Should I accept?

Should I accept?
BY: Angie Balman

You have just been offered a job! How exciting! Maybe you have been unemployed for an extensive period, or this is the first job you have been offered in a field relative to your studies. Regardless of your situation, it is incredibly important that you pause and take a moment to think over your offer before diving in headfirst.

Things to consider before accepting a new job:

1) Compensation: Not just the salary, the whole picture! How are the benefits? Will they meet your needs? Is there flex time or opportunity to work from home? The job market is still shaky, but it is important to consider your compensation and determine that accepting this position will allow you to support your needs.

2) Environment: Culture values and your fit in an organization are much bigger deals than many realize! For example, if the team you are considering joining values working overtime to accomplish goals and meet deadlines, but you wish for a consistent 40-hour week, the likelihood that you will not be satisfied with the job greatly increases. Sacrificing your happiness and integrity for a job is definitely not worth it.

3) Opportunity: How will accepting this job play into your career path? Will you have the opportunity to utilize and grow your skills? Will there be opportunities to advance within the company? If you are someone who values professional development, you will not want to work a dead-end job. Don’t overlook a job’s potential when deciding on an offer.

Remember, you are never obligated to accept a job offer! So, do yourself a favor and look at the offer from many angles so you are able to make the best decision for yourself!


Phone Interview Tips

Phone Interview Tips

By:  Angie Balman

Many companies employ phone interviews as a way of meeting potential candidates as the first step in their interview process. It is important to be just as prepared for an in-person interview as you are for a phone interview. The phone interview allows for a company to meet new candidates and learn about their strengths (or weaknesses!).

Tips for a successful phone interview:
1) Be prepared
2) Print out the job description, your notes and your resume so you can reference them              easily during your interview
3) Call from a quiet place:

• Ideally, you should have your phone interview at home. Of course, this isn’t always       possible; so if you’re elsewhere, make sure to do your best to find a quiet setting.           Don’t let background noise hamper your chances by potentially distracting you or         your interviewer!

4) Think about your delivery:

• i.e. how do you sound? Phone interviews remove the nonverbal communication            associated with an in-person interview. Make sure you are speaking deliberately and    concise, but also sound enthusiastic.
• PRO-TIP: Smiling while you speak automatically brings energy to your words!

5) Remember to thank them:

• Similar to a face-to-face interview, it is in your best interest to send a “thank you”           after your phone interview. The interviewer took time out of his/her day to speak           with you, so a “thank you” is definitely necessary!

Phone interviews can be your first step in the door to a company you’d like to join. Make sure you are prepared and give the interview your all!

Better Verbs to Put on Your Resume to Replace “Responsible for” and Other Tired Phrases

Better Verbs
By: Angie Balman

Better Verbs to Put on Your Resume to Replace “Responsible for” and Other Tired Phrases

The job market competition is stiffer today than ever before! It is important that your resume stand out. Employers, like movie audiences, respond to action and achievements more than traditional, predictable, and generic phrasing. Consider trading in the mundane phrases that are threatening to sabotage your resume with some action-packed verbs!

Examples of tired phrases:

1) “Responsible for” – Could be interpreted as something you had to do. Instead try describing your achievement in more detail. Try substituting this phrase with words like “created,” “produced,” or “designed.”
2) “Assisted/Helped” – A resume is meant to showcase YOU and your great accomplishments. It is in your best interest to pick verbs that will demonstrate your value instead of selling yourself short. “Advocated,” “negotiated”, and “reviewed” are examples of more suitable verb options than the tired and overused “assisted” or “helped.”
3) “Communicated” – Everyone is communicating constantly! It is important that your resume uses detailed terminology that highlights exactly how and what you have communicated previously. Alternatives include, “documented,” “illustrated,” and “publicized.”

Don’t let boring, tired phrases sink your resume! Revive it with some action verbs today!

New City, New Doctor,New Portal…

New City, New Doctor, New Portal…
By: Erin Groopman

Working in Health IT I’m biased towards wanting my doctor to have a patient portal with all the bells and whistles. I have very high standards and it frustrates me to no end when I have to make all my communication through the telephone, record all the information manually and I don’t have an ongoing electronic paper trail of my labs, notes or prescriptions. Recently I was chatting with my good friend who just moved from the Silicon Valley area to Dallas, she works in Human Resources at JC Penney and we got on the topic of patient portals. She was also frustrated because the first doctor she chose after moving didn’t have a portal. She was in the process of looking for a new doctor, with one of her criteria being that they had a portal .See our interview below:

Being in a new city what made you decide to go with your current doctor? Having had a great experience with Palo Alto Medical Foundation and their fabulous patient portal (and how easy it made everything!), I looked up clinics/hospitals that focused on customer service and then researched patient portals from there. I decided on Baylor because it is known for great patient centered care and used “follow my health” patient portal.

What’s your favorite aspects/features of the patient portal? I like being able to see all my health info in one place and print it if I need to. I also like being able to interact with my doctor and get alerts of possible tests needed.

What advice would you give to someone that has never used a portal with their doctor? I would say to focus on the positive – it makes life easier! You can still connect “the old fashion way”, but this gives you the ability to have easy access and take action when needed. If anything, at least it is an easy way to make appointments.

Being in a new city is hard enough and finding the right doctor for you can sometimes be half the battle. With so many good resources to help you find the right doctor, I’m glad that more patients are taking this decision into their own hands.

EMR vs EHR – What is the difference?

EMR vs EHR- What is the difference?

