Saturday, October 27, 2018

Medical Informatimukulelogical Offerings from CT Lin

Esteemed ACMImimi Fellow, CT Lin, MD, FACP, FACMImimi shared several ukulele-infused informatimusicological offerings for your listening pleasure: 

We're physician builders, my friends..

Everyone knows its Becky (description of practice transformation to add more MA's to the clinic)

Yampa roads (to country roads)

Doc Prudence (about Open Notes)

Dear Burned-out Colleague: (to a Hamilton song)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

ACMImimi Fellows in the News - May 2018

The growing cohort of Fellows of The American College of Medical Informatimusicology, who proudly add FACMImimi to their list of credentials, continue to demonstrate eminence in the field. Two recent examples:

Dr. Francis Collins, MD, PhD, FACMImimi (Fellow #29, inducted 12 April 2012) celebrated our federal HHS workforce in song: "It Takes You, HHS"

Dr. CT Lin, MD, FACP, FACMImimi (Fellow #114, inducted 4 December 2017) heralded the launch of a new ePrescribing for Controlled Substances platform at his hospital where he is CMIO. He blogged about the song.

Do you have a recent contribution to the art and science of Medical Informaticology? Share it with us!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Miss Isabella Rainsong and Her Traveling Companion: A One-Guitar Show

Okay, this isn't strictly Medical Informatimusicology, but as President and Founder of The College, I can pretty much post shameless self-promotions as I see fit. Anyone who thinks otherwise can start their own College...

If you've spoken to me about creativity sometime over the last eight years or so, you may have heard me mention this "play with music" I've been noodling on since 2009 (or since I was born, depending on how you count). After lots of dreaming, but not a lot of action, it's finally becoming a real thing. 

Miss Isabella Rainsong and Her Traveling Companion: A One-Guitar Show
Written and Performed by Ross D. Martin
Saturday, January 20th, 2018
7246 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, Maryland

Here are links about the show:
Brown Paper Tickets:  All of the proceeds are going to The UUCC Minister’s fund, which helps needy folks in Howard County with things like food, rent, transportation, medical needs, etc.

Short background: In 2009, I was asked by a neighbor to write the music for a musical being put on by Art Stream, an inclusive theater troupe that includes adults with various disabilities – Down’s Syndrome, autism, etc. They put on two original shows every year and rehearse year round, but wanted to try a musical for the first time. I ended up being in the show, "It's a Wonderful Pie", playing an itinerant musician who played guitar on stage for the songs in the show. It struck me odd that this homeless-looking guy had such a beautiful Taylor guitar. I thought about the backstory of the character and how he came to have such an amazing instrument. The notion festered for a while and I finally wrote the script about five years ago, tweaking it occasionally, but never having a plan about how to turn it into something real – it was always a “someday when I have more time” sort of thing.

Then last winter, my neighborhood business book club was reading The One Thing: a book about the myth of multitasking but also about finding the efforts that you’re passionate about but that need a plan to be fully realized. We went around the room talking about that “one thing” that was in us but wasn’t getting out. I talked about this play. Right there, the group made it their mission to cajole me into making it happen. They insisted that I set a date to perform it – for them. Last August, I did a workshop version of the play in my home for about a dozen people from the book club and the neighborhood – complete with a lightning storm and other effects. It was far from perfect, but was good enough to show that it had some legs. Some members of my Unitarian congregation in Columbia saw it too and they asked me to do a full two-act production of the show there – tickets and all. We eventually set a date for this January.

There is never a good time to do an extracurricular project like this. I’ve tried to give myself enough of a runway to memorize the 55 minutes of monologue that go with the dozen original songs in the show I’ve written over the last 20 years. Memorizing lines in my 50s is a very different experience from doing it in my youth! But it’s coming together and I expect that this show will be good enough not to be embarrassing, though I don’t expect any agents to come calling about the national tour…

If you want to see a "commercial" for the show, you can get a little taste here:

Here's a quick video I shot the day after the workshop performance -- showing the tech I put together to make the show work. 

