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Intelligent Healthcare Information Integration 9/25/09

September 24, 2009 News No Comments

Speaders, Rearers, and Crinkers

Through the magnanimous good graces of the lovely Inga and the inscrutable Mr. H, I have been blessed with the remarkable forum provided by HIStalk and HIStalk Practice. This has not only allowed me to speak my little HIT mind about issues and observations from my “grunt in the trenches” perspective, it has honored me with an amazing cross section of contacts and comments from people from all over the U.S. Some have even become friends or business associates and I am privileged by my conversations, brief or protracted, with them all.

One of the most interesting aspects of the variety of remarks I have received from the variety of folks representing a variety of fields is the insight it has allowed into the minds of the people who inhabit the realm of healthcare information technology and some of its tangentially associated territories. I have come to the conclusion that there are three primary types of inhabitants within these brave new lands:

1) SPEADERS: The folks who have either a lot to say (speak) or those who show they have a lot to show (leaders). Thus, “speaders.” These are further subdivided into several classes:

a) Those who have a lot to say but rarely say anything. Unfortunately, by their very willingness to speak out, they are often followed, deservedly or not.

b) Those who speak well-spoken and well-considered words, who are often not followed enough because they often speak with such grace and good manners that they are overshadowed by the more brazen and abrasives from a).

c) Those who truly lead by both the power of their example as well as by the power of their well-chosen and well-delivered words.

2) REARERS: People who read or hear what the speaders have to say or write. Rearers often do not feel they have the capacity or the empowerment to actually become speaders, although in my experience, many of the rearers are actually more intellectually capable and competent than many of the speaders. Sadly, many an untapped talent exists within the quiet world of the rearers.

3) CRINKERS: Obvious, at least to themselves, these are the critical thinkers of HIT-land. Crinkers have a high standing in my book; they are not prone to supercilious persuasion by loudspeaking speaders nor to mob mentality promoted by the allure of big bucks or the sparkle of glamorous salesmanship. Crinkers think — for themselves, in spite of others, and often with parsimonious purposes or philanthropic foci.

Be they loud or low key speaders, quiet and contemplative rearers, or the invaluable crinkers (whom I often fear will disavow any knowledge of me), every single one of these folks has something of value to offer this grand HIT conversation.

In medicine, there are “pertinent positives” as well as “pertinent negatives.” So, too, there are comments of similarly equatable categories generated by members of each “caste” of the HIT subcontinent. I have tried to learn to appreciate them all.

Me? I used to be a rearer, but now I like to think I’m a crinker. However, I’m probably more of a speader. I just hope I’m not a subclass “a”.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” – Albert Einstein

Dr. Gregg Alexander is a grunt-in-the-trenches pediatrician and geek. His personal manifesto home page…er..blog…yeh, that’s it, his blog – and he – can be reached through http://madisonpediatric.com or doc@madisonpediatric.com.

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