HIMSS 2012 Observations

Posted February 29, 2012, 4:18 pm by Charles Robbins

Image of Charles

Charles Robbins

What do you get when you bring 37,000 attendees together with 1,100 healthcare IT vendors? HIMSS 2012 of course.  Given all the activity in the health IT sector, this year's conference was the most overwhelming to date.  The explosion in social media was obvious throughout the conference.  In fact, the hashtag #himss12 set a world record for healthcare conference tweet volume on February 12th with 6,438 tweets.  I guess that explains what all those vendors were doing on their phones as I passed their booth!  Here are a couple other observations from this year's conference.

Enthusiasm About The Future

Given the fact that hospital use of EHRs has doubled over the past two years, combined with the more than $3.1 billion in incentives that has been distributed by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, there are real reasons to be optimistic.  The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is well positioned to meet its goal of having 100,000 providers attest to Meaningful Use by the end of 2012.  A significant side effect of this investment is the proliferation of new technology and services.  Of particular note at this years conference was the use of natural language processing, mobile applications and medical device integration.

MU Stage 2

A highlight of the conference was ONC's announcement of its proposals for Meaningful Use Stage 2.  From my perspective, this long awaited announcement was well received by attendees and vendors alike.  Paramount in the proposal is an enhanced need for system and application interoperability.  The requirement to trade data across organizational boundaries, combined with public health reporting requirements and the need to exchange data with disparate EHRs, all prompt for more efficient exchange models.

Takeaway? The proliferation of EHRs and mobile technology, as prompted by the efforts of ONC, will not revolutionize the US healthcare system on their own. Connectivity and accessible data is required for large scale impact.  In order for patients to be involved in their care,  data must be available and engaging.  Patient portals, prompted by Stage 1 requirements, must continue to evolve to keep patients healthy at home, reducing hospital admissions.  Health IT vendors must provide solutions that can assist providers achieve meaningful use and connectivity.  As outcomes, value and performance become more integrated with payments, data and data analytics will play a more important role healthcare.

 
Filed under: Healthcare
Edited December 29, 2014 by
Listed in Communities:
Tagged as: EHR emr Healthcare HIMSS


You must be logged in to post comments.