HIMSS17 Social Media Ambassador Janice McCallum on moving patient engagement beyond paternalistic compliance

The healthcare consultant on what her social media followers are looking for, the patient engagement disconnect, and what she’s most excited about seeing at HIMSS17. 
HIMSS17 Social Media Ambassador

Janice McCallum (@janicemccallum) is a healthcare consultant who previously worked on econometric models, licensed data from Alan Greenspan and recalls transferring data from tape to mainframe.

Healthcare IT News asked the HIMSS17 Social Media Ambassador about what she’s looking forward to at this year’s show, things that get under her skin and she reveals facts about her professional background that even devout followers might not yet know about.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at HIMSS17?
I’m looking forward to Ginni Rometty’s (CEO, IBM) opening keynote this year. IBM Watson Health has the might to create and market breakthrough technologies and it is exciting to see a woman, Deborah DiSanzo, leading that unit, as well as a woman leading the $80 billion parent company.

Q: What issues do you think are top-of-mind for your social media followers?
My social media followers look to me for evidence of big trends in health IT and healthcare delivery models. At HIMSS17, I expect concerns about how the new administration will affect regulations and reimbursements will be top of mind.

Q: Who's your favorite healthcare hero? Why?
I’ve never been one for hero worship; instead I reserve my admiration for all the people involved in healthcare who exhibit empathy and understand that what may be right for one patient may not be right for another patient. I include clinicians, researchers, other industry insiders and patient advocates in this group and I can say without hesitation that all of my fellow SMAs, past and present, are stellar exemplars of the people I admire!

Q: What's your pet peeve? (Either on- or off-line?)
My pet peeve is the disconnect between what providers and vendors call patient engagement programs and what patients actually need to become more engaged with their healthcare providers. For starters, patients need to have a voice in their care and they should have full access to data related to their care, including their complete health record.  Without fully including patients in their own health care decisions, patient engagement programs are nothing more than paternalistic compliance programs.

Q: What is something your social media followers do not know about you?
Most of my social media friends and followers don’t know about my early hands-on experience with data modeling, which includes work at the OECD in Paris, the Urban Institute in DC, and in graduate school in Chicago. There are lots of stories I can tell about transferring data from mag tape to mainframes, to licensing data from Alan Greenspan, to staying awake powered by coffee to run econometric models all night! While studying for my MBA, I worked for my econometrics professor, John Abowd, who is now chief scientist leading research and methodology at the US Census Bureau. 

HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.

This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.

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