BrainHacked”? See, you simply HAVE to go to a HealthCamp near you- Better yet, contact the HealthCamp Foundation and organize YOUR OWN HealthCamp in YOUR town!! I challenge ANYONE to be fully involved in a day at HealthCamp and to leave simply cannot happen. I would like to thank the attendees, sponsors and organizers (Brenda, Joel & Tracy ROCKED!) of HealthCamp Florida- You have changed me forever, in ways that I likely don't fully understand, yet, and I thank you for that...NOW, if I could just remember how to un-hack my brain again.... ;-)

P.S- My MVP award is shared this time- The ever awesome orchestrator of operations, Maumi Chatterton with the HealthCamp Foundation and Shelby from KForce dynamic attention to detail helped set the tone for this event.  Joel, Brenda, Tracy and Mark- Kudos! Thanks for having us.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Walkers" keep on walkin', Talkers get to talkin' and Mover's & Shakers- yep, you guessed it- Get to Movin' and Shakin'!

Rolling home on Metro North from NYC to New Haven on a blistering hot afternoon with my mind on fire from a combination of Healthcare and Heat- ON FIRE! I tell ya!

What a week. Healthcare will NEVER be the same after this one week. The needle has been moved, the ground has been shaken and the old paradigms shattered forever. The sloths of enterprise and legacy, the paternal guardians of "our" health, the protectors of inefficiencies, dangerous practices and refusal to change now sniff danger in the air…they sense that their very survival is at stake, that the future of healthcare has made itself present, and that the winds of change have become the "winds of changed". Exciting times, indeed. The nimble ones will prosper, the sloths will not.

Why? What could happen in one short week? Ever read Genesis ;-)  This is the week of #DCHealth and this baby is growing up quickly! We are way past "Alpha" here, and no where near" Omega"- maybe somewhere around "Delta"? Again, Why? Let share some thoughts with you.

The big picture, as I understand it, is that after YEARS of trying to bring the Healthcare horse to water- It has finally approached the trough and is VERY thirsty. Without the life saving elixir of Innovation, Healthcare runs the very real risk of an agonizing, slow death- taking all the profits with it and stranding its precious cargo of reliant patients and consumers. Umm, Huh?

Plainly, Big Brother has stepped in and is playing the tune. That tune is "Data Liberacion, Application Innovacion and Healthcare Revolucion". Seeing the need to spur innovation in healthcare (with the foresight of an historian), the government (HHS, IOM, NIH, EPA) have joined forces (no, really!) to liberate the troves of data that we have payed them to collect, and that they have been collecting since, well, Genesis… This data is being provided in easily accessible formats for innovators, entrepreneurs, institutions to avail themselves of in the creation of healthcare, wellness, health maintenance, and health data applications. In that spirit they helped change agents like Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya from Health 2.0 join with grassroots healthcare ninjas like Mark Scrimshire and Maumi Chatterton from The HealthCamp Foundation and powerful Patient Advocates like Regina Holliday, ePatient Dave and Trisha Torrey to come together in DC to put the world on notice- The status quo is dead, change is ALREADY occurring and it is futile to resist. 

The week kicked off with #TheWalkingGallery. In a word, it was Awesome- no, Spectacular, no,  Sublime, no Transformational, no, …um… How about AwsTacLimAtional?? Naw, but it was WAY cool. Sorry? Oh yes, what WAS it? The Walking Gallery was the brainchild of one of the most effective, compassionate and talented Patient Advocates on this planet- The quintessential "Little Miss Type-A", Shepherdess of Stories, Interpretive Artiste Extraordinaire  and kick-ass Mom- Regina Holliday. She envisioned a gallery of Walking Canvases sharing the successes, failures, shortcomings and possibilities of the HealthCare system through paintings of the powerful stories of individuals involved in healthcare. Simple, right? Simply Incredible! Over 50 "Walkers" each and every one with a moving healthcare experience visage, in the open, bared to all, carried upon their back- literally- in the form of a jacket with their painting portraying their stories on their backs. As they walked, sauntered, skipped and limped around the room, living, breathing testaments to the unvarnished truth of our current healthcare system- Warts and all. They say a picture is worth a thousands words…well, these paintings take that a whole magnitude higher. The stories represented, matched with the faces of those who experienced them, floated by haunting, healing, hoping to be evocative, provocative and freed to be shared with the world, dared us to deny our humanity. Awareness of this TRUTH was no longer optional, it would NOT be denied, and it refused to SHUT UP! What we've seen can never be unseen and it is from this new place of understanding, confusion, awareness that we will  venture forth, sure in our need to change the system for the better, resolute in our determination to SPEAK UP for what is right in our current system and to no longer shirk our DUTY to expose it's dirty little secrets to sunshine. We are all Patient Advocates now, and many of us are impatient for change. This incredible event happened at Kaiser's futuristic "Hub" of Healthcare "The Center for Total Healthcare".  

