Did you miss out on this year’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Convention held February 19-23 in sunny Orlando, Florida? If so, I’ve got you covered!
I had the pleasure of attending the convention for my 20th year in a row and came away with some good insights from HIMSS 2017, which drew about over 40,000 attendees and roughly 1200 exhibitors from all over the world.
Besides exceeding my daily step quota (my pedometer registered over 122,000 steps in 3 days), here is a rundown of my top observations from the event:
Questions on the Future of Healthcare Delivery
This year’s HIMSS highlighted multiple areas of focus including Interoperability, Cybersecurity, Connected Coordinated Care, Patient Engagement, Machine Learning/AI, and Big Data Analytics. I guess this was to be expected, given the level of uncertainty around what will happen to the Affordable Care Act going forward.
From the educational sessions and vendors, it appears that there are still a lot of questions around the evolution of healthcare delivery in a value-based model, more so with the overall adoption in question post-election. There’s a lot of confusion around the changes that might come if “Obamacare” is repealed and replaced by the republicans. Irrespective, “Population Health” is rapidly evolving from a buzz term to one around which scalable business models are being designed to better manage at-risk patients in different care settings. There is an increasing focus on incorporating the home care providers and other at home services into this evolving trend.
Product & Services Demand Focus
In walking the exhibit floor and listening to vendors and attendees, I got a fair sense of what was in demand for healthcare providers. The key for healthcare providers is mitigating risk and decreasing operational costs – prompting provider organizations, mainly IDNs, to look for coordinated care management solutions that are bridging the gap across the continuum of care, data warehousing tools to mine meaningful and actionable insights to drive operational efficiencies and optimum care delivery, and patient registry systems that are able to link data across systems that are still siloed.
What was interesting to see was the energized interest and focus on two key areas that were before regarded as “good to have or do” but not “must haves” – Cybersecurity and Patient Engagement. Regulatory oversight appears to be pushing the cybersecurity agenda along with more healthcare providers recognizing that they need a single environment through which they can manage compliance, risk, and security as opposed to separate systems.
The Next Big Thing for EMRs
Driven by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) act, EMRs have been dominating HIMSS for over 10 years and are the most expensive technology for providers to adopt. Forced by the HITECH act, it appears that we are now at the tail end of the curve when it comes to providers purchasing EMRs. The big push that I saw from EMR vendors was in applied applications and integrated offerings. There is increasing interest in adoption and integration of clinical decision support solutions by EMRs.
When discussing the idea of having contextually specific policies and procedures be presented to care providers at the point of care from within the patient record with EMR vendors, the discussions led to possibilities of an evolution towards more efficiency and time savings at the point of care, including mitigating risk and improving performance on quality metrics.
From My Viewpoint
A few other things to note that caught my attention and piqued my curiosity:
- Telemedicine is a very real hot topic and trend – adoption is leading to real value and revenue models not realized in the past. There are more provider organizations that are offering telehealth services or looking to offer it in the near future. A key item to note is that post encounter; the telehealth providers are looking at ways that can keep patients engaged.
- Even though there was industry focus on Cybersecurity, the interest from healthcare providers seemed lackluster. There was recognition in the fact of its importance but apathy in perhaps not knowing how best to proceed or what could be affected within their organizations.
Are you attending the 2017 HCCA Compliance March 26-29 in Maryland? Be sure to visit our booth to find out how our automated solutions can help you seamlessly meet compliance and regulatory requirements.
Better yet – save time at the conference and schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of our teammates ahead of time. You’ll get first dibs on our giveaways and learn all the easy ways we can help organize your policy and procedure documents and remain compliant!