Pat Lynch’s Calendar

January 20, 2013 by Pat Lynch

Ask me anything at  plynch@gmi3.com

2011-09-01 08.22.35

2014 Calendar

April 8 – HTMA-Nevada, Las Vegas

April 9-11 – MD Expo in Las Vegas

April 29 – Gateway Biomedical Society, St. Louis

April 30 – Meeting of Biomedical Service providers to Haiti

May 9 – HTMA-SC Conference (Columbia, SC)

May 20 – CMIA Orange County

May 30 – Manny’s Meeting at AAMI – Philadelphia

May 31 -June 2 – AAMI in Philadelphia

July 15, 16 – MD Imaging Expo – Indianapolis

Sept 3,4,5 – NCBA (NC) in Concord, NC

Sept 10, 11, 12 – NCBA (MN)

Sept 17, 18, 19 – VBA – Richmond, VA

Sept 24, 25, 26 – BAW – Wisconsin (presentation via teleconference)

October 1,2,3 – MD Expo/FBS – Orlando

October 24 – Oregon Biomedical – Portland, OR

 

When You Start To Let Go Of The Past, These 10 Things Will Happen

November 21, 2014 by Pat Lynch
11/13/14 4:43PM EST
Wall Street Insanity | by

Living in the past is a dangerous habit. Whether it’s wallowing in regret and resentment over unfortunate events or reminiscing over fond memories while ignoring what’s happening right in front of you, living in the past can have a number of negative effects on your emotional health. With a little coaxing, however, you can break this habit and start experiencing these 10 changes.

1. You’ll Feel Less Anxiety

Clinging to the past makes you worry about every decision you’ve ever made, and that leads to a lot of anxiety. Whether you’re questioning something you did or wondering whether you made a mistake or holding a grudge over something someone else did, you’re stressing yourself out. Letting go of all that emotional baggage will make you feel lighter.

2. You’ll Make Decisions More Easily

When you make the decision to let things go, you open yourself up to making decisions about the future without worrying about whether you’ll regret them or not.

3. You’ll Live In The Present

Living in the past makes you ignore what’s going on right in front of you, which can all too often lead to regret over missed opportunities. Even if you’re reveling in wonderful old memories, you could be putting up a roadblock on the way to your present happiness.

4. You Can Focus On The Future

Thinking about the past doesn’t always have to be a negative thing; there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy nostalgia. But if you’re obsessing over how much fun you used to have or constantly wishing you were with old friends instead of the ones you have now, you’re denying yourself the opportunity to make new memories and to look forward to all the great possibilities that the future holds.

5. You’ll Be More Forgiving

Letting go of things is a habit; once it’s been cultivated, it becomes more and more automatic. When you learn how to forgive and forget other people and yourself when it comes to the past, you’ll start doing it more often in the present, too.

6. You’ll Be Less Judgmental

It’s easy to judge other people when you’re constantly judging yourself, but once you stop criticizing yourself for past mistakes, it becomes easier to lighten up on others, too.

7. You’ll Accept Things More Easily

Once you get used to letting go of the past, it becomes second nature to let things slide off you instead of letting them take root in your brain and spend the next five years there. After you’ve trained yourself to stop worrying about the past, you’ll be much better at rolling with the punches.

8. You’ll Have More Power

When you focus on the things you can do now rather than the things you did or didn’t do in the past, you feel more in control and in charge of your own life. Instead of letting regrets and “what-ifs” weigh you down, you can more easily accept things as they are without dwelling on the past.

9. You’ll Stop Blaming Others

It’s easy to blame others for past hurts and failures, but that doesn’t really accomplish anything. “The world largely doesn’t care, so you need to get over yourself. Yes, you’re special. Yes, your feelings matter. But don’t confuse with ‘your feelings matter’ [with] ‘your feelings should override all else, and nothing else matters.’ Your feelings are just one part of this large thing we call life, which is all interwoven and complex,” writes Dr. John M. Grohol on PsychCentral. When you stop focusing only on how other people have screwed you over and start thinking about how you can take charge and make yourself happy, you’re far more likely to actually feel happier instead of continuing to wallow in bitterness.

10. Your Health Will Improve

“When… anxiety dissipates, the physical benefits happen within seconds,” Dr. Pam Peeke tells Woman’s Day. “Your heart rate drops, as does your blood pressure, and every system of your body that was reacting to the overproduction of stress hormones relaxes.” Do your body a favor and stop agonizing over every little thing; you’ll feel physically, mentally and emotionally better.

November 20, 2014 by Pat Lynch

One Methods:Metaphorming: The Official “Think Like a Genius”® Method

There are many ways to classify a genius. But if you look at the historical figures whom most people would consider geniuses, such as Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Beethoven, you can see one thing they all share in common: they were all able to think in a way different from the mainstream, and thus made connections that no one else did. Based on that pattern, this article will address some of the ways you can think like a genius.

 Steps
  1. 1

    Love learning. Geniuses are passionate about the things they do. If you want to think like a genius, find what you love and dive in headfirst.