The Kaiser location was the setting for the next event in #DCHealth week, as well.
The HealthCamp Foundation organized another hugely successful HealthCampDC. Remember I mentioned that we are no longer in "Alpha"? WOW! HealthCamp is all grown up now. It has its own opinions, agendas and personality now and , I've got to say, I LOVE IT! Did I say WOW already? Mark Scrimshire will go down in the history books as a true pioneer for husbanding HealthCamp from concept to a powerhouse playground of healthcare innovation, patient empowerment, participatory healthcare and human voice. The general concept brings together people of all backgrounds to discuss possibilities, problems, experiences and plans for healthcare. Think Brainstorming meets Speed-dating meets Empowered Patients meets Innovators and they all run into Action, Desire and Determination. Sounds like a party, right? Well, let's say it is a party with a purpose- The Human Party running on a platform of Patient-focused Participatory Medicine. We were proud to sponsor another HealthCamp and even more pleased to participate. We had a session on the #GreenButton as a method for patients and healthcare consumers to voluntarily donate THEIR healthcare data for research to allow for the crowd-sourcing of real-time patient data, allow the study and analysis of that data, leading to the establishing of evidence and outcome based practice to improve patient outcomes. HealthCamp could really needs its own full, detailed blog post, so consider that a VERY brief overview.

A bit of whirlwind travel later and I'd arrived home, late Wednesday, and was in NYC at 7am for the unNiched Satellite presentation of the Datapalooza event in DC. Now, not being there in DC but viewing from NYC limits my ability to share too much, but from what we saw Todd Park and team have created a monster :-)  A morning of high profile speakers, high-powered announcements and highly caffeinated innovators lead to demonstrations of healthcare applications that utilize the vast amounts of data that the government has made available. It was promised that 45 applications would be demonstrated by the end of the day- Wow! The unNiched event in NYC kicked off with keynotes by Fard Johnmar from Enspektos and Dr. Jaime Torres the Regional Director of Region II for HHS, comments by Krissy Goelz and myself and then a Ustream broadcast of the DC #HealthApps event. This was followed by a robust discussion of what we had seen, the government's role in Healthcare innovation, the participation of healthcare consumers and the general realization for many in attendance that the line has been drawn, the bar has been moved and that it was time to take off the gloves. 

#DCHealth week will continue on Friday and culminate on Saturday with a HUGE Hackathon for Healthcare Apps- Unfortunately I will be unable to attend.

"Healthcare" consider your self notified- The future is here! It includes technologies, data, providers, institutions, pharm, devices and, MOST importantly, a newly empowered, engaged and exceptional patient population that DEMANDS to be participants in THEIR own healthcare, to OWN their own data and to use THAT data to discern the TRUTH about effective healthcare, efficacious treatments and to Effect Change. And I tell you what, you'd be foolish to disregard them- THEY have SPOKEN!!

