We take a look at the latest IQPC Conference formula and ask – does it work for us?

The man opens the inner door as I and my two colleagues from Portugal – who I have never met before- enter from the outside courtyard.

He is dressed in a Polo shirt, and a bath towel. He has no trousers, and his hair is damp. He has some soft leather sneakers on.

“Are you lost?

Yes of course we are. It is a ten minute walk from the Putney Bridge tube station, past the security barrier and through the immaculate lawns of the Hurlingham Club, and the arboressence of pathways. We are trying to find the Conference.

“Then let me show you a shortcut”.

The man beckons us through, we enter a further courtyard, the man slides into a black 4×4 and we walk up the stone steps into a modern but eloquent glass atrium, which is indeed – where the Conference is.

The Hurlingham Club is as distant as it needs to be. This is no typical Conference mingling among the tourists who are checking out of whatever four star hotel they have found in the city. This is a venue for serious players. The 100 or so Delegates who have found their way here, a sort of crystal maze if you will – are all serious players. Large corporates do not send their key financial execs to this sort of Conference unless they can deliver, and can feel at home on this global stage fo financial business decision makers.

The Future of Finance Conference is three days long. It is a Management Conference, not a Tech event. Sure, the topics discussed inevitably contain technology, but this is no GDPR Roadshow. Life has already moved on. The focus is as much about corporate vision than AI and Robotics. Typically, the 40 minute sessions – and there are many and varied and you pick and choose the ones that work for you etc – focus on Transformation – how to bring your team with you, establishing a culture of improvement – and inevitably, something about Brexit. I could go on. And in between, people mingle and chat in the frequent coffee breaks. Everybody shares anecdotes and business cards.

I had long gone by that time. But it establishes a central truth, that the value in IQPC Conferences is as much in the informal networking amongst peers, as in the more formalised presentations.

My colleagues from Portugal are taking a quick cigarette outside the exit as I make my own way back to the exit. They give a cheerful wave – “see you in Lisbon?” It turns out we both used to work for the same company. The next IQPC Conference will be in Lisbon, and I have been invited.

Will I come?

You bet!!


We look in wonderment at one of ENO’s best productions yet of this classic modern masterpiece.

Alexander Soddy strides into the orchestra pit, waves and encourages his team, and then there is silence for a full five seconds. And then we are off! And its a strange, curious, beginning…

This is redolent of the performance of Wagner’s ”The Mastersingers” a few years earlier; the feeling somehow that this will be the epic performance – when everything goes right. That night, at the end of five hours, all the orchestra hugged each other at the finale. And so it was last night. From whatever opera or music background you come from, this is a performance you have to see.

The secret sauce of this production is the fluidity, sensibility, and sheer forcefulness and continuation of the orchestra – which allows the drama to experiment, to be funny, aggressive, romantic, and convey sincere emotion – without ever losing sight of the fact that essentially, this opera is a dream.

The whole stage is one giant bed. The production relies on the singers/actors/actresses hopping from bed to stage, from awake to asleep, from fantasy to reality. The melodic lines of the music never give away anything you can hum along to, no nice chord progressions and cadences; there is this sense of being suspended somewhere and indeed the third act is precisely that – the three beds suspended in mid air.

And then there is the humour which is less rather than more, – subtle at its best. My standout performance was Eleanor Dennis as Helena, very similar to Mary Bevan some years earlier, also a former Harewood Artist.

But this is to be picky; all of the singing, the characterisation, the direction, was spot on, an integrated whole. Sometimes, particularly at the end of the second act, the drama and clever direction took your breath away

The humour reached its peak at the finale. This was the nearest we got to traditional Shakespeare productions and slapstick humour. It reminded me of the last time I saw this, in Devon – just a couple of years ago.

The difference here – is that the music adds the extra dimension, at times searing, to force the drama.

And then Puck wraps it up… we are back to the original Shakespeare lines…

Was I dreaming? I have no idea. But I am still rubbing my eyes. I can’t believe it.

….They Put Up a Parking Lot

We interview Shaz Ahmad, Nextgate’s VP of Cloud Operations to find out why people don’t miss something until it’s gone.

It is 02.00am Pacific Time and this is the preferred hour of the day for Shaz Ahmad, in his T shirt, to handle an interview. He is a self confessed night owl, but I would’ve thoughts there are limits. For me, it is 10.am GMT and there could be no worse time to make a constructive assessment of why Nextgate’s time has come. I have told my office to hold my calls.

