A Chat with HIMSS Show Pros

Check out our in-depth discussion about what to expect at HIMSS 2019 with those who know the show best.

When the speaker proposals are submitted (phew!), it's a great time to take a deep breath and look more closely at the show themes and what's changed as we all march towards February's big event in Disney. 

Look Left caught up with HIMSS Meeting Services VP Karen Malone and Professional Development VP JoAnn Klinedinst to learn what’s new and why HIMSS remains the top health IT conference and exhibition experience

Look Left: I’d love to hear about new categories and topics we’ll expect in 2019.

HIMSS: For 2019, we introduced 24 general education topic categories, resulting in five new ones, nine that were updated and 10 that remain the same. Looking across the breadth and scope of health information and technology, HIMSS has added the following topic categories:

  • Consumerization of Health: Focuses on changing models of care delivery, including direct-to-consumer, telehealth and retail clinics, and how they are disrupting the traditional care delivery models while giving patients and their families a choice of how they seek care.
  • Grand Societal Challenges: Highlights the ways these challenges and opportunities are shaping the way we understand health and care delivery now and into the future.
  • Healthy Aging and Technology: Addresses the “silver tsunami” of aging baby boomers who will change and challenge our healthcare systems.
  • Population Health Management and Public Health: Pairs public health with health and wellness status issues of the aggregate population.
  • Clinically Integrated Supply Chain: Looks at the next-generation clinical supply chain to support the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Quadruple Aim of improving health and healthcare across initiatives that support health and information technology.

Among the many topics we added are digital/connected health to the Consumer/Patient Engagement and Digital/Connected Health topic category, and we welcomed academia into the Health Informatics Education, Diversity, Workforce Development, Academia topic category.

Look Left: I know you love to talk about what’s new. Ready, go 

HIMSS: A main focus this year will be best-in-class successes by healthcare organizations. During the pre-conference (February 11, 2018), HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award recipients will be in the spotlight as they present award-winning use cases based on achieving excellence through health IT. For background, in order to qualify for the Davies Award, organizations must first achieve Stage 6 or Stage 7 validation based on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM℠), in addition to other nomination criteria. (Learn more about the criteria and how your organization can be recognized by HIMSS here.) On Friday, we’re dedicating several general education sessions that will offer these and other best practice examples and discussions around EMRAM Stage 7 and other proposals.

Participants will see a variety of sessions ranging from 30 to 60 minutes. SPARK (Session Providing Actionable and Rapid Knowledge) will provide actionable knowledge in 20 minutes, without PowerPoint.  We have also added “Content Streams,” based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Quadruple Aim in which attendees will be able to filter content on one of six areas of focus: technology, information, organizational efficiencies, care, environment, and societal challenges.

This year we’re offering attendees a Learning Lounge, a relaxing location where attendees can absorb new knowledge. We’ll have a big room staged with many screens of several sessions, which will be livestreamed. Popular sessions you may have missed will also be replayed. People can grab a headset and a remote control to watch any session right from their chair.

One area we don’t get to talk about too much is our pre-conference education. This year, in addition to the Best Practices Symposium, we’ll be offering 25 optional events to choose from, such as Precision Medicine Summit, Pharma/Life Sciences Forum, Blockchain Symposium, Military Health Symposium, and others on Aging and Technology and Clinically Integrated Supply Chain.

On Friday, students at all levels will enjoy the Student Institute. Students represent the next generation of health information and technology professionals. There will be opportunities to learn about career development through a mentoring experience. This is excellent preparation for current students and those who are looking immediately at post-graduate opportunities.

Look Left: One of the aspects of HIMSS I really like is that it fosters strong communities, such as #HITChicks, which continue even after the show is over. Are you doing anything in the way of developing communities?

HIMSS: We sure are. We call them HealthStars. When people register for the show, they can opt into specific stakeholder groups. They’ll be directed to specific show activities and sessions that will allow them to interact with their communities. This will help make the conference feel more intimate and manageable.

Look Left: Can you talk about the global nature of HIMSS and how that might be integrated into the conference?

HIMSS: Many don’t realize that 9.5 percent of attendees are from outside the U.S. This offers a global perspective about what topics are relevant here and abroad. Our goal is to have 20 percent of educational programming delivered from people outside of the U.S.

Look Left: Innovation was a central theme last year. Can I presume that will continue? 

HIMSS: Absolutely. Here are a few examples:

Innovation Live brings together startups, accelerators, and other innovative companies to showcase the future of healthcare through disruptive, cutting-edge technologies.

Attendees can participate in hands-on educational experiences in the Developers Innovation Lab and MakerSpace, focused on a variety of topics and technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, biometrics, biomedical models, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Our satellite innovation pavilions will also include an emerging area focused on retailers. For example, Walgreens and CVS have in-store health clinics. Other areas focus on robotics and gadgets/devices that may be used in a healthcare setting. HIMSS certainly stays apprised of what’s happening now and in the future. There isn’t much HIMSS collectively cannot do.

Many thanks to Karen and JoAnn for their time.

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