Category Archives: Conferences

It’s Conference Season and We’re Headed To Bend, Boise, and New Orleans

Bend, Oregon is a favorite destination for golfers, mountain sports enthusiasts, and people in search of the sun. This week, The Riverhouse in Bend will also host hundreds of practice administrators from around the state at the annual Oregon MGMA Conference.

Some of the key sessions we’re looking forward to:

  • Benchmarking Your Key Performance Indicators
  • MACRA – State of Affairs and Updates

HealthCo will also have a booth on the exhibitor floor at the Riverhouse. Please stop by Booth #501 and say hello. We are also giving away three fully loaded gift baskets!

Directly on the heels of Oregon MGMA in Bend, the HealthCo team heads to Boise for Idaho’s annual MGMA Conference. The Idahoans are always great hosts and this year is no exception. The event kicks off with a golf tournament at Warm Spring Golf Course. Whether you’re an expert golfer or have never played, come and enjoy a morning of fun, prizes, contests, and the excellent company of your peers.

When we get down to business in Boise, there will be incredible programming available. In fact, all three of these of the following presentations are in the same time slot (forcing one to make a tough choice):

  • Good Clinics to Great Clinics
  • Mentoring: The Key to Professional Development
  • Engaging Physicians

After returning from these key annual pilgrimages, we will begin to prepare for CHUG Fall 2017, which is in New Orleans this October.

I sense beignets in our future.

The keynote speaker at CHUG is Dr. Kavita Patel, a co-founder of Tuple Health, a physician-led company focused on practical clinical solutions to bring care back to health. Dr. Patel was previously a Director of Policy for The White House under President Obama and a senior adviser to the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

We’re always interested in seeing our customers at these key industry events, and hearing from industry leaders about important topics in healthcare IT and practice management. If you’d like to schedule a time to chat during these upcoming events, let’s do so now.

Back from Boston with Good News

In our industry, we attend conferences in order to meet with our customers, meet new customers, and to hear the latest marketplace developments and product news directly from our peers. Centricity Healthcare User Group and Centricity Live are particularly important industry events. Last week in Boston nearly 2000 customers, partners and GE Healthcare staff (from multiple product lines and disciplines) gathered to mingle, to learn and to plan.

To be clear, this is two events in one. CLIVE teamed with CHUG, an independent organization made up of Centricity EMR and Practice Management users. In tandem, the two marquis events offer a once a year opportunity to learn about new product innovations and best practices for current platforms.

With too many highlights to contain in just one post, I’ll touch on a few of the key messages from the first day of the conference:

  • Charles Koontz, CEO of GE Healthcare IT, shared the stage with Keith Dreyer, Chief Data Science Officer of Mass Gen Hospital to announce a 10-year partnership between GE and Partners HealthCare to drive improvement in artificial intelligence for healthcare. (Learn more)
  • John Zimmerman, VP and GM of Clinical Business Solutions, announced from the stage that May 18, 2017, marks the day that the team focused on delivering solutions to ambulatory clinics turned their focus to providing the correct outcomes for customers in every product developed and launched in the future. In our new value-based care world, this is a critical new focus for GE Healthcare.
  • The closing keynote left everyone in attendance inspired and a bit teary eyed. Five people impacted by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing spoke about their experiences. These included first responders, physicians and victims. Adrianne Haslet-Davis was the center of attention. She lost her leg in the bombing, only to return and run the event in 2016. (Learn more)

HealthCo’s management team returned to Portland inspired and motivated by the pace of innovation, and the product developments on the immediate horizon. From Project Northstar to helping clinics implement new functionality like Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) and Electronic Medication Preauthorization (EMPA), there’s a lot of interest in Centricity right now. It’s exciting to be part of important industry shifts like the move to value-based care and migration to the cloud. Ultimately, we’re part of an ecosystem that’s dedicated to solving problems for clinics and patients. When we do our jobs right, we create greater efficiencies for our clients and healthier results for their patients. That’s a lot to be grateful for and motivated by, all wrapped into one.

