Mandi Bishop: fitness freak, data junkie

The woman who tweets as @MandiBPro shares her two "aha moments"
By Scott Tharler
04:35 PM

Mandi Bishop tweeted 6 times and walked 3.5 miles on her treadmill — while talking to a Healthcare IT News reporter. So yeah, she’s a multitasker and befitting her self-imposed moniker a ‘fitness freak.’

But analyzing data to drive the health conversation forward is where she thrives. Her official title is Health Plan Analytics Innovation and Consulting Practice Lead at Dell, a position she took in November 2014 after being a partner and owner in her own health IT consulting firm in Jacksonville, Fla.

When Bishop (@MandiBPro) wanted to take her consulting gig to a national level, she turned to social media, Twitter specifically. The first folks she followed were Brian Ahier (@Ahier), John Lynn (@techguy) and Linda Stotsky (@EMRAnswers). Three months later, Ahier offered her a free pass to O'Reilly Media’s inaugural Strata RX.

At that conference she met some key players, her whole world exploded, and she has since had two big “aha moments.” 

The first came on the last day of HIMSS14. She was live tweeting her strong opposition to what she felt was vague language in an address on meaningful use by national coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD (@KBDeSalvo).

“I was very vocal in my dissenting opinion,” she says. Immediately after that Jacob Reider, MD (@Jacobr, then CMO at ONC) reached out to her directly and wanted to have a conversation about her concerns. She also wound up talking with DeSalvo and Doug Fridsma (@Fridsma, then chief scientist at ONC). “Holy cow,” she thought. “I’m interacting with policymakers!”

Her second big aha moment, in June 2014, was more on the negative side.

On the way to the HIT Marketing & PR conference in Vegas, Bishop downloaded her Twitter stream, analyzed it and discovered that 87 percent of her posts were in real time. Dedicating 4 to 5 hours a day, her nose was way too buried in her phone (from where she did most of her tweeting).

“I was kind of addicted to that social engagement and constant feed of new information and wasn’t taking the time to truly be in the moment wherever I was,” she says. “So I’m making a conscious effort to do that now.”

Bishop rises early, analyzes the sleep data collected by her Fitbit Charge HR, has breakfast, then sets aside 20 to 30 minutes to read through all her news feeds, “identifying the things that resonate with me and I want to amplify or respond to.” She estimates another hour over the course of the day just reading or responding on Twitter and LinkedIn. (Naturally, she uses Hootsuite to see multiple feeds at once.) Some days she blogs for an hour or so. And all that social stuff fits within the 20 percent of work time she dedicates to learning development and engagement, leaving evenings and weekends relatively tweet-free.

What don’t you know about Mandi Bishop? In high school, she performed as a wedding singer. She earned her Masters in English. And she began her career as a Web developer. “I didn’t start out to be a computer geek,” she cracked. “I just kind of morphed into one.”

And while she’s doing all that, she’s planning a November 1st wedding. It seems one way or another she’s always focused on engagement!

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