I am honored an humbled to be here, on this precipice with all of YOU, as we change our future as individuals, communities and as a society. I am privileged to know many of these change agents personally, I promise to do my part and will treat our cumulative and individual successes as springboards to continued improvement, as steps to a healthier Healthcare system and as markers of change from our tenuous beginnings. "Walkers" keep on walkin', Talkers get to talkin' and Mover's & Shakers- yep, you guessed it- Get to Movin' and Shakin'!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

"A 'Date' With Innovation" The BluePrintHIT Innovation Summit Series

Last week, the senior management of was in Philadelphia for a "date", actually for ten dates, with hospitals and health systems on the cutting edge of healthcare innovation. How does a healthcare IT start-up arrange ten 15-minute "dates" with such prestigious institutions such as Beth Israel Deaconess, Penn Medicine, Saint Barnabas, Geisinger, Christiana, CentraState, MainLine Health, Bucktail Medical Center and others? It is easy! Simply create a world-changing healthcare start-up, like, apply to BluePrintHIT's Innovation Summit with dozens of other innovators and hope that you are one of the ten innovative companies chosen from the applicants. If you are chosen, you then have the opportunity for ten 15-minute "dates" with hospitals that are actively seeking innovative solutions. 

Let me explain, BluePrintHIT teamed up with perennial change agents Wil Yu from the ONC and John Moore from Chilmark Research and created a world-class advisory board to bring innovators and hospitals together with the intent of generating real pilots, contracts and healthcare change. Now when I say world class advisory panel, I mean world-class! From the relatively unknown John Halamka ;-) to other CIO, Entrepreneur and academic healthcare leaders, BluePrint has assembled a team of dedicated experts committed to spreading healthcare innovations into practice. Let's not forget BluePrintHIT's incredible team of Mike Squires, Mark Stevens, Rebecca Goldberg and the indefatigable Pam Kaur, all lead by the genius of Vikas Khosla- with the powerful mission to facilitate the adoption healthcare technologies by healthcare institutions. Kudos, to the team!

As for any good "date", there was a lot of preparation: Who are they?; Where are they from?; What could we possibly have in common?; Am I sure about this? LOL!

And, like many "dates" there was a bit of sacrifice: We are driving how far? How much time do we need away? Do I have a baby-sitter? and How much is all of this going to cost?? (We went "dutch" and split the bill ;-). 

Finally, there are the concerns…What if they just don't 'get us'? ; What if they don't like us?; What if they DO?; How do I look?; Anything in my teeth?? And, like most "dates", all of this was needless worry and it all went just fine- heck, it was quite enjoyable even :-)

The general premise of the BluePrintHIT Innovation Summit Series is to bring 10 innovative healthcare IT start-ups together with ten innovative healthcare systems. These companies all enjoy a couple of groundwork-laying sessions about how pilot programs may be structured, expectation setting and progressing through next steps. Throw in a success story or two and everyone is ready to begin looking for a match of their own. Five 15-minute sessions with five "dates" passes quickly and soon it is time for lunch, after which we have five more "dates". At the end of all of the speed-dating, preferences are prioritized and the "super-secret, highly accurate BluePrint algorithms" are employed to find the two best matches for each innovator and healthcare system. This leads to two 30-minute sessions or follow-up "dates" to get to know each other better, decide if there may be a fit and to plan the next steps.

Like this overview video shows:

I am happy to say that they LOVED us! And the feelings were mutual :-) We were matched with two very progressive healthcare systems and look forward to exploring the possibilities of working together with both of them. In true entrepreneur style, we also "got the digits" of a couple of other attractive institutions with a promise to "give them a call sometime" and look forward to doing just that. Without a doubt we would participate again and can highly recommend that any interested innovators and healthcare systems not hesitate, to apply to, and to attend these events…Innovators must remember that you may ONLY be selected for ONE of the summits in the series. Progressive healthcare institutions and systems would be well advised to sponsor and participate in this event…if truly serious about innovation in your organizations.

A heartfelt  "Thank You!!" to all of the organizers, participants and, especially, our "dates" at this inaugural BluePrintHIT Innovation Summit. We cherish our participation in this summit, relish the thoughts of future business relationships and heartily endorse the concept of Healthcare IT start-ups "playing the field" to find suitable partners for sharing our innovations. So check out the BluePrintHIT Innovation Summit Series which is coming soon to the Mid-West and the West Coast, if the Mid-Atlantic Summit was any indicator of future success- You'd better put the date for your "dates" on the calendar ASAP!

