Thoughts from HIMSS15

A few observations from 20,000 feet on Delta 1116 as I return to Atlanta after 2-1/2 packed days in Chicago at HIMSS15:

 

  • It just keeps getting bigger and better.  Technology has already revolutionized many aspects of care delivery and operations.  And we are still at the front end of the transformation. Just knowing that there were 40,000 attendees, hundreds of educational offerings, and nearly 1,000 vendors in one spot makes a pretty strong statement of the energy this sector will continue to generate. 

  • Underneath the glitz and glamor is genuine progress.  I think we turned the corner two years ago at HIMSS13 in New Orleans.  I have been attending HIMSS off and on for more than 15 years.  I'm not sure why, and maybe it was just the vendor booths I happened to visit in New Orleans, but it seemed like HIMSS13 marked a turning point for the industry.  For the first time, I saw real products that could actually deliver on the promises we had been hearing about for several years.  No longer were streamlined care, higher levels of interoperability, and other items on the wish list something in the distant future.  These were actually becoming available in the present.  And the trend has only accelerated at HIMSS15.  We still have a long way to go, but the progress I have witnessed from my first national HIMSS meetings in 1999 to today is staggering.

  • It was terrific to see Georgia as the only state to sponsor a booth showcasing nine of its emerging vendor companies.  Kudos to the visionaries who put that together and to the fine roster of featured companies.

  • I can't think of a healthcare space I would rather be in than emerging digital health.  So much of what we do in healthcare is rearranging the chaos.  As important as that is, what excites me more is seeing how implementing emerging technologies truly transforms the patient care experience.  Whether it's something as mundane as streamlining reporting processes to isolate operational problems, or something as dynamic as digitizing the post-discharge care coordination process to make sure that the hip replacement patient actually gets the care she needs, technology is one of the bright spots on the healthcare horizon that will move the ball down the field toward better outcomes in the most affordable way possible.

  • And, finally, it was great to unexpectedly bump into some old friends I seldom get to see and to make new ones.   

     

    I'm already looking forward to HIMSS16!