I will post more about the show on my personal blog.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


The American College of Medical Informatimusicology 
is pleased to present the World Premiere of 

dig·i·tuRN  \'dij·i·tÉ™rn\ tr verb:
     to transform the nursing profession
     through the application of informatics
     and digital innovation.

Written, performed, produced and edited by Ross D. Martin, MD, MHA, FACMImimi
President and Founder of The American College of Medical Informatimusicology.

Commissioned by the Southern Indiana University College of Nursing and Health Professions for the 4th Annual Health Informatics Tri-State Summit.

The healing touch
Words of compassion
An understanding ear
It all seems so old fashioned
The rules are changing as we
Jump into this digital game
(We're digituRNing)

Wait a minute
Our path is timeless
More than ever now
We need human kindness
The flow is changing
But the calling is still the same
Let's repaint the patient picture
And surround it with a digital frame
(We're digituRNing)

We need more healing
And human interaction
The system's reeling
It's time to spring to action
We can't go back to the
Prison of paper chains
Just imagine what can happen
When we multiply our digital gains
(We're digituRNing)

When you let the data go
You won't believe your eyes
As you push it to the flow
The data liquifies
Filling the gaps
Making sure you're aware
Avoiding errors and traps
And driving quality care
Nursing informatics has the
Power to burn and when you
Crank it to eleven you digituRN
Turn, turn, turn... digituRN
(We're digituRNing)

One last notion
Our history's just beginning
It's all in motion
We've got the big wheels spinning
There's just no telling where
DigituRNing takes the flow
Just put the patient first
And we'll keep digituRNing as we go
Just put the patient first
And we'll keep digituRNing into tomorrow
Turn, turn, turn... digituRN
(We're digituRNing)

(c)2017 The American College of Medical Informatimusicology
Creative Commons License 4.0

Monday, August 22, 2016

More Than a Memory #UnicornJess

As many of you know, we all suffered a profound loss on August 13th, 2016 when patient advocate, former fed, and magical unicorn Jess Jacobs left us at age 29. On Saturday, about 35 of us gathered near DC to grieve together and celebrate her life. I shared this song.

More Than a Memory

Got the news just the other day
You departed far too soon
Though it had been a while
Since I'd seen that smile
Heartbreak filled the room

Your stories made us see
The heart of healthcare’s tragedy
How this unicorn
Whose loss we mourn
Got snared by failed reality

You're now a part of history
But in a magic way 
You fold into the mystery
Of who we are today

And now you are, you are 
More than a memory
More than a used to be
You're a living thread
In the tapestry
Of everyone I see
More than a memory 
You are a part of me 
You are, you are, you are
More than a memory

We all cheered for you
Praying that you'd pull through
But even your Team Jess
Couldn't fix the mess
Couldn't make the system
Treat you true

You left the pain behind you
No more tears or rage
Now from the other side you compel us to
Keep working for a change

And now you are, you are
More than a memory
More than a used to be
You're a living thread
In the tapestry
Of everyone I see
More than a memory 
You are a part of me 
You are, you are, you are
More than a memory

Someday we'll rise to take the prize
You've inspired us to win
I hope we all can live our lives
As a testament till then

So we -- like you -- can be
More than a memory
More than a used to be
And be a living thread
In the tapestry
Of all who live after you and me
More than a memory 
A part of everything we see
So we -- like you -- can be
More than a memory

Ross D. Martin, MD, MHA
For Jess Jacobs

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Remembering Jess Jacobs #UnicornJess

Yesterday, our tribe of vocal sojourners and patient advocates lost one of its brightest lights. Jess Jacobs passed away after a long, amazingly chronicled ordeal with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) among other complex medical issues. Jess, ever beaming (I'm not kidding - even when she was in the middle of yet another medical ordeal - she radiated positivity and joy), took great pains to describe the indignities of being a cog in the healthcare machine.

Yesterday, twitter erupted with messages about Jess's passing. Friends like Mandi Bishop, Regina Holliday, and Carly Medosch posted their raw remembrances with equal parts of laughter and rage.