If this TweetReach Report is any indicator...This is going to catch on!

Learn more about BluePrintHIT Innovation Summit HERE

Learn more about HERE


Monday, April 4, 2011

HealthCampCT@Yale: HealthCamp goes to the Ivy Leagues

On April 2. 2011 the future of healthcare descended upon the Yale School of Nursing in New Haven, CT. In the form of an un-conference called HealthCampCT@Yale, forty healthcare visionaries, technologists, academics, patients and providers came together to explore challenges, successes and failures of our current healthcare system in an open-sourced, collaborative environment. Hosted by the venerable Yale School of Nursing, a world leader in Nursing education and healthcare leadership, and produced by the HealthCamp Foundation, HealthCampCT@Yale was the very first HealthCamp held in CT and a wonderful start it was! Months of planning and logistics culminated in an event that was world-class in its attendees, presenters, audience and participation. One measure of its success was the reach of the event on the internet and through social media. A "TweetReach" report of the event showed that they reached over 85,000 people with nearly 1.1 MILLION internet "impressions" in a single day!! This is a remarkable amount of impact from a inaugural event and bodes well for the future of HealthCamps in Connecticut. This was accomplished in spite of traditional media outlets such as the New Haven Register and WTNH television providing no coverage of the event (despite repeated requests :-(. The success of events, such as this one, despite the lack of traditional media involvement is a net positive for social media, Connecticut's citizenry and for grassroots initiatives world-wide and clearly demonstrates that their is a new way to share information that doesn't require approval, ad revenue or corporate censorship. WooHoo!

The local organizing team consisted of forward thinking Yale School of Nursing (YSN)Faculty members Judy Kunich and Margaret Moss, incredible leadership by Veronica Goode from YSN Dean Margaret Grey's office, and Yale Alumni Joseph Cerro and Matthew Browning. This team was augmented by the founders of the HealthCamp Foundation Mark Scrimshire and Maumi JC Chatterton. Further invaluable support was provided by YSN's Frank Grosso, Steve Varley, John Powers, Adam Humme and Neal Greene. After several meetings, piles of paper and complex coordination, the framework for bringing HealthCamp to the Ivy League was completed. With YSN now hosting the event at their facility, we were free to find sponsors for the event. Sponsors included Independent Software, Global Entertainment & Media, The Donaghue Foundation, Health 2.0, The Yale Rudd Center, FairCareMD, Family Medicine Rocks, and even support from RWJF and The Future of Nursing. This was augmented with support from many "Friends of HealthCamp" and my company, No conference can run without food and our incredible, healthy catering was provided by Jenelle's of New Haven.

Finally, April 2nd arrived and HealthCampers began to arrive at YSN as early as 7 a.m. to begin the set-up of the topic board, the food and the all important coffee. With the help of our AWESOME volunteers Phoebe Browning, Christopher Adams, Ann Marie Adams and others, we made quick work of it and settled into our breakfast and networking. Soon, Mark issued a call for topics and attendees wrote their ideas and interests on index cards which were then added to the schedule board for the day. Rooms and time slots quickly filled up and we even added a lunchtime walking tour of the neighborhood's revitalization, tree-planting, organic gardening and urban farm. The completed schedule can be found here- HealthCampCT Schedule

The sessions were lively and engaging, the presentees and attendees collaborated and sparred on different ideas, possibilities and solutions to complex healthcare challenges and issues. At times consensus was reached, agreements achieved and solutions created and at other times disagreements were aired, parochial paradigms deconstructed and agreements to agree to disagree were the outcome. Overall many important ideas were shared and explored, many new friends were made and many possibilities for next steps embraced by those in attendance. There was a non-stop stream of commentary on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn and YouTube- We even had live-streaming on the internet accessible through the HealthCamp Foundations site via Ustream. Did I mention over 1 MILLION internet impressions for this event in a SINGLE day?? WOW!

