The HIMSS17 conference is in the books, what were the topics that dominated the conversation?
More than 40,000 people attended HIMSS in Orlando, Fla., the week of Feb. 20. You would think that there would have been a main dominant theme for one of the largest Healthcare Information Conferences of the year, but there wasn’t. There were several main topics: population health, Security, interoperability, financial integration, data management to name a few.
Below are excerpts from an article on Becker’s Hospital Review: They asked several attendees and vendors this question: What issues did you expect or see receive more attention at HIMSS17 compared to last year? Here’s what we heard. (Responses are lightly edited for length and clarity.)
Suzanne Travis, Vice President of Regulatory Strategy at McKesson Technology Solutions (Alpharetta, Ga.): “I think cybersecurity will still receive a lot of attention. It did last year and is still top of mind this year. I also do think the shift from volume to value and value-based care and wondering what pace of change is going to be under the new administration — that will probably be a focus as well.”
Dan Michelson, CEO of Strata Decision Technology (Chicago): “We’re seeing huge need for clinical and financial data together. There is enormous attention around cost accounting right now, and there is a huge trend around financial planning as well. Look at either long-range planning or budgeting not on an annual basis but on a continuous basis. The impact on your financials is not an annual thing anymore.”
Vince Panozzo, Head of Enterprise Health Solutions for Outcome Health (Chicago): “Population plus personalization — meeting population health objectives while also providing a personalized experience for the patient. The other thing I’ve really noticed is more focus on the caregiver than there has been in the past. Caregivers have been so impacted by large-scale IT rollouts that they feel drained by that. There is now refocus on how we can improve caregiver experience so they have more time with patients, better patient experience and aren’t burned out.”
Neal Singh, CEO of Caradigm (Seattle): “A lot of customers are coming to us and talking about MACRA and bundled payments. It’s interesting because the way some customers have put it as, ‘I don’t know where to start.’ This is not only about technology, but about the education that goes with it as well.”
Paul Black, CEO of Allscripts (Chicago). “I expected and saw the spotlight on the transformation of Big Data into more meaningful, usable analytics. For the past few years, we have experienced an increasing focus on the use of devices and assistants, and this year we saw real advances with the use of bots, algorithms, devices and virtual assistants. Plus, tools to operationalize both value-based care and payments; and to improve patient engagement and experience are now in the mainstream.
Additionally, not enough people in the industry are talking about the gap that exists between genomic data and clinical systems/EHRs. Precision medicine can empower providers to apply genomic insights within their clinical workflow to save lives, improve outcomes and reduce costs. The technology and know-how are available today to put the power of precision medicine into the hands of physicians, and enable organizations to make faster diagnostic decisions, identify the best treatments and significantly improve patient care across the board.”
Ed McCallister, Senior Vice President and CIO of UPMC (Pittsburgh): “The cloud — healthcare is probably one of the more resistant industries to cloud computing. UPMC is on the journey of a new hybrid cloud approach. We recently did a request for proposal for a data center, whereas 3 to 4 years ago we would have built the data center. Now we’ve partnered for it. By the end of 2017 we will retire 1,000 servers as we move to the data center. Over 5 years we will probably reduce 50 percent of our footprint at the on-premise data center because of our use of the cloud.”
Jeff Chester, Senior Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer, Availity (Jacksonville, Fla.): “Everyone is still talking about population health and I really don’t think anybody has yet to figure out what it is and who the winners are going to be. Because of that, it continues to be a hot topic. I also think two things that are going to stay, regardless of what happens with the ACA, are high deductible plans and this move to value-based care. How do we manage patient responsibility — it’s up significantly over the last five years — and what tools do we need to actually make value-based care a good thing, not a bad thing? I’m also hearing more health plans at HIMSS than I have historically.”
Adam Klass, Chief Technology Officer, Vigilanz (Minneapolis): “I think last year was a lot around interoperability. That seemed to really be the focus, and I think this year is going to be more around cybersecurity.”
Tina Foster, Vice President of Business Advisor Services, RelayHealth (Atlanta). “The common word is data. You can look at almost every person’s sign, signage, kiosk or pamphlets, and it’s data. For so long the industry has focused on getting wired and having the right technology. … It’s created this tremendous surplus of data [and] we’re not even mining a fraction of its potential. So now you are beginning to see people say, ‘How do we harness the data?’ And from my perspective, its not only harnessing the data, but it’s liberating the data so now we can use it for intelligence to drive change.”
Hemant Goel, President, Spok (Eden Prairie, Minn.): “Two areas. One is security. There’s a lot of discussion about security and privacy. The second thing is population health. It was there last year, but this year it seems to have a little bit more focus and structure, as opposed to just being a buzzword. People seem to have a better idea of what it is they want out of population health.”
Jennifer Esposito, General Manager, Health and Life Sciences, Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.): “We’ve seen a lot more discussion and noise — not in a negative way — around artificial intelligence and analytics, and how all of that can be used to accelerate healthcare in a variety of ways. We heard a little bit about it last year; it seems to be the key story we are hearing now.”
Todd Rothenhaus, MD, CMO, athenahealth (Watertown, Mass.): “Patient engagement. Patient activation. eHealth. … It’s not about predicting who might develop problems. It’s about taking the list of people with problems. The one who cost you the most last year that didn’t die. You don’t need a prediction machine; you just need to take action. Getting care management teams stood up, getting care collaboration tools between providers and getting patient engagement tools.”
Frances Dare, Managing Director, Health & Public Service, Accenture (Irving, Texas): “Cybersecurity, clearly No. 1.”
Dave Dyell, President and CEO, Jellyfish Health (Panama City, Fla.): “I would say patient access has been surprising to me; to see how many folks now are starting to really focus on the way that patients are coming into the intake process.”
Randy Parker, Founder and Chief Business Development Officer, MDLive (Sunrise, Fla.): “At prior HIMSS, there were many companies here who were bringing products and services that would never be able to be monetized or scaled. And I see at this year’s HIMSS more focus toward products and services that absolutely are available and could be used today.”
Henry DePhillips, CMO of Teladoc (Lewisville, Texas and Purchase, N.Y.): “Telemedicine has more or less been a quiet, on-the-rise capability the last few years. But as of 2016 telemedicine has really become mainstream, and as a result the provider organizations are seeing the value to their hospitals and health systems sort of extending their care reach through telemedicine technology. I was in a session that was 10 rows deep of people, standing room only. When asked, ‘How many people have had a telemedicine encounter,’ 5 percent of hands went up. When asked, ‘How many of you would be open to doing it,’ 75 percent of hands went up. It’s time for and providers are ready to extend their care reach.”