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EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 11/12/15

November 12, 2015 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment


I’m headed to San Francisco for the AMIA meeting and will be reporting from there for the next several days. I haven’t been to a conference that is this academic in a long time and I have to say that planning for it has been more rigorous than I expected.

From everything I hear as well as from the pre-symposium orientation webinar, there is going to be more to do, see, and learn than one person could possibly do. There are more than 2,000 pages of content available already, plus a few hundred pages of questions and answers for Maintenance of Certification (MOC).

There are also Twitter feeds and an event app for managing your schedule. I’ve enjoyed going through everything and flagging the sessions I plan to attend or that I want to keep on my list as a backup. For someone like me who dabbles in many different areas of informatics, it’s a bit like being a kid in a candy store.

I’ll be attending some of the pre-symposium sessions as well. Dealing with them has been the only negative part of my experience so far.

When I signed up for AMIA several months ago, the list of sessions that are available for MOC credit for clinical informatics wasn’t available. Even though they’re no charge, the pre-symposium sessions required advance registration. Once the list of MOC-approved sessions was available and I had time to go back through them and see whether they matched what I had registered for, those that I wanted to switch to were full.

Attending conferences is expensive. Given the status of MOC for Clinical Informatics, I want to maximize the amount of credit I bring home. Although I’m not choosing sessions strictly by whether they are approved or not, given two sessions at the same time that I’m equally interested in, I’m going to lean towards the one that will give me credit.

I suspect AMIA is seeing a spike in registrations due to being one of the few providers of relevant and approved continuing education credit for our subspecialty. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out. In the mean time, I’m going to continue refining my battle plan to get the most out of the conference.


Whenever I head out for an extended trip, I gather up any hard-copy publications that can be read during taxi, takeoff, and landing so I can read and recycle them on the way. I saw this Healthcare IT News headline and it just struck me as somewhat offensive. Although IT is a key player in most industries, to say that a hospital would be “nothing” without its IT department is obnoxious. It would still be a hospital, it would still provide patient care, and it most certainly wouldn’t crumble to the ground.

The associated article is about best hospital IT departments, so I don’t expect it to address the fact that there are worse things than having no IT department – namely, having a bad IT department that creates chaos. Or one that behaves aggressively towards clinicians and doesn’t respect the input of various stakeholders. Or one that’s flat-out incompetent.

As a culture, we’ve become obsessed with these “best of” lists. I always think about one of my good friends that continued to make the “best doctors” list in my city despite having moved away several years prior.

The loss of any department — whether clinical, administrative, support, or other disciplines — would negatively impact any hospital. Headlines like this don’t help bring people together. I’d love to drop this in the physician lounge and see what kind of responses it gets. Maybe that’s an idea for a reality show – kind of a candid camera for healthcare IT users. I know some people who would watch.

What’s your idea of good entertainment? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. “…Although IT is a key player in most industries, to say that a hospital would be “nothing” without its IT department is obnoxious. It would still be a hospital, it would still provide patient care, and it most certainly wouldn’t crumble to the ground.” AMEN SISTER! That’s the whole “problem” with healthcare IT when you get down to it – they forget who they work for and what they’re supposed to do – care for patients!

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