Notes from the Communications WG
Date: September 28, 2010
Time: 1:00 - 1:50pm EST
Attendees:
Noam Arzt, John Blair, Janet Campbell, Michele Darnell, Didi Davis, Richard Elmore, Susan Leonelli, Brian Behlendorf, Uvinie Hettiaratchy, Caitlin Ryan

Actions

Action For This Week

#
Date
Action
Status
Owner
Due Date
32
9/28/10
Look over Direct Project Overview Presentation (in Agenda, below), send comments to Rich Elmore.
Open
All WG members
10/5/10
33
9/28/10
Add ideas, comments to Rebranding wiki page.
Open
All WG members
10/5/10
34
9/28/10
Look at questions posted by Janet Campbell on Rebranding page about which elements to keep in the name, which to lose.
Open
All WG member
10/5/10
35
9/28/10
Contact HIMSS to see if it is still possible to make a presentation.
Open
Arien Malec/Rich Elmore
10/5/10
36
9/28/10
Ask Pam Matthews if there will be an HIE day at this year’s HIMSS.
Open
Noam Arzt
10/5/10

Actions From Last Week

#
Date
Action
Status
Owner
Due Date
27
09/21/10
Send consolidated Overview slide to WG members.
Open
Brian Ahier
09/28/10
28
09/21/10
Look over newest version of Overview presentation (found in Agenda, below).
Open
All WG members
09/28/10
29
09/21/10
Develop “threats” content for key messaging slides, upload to wiki.
Open
David Kibbe, Michele Darnell, Brian Ahier
09/28/10
30
09/21/10
Ask David Kibbe and Michele Darnell to develop “threats” content for key messaging slides, upload to wiki.
Closed
Rich Elmore
09/22/10
31
09/21/10
Forward Noam Arzt’s Overview presentation comments to Communications WG via Google Group.
Closed
Caitlin Ryan
09/22/10

Agenda


1) Workgroup Update
a. Overview presented at Federal HIT Workgroup meeting
b. Project Name / Rebranding
c. Launch

2) Finalizing the segment messaging - Answers to objections & any other comments
a. Vendors
b. Providers and Health Systems
c. State/HIE's

Notes


Notes
Rich Elmore
  • Noted that Uvinie Hettiaratchy made additional updates to the Overview presentation, which can be found on the wiki under Communications Priorities.
  • Arien Malec has already presented the material, and felt it went over well.
  • Encouraged WG members to look at the Overview presentation, and send any comments to Rich Elmore.
  • Meeting agenda:
    • (1) Project name / rebranding.
    • (2) Taking the work that has been done developing communications materials and launching in a unified communications effort with messaging around “What is Direct?”

(1) Rebranding
  • Brian Ahier created a page on the wiki titled Rebranding.
  • Raised question about whether the WG should focus on naming the project formerly known as NHIN Direct, or the outcome of that project, the standards and services.
  • Name needs to change because the project can no longer use “NHIN” due to prior commercial usage/ownership.
  • Suggested using the Rebranding wiki page to collect suggestions, then narrowing the list down to a select few, and finally deciding on a the new name.

Noam Arzt
  • Clarifying: will the WG be naming the product as well as the effort?

Rich Elmore
  • Would like this topic to be open for discussion.

John Blair
  • Asked where the rebranding information can be found.

Rich Elmore
  • Directed WG members to the Communications WG page, and the Rebranding link in the Works in Progress section.


Round the Room: Comments on Rebranding
Didi Davis
  • Looking over the rebranding name suggestions, agreed that “health” needs to stay in any new name.
  • Prefers keeping “direct” because need a link back to previous efforts.
  • “HealthEDirect” (or some derivation) stood out to her.
  • Encouraged WG to check out all the current URLs to not confuse with other existing websites.
  • Cautioned WG about choosing wise acronyms.
  • Saw lots of great ideas on the website.
  • Felt the WG should generate new ideas, as well.
  • Will meet with other CareSpark people for the American Health Information and Management Association meeting, presenting as “the Direct Project” for now.
  • Added that WG needs to make sure naming is in sync with NHIN Exchange.
Janet Campbell
  • Felt Direct has diverged greatly from rest of NHIN community.
  • Noted that NHIN Direct protocols would still allow for exchange with NHIN Exchange-type protocols.
  • Doesn’t necessarily see syncing with NHIN as a priority.
  • No preference about rebranding project as a whole as opposed to just the product.
  • “Direct Project” will take hold quickly, so it might be tough to shake.
  • Pointed WG to her comments on the Rebranding page, where she asked questions about “what concepts do we want to make sure are I the name?” and “what do we not want in the name?”
  • “E-mail” and “MU” might be examples of words that are too limiting in a new name.
  • Sees the following words as important: “exchange of information for healthcare”, “push”, “direct”.
Rich Elmore
  • Encouraged WG members to look at the exercise Janet Campbell described on the wiki, the comments off of the Rebranding page.
  • Felt the exercise was helpful and well done.
Noam Arzt
  • Asked if WG knows for certain that ONC is looking for WG/Direct Project, as opposed to the ONC, to come up with a new name.
  • Doesn’t presume WG is empowered to change the name.
  • Rich Elmore
  • Renaming was initiated by Arien Malec, who believes the Direct Project has a certain level of independence from the ONC.
  • Of course WG will pass any recommendations to the ONC through Arien Malec before finalizing.