Tonight, we will gather virtually for a tweet chat where we will honor Jess and bask in her light. Here are the details...

When: Sunday, August 14, 2016, 8pm to 9pm ET
Hashtag: #UnicornJess
Moderator: Ross Martin

  • T1: Tell us about when Jess made you smile or laugh
  • T2: Tell us about when Jess made you think
  • T3: Tell us about when Jess made you act
  • T4: What tangible actions can we take to we honor Jess's memory as our "First to Fall" in The Walking Gallery?
  • T5: Open sharing on other topics - we will make sure there is time for folks to share other thoughts and ideas.
If you've never participated in a tweet chat, here is a beginner's guide that can help you join in.

An in-person gathering will be hosted by Whitney Zatzkin and Donna Cryer for Saturday, August 20th, from noon to 5pm in Burke, VA near Washington, DC. You can register to attend and receive more details on the evite

Update 8/17/16
The family has asked that donations be made in Jess's memory to The Waking Gallery. You can make donations through GoFundMe at

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Confessions of a Lifeaholic

Guest Post by Gia Sison, MD

Sitting on my desk, writing from my heart, so much thoughts in my mind thus leading to the term - "Lifeaholic" defined as an addiction to life. When I first started this blog my entry was about my addiction to chocolates and now as I enter into my blogging cycle again I intend to take it on a different note and that is about the phenomenon of waking up each day, breathing and appreciating simple things - the term called life. You see it has gone into a whole new angle in me ever since I fought for it and survived it and now for even just a little bit a chance to share the lessons it has taught me. As they say lessons are cycles repeated in our lives and will never stop unless we learn the message that goes with it. Therefore I confess to the following:

Authenticity. A life well lived begins with appreciating your true and authentic self and admittedly this is a Herculean task, it takes time but the process in the end always pays off. To break free from what others would think and live life on our own terms I would say is the key to breaking free and it definitely feels good. No definition can ever embody what your true self is except for the one you set for yourself.

Courage. Fears can be real.. so real that it feels like being scooped up in a black hole but to embrace it is divine. We become more free every time we step out of our comfort zone. I have learned that the greatest danger in life is taking no risks at all. Admittedly still a lesson I have yet to learn in some occasions.

Kindness. No matter what religion one belongs to it all boils down to kindness. Each day as we meet new people or even old friends take it as an opportunity to be able to contribute and make the world a better place to live in. No preacher here but yes I must say it makes a big good difference.

Value. Living a life is doing what you value the most. What  motivates you? What makes you happy? What gives you energy? What brings an immense smile on your face whenever you envision it? One of the greatest key in living a life with purpose is doing what matters to you the most. Pursue it with passion and the rest shall follow.

Influence. Choose them well. Know them well and most of all never allow it or them to get the better half of you. Discern well.

Choices. Deciding on making one is already a choice in itself. No color aside from black and white in this aspect, no gray area. When I am personally faced with a choice be it difficult or not one thing leads me into walking towards that one road and that is the path that gives me inner peace. No regrets no looking back.

Love. Never lose sight of it and never lose your heart for it. All things may fade but only love remains.

And as I end just a gentle reminder to always stand up for something bigger than yourself. Believe that we exist and we are here for a purpose, a special reason - a mission. Live a beautiful life on your own terms and by all means be successful on your own terms too, not as how society would dictate to you. Bless your path.

"Go as far as you can see. When you get there, you'll be able to see farther."- Thomas Carlyle

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Flow - a spoken-word piece about health information exchange

Cross-posted from my personal blog.

On Monday, August 17th, 2015 I begin a new chapter as Program Director for the new Integrated Care Network initiative at CRISP, Maryland's health information exchange. We will be providing data to healthcare providers to enhance their care coordination efforts and providing additional care coordination tools to some of those providers who don't already have these capabilities in place.

To mark the transition, I decided to make a video of this spoken word piece I wrote in 2012 (originally entitled "A Man among Millions") for my last day consulting for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT while I was working at Deloitte Consulting. This piece explains why I am so passionate about making health information exchange work for all of us.

