Why I Was Not at HIMSS, and Why I’m Better for It

As the excitement of the festivities continued to roil on in Chicago for the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, and as health systems leaders merged with colleagues and partners for what is health IT’s biggest event of the year, I was not among those in attendance. As the conference opened and buzz at the show began to swell, excitement for news and new developments flowed from nearly every available channel, I was back home, far from the excitement of the show or its announcements, developments and news makers.

As health system leaders and their technology partners discussed how their solutions could make care better, engage patients more effectively and lead to better outcomes, greater efficiencies and higher quality care, my wife and I were in the center of the care universe in the heart of our local hospital where I was helping her through the delivery of our second child. Though the process was relatively straight forward and was done very quickly, the experience made me realize several things about healthcare technology from the patient’s perspective.

The first thing is that no matter how important we claim the technology used in the care setting to be, it matters little to those receiving care. For those receiving care, they want and need a seamless process where they have immediate access, without a wall of technology between them, to their care providers whether that’s a nurse, physician or some other support personnel. Patients, at the point of care, don’t want to face the burdens of interacting with the technology their caregivers are concerned with, but we as patients want their full attention. If patients must break through a fourth wall of technology, as I’ve seen to be the case on more than one occasion, the care staff, and more importantly, the health system, has failed the patient.

Secondly, patient engagement is more than a portal or access to one. And while patient engagement means different things to different provider types – like ambulatory vs. in-patient –the patient is still at the heart of the care, not the technology. Those who believe that technology can solve the patient engagement ills are wrong, and likely are failing to truly engage patients because they believe the myth that it can. Perhaps meaningful use has bastardized the term “patient engagement,” but it’s a sad thing when the entirety of that conversation centers around some form of technology or device. The irony of an event like HIMSS, where most of health’s relevant vendors clamor to meet with health system leaders, is that the buzz is built to surround the movement of the patient.  The patient is at the heart of care, not technology or some bolt-on software solution.

We, patients, have been at the heart of care since the existence of healthcare; technology is an infant at play here. Let’s not forget that.

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HIMSS15 Trade Show Vendor Highlight: Panasonic

In this series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.

Hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.

Elevator Pitch

In a market where healthcare organizations are constantly challenged to do more with less, Panasonic provides a broad range of hardware and software solutions that make it easier for clinicians and healthcare facilities to provide every individual with the best patient experience possible.

About Statement

The Panasonic Healthcare Solutions team focuses on operational areas of patient care and provider support, including mobility, imaging, IT services, document management and unified communications.

Services and Products Offered

Mobile computing, security solutions, digital signage/way-finding solutions, audio visual solutions, internal communication systems, document imaging systems, and medical vision systems.

Problems Solved

Panasonic can equip clinicians and healthcare facilities with the tools they need to operate smoothly and efficiently – from tablets that enable doctors to pull up patient information on-the-spot to interactive kiosks that direct visitors on where to go. Technology that promotes productivity within a healthcare facility – from maintaining a digitally based record system to giving clinicians more face time with their patients – are steps that can improve the patient experience and overall health outcomes.

Value Proposition

Healthcare systems must ensure that they not only provide a safe place for quality care but also offer advancements that can deliver a great patient experience, increasing patient satisfaction and improving outcomes. Panasonic offers a wide range of products and customizable solutions that can help hospitals deliver a connected continuum of care.

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HIMSS15 Trade Show Vendor Highlight: AirStrip

In this series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.

Hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.

Elevator Pitch

AirStrip enables transformational and lasting improvements in healthcare delivery by creating innovative technology for caregivers to collaborate and care for their patients. AirStrip provides a complete, vendor and data source-agnostic, enterprise-wide mobile interoperability platform and application that advance care collaboration and serves as a catalyst for health system innovation. With deep clinical expertise and strong roots in mobile technology and data integration, AirStrip is empowering leading health systems globally as the industry evolves at a rapid pace.

Founder’s Story

Dr. Cameron Powell and Trey Moore are innovators in the field of mobile patient monitoring, having developed a technology platform and applications that address the many challenges facing modern healthcare.  The two initially met in their Texas church’s parking lot, which led to the creation of AirStrip with co-founder Gene Powell more than a decade ago. Moore boasts an extensive background that includes application development, team leadership and building scalable business applications for both the desktop and handheld platforms, with a focus on creating innovative and compelling user interfaces.  Dr. Powell, an obstetrician by training, stopped practicing in 2008 to devote himself full-time to AirStrip. Both remain active members of the AirStrip leadership team, with Dr. Powell serving as chief medical officer and Moore the chief technical officer. Through AirStrip, Dr. Cameron Powell and Trey Moore have delivered on their vision of making the complexities of healthcare technology simpler to navigate than ever before, making patient data accessible regardless of time or location and enabling faster and more informed care decisions, which can lead to improved patient outcomes.

Market Opportunity

Healthcare is changing, growing in complexity like never before. New clinical challenges, new regulations, new financial pressures and new business models. AirStrip supports healthcare providers in meeting those challenges by using the power of interoperable mobility, erasing the boundaries that separate clinicians from each other and from their patients. AirStrip ONE can empower clinicians to make informed patient care decisions instantly—whenever they need to, wherever they are. That changes everything: for physicians, for patients, and for healthcare organizations. AirStrip puts the power to transform care in your hands.

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HIMSS15 Trade Show Vendor Highlight: Wolters Kluwer

In this series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.

Hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.

Elevator Pitch

Wolters Kluwer’s Clinical Solutions provides integrated and comprehensive solutions in clinical decision support, drug information, patient surveillance, disease management and intuitive documentation, terminology and coding solutions at the point of care. Serving more than 150 countries worldwide, clinicians rely on Wolters Kluwer’s market leading information-enabled tools and software solutions throughout their professional careers from training to research to practice. Our offerings bridge multiple care settings, including hospitals, health systems, ambulatory surgery centers, physicians’ offices and retail pharmacies, and are integrated via common processes, systems and highly motivated and experienced people.

Market Opportunity & Problems Solved

Physicians struggle with the growing amount of data pouring into clinical systems and must often act upon more information than any one person can handle. In addition to EHRs, clinicians must make sense of information from multiple, disparate systems, including labs, pharmacies and others. The first solution to emerge from Wolters Kluwer’s Innovation Lab is POC Advisor, a comprehensive platform that aggregates, normalizes and codes patient data and runs it against clinical scenarios to deliver actionable, evidence-based advice at the point of care. The first application of POC Advisor aims to reduce the mortality and morbidity of sepsis (septicemia), a disease which claims an estimated 750,000 lives in the U.S. alone and costs hospitals $20 billion annually, making it the most expensive condition in the country.

A significant contributor to the negative outcomes involving sepsis – often the result of delayed or improper diagnosis that can rapidly lead to a cascade of events culminating in organ failure and death – is the siloing of crucial data in disparate clinical information systems. The inability of physicians to access and process the entirety of a patient’s data, forces them to make critical decision based on fragmented evidence. By utilizing a patient’s complete information, POC Advisor alerts care provides to potentially septic patients allowing clinicians to begin treatment long before the condition becomes life threatening.

In addition to the Sepsis Module, the Innovation Lab has already started work on applying POC Advisor to MEWS (Modified Early Warning Score) and future applications are expected to include heart disease, pneumonia, diabetes, CLABSI (central line associated bloodstream infection) and CAUTI (catheter associated urinary tract infection). Leveraging health IT to disseminate patient-specific, actionable, clinical knowledge across the care continuum results in a higher quality of treatment and more complete care. Ultimately, POC Advisor exemplifies Wolters Kluwer Health’s goal of providing an integrated suite of services designed to improve triple aim initiatives.

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HIMSS15 Trade Show Vendor Highlight: Tools4ever

In this series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.

Hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.

Elevator Pitch

Tools4ever is focused on ensuring secure and compliant user and authorization management, which is often complicated within healthcare institutions because of the relatively high employee turnover and absenteeism. Deploying an automated identity administration solution that integrates with EHR systems will automate the user account lifecycle and help to resolve these problems. In addition, healthcare employees often need quick, but secure access to many different systems and applications. Tools4ever’s password management solution can help reduce many of the password issues clinicians’ experience.

About Statement

Tools4ever distinguishes itself through a no nonsense approach and a low total cost of ownership. In contrast to comparable identity management solutions, Tools4ever delivers a complete solution in just weeks rather than months or years. Thanks to this approach, Tools4ever is one the largest vendors in IAM with more than 5 million managed user accounts. Tools4ever delivers a variety of software products and integrated consultancy services covering identity management and access management, such as user provisioning, password management, and single sign-on (SSO).

Founder’s Story

Jacques Vriens established Tools4ever in 1999 and has expanded Tools4ever into a global software company. The initial focus was on tools for system administrators but building upon the knowledge and experience gathered in the early years, he quickly expanded the product portfolio into identity and access management.

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HIMSS15 Trade Show Vendor Highlight: Qlik

In this series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.

Hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.

Elevator Pitch

Qlik delivers solutions that bring the best out of the people that use them, tools that work at their speed and across their teams. Thus, Qlik sets out to build a new breed of visual analytics and data discovery solutions that are naturally intuitive, that don’t place artificial limitations on what can be analyzed but instead encourage freeform analysis, and that can be readily embraced across the organization. Simply put, our focus is to bring insights and clarity right to where they deliver the most value: the point of decision.