BY: Angie Balman

EMR – Electronic medical record
EHR – Electronic health record

^Some people believe these are the same thing and use them interchangeably.

This is not the case. EMR’s came before EHR’s and were used by clinicians for diagnosis and treatment and they were indeed “medical” as the name implies. EHR is the term used now (almost exclusively) by the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC).

But why the change? Well, “health” refers to “the condition of being sound in mind, or spirit; especially… freedom from physical disease or pain…the general condition of the body.” The world “health” encompasses more than the word “medical.” Therefore, EHR’s are a better source of information as they go a lot further than EMR’s.

Major differences:

1) Track data over time
2) Easily identify which patients are due for preventive screenings or check-ups
3) Check how patients are doing in regards to certain parameters (e.g. blood pressure, readings, or vaccinations)
4) Monitor and improve overall quality of care within the practice

*Note: While EMR’s are more advantageous than paper records, they don’t easily travel out of the clinicians practice and may have to be printed out and delivered by mail to other specialists. In this regard, they are not much better than paper records.

EHR’s – A better alternative! Fully functioning EHR’s allow all members of a team the ability to readily access the latest information, allowing for more coordinated, patient-centered care.

1) The information gathered by the primary care provider will inform the emergency department clinician of the patient’s life threatening allergies or other pertinent information. This can be incredibly useful as care can be adjusted appropriately, even if the patient is unconscious.

2) Patients are able to log their own records and see the trend of his lab results over the last year. This may help motivate him to be more consistent in taking his medication and keeping up with lifestyle changes suggested to help improve his results.

3) Lab results run prior are already in the record. This provides the specialist with the information she needs without running duplicate tests.

4) Clinician notes from a patients hospital stay can help with discharge instructions and follow-up care as well (enabling a patient from one care setting to another more smoothly is one example)

Health care is a team effort! When information is shared in a secure way, it becomes more powerful. EHR’s promote effective communication of information from one party to another so, ultimately; multiple parties have the ability to engage in the interactive communication of information regarding their patients.

One word, while seemingly small can make a world of difference. Educate yourself!

Boomers and Millennials: How to overcome conflict in our workforce.

Today, managers must employ new practices that allow them to help control new multi-generational teams. Holding all employees (regardless of their generation identification) to the same standards and business objectives is crucial. The healthcare industry has seen dramatic shifts towards heavy integration of up an coming technological advances. It would seem that Millennials, having been born in an era with digital technologies already in place (ie- internet, smartphones, social media, etc.) have a leg up on the Baby Boomers that have helped pioneer the industry. However, this is not the case. It is crucial that leadership in the healthcare community be aware of generational diversity and the trends and influences that accompany this diversity in the workplace. The healthcare industry NEEDS highly engaged managers who guide, direct and offer support to their workers. Effective managers spend the majority of their time focusing on what each team member can equally contribute, not worrying about the differences that may plague them.

5 ways managers can overcome Millennial and Boomer conflict:
• Don’t pretend it’s all about technology
• Re-examine your definition of flexibility
• Educate yourself
• Get engaged
• Search for common ground



Healthcare IT Resources

Healthcare IT Resources
By: Erin Groopman

Since our program doesn’t use a lot of text books due to the ever changing Health IT landscape, I wanted to suggest some good resources that I recommend using to keep up with the latest changes.

1. Healthcare IT News
2. Modern Healthcare
3. Fierce EMR
4. CMS
5. HealthIT
6. Fierce Health IT

As a JCCC student you have access to multiple reputable scholarly journals, trade journals, reports and magazines such as:

1. Journal of Healthcare Management
2. Health Management Technology
3. Health Data Management
4. Nursing Management

Full publications from Modern Healthcare and FierceHealthIT are also available.

Other reputable journals that are good to read for information on current topics that will occasionally cover Health IT are:

1. Wall Street Journal
2. New York Times
3. American Journal of Medicine

There are a lot of resources to keep up with the changes in Health IT, if you have a favorite please let me know!


Join JCCC/Health Information Systems at HIMSS15

Chicago welcomes the 2015 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, April 12-16, 2015, at McCormick Place. More than 38,000 healthcare industry professionals are expected to attend to discuss health IT issues and view innovative solutions designed to transform healthcare.
JCCC/HIS is proud to be part of this annual event that helps health IT professionals find the right solutions for their organizations.
Conference education sessions include preconference symposia on clinical and business analytics, HIEs, innovation, mobile health, nursing informatics, physicians’ IT and more. More than 300 peer-reviewed sessions, including workshops and roundtables, round out education offerings at HIMSS15.
George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, leads a strong roster of speakers that also includes Alex Gourlay, President, Walgreens; Bruce D. Broussard, President and CEO, Humana; and Jeremy Gutsche, Founder of and Author of “Exploiting Chaos.”
The HIMSS15 Exhibit Hall will feature the Connected Patient Gallery, Federal Health IT Solutions Pavilion, HIMSS First-Time Exhibitors Area, HIMSS Health IT Value Suite, HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™, Intelligent Health™ Pavilion (formerly known as Intelligent Hospital Pavilion), and three Knowledge Centers focused on clinical and business intelligence, disaster preparedness and mobile health.
To learn more about the JCCC/HITECH, visit For more information about HIMSS15 and to register, visit

2015 Trends


2015 is poised to be a roller-coaster year for healthcare IT industry. Let’s have a look at some of the industry forecasts for the coming year.

Information Week lists the five healthcare IT trends for 2015: