View from the Bridge

HIMSS17 – Make the most of IT

We’re in those final few frenzied weeks before HIMSS. You are either sitting it out this year because it’s just gotten too big or you’re too busy to take the time to go. If that’s the case, you’re maybe hoping your team attending will get a lot out of it and bring back some new ideas. Or you’re starting to spend some time making your own schedule while there – figuring out who you need to meet with and what new offerings you need to explore.

Either way, this post should be helpful for you and your IT team as you make your plans.

Per the HIMSS17 conference site it’s 45,000 people, 1,200 exhibitors, and 300 sessions. No doubt, overwhelming for most people. So everyone needs a plan. My advice each year – make a plan, stick to it but be flexible and open to meeting people, learning about new products and trends, and making new connections.

Big as HIMSS has gotten, you must admit the staff does a great job helping attendees navigate the many choices – either by topic or role. And they continue to provide social media ambassadors to help you prepare, keep up while there, and stay connected afterwards. Follow these influencers to get the most out of HIMSS17.

What are the big trends this year? Our industry has gotten so complex and dependent on technology the list is much longer than when I first started attending HIMSS. Cybersecurity, population health, and connected health aren’t exactly trends but they will be getting a lot of attention again this year. And we’re probably all interested in what changes will be coming due to the new administration in DC.

If anything is the breakout hot topic for health IT in 2017, it’s blockchain. There is a day long program on Wednesday presented by IEEE Computer Society – “Rock Stars of Blockchain Healthcare” to help you get up to speed.

HIMSS has gotten so big, there are now optional forums within the conference. There’s the usual Sunday pre-conference symposiums and forums you can add in and there are multiple day summits including one on Digital and Personal Connected Health that looks interesting.

Another one of those forums within the conference is the HX360 program, sponsored by HIMSS and AVIA again this year. Sunday is focused on engaging C-suite executives and the Monday-Tuesday program is a broader thought leadership program focused on innovation in health technology. The Venture+ Forum on Sunday will bring together investors and startups for rapid-fire pitch competition. Something like a HIMSS “Shark Tank”?? Even if you don’t attend either of these programs, you can visit the HX360 Innovation Zone and learn about some of the newest products hitting the market.

And finally, there is the ginormous vendor floor. My trick to navigating is make my list of vendors I want to see then mark them on the little pull out map in the guidebook. There may be a better electronic tool on the HIMSS app but in this case, I like the paper guide. Break up the floor over the days and you will still get plenty of steps in each day. Of course, be open to new vendors as you make your way between your target vendors. It’s not just about the big players with two story exhibits. And don’t forget to check out the Interoperability Showcase to see the integration that is possible these days.

The StarBridge Advisors principals will be at HIMSS17. David, Russ and I would love to meet with you if you have any advisory needs you want to explore with us. Or just say hi and meet our team. Contact us through our website and we’ll be sure to schedule some time.

And one final helpful tip – HIMSS has provided a #HIMSS17 Hashtag Guide that lists key hashtags. Before, during and after the conference these hashtags may be helpful as you focus on what you want to learn about and follow. On Twitter and LinkedIn, you can find related posts using these hashtags:

  • #PutData2Work – Clinical & Business Intelligence – exploring health data management best practices and opportunities for more intelligent, connected care
  • #Connect2Health – Connected Health – uncovering the impact and future of anytime, anywhere health management and care delivery
  • #HITsecurity – Cybersecurity – progressing the conversation around health IT security to strengthen training, preparation and response techniques
  • #GovHIT – Government Health IT – bringing the public policy conversation to the forefront and showcasing legislative interests
  • #HITcloud – Healthcare Cloud – enabling data to be available when and where it’s needed, regardless of location
  • #Aim2Innovate – Health IT Innovation – inspire innovation for better health IT solutions, care and quality
  • #HITworks – Health IT Value – establishing a structure and vocabulary to discover and communicate the value of health IT – for all stakeholders
  • #EmpowerHIT – Interoperability – discussing opportunities in achieving healthcare interoperability to advance effective delivery of care
  • #GenY4HIT – Millennials in Health IT – convening future leaders and innovation of healthcare to progress their passion and vision for care delivery.
  • #Nurses4HIT – Nursing Informatics – empowering nurses to drive health transformation through the use of IT
  • #Engage4Health – Patient Engagement – improving population health disparities via digital patient-provider engagement tools
  • #DrHIT – Physicians – connecting doctors and patients using tech, data, and experience to realize care value
  • #PopHealthIT – Population Health – facilitating improvement in population health outcomes through technology
  • #PrecisionHIT – Precision Medicine – enhancing the approach to disease treatment and prevention through personalization
  • #RethinkRCM – Revenue Cycle Management – coordinating opportunities to create collaborative and efficient revenue cycle management processes
  • #WomenInHIT – Women in Health IT – empowering women in health IT through recognition, resources and access


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