Last month I blogged that a “lost speech” had finally surfaced. It was my closing speech at an event last July, and said why this moment (this year, this series of conferences) is an essential turning point:
“The event was a conference conducted by our Department of Health & Human Services to educate and encourage software developers about the “Blue Button Plus” initiative. … which is really important for the future of health IT, and not just in America; this innovation initiative will change what patients and families are capable of.”
And I said:
This is one of my very few talks that doesn’t tell my cancer story. That’s because:
- There wasn’t time
- It wasn’t important for this audience.
This audience was software developers and entrepreneurs – serious in-the-trenches code writing geeks, and business people trying to find a way to make a buck by creating value in the new world of patient-oriented health data. For both groups I didn’t need to convince them that patients are valuable; whether or not they believe it, it wasn’t the point of this event. For this event I needed to persuade them that:
- Disruptive innovation is real and relevant and possible in health IT
- …including a bit about how disruption works, since most people don’t really know
- Massive improvement is within reach for healthcare, powered by data
- Don’t believe anyone who says “patients can’t handle it” or “medicine is too complicated for data alone to make a difference.” Our culture is full of mythology that impedes common sense innovation in healthcare that other industries take for granted.
Here’s the video. If you can’t see it, watch it on Vimeo.
The video’s 44 minutes long:
- Adam Dole’s introduction. In his two minutes he said the most moving thing I’ve ever heard about my work: the impact it had on his life, the first time he heard me speak. (Wow.)
- Minute 2: My speech (31 minutes, 69 slides)
- Minute 33: Ross Martin’s “Gimme My DaM Data” song
- Minute 37: Closing panel and Q&A
Note for Speaker Academy students: You’ll see that I’m a bit messy… at lunchtime I went out in the rain, and, ahem, failed to pretty myself up after. I also forgot, as I said in #10, to take off my badge. Oh well. I did this gig for free, and they got what they got. Passion, not pretty.:-)
Summary of the “Lessons” slides
This talk, the last of the day, was assembled during the rest of the day. As it progressed I wrote some numbered lessons, then just before I went on, added #0.
- Game over. The establishment says patients need power.
- It’s no longer debatable whether we need patients to have access to health data, and saying that is no longer anti-establishment: The IOM’s major report Best Care at Lower Cost says we need a learning healthcare system, and one of its cornerstones is “Patient-clinician partnerships” with “Engaged, empowered patients.” And without access to the information, how can they be engaged??
- The purpose of Blue Button is not to cause patient engagement. It’s to enable it.
- This was important because earlier in the day some had been saying “Patients aren’t engaged yet. So isn’t Blue Button a failure?” That’s backwards.
- Clarity is power. (Let’s not call it your “Direct address” – call it “your health data address.”)
- Time after time I see good ideas that are expressed to patients in a way that’s more complicated than necessary. Always express things in terms that would make sense to a neighbor in your supermarket!
- For software, data is fuel. Do not judge engines by their performance without fuel.
- I’ve been saying this since 2010. Many observers expect that if they write a great piece of software the world will adopt it fast, so when that doesn’t happen they think it’s all baloney.
- Intuit Health (from the Quicken company) is in this innovator business, so I took a snapshot of one of their slides and pointed out parallels between Quicken and what we’ll do with health data someday.
- Don’t get your advice from the typesetting industry.
- This was about disruptive innovation. In 2014 I’ll be publishing a book on this, What Typesetting Taught Me About Health IT.
- Patients have the most at stake in the accuracy, completeness and availability of the medical record.
- Most charts contain errors, large or small. Does yours? (Do you KNOW, or are you just hoping?) Let patients help with data quality.
- It’s perverse to keep people in the dark then call them ignorant.
- So often establishment people say “Patients can’t understand this stuff.” That innocent view (or, sometimes ,pig-headedness) is a mistake.
- We can handle it. Help us … including the evidence from the now-famous OpenNotes study.
At the very end, talking about my then-newborn granddaughter, I teared up and said “I’m so glad to be alive.” And I ad-libbed another lesson that has no slide:
- Nothing I’m talking about is anti-medicine. It’s about what’s newly possible.
About this composite video
In the previous post I’d only had the slides and the video as two separate files, which totally failed to capture the presentation. I noted the problem and asked if anyone knows a way to merge them. The solution popped up last week – more on that in another post soon! Lessons for speakers and event producers:
- Speakers: As we’ve been discussing in Speaker Academy, video like this is by far the most potent testimonial for potential clients to see on your website. If they’ll record video of your talk, urge them to be sure the camera will capture the slides AND you, in real time.
- Most camera operators I’ve seen don’t even think about this – the feel their job is to record the speaker… which is fine for speakers who don’t use slides, or who just READ their slides (which nobody should do anyway…)
- Or, you may want to negotiate in your contract that they reimburse the cost of getting this done; in exchange, you’ll offer the result to them for their website.
- Event producers: If you’re recording speakers, consider the above. Compare the composite video in this post with the “two separate pieces” approach on the previous post. If any of your speakers are going to say anything worth hearing later, think about this.