    • Figure out what your learning style is and make use of it. The major types are auditory, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic and kinesthetic. Experiment with different techniques for absorbing information and stick with what works best.
    • Learn how to self-educate. There are lots of resources available on the internet and through local services like community colleges and libraries that can put all sorts of exciting information at your fingertips.
    • Be pro-active and ask questions. There are people you meet every day that know all sorts of things and have a variety of valuable skills to share. As a genius, be interested in the potential in everything.
    • Be over-comprehensive in your studies. Learn everything there is to know.
    • As you learn about different disciplines, think about how they connect to one another.
  2. 2

    Start ambitious projects and see them through from start to finish. Genius ideas have often occurred in the pursuit of something that many contemporaries thought to be downright crazy. Create opportunities for yourself to discover new things by embarking on journeys on which no one has yet embarked.

  3. 3

    Embrace change, uncertainty, and doubt. It is on the edges of knowledge that innovation and discovery happen. Don’t be afraid to question conventional wisdom, because geniuses are often the ones who rewrite current conventions.

  4. 4

    Be prolific. Try for quantity before quality. To produce exceptionally good work, do a lot of whatever you’re doing. It increases your chances for success and it means you will get more practice along the way. It also takes the pressure off, knowing that while an effort may be your first, it will likely not be your last. Most geniuses in history, whatever they were doing, did a lot of many things, and not all of it was genius!

    • There is a theory that to become a “master” in any subject, you need 10,000 hours of practice. Professional orchestra players and computer programmers demonstrate this idea. (Citation: Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, 2009, but see also Creativity: Genius and other Myths, Weisberg, 1986)
  5. 5

    Learn about Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a breakdown of the six levels of thinking, from the lowest level to the highest. You can use it to help you think about thinking on a deeper level.

    • Knowledge is accepting and believing a fact. Knowing 2 + 2 = 4, doesn’t mean you know what 2 + 2 = 4 means.
    • Application is knowing how to use the fact. You can determine that 2 cats plus 2 cats equals 4 cats. You don’t know what 2 + 2 = 4 means, but you can apply it.
    • Comprehension is understanding a fact: You understand the concept of addition and how 2 + 2 = 4.
    • Analysis is breaking down information into its parts. 4 – 2 = 2; (1 + 1) + (1 + 1) = 2 + 2 = 4.
    • Synthesis is Creating something new. (2 + 2) + (2 + 2) = 4 + 4.
    • Evaluation: Discussion of the merits of 2 + 2 = 4.
  6. 6

    Think differently. You are different. You think differently. Every kind of genius is different and individual. And every kind of opinion has something true and something you can learn from.

    • Remember that different ideas have not historically been accepted well, and yours may not be either. Geniuses throughout history have not let this deter them; neither should you.

10 Reasons to Quit your Job

November 17, 2014 by Pat Lynch

from www.themuse.com -

Here are reasons to stop being miserable and start looking for something better.

 

1. Your Input Is Disregarded or Even Not Wanted

Everyone has ideas. And everyone loves when his or her ideas are taken seriously—and implemented. The feeling that you’ve contributed in a special way
is incredibly gratifying.

But when your boss or company shoots down or even laughs at your ideas, it’s not only insulting, it’s demotivating. And pretty soon you stop caring.

Life’s too short not to care.

 

2. You Get Criticized Publicly

We all need constructive feedback. We all need a little nudge. We all need to be told when we can do something better—and how to do it better.

But we need to be told those things in private.

Life’s too short to walk around waiting for the next time you’ll be criticized—and even humiliated—in front of other people.

 

3. You Never Hear the Word “Thanks”

Everyone also needs praise. We all need to know when we do something well (and everyone, even poor performers, do some things well).

Life’s too short not to be recognized for the contributions you make.

 

4. Your Boss Manages Up, Not Down

You know the type: As a leader she should focus her time and attention on her direct reports, but she spends all her time “following” her boss. It seems like your only job is to contribute to the greater glory—and advancement—of your boss.

A great boss knows that if her team succeeds—and each individual on that team succeeds—then she will succeed too.

Life’s too short to spend your time developing your boss’ career at the expense of your own.

 

5. You Feel Like You Have No Purpose

Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone likes to feel he has an impact not just on results but also on the lives of other people.

Life’s too short to go home every day feeling like you’ve worked, but you haven’t accomplished anything meaningful.

 

6. You Feel Like a Number

Everyone is replaceable. Everyone, ultimately, works for a paycheck. But people also want to work for more than a paycheck. They want to work with people they respect and admire, and they want to be respected and admired in return.

If your boss doesn’t occasionally stop for a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to see if you need any help, or simply to say a kind word, then you’re just a cog in a larger machine.

Life’s too short to only be a cog in a larger machine.

 

7. You Aren’t Even Mildly Excited to Go to Work

Every job has its downsides. (I’m willing to bet even Richard Branson has to do a few things he doesn’t enjoy.) But every job should also have some fun moments. Or exciting moments. Or challenging moments. Or some aspect that makes you think, “I’m looking forward to doing that.”

Life’s too short to spend only looking forward to quitting time.

 

8. You Can’t See a Future

Every job should lead to something: Hopefully a promotion, but if not, the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities, learn new things, tackle new challenges. Tomorrow should have the potential to be different—in a good way—from today.

A decent boss works to improve the company’s future. A good boss works to improve her employees’ futures too, even if—especially if—that might mean some of those employees will eventually move on to bigger and better things.

Life’s too short to live without hope.

 

9. No One Has the Same Dreams as You

Countless companies were started by two or more people who at one time worked together and realized they had complementary skills—and realized they wanted to carve out a new future together.

