Friday, August 16, 2013

How I separate the 'signal' from the 'noise' on Twitter

When I first started out on Twitter, I had a limited number of topics I was interested in and I wasn’t following many people.  It wasn’t too difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. But as I started to follow more people and as I expanded my topics of interest, I developed an approach to maximize the value of my Twitter feed. 

Here’s an overview of my approach.

1.    Use a good desktop Twitter client – paired with its mobile counterpart

Personally, I think there are only two choices for a good Twitter client: Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.  Each are very similar and each have some unique features.  I’m actually using both right now but plan to move to only one of them – someday. In the meantime, I’ve rarely had any tweet limit or throttling issues by using both at once.

2.    Use an extra monitor – or multiple monitors

My desktop includes three monitors and I use one 24” monitor largely dedicated to Tweetdeck and Hootsuite. I have the resolution set at the highest level possible.

3.    Use multiple columns & smallest font size possible

Since I have a large monitor set with a high resolution, I configure my Twitter clients to use multiple columns – with each column dedicated to a specific purpose. To squeeze in even more columns, I set the font size as small as possible.

4.    Setup columns for specific purposes & areas of interest

I have about a dozen columns set up in my Twitter clients and I use hashtags, lists, custom search terms and the standard Twitter filters (Timeline, Interactions, Mentions, Favorites, etc.) to customize the tweets displayed in each column. Of all the techniques possible, I think my use of lists and custom search terms provides me with the most capability and flexibility to manage the signal to noise ratio.

A note on lists: I use all the lists Twitter lets me create to segregate what I consider certain high-value Tweeps. I’m constantly adding to and pruning these lists based on the topics and areas of interest of these Tweeps. This helps call out good signals.  Lists are very useful for me because I follow just about everyone who follows me (except for the XXX, MLM and obvious nutcases) and the sheer volume of tweets from 1000’s of people is clearly unmanageable.

5.    Tag and forward

Many times, especially when I’m browsing using my smart phone, I see things that I want to share with others or save for later when I have more time to review them.  In these cases I usually add a tag or short note and forward the tweet to myself via email.  I used to mark these as favorites but then decided I might be sending the wrong message since some of the items I marked would  not be considered a ‘favorite.’

Follow Me for More Info, Ideas & Insight

On Twitter as @ShimCode 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

3 IT-intensive Medicare Reporting Programs Few People Know or Talk About

The complexities  and overhead associated with implementing EHR’s, health insurance exchanges (HIX), ICD-10, health information exchanges (HIE) and ACO’s all get a lot of attention among those involved with health information technology. And there are a few other programs that many health care entities – mainly health plans and payers – have been scrambling to implement the last few years; all in an effort to comply with government regulations. 
Medicare STARS Measures

STARS is intended to help educate consumers on quality and help make quality data more transparent to Medicare enrollees. Stars ratings consist of over 50 measures originating from 5 different rating systems: HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set) , CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), HOS (Health Outcomes Survey), and IRE (Independent Review Entity).
   Learn more about STARS here.

Risk Adjustment & Reporting - Edge Server and 3R’s
Part of the ACA, the "3R's" program is designed to protect health plans against adverse risk selection and mitigate the impact of high cost membership. It’s required of those selling individual plans within and outside of the exchanges.  The mechanism creates substantial data collection and processing challenges.

   Learn more about 3R's here.

Coordination of Benefits Agreement (COBA)
The Coordination of Benefits Agreement (COBA) Program establishes a standard method of sharing enrollee eligibility data and Medicare adjudicated claim data between CMS and other health insurance organizations. It provides for the establishment of unique identifiers (COBA IDs) to be associated with each contract and creates a national repository for COBA information.

   Learn more about COBA here.
So What’s the Big Deal?

The above programs include complex data capture, processing and exchange requirements that are exacerbated by the need to collect data from disparate source systems - some of which are maintained by external business partners. Addressing the data access, quality assurance and data transfer challenges associated with these programs – while simultaneously addressing other mandates like health insurance exchanges, ICD-10 and health information exchanges is (HIE) and ACO’s – is a big deal; particularly in light of the dearth of knowledgeable, experienced resources.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thoughts on #HIT100 – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – Part 3 (The Ugly)
Previously, I offered some of my thoughts about The Good and The Bad aspects of the recent #HIT100 event.  In this post I’ll share thoughts and facts about The Ugly part of the event. To be clear, The Ugly are aspects of the event that, in my opinion, should not have occurred, are ethically shaky and/or tarnished the overall spirit of the #HIT100 event.

Note: I suppose this post is not going to endear me to those who may have been involved with some of these aspects. Those who know me, have followed me for any length of time or who may have been unfortunate enough to only sample a subset of my tweets know that I'm not the most politically correct person. I’m not calling out specific accounts and perhaps some of the accounts involved may not even be aware of their involvement.

The Ugly

1.    Voter Fraud – One Vote per Person Please!

What ever happened to one vote per voter? It’s a shame a few people – maybe from my home town of Chicago – voted for their candidate(s) multiple times. For example, the following was observed:

a. A company having multiple twitter accounts used each account to vote for their candidate(s.)
b. One dad voted for his son using – at least - 3 separate accounts; all within one minute of each other.
c. Some created a new twitter account specifically to vote for their candidate. Some of these accounts didn’t even have any followers or even make any other tweets after voting!

What’s next? Employing gangs of low-paid ‘click farm’ workers in Bangladesh to generate votes?

2.    Extreme Self-Promotion

There’s nothing wrong with promoting oneself and many of those making the top 20 did a little promotion. But some were a few that were just over the top with the following - even a few days into the event after several requests were made to avoid excessive RT's and "non-voting" chatter.

a. RT’ing every single tweet that mentioned them.
b. Thanking every single tweet that mentioned them and then RT’ing that tweet just for good measure. Gratitude is a nice thing – within moderation.
c. Creating specific instructions and a template to make it easy for people to nominate themselves or their candidate – or was that their boss?

I imagine all the above also made tallying the results more cumbersome?

3.    Company Affiliations

A couple company accounts really went overboard with their enthusiasm for their brand and executive. I’ve read several posts about the #HIT100 being limited to individuals and I totally agree.

4.    Naysayers

There’s one (or two or three) in every crowd.  Shortly after the event started, a couple disgruntled tweeps started complaining that most of those at the top of the list were not deserving of their rank. Talk about painting all the pennies with the same brush!

Another moaned and groaned that some high-level health care IT folks were not high enough up the list or not even listed - even though most of the people they noted are not active users of social media and/or even involved with information technology.

5.    Hashtag Hijackers and Hookers

The #HIT100 hashtag got hijacked a few times and quite a few XXX and other ‘cretins of the Net’ came out in their attempt to collect clicks.  I suppose this is actually a sign of the growing reach of the #HIT100?

Fortunes and Influence Do Change

One web site that listed the 2013 #HIT100 nominees noted the following:

Many of the "winners", identified by their Twitter handles, will be familiar to most readers, but a comparison with last year's list reveals how fortunes, or perhaps influence, can rise and fall as the years go by.

Indeed fortunes and influence can wax and wane as years go by. And in the case of this year’s #HIT100, some fortunes and influence – at least as measured by ranking in the HIT100 – rised and fell due to a few people who decided to Ugly Up in an attempt to garner votes for themselves and/or their candidates.