“I’m not a class warrior. I’m a class worrier,” Robert Reich told a standing-room only crowd of thousands of health IT geeks as he delivered the first keynote address of the annual meeting of HIMSS, the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society. This year’s crowd will have reached about 31,000 people interested in health information technology’s transformative role in health care. The 31K represents an 18% increase in attendance from last year’s crowd. The HIMSS economy is strong.
Robert Reich warns, however, that the U.S. macroeconomy is far from healthy…and health care costs will be a long-term threat to the nation’s economy unless policymakers slow them down.
Reich, who has served under 3 Presidents, written 14 books, and has been named one of the 10 most successful cabinet members, told the HIMSS audience that not only did “the great recession wear me down,” noting his small stature, but that the “gravitational pull of the great recession wore everything down.”
He noted that “We have two economies” in America: one is doing well, with the Dow hitting 12,000, corporate profits up, and companies sitting on about $2 trillion worth of cash.Continue reading…
In a ballroom at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco last week, several hundred people shared ideas, debated, and painted a multi-faceted picture of the NewPatient: the networked patient.
The meeting was convened, in “unconference” style, in conjunction between the Health 2.0 Conference and Gilles Frydman, founding father of ACOR, the Association of Cancer Online Resources. Gilles knows a lot about the NewPatient: he’s organized people focused on cancer for over 15 years through his organization, which has helped tens of thousands of health citizens connect to clinical trials, researchers, information, and each other – all seeking to cure virtually every form of known cancer, and identifying forms unknown.
As Jeremy Shane of Health Central kicked off the meeting, he set the theme: this session was, “Not Meet the Parents, but Meet the Patients.” As Health Central sees 14 million visitors to its sites on a monthly basis, Jeremy has some knowledge about the NewPatient, too.
What makes an engaged patient, he has learned, isn’t based on a demographic such as age or gender or socioeconomic status, per se; what makes an engaged patient is a desire to understand her situation and a driving curiosity – in sum, a “need for cognition and understanding,” Jeremy contends.
Jeremy notes that the average search on health has grown from 4 words just a couple of years ago to 6.5 words today — a longer tail – because people are describing their unique situation and they want an answer to their own needs.