This November, The “Project Northstar” Roadshow Is Coming To A City Near You

The big news is out. GE Healthcare is moving Centricity™ Practice Solution to the cloud in 2017 and beyond. Code-named, “
Project Northstar,” GE Healthcare’s next generation IT solution is focused on helping practices thrive in the world of value-based care.

The migration begins in earnest in 2017 and will take place for the next several years, as clinics begin to evaluate their options.

Our President, Dustin Wienecke, is a big believer in the power of cloud computing for clinics. “By focusing on provider efficiency while achieving greater reimbursement, GE Healthcare is going to disrupt the healthcare IT market.”

Naturally, there are many questions and we are eager to field them in the coming months.

Right now, we are excited to offer current HealthCo customers an invite to GE Healthcare’s Project Northstar Roadshow. Execs from GE Healthcare will be on-hand to discuss the migration to the cloud and field all of your questions.

Upcoming Roadshow Events

Oak Brook IL, Nov. 9th (Limited seats available)
Phoenix AZ, Nov. 10th (Limited seats available)
Seattle WA, Nov. 15th (Almost at capacity)
Portland OR, Nov. 17th (Almost at capacity)

Project Northstar will give ambulatory practices of all sizes, the tools to engage patients in a more meaningful way, improve provider efficiency, and enhance care quality – all while navigating the new alternative payment models more effectively. 

Each of the Project Northstar Roadshow stops will consist of an evening conference accompanied by a light dinner and beverages from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM with an agenda that includes a detailed product strategy and roadmap presentation, as well as a demonstration of new solutions that are in development.

These roadshow briefings will be led by senior GE Healthcare executives including: 

Mike Jackman, Vice President & General Manager of the Americas Region 
  • Jon Zimmerman, Vice President & General Manager of Value-Based Care Solutions 

  • Chad Dodd, General Manager of Ambulatory Practice Solutions

Attendance is limited at the roadshow stops, so please register now to confirm your place!

Accelerate 2016 Recap: Three On-Point Presentations for Practice Managers


Practice managers from clinics around the Portland metro gathered last week at Marylhurst University for Accelerate 2016—our first in a series of half-day workshops designed to help HealthCo customers and prospects raise their overall business savvy and remain strong independent clinics.

Following my opening remarks, Andrea Cunningham, HealthCo’s Director of Professional Services, walked participants through a presentation about maximizing EMR software return on investment. Andrea reminded us that a functional EMR requires good data inputs, even more so today with the emergence of Value-Based Payment Models. “Quality tiering means you are being compared to your peers in clinics across the country,’ Andrea explained. “Better data helps you to challenge the payers.”


The next presenter, Jean Roque, founder and President of TruppHR in Portland, spoke about staffing in the context of organizational change. It was a particularly rich topic, given how much change clinics are being forced to manage today, and how critical hiring and training are to the clinic’s financial results. Jean said when interviewing you want to ask if a candidate is “results capable.” Then, once the new hire has been trained, ask, “What does success look like?” Once you know what success looks like, Jean recommends documenting the findings for the benefit of the whole team.


Jean discussed how organizational change can be exhausting, and how we all move through distinct phases during these changes. She cited William Bridges’ transition model, and also mentioned the positive benefits that can come from “elevating constraints” (a manufacturing concept that also applies to clinics and other organizations).

The third presentation of the morning was about theft of medical records. Data security expert, Sean Hoar, Partner at the prominent law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine, said, “Human error is the weak link in information security.” Sean added, “Medical data is particularly valuable to criminals—clinics more so than most businesses, need to raise awareness and increase security.” Sean suggested rewarding team members who practice good data security measures, and that he’s seen these kind of small rewards work well at his own firm.


All told, we heard three distinct but interrelated presentations from experts in their field. It was good to see so many customers in attendance, and even better to know we offered compelling material for them to take back to the clinic.

