I can’t even begin to break down my second day at HIMSS without first mentioning the highlight: the now-epic pie-throwing incident at HIStalkapalooza involving Judy Faulkner and Jonathan Bush. Both were good sports, and both had only gracious things to say to one another as they accepted their respective HISsie Awards. More on the party towards the end of the post.
My second day at HIMSS started off with a quick trek in the rain to the shuttle stop, followed by a pleasant conversation with Intelligent Medical Objects President and CTO Regis Charlot. (Note to HIMSS newbies: Shuttle rides, elevator rides, and lines can be great opportunities to strike up a conversation with your next client. A simple “Good morning. How are you enjoying the show?” typically kicks off great conversation.) Charlot waxed poetic about the challenges providers are facing when it comes to transitioning to ICD-10, though he did reiterate that IMO’s clients (and the general populace) are in good shape. Providers have accepted their fate and seem to be working diligently to prepare for the October 1 switch. His crystal-ball predictions for healthcare involves Intel’s Edison platform, a “[h]igh performance, dual-core CPU and single core micro-controller that supports complex data collection,” and that seems like it will help drive super-computing in the wearables space. Seems like it might have a unique play in telemedicine and the quantified self movement.
My next stop was the morning keynote, which included a rousing performance by a local gospel choir and a not-quite-so rousing introduction from HIMSS Paul Kleeberg. “This sounds like an infomercial,” was one audience member’s description of Kleeberg’s contribution. The real meat of the keynote was given by Alex Gourlay, executive vice president of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens . It was engaging, as keynotes go. He emphasized the role of retail clinics and pharmacists in achieving the Triple Aim, outlining the many partnerships Walgreens has entered into (WebMD, PatientsLikeMe, Qualcomm Life, MDLive) in an effort to take e-prescribing, telemedicine, medication compliance, and better outcomes to the next level. Gourlay also announced that the company will be launching a medication reminder app for Apple Watch next month.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to two women from MultiCare Health System (WA), both of whom seemed very excited by what Walgreens is doing in the mobile space. Debbie Embree, director of applications, and Brenda Bowles, RN director of clinical informatics, told me they were going to spend their time at the conference looking for ways to push their patient engagement strategy beyond their Epic MyChart portal and out into the retail space. Personal device integration via mobile apps is likely their next step.
After a mind-numbingly slow exodus from the keynote with 3,000 of my closest friends, I made it to the HIStalk booth. I spent a great five hours in the exhibit hall meeting and greeting loyal readers and attendees who had never heard of us but just couldn’t resist picking up a bag of Garrett’s Popcorn, courtesy of our friends at nVoq. I finally got the chance to spend time with The Walking Gallery Founder Regina Holliday and our HIStalking patient advocate scholarship winners, who, despite a few hiccups with registration, seemed very excited to be at HIMSS. Regina’s live painting was definitely a crowd-pleaser, and I appreciated the opportunity it gave us to talk with attendees about the importance of patient advocacy in the world of healthcare IT.
Several hot topics bubbled up in my booth conversations with providers: The majority of them seemed to be wandering the exhibit halls looking for solutions and strategies around security and privacy, patient engagement, and ICD-10. Not a one had anything positive to say about the education sessions. As Dr. Jayne explained to me, the sessions suffer from the fact that they had to be submitted nearly a year ago, and have likely lost their luster in the preceding 10 months or so.
Other booth drive-bys included a chat with AJ Montpetit from the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, looking quite dapper in bowtie and pink mustachioed socks.
I also had a chance to meet Modernizing Medicine CEO Dan Cane and his colleagues. The company, which made headlines a few weeks ago for its partnership with IBM Watson, is busy expanding office space and hiring new staff. You can read my interview with Cane about the Watson partnership here.
I managed to do a quick walk-about, and ran into the #IHeartHIT meetup at the HIMSSpot. It was great to see patients and HIMSS15 social media ambassadors like Linda Stotsky share their healthcare IT stories. There definitely seems to be a stronger patient presence at this year’s conference. I’m really looking forward to reading about the HIMSS15 experiences of our HIStalking team.
It was great to see the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, sponsors of the morning keynote, proudly displaying the sign we awarded them earlier this year for being nominated as “the Nation’s Capital of Health I.T.”
After my jaunt through .05 percent of the exhibit hall, I spent a final hour at our booth then rushed back to my hotel to change into HIStalkapalooza-worthy attire. As I mentioned above, the party was amazing. (Check out the #HIStalkapalooza hashtag on Twitter for great pictures and recap.) Our sponsors did a tremendous job of making sure everyone got in, got fed and watered, and got on the dance floor. Party on the Moon was phenomenal. I must have danced for an hour-and-a-half straight, which does not bode well for my feet during the rest of my time in Chicago!
I even managed to snag a few dances with “Jenn’s Secret Crush” Cynthia Porter, who, despite holding the stuffy title of president of Porter Research, really knows how to have a good time.
Lorre and I were not the only ones decked out. This year’s HIStalk King and Queen were definitely worthy of their titles, and displayed just as much dancing prowess as they did fashion savvy. All in all, my second day at HIMSS was a blast. I appreciated the opportunity to chat with readers at our booth, dance with sponsors at our party, and finally rest my swollen feet at the end of the night.