10 buzz-worthy health IT articles of 2011

By Michelle McNickle
01:29 PM

2011 was a standout year for health IT, and as sure as debates regarding EHRs lingered on, certain articles on Healthcare IT News attracted record-breaking social media reactions and comments galore.

We rounded up 10 buzz-worthy health IT articles of 2011. From social media's use in the industry to job prospects and more, these articles garnered the most attention and sparked the most discussion among Healthcare IT News readers. 

1. iPad 2 looks even better for docs. In March, Associate Editor Molly Merrill wrote about the introduction of the iPad 2 – and more specifically, an appearance by John Halamka, MD, chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in a video showcasing the technology’s use in different fields. Halamka’s comments on the iPad’s practicality resonated with readers, with nearly 30 comments and 120 tweets. “What we have tried to do on the iPad is give doctors at the point of care the tools they need at the exact moment the doctor can make a difference,” said Halamka. 

2. 5 technologies every hospital should be using. This past September, software analyst Shahid Shah spotlighted the five technologies every hospital should consider using. He included innovations such as single sign-on, virtualization, HTML5 and document management systems. Shah’s practical look at what technologies would benefit hospitals the most gave way to debate in our comment section and a follow-up article, five technologies every hospital should avoid

3. Social media sites help patients make healthcare decisions. In this article, published in March, we saw how one in five Americans use social media websites to receive healthcare information. The article focused on multiple surveys, where respondents confirmed their high likelihood to turn to social media to help make a healthcare decision and educate themselves on procedures, facilities and doctor/patient relationships. Commenter "nrenicker" added social media monitoring is becoming an interesting trend. “[It’s] one that has limitations and dark sides, but also one that has tremendous benefits.”

4. Americans not ready to use social media to talk to their doc. Despite consumers’ likelihood to look to social media for information, this article showed the same couldn’t be said for using social media or other chat systems to contact physicians. According to a national Capstrat-Public Polling survey, more than five of every six respondents said they wouldn’t use social media or instant messaging for medical communication, even if doctors offered it. The consensus was the same with commenters. “Be sure to set your ad settings to ‘no one’ if you don’t want to be circulated all over the web,” commenter "MedQuack" wrote. 

5. Five ways health IT will reduce the cost of care. In February, Web Producer Jamie Thompson looked to Jerry Buchanan, account director, healthcare technology and services at eMids Technologies, to describe some of the ways IT will reduce the cost of care. Buchanan listed improved standards of care and increased patient involvement and collaboration as just a few of the ways. Feedback in our comment section was noteworthy, with readers both supporting and debating Buchanan’s points. 

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