If you plan to be an entrepreneur, working for a big company first is one of the best things you can do. It’s a risk-free environment where you can meet future colleagues and co-founders. Pick a dozen companies at random and you’ll find at least a few that were founded by aspiring entrepreneurs who met as co-workers and went on to launch awesome startups together.

Life’s too short to spend working with people who don’t share your hopes, dreams, and passions.

 

10. You Don’t Think You Can Do Anything Else

That’s the second-best reason of all to quit your job. I know what you’re thinking: “I make too much in my current job; I’ll never find something comparable.” Or, “there just aren’t any jobs where I live.” Or, “I’ve put too much time into this company (or career or industry).”

Or, “I don’t have what it takes to start my own business.”

All those things are true—if you let them be true.

You can do something else. You can do lots of something “elses.”

You just have to believe—and trust that your creativity, perseverance, and effort will take you to new, happier, and more fulfilling places. Thousands of people start their own businesses ever year. The only difference between you and them? They decided to take the chance. They decided to bet on themselves.

They decided that life’s too short to just stay where they are instead of doing everything possible to live a better life.

Are You Doing What It Takes To Be Great?

November 15, 2014 by Pat Lynch
By on November 6, 2014 in Goals, Happiness, Success
The Universal Truth about Fear: it affects everyone one of us.

But when was the last time we stopped to really analyze our fears? Not only to see what they are but also to see what they stop us from becoming.

How many opportunities do we miss out on by avoiding things we’re afraid of?

The reality is we’ll never know.

There could be life-changing jobs, friendships and business connections, just waiting to be taken or formed.

And that’s the scary side effect of letting fear control our lives: we never know what we’re truly capable of achieving.

We risk years of regret, what-ifs, and should-have-dones by giving fear the keys and letting it decide our ultimate destination.

Despite all its uncertainty, fear does make a few guarantees:

Fear kills dreams.
Fear holds us back.
Fear distorts our world.
Fear determines our success or failure.

We can’t let our fears stop us like this, if we want to achieve at the highest level. In fact, top-performers learn how to act in spite of their fears. They crush fear before it has a chance to fester and destroy.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

Michael Jordan: Arguably, the greatest basketball player of all time.

Do you remember how he began his career? He didn’t even start on his college basketball team. He wasn’t just handed a plate of basketball talents and told “Enjoy!” Not at all. He worked his ass off until he reached the pinnacle of success. He knows what it takes to overcome obstacles and barriers.What does he say about fear?

“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”

Fears are just an illusion. Something we create in our heads that stops us from achieving at the highest level.

Look where this belief got him in life: Hall of Fame, greatest player of all-time, and still getting multi-million dollar endorsement deals, years after playing in the NBA.

Another great example: Warren Buffett, the best investor of our time. He’s amassed so much wealth from savvy investing that he’s literally bailed out entire countries on the brink of bankruptcy. Our government and top CEOs around the world turn to him in times of crises for investing advice

What’s one of his basic tenets of investing?

“Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”

Translation: His greatest investments have come from taking huge risks in the face of fear. When there’s blood on the streets and nobody can think clearly about their investments, Buffett’s out there buying stocks, hand over fists. He doesn’t let fear stop him; in fact he uses it to his advantage. And he’s one of the wealthiest people of all time.

Successful people leave clues for us. So what are top-performers, like Buffett and Jordan, showing us?

Face your fears, and you’ll get the payoffs.

Without taking risks, without facing our fears, and without pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone, we can never reach our true potential.

It’s really that simple.

So why don’t more of us do exactly that?

Because a lot of us hear advice like this and think “Ha! Easy for you to say! You don’t have [insert disadvantage], and I don’t have [insert excuse about time or resources].”

Immediately, we react with how our situation is SO special, SO unique, and SO different than everyone else.

It’s an automatic defense mechanism that flares up.

What’s really happening here?

We’re creating a story for ourselves. We’re rationalizing our fears and inaction. Nobody wants to feel like a fool; I get that.

I used to feed myself story after story. “I don’t have time,” I used to say, “I’ll work on that tomorrow.” I hated feeling bad about myself, and stories created quick fixes to feel better.

In reality, I was hiding from the truth.

So let’s be honest with each other

The truth makes us uncomfortable, especially when it exposes weaknesses inside ourselves. It makes me cringe when I think back on the laundry list of excuses I used to delay facing my fears.

In fact years ago, I had dozens of books about personal development filled with tactic after tactic, scattered all throughout my room. I had no excuse not to follow through, yet I allowed fear remain in control. I’d go chasing another tactic, claiming I wasn’t ready yet; I needed to work on just one more thing. And nothing got done.

I did this for years; until I realized we have power to make decisions, and we empower ourselves by taking actions toward our goals, no matter how daunting they may seem today.

No matter how fearful we might be, we never improve by continuously consuming information alone. You have to go out in the world and try things.

You can have disproportionate rewards in life.

100x your next closest competitor. I’m talking about absolutely crushing your goals; Defying your wildest expectations, with regard to every area of life achievements.

But to do that, you must escape the shackles of fear.

Behind every fear is the person you want to be. If you tackle your fears, you can become the person of your dreams.

Yoda said it best, “Named your fear must be, before banish it you can.”

And that’s exactly what we must do if we want to improve ourselves: Banish fear. For life.

For years, decades even, you may have walked around, letting fear guide you, letting it beat you down and make you its victim.

Today, let’s turn the tide. Flip the script and make fear your slave.

