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All Things HIT

Feb 19 2013   11:51AM GMT

Gearing up for HIMSS, eHealth conference great precursor

Posted by: AllinHIT
eHealth Initiative, Epic, HIMSS, HIMSS13, social media

It’s getting close to that time of year again. Time for the biggest annual show in health IT: HIMSS!

HIMSS gives us all a chance to see the latest and greatest in Health IT, network with our peers at the many parties and social events and indulge in the almost always surprising press releases. We all know of the apps, strategies and methodologies one can use to maximize the benefits of attending this great event, and are likely watching HIMSS coverage closely. And as needless as it might be to say, this year’s host city is New Orleans, which will undoubtedly add an additional flair to HIMSS. New Orleans itself is very special to me, since I spent most of last year living there and working as a consultant on the “O2” project, Ochsners Epic implementation.

With my new Epic certification and credentialed training skills, I expected not to attend this year. If I did attend, I wouldn’t be on a project, billing hours. Hence I had mixed emotions! After giving it thought over the last few months, I decided I would really like to attend and be on a project. I would love to catch up with some of my friends from the project, too. Despite these challenges, I will not stop praying for the Utopian result of having both a project and attend the conference!

If I don’t attend HIMSS, at least I was able to attend a great precursor to HIMSS, the eHealth Initiative annual member meeting. The conference, held in my home base of Orlando, is a great gathering of health IT executives engaging in discussions, examining white papers and discussing the many facets of health IT.  This was my first time attending the conference and what struck me most was the quality of the speakers and attendees, the number of topics/discussions relevant to the “now” in health IT, and lastly, the welcomed intimacy of the conference. My discussions with David Will of Cerner, Gary Larson of eHealth Technologies and Mike Squires of Blueprint were all special and unhurried.

The last session addressing the use of technology to manage chronic conditions was especially enlightening. I came away with hope that big pharma, payers and vendors like AT&T are really looking at social media as a way to engage patients with these conditions. This is something I’ve written about a few times, using University of Toronto’s BANT product as a great example of managing juvenile diabetes. My discussion with an old friend, Tony Schueth of Point-Of-Care Partners, gave me more awareness on EHR’s effect on the dispensing – or non-dispensing – of new drugs (perhaps a good blog topic?).

Yes, this conference truly satisfied my thirst for knowledge last week.  They also recognized me, not only for being an Epic/Health IT consultant, but a journalist/writer/blogger on All Things HIT.  Their motto, “Real Solutions. Better Health,” is a noteworthy theme which I know we all aspire to abide by.  Thanks for allowing me to contribute my two cents to discussions, and I hope you’ll allow me the same courtesy next year, before I go to HIMSS!

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