Noam Arzt
  • On naming the products v. effort, he is more concerned about naming the product, because that is what folks downstream will be interested in.
  • Taking a step back, “direct,” “directed” might not be necessary, moving forward, to describe the product. Might not mean anything to someone from the outside.
  • In his view, important words include “health information exchange,” and something about the push nature of the exchange.

Susan Leonelli
  • Had similar thoughts to Noam Arzt on the word “direct.”
  • Felt using “direct” would depend on whether the project is associating itself strongly with NHIN or not.
  • Might benefit project to associate Direct Project with NHIN if only to prevent creation of another government organization that is sort of controlling what is going on out there in healthcare.
  • Likes the word “direct” because it establishes a contrast between the Direct Project and other NHIN efforts.
  • Direct is easy, cutting through the red tape.
  • However, if project decides not to align with NHIN, using “direct” would not be meaningful to users.
  • Might want to keep a reference to “national”, “nationwide”, or “universal” to differentiate from what other vendors are offering, which is big networks that do not include everyone.
Noam Arzt
  • Sees a tension between using “national” and “point to point” messaging.
  • Feels it is misleading to describe as occurring on a national level.
  • Acknowledges that directed messaging could happen anywhere, but it is still a personal experience.
John Blair
  • Feels “national” is accurate, even though messaging is locally implemented.
  • Both are correct.
Michele Darnell
  • Likes to think of Direct Project as a temporary project, so the set of standards (product) needs naming, not the project.
  • Fantastic name suggestions.
  • Key words to include: “health”, “direct” (is somewhat of a brand right now), “exchange” (important but might be confusing)
  • Can look to comparisons in other industries (e.g. CIDX) to develop a brand name for the set of standards and methods that have been created by the Direct Project.
  • Leave “Direct Project” and focus on naming the outputs.
John Blair
  • Feels using “national” is important. Like the Verizon network, many transactions are made at a local level, but the network spans nationwide.
  • Is concerned about using “exchange” because it usually connotes query response or a data repository.
  • Would like to keep “network”, “health/medical.”
  • Agrees with the idea of naming the end product, because the effort might be temporary but will result in a final, lasting product.

Rich Elmore
  • Believes the feedback will center next week’s conversation.
  • Asked WG members to add discussion points to the wiki Rebranding page.
  • Rebranding will be the primary focus of next week’s meeting, including:
  • 1) Developing a short list of new names.
  • 2) Determining a process for choosing a final name.

(2) Communications Launch
  • Through a conversation with Arien Malec, determined that when the reference implementation is far enough along, and when other similar key milestones have been meet, there could be a big communications push.
  • Arien will likely go before the HIT Standards Committee on October 27th.
  • Suggested using this date as the centerpiece to an effort to leverage all communications assets in a campaign effort.
  • Communications Launch, found on the Communications WG main page, gives everyone an opportunity to indicate any communications outlet assets they have access to.
  • Asked for WG members to contribute to Communications Launch page.
Round the Room: Is the Communications Launch a good idea? Is the timeline appropriate? How should the launch be approached?
Didi Davis
  • Communications Launch is a great idea, especially since the name of the project will likely change soon.
  • Project should make sure the greater audience can follow any core changes to the project and the planning.
  • During the marketing push, need to make sure everyone is speaking from the same hymnal using clear, concise points.
  • Need to tie communications efforts to NHIN Exchange because federal agencies are banking on Direct being connected to NHIN Connect code.
  • Commercial vendors will have their version of directed exchange.
  • Likes the connection to the NIST standards.
  • ONC will likely inherit Direct.
  • For a communications push, sooner rather than later is better.
Janet Campbell
  • Likes the idea of Arien taking standards to HIT Standards Committee.
  • Concerned that too strong of a communications push around reference implementation might take away from a larger push later when the pilot projects are off the ground.
  • Feels audiences will react more strongly to successful pilot projects.
  • Wants to be careful not to make announcements too large at every step of the way.
Rich Elmore
  • Clarifying, from meeting with Arien Malec:
  • The initial communications launch would take place when there is well tested reference implementation, planning is well underway to bring Direct to the real world, security and privacy has been reviewed.
Noam Arzt
  • Based on the last comment, it sounds like the first communications launch would happen a year from now.
John Blair
  • No, it would be in June/July.
Noam Arzt
  • Wants to share the caution expressed earlier.
  • What would the purpose of this campaign be? Would it be to tell clinicians “this is ready for you to use and you will easily find it in products already available?” Because if so, then we have to make sure it is actually ready.
  • Expressed concern that users might over interpret the significance of a reference implementation, and try to get started, when in reality there is not yet a product they can use.
  • He is assisting with technical state HIE planning, so he is in a position to advocate for and present communications material to a national state coordinator audience, but he is not in control about when presentations are made.
Susan Leonelli
  • Suggested thinking about specific events naturally occurring in the next year, from a vendor/industry insider point of view.
  • Introduced the idea of presenting at HIMSS.
  • Could have a booth/information piece/presentation to tell everybody the status of the Direct Project, including the state of business and progress of pilot projects.
  • Noted that in the absence of any real information, people are out there talking, making things up.
  • Further down the line, in June/July/early fall, the project can go directly to the physicians and let them know that Direct is ready to go, and they can “click here, visit this association’s web page, attend this event” to get started.
  • For the earlier stage, a talk at HIMSS would be beneficial.
Michele Darnell
  • Agreed completely with HIMSS comment.
  • Also feels Direct needs some kind of successful metrics to talk about in order to have a communications campaign.
  • There is a need for clear, concise education because there is already a kind of frenzy around what is being said about comparable software, etc.
  • Lots of information and misinformation is circulating.
  • Some level of educational campaign would be worthwhile.
  • Suggested contacting HIMSS soon to get involved, with the intention of getting vendors on board with correct message about the Direct Project.
John Blair
  • Nothing to add to comments.
  • Agreed with the steps Arien Malec outlined in his conversation with Rich Elmore.