Today, let’s face fear head on and empower ourselves to break free.
Your challenge for today: start crushing your fears in five simple steps

1) Specific goals: Make a list of five things you’ve really wanted to do but haven’t because fear has been holding you back. It can be anything, even something as simple as saying “Hi” to a colleague when you walk past them in the hall all the way to trying something completely new.

Be creative and don’t hesitate to write anything down. If you want it, list it. Even if you think it’s silly or you can’t do it just yet, don’t let that stop you for now. Just write it all down, and we’ll get to that later. Ideally, you should spend 2-3 minutes brainstorming things you want to do, but it may take you a less time.

Once you have your list of 5 things, move on to the next step. But don’t skip ahead. Be thorough here. I promise if you go through the exercise correctly, you’ll reap the rewards.

2) Selection: Now that you have your list of 5 things/action items, take a second to review it. Really go back over it and make sure you don’t want to add anything else. Okay, what you’re going to do next might shock you, but I want you to select only ONE goal on that list you’d like to achieve. Shelve the other four things for now. You’re going to focus all of your mental energy on this goal. This one should be the utmost important to you. Something that, if you accomplished it, would make you incredibly excited, overjoyed even. Circle just one. It’s better to accomplish one small thing than having hundreds of ideas floating around in our heads that we never get around to doing.

Keep moving, now, to the next step.

3) Systematize: Here’s where get very strategic in our approach. Anyone can make a list of goals and feel good for a moment. For most people, goals go into a pile of dreams and wishes to remain unfinished. We differentiate ourselves by creating a plan to follow through. So now, let’s create a simple set of action steps to help achieve your goal. For example, if my goal was to start a conversation with a colleague, I’d include the time of day I planned to talk to them; I’d make sure to plan on starting the conversation on day when I wasn’t pressed for time so I could be more present and authentic; I’d even go so far as to script out a conversation, not only with what I’d plan on saying to initiate a quick chat, but also, what I’d say to exit the conversation, if I started to feel uncomfortable.

When you’re done crafting your plan, move on to the next step.

4) See: Create a vivid vision of yourself following through on your goal and conquering your fears. Let the positive emotions wash over you that come from taking this action. Allow yourself to enjoy this moment, and see yourself as truly being successful. Remember, our minds can’t tell a vision in our head apart from something that actually happens to us. So you can use this to your advantage and practice in advance, without actually having to take action just yet. The more vivid and real you can make your vision, the more powerful this exercise becomes. So include, how things look, smell, and feel in your visualization.

5) Lastly, start fulfilling your dreams, today. Go out and take action toward your goal. Now that you know what you want to do, how to do it, and have seen yourself be successful, there’s no reason not to give it a shot.

Most people don’t work on their dreams. They just let things happen to them, and fear ruins their lives.

What will you do?

Let me know what happened when you tackled your first fear in the comments section below.

Are You Doing What It Takes To Be Great?

100 Tricks To Help You De-Stress

November 11, 2014 by Pat Lynch

The Huffington Post  | By Healthy Living Editors

Posted: 11/05/2014 8:12 am EST Updated: 11/05/2014 12:59 pm EST

Who doesn’t get stressed every now and then? Between work worries (“My deadline is when?!”) and personal pressures (“Whose turn is it to pick up the kids?”), it may feel like you’re always on the brink of being totally overwhelmed. The key is knowing when it’s happening — and being proactive about putting an end to it.

Luckily, there are a lot of ways to keep those stressors in check. In honor of Stress Awareness Day, we rounded up 100 expert and research-backed ways to relax, whether you have five minutes, five hours or five weeks. So long, stress!

  1. Write your worries down in a journal.
  2. Peel an orange. Studies show the smell of citrus can help reduce stress.
  3. Read a book for six minutes.
  4. Eat an avocado. The monounsaturated fats and potassium in the superfood can lower blood pressure.
  5. Take a walk in green space.
  6. Hang out with your BFF.
  7. Spend a few minutes focusing on your breath.
  8. Take a power nap.
  9. Bring your dog to work. Research suggests having Fido in the office can lower stress levels throughout the day.
  10. Listen to Mozart.
  11. Try some aromatherapy. One 2009 study found it’s an effective stress-relief technique, especially for high school students.
  12. Let out a laugh.
  13. Get a massage.
  14. Give someone a big hug.
  15. Belt it out at karaoke
  16. …Or sing in your church choir.
  17. Do a small project or craft.
  18. Take up knitting. Research shows the activity puts your brain in a state of flow similar to the one achieved through meditation.
  19. Speaking of which, try a little mindfulness meditation.
  20. Have sex.
  21. Unsubscribe from all of those promotional emails.
  22. Kiss a loved one.
  23. Call your mom.
  24. Do a progressive muscle relaxation exercise.
  25. Try the “chocolate meditation” technique. This allows you to fully savor the sweet treat. Instructions here.

