13 Jul The #PinkSocks Rat Pack
Post written by Jay Anderson
In October of 2015, after fifteen years of working in the medical device space, I transitioned into the wild-west of health IT software. I made the jump because I knew there was a movement towards paperless clinical documentation due to the ACA. Also I knew health care was changing from the traditional fee-for-service to a more patient-centered, value-based care. Ultimately it was a tough decision leaving a Fortune 500 company but I trusted our new CEO who brought amazing energy and an awesome vision for the company.
My first few weeks on the job, I was able to attend a couple conferences and realized there were so many experts willing to share a ton of great information about the HIT space. I began scouring the internet to learn about everything HIT-related and all the acronyms that were new to me like HL7, FHIR, CCD, ADT, GA, EHR, MU, ONC, HHS, VBP, MSSP, CJR and more…
While I was looking up many of these acronyms, I found many of them within twitter hashtags. When I discovered a subject matter expert, I followed them and many of the users they also follow. Before long (probably due to those sneaky Twitter algorithms) I kept seeing a similar group of people that all centered around this boots and kilt-wearing persona of Nick Adkins. All of the crew seemed friendly, intelligent, passionate, patient-centered, disruption-focused and they all happened to wear pink socks in many of their pics (some of them even wore bow ties). At that point, I knew I needed to follow them, if for nothing else than to keep laughing as they made fun of such antiquities as faxes, pagers, and paper-based health records.
Around this time, I was selected to attend HiMSS for our company and I was overwhelmed with everything surrounding the conference. In preparing for the conference, I began following many of theSocial Media Ambassadors for HiMSS and noticed many them were related to this pink socks phenomenon as well. Because of that, I thought everyone would be wearing pink socks in Las Vegas so I did the most natural thing; I ordered a pair via Amazon Prime! They arrived a few days before the conference and I planned to wear them the first day.
When I walked out of my hotel room, heading to the first morning session, my sunglasses fell from my forehead and I found myself walking down the hallway in a suit wearing pink socks and sunglasses. Thoughts of Oceans Eleven passed through my head. I had to take a picture and tweet my pink socks debut so I pulled out my phone and realized it would make a pretty cool slow motion video, so I shot a few clips walking towards the phone. During breakfast, I completed the editing process and posted to the twittersphere.
The feedback on my tweet was great after Bill Bunting retweeted it and as a result, I became an honorary member of the pink socks tribe. Since then I have worn my pink socks to many other health care events as a badge of honor in making a statement to disrupt health care and get stuff done.
I congratulate everyone in the tribe for the momentum of this the incredible movement. Everyone in the pink socks tribe is amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens in the future!