Cutting Through the Clutter at HIMSS: What Health System CIOs Really Care About (#HIMSS14 Edition)

Posted by: in Communication, Digital Health, Healthcare Insights, Healthcare Technology, Social Media Insights & Trends on February 26, 2014

In the midst of this week’s HIMSS conference in Orlando, my WCG colleagues and I thought it would be the perfect time to take another look at Twitter and social habits among health system CIOs. Afterall, hospital and health system CIOs are, in many respects, the architects and engineers of the nation’s healthcare transformation in progress. They are, truth be told, the most sought after audience at HIMSS – the reason the conference exists. But all of this richly deserved attention begs an obvious question: What exactly are they thinking and talking about these days?

As with most questions in life, Twitter provides a glimpse into the answer. So, we teamed up with our social analytics colleagues to crunch big data and 22,000 Tweets and 12,000 links later, we gathered some intriguing findings.

There were many insights from the analytics we ran, but I will use this blog to highlight some examples (see slides below for more details).

First, CIOs are becoming more active on social media sites. Overall sharing on Twitter via other social media channels increased substantially in the past year, with the most sizable increases occurring with YouTube and Instagram. Use of Facebook and LinkedIn also increased.

Overall use of Twitter tends to be either very high or light. The top six CIO users of Twitter average nearly five tweets a day. Most CIOs sent less than 100 Tweets over the previous year.

CHIME again took top honors for the most oft-used hashtag. Use of #HealthIT, #EHR, #ACA and #HIMSS also increased.

A look at media outlets CIOs most often link to reveals trends as well.  Health system CIOs remain avid readers of a number of top news sites and healthcare blogs. Leading all media sites are The New York Times and NPR followed the Associated Press, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Time and Harvard Business Review.

Among trade publications, Healthcare IT News, HealthsystemCIO, Healthcare Informatics, InformationWeek HealthCare, Becker’s Hospital Review and Fierce Health IT were linked most often.

Top blogs include Life as a Healthcare CIO, HISTalk, Dustin Fennell Daily, Culture Infusion, KevinMD and DirkMD. Most of the top blogs are personally written by CIOs, including BIDMC CIO Dr. John Halamka, Mission Community Hospital CIO Dustin Fennell, Flagler Hospital CIO Bill Rieger, HealthAlliance Hospital CIO Chris Walden and Cooley Dickinson Hospital CMIO Dr. Dirk Stanley.

That’s what we found interesting, but what’s more interesting is hearing what caught your eye. Please check out the slides for the deeper analysis and data, and share your comments and questions below. For more information about trends in digital health, be sure to visit the Digital Health Practice website.

By: Rob Cronin

Rob leads WCG's digital health practice. You can reach him at and

Find me on: Twitter
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