  1. Take an email vacation. (Bonus: It also makes you more productive.)
  2. Forgive someone.
  3. Think about something you’re grateful for.
  4. Exercise. Research shows it helps boost the body’s ability to handle stress.
  5. Be mindful of how you deal with frustration during an argument.
  6. Drink black tea.
  7. Power down that smartphone for a few minutes.
  8. Walk the walk. Research shows if you carry yourself like a happy person, you’ll feel happier, too.
  9. Drink some orange juice.
  10. Chew gum.
  11. Reflect on what (and who) is important in your life.
  12. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Bring on the salmon!
  13. Tap into your religious beliefs.
  14. Look into a less stressful job.
  15. Live in Salt Lake City (or just take a visit). It was named the least-stressed city in the country in 2014.
  16. Walk or bike to work.
  17. Listen to soothing nature sounds.
  18. Eat a bowl of oatmeal.
  19. Give acupuncture a try.
  20. Flash a smile at someone.
  21. Do some guided imagery exercises.
  22. Get a plant for your house or your desk.
  23. Let yourself have a good cry.
  24. Eat some dark chocolate.
  25. Get in touch with your inner yogi. Try one these yoga poses, specifically geared toward reducing anxiety.
  26. Say no. You can do anything, but not everything.
  27. Have an orgasm.
  28. Take a laughter yoga class.
  29. Think positive thoughts.
  30. Dance it out. Not only does it reduce stress, it can also boost your memory.
  31. Take a warm bath.
  32. Surround yourself with the scent of pine
  33. …Or the aroma of vanilla.
  34. Float in water.
  35. Sleep. Not only is it crucial to zapping stress, it’s key to your daily happiness. “When we’re exhausted, we drag ourselves through the day instead of enjoying the day,” HuffPost president and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington once said.
  36. De-clutter your home or your desk.
  37. Become a morning person. (Or at least embrace the morning.)
  38. Spend time around horses.
  39. Focus on one task at a time.
  40. Pay attention to your surroundings.
  41. If you’re a smoker, quit.
  42. Watch 3-D videos of trees. (Really!)
  43. Go to the beach.
  44. Distance yourself from stressful people in your life.
  45. Repeat a positive affirmation. Looking for a few examples? Try these.
  46. Choose not to wait in line.
  47. Spend time with the person you’re in love with.
  48. Drink a cup of green tea.
  49. Feel free to ignore your boss while you’re on vacation.
  50. Embrace aging.
  51. Try a “mood monitoring” exercise. Find tips on how to do it here.
  52. Take a break from social media.
  53. Use a little foul language (in the right company).
  54. Share a meal with a friend.
  55. Let out a deep sigh
  56. …Or a primal scream.
  57. Make a silly face.
  58. Close your eyes, even for just a few moments. (But don’t do it while you’re driving.)
  59. Brush your hair.
  60. Do something nice for someone else. Good karma and less stress? Win.
  61. Give yourself some quiet time.
  62. Write your thoughts on a piece of paper, then physically throw them out.
  63. Stare at the color blue.
  64. Look at old photographs.
  65. Set “stress boundaries.” If someone — or something — is starting to stress you out, step away from the situation.
  66. Go for a run.
  67. Color a picture. This activity isn’t just for kids!
  68. Pet your dog or cat.
  69. Look out the window.
  70. Try a de-stressing app. Programs like Headspace, Calm and our own GPS for the Soul are designed to reduce stress.
  71. Use your imagination and look at your life like scenes in a movie.
  72. Count to 10, then count backward.
  73. Spend a little time in the sun. (Just wear your SPF!)
  74. Take a lunch break away from your desk.
  75. If your stress becomes unmanageable or overwhelming, consider seeing a therapist.

IT Workers must be “Swiss Army Knives”

November 6, 2014 by Pat Lynch
Note: This echos very strongly the article I wrote for Tech Nation November 2014 about IT staff being so compartmentalized that they cannot handle the broad spectrum of problems that confront them.  Biomeds are, by definition, much more broadly knowledgeable.  Pat

‘There really is too much going on at once … what’s going on in our organizations is really nuts.’

SAN ANTONIO | November 3, 2014

Jim Turnbull   The past few years have been “a very, very intense time” for health IT workers, said Jim Turnbull, chief information officer at University of Utah Health Care, speaking at the CHIME Fall CIO Forum this past week. As he and other CIOs look ahead toward the next few years, they see more challenges still to come.

[See also: Tips to help CIOs 'survive the madness']

Turnbull spoke as part of a spirited panel, alongside Rick Schooler, CIO at Orlando Health, and Ed Marx, CIO at Texas Health Resources.

Marx is current holder of the John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Year award, given jointly by CHIME and HIMSS; Turnbull and Schooler are both former recipients. Each offered their perspectives on the evolving role of the hospital CIO – specifically with an eye toward what the job will look like by 2020.

[See also: CHIME sees 'troubling' signals for MU]

If the next five years are anything like the previous five, said Turnbull, they’ll be marked by a lot of hard work – and head-spinning change.

“Our world has changed dramatically,” said Turnbull. “The market has changed; the regulatory environment has changed; we’ve gone through this crazy stuff with ICD-10 starting and stopping.”

The healthcare industry “has become very complex over the last four or five years,” he said. Worse, the recent past has seen a marked increase in “ambiguity,” he added, “and that’s the one that’s really concerning.”

His own organization, “from the top on down, literally seems to be changing priorities almost monthly now,” thanks to the vagaries of the government, the market and more.

“Being able to shift from one role to another” is increasingly essential, said Turnbull. “There’s always room in the drawer for a butter knife and a steak knife, but we’re really looking for our staff to be Swiss Army knives.”

Rick SchoolerCultivating “different skills, (getting) away from being a specialist – from being focused on the pharmacy or radiology, or the nursing staff,” is the necessary way forward in these uncertain times, he said.

