Author Archives: Karen Blum

About Karen Blum

Karen Blum is AHCJ’s core topic leader on health IT. An independent journalist in the Baltimore area, she has written health IT stories for publications such as Pharmacy Practice News, Clinical Oncology News, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, General Surgery News and Infectious Disease Special Edition.

STAT health tech reporter says speed in the sector is a double-edged sword

Erin Brodwin

Erin Brodwin

Erin Brodwin is a San Francisco-based health tech reporter at STAT. Since 2019, she’s covered artificial intelligence in health care, written breaking news about health tech companies and covered wearable technologies and their impact on digital health. Her recent stories include a profile of the first chief medical officer of a maternal and family virtual care platform called Maven Clinic and an article about Apple’s new features for sharing health data with doctors and tracking trends. She also is one of four co-authors of STAT’s free biweekly Health Tech electronic newsletter. Previously, Erin covered health tech for Business Insider.

I interviewed Erin recently about some of the trends in health tech and her advice to AHCJ members looking to break into this space. She advises us to think about whom tech innovation benefits or harms, its significance more broadly and whether something billed as innovative truly is. (Responses have been lightly edited and condensed.) Continue reading

New tip sheet offers solid advice for covering hospital ransomware attacks

Paul Sisson

Paul Sisson

San Diego Union-Tribune health care reporter Paul Sisson was working on a home improvement project on a Sunday in early May when he received an urgent call from one of his editors. Scripps Health, the area’s second-largest health system in patient discharges, had announced that a cyberattack was forcing the shutdown of all computer systems in its four major hospitals, and the news desk needed help covering the issue. Sisson, an AHCJ member, jumped in, and ended up working until midnight.

Sisson said the typical email channels he used to contact the health system’s public affairs officers, its CEO and other sources were offline, and the hospital was limited in what it could confirm, forcing him to call on sources and skills cultivated during some 20 years of reporting. Despite Sisson’s experience, it was his first time covering a ransomware attack. He has compiled the lessons learned into a new tip sheet, which has been added to the Health IT Core Topic section of AHCJ’s website. Continue reading

Freelance writer finds wearable technology can boost health

Andrea King Collier

Andrea King Collier

Can you use wearable devices to improve your fitness and health? AHCJ member Andrea King Collier, an independent journalist in Michigan, was determined to find out.

In an article for AARP The Magazine, Collier detailed her experience trying several portable technologies for a 30-day period. She not only had an interesting experience but lost 10 pounds in the process and received positive feedback from family and friends. As an added bonus, Collier’s story won a gold award for AARP from the National Mature Media Awards. Continue reading

Stigmatizing language, inclusive solutions and telehealth big topics in health IT

Ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion has been a major theme at medical conferences this year, and the American Medical Informatics Association’s recent Virtual Clinical Informatics Conference was no exception. Hospitals and health systems shared some of their projects to promote diversity and equity across the field of health IT.

Here are three examples:

Stigmatizing language in electronic health records

Hospitalist and informaticist Subha Airan-Javia of the University of Pennsylvania was caring for a patient in a long-term acute care unit last summer when she read in the chart that the patient had refused his morning medications. When she talked to the patient, he said he didn’t refuse but declined to take his medications because he didn’t understand why some of them were ordered. He wanted to talk to the doctor first. Continue reading

AMIA conference offers glimpse into innovative clinical informatics 

Doctor using computerJournalists looking to stay on top of what’s happening in health information technology or get ideas for health IT stories may want to check out the American Medical Informatics Association’s Virtual Clinical Informatics Conference May 18-20.

During the conference, physicians, nurses, physician assistants, technicians, HIT developers and others will share their recent technology innovations. Many presenters are from hospitals and health systems nationwide. Continue reading