Sunday 22 July 2018
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#JoinTheConversation with Steve Sisko at #HIMSS17

#JoinTheConversation with Steve Sisko at #HIMSS17

#JoinTheConversation with Steve Sisko at #HIMSS17

This #JoinTheConversation series is brought to you by our partner Experian Health and the episodes were broadcast live in Experian Health’s booth (#3503) at the The HIMSS17 Annual Conference and Exhibition.  The interviews were recorded and published to the media player on this page.   Please read more about why more than 60% of U.S. hospitals count on Experian Health.


Steve Sisko, Servant Leader of Digital Healthcare Disruption and Transformation

Follow The Healthcare Technology, Data and Services Blog and Follow ShimCode and HITConfGuy on Twitter.


Joe Lavelle: 00:31 That’s right. I’m Joe Lavelle and I’m so excited to be bringing you Join The Conversation with my co-host Todd Eury from our remote studio right here at Experian Health’s Booth. Todd, let’s give a quick shout out to our sponsor today, Experian Health, what a great partner they are.

Todd Eury 00:45 This is the first day of HIMSS 2017, and it’s been absolutely explosive being part of the Experian Health Team. They’ve been recently named to the Forbes Magazine list of the world’s most innovative companies securing a spot in the Top 100 list for the third year in a row. Joe, that’s absolutely amazing.

Joe Lavelle: 01:03 It is Todd, but we’re going to get right to it. We’re going to introduce our distinguished guest, Steve Sisko, Steve is a self-described Servant Leader of Digital Healthcare Disruption and Transformation, he was formerly described, by me, as the co-czar of ICD-10 with me, and can always be described as my good friend. Steve, welcome to the show!

Steve Sisko 01:25 Thanks for having me Joe, Todd.

Joe Lavelle: 01:27 All right. Steve before we start our discussion, just give the audience an idea of your background for a few seconds.

Steve Sisko 01:32 Well about 30 plus years in IT. 23 years in healthcare on the payer side. My first HIMSS was in 1993 in Las Vegas and I’ve been to quite a few since then.

Todd Eury 01:44 Steve, you’re one of the biggest rock stars in #HealthIT, so why is it important for you to attend the conference like HIMSS?

Steve Sisko 01:51 Thanks for the compliment there. It’s important I guess just to stay on top of what’s going on. Healthcare is moving so fast and certainly with the advent of all the new technologies, and the things that are happening in Washington. I guess this would be a good place to come and get a lot of information quickly.

Joe Lavelle 02:08 Steve we can see all kinds of things at huge conferences like this, but there’s not enough eyes really to get on everything in here. But I know you’re such a great curator of information, what are you observing so far at the conference that has surprised you?

Steve Sisko 02:21 Well, one thing is I’m not seeing as many people wearing pink socks as I expected.

Todd Eury 02:26 I am.

Steve Sisko 02:27 Oh, oh. Oh my God! … Okay, well I should be looking down more, so I guess I’m looking up. Well one of the things is there’s a lot less buzz here in my opinion than in Las Vegas, it seems more subdued and it’s probably just a matter of the Vegas environment, which in fact I like this. And observing, one of the things I’m observing is the booths that have magic tricks, game shows, live audio recordings things like that, they seem to get a lot of attention and a lot of people hanging around.

Todd Eury 02:59 Let’s get right to the important stuff. Steve, is there anything being handed out that you can suggest all the attendees must get other than the pink socks?

Steve Sisko 03:08 Coffee is a pretty popular thing. I don’t know about, well right now looks like liquor is the popular thing out there as well.

A lot of traditional tchotchkes, pens that don’t work, balls that don’t bounce. But one of the things, Virtual Health, I don’t know what booth number they are, but they are offering some tickets to Hamilton. It’s a raffle and its interesting, the thing is that at the city of your choice. So you’ll be able to, if you win actually probably not have to travel across the country to see it. I thought that was creative. I think you do have to sit through a demo about 10, 15 minutes anyone could take that. Some other creative tchotchkes I am seeing a stuff related to smartphones, little stands, anything practical things, and I think useful stuff, but I haven’t been here that long in terms of being in the exhibit hall here it self it just started today so I think if you ask me that question tomorrow, I’d be able to give you better.

Joe Lavelle 04:00 Good deal. We’ll ask you another one, you will probably be able to answer tomorrow, so maybe we will bring you back. But how do you think exhibitors are doing leveraging digital communication channels so far?


Steve Sisko 04:10 Well, I’ve been to several of these HIMSS and certainly it’s getting better every year, I think everyone has a Twitter account now, everyone’s using a hashtag or some variation of it to try to be able to differentiate themselves. I think the idea of graphics and using pictures, and one of the things I’m seeing on Twitter, mostly, is I’ve seen lots of pictures of the booth staff. I think it’s a good idea to humanize and help identify your people before. So me as a potential prospect, I might be able to recognize your booth, recognize your people, recognize your brand in advance, so you’d stand out that way. It’s one thing that I’m observing.