But Shaz is as eloquent as I am even in mid morning, and he needs to be. Nextgate identity management technology is the secret sauce that make your hospital data work, seamlessly, that you do not realise you ever needed, until something goes wrong. It is the one line of code you never appreciated, but which makes your data work. As they say in the song, isn’t it the way it goes, you never realise what you’ve got – until its gone.

Except that with Nextgate – the thing that you don’t “get” – is the problem that you’ve got. As we move more and more into a connected and multiple data source environment, where patients not techies are driving that source of data, so (to paraphrase). Hospitals increasingly cannot map or match the data that they have. In short, the HL7 data is neither clean from one source or another, nor do existing systems talk to each other. And whilst this is technical issue, the problem is commercial. Putting it right takes man hours and costs money.

Except that it doesn’t. And it comes through the decision of starting again, and putting your data on a cloud. What that means is, a cloud-based solution that does identity management, allows hospitals and organisations to rapidly and accurately deliver a patient record at the point of care – with the flexibility and scalability you need in today’s evolving and digital environment.

Shaz does not talk about technology. He talks about Service Level Agreements. He talks about peace of mind. The idea that you as a Hospital (say). can access all of your data, 24/7, safely on a cloud, without the need for local expert support. Amongst all of the solutions that a hospital might have, Nextgate is the single line that makes not just a difference – it is THE difference.

It is the reason why Shaz left his  job at Orion, where he was a user of Nexgate technology, to take up an offer with the company that created the stuff.

Nextgate competes with the big IBM and Corporate Players in data integration. But it is addressing a real market need. The Obama driven “spine” of data accessibility mirrors the attempts in the UK to formalise data accessibility. Nextgate has reference sites and projects that are pan-Atlantic.

Yet it is a hard sell – what Nextgate are saying is; don’t wait until you have an issue before talking to us about our Cloud benefits.   As they say in the song, –  don’t lose sight of Paradise.


We talk with the EHNAC Executive Director, Lee Barrett, and ask – why now their time has come.

You could say it’s not what you say – it’s how you say it. You could argue that everything about EHNAC is a contradiction, a misnomer.

The image of silver-haired Lee Barrett as he sits back in his university-like Office, gently guiding me into his world – where he has been active for more years than I have fingers and toes – belies the relevance of EHNAC in the current medical world stage.

And that’s the problem. Or to put it another way in marketing-speak – maybe it is the “opportunity”.

EHNAC is a nationwide accreditation process for healthcare players. Up to now, and since its origins in 1993 – its focus has been to give you and I a framework, if you will, a set of guidance, that says you have passed the test – whatever that may mean. You would be forgiven to think that this is akin to taking your driving licence; you get the magic certificate, the nod from the examiner and off you go.

And this approach misses the point. Because EHNAC have moved on. To understand its importance, is to recognise that in getting accredited for your internal and external processes – you are protecting your entire business against the risk of the unforeseen. By complying with industry standards, you are mitigating your exposure to malevolence or just pure chance of things going wrong. A tick in the box from EHNAC means that your processes are reasonable and acceptable.

It’s not like the Assessors at EHNAC don’t have the know how to guide you. The academic atmosphere of Lee’s office gives rise to years of practical experience, across some of the key issues of modern healthcare, which EHNAC imparts to its accredited organisations as part of the deal.

EHNAC is currently active across all of the USA – and mandated in New Jersey, Maryland, and Texas, Compliance with individual State legislation is not a quick process at a government level. But it can be an immediate step at the individual vendor level.

In the litigious world we live in, never has Risk Management become so important. Lee’s parting words to me were:

“We are agnostic; our years of experience has taught us how to deliver standards that give a meaningful structure for each of our varied accredited organisations. What they actually do – is not important. It is how they do it”.

Lee can be contacted at HIMSS in his meetings onsite.

More from HIMSS 2018

We are pleased to give airtime to several more of the vendors and their PR people, who have kindly contacted us. Please do use our Search bar above, to seek out anything specific that you need to know…

Jennifer Ringler writes to us to say; I want to offer you an opportunity to speak with Lonny Reisman, MD, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, HealthReveal, on the following topics:
·       Why Accountable Care Organizations aren’t resulting in as much savings as expected, and how real-time health data technology can help
·       How health monitoring technology and guideline directed medical therapy together can help deliver equal access to care for all populations, regardless of geography
·       How patients with chronic diseases can achieve better outcomes and lower mortality rates through the use of real-time health monitoring technology and data
·       How acute incidents in patients with chronic diseases can be both predicted and avoided through the use of health technology

We have also been contacted elsewhere to see if we would  be interested in meeting with the VMware or Mercy companies, to discuss today’s top healthcare trends and the future of the industry.

