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I survived HIMSS 2016

This blog post is part of our Essential Guide: HIMSS 2016 conference coverage and analysis

Ten interviews, a podcast, a session with ONC and CMS, and two days later, I can officially say I survived HIMSS 2016. There was a momentary scare there as I wandered the exhibition floor after an interview at the Intermountain Healthcare booth and realized I had no idea where I had entered and therefore did not know how to get out. For a brief — but what felt like a long time — moment, I sincerely thought I’d just be lost and stuck on that ginormous (yes, ginormous is the appropriate word to use here) floor with all those vendors and thousands of people until the conference was over and everyone was packing up and I’d finally be discovered and rescued. Luckily, I eventually found the exit.

But I can honestly say I have never seen that many people in one place before. In the hallways there was a constant stream of people at all times and I kept wondering, “Where did all these people come from? Is this convention center that big that it can hold the population of a small city?” It seems the answer to that is yes.

Despite almost getting trapped on the exhibition floor and being in awe of how huge the convention center was and how many people were there, I have to say I am so thrilled to have had the privilege of speaking to some of the brightest, most innovative healthcare CIOs.

Here is a sampling of some of the CIOs I spoke with and the health IT issues we discussed:

  • Marc Probst, CIO of Intermountain Healthcare, shared his insights on cybersecurity.
  • Indranil (Neal) Ganguly, vice president and CIO at JFK Health System, spoke about how hospitals are using Internet of Things for inventory management, optimizing workflow, and medical device integration.
  • Harun Rashid, vice president of Global Health Services and CIO of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), spoke about UPMC’s telemedicine initiatives, EHR integration challenges, cloud, and mobility management.
  • Andrew Rosenberg, M.D., interim CIO at the University of Michigan Health System, spoke about data analytics and interoperability and how the two need each other in order to really add value.

HIMSS may be over but my work is just beginning. I can’t wait to tell the stories of how some of these CIOs are using technology in innovative ways at their hospitals and health systems. I’m eager to impart the wisdom and advice they shared with me with SearchHealthIT’s audience. And I can’t wait to create videos with all the footage I got at the conference so that our audience will not only learn from what these CIOs have to say, but also get to see them and their enthusiasm as they talk about  health IT issues.

And while HIMSS is over for me, it is not over for my colleague, Shaun Sutner, who interviewed the likes of Jonathan Bush, CEO and co-founder of athenahealth, Inc. and more.

Stay tuned.

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