Schooler echoed those sentiments, and added that it’s crucial to communicate with IT staff, and ensure they “understand why we’re doing all this stuff” – even if that “stuff” seems to be changing on a near-constant basis.

“I told you this was so important, but today I’m telling you that actually this is more important than that,” said Schooler, of the way he’s forced to relay shifting priorities to his team. “And tomorrow, this is going to be more important than those.”

As healthcare goes through these growing pains, “the ability to multitask and deal with demand” has come to the fore, he said. “The increasing amount of demand requires our people to shift gears on the fly.

“There really is too much going on at once,” said Schooler. “What’s going on in our organizations is really nuts.”

He added: “Our people are getting jerked around endlessly.” That places enormous stress not just on the IT teams in the trenches, but on “our customers and our partners in the organization.”

The success of a CIO, said Schooler, should be judged on “our ability to manage them through it.”

Ed MarxMarx emphasized the critical importance of connecting with staff and C-suite colleagues on a personal level.

“I know their names, and I know the names of their kids. And I know their favorite wine. It’s really about knowing people on a human level that makes a difference.

“Will something go wrong? Of course it will,” he added. “But these relationships help build team dynamic.”

Marx said one of his favorite photographs is one he has framed of a nurse, planting a big kiss on his cheek. Given the sometimes fractious relationship between the clinical and technology sides, he takes that as a sign of success.

“Is there anyone in your organization that has that sort of affection for IT?” he said, to much laughter.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been kissed at work; it often seems like I’m the one doing the kissing,” said Schooler, to even more laughter.

All joking aside, though, he made the point that CIOs have hugely important roles to play in helping their hospitals navigate these challenging waters.

“The No. 1 expectation for us in our organizations is to be a partner and collaborator,” said Schooler. The job “has to be built on a foundation that we have a genuine desire to ensure the success of the others in the organization that we serve. If you can’t serve, you can’t lead.”

That leadership will be key to making it through the next five years, the panel of CIOs agreed, as healthcare continues its momentous sea change away from fee-for-service and toward consumer-driven, coordinated care – all aided by technologies we may not even be aware of yet.

“We’e going to be seeing on-demand healthcare,” said Schooler. “Something is going to change, not only in how we deliver healthcare but how we think about it, and how we deliver convenient care.”

Telehealth and virtual visits will be on the rise, as will patient engagement, he predicted –  as will “integration, integration, integration.”

And, someday soon, all the angst, aggravation and agita of the past few years will prove to have been worth it, he said, as empowered patients are able to better direct their care experience.

“Five years used to seem like a long time,” said Schooler. “It really isn’t. It will be here before we know it.”

An excellent video about healthcare abroad – huge advances!

November 5, 2014 by Pat Lynch

Check out this excellent documentary about Healthcare.  HERE!

Adding 3D automated ultrasound assists in screening women with dense breasts

November 4, 2014 by Pat Lynch

Megan Applegate
Oct 22, 2014

A new study in Radiology has demonstrated an increase in cancer detection when using 3D automated breast ultrasound to supplement mammography among women with dense breasts—finding as many as 1.9 more cancers per 1,000 women screened than using mammography alone.

Supplemental screening with magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasonography after mammography has shown to increase the rate of early breast cancer detection in women with dense breasts, but the use of these advanced screening technologies has been limited to high-risk women with additional risk factors besides dense breast tissue.

The sensitivity of mammography for the detection of breast cancer is reported to be 85 percent, but as low as 48 percent in women with extremely dense breasts.

Led by Rachel F. Brem, MD, of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., researchers studied 15,318 women with dense breasts and no further risk factors. The study was conducted between 2009 and 2011 among 13 study facilities in the U.S.

Screening mammograms were read by 39 radiologists using the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) classification.

Breast density was assessed by a radiologist and classified using BI-RADS density types: type 1 (almost entirely fat), type 2 (scattered fibroglandular densities), type 3 (heterogeneously dense) and type 4 (extremely dense). Women with density types 3 and 4 who were asymptomatic of breast cancer with no prior findings of the disease were included in the study.

Each study participant underwent standard digital mammography screening followed by an automated breast ultrasound. Images from the automated ultrasound were reconstructed and made three-dimensional for the radiologist to interpret.

A total of 2,301 women were recalled on the basis of the digital mammogram alone. Of these, 1,957 were also recalled on the basis of the combined mammography/automated breast ultrasound combined read.

Of the 13,107 women whose screening results were negative on the basis of screening mammography alone, 2,407 had a recall recommended on the basis of the combined mammography/automated breast ultrasound read.

Among all the women who were recalled, 112 women with breast cancer were identified—82 were identified by using screening mammography and cancers in an additional 30 women were identified using the automated breast ultrasound after no mammographic evidence of malignancy was found.

Brem and colleagues concluded that cancer detection was increased when using automatic breast ultrasound in addition to mammography among women with dense breasts.

“Improved detection through the use of [automated breast ultrasonography] supplemented to screening mammography alone has the potential to lead to earlier treatment and better prognosis in patients with dense breasts,” the researchers wrote.

10 common career myths

November 3, 2014 by Pat Lynch

By in 10 Things, October 5, 2010, 3:46 AM PST

Career prospects have changed dramatically from previous generations. Alan Norton offers this wake-up call for IT pros who may still cling to certain expectations — like salary increases, job advancements, benefits, and a nice retirement package.

