Do you ever wonder what healthcare IT editors are thinking about? Or what topics healthcare provider executives are most interested in? We’re curious too. That’s why we travel to Chicago twice a year to meet with media, journalists and association leaders—even if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

A quick coffee or a three-hour dining experience, industry discussions during our biannual Chicago media meetings never disappoint. We dig deeper into editorial calendars and website themes to hear what’s resonating with healthcare IT audiences and what’s planned for the year ahead. 

This month we share a breaking news report from one of Ten22’s award-winning media tours. No fake news here. Just firsthand feedback on the top topics for the year ahead as shared by all of your favorite healthcare IT editors, associations and outlets. And we’ll also share a few top Chicago restaurant recommendations along the way!

Top Topic #4—Revenue Cycle Automation Beyond the Norm

With nearly 100 percent of healthcare organizations using EHR systems, leading healthcare IT outlets are turning their attention to revenue cycle automation. Several editors mentioned the need to write about new technologies to streamline business processes and improve revenue cycle performance.

  • Topics in 2019 outreach traditional patient access, clinical documentation, coding, billing and collections functions to encompass a broader view of the healthcare revenue cycle—one that also includes the patient and payer. 
  • Look for patient financial experience, proactive self-pay management and revenue cycle analytics to top the media charts in 2019 as all parties work to break down functional silos and centralize for maximum efficiency. 
  • Real-world use cases for artificial intelligence within the revenue cycle are also in high demand by industry editors. 

In talking revenue cycle with the Chicago outlets, we learned that donuts are a big hit with editorial teams. You can’t go wrong with Stan’s Donuts and Coffee for the most discriminating connoisseur. 

Top Topic #3—Making the Most of EHRs, Analytics and Pop Health

EHRs are assumed. However, optimal EHR utilization is a complex journey. Editors recognize this fact and are lining up content to educate their readers on current EHR usage analysis, targeted areas for improvement and prioritization of IT efforts. Much has been invested in EHRs. Now is the time to make the most of every feature, function and module. And where EHR functionality is lacking, the pendulum has swung back to implementation of niche applications to meet specific user requirements. Relieving clinician burnout was cited as an important component of making EHRs more usable and efficient.

Similarly, making the most of data analytics and population health platforms is another hot topic for healthcare editors. Getting a return on investment (ROI) for both technologies is part of Chicago editors’ wish list for coverage in 2019. 

  • Clean data for proper data analysis is a popular media discussion point as provider organizations experience critical gaps in data accuracy across IT systems. 
  • Population health management systems have struggled to achieve a solid ROI. This means editors are looking for any and all real success stories. 

In healthcare, case study proof points with metrics achieved and lessons learned remain the silver bullet for catching an editor’s eye. A sure bet for optimizing your time in Chicago is Eataly. Here you can find everything from snacks and deserts, to a bottle of wine for your kitchenette. Eataly’s restaurants are fantastic and their energy is contagious. Only one block from our team’s hotel, Eataly is a must-do culinary experience that makes the most of any Chicago adventure.

Top Topic #2— Payer-Provider Conversations for the Common Good 

The industry has been moving from volume to value for several years. Almost all providers and payers have made progress in this area. But healthcare editors are ready for the next step. 

Outlets are now looking for pragmatic ways that providers and payers can come together to address mutual concerns: patient outcomes, cost reduction and disease prevention. Even small steps involving payer-provider collaboration are seen as big wins for healthcare IT editors. 

As a 30-year veteran of healthcare, I realize one-on-one payer conversations remain scary for most and inconceivable for many. However, the industry’s ability to find aligned incentives and take action is the only way both sides can achieve our mutual goals: improve patient outcomes, reduce costs and prevent disease. 

Speaking of collaboration, The Gage is an ideal location for power-lunch brainstorming. Convenience and complementary champagne. What else do you need? 

Top Topic #1—Patient Experience Transcends All

Consumerism. Patient experience. Patient engagement. In the year ahead, Chicago editors are all set to write about healthcare’s most important stakeholder—the patient. I predict this will also be the big buzzword at #HIMSS19. 

Our media conversations circled around patient financial experience, post-discharge patient conversations and clinical communications between clinicians, patients and families. Healthcare consumers expect the same digital experience in healthcare as they have in other areas of their lives. 

Mobile devices have become the communication channel of choice—surpassing portals, laptops and desktops. This is true for all patient age groups, not just millennials. 

Patient experience now trumps physician convenience in the eyes of many editors and healthcare provider organizations. I suspect editors will try to include a patient experience angle in every blog, article, column, video and podcast for the foreseeable future. 

Dining experience was certainly tops for the Ten22 crew. Our favorite waiter proved that great service wins every time. George at Beacon Tavern became our go-to waiter this trip. Beacon Tavern is a golden nugget hidden discreetly off Michigan Avenue and was formerly a McDonalds. You’d never know it! 

Join our Next Chicago Media Tour

Across the span of five days, we had the opportunity to meet with ten of healthcare’s most respected and prolific editors, journalists and media—an experience I have come to treasure. I feel blessed to have achieved such a strong rapport with our healthcare industry colleagues. Dozens of placement opportunities were secured across the Ten22 client roster. Enough to ensure valuable thought leadership experiences throughout the year.

If your company is looking to build long-lasting relationships with healthcare IT editors, let us know. We’d be honored to add you to the long list of happy Ten22 clients.

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