Probably more interestingly, Upland Software have got in touch; they specialize in cloud software solutions for IT project and cost management. What they say is –

“The companies that we work with use our systems to manage the resources, costs and delivery of their projects. Over the past few years, we have come to work with a number of health organizations and what we find is that despite sometimes mature project processes, there seems to be a lack of standardized tools to help them be efficient at their work. Particularly in an environment where their extended team is made of Doctors and Clinicians, not project experts. “… They continue…

“Our solution, Eclipse, is unique in that it provides a way to centralize all project information, including inter-dependencies, status, costs, who is working on which project, and more.  Over the past few years, we have helped almost 300 Health organizations giving them more control and visibility over their projects, so they can better manage project teams, allocate expenses, more accurately update key stakeholders, and keep project delivery on track.

At HIMSS we will be talking about the trends that we are seeing in project delivery, as well as showcasing our most recent release, with an expanded featureset for managing resources, time tracking and capabilities for greater project visibility. ”

Two Speakers have asked their PR people to write to us, and this is what they say; (we include their Links below)…

“Sevenikar will be opening the summit by speaking about how healthcare must evolve from caring for people to caring about people, and the importance of transitioning to a patient-centric revenue cycle in order to make this a possibility.

Vancleave will be speaking shortly after Sevenikar on the transformation that Mosaic Life Care has undergone to transition from a healthcare provider to a lifestyle company. As a result, Mosaic Life Care’s revenue cycle team has undertaken an ambitious overhaul of its financial structure, with more than 15 revenue projects scheduled to take place over five years.

The links below will take you to abstracts about Sevenikar and Vancleave, respectively, and the sessions they’ll lead. I’d be happy to provide you with more information on these two women and the hospitals/health systems they represent.



And almost finally – do feel free to talk to G Medical Innovations, a next generation mHealth company.

Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in May 2017, G Medical Innovations have developed an integrated product suite that includes consumer medical grade and hospital grade monitoring devices set to launch into North America over the course of 2018.

What they say is; “With FDA approval and a strong pipeline of innovation, we hope this is a company you would be interested in learning more about.”

They continue… “Our goal and passion is to increase efficiencies in the healthcare system that both empower physicians and caregivers and improve personal quality of life. We do this by providing innovative medical monitoring solutions that provide accurate medical-grade diagnostics in real-time to save time and offer a heightened level of care.

We will be demonstrating both our consumer and commercial healthcare applications for the very first time at HIMMS, including:

The Prizma Medical Smartphone Case – due to set a new standard in personal healthcare, the Prizma enables you to easily transform your smartphone into a highly-reliable mobile medical device. With this unique device, you can independently manage your own health by continuously measuring, monitoring and sharing your vital signs with caregivers and loved ones. In addition to providing immediate access and updates to your personal health indicators and therefore peace of mind, medical data can be both stored and sent in your personal & highly-secured Data Portal Service where you can easily view, monitor and share it with those involved in your medical care. Prizma is an electrocardiogram, and also measures heart rate, stress levels, body temperature and oxygen saturation.

The Vital Sign Monitoring System with G Medical Patch – a modular, easy-to-use, clinical grade solution for monitoring patients. It utilizes patented wireless technologies, proprietary information technology and service platforms to empower a new generation of medical providers to increase efficiency and the level of healthcare provided to patients. Available for both in-patients and out-patients, the G Medical patch can be used to monitor patients in assisted living residences, hospitals, nursing homes and other in-patient facilities. By enabling patients to be mobile and still carefully and automatically monitored, the G Medical Patch takes the pressure off healthcare providers and personnel while enhancing patient care. Information from this continuously monitoring is transmitted, stored and sent to clinicians for at-a-glance summaries, giving both clinicians and patients peace of mind.

HIMMS will be the first time that both the ‘full flow’ of Prizma and the Vital Signs Monitoring System with G Medical Patch will be demonstrated”.

And finally for the time being…why not meet the Infinite Peripherals company at booth #3271? “They will be showcasing new products that will mobilize the healthcare industry, as well as a big piece of upcoming news.”

And just in case you didn’t know…

Infinite Peripherals, are a leading innovator of iOS business solutions, empowers businesses to operate more efficiently. The company offers barcode scanner data and insights that impact the bottom line in real-time as well as secure payment processing solutions for various industries including healthcare.

There you go…



We look at the increasing lack of leadership in our UK Public Services, and its negative impact – and we say; its time to do something.

The question really is; “why”, – is it necessary to do something? Public Services are not going to disappear overnight. Whether you take a week to do nothing at all – or a year – will not necessarily impact on your own job. It might, however, impact on someone else’s life – but as a Clinical Director told me recently – “I have a nice house, and nice holidays; why am I putting myself on the line?”