After nine years working for the same company, I suddenly found myself one day disillusioned with the traditional concept of career. I had earned a salary grade increase only to have it taken away due to a corporate business unit buyout. I don’t like to admit it, but I was bitter and angry. I couldn’t stomach the notion that my career had gone nowhere in almost 10 years of dedicated hard work.

I sit down now 14 years later to try to analyze why I had become so cynical about the entire concept of career. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Perhaps I bought into the idea of a career with one company. Perhaps I was blind to the changes going on in the corporate world around me. Or perhaps cynicism is part of the aging process. I do know that the concept of career as it existed in my mind when I started my career no longer exists. Here are 10 reality checks to help you get your expectations in line with the changes that have happened and are happening today.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: College will gain you entry

It used to be that a college degree was the ticket to a successful professional career and an above average salary. The reality is that not enough of those high-paying jobs exist for college graduates today and may not for quite some time. More people are graduating by percentage than ever, which means more competition for new IT openings. Wikipedia states that of the general U.S. population aged 25 and older, more than 52% have some college and 27.7% have a Bachelor’s degree. You will still need a degree to be considered for most professional IT positions — it’s just less certain now that the all-important diploma will be your ticket to the career of your dreams.

2: You will climb the career ladder

I once idealistically believed that sometime between my fifth and 10th year working for one company, I would receive my first promotion. My second promotion would come before my 20th year. It didn’t work out that way. I had to change jobs to get my promotion — and changing jobs can sometimes be a risky proposition.

The recession has taken its toll. Millennials now expect fewer promotions. Also, the career path for software engineers, database administrators, and other IT specialists is limited at most companies that do not specialize in IT services. If you are a technician or specialist and ambitious and want to climb the corporate ladder in such a company, you may have to transition to a managerial position with a broader career path. It’s not common to see a tech successfully make the transition to management but it can be done.

3: You will work for one company

Japan has traditionally been known for its employee/corporate loyalty. In a survey of young Japanese workers, 75% were willing to change jobs if something better came along. How times have changed. Even IBM, once well known for its policy of lifetime employment, has had to change its no-layoffs policy. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, fewer than 10% of all employees stay with a company for more than 20 years.

4: Your career will bring you happiness

Well, maybe. But current trends suggest that it is becoming harder than ever. Patrick Thibodeau notes that IT job satisfaction is at an all-time low. Those just beginning their career expecting to find happiness on the other side of their formal education may have unrealistic expectations.

The longer you work, the more certain it will be that you will find yourself unhappy on the job. Maybe it will be the boss who takes credit for your work, the fourth or fifth time you are overlooked for a promotion, the peer who stabs you in the back, or the manager you just can’t work with. Unhappiness happens.

5: You will have one area of expertise

It is more likely than ever that your last job before retirement will be significantly different from the one you had at the beginning of your career. A remark by TechRepublic contributor Michael Kassner has stuck with me. He said he’s had to reinvent himself many times during his career. He isn’t alone. I and many Boomers have had to reinvent themselves as well.

6: You will retire with the highest salary

If you do have to reinvent yourself, you may be earning a salary more fitting a novice than an experienced professional. You could wind up being among the flotsam and jetsam discarded into the ranks of the unemployed, so you might make less money once you find gainful employment. Salary is not always a steady progression from low to high throughout your career.

7: Benefits will remain part of your pay package

An ever-growing list of benefits provided by corporations are being trimmed or cut outright: medical and dental insurance, pension plans, and matching funds for 401k contributions are good examples. You can no longer expect your company to provide for your needs beyond a basic salary.

8: You will be able to retire when you expected

The retirement age with full Social Security benefits hasn’t changed much over the years. Retirement at a later age is a real possibility due to unfunded commitments to retirees. In France, a bill that increases the retirement age from 60 to 62 has led to millions taking to the streets in protest.

We are, after all, living longer on average than we did in 1960. Life expectancy in the United States has grown from 69.7 in 1960 to 77.5 years in 2003, so it is not entirely unreasonable that we should be expected to retire later. The current economic downturn hasn’t helped, either. Many Boomers are facing the reality that retirement will come later than originally planned.

9: Your pension plan funds will be there for you when you retire

Ask a former Enron employee and you will likely hear a sad story of a “solid” company suddenly gone –and with it, the employee pension plan. Corporate bankruptcy isn’t the only cause for concern about the viability of your pension plan. Tough economic times have left pension plans underfunded, bringing doubt as to whether Boomers will see their entire pension plan funds when they become eligible.

10: Social Security will be there for you as promised

I was told that Social Security was developed to protect the ignorant and financially inept masses from themselves. The common man just couldn’t be trusted to save for his retirement. Regardless of whether that statement is true, the irony is that the FICA taxes collected over the years have already been spent by those clever politicians you and I sent and keep sending to Washington. How much, if any, will be available when each of us retires is unknown, but the trends point to a crisis in the making. The outlays were not expected to exceed money collected until 2016, but that is now expected to occur in 2010. In 1950, 16 workers paid in for every recipient. That is estimated to dwindle to two per recipient by 2030.

Yes, you will probably get something from Social Security. But don’t count on it at age 62. And don’t expect to receive the same estimated payment that is printed on the Social Security statement you receive each year from the Social Security Administration.

