Hacking Defibrillators & The Value of Hallway Conversations

Interesting research in this morning's issue of the Washington Post, from the Medical Device Safety Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Apparently PHRs and EMRs are not the only susceptible e-health products; even defibrillator transmissions (those not encrypted and sent to bedside readers) can be hacked.

As a healthcare consumer, why am I not worried about this? Even if I had a defibrillator I'd be vastly more likely to die from a hospital acquired infection or a medication error.

For all those who attended Health 2.0 Connecting Consumers and Providers last week, John Sharp at eHealth has a brief commentary here. He points out the most valuable thing to emerge from the conference would be a 'mashup' of firms that help consumers and providers comprehensively manage conditions.

At H2.0, some of the startups were looking for new staff.

GoBigNetwork is a new (to me) site that specializes in the startup space (great for those of us crazy enough to be serial startup pros). Of course there's always Craigslist and Idealist, where I found my last two organizations, as well as the more neo-traditional means of recruiting (hallway conversations, networking, blogging, etc).

Speaking of hallway conversations, one of the most valuable aspects of attending the ACHE's annual Congress is, without doubt, the unexpected opportunities to meet interesting people and share resources.

Yesterday standing in line to buy a Red Bull (guilty), a hospital administrator in Ohio shared two resources on the Green Revolution in hospitals.

At breakfast, Alan Burgess, CEO of Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District in California, shared challenges faced implementing Evidence Based Leadership Development ("I'm doing a lot of mentoring").

Before lunch, Andrew Starr, Administrative Director of Integrated Surgical Services at St. Luke's Hospital in Pennsylvania, gave me a candid overview of benefits he saw realized obtaining FACHE certification.

And yesterday, following a rather disappointing overview of the US healthcare industry's response to globalization, I had the pleasure of meeting John David, Karen Libby of Deloitte's San Francisco office and Beth Sweeney, a Global Market Development Consultant pursuing her Master's at GWU. Our informal conversation about international consulting, career goals, and how to market 'nontraditional' consulting experience to hospitals was more valuable than the formal presentation.

These are the kinds of interactions your entry fee can't buy, and also the reason why it's so important to remain available and offer comments at any professional event.

Unfortunately, you can't always predict the hard ROI for attending a large conference, especially when attending for the first time. Fortunately, you CAN always generate ROI by having valuable conversations with interesting new colleagues. Thanks all for making ACHE time (and money) well spent.

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