Healthcare continues to be the focal point of so much conversation in America. Rightly so. It has become politicized, debated and used as a bargaining chip.
HIMSS17 moved us away from that rhetoric for the most part – at least temporarily -- and to what matters -- quality care for patients. Health IT has become energized again. You could feel it at this year's HIMSS.
- Innovation was driving exhibit floor traffic. IBM Watson, Microsoft and Salesforce.com were definite “winners” on the exhibit floor with innovative and advanced solutions that are game changers for the future of healthcare. New technology that supports health and wellness, telemedicine and analytics also garnered mind share from attendees.
- Trusted and true companies with proven solutions for EHRs, revenue cycle and patient access were also once again front and center (not necessarily like the "old" days) -- maybe it’s the “what’s old is new” approach in healthcare. Increased interest in areas like interoperability, value-based care/value based revenue and clinical quality resonated and drove attendees into booths and sessions. Also, many older, premise-based solutions like EHRs are moving to hosted, cloud-based solutions, reducing costs and offering cutting-edge capabilities.
- Attendees were highly engaged, unlike recent years. From education sessions to the exhibit floor and specialty areas like the Interoperability Showcase, there was a deep-seeded interest in what is happening with healthcare and how technology can improve care delivery. Sessions were well attended and many were lively.
Why the surge of interest and interest at HIMSS this year? From uncertainty with ACA, the growing need to be more fiscally sound by providers in order to serve their communities, consolidation of the provider market and innovation that’s occurring at rates unseen in past years were some of the reasons in speaking with other attendees.
It’s encouraging to see the level of interaction for providers with the latest HIT has to offer. I anticipate seeing more solutions like A.I., 3-D printing, blockchain and self-care solutions come to market in 2017. This year’s HIMSS provided a launching point for the continued evolution of health-related technology.
No matter the political point of view taken on healthcare, the end result should be about care and only care. That’s where Health IT has a profound impact -- putting solutions into the hands of those delivering care and at the fingertips of administrators that keep viable options and alternatives available in our communities. Let’s strive to keep passion and care delivery at high levels. There’s no other way to make a difference in healthcare.