Day 2 at HIMSS and there has been a lot going on. I was able to enjoy the still-sleeping city on my early morning jog although there were still some folks out from the night before, which is a little sad. There’s something about New Orleans that creates an “IT Staffers Gone Wild” atmosphere even above and beyond that created by Las Vegas. Maybe it’s the free-flowing liquor or maybe it’s the Bourbon Street establishments offering a variety of services that you probably can’t buy in other cities. I did find a potential breakfast venue for Inga, however.
While Mr. H and Inga covered the ONC Town Hall, I decided to brave the exhibit hall when it opened. I was able to enjoy this jazz combo while I waited, although they took a break right when I decided to take a photo. Note that the trumpet player is using the bottom of a plunger as a mute. The security team was quite vigilant about making sure no one other than exhibitors was admitted until right at 1 p.m. As I watched the last-minute race of vendors trying to make it to their booths on time, I was glad they at least had to weave through the throngs of attendees as punishment. Punctuality is apparently dead as there were scores of reps coming in at the last minute.
Logistics are still an issue. I was surprised by the full trash cans even with the hall just opening. Some areas had stacks of packing boxes out in the main aisle. The water was still suspect this morning, but I had grabbed some extra bottles from my hotel rather than wait in long lines for expensive water at the convention center. I’m always sensitive to the amount of trash that a meeting like this produces and am disappointed that there are no recycling bins in the exhibit hall, at least not that I could find. I did see clearly marked bins upstairs, however.
The hall was packed and I spent a couple of hours getting the lay of the land and plotting my strategy for the rest of the week. I liked the pediatric-designed computer carts at Enovate and the booth staff was not only engaging but well informed. There were big crowds at the Cerner booth and also at Healthagen (although I learned that most of the people at the latter were employees who were joking about having to do introductions to each other to fill their time). There were a couple of magicians, but no contortionists or splash painters like we’ve seen in the past. The overall tone is pretty calm and I only saw a handful of booths handing out Mardi Gras beads, which I would have thought would be everywhere given the venue.
I was excited by what Tellenium has to offer (management of telecom services for large organizations) but disappointed that they launched right into their pitch without finding out who I was or why I was stopping by. They did have a claw grabber machine where you could try to win prizes, but I was unable to score the pink t-shirt that called to me.
One highlight of the afternoon was competing in Medicomp’s Quipstar game show, although I finished last due to a tricky “double or nothing” question where I buzzed in too early. As a result, I now have the ICD-10 code for trauma sustained while parachuting burned into my brain. Too bad I don’t see much of that in the emergency department.
The other significant highlight of the afternoon was a lovely gift from sponsor PatientPay. They’re clearly reading (and not just skimming) because they delivered the beautiful chocolate shoe I was wishing for on Valentine’s Day. The picture does not do it justice and I’m pretty sure I clapped my hands with glee and squealed like a little girl when I opened it. It is magnificent and I do really appreciate the gift. Thank you!
Monday night of course was HIStalkapalooza, and thanks again to Medicomp for sponsoring. I was pleased with the number of attendees who jumped on the bowling shirt bandwagon. Full credit goes to the team from ESD who not only had matching Converse All Star shoes and bowling shirts but also the shoes had the ESD logo created in crystals on the toes. I didn’t get a pic but I think Inga did so, hopefully she’ll post. My favorite attendee outfit was the pink poodle skirt with saddle shoes. I especially enjoyed the details, including the poodle on your sock.
My heart went pitter patter when my bowtie-wearing crush appeared in person to collect his HISsies award. He’s sporting the “Blue Button: Sequester Edition” lapel pin.
Speaking of HISsies, Jonathan Bush did his usual hilarious job of presenting the awards and stripped off his athenahealth bowling shirt to reveal something truly psychedelic. I felt sorry for the youngsters who stood right in front of our anonymous selves during the shoe contest and announced that they were leaving to attend the Impact Advisors party. They missed the whole thing. They also missed the appearance of Judy Faulkner and Carl Dvorak – Judy looked amazing and was very gracious to an admirer trying to take her picture.
After the awards, the bowling tournament switched into high gear as did the Zydeco band. I knew, however, when the hula hoops appeared on the dance floor that it was time for me to go so I could rest up for the long day tomorrow. A note at the hotel revealed the boil order is no more, for which I’m grateful.