Rich Elmore
  • Feels a need to give the right messages multiple times from multiple directions.
  • Can move forward in multiple phases, the purpose of the first would be to educate and give info.
  • The second phase would be about building participation and engagement by key stakeholders (e.g. HIT vendors).
  • The next phase is about getting to key stakeholders, building critical mass.
  • Later efforts will go though pilots, with a more general launch to the community for wide use.
  • Progression important to help the community understand, encourage them to engage.
  • Set the stage for each of the next rounds: building block approach.
  • Asked for feedback/thoughts.
  • Observed two different camps of opinion in above conversation: one wanting to move more cautiously than the other.

Noam Arzt
  • Does not feel there has to be a choice between communications launch and no communications launch.
  • If WG wants to move forward, let’s be clear about articulating what moving forward means and what the message is.
  • If we feel the message is getting ahead of reality, some WG members will express caution.
  • Does not feel a need to stop any communications launch, but wants to be clear about what the message is.

Janet Campbell
  • Also noted being careful about the volume at which the information is presented.

Round the Room:
Thoughts on a first phase of communications launch--education of key stakeholders, participation in pilots, influencing their HIT vendors. When should this first phase take place?
Janet Campbell
  • Difficult: engaging both providers and techies in an early phase of communications.
  • First, some prerequisites should be met: reference implementation should be complete, the first implementation geography should plan to be out there in the real world.
  • Agrees that HIMSS is a good place to have a presentation.
  • Has learned it is a lot easier to be quiet and let other people start to drive the message, so that when we have educational information available, Direct Project people can start to take presentations out slowly, and then when we have something exciting we come out with it loudly.
  • HIMSS could be a more centralized, organized communications opportunity.
  • Then big push when real data is being exchanged through the pilot projects.
Noam Arzt
  • No further comments.
Susan Leonelli
  • Likes Janet Campbell’s idea of having something to say at HIMSS, then following up with information about pilot projects at a later date.
  • Before HIMSS wants to make sure to keep some visibility
  • If successful in renaming by end of year/first of new year, can come back in late February with messaging for HIMSS.
  • Might want to quell rumors about project dying in the near future (though don’t need to be too concerned).
  • Rumors can start to work against us if we don’t remain visible and relevant.
Rich Elmore
  • There is a rumor circulating that Arien Malec had left the project and the project is on its knees.

Michele Darnell
  • At HIMSS, want to do more than do booth.
  • Wants to be on the agenda, which means WG might need to submit an application fairly quickly.
Noam Arzt
  • Wondered if there will be an HIE day again on the Sunday.
  • Will ask Pam Matthews.
Michele Darnell
  • Fact sheet to give out to vendors or talk to trade press.
John Blair
  • Agreed with being at HIMSS, though mentioned it may be too late to get to present, at least through the normal channel of signing up.
  • Supported what Arien Malec outline as the criteria that should be met before an initial communications push.

Rich Elmore
  • Appreciates feedback, which will shape the WG’s plan going forward.
  • Will have something more specific for next week to have an in-depth discussion on branding.
  • Might be able to use as first opportunity for doing some coordinated outreach to stakeholders.