This content is part of the Essential Guide: Conference guide: News and analysis from HIMSS 2014
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What to put on your HIMSS 2014 agenda

Reda Chouffani's highlights for HIMSS 2014 include a focus on startup vendors, keynote speakers and a newly revamped interoperability showcase.

At the HIMSS 2014 Conference and Exhibition, which will take place Feb. 23 to 27 in Orlando, Fla., IT executives, clinicians, students and technology enthusiasts will gather to witness the latest health IT innovations, news and best practices. As attendees prepare to attend this event, many have started winnowing the vast program down to the options most relevant to their jobs.

Don't forget the part of HIMSS that gives the biggest return on investment: the roundtables and educational sessions.

This year, there are some common areas that have been covered in previous years: meaningful use, health data interoperability and the value of health IT in general. But we are also likely to see an increased interest in ICD-10 as it comes online this October. Also, emerging topics include the rapid expansion of mobile health technology as well as both clinical and business intelligence systems.

In addition, the exhibit halls will be packed with many of the vendors that every year find ways to get our attention and demonstrate their next latest and greatest offerings. New for 2014, HIMSS is introducing the "Startup Showcase," which throws a spotlight on 40 new health IT companies presenting ideas and concepts, and that will make their representatives available for one-on-one meetings.

Another area that is very exciting is what the keynote speakers have to offer this year. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini will give a personal and payer perspective on how health IT can empower providers to cut healthcare costs. Also scheduled to speak are former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and National Health IT Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, M.D.

And don't forget the part of HIMSS that gives the biggest return on investment: the roundtables and educational sessions. This year will be yet another great opportunity to learn from our peers and gain insights into what others have done and learned through their good and bad IT experiences. Whether you attend roundtables or educational sessions, each interaction and presentation will be packed with real-world knowledge to take back home.

Reda Chouffani is vice president of development with Biz Technology Solutions Inc., which provides software design, development and deployment services for the healthcare industry. Let us know what you think about the story; email or contact @SearchHealthIT on Twitter.

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