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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Feb 27 2012   5:00PM GMT

Summary of my week at HIMSS 2012

Posted by: RedaChouffani

After attending HIMSS 2012 this year in Vegas, I could not wait to get back and share some of the knowledge and innovations I learned about from the conference. I sat through some incredible sessions, as well as viewed some exciting technologies and products that are bound to play a significant role in assisting with improving quality of care, safety and populations health.

In my walks through the different booths, I took the time to review some of the products being showcased.And this year there were several areas where I spent time evaluating and discussing the products and solutions with the vendors.

RTLS vendors:

This year I have seen a significant surge in the number of RTLS vendors.This was expected, as RFID products have seen a decrease in cost, and several bed management, asset management and patient flow software vendors incorporated that technology with their solution.But as I reviewed some of the products, I realized that only few stood out.Some of the vendors offered web view as part of their product, which made it accessible from any platform.Others provided a flexible workflow engine with custom workflow design tools.This functionality is extremely important, as it will allow the hospitals to implement specific workflows that will help resolve their specific challenges.These workflows consist of system actions when certain criteria are met (such as a device, staff, patient, temperature) or behave a certain way.

Business Intelligence: I had the opportunity to visit several booths that offered some incredible BI tools, from IBM to MicroStrategy.I was hoping to review and discuss mobile BI as well, but unfortunately I did not see examples of this product offering or vendors available.  

EMR vendors: As always, there was a enormous presence of EMR vendors and I was able to check out many of the products out there. I saw NextGen, Greenway, eCW (eClinicalWorks), GE, EPIC and Cerner and had the opportunity to view many of the new solutions and updated modules they are currently offering.

Knowledge Centers: This was something new to the HIMSS attendees.Inside the exhibit hall, knowledge centers are the areas where speakers and domain experts discussed specific subjects.Some of the topics were: Accountable Care Organizations, Cloud Computing to name a few.

Social Media Meet Up: This year, many of the bloggersfrom the #HITsm (health care IT social media) crowd got to meet and discuss the entire HIMSS event as well as the topic of health IT. I personally enjoyed meeting with some of the talented and healthIT experts out there such as @TechGuy, @ShahidShah, as well as @JennyLaurello (@HITExchange).We had the opportunity to discuss some of the sessions and innovations we were looking forward to seeing at HIMSS as well as some of the current federal initiatives, such as the stage 2 meaningful use changes.

Managed IT Service Providers: During my visits to the exhibit hall, I identified many vendors who provided IT services combined with health specific PM and expertise.This continues to be a very important area that can help many of the health organizations who are looking to fill their gap in IT support.While more clinical and technology folks are attending certification and accelerated programs in health care IT, the shortage is significant. Many hospitals are looking to implement initiatives right away and are in need of the appropriate resources to accomplish that.

As with every year I attend the HIMSS conference, I am introduced to so many new, thought provoking innovations, challenges and successes.This helps refuel my drive to continue to provide technologies and solutions that will yield to meaningful health outcomes and workflow efficiencies.

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