Nick van Terheyden’s stories
On Super Pi Day, we celebrate those who dare to chase the impossible and innovate a futuristic world full of things even Mr. Spock couldn't imagine

The sad news of Leonard Nimoy’s passing has spurred tributes to not only to his life and craft, but to Star Trek, and what it has meant to so many over the years.  In talking with my friends and colleagues, it seems that regardless of age, most Trekkies are also techies. One of the neatest […]

Star Trek, Mr. Spock, and the future of patient care

Like many others, I was deeply saddened to hear about Leonard Nimoy’s passing.  He was a great actor, but more importantly, a wonderful advocate who used his fame to raise awareness about the health dangers of smoking, and to serve as a role model who had quit. For those of you who are non-Trekkies, Nimoy […]

What we can learn from the Super Bowl dancing shark

At one time or another, we’ve all found ourselves clawing desperately as we try to pull it together on the metaphorical center stage.  And during the Super Bowl halftime show, as we reached for another slice of pizza, America recognized itself in the awkward flailing fins of a dancing shark. We may never know the […]

Exploring CES like Odysseus makes way for the Internet of Healthcare Things

As a physician and a CMIO, I’m forever seeking the latest technology offerings that might help us solve some of the very complex problems that exist in healthcare.  With that goal in mind, I set out across the CES 2015 showroom floor, seeking the best in health innovation. While it was interesting to see all […]


It’s always comical to watch movies from the 1980s, not only for the distinct style choices that typified that decade, but to see the type of technology most of us can still recall using. It’s nearly impossible to believe we used to happily lug around three pound mobile phones with antennas and back-up battery packs, […]

smart-watch-health-IT consumers

There is no known medical condition that enables an individual to predict the future.  While such an ability would be extremely useful for myriad reasons, we have, instead, learned to hone and leverage our analytic skills to deduce what might occur, relying on the data we cull and parse to help forecast the future.  So, […]


Health is personal.  The good news is that more people today are getting involved and taking matters into their own hands especially when it comes to behaviors they can change. An estimated 69% of American adults today track areas of their health, such as weight, diet, exercise and symptoms, and 21% of them are using […]


One in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.  In 2014 alone, an estimated 295,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed.  That’s approximately 808 cases per day. But these statistics don’t matter.  Whether it’s one-in-eight or one-in-3 million, the impact of the illness […]

Over the weekend, CMS announced that the Meaningful Use Stage 2 deadline will be extended through 2016 in order to offer more options and greater flexibility to providers for the certified use of EHRs.  In the interest of full disclosure, I found the timing to be strange— a rule published over a holiday weekend seems […]

  As a physician, I struggle to come to terms with the death of one of my favorite comedians.  While there has been mention of Parkinson’s disease as playing a contributing role, the underlying challenge was his battle with depression. On many occasions, he shared his struggle with depression and substance abuse, and he was […]

If you’ve never watched it, the Food Network®’s hit show Chopped is a cooking competition where four chefs are presented with a basket of mystery ingredients that they must incorporate into a themed dish, say Thanksgiving breakfast for instance, within a certain allotted time.  After each course, the chefs present their culinary creations to the […]

By now, we are accustomed to constantly changing health IT policies.  Although we know to expect the unexpected, what has become increasingly difficult is the ability to quell the frustration levels and anxiety that accompany these anticipated changes, because with uncertainty comes reticence, particularly when finding buy-in and budgets to implement the technology that will […]

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There isn’t a single person who hasn’t felt the stress of time-pressure and who, I would imagine, at one point or another, has reacted in a rushed or short manner to others as a result.  Yet, when it comes to our physicians, we expect them to transcend this normal human reaction.  We expect them to […]

This morning, I attended the HIMSS’ CIO breakfast panel “What Needs to Change to Get Doctors Back to the Patient?”  Moderated by Dr. Paul Weygandt, VP of Physician Services at Nuance, and Keith Belton, Senior Director of Clinical Documentation Solutions Marketing at Nuance, the discussion centered on how physicians can navigate the changes and challenges […]

I had the privilege of attending the HIMSS14 Physician Symposium over the weekend, where colleagues discussed everything from the challenges we will encounter as we build a new healthcare system to activating evidence-based patient engagement. The sessions raised all the right issues.  The focus on patient engagement, in particular, a session by Henry Feldman, MD, FACP: Informatics […]

Over the past few years, we have seen an impressive amount of change in healthcare — in part by federal regulations, Meaningful Use incentives and shifting payment models. While there have been advances in healthcare, this rapid pace of change has also taken a toll on physicians and the important relationship they have with patients. […]

A lot has been written about physician resistance to tech adoption, but is this true?  According to a recent survey, 88 percent of physicians said they would give their time, seeing fewer patients and making less money for a period of six to nine months, to “become deeply involved in a clinical documentation technology implementation.” […]

With so much changing in healthcare, this year’s HIMSS annual conference  (February 23 – 27, 2014) is bound to be an exciting event.  Since it is only a few weeks away, I am outlining my top three trend predictions for the upcoming show.  Look forward to seeing you there! 1.  We will see an explosion […]

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If you’ve seen Minority Report, you may recall the mall scene where Tom Cruise walks by the Gap and a quick retinal scan enables the store to identify him and create direct advertising based on his shopping preferences.  The possibilities for tailoring sales experiences seem limitless with customer intelligence such as this, but what if […]

As part of the transition to electronic health records (EHR), many clinicians have experienced significant workflow interruptions that impact the number of patients for whom they are able to care.  Moreover, the increased documentation time involved with this digital shift has added hours onto their workday.  And now, the upcoming ICD-10 transition is bringing even […]

This week’s debut of health insurance exchanges marks a very important milestone in developing a patient population who is able to access and engage in their own health and well-being.  Informed healthcare consumers are also essential to successfully transitioning to value-based care, another strategic goal of the industry.  However, the truth is that these policies […]

(l to r): Keith Boone, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, Dr. Nick van Terheyden

Like many in the health IT industry, I was saddened by the announcement that Dr. Farzad Mostashari was retiring.  As famed football legend Vince Lombardi said, “The strength of the group is the strength of the leaders.”  And, for the healthcare technology community, Dr. Mostashari has been a great leader. Having joined the Office of the National […]

National Health Information Technology Week (#NHITweek) is just around the corner.   In honor of this celebration, taking place from September 16 to 20, we’ve been thinking a great deal about the value health IT brings to clinicians who are focused on providing high-quality patient care, as well as identifying ways technology can help them provide […]

In a recent Fast Company article, “Could The Future Of Health Care Mean No Waits In Hospitals?,” I had the opportunity to explore what the shift to value-based care – or care that’s focused on quality, efficiency and outcomes vs. volume – will mean for physicians and patients. Moreover, I touched upon my thoughts on the hospital of […]

More than 200 healthcare providers gathered in Atlanta for Nuance’s 13th Annual Conversations user conference. Below are 10 quotes from attendees as they discussed trends, challenges and shared insights: Patient perception is not the same as satisfaction. A satisfied person cannot tell you how to improve. Measure to improve, not to impress.” – Fred Lee, keynote […]