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Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Blog turns 4

With the REC initiative winding down -- heading quietly off the national health IT stage in "no-cost extension" mode, and given that I have retired from the program, it is time to finally execute a name change. I will continue to use the old URL while I lock down the explicit URL custom domain, but the re-direction URL "" will get you here. I've been mirroring these posts at, but that seems like a duplicative waste of effort and bandwidth, so I may soon quit doing that. Too much hassle to migrate everything in my right-hand Links column.

I originally registered both "" and "" (I use the free, with the latter simply "squatted" to prevent someone else from getting it and causing confusion with my active REC blog work. My masthead title was "The HHS Regional Extension Center Blog," but I always noted that it was not a HHS project, but was a in fact private, independent undertaking. This is what the marketing peeps call "positioning." Today, the simple phrase "REC blog" entered into a Google search (even absent the quotes) returns this blog as the first search result. Didn't pay a penny for that. Meta-tags, baby (among other SEO things).

I launched this effort four years ago today. My initial post was entitled Opportunity for collaboration? ASQ and the RECs. I have to admit to disappointment that I never got any traction with the collaboration. I am a senior member of ASQ and continue to believe it could bring a lot to the healthcare and health IT tables. ASQ Healthcare Division Chair Dr. Joe Fortuna agreed, and invited me into the Division Leadership Council, and we made repeated proposals for pro bono collaboration with ONC.

ONC, though, exuded a "not-invented-here,-not-interested-here" indifference, and the various relevant ASQ Divisions seemed equally uninterested. In fact, the only feedback I got early on after pitching the idea around the Society was a that of being admonished by some dope in the Software Quality Division for "using the ASQ logo without permission"  on my blog.

Seriously, bro'? That the best you can do?

We see how far that got him.

I attended seven major healthcare and Health IT conferences and events in 2013 for the blog (HIMSS13, Health 2.0 Refactored, California State HIT Day, Lean Healthcare Summit, Health 2.0 2013 Annual, NYeC 2013, and the IHI 25th Forum). I was apparently the only ASQ member at any of them. Sigh...

The other weird thing that went down at the launch of this blog was the upshot of my mistake in having had the impolitic temerity of directly contacting my CEO, Marc Bennett with the good news of Dr. Fortuna's interest in helping the REC initiative. I got immediately and publicly upbraided within HealthInsight by our then-REC Executive Director for "exceeding your scope." The soap opera Uproar was pretty lame.

I thought I was gonna get fired after only two months into the job. It was stressful. It sucked. I was blindsided. My relationship with Marc went back to the early '90's, when the Utah Peer Review and Nevada Peer Review were merged to form the bi-state HealthInsight. Marc was on the Communications team and I was an analyst. Way antedated the tenure of this particular ED. I was unaware that I was now not to directly approach His Most Serene High CEO-ness.

Cooler heads prevailed, though, and she never brought it up again. The Big Emergency Inquisition Meeting never happened. 314 posts later I am still blogging, still supporting the now-mostly moribund REC program, and still trying to add content and perspectives of value to the healthcare and Health It spaces. My interests, as regular readers of this blog know full well, go way beyond just IT to process improvement and rational healthcare and Health IT policy.

I don't get paid for any of this. I do it because it's important. I'm "retired" now, and have been joyfully catching up with life with my awesome wife after five years of difficult work separation (and dealing with some of the inevitable chronic health issues that come with my age). I'm behind on some of my prospective KHIT work, but I will catch up. I have two books to finish writing, and more reading to do than I can possible ever keep up with.  Some KHIT stuff remains under wraps 'til I get them done.

Spending some quality time with my guitars, too. And, last night I exercised my live performance photographer chops by attending a benefit performance in Mill Valley at the Throckmorton Theater for the "3 Still Standing" documentary project. I'll be dumping, triaging, and posting my shots from last night to my Facebook page and another of my blogs as soon as I finish here.

Lots of important stuff to continue to write about. And, if you would like to write for/cross-post with the KHIT blog, just let me know. My traffic numbers are pretty decent; you'll get good exposure.

Thank you for your continued interest.
- BobbyG

Some of my shots from last night, uploaded to my Facebook site.


More to come...


  1. Happy 4th Birthday! Quite a labor of love and much appreciated by me and many others.

  2. Thanks, John. High praise coming from you!