I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference with an amazing team of collaborators and look forward to providing updates on our progress over the coming months and years.


tick tock
check the clock
it's moving faster
relentless in its quest
to stop us in our tracks

tick tock
can you hear it?
faster than my beating heart
thumping with anxiety
checking over my shoulder
for the reaper
he's on a bender
hell-bent on the hunt
to sniff down and snuff out
those I love

tick tock
time won't stop
or take a break or hesitate
to cut us off at the knees
yet here we stand
for what we believe
can make a difference
if we only make it flow

today we stand for flow --
for what we know is essential to the health
of this thing we call a healthcare system

we stand for flow
for overcoming the inertia of standing still
pushing information out
transforming it from solid state to liquid gold
letting it go where it needs to go
flowing into the chasm that separates us
from the quality we pay for but don't receive
flowing so that the liquid data
cascade and echo
creating ripples of insight
that concatenate to engulf us
in tsunamis of knowledge

and so we implement electronic health records
organizing into exchanges
to make flow a reality
in local circumstances
taking chances with taxpayer dollars
that we could never afford
on our own accord
trying to fix on a massive scale
the brokenness of our system
that we in our confessed complacency
have grown to see as normal

millions --
nameless, faceless
suffering under the burden
of a system uninspired
to go the extra mile --
are saying enough
I have a name
I have a voice
I have a face
I take a stand

here I stand
just one example
of a man among millions
with a family lost in this maze
with a father who died
from cancer of his phantom prostate
that had been removed twenty years before
no PSAs for twenty years
why test for something long removed?
maybe because there's a chance it's not all gone
maybe the answer is there
hidden among the data
to know the answer to the question
of whether it would have made a difference
a life or death difference
this one simple test

here I stand
just one example
of a man among millions
with a family lost in this maze
with a mother slowly losing her way
keeping the memories of her youth
but misplacing those formed an hour ago
her children
long away from their hometown
trying to connect the dots of her care
by remote control
"help! I've fallen and I can't get up"
doesn't traverse time zones
so we rely on old technology of phone and fax
which isn't up to the task
as she rides
from assisted living
to hospital
to rehab
and back again
while her medical records struggle
to keep up the pace

here I stand
just one example
of a man among millions
with a family lost in this maze
with a son who enjoys good health
but has already faced the surgeon's scalpel
at an age too young for his memory to recall
exactly why he has that scar on his back
or how his kidneys lack the full capacity
others take for granted
how will he know
when he comes of age
what this means for him
his records passed down
from his elders
like an oral history
told around a campfire
after a hunt for mastodons

here I stand
just one example
of a man among millions
with a family lost in this maze
with a wife who bravely faces
cancer number four
in thirty-two years
who alone carries the burden
of coordinating care
among the dozens and dozens
of providers who focus on
the particular part of her they understand
who alone carries the records
from place to place
from year to year
from diagnosis to diagnosis
hoping she can keep it all straight
so at the very least they do no harm

here I stand
one of the lucky ones
with coverage
with knowledge
with friends
who stands helpless
to make the system work
for those who are the world to him

here I stand
speaking to my heroes
who possess amazing superpowers
to bend maze corners
into straight corridors
and transform the flow
from a trickle
to a torrent

I don't presume to know what drives you
what compels you to forego
another fifteen minutes sleep
and return to the battle
to do the heavy lifting
to add another line of code
to write another line of policy
to create another decision support rule
to make one more connection
to solve one more problem
to make it flow

but if you need a story to motivate
to steel your resolve to press on
mine is here and free for the taking

better still
forget my story
and tell your own
shout it from the rooftops
or whisper it only to yourself
but keep that image
sharply focused in your mind
to give you the inspiration
to do the work
so we all can be
one among the millions
who survive
no, who thrive
who sail

in the flow
(c)2015 Ross D. Martin, MD, MHA

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Support Regina Holliday, FACMImimi on Gittip

ACMImimi Fellow Regina Holliday's blog post today talks about her setting up a virtual "tip jar" on Gittip ( I read through all of the materials on Gittip -- how their company works and what they are doing -- and think it represents another exciting direction in new economy thinking.

