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HIMSS 2019 Recap

Last week our team attended HIMSS and had an incredible experience. Some of the same themes were present as in past years such as interoperability, patient engagement, population health, and cyber security. It truly felt like a celebration of our industry and we all walked away feeling motivated and more educated in the areas that need improvement or more attention. Here are our main takeaways from the conference:

  • Existing in post meaningful use environment has been challenging for hospitals and vendors. Hospitals and vendors cannot rely on government incentives to fund Information Technology initiatives.  Vendor impact includes reduction and/or consolidation of vendors and solutions, exploration of geographic expansion, service line additions and partnerships.  Hospital impact includes strategic alignment, consolidation, shift of EHR implementation to EHR adoption and optimization. Additionally, hospitals are placing higher priority on revenue cycle, supply chain and labor management solutions to manage reimbursement, cost and increased adoption of cloud/remote hosting services.
  • Large technology companies such as AWS, Google and Microsoft continue to increase involvement in healthcare primarily around cloud/remote hosting services. These organizations need to invest in the time to learn more about the healthcare industry to be successful.
  • The failure within industry to unite on interoperability that requires additional action by government to address shortcomings. There is lack of focus and priority put to patients and awareness that patients are the consumer. Opening session completed by Mayo Clinic CIO highlighted this topic as he was patient last summer and commented on system utilization.
  • Higher number of workflow and automation vendors and solution offerings. For example, these solutions could address repetitive tasks that impacts cost.
  • The common theme during the CHIME CIO forum focused on non-physical health in healthcare.  Many of the sessions focused on mental health or social factors contributing to healthcare. Technology as a platform should be designed in a way to account for or factor in these other variables and look at a more holistic picture. Artificial Intelligence (AI) came up a few times and the general premise was that AI is able to beat our best players in almost any game after only a few hours or days of training. Given these advancements, we should be looking for specific AI solutions in healthcare.
  • As far as general conversations with CIO’s and other leaders, it sounds like mergers and acquisitions are very much top of mind and are causing some pause.  A few organizations are considering connect opportunities in ways they haven’t before and are looking for experienced organizations to network with.  Finally, many leaders said they are looking for strong help, leadership, and expertise in the revenue cycle space.  A lot of time over the years has been spent on optimizing the clinician’s workflow but clinicians can’t take care of the patient if the organization is not getting paid.

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