About Statement

Qlik is a leader in data discovery delivering intuitive solutions for self-service data visualization and guided analytics. Approximately 34,000 customers rely on Qlik solutions to gain meaning out of information from varied sources, exploring the hidden relationships within data that lead to insights that ignite good ideas. Of these customers, Qlik serves thousands of healthcare providers spanning hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and ambulatory services worldwide have overcome business intelligence challenges to unlock insights that significantly improve care.

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HIMSS15 Trade Show Vendor Highlight: TigerText

In this series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.

Hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.

Elevator Pitch

TigerTextTigerText is a secure messaging app for the enterprise. It keeps communications safe and improves workflow by providing end-to-end encryption and ephemerality via its real-time messaging platform.

About Statement

TigerText provides secure, real-time messaging for the enterprise, empowering organizations to work more securely. TigerText’s encrypted messaging platform, which keeps communications safe, improves workflows and complies with regulations in industries like healthcare, finance and government, was developed to address the security needs, BYOD policies and message restrictions in the enterprise. More than 5,000 facilities and four of the top five largest for-profit health systems in the nation rely on TigerText to comply with HIPAA and replace unsecured SMS text messaging that leaves protected health and other confidential information at risk. TigerText was launched in 2010 and is based in Santa Monica.

Founder’s Story

Brad Brooks is the CEO of TigerText, the leader in secure mobile messaging for the enterprise, and the co-founder of Whisper, an anonymous social app that lets people share confessions and secrets that garners more than 3 billion page-views per month. Brad invented the notion of ephemeral messaging on mobile devices (for which he has a patent pending) and was a pioneer in the field of “anonymous social,” which is quickly becoming a major counter-movement on the web against Facebook’s identity-based social network.

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HIMSS15 Trade Show Vendor Highlight: Seal Software

In this series, we are featuring some of the thousands of vendors who will be participating in the HIMSS15 conference and trade show. Through it, we hope to offer readers a closer look at some of the solution providers who will either be in attendance – with a booth showcasing and displaying key products and offerings – or that will have a presence of some kind at the show – key executives in attendance or presenting, for example.

Hopefully this series will give you a bit more useful information about the companies that help make this event, and the industry as a whole, so exciting.

Elevator Pitch

Using pre-defined rules based on a combination of patented technology and natural language processing and machine learning techniques, Seal Software offers a disruptive technology that automatically locates and provides insight into unstructured contract data wherever it resides in an organization. This easily deployable solution can rapidly process thousands of contracts, reducing years of manual process time to hours.

The Seal Contract Discovery and Analytics solution is the only contract optimization technology available on the market that is truly customizable by the client across any healthcare organization. The Seal Platform delivers “non-standard” clause detection based on customer-defined boundaries and is able to continually learn and create reusable content, improving accuracy and relevancy as it relates to an organization’s specific needs. In contrast, Seal Software’s competitors require significant customization before they can adequately process contracts.

About Statement

Seal Software is committed to disrupting the way healthcare is managing, analyzing and optimizing their contracts. Seal’s Contract Discovery and Analytics solution provides complete contract visibility and customizable review and analysis through its unique blend of proprietary technology, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing techniques.

In today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, even the slightest delay in responding to market fluctuations, regulatory compliance reforms and organizational changes can pay a heavy toll on an organization. With the Seal Platform, healthcare organizations around the world can effectively access and manage their contract portfolio to maximize revenue opportunities, mitigate risk and reduce expenses, reducing manual review time from days – even years – to hours.

Founder’s Story
Seal Software was founded by Ulf Zetterberg (current CEO) and Kevin Gidney (current CTO). With their vast knowledge and experience in the field of content management, they were able to isolate two of the biggest challenges faced by customers – migration of legacy data and consolidation of information from multiple data sources into new applications. This idea was the foundation for Seal. They built the Seal platform as a means for transforming unstructured contract data into searchable information, and facilitate smoother and quicker contract hand-off processes within the various stakeholders and systems.

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The Future of Healthcare Innovation, Big Data, Security and Patient Engagement

HIMSS organizers, in preparation of its annual conference and trade show and as a way to rally attendees around several trending topics for the coming show, asked the healthcare community how it feels about several key issues. I’ve reached out to readers of this site so they can respond to what they see as the future of healthcare innovation, data security, patient engagement and big data.

Their responses follow.

Do you agree with the following thoughts? If not, why; what’s missing?

