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HIMSS 2018 Recap

HIMSS 2018 Recap

Posted by:Monday, December 10, 2018

I had the privilege of participating in the HIMSS 2018 Conference in Las Vegas this month, and all I can say is WOW, What a RUSH. Now keep in mind this was my first HIMSS Conference and in all honesty it was like drinking from a firehose. Everywhere I looked there was innovation, education and resources abound. I was overwhelmed and all consumed by the largeness of it all. It was impressive!! I got to engage with 45,000 of my closest friends, colleagues and associates from across the globe. Yes, you read that correctly. I engaged with groups from the Netherlands, Japan and Germany. It was very interesting to learn from them a bit about their healthcare culture and how the HIMSS conference was a good venue for them to participate in.

I was thrilled to go and participate the Stroke Interoperability Showcase. The SI showcase was one of a number on the hall floor but thanks to our very intentional leaders I’d say it was the most successful. A number of TRC’s from across the country worked with six business’ to show the high level of engagement telehealth can play in a rural stroke scenario. It was truly a sight to witness as they each brought a wonderful component to the showcase and they worked seamlessly together. We had a number of individuals tell us how impressive the twenty minute narrative was.

Another highlight of the show for me was the intentional efforts being put forth to modernize patient bedside education. Now I know that patients get materials to review when they are in the hospital, and I am well aware that hospitals work at making sure that they do as best they can to convey imperative information to patients before they are discharged, but I also know that a number of issues arise i.e. pain, discomfort, grogginess from narcotics, family interruptions, stress from the thought of going home, etc., and thus some of the material gets lost in translation. I’m sure every facility across our great land thinks they are doing the best they can, and I honestly believe that, but let’s be honest there’s a gap. I also know from personal experience that by day 3 of being home I’m thinking to myself I can’t recall what that discharge nurse told me and for the life of me I can’t find my paperwork! So, I eagerly await what new and innovative tools could become available for discharged patients. Tools that can help close the gap for physicians and patients, support the efforts of the discharge nurse and, AND this is the one that might be the real winner, significantly reduce readmissions and improve adherence to the medical regimen of patients.

Needless to say the HIMSS program offered a little bit for everyone. I could learn about patient satisfaction, EHR implementation, the challenges of healthcare billing systems, ROI with technologies, population health,, analytics tools……you get the picture. The hall floors (there were 5 different ones to browse through) was a playground of what do you want to know, let us help you build it! And I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that they brought in great speakers, most notably CMS Director Seema Verma presented and shared some insights on conversations in Washington, D.C. Like I said before, HIMSS was like drinking from a firehose and it didn’t disappoint.

If I can leave you with one final thought it would be this: Innovation is the formula we all strive for each day to do our jobs as best we can. Some of us find it by grace, others through the blood sweat and tears of individuals we’ve never met. But one thing is for sure, taking care of people is why we do the jobs we do, and I wouldn’t want to do my job without the innovation that each of you bring every day. Stop and thank those around you for their contribution to healthcare, each one important while none more important than the other. 

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