Two morning time slots with 4 sessions each brought us to that incredible lunch from Jenelle's in New Haven!! YUM! Three salads, two main courses and one wonderful dessert later it was definitely time for the walking tour. A quick trip around 2 blocks near Yale showed the concepts of HealthCamp in action; houses rehabilitated and lived in, perennial flower gardens, organic inner-city food plots, urban chickens, renewed tree planting and the fostering of a healthy community for area residents as the very real results of one HealthCamper's vision and dedication to the neighborhood. The invigorating walk cleared the lunchtime lethargy and prepared HealthCampers for a rigorous afternoon of eight more sessions followed by a debriefing for the day's events and reluctant goodbyes. For those who couldn't yet part ways, the Camp continued at Kelly's on Crown with our wonderful host Patrick for some cold drinks, warm food and hot conversations. HealthCamp@Yale was a wonderful introduction for Connecticut to the amazing, grassroots work of the HealthCamp Foundation and we eagerly look forward to next year's event!

A big "THANK YOU!!" to all of the Yale School of Nursing, the organizing team, our incredible sponsors, dedicated volunteers, amazing attendees and, of course, to the HealthCamp Foundation for turning this concept from a potential possibility to a redefining reality. Kudos!

For more information about Yale School Of Nursing  - Click Here

For More Information about HealthCamp  -


Tuesday, March 29, 2011 CEO Matthew Browning receives the Shorty Award for "Nurse of the Year" from Nurse Jackie's Stephen Wallem (Nurse Thor)

WOW!! We just won a Shorty Award for "Nurse of the Year"! And, it was presented by Stephen Wallem from Showtime's Nurse Jackie series!! Thank You to all of you who voted for us!!

This was my 140 character acceptance speech-

I THANK my Family, Team, Tweeps, the "Academy" & for allowing me to serve #Nurses & #Healthcare providers around the World!


Saturday, February 26, 2011 at HIMSS11 - Gaining Global Attention (Thanks Schwartz Communications & Twitter!) was chosen as the winner of Schwartz Communications Twitter Contest and won a professionally produced video, as seen below. If you'd like to gain GLOBAL attention simply create an awesome product, build a great company, work with world-reknowned customers and use Schwartz Communications to help get the word out at a world-class event like HIMSS11 !! WOW!

Please share your thoughts, your comments and this post below.


Friday, February 25, 2011 at HIMSS11 - The Journey Begins

The “Olympics” of Healthcare IT is the huge annual HIMSS conference and was excited to go to HIMSS11 in Orlando. Like any start-up company, our people wear a number of hats, are busy and occasionally, make mistakes. I recount this story as an example of logistical challenges, flexible responses, dogged determination and perseverance in pursuit the mission. To attend HIMSS11, I needed to depart Hartford, CT on February 19 and would return February 24th. My plan was to attend the HIT Investor Forum on Sunday, we had been selected as a contestant in the HIT X.0 “Geeks Got Challenge” for Monday, hoped to make it to the finals for Tuesday and also expected to spend considerable time at booth #1331 which we shared with Intelligent Insites, our newest integration partners. Simple enough, right?
Wrong! To be more efficient, my executive assistant (me), attempted to book the hotels and travel for two conferences simultaneously and was quite satisfied to have found great deals for both HIMSS11 and the upcoming ACHE Congress in Chicago. The error in my ways became evident on the way to the airport when my lovely wife, Phoebe, began to call the airport to confirm our timely departure during a very windy afternoon. “MATTHEW!,” she shouted from the passenger seat, startling me from my “did I forget to pack anything” thought process, “THESE tickets are for MARCH 19th...”.
Now showing up to your flight without a valid ticket is rather frowned upon in this country, and can lead to a lovely discussion with various customer service “overlords.”

