World Wide Wade Goes West—Episode VII: Denver, CO

7/7/10Follow @wroush

Well, I made it to San Francisco! I officially occupied my new Potrero Hill loft (which will double as Xconomy’s San Francisco bureau) Tuesday morning. But I don’t have an Internet connection there yet, so I’m writing this at the Starbucks on 16th and Kansas. Which means I’m feeling right at home—we depended on Starbucks cafes as the upload points for the week’s videos whenever our motels or other destinations didn’t have service.

The last three overnight stops on the trip were Salt Lake City, UT, Fernley, NV, and Dillon Beach, CA, where Graham’s family is celebrating a few birthdays. (Happy Birthday Lauren, Valerie, and Graham!) But the last place where we shot a video was Denver. That’s where I interviewed Maria Gentile, a doctor of osteopathy who’s part of a group practice.

Dr. Gentile is in the same position as most physicians these days—having to figure out whether and how to take advantage of stimulus-bill incentives to adopt electronic medical record systems. As she explains in the video, whether her practice will be able to tap any of the federal incentives depends on whether it can meet the as-yet-vaguely-defined standards for “meaningful use” of electronic health records. (Ryan explored this topic in a recent interview with Partners Healthcare CIO John Glaser.) Specialty practices like Dr. Gentile’s are in a double bind—not only is there a shortage of health-record software tailored for osteopathy and other specialties, but the meaningful-use guidelines seem mainly designed to fit primary-care physicians and family practitioners.

That was just one of the issues Dr. Gentile walked me through. As an unexpected coda, she offered to demonstrate her office’s high-tech spinal decompression machine—on me. I could hardly say no, especially after Graham insisted that it would make great footage. The demo turned out to be quite interesting—watch to the end of the video for that.

Speaking of Graham Gordon Ramsay, videographer extraordinaire, I can’t end World Wide Wade Goes West without expressing my bottomless thanks for his help with the series. Not only did he agree to split the driving with me on this epic cross-country trek, but he manned the video camera and handled all of the video editing—a huge task that was largely accomplished as we drove, with Graham bent over my laptop in the passenger seat. The professional look of the videos is all his doing (except for the motion graphics in the intro and closing, which came courtesy of Pixability). He took the lead on the trip logistics, and one of the episodes (“Who’s Wade?“) was his idea entirely.

It’s been an amazing trip, and while I’m happy to be here in San Francisco, I have to admit I’m going to miss the frenetic pace of the daily video shoots, bloopers and all. I hope you’ll check out all six previous videos at the links on this page, or at the series YouTube channel. Your comments are always welcome.

World Wide Wade Goes West is sponsored by Pixability.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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