David Swartout, Owner and Director of Operations at Mountain View Medical Center said, “I enjoyed the mix of topics, and I definitely have some key takeaways that I can use right away in our practice.”

Here are the slide decks for your review.

I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have about any of the topics.

Centricity Users Gather In Phoenix To Advance Knowledge And Camaraderie

More than 2100 like-minded people, including several from HealthCo, gathered on the floor of the Phoenix Convention Center for three days of education, networking, and product roadmap discussions at the largest Centricity Live/Centricity Healthcare User Group meeting to date.

HCO Implem Team

The event kicked off on Wednesday, May 25, with the opening keynote from new CEO of GE HealthCare IT, Charles Koontz. Over the course of his discussion, Charles mapped the transition occurring today at GE. Whether in our healthcare equipment business or the Centricity Practice Solution line, GE is evolving to provide customers the analytic and digital tools required for healthcare market evolution in the digital age.

Product roadmap and key partnerships with Microsoft and Accenture were highlights from the event. HealthCo’s President Dustin Wienecke appeared on stage twice, along with such luminaries like Kathleen Sebelius and Rob Lowe, who delivered an emotional message informed by the death of his mother and grandmother from breast cancer.

Koontz 5

One of the most exciting parts of C-Live each year is the STAR Award program, which recognizes Healthcare IT customers for their advances in the use of technology and the efficiencies they have been able to drive in their organizations.

Finally, I’m a music guy, so I was excited to hear that Daughtry was set to perform at C-Live. Even better than his performance was the appearance he, his band, and the GE HealthCare team made earlier that day at the Phoenix VA Hospital. Musicians on Call, an organization that works to bring the healing power of music to the bedsides of people in hospitals all over the country, set up this great event. Chris shared stories throughout his performance about the Veteran’s he met and spoke with during the day and the lasting impact this visit will have on his life.

“I am so proud to work with GE Healthcare in partnering with Musicians On Call. Meeting Veterans who have given their time and lives for our country is such an honor,” said Daughtry.

There is plenty more to share when it comes to this year’s C-Live/CHUG event. Please look for additional updates soon on the HealthCo Customer Appreciation party and my experience in the ring during the CHUG reception.


Next year, it’s on to Boston!

Driving Medical Practices To Success In Tacoma And Beyond

“Driving to Success” was the theme of the latest OR/WA combined Spring Conference. Staying true to the theme, the event kicked off with a reception at the LeMay Car Museum in Tacoma and then raced through one and a half days of high-speed sessions aimed at helping medical practices cross the finish line.

video shoot in Tacoma

Topics for the event ranged from “How to Say Anything to Anyone” presented by Shari Harley, to “How to Embrace and Work Effectively with Millennials” presented by HealthCo client, Kyle Matthews of Phoenix Heart & Cardiology Clinic.

As with other recent MGMA events, value-based care and the transition clinics are seeing in reimbursement models were hot topics. The conference also featured a heavy emphasis on legal and HR topics such as improving interviewing skills and handling tricky employment law situations.

New to the event this year was the opportunity for HealthCo customers to provide a video testimonial in our booth. Customers talked about how Centricity has helped their practice deliver better patient care.

One customer, Tamiko Miyano of Seattle Hand Surgery, stopped by our booth to deliver her personal testimonial focused on the professional services team at HealthCo, specifically, one of our consultants in Seattle, Bethany McMahan.

Bethany’s positive attitude, deep product knowledge, and saintly patience won over each and every one of our team members. Her practical approach and genuine concern for our practice makes my job continuously easier. No one brings up the old EMR product anymore. Instead, we ask what other bells and whistles can we employ with Centricity to make our jobs more efficient and more foolproof.

During the event, we recorded over 60 minutes of customer testimonial footage and we look forward to sharing more of these stories over the coming weeks.

The HealthCo team would also like to thank the hard working crew at Oregon and Washington MGMA for a great event. We are already looking forward to next year’s shindig in Spokane.