I signed up to give Regina $0.73 per week on Gittip and ask that all of you think about doing the same. That's only $39.96 a year when you throw in the bank fees that Gittip charges ($2 over the course of the year). If your life has been changed for the better by Regina's work and mission like mine has, please sign up to give Regina a weekly boost in her income. Show you mean it by giving something with $0.73 at the end. If everyone with a Walking Gallery jacket tips Regina $0.73 a week, she will receive over $11,000 a year to supplement her income from speaking/painting/Regina-being. It's not enough to live on and raise two boys, but it's something. Let's support Regina!

For what it's worth, I've designated ACMImimi as my own cause on Gittip. I have never received any personal income from the videos and music I've made for the cause of bringing health information to people through music and have invested hundreds of hours and many dollars over the years to bring these works to you. If you have a burning desire to support these efforts, consider doing so through Gittip. It will let me know that people value this contribution to the field and will motivate me to invest more time into making them and creating new, more ambitious works. You'll find me on Gittip at

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

We Picked a Fine Time to Leave El Nopalito

Tonight we say goodnight to an amazing establishment in Silver Spring, El Nopalito Grill -- home to the Wednesday night Songwriters Association of Washington open mic night for more than 100 shows. 

I had to say goodbye the way that a singer/songwriter does - with a new song for the occasion (with apologies to Luceille and her author). It's been a busy time in the world of medical imformatimusicology and informatics too, so I haven't been going very often over the last few months and I've felt it. It's therapy for me -- some people go bowling, some do yoga -- I play open mics. I listen too. And tonight was a great evening of music from across the spectrum. We had over 20 performers, so it was just two songs or 10 minutes. And it was great, just great. 

El Nopalito lost its lease or something like that, so next week we will be starting at a new venue. But tonight we celebrate El Nopalito and their amazing staff and chefs. You will be missed. Here is a song dedicated to them and to the fine songwriters I've had the privilege of hearing and playing for. 

We Picked a Fine Time to Leave El Nopalito


At a Tennessee truck stop about three a.m.

I was feelin’ real down and alone

When in walked a lady who looked so familiar

Just like a young woman I’d known

I said, “Howdy-do” and she sang, “Same t’you

Her melody turned on a light

I said, “Years ago, did you go out to El Nopalito

For that open mic on Wednesday nights?”


I asked her to sit and I gave her a hit

From my bottle of Jack Daniel’s Black

We talked of a time that was many years gone

The memories sure took us back

Back to the stage and a fine bygone age

When songs were performed by our gang

We toasted that crew and the tunes that they knew

And these are the words that we sang



We picked a fine time to leave El Nopalito

I sure loved their chiles and combo burritos

We heard some good songs

And we heard some bad songs

Then we sang, “Adios, muy amigos”

We picked a fine time to leave El Nopalito


Reminicin’ ’til dawn over coffee and yawns

We sang songs until we went hoarse

We swapped juicy stories of yesteryear glories

Who hooked up and who got divorced

We recounted past scenes like when George and Arlene

Used to belt rockabilly full blast

Those nights were the peak of the workaday week

I guess it was too good to last




Dell sold the shop and he took to bar hoppin

Tradin’ a song for a beer

Chris went on a mission to blend drums and fishin

Larry’s been missin for years

Buck Stone and Murray made it big in a hurry

Jeff’s now a YouTube phenom

And Scott and his honey run a posh nudist col’ny

For senile hippies on Guam



Our heads were both hurtin’ and we both knew for certain

It was high time to call it a wrap

My spirit revived, I felt strangely alive

But more likely I’d go home to nap

I gave her a hug and I felt that old tug

To go find me some new open mics

Sure, it’ll be great, but it won’t compensate

For the magic we shared Wednesday nights




For El Nopalito Grill on the occasion of their last open mic, January 8th, 2014

Thanks for taking such good care of us!

Ross D. Martin, MD, MHA

© 2014 ACMImimi