Innovation

Sean Benson
Sean Benson

Sean Benson, vice president of innovation, clinical solutions, Wolters Kluwer Health
Future innovations in health IT, big data in particular, will focus on the aggregation and transformation of patient data into actionable knowledge that can improve patient and financial outcomes. The ever-growing volume of patient data contained within disparate clinical systems continues to expand. This siloed data often forces physicians to act on fragmented and incomplete information, making it difficult to apply the latest evidence. Comprehensive solutions will normalize, codify and aggregate patient data in a cloud system and run it against clinical scenarios to create evidence-based advice that is then delivered directly to the point of care via a variety of mobile devices. This will empower physicians with patient-specific knowledge based on the latest medical evidence delivered to the point of care in a timely, appropriate manner, ultimately resulting in higher quality treatment and more complete care. 

Susan M. Reese MBA, RN, CPHIMS
Susan Reese

Susan Reese, MBA, RN, CPHIMS, chief nurse executive, Kronos Incorporated
Gamification — the trend of creating computer-based employee games and contests for the purpose of aligning employee productivity with the organization’s goals — is currently a popular topic with business leaders and IT. For proof, consider that Gartner recently projected that by 2015, 50 percent of all organizations will be using gamification of some kind, and that by 2016, businesses will spend a total of $2.6 billion on this technology.

With numbers like these, it is clear that that gaming is serious business and that it is here to stay. But at this point, you may be asking yourself, “Could gamification work in my healthcare environment? What potential benefits could it have?””

Today, many healthcare organizations are looking to the future and considering gamification as a way to increase employee engagement, collaboration, and productivity as well as to align their behavior with larger business goals – but they don’t know how to do it quite yet. Also, gamification can be a delicate decision, complete with advantages and risks. After all, employees’ day-to-day work responsibilities and careers are not games and can’t be trivialized. Healthcare organizations must be careful to avoid sending the wrong message to their workforce, or the whole program could backfire, or even lead to more negative consequences.

Mike Lanciloti
Mike Lanciloti

Mike Lanciloti, vice president of product management and marketing, Spectralink
In today’s digital age, healthcare IT needs to come a long way to get up to speed in innovation and connectivity. However, as we begin to see mobile play a larger role in the industry, healthcare is moving the needle on innovation as well.

The mobile revolution has picked up in healthcare for both health IT professionals and in patient care. Primary as healthcare providers find ways to utilize smartphones, mobile devices and Wi-Fi networks to improve the communication and efficiency of their workforce.

Through mobile devices, clinicians have the ability to access what they need, when they need it. Mobile devices ensure nurses and mobile staff are equipped with the right technology to promote timely, efficient and reliable communication. This not only allows healthcare professionals to perform their jobs more effectively but also helps deliver a higher quality of patient care.

The growing mobile trend does present several questions for the industry. Hospital managers are quickly learning that an influx of smartphones into the hospital setting can become a larger problem than anticipated. Not only do personal devices lack the security required for enterprise-owned devices, they pose other risks, calling into question issues surrounding encryption, authorized access and mobile security. Personal phones aren’t designed to be equipped with the same encryption capabilities as enterprise-owned mobile devices.

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Timing of the Release of CMS’ Meaningful Use Stage 3 Proposed Rule Suspect

Seems all the chittering was right: The meaningful use Stage 3 proposed rule has been released prior to the annual HIMSS conference, to give all conference goers and government officials in attendance something to talk about.

The news of the rule’s release now comes as no surprise.

The feds like to make these kinds of splashes, to be the bearers of news – any kind of news – especially at big venues where they’re likely to get lots of ink and face time with those in attendance, and the supposed powers that be.

The same thing happened last year at HIMSS when officials, peppered with questions, were vehement that the ICD-10 roll out deadline would not be delayed. Only a few weeks later, federal officials had to walk that back and, untimely, wound up changing the deadline.

These are apples and oranges, I understand, but the grandiosity of the occasion (HIMSS15) means that everyone attending the conference really does need to “bring it.” Vendors, presenters, the feds. At HIMSS, to capture hearts and minds, this is a simple truth — we need to bring it no matter who “we” are.

I’m not trying to be cynical about the announcement or the timing of the proposed Stage 3 rule, but there seems to be something about the nature of its timing that seems suspect. It’s as if CMS wants the news about meaningful use to be relevant. But, as we know, on its own, it is relevant; we all know this.

It’s as if CMS is trying to secure the legacy of a failing program – where as of January 0nly 4 percent of eligible professionals had met meet Stage 2 requirements. It’s sort of like the agency, to make people talk about a once relevant product, is bursting through the HIMSS gates like a has-been celebrity and is announcing, “Don’t worry, we’ll be there.”

How could we forget?

We know you’ll be there, we know we’ll be looking to you for guidance, we know what you have to say is important to us because it impacts the very professions in which we have built our lives.

CMS will make their claims, get us to talk then they’ll ride off into the sunset like Shane.

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