My headline isn’t exactly accurate – I’m still in Chicago, but I didn’t wend my way back to McCormick Place this morning since I just wasn’t interested enough to bother. Instead, I caught up on some work, bought some clothes at Macy’s on State Street (my favorite store anywhere), and had dim sum in Chinatown.
Interesting: HIMSS scratches Atlanta and New Orleans off the cities list for future conferences, saying they can’t handle the growing attendance. That leaves only Orlando and Las Vegas as HIMSS conference locations since HIMSS had already expunged Chicago permanently (for the second time, in fact, as a result of two different tiffs – once over nasty exhibit hall workers and the second because RSNA got better Chicago hotel room rates). Exhibitors won’t be thrilled since both Orlando and Las Vegas have ample distractions that keep attendees doing something fun instead of trudging the exhibit halls like swag-seeking zombies. I really dislike Las Vegas, but there’s nothing like being handed stripper cards on your way to an educational session. If HIMSS were a stock, it would be split – other than vanity and economy of scale, it would be a lot more interesting and manageable as two separate conferences.
I thought of another company that is growing quickly based on announcements and appearance: Validic.
This week on HIStalk Connect: A number of enterprise health IT Apple Watch apps are unveiled during this week’s HIMSS conference. CMS publishes data suggesting that up to 66 percent of rural US hospitals failed to generate a single patient portal visitor during MU1 attestation. Partners Healthcare joins forces with Samsung to develop a series of remote patient monitoring solutions. Researchers at Vanderbilt University develop genetically engineered microbiome capable of tricking mice into thinking they are not hungry.
I was surprised to see this photo tweeted by Athenahealth showing Jonathan Bush returning to his company’s Monday night party with the shaving cream from his HIStalkapalooza-applied pie still on his face. We provided him with cleanup facilities, so I can only assume he wore the foam as badge of honor.
The final HIStalkapalooza count from House of Blues was 788. We invited 1,465, meaning that 46 percent of them didn’t attend. That’s a frustrating part of trying to plan an expensive per-person event, which I fortunately anticipated in assuming a no-show rate of 40 percent in signing the House of Blues guarantee. I’ll try not to think about the fact that the incremental cost of having more than 100 extra folks would have been zero since I was charged for them anyway. At least it’s not like last year when each of those no-shows prevented someone else from coming, although we would have let some walk-ins enter had we known about the no-shows ahead of time.
HIStalk had 13,500 page views on Wednesday, which I believe is a record.
Jenn reported an encounter with the “Epic police” this week. Epic was demonstrating in the Interoperability Showcase and Jenn (who had a HIMSS conference press pass) snapped a photo of what Epic was publicly displaying. Someone from Epic came up, said nobody’s allowed to take pictures of Epic’s screens, and then demanded that the photo be deleted from the camera while they stood there to verify. That sounds like Soviet-style overstepping big time, especially since Jenn was attending as a journalist – if you are showing your product on the big screen, if HIMSS doesn’t prohibit picture-taking in the exhibit hall (which they don’t any more as far as I can after reviewing the attendee agreement), and if the person taking the photo doesn’t work for an organization that has signed a confidentiality agreement with Epic, then I don’t believe Epic people have any legal basis for detaining attendees and demanding that they delete photos. Claims of friendly and open interoperability just don’t jibe with clearly evidenced paranoia and legal muscle-flexing. I think there’s enough Epic out there that whatever national secrets are contained on their screens have already been exposed.
Nordic did some live interviews during the HIMSS conference. Here’s one with Lorre.
Here’s Nordic’s interview with one of our patient advocate scholarship winners, Carly Medosch. We’ll have a writeup from each of them next week. Carly had a flare-up of her condition on Wednesday that required her to visit the ED, so I’ve suggested she write up that experience as part of her narrative as a HIMSS conference patient advocate.
I’m not sure what my HIMSS takeaways are. The focus seemed more on “doing” rather than “buying.” The first glimmer of patients turning into consumers showed itself. Big health systems have gotten bigger and are dealing with electronically absorbing their acquisitions. Every vendor has figured out interoperability according to themselves, yet every provider struggles to get the patient information they need that resides elsewhere. Everybody seems sick of Meaningful Use. What’s your answer to “HIMSS15 was the year of the …”?
I took some of the photos DrFirst took at HIStalkapalooza and turned them into a video (with marginally cheesy royalty-free music that I bought for the occasion for $18 just to stay legal). I’ll probably post more later and I have video from the event coming as well.
Dana Moore had a great time meeting with folks who donated to DonorsChoose. He’ll be writing up what he learned and liked for next week’s HIStalk.
I’ll be back to normal HIStalk writing this weekend for the Monday Morning Update after traveling back Friday. I’m interested to hear your thoughts about the conference this week.