Todd Eury 04:49 That’s a nice Segway, because I want to know since you’ve been here walking around the trade show, what of the companies really standout, they seem like they are doing it right, whether that be leveraging digital screens or their logos or how they are presenting themselves. Which organizations seem to standout to you?

Steve Sisko 05:08 This is certainly a nice booth here, you got all the prerequisites, looks like a buffet over there, and food, and a pair of famous shyster of sorts, Frank Abagnale.

Todd Eury 05:18 That’s right.

Steve Sisko 05:19 I mean that as a compliment,

Todd Eury 05:20 Catch him if you can.

Steve Sisko 05:21 Okay, that’s a compliment coming from an infamous shyster but this is a good booth here, it’s just amazing how these booths have over the years have advanced and just the lighting and the setup and stuff. I saw a picture the other day that was tweeted while people were setting up. I just can’t imagine that the effort, and the planning, and the costs that goes into this. So right now I’ll say everyone’s killing it, discreet opinion.

Joe Lavelle: 05:45 All right. We’ll look on your blog at I’m sure you’ll have a full report on that. We’ve talked often about the social media ambassador program. Steve, who do you think of the HIMSS social media ambassadors this year are killing it?

Steve Sisko 06:00 All of them are killing it as far as I could tell leading up today. And this sounds like a theme with me here that I’m just going to say tomorrow, tomorrow. I haven’t seen a lot of what people have been doing, so I’m going to give everyone a credit right now. Two people that did stand out and that’s probably because they’re new and maybe I’m somewhat used to some of the others style. But Vanessa Carter who I think is has come all the way from South Africa, and has sort of a patient affiliation, she seems to be doing pretty good. I read some things from her and also Danielle Siarri?

Joe Lavelle 06:30 That’s right, she was our last guest.

Steve Sisko 06:32 Oh, really. It’s funny because we didn’t plan that and here I am bringing it up, so that’s most great mind thinking like Joe. But again I just can’t say who is killing it, I mean some of the people are so good that killing it would require some major event. All your usual suspects, Rashu Shrestha, I think I screwed that name up. And then also Mandi, John Lynn and Colin Hung they all doing good, I mean they are all pros with that.

Joe Lavelle 06:57 Absolutely, we’ll put Matthew Fisher’s name on top of that list.

Steve Sisko 06:59 Yup.

Joe Lavelle: 07:01 I introduced you as a disruption and transformation genius or expert, but what are you really up to these days? What do you spend your time doing?

Steve Sisko 07:09 Well, right now I’m working with a few health IT vendors doing subject matter expertise content development type things. I’ve got a customer out of Florida actually that I’m doing some developing personas and journeys for IT services to help them identify who their prospects and stakeholders would be, and then what the journeys they would take to purchase IT services and products, mostly services really. So it’s interesting, I’m doing this independently. I’m also providing some assistance to another vendor doing some digital communications development, but on a more subject matter level. And I’m also representing the Healthcare Executive Group which is a non-profit group of mid-market, C-suite members both on the health plan, and the provider, and the increasingly growing payvider, risk bearing providers base.

So I handle the content development and a lot of the website and tweeting, and that kind of stuff for them too. So yeah I’m really busy, but I’m always open for new ideas too.

Todd Eury 08:12 Steve you were a a social media ambassador for the last 2 years. Why aren’t you at SMA this year? Did you get rejected by HIMSS or something?

Steve Sisko 08:20 I thrive on rejection, yeah I do. Well, I did not apply. Frankly I didn’t really think I had the time for this, and HIMSS has certainly come a long way in the last couple of years with their social media stuff. They don’t need my help, and to be honest with you, it’s just a big time commitment, and in fact a couple of other people I’ve spoken with here and I won’t name names who are SMA’s, social media ambassadors, they mentioned it’s a big time commitment, and there’s only so much time here, and even in advance of the conference, you got to do blog posts and different things, so that’s pretty much why I didn’t do it. I’d probably be open to it in the future, but I think on a more reduced role.

Joe Lavelle: 08:58 Outstanding. I understand the pay is not too good for that role either.

Steve Sisko 09:01 The conference admission is a good thing, but I’ve had about 7 people offer me tags like I’m wearing here and they even don’t have me have tout them or their company. So yeah. Pay, a minor thing.

Joe Lavelle: 09:15 Are there any parties or receptions that you’re looking forward to while you’re here?

Steve Sisko 09:18 Oh, man. I don’t think I’m going to be able to make any parties after today. I’m coming from the west side of the continent, so a couple hours early for me this morning. But I understand the Histalkapalooza thing is tonight, I’m not attending it, but it’s certainly a big thing. I will tomorrow night try to make the so called New Media Meet Up, the HITMC, its Cuba Libre that’s John Lynn, TechGuy’s thing, I think that’s pretty interesting. Last night I really wanted to make the Power Press party, Dennis Dailey, but unfortunately I was recovering a hard drive that had failed hopefully by accident and not via some ransomware.

And I’ll make a plug for the Momcology group, a group of ladies and other people assisting them related to helping kids and others with cancer. So I’d give them a plug, I know they are using the #Momcology hashtag and they’re also asking for donations. So I would ask if everyone could let loose with 10 or 15 bucks to go ahead and tweet or Google Momcology and then enter your credit card, it’s the least you can do.

