Trexin had a strong presence last week at HIMSS15, which was the largest HIMSS annual conference to date. Our Healthcare Provider Lead, Jeffrey Hill, PhD, Improving Health Outcomes Lead, Ngan MacDonald, and Healthcare Policy and Compliance Lead, Laura Zaremba, feverishly worked their way through dozens of sessions, panels and presentations on topics ranging from using health information exchange to transform healthcare delivery to building a successful analytics infrastructure for accountable care to the innovative use of cloud services in population health management.
The early morning calm outside McCormick Place here on the first day of HIMSS15 was in sharp contrast to the frenzied pace of sessions, packed schedule of demonstrations, and stadium-like crowd noise generated by 40,000+ health information technology enthusiasts.
From the opening session on Monday that focused on empowering patients through personalized, mobile technology through the closing session that addressed system-wide transformation, virtually every relevant topic in the health information technology universe was addressed by thought leaders from across the country.
Three consistent themes that emerged were closely aligned with Trexin’s Healthcare Practice focus and expertise: 1) Interoperability of health information systems and data remains an elusive, but critical component of transforming the healthcare system; 2) Population health management as a concept continues to build momentum as a driver of technology and healthcare organization resource allocation; and 3) the role of the patient-consumer in determining and impacting value in the healthcare system is evolving rapidly.
Despite the prevalence of emerging topics and cutting-edge technology, many presenters and attendees with whom the Trexin team met emphasized some more familiar challenges in health information technology such as data integrity, system security and change management, on efforts to transform their organizations. Although they are not new to healthcare, these factors are still highly relevant and require strong organizational leadership, planning and execution to successfully implement any technology-intensive transformation.
A new focus on patient-consumer engagement and behavior was evident in the keynote addresses, panel presentations and vendor demonstrations. And while there was ample evidence that healthcare organizations have accepted the reality that patients and consumers will play a much greater role in determining value in a transformed healthcare system, the actual impact of the many patient-focused technology tools and strategies is still largely in question.
In summary, the volume and depth of innovative technology on display at HIMSS15, and the breadth of healthcare challenges they are designed to address, was nothing short of astonishing. With this number and complexity of technology solutions available in the marketplace, the visual displays and demonstrations in the HIMSS Exhibit Halls boldly underscored the need for sound planning, careful assessment and working with trusted partners to ensure that adoption of advanced technology truly optimizes an organization’s operations. The Trexin team emerged from HIMSS15 even more energized to continue working with our clients and partners, navigating the complex dynamics of current healthcare system change, to innovate and transform for a successful, sustainable future.