What Wu-Tang Clan Teaches Us About Communicating with Patients

So what does music from Wu-Tang Clan and communication with patients in our healthcare system have iiStock_000026585380Smalln common? The answer would have been “nothing” until I heard this fabulous interview on NPR’s The Story with Holly Maniatty, Interpreter for Wu-Tang Clan. The interview featured Maniatty, a phenomenal sign language interpreter at this summer’s Bonnaroo Music Festival. The video of her signing went viral. Continue reading

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What about the patient needs for EMR?

In my daily review of a broad range of articles about healthcare and innovation, I have to admit that the patient – which should be the focal point of healthcare efforts – is often woefully left to the side or brought up as an afterthought. The “business” of healthcare has become front and center, while patients and their real health and satisfaction languish.

iStock_000018395108SmallThis week, Dr. James C. Salwitz wrote a poignant piece: A plea for a universal unified EMR. The entire piece revolves around the patient and what the physician needs to serve and help the patient. This was such a refreshing change from so many of the pieces I read that are so totally engulfed in the dollars and cents. Continue reading

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Social media engagement beyond friends: A critical skill for our rising leaders

iStock_000023705152_SmallI recently had the pleasure of teaching a Social Media Engagement class to Alfred University’s Judson Leadership Center Advisory Board and some of their Women’s Leadership Academy students. As I do before any training session, I gauge the level of the attendees to be sure to tailor the conversation to the appropriate level. When asked, the Advisory Board members considered themselves, as one might expect, novice to average users. In contrast, the students rated themselves as experts.

As the training continued, it became obvious that when one hears “social media” the meaning is different depending on the audience. For the students, when they heard social media, they thought Facebook and Instagram – social media tools that they use for friend-based interactions. On the other hand, the Advisory Board members, many of whom are active on friend-based systems also, rated themselves novices.  This was due to the fact that most students are not as engaged in using social media for more professional means and thus aren’t considering that tools other than Facebook, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs are a part of the social media ecosystem. This disconnect in perception is important to address and I believe signifies an opportunity for our higher educational institutions to make a meaningful impact on our next generation leaders. Continue reading

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10 Tips for effective negotiations – lessons from our parents

Negotiation is something that all of us do, typically multiple times a day – from business deals, to work with colleagues, to matters at home with family and friends. Negotiation is an essential part of strategic development for any organization. These negotiations can be external or internal (i.e., setting priorities, etc.). Regardless of the parties involved, the fundamental goal is the same – negotiation is a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.

iStock_000017911344SmallWhen we think negotiations and business, we often think of lawyers. Well, I had the good fortune of meeting Susan H. Alexander, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for Biogen Idec recently. As steering committee chair for the annual Triangle Women Against Multiple Sclerosis (WAMS) luncheon, I had the privilege of welcoming Susan as one of our esteemed panelists at our recent WAMS event in the Research Triangle Park area. Susan provided insightful, yet very simple and straight-forward negotiation tips that she credits her parents with providing to her. I thought that her tips were so compelling, that I wanted to share them here for the over 200 business women and men that attended WAMS, as well as for others. Continue reading

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Calling for the voices of professionals in the healthcare ecosystem

Today is a time of change in healthcare. Most would agree that our entire healthcare ecosystem is overdue for change.  We need to get to a state where outcomes are improved, patients are empowered, and resources are spent more meaningfully and effectively – fostering wellness rather than remaining entrenched in reacting only to illness.

Group of People interactingAs with all things – not just healthcare – in order to make change happen, your voice must be heard. Our “voice” now takes many forms in our ultra-connected world and is moving beyond just the spoken word. Online dialogue is pervasive and is happening across many social media channels. One of the critical voices in our healthcare ecosystem is the voice of the physician. With that in mind, I was excited to read in a recent NY Times blog post by Pauline Chen about a book from healthcare social media champion, Dr. Kevin Pho, and Susan Gay, Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices. An excerpt below from the NY Times blog stresses the urgency with which we need to get physicians engaged in online dialogue. Continue reading

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