Monday, February 22, 2016

HIMSS 2016 (Las Vegas)

The world's largest healthcare IT conference is about to take off again Feb 29-March 4th. It's the Healthcare Information Management & Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference:

Someone asked me recently why I go and what I get out of it, the answer always seems to boil down to these two things: 
  • Connecting with colleagues and others; Hearing and Seeing what others are up to
  • Viewing latest and greatest on the exhibit floor, while watching/listening for themes
What will be the big themes this year?  
There always seem to be a few- here is my guess as to what we will see a lot of this year:  
  • Telehealth: everyone is jumping in these days, whether we are ready or not! I think the hype around "video for everything" is peaking, and then we will realize that using video for routine care perpetuates an inefficient system - and is not our way out of this mess of a healthcare system.  Over time, video will just focus on specialized care for remote locations; and asynchronous care will rise for routine care. 
  • Predictive Analytics: Last year the work "Analytics" was everywhere.  I think this year it will be more focused and solutions based, with "Predictive" leading the charge. It is amazing, but everyone says they can do this better than the other guys... but there is no winner yet.  Of course, predicting who will do poorly, and being able to do anything about it are very different things!  Will be looking for companies that can do the latter as well!   
  • Innovating with IT: Now that most places have a stable EMR and HIT foundation in place, and we are more quickly moving from volume to value based care... The most innovative organizations will be building on top of these platforms - either by creating tools themselves, or integrating with 3rd party apps.  Looking forward to talking about this at the AMDIS/HIMSS Physician Symposium, as well as attending the HX360 "conference within a conference".  And of course, you can still find my book on this subject (Innovation with Information Technologies in Healthcare) as the topic heats up! 
  • Doctor Burnout and the Need to Make IT more Usable.  This will span from tech ideas to research reports to policy discussions. Hopefully it will not just be talk - and we will see more solutions that actually help.  I'm looking for full people/process/technology solutions which automate routine care, and/or virtualize services out of the office - but do it all in a way that takes work off the MD's plate, not adds onto it (as we have too often allowed HIT to do in the past).  Companies that fit this bill include healthfinch (which I co-founded five years ago specifically to help automate routine physician work) and healthloop (and others that are helping with post-visit care).  Additionally, I'm intrigued by the remote scribe companies (there are many now)- I need to figure out if they will really make things easier or not for PCPs.

I always keep notes at HIMSS, and am going to start "dumping" them into this blog - hoping they provide some value to me others in the future...look for an update after March 4th!  In the meantime, feel free to follow me @drlyleMD