HIMSS16 Field Report: Thoughts And Takeaways

April 08, 2016

We’ve been busy! This post marks one in a series of updates from the field of various conferences, events, and client presentations that we have attended in the last month. Enjoy!

The HIMSS 2016 annual conference and exhibit was held in Las Vegas last month and the Medalogix team was right in the middle of the action.

It was a jam-packed five days, with more than 42,000 health information technology (HIT) professionals attending impressive education sessions and exciting vendor displays in the exhibit hall, leaving little time for tempting Vegas distractions.

HIMSS is a non-profit that strives to improve the quality, cost-effectiveness, access and value of healthcare through IT. Their annual conference is absolutely massive and brings together IT professionals, executives, clinicians, informaticists, healthcare financial professionals, consultants, government and public policy professionals, investors, payors and project managers from across the globe.

With 300 educational sessions and over 1,300 exhibitors, it was an excellent environment for the Medalogix team to learn about cutting edge HIT products and services, especially ones that affect our clients and their patients.

The opening keynote was kicked off by US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell

She reiterated the three core commitments that key organizations have recently made to improve the flow of health information to consumers and healthcare providers.

These three commitments are:

  1. Consumer access with ease and security
  2. No information blocking across care providers
  3. To implement standards, policies, guidance and practices for electronic health information and adopt best practices including those related to privacy and security.

The key organizations making these commitments are comprised of organizations providing 90 percent of the electronic health records used by U.S. hospitals, the nation’s five largest private healthcare systems, and more than a dozen leading professional organizations and stakeholder groups.

According to the HHS, nearly all hospitals and three-quarters of physicians use certified electronic health records. This initiative will be a big next step in maximizing their use.

Subsequent educational sessions and vendor exhibitswere in line with the HHS initiative to focus on the impact and importance of HIT.

Topics included:

  • Privacy and security
  • Regulations and data governance
  • Predictive modeling
  • EMR usability
  • Driving value from technology
  • Innovative payment models
  • Value-based care
  • Interoperability
  • Analytics
  • Decision support
  • Telemedicine
  • The application of big data

Notably from our perspective, speakers and exhibits in these specialty areas focused almost exclusively on the acute-care and physician practice space, leaving other long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) organizations such as home care, skilled nursing, and assisted living not as well represented.

So what were our most important take-aways from the conference?

#1. HIMSS16 was a great networking and rejuvenating event that affirms Medalogix’ relevance in the growing market of population health, value based care, analytics and predictive modeling.

#2. The industry has recognized the importance of data and using it in meaningful ways within population health approaches. New and innovative technologies and their application are changing the landscape and laying the foundation for a true continuum of care approach. And the department of HHS has dedicated time, resources, and funding to ensuring commitment to the cause by major hospital EMR vendors.

#3. Active participation by the post-acute space is key in any HIT-fueled population health approach driven by analytics to improve care and reduce costs across the entire continuum.

#4. It’s just a matter of time before the LTPAC community has more of a voice at the table.

So, that’s it.

Like all of these big conferences, it was a mass of information, sessions, vendors, and people. You do the best you can to seek out the three or four things to take home with you to make your organization better and to better serve your customers.

We’ve already started working with our teams to build some of these insights into our products and processes. We’re excited, with your help, to drive the future of healthcare.

If you were at HIMSS16, what were your thoughts and takeaways?

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