My second day at HIMSS started off with the morning keynote from IBM CEO Ginny Rometty. I could have watched it from the comfort of the caffeine-fueled press room, but instead decided to join the masses in the Chapin Theater for overflow viewing. Rometty spent a good bit of time talking about IBM Watson and the work it is doing in major health systems and community hospitals alike, in the areas of both oncology and genomics. It seems to have come a long way from its “Jeopardy” roots.
It was a vendor speech at the end of the day, and so Rometty didn’t shy away from touting the "moonshot" ideas she and the company have for the technology. She also touched on AI, which I’m thinking might become a HIMSS17 buzzword over the next several days. She also mentioned blockchain and its potential, referencing the company’s internal work with the ledger tech and suggesting everyone take a look at the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project. (Check out HIStalk’s "Breaking Down Blockchain’s Potential" for a deeper dive into its implications for healthcare.)
Attendees wasted no time in queuing up for the exhibit hall just before its doors opened at 10 a.m. HIStalk somehow scored prime booth placement this year. Our booth, 4845, is just inside of the doors above, which has been such a blessing in terms of telling people how to find us and sneaking away for a few minutes to grab a bite to eat or use the restroom.
HIMSS has a DJ this year, which I find to be a lot of fun. I hear he takes requests, and so I’m trying to come up with health IT-related songs to ask for. Feel free to weigh in with suggestions in the comments. I’d love to create a playlist to share with readers.
My next stop, back in the Chapin Theater, featured a panel discussion on the challenges female executives face. HIMSS EVP Carla Smith, who is a great moderator, led a very conversational discussion on what it means to be the only woman in the room, how men can support a gender-diverse workforce, and the need for women to take a more proactive (or even aggressive) role in salary negotiations. It was a great session, and I was happy to see Ruben Amarasingham, MD represent the male perspective. He earned a round of applause when he told the audience that his physician-led company, Pieces Technologies, had achieved gender wage parity. (You could devote an entire session to how they achieved that, I’m sure.)
I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that EHealth Services Group CEO and chair-elect of HIMSS Denise Hines also offered many words of wisdom related to being a minority female CEO and business owner and the mother of seven kids. Her work-life balance advice was VERY strategic.
After that, I headed over the HIStalk booth to meet and greet readers and passers-by. It’s so nice to connect with the loyal folks that visit HIStalk on a daily basis. I only wish Mr. H could have been around to hear the many kudos he received. It seems that folks in this industry are really appreciative of the non-biased, tell-it-like-it-is voice he brings to this industry.
I attribute much of our booth’s activity to the Survival Kits the Arcadia Healthcare Solutions team shared with us. I wonder if they’re prepared to share more, because we’ve already gone through a few hundred.
The provider readers I had a chance to chat with — who included clinicians from the Netherlands, China, and Argentina — didn’t have any particular IT items on their exhibit hall shopping lists. Many seemed to be walking the floor to get a feel for what was out there. One gentleman explained that, unlike last year’s itemized list, his hospital is now more in the market for optimization services.
I had an hour and a half to spare, so I headed over to Pivot Point Consulting booth’s (723) for a foot massage and refreshments. It was the nicest break I’ve had at HIMSS in several years. I will definitely visit again today. Plus, I love the fact that they are donating to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as part of their HIMSS17 #GoesBeyond campaign.
Massages are apparently a thing this year, as I saw them at multiple booths on the show floor as well as outside of the exhibit hall. I may expand my horizons tomorrow and seek out a neck and/or back massage.
I ran into the folks at Pepid, whose booth was a ton of fun with oversize games like Connect Four, Jenga, and cornhole.
My brief exhibit hall walkabout included a quick pass around the Google booth. I don’t recall them having exhibited before. I managed to spy Karen DeSalvo, MD walking the floor by herself. I wonder if she was looking for the latest in population health tools?
It was nice to see the Aprima team proudly showing off their HIStalk sign. I hope to get by their booth tomorrow to find out how their solutions fit in with the HIMSS hospital crowd.
And then it was on to …
The Optimum Healthcare IT team did a great job of moving people through our check-in line. It was only after the party that I realized their lanyards included helpful skin cancer screening tips.
Our hosts, Bonny, Barry, and Julie did a fantastic job of greeting guests on the red carpet.
All of our guests seemed to have a great time. Health IT luminaries seen amongst the crowd included Judy Faulkner and Carl Dvorak from Epic, John Halamka from BIDMC, and Any Slavitt, formerly of CMS and now of Twitter. I was bummed I missed meeting him. He seemed to disappear after receiving his HISsies award (Hi, Jenn, Mr H here … Judy and Andy came backstage to hang out with me a little during and after the HISsies, so I apologize for stealing them from you since I know you were dying to meet them).
Speaking of awards, I had the privilege of running the slide deck while they were being given out. Above is my view from stage right.
I had the pleasure of meeting and dancing with the HIStalk Queen, a fresh-faced Allscripts rep who wowed the crowd at her first HIStalkapalooza. I hope she takes me up on my advice to wear her sash throughout the rest of the conference. It’s the best conversation-starter you could ask for, especially if you’re working a booth.
More to come tomorrow.