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HIMSS 2016 Wrap Up

March 8, 2016 | Sotera Wireless

Another HIMSS convention has come and gone and I’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and where we’re headed.

Aside from the flashy booths, give away trinkets and big name keynotes, there is a sense of community within the HIMSS membership that makes the week manageable. HIMSS brings together clinicians, finance, IT and vendors with solutions covering all of these areas.  It gives conference goers a unique opportunity to view the application of technology to healthcare, assess its effectiveness and identify areas in need of improvement.

This year, security emerged from the back rooms of IT policy makers and vendor booth presentations to land front and center in the education session agenda.  The current state of security in healthcare suffers in a number of areas. There is still a lack of clarity regarding the regulatory impact of security patches. Varied device capabilities, operating systems, and the need to carefully plan and coordinate the rollout of upgrades and patches leave health information systems and medical devices vulnerable to common place exploits.  At next year’s HIMSS, I look forward to seeing more innovative solutions to security challenges.

In addition to security, another recurrent theme at this year’s HIMSS was the continuum of care and eHealth solutions. As we close in on fully connected Electronic Health Records, the natural next step is to ensure that our health information is seamlessly accessible to us at any point in our care, in the hospital or at home. Many solutions were proposed to simplify and standardize the sharing of health information.

Our ability to support this changing vision is dependent on continued cross disciplinary collaboration.  We need to focus on sharing information efficiently, openly and securely.  An example I expect to see more of next year is further maturation of emerging interoperability standards like IHE profiles and FHIR.

As Peyton Manning stated in his keynote, “Pressure is what you feel when you don’t have a plan.”  By coming together as a community and sharing knowledge, tools and solutions we can plan and prepare for the challenges of today and those to come.  This is the promise of HIMSS.

Of course the real payoff will be the improvement in quality of care, protection of patient information, lower costs, and ultimately improved patient health and satisfaction.

See you at HIMSS17 in Orlando.

Michael Parlee
Sr. Interoperability Manager