The very “helpful” woman on JetBlue’s “help” line nicely reminded me that ONLY an ignoramus would not bother to check his reservation 42 times before leaving the house to depart on the aforementioned non-existent flight. “Really?” I enquired, imagine for a second that you worked 80 hours per week for the last 3 years, hadn’t had a “day off” in month’s and gave up sleep for Lent so that you could facilitate a new integration, a new pilot implementation, prepare for a worldwide IT competition and , of course, arrange your travel... none of that lends itself to being perfect and may have even contributed to my glaring oversight. So, I askedfar to nicely, when you are done lecturing me on proper flight reservation review protocol, would you please tell me how I can fix this major faux pas?
Oh that would be easy, she let me know, it is nothing that $750 dollars ADDITIONAL couldn’t fix. Is there no other way I implored, as she wallowed in her customer service power trip. “No!” was all I heard. Now, I know that any well-meaning organization can mistakenly hire an anti-social troglodyte ;-) ( or more likely she was just having her own struggles that day), but having flown JetBlue many times, I hoped there might be a better way. So, I thanked her for her abuse and hung up in disgust, almost believing her about how dumb I had been to not check my reservation 42 times! This had never happened to me in 30 years of solo air travel. How the heck was I going to get to Orlando? by tomorrow morning? should I go at all? should I fly out tomorrow? how about from NYC or?? and how the hell did I do this? A  few deep breaths later, I realized it is a mistake, decided it will be remedied and proceeded to the airport to beg for mercy. Did I mention logistical challenges?
At the Hartford airport, I proceeded to the JetBlue counter, without my bags, to see if there was ANYTHING that could be done. I was helped by two incredible customer service dynamos, Julie and Juan. “Night and day” could not even begin to describe the contrast between the telephone “service” we’d received and the exemplary service provided by these two. I explained by plight, and explained my needs. They apologized to me for the inconvenience and proceeded to squeeze me onto the next flight with the slightest of penalties for my incorrect reservation, and my eternal gratitude. They absolutely gained a customer for life and my respect for their professionalism, which I immediately conveyed to their manager and the world. This is the type of flexible response that we will model for our own customer service.
Upon landing in Orlando I went to the hotel to find that I had, of course, booked the hotel at the same time as the flight- with the same incorrect dates... unbelievable! The Days Inn “convention center” informed me that they had NO room for me that evening but that they COULD accommodate me for Sunday through Thursday. Whew! Lucky me, I got a room across the street form HIMSS11 at the very last minute. However, that left me stuck in Orlando, with no rooms available anywhere in town, at 9 pm on a Saturday evening. Tired, hungry, and needing a place to crash, we went into our  creative, problem-solving, startup company mode...How do we accomplish the objective with the resources at hand? I had web-access and 30,000 friends, or soon to be friends, attending HIMSS11 with me- maybe one of them could help? A simple twitter request was re-tweeted by friends and lead to a wonderful late night discussion with a doctor friend from NYC before retiring to his extra hotel bed (Thanks again, Doc!). Lying down, exhausted, in the dark before visiting the sandman, I reflected on the day and decided that my dogged determination not only got me to HIMSS11 in time for Sunday’s kick-off, but was largely responsible for’s amazing success at reinventing healthcare staff communications by creating an entirely new way to communicate, from a simple sketch on a napkin to an effective software as a service.
Perseverance plus presence equals opportunity, and our ability to rally, be flexible and to adapt to rapidly changing terrain allowed us to persevere through our travel challenges, to be present at HIMSS11 for the HIT Investor Forum on Sunday and to avail ourselves of the numerous opportunities present in a room full of HIT movers and shakers. The challenges that we overcame en-route lent perspective and clarity to the mission of the trip. This wasn’t optional, debatable or impossible- period! It was going to happen, had to happen and in true start-up fashion it did happen. I don’t present this story to wave my mistake to the world, but rather as an example of the “never say quit” spirit of new entrepreneurs worldwide who go “all in” to innovate, disrupt and change paradigms, possibilities and potential. The obstacles are “barriers to entry” and if you allow them to stop your mission, you will certainly fail. My advice to those visionaries, change agents and disruptors is simple- If you experience an adversarial customer “service” person, a logistical nightmare or seemingly insurmountable odds- don’t despair! Work the plan, be creative, solve the problems, side step and keep on dancing to your own tune. If you are true to your “music”, your vision is unclouded, and your motives are pure- your chances of success increase greatly. No one but yourself can make you stop pursuing the dream and, I don’t know about you, but nothing (and I mean NOTHING) is going to stop me from sharing with the world! Good luck with YOUR journey! I believe you can do it, and look forward to your successes. 

Thank You.