Home » Editorials » Currently Reading:

Despite Your Resolutions, I Know What You’ll Be Doing at HIMSS

February 20, 2008 Editorials 2 Comments

Inside Healthcare Computing has graciously agreed to make previous Mr. HIStalk editorials available from its newsletter as a weekly “Best Of” series for HIStalk. This editorial originally appeared in the newsletter in February 2007. Inside Healthcare Computing subscribers receive a new editorial every week in their Electronic Update.

Punxsutawney Phil aside, you know spring is at hand when it’s time for HIMSS (already?) For those of us who go, it seems like the entire healthcare IT industry is there, most of them angrily checking their watches in the Starbuck’s line or barking self-important cell phone commands to their holding-down-the-fort underlings back home.

If you’re not going, don’t feel bad. It’s a great time to get work done without being interrupted, much like the dead week between Christmas and New Year’s. Or, if your boss will be there and you’re so inclined, to screw off with little fear of detection.

Everyone heads for HIMSS with a firm agenda, pledging this year to get serious work done instead of wasting time like at the previous ten conferences. Demos will be dutifully studied, job-related networking will be pursued, and vendor relationships will be cultivated for the benefit of the employer picking up the tab. You’re here to work. Or, so the rationalizing goes.

All those worthy goals evaporate once the first heady breath of conference air is inhaled deeply, that energizing tang of carpet cleaner, coffee, collateral, and cologne that puts you in conference mode. Like a recovering alcoholic vowing to take just one sip of beer, you’re off the wagon. Before you know it, your agenda looks more like this:

  • Plan shopping, golf, or spa time from the tourist literature left in your hotel room.
  • Find someone before or during the opening reception who might give you a drink ticket they don’t need.
  • Walk the halls trolling for people you know, encouraging a hearty greeting and keen interest about what you’ve been up to, then silently cursing the arrogant jerks when they pass by with a vacant stare.
  • Look soulfully into the eyes of vendor booth people and speak profoundly and positively about whatever they’re selling, hoping they’ll dig deep under the counter to furtively slip you an invitation to a really cool party that’s not open to the masses.
  • Expect profuse chumminess from booth people who pretend to remember you and harbor no ill will from that time you cut their product from the shortlist.
  • Decide just how much honesty everyone else applies when completing their CE forms, figuring that walking outside an auditorium door and catching a couple of words should be worth the full CE credit.
  • Blame the speaker’s boring delivery when you decide to bag their talk 15 minutes in, climbing fearlessly over the entire row of knees, in front of the projector, and against the tide of incomers and door-standers, figuring no one knows you anyway.
  • Check the agenda and decide to sleep in, leave the afternoon sessions early, and maybe sit out in the sun at lunch.
  • Thrust your chest out proudly, knowing that booth people will pretend to be impressed with your title, your employer, and your town, even though they are silently sniggering at all three and looking over your shoulder for a better prospect or an incognito competitor who might hire them.
  • Cruise the perimeter of the larger booths, trying to catch the eye of someone who looks like a doctor, executive, or hot rep, steering a wide berth around low-ranking losers who earned a HIMSS trip for some geeky company accomplishment like programming.
  • Gather lots of vendor material for take-home study, then chuck it all in your room’s trash can before you leave for the airport.
  • Having already planned to skip the Thursday sessions since everyone else does, call the airline on Wednesday afternoon to see if you can get out earlier.
  • Wear your Mardi Gras beads home, bring your kids crappy booth junk, and impress the spouse with fake doubloons and a box of Café Du Monde beignet mix purchased at the airport.

Have a safe trip to New Orleans.

This editorial is copyright-protected by Algonquin Professional Publishing, LLC., publishers of Inside Healthcare Computing. Please do not copy, forward, or reproduce this material without prior permission. To obtain permission or for more information about Inside Healthcare Computing’s reprint policy, please contact the Customer Service Department at 877-690-1871 or go to http://insidehealth.com/ihcwebsite/reprints.html.

Mr. HIStalk’s editorials appear each Thursday morning in the subscribers-only version of Inside Healthcare Computing’s E-News Update. To subscribe, please go to: https://insidehealth.com/ihcwebsite/subscribe.html or call 877-690-1871.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only


HIStalk Featured Sponsors

     

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Well, I’m already a leg up since my return flight is already set for Wed afternoon, given my past experience of always wanting to leave then….







Subscribe to Updates

Search


Loading

Text Ads


Report News and Rumors

No title

Anonymous online form
E-mail
Rumor line: 801.HIT.NEWS

Tweets

Archives

Founding Sponsors


 

Platinum Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold Sponsors


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reader Comments

  • EHR Guy: I enjoyed your comments about Epic and their CEO Judy. In watching and being in the industry over the years as Epic has ...
  • EHR Guy: how so... Pretty straight forward. Please explain if you are going to comment....
  • EHR Gal: This was incoherent. Please edit and try again....
  • EHR Guy: I enjoyed your comments about Epic and their CEO Judy. In watching and being in the industry over the years as Epic has...
  • KP Alum: Re the Kaiser Permanente medical school: I think it makes a lot of sense for them to train physicians in how Permanente ...
  • EHRVendor: Good article, unfortunately, this lost credibility when Athenahealth was considered one of the five major EHR Vendors le...
  • Patient advocate: Hi. I don’t see our organization on the Commonwell slide. We have gotten a lot of value from the tool and have ac...
  • Anonymous: I worked for Cerner at the time of the fire, and Cerner had a few dozen associates at the Feather River facilities. Both...
  • monica: 'Champions of Heath' that is perfect and says more about the whole rebranding strategy in 3 words than I could in a para...
  • Bill Spooner: It would be great to know about healthcare costs and outcomes in China, India and Norway, to learn how the various care ...

Sponsor Quick Links