I flew out of Logan Airport in Boston at 5:30 a.m. last Monday, and was eager to head to sunny Orlando as a first time HIMSS attendee. The next three days were a whirlwind of innovation, shared ideas, and excitement about the future of health IT.
The event featured seemingly endless amounts of information and new technology, and every attendee had their own take on what’s next for our industry. But throughout the conference, there were a few things that popped up again and again:
When the new rules dropped on February 11, it only served to amplify the focus on interoperability at HIMSS19. At the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase, vendors provided an overview of current health IT products in the market and housed networking events where industry thought leaders could discuss best practices and what’s next for interoperability. But no matter how interoperability continues to evolve, one thing is clear: what’s best for patients and clinicians is a clear, easy exchange of information.
Organizations such as the CommonWell Health Alliance strive to help make this possible, and we were excited to highlight them in our booth at HIMSS19.
Additionally, technology from RESTful APIs, including FHIR, was discussed as a support for new apps that can add value to EHRs. By opening up the exchange of ideas, our industry can lay the groundwork for a more connected, user-friendly future.
We’ve all been talking about physician burnout for years, but in the last couple of years we are finally seeing what might actually improve the EHR experience for physicians. Near the top of the list is AI and virtual assistant capabilities. A long list of ed sessions at HIMSS19 focused on machine learning, wearables, blockchain, and how AI can improve efficiency throughout an organization.
On February 12, MEDITECH partnered with Nuance Communications to discuss our integrated virtual assistant-enabled workflows, which have the power to save time via a conversational user interface. The opportunities for AI in healthcare are expanding at a rapid pace, and it will be interesting to see what new developments will debut at HIMSS20.
#WomeninHIT and the power of social media
With social media ambassadors in attendance and a busy social media presence, there were a number of topics flying around twitter for #HIMSS19. From #pinksocks to a nurse Tweetup in the MEDITECH booth, there was plenty of social media activity to go around, and one of the most popular hashtags was #WomeninHIT. A number of sessions, meetups, roundtables, and networking opportunities at HIMSS focused on the power of women in the health IT space. A perfect illustration of the #WomeninHIT message came when Janae Sharp of Sharp Index ended up comforting her son on stage during a meetup that focused on balance and gender equality, without missing a beat. As a mom and a healthcare IT professional, I can’t think of a more empowering moment than that one.
Both in our booth and on social media, MEDITECH Associate Vice President Cathy Turner, BSN, MBA, RN-BC and Joe Farr, RN, King’s Daughters Medical Center, joined industry influencers for a Tweetup to discuss the nurses’ voice. This lively discussion illustrated how to embrace the voice of the nurse, incorporate their key insights and perspectives, and the ways an organization can benefit from listening to the nurse perspective. Make sure you’re following our partners and social media influencers @techguy, @innonurse, and @NathanGrunewald on Twitter.
“We’re bringing a collaborative effort to the development process. Every discipline needs to own their piece in it. We’re giving back to nurses. So they have time at the bedside.” @MEDITECH_Nurses #HIMSS19 pic.twitter.com/2zYhLoajjz— MEDITECH (@MEDITECH) February 12, 2019
It’s no secret that the expectations of the healthcare consumer are much different than they were even just a few years ago. All of us are walking around with a wealth of knowledge in our pocket, and patients and clinicians expect healthcare to be just as easy. Think about it—how many of us at HIMSS19 used an app for ridesharing? To order food from our hotel? To communicate with our coworkers, share ideas on social media, or access our agenda? I know I would have been lost without the HIMSS app for my agenda and map! Healthcare is no different: consumers want price transparency and easy access to care.
It’s no surprise that the HIMSS keynote discussion focused on the question, “Will Consumer-Directed Exchange Disrupt the Healthcare Marketplace?” Patients, clinicians, and even CMS are calling for health IT to empower consumers and focus on patient engagement through transparency and interoperability. To help address these challenges, organizations are engaging in new and innovative ways to communicate with patients beyond the hospital walls, address social determinants of health, and improve care coordination.
This is just a glance at some of the hot topics at HIMSS19, but make no mistake, this year’s conference illustrated that the scope of healthcare only continues to expand, and if one thing’s for sure, it’s that we can expect to see even more exciting innovation at HIMSS20!
Want to see how leaders in the MEDITECH customer community are furthering healthcare innovation? Visit our case studies and white papers page and get inspired for the future of healthcare IT.