1/2/12 - New Year

If you grew up in the south, you traditionally eat black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year's Day.  You probably have corn bread with it too.  Peas for luck, and greens for money.  (Corn bread just tastes good with both.) 

I don't remember not having this on New Year's Day, and while I'm pretty sure the food never led me down a path to luck or money, I do like eating peas and greens.  It's an acquired taste, but it's one I acquired long ago.  (Tips: you need what we call pepper sauce on those greens and peas -- which is the vinegary-brine from pickled jalapeno peppers, and the corn bread needs to be baked in a cast iron frying pan.)

So Sunday I was eating peas and greens and catching up on some reading, and everyone it seems has predictions on the new year:  what's going to happen and what's not.  There are lists all over the place, some of them are even good ones, but I think I'll offer here the 3 things that will happen, or need to happen, in the broad world of Healthcare IT in 2012.

  • Healthcare IT Definition.  Another year will pass without any specific agreement on what Healthcare IT is and isn't.  For a phrase that's lobbed around as often as it is, there's little agreement on what Healthcare IT actually means.  This was true some time back on "IT", and it's true now on"Healthcare IT."  I actually think it matters more than most others do, but frankly, a definition's not indispensable, and so another phrase enters the language of the people that no one really defines.
  • Mobile Aggregation.  The proliferation of mobile applications to assist with healthcare will require aggregation.  No one wants 40 or 50 applications on their iPhone or Droid, and the cool thing about truly good applications is they do one specific thing very well.  Fandango, for example, is a beautiful application when you want to catch a movie spontaneously.  But mobile apps rarely do 10 things well.  Entities who recognize this will start gobbling up some good underlying applications to create toolboxes of useful apps.
  • Hospital Data Security Monitoring.  A recent highly publicized security breach where a contractor at a hospital posted patient information on his Facebook account will spur significant attention on improved monitoring of the viewing and sharing of data (not to mention the role of contractors) in hospitals.  This fool's actions on Facebook will spur a cry for better training and enforcement around patient information as it should.  Whether it's called identity management or data security, significant improvements will have to happen in 2012 to know what those with access to patient information are doing.  Banks know what their tellers view, corporations track employee Internet activity and take action when needed, and hospitals will need staff to monitor the same as it relates to patient data.

And in 2012, try some collard greens if you haven't yet.

Posted by Jack Williams at 00:00


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