Todd Eury 10:22 You said Momcology, right?

Steve Sisko 10:24 Right, I think it is.

Todd Eury 10:27 Very cool. We always bring a crystal ball to HIMSS with us, and if you were to look at inside that crystal ball, what types of hot trending topics that makes sense do you see coming out let’s say in HIMSS18 in Las Vegas? We’ve talked about blockchain, we’ve talked about pharmacogenomics, we’ve talked about Big Data, obviously. Patient centered patient engagement, patient-centric, what makes sense to you in the in the coming future with digital health?

Steve Sisko 10:55 Well I think you hit on all of them there Todd. I would hope that we can get past a lot of this security stuff; it seems a lot of money spent on things that if we could all just be honest, right? Unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to happen. But the analytics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality that kind of stuff. Blockchain for sure, if you attended the Keynote with Ginni Rometty of IBM talking about blockchain, and I’m still struggling I mean what the hell does that mean? I didn’t know a lot of this stuff years ago and I would have said the same thing and now today it’s in every provider and every payer’s arsenal of tools.

And of course I would imagine our presidential leadership will keep us on edge and subject to drastic change at the drop of a Tweet, so I’m sure that what we all think is going to be happening, tomorrow that won’t happen tomorrow. But stay tuned to Twitter I think you should follow, well maybe not follow. But I think it’s @realDonaldTrump is the guy to follow, if you want to know what’s going to not happen tomorrow.

Joe Lavelle: 11:57 All right. Steve we’re going to wrap it up here, but before we let you go, where can people go to learn more about what Shimcode is up to and what’s your all the thought leadership that you’re providing?

Steve Sisko 12:06 Well you mentioned before Shimcode my blog, that’s and I’m trying to post at least once a week out there, if not more. On Twitter I’m known as @ShimCode. I’ve got a few other accounts Pinterest and Instagram, and stuff. But yeah and one thing that I like to point out to is I don’t have any affiliation with any vendors, I don’t tout vendors directly and you’ll never find a copyright symbol or a trademark symbol on any of my blog posts, so whether that’s good or bad that’s me.

Joe Lavelle: 12:38 That’s awesome, I appreciate it. Steve it’s such a pleasure to have you, thanks for making the time to share your wisdom with us today.

Steve Sisko 12:43 Wisdom. All right, well thanks. Thanks guys, I appreciate it.

Joe Lavelle: 12:48 All right, sure thing and that wraps this live broadcast from HIMSS. We want to give a quick shout out to our sponsor, Experian Health. On behalf of our guest Steve Sisko, and my co-host Todd Eury, I’m Joe Lavelle and we know you’ll stay tuned for more of our coverage from HIMSS from Orlando.

#JoinTheConversation on Healthcare Transformation with Experian Health at #HIMSS17

About Experian Health


More than 60% of U.S. hospitals count on Experian Health. These providers—along with thousands of medical practices, labs, pharmacies and other risk-bearing entities—are making smarter business decisions, boosting their bottom lines and strengthening patient relationships. Our clients have discovered the value of our revenue cycle management, identity management, patient engagement and care management solutions to power opportunities in the new era of value-based reimbursement.

Experian Health is powered by the strong healthcare heritage of our legacy companies, plus the deep data and analytics capabilities of Experian. This unique combination positions us well to help you succeed.

Revenue cycle management solutions automate orders, patient access, contract management, claims management and collections to improve efficiency and increase reimbursement.

Identity management solutions match, manage, and protect patient identities to enable accurate patient information and to safeguard medical information.

Patient engagement solutions connect patients with personalized portals to create price estimates, apply for charity care, set-up payment plans, combine payments to hospitals and physicians and schedule appointments.

Care management solutions organize and enable sharing of post-acute patient care information to help providers succeed in the new era of value-based reimbursement.

Check out Experian Health on the Web and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN!

#JoinTheConversation on Healthcare Transformation with Experian Health at #HIMSS17


Joe Lavelle
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Joe Lavelle

Editor-in-Chief, Healthcare at intrepidNow
JOE LAVELLE is a Healthcare Management and Technology Consultant with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, and health care companies for 25 years. Joe worked his way up through Cap Gemini and Andersen Consulting to the partner/VP level of at First Consulting Group, Technology Solutions Group and Santa Rosa Consulting. After running his own company, Results First Consulting, for 12 years Joe Co-Founded intrepidNow with Todd Schnick to create incredible content to dramatically improve the sales and marketing efforts of their clients.
Joe Lavelle
Follow me

JOE LAVELLE is a Healthcare Management and Technology Consultant with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, and health care companies for 25 years. Joe worked his way up through Cap Gemini and Andersen Consulting to the partner/VP level of at First Consulting Group, Technology Solutions Group and Santa Rosa Consulting. After running his own company, Results First Consulting, for 12 years Joe Co-Founded intrepidNow with Todd Schnick to create incredible content to dramatically improve the sales and marketing efforts of their clients.

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