Lack of decision-making means that the people who we entrust to look after us, provide our essential services, and who we had hoped would go the extra mile – have no need to do so. This results either in a lack of engagement, where – according to a colleague of mine recently moved from the private sector into local government – that her colleagues already had their coats on by 16.58 each day… or an increasing level of stress related absence through the paralysis of moving things forward, in times of increasing pressure and demand for the very services they feel unable to deliver.

It’s not our job here to tell others how to do their job. But it is our job to explain the damage that simply putting things off, keeping things the same, and hoping that maybe tomorrow things will work out – doesn’t fly. Particularly as we are moving, and have moved – into an arena of “personalised service”, where our individual use of personal data, our smartphones, our iPads, our fitness trackers – means that technology exists to deliver great improvements in quality of pubic service.

As Bogi Eliasen of the CIFS in Copenhagen said at the HIMSS Conference almost one year ago – by harnessing the data that is flowing, in realtime, across our desks every minute – we can better employ our people, enable them to make decisions related to the data that they themselves have access to, reduce the stress in our places of work – and actually do what the public are asking us, and expect us – to do.

Because – the fact is – we no longer have the option of simply throwing more people, and more cash, to continue doing things the way we always have – because it just doesn’t work any longer. There are just too many people living longer, with too many orthopaedic ailments, exponential rises in diabetes sufferers, that having a few more nurses, a few more clinics, some more phone-lines – can never hope to keep pace with the needs of society that are getting worse.

It is for this reason that the recent PR from NHS England, about its new Diabetes Partnerships, – is like adding an Elastoplast to cover my broken leg. It misses the fundamental point. Hospitals that prefer to use in house resources rather than engage with specialist IT help, are simply putting off the moment of truth – that we have reached a tipping point.

What we have seen is that, due to the new personal focus of our provision of services, we need to move out of the “silo” mentality of me doing my job, and you can do yours. We need to start looking at how we treat society as a whole, in particular the mix of Community based solutions linked to (say) hospital services.

In the same way that “if you always do what you always did – you will always get, what you always got~’ so it is obvious that our current ways of doing things, at just about every area of Management that we have looked at for this Article – simply do not deliver the results that society is increasingly asking for.

This means investment in new technologies, that are proven, and that can link performance to results and to costs. The technology exists and has done for some time. The question tho – is whether our Social and Public Service leaders can take the lead and deliver what the rest of us are asking. After all – they have nice houses and nice holidays to go to. We wouldn’t want them to risk all that, now would we?


We look at the plethora of requests for “Hospitality Surveys” and ask – have these people lost the plot?

It is now early February and as night follows day and the sun follows the moon, I have received in my inbox yet another hotel request to complete my satisfaction survey, for a stay I cannot remember.

The dawn of the hospitality survey is becoming inversely proportional to the actual interest that these organisations have in even reading the responses they get. I have no interest in saying that my bathroom was clean. And I am not going to be responsible for getting some poor young girl from Lithuania the sack – if on one day in her life she has forgotten to clean said bathroom.

I can only remember one time when I actually did feel obliged to make a negative comment. I received a standard response, thanking me how much I enjoyed my stay. You get the picture.

The North Stafford Hotel, in Stoke On Trent – does not do surveys. They do what I will call “welcome”. The “good old midlands hospitality” at every point in the hotel, is redolent of my time in Atlanta Georgia and the “good’ol southern hospitality” for which they are famous. The North Stafford does not do segregated lines for “loyalty members”, – and the rest of us. There are no automated guichets for self registration and then pick up a keycard and sleep. Everybody is taken as a “loyal customer”. It understands that the prime requisite for choosing any hotel, is to feel personally valued and where there is a focus on the personal relationship.

The hotel is a rambling and stately classic country house, set bang in the middle of town, right opposite the train station. You literally fall out of your Virgin train into the Reception. Checking in is not a hurried experience. Would you like dinner? Of course you would. A three course buffet is less than £10.00. Breakfast that is as good as anything I get in central London – was just £5.00.

The waitress in the bar engages in conversation, how was my day, before hustling off to make a fresh coffee.

It is worth upgrading to the deluxe exec double room. Mine was bigger than my house. Sometimes it’s just nice to walk around in your own room.

Sure, in the pressurised world we all live in, maybe the depersonalisation of business travel is acceptable. But not for me, and not for most others. As said above, North Stafford doesn’t do impersonal. It simply does “welcome”.

Welcome indeed.