It’s not just the U.S. government-funded retirement system that is in trouble, either. Except for Australia and Canada, many countries are facing problems funding their pension plans due to population aging and other challenges.

The bottom line

I have focused on a lot of negative changes. I would like to end with a few words of encouragement. Hang tough; the recession won’t last forever. The knowledgeable, agile, and hard working can survive, even thrive, in today’s ever-changing workplace and tough economic climate.

Perhaps this infamous Chinese proverb says it best: “May you live in interesting times.” My career was not what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t boring. Are your career expectations in line with the new economic reality? Like me, you may be disappointed if they aren’t.


About Alan Norton

Alan Norton began using PCs in 1981, when they were called microcomputers. He has worked at companies like Hughes Aircraft and CSC, where he developed client/server-based applications. Alan is currently semi-retired and starting a new career as a wri…

9 things every leader should keep an eye on

October 28, 2014 by Pat Lynch
Written by Molly Gamble (Twitter | Google+)  | October 21, 2014

Culture is difficult to quantify, measure and manage, but making note of nine distinct components can help leaders assess their organization’s strengths and weaknesses.

In her article for Insigniam Quarterly, Editor in Chief Shideh Sedgh Bina lays out nine components of corporate culture and provides anecdotes that illustrate these facets.

1. Language and network of conversations. To understand culture, it’s essential to observe how people in a company interact, what they talk about, the language they use and how they structure conversations. For instance, Ms. Bina said she worked with one company that upheld collaboration as a value and success strategy, but senior executives partook in “email wars.” This suggested an adversarial “gotcha” culture within the company, which would ultimately trump collaboration. The following eight components can also be assessed via conversations.

2. Customer orientation. How the customer is viewed, served and interacted with is another important glimpse into culture. One hospital system Ms. Bina worked with had set the strategy of becoming a national leader in patient service, satisfaction and outcomes. Despite this goal, when her team interviewed hospital executives and staff, they noticed nobody brought up patients without prompting. Instead, they were more than comfortable talking about financial concerns. “If your culture is truly patient-centered, then the patient is not a background concern and the budget is not the main topic of discussion,” she wrote.

3. What is actually valued. The best way to find out what values are operational in your organization is to listen to how leaders assess each other. Note what is recognized and complimented and what is looked down upon. Ask people what it really takes to succeed. “Looking at what people truly hold to be important will tell you what is framing their choices and is a far better way to gauge culture than examining values written on a poster,” wrote Ms. Bina.

4. Accountability and responsibility. Accountability is being answerable for providing or governing so as to meet the conditions needed to bring about the intended results. Individual discussions can reveal how little accountability exists within an organization. For example, Ms. Bina’s team was once brought in to work with a company for a project that was $50 million behind a $500 million target. “By way of getting to know the interviewee, we asked executives to describe the jobs and the results for which they were accountable,” she wrote. “One after another, we heard answers that talked about a series of tasks. Not one person other than the person who hired us talked about results. One of the senior leadership executives even shrugged and said that in his role he had absolutely no accountability for business results. How about that for a bird’s-eye view of culture and its impact on performance?”

5. Traditions, rituals, heroes, legends and artifacts. Companies have legends or stories that are referred to almost on a daily or weekly basis, and certain status symbols within an organization give people a sense of belonging. It’s critical to ensure these stories and artifacts are consistent with the culture you are trying to create. For instance, a CEO Ms. Bina worked with believed one way to improve competitiveness was through a thrifty corporate culture. “But what we discovered was that a sign of being a successful executive at this particular company was wearing a diamond-encrusted Rolex,” she wrote. “How can you authentically drive a culture of thrift while sitting in a room full of diamond-encrusted watches?”

6. Leadership dynamics. How leadership is viewed and overall leadership style in a company is another significant contributor to culture and the ability to execute on strategy. If leadership promotes patient-centeredness, for example, how do executives reinforce that value? How do they interact with patients? There should be behaviors and structures in place that show executives are involved in those efforts, too.

7. Unwritten rules for success. Recognizing an organization’s unwritten rules is an essential part of a cultural transformation. “As much as we’d like to think otherwise, all of the avenues to success within an organization are not spelled out in the employee handbook,” according to the report. For instance, what really determines an employees’ likelihood for promotion — job performance or their standing with certain executives? The latter may ultimately distract employees from the overall success of the company as they navigate an ambiguous professional dynamic. Unwritten rules sometimes demand alteration.

8. Decision rights and processes. Another component of culture is who makes what decisions, at what pace and whom they must consult to make those calls. Some companies like Ritz-Carlton allow each employee to spend up to $2,000 per day to please a customer or fix a problem without consulting a manager. Other companies keep such decision rights extremely limited, such as one with 45,000 employees and a rule that no contract involving more than $25,000 or travel over $500 could be approved by anyone outside the C-Suite.

9. Legacy. Every company has a story about its origins, founders and successes and failures along the way. “Spend more than a day in any Johnson & Johnson Company and someone will bring up the J&J Credo as a reference point for action,” wrote Ms. Bina. “The credo is a clear-cut statement aimed at generating an allegiance to the mission of serving patients, physicians, nurses, and so on — and makes a point to list shareholders last in a long list of stakeholders. And whilst the company has at times had breakdowns, the credo always serves as a mechanism to get back on course, resulting in one of the most consistently high-performing companies of all time.”

 

Read the complete article from Insigniam Quarterly.