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From HIMSS 2/27/14

February 27, 2014 News 11 Comments


From Spelling Recognition: “Re: ‘documention.’ Is this a misspelling or or marketing gone wrong?” I suspect the former and dread the possibility of the latter.

From Born Free: “Re: HIMSS opening session. It was nice of the HIMSS chair to recognize physicians in the audience, but as soon as the recognized physicians sat down, the speaker then dissed them through sarcasm about their ego and the 6,500 physicians in his organization that think they know best. It was a little uncomfortable and not very wise considering HIMSS’s desire to add physicians to their membership rolls.” I missed the presentation since I was protesting having an insurance company millionaire talking about how healthcare should work. I don’t like having vendors as keynoters.


From IT Director: “Re: HIMSS. It was a pleasure to meet Lorre in the booth on Tuesday. If you are going to have a public face I can’t think of a better one! She was engaging and knowledgeable and fun to talk with even if just for a few minutes. I love the fact that you had a booth — that was a cool thing to do.” HIMSS booths are breathtakingly expensive, but it was worth it to be able to meet readers, sponsors, and passers-by (most of them on their way to bathrooms right by our booth given our tiny HIMSS clout and budget). It was great having Lorre there since as the only non-anonymous HIStalk team member since she kept me updated with who dropped by, what they had to say, and what it was like being on the show floor with the other exhibitors. That was all new to me – my only view of HIStalk is sitting alone in front of a PC all day and night. It was cool that other exhibitors brought celebrities to our booth, sent Lorre scones and fun giveaway items, and helped us figure out the exhibit process since we were clueless. I’ve asked Lorre to do a writeup on what it was like for her to meet readers, work the booth, attend the events, and accept our Sunquest Industry Pioneer Award.

From Brian Ahier: “Re: Ed Park of athenahealth at HIMSS. Gave the best presentation at HIMSS.”


I’m glad the HIMSS conference is over. I’ll be catching up over the next few HIStalk posts. Your comments about the conference, exhibits, companies, and educational sessions are welcome.

I have to say I’m already dreading going to Chicago for the conference next year. All I remember from last time is snow, surly unionized conference center staff, outdated hotels that cost at least double what they were worth, endless cab lines because of the weather, and wearing winter clothes. I like Chicago as a tourist, but not as a conference attendee. HIMSS loves it, of course, because the travel is easier for their people and they get to deal their home city some payola.


Here’s Lorre’s new BFF Bob Murphy, MD, CMIO of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (TX), meeting people in our booth.

Orlando attendance set a record at an announced 38,828, although I don’t know how that number was derived. I assume all registrations were counted, including exhibitors and press, but I don’t know if HIMSS counted people sitting at home who paid $49 to watch streamed sessions on the Web. I know this: all event promoters like to provide optimistic attendance statistics and there’s no good way to audit their claims.


PeriGen was a booth neighbor and CEO Matt Sappern dropped by to say that “HIStalk is the only thing to read each day.”

This week on HIStalk Connect: Epic and Walgreens launch a wide-reaching interoperability partnership to rival CommonWell. HIMSS publishes the findings of its mHealth Technology Survey. Glooko unveils a population health tracker focused on improving care within the diabetic population.


Jennifer Dennard (@SmyrnaGirl) tweeted out this photo, saying she’s reading up on HIStalk while sipping from our mug now that she’s home from the conference. Our mug supply is exhausted other than a few we set aside for loyal readers who asked us to mail them one since they weren’t at the conference. I like Jennifer’s photo – if you took a mug home, send a picture of it in its new home.

I didn’t hear much about Hillary’s Wednesday keynote other than (a) it was extremely short; (b) like any skilled politician, she didn’t really say anything other than predictably lauding the work of the crowd that brought her there and kissing up to HIMSS. I would have been mad about waiting an hour or two to squeeze into the huge room for her talk given its lack of substance. Hillary’s rumored minimum speaking fee is $200K plus expenses, so she took home a big paycheck in addition to potentially impressing would-be Presidential voters who were apparently happy just to bask in her celebrity.

Hillary mentioned in her speech that corporations don’t have enough females on their boards. She didn’t define “enough” quantitatively.

HHS confirmed during the conference that neither ICD-10 nor Meaningful Use Stage 2 deadlines will change.


Hearst Health’s newly formed venture unit invests in Tonic Health, which offers an iPad-based data collection tool that counts Partners HealthCare and UCLA Health among its customers.


Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Travis, Lt. Dan, Lorre.

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: Women on Board. Catalyst does the research each year. It’s about 17 percent of women on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. That’s dismal. The right number? How about we start at 1/2.

  2. Oh no! You just started 14 months of whining and complaining.
    The last HIMSS in Chicago had only snow flurries, then the next year it was in Atlanta and on the third day there was a snow storm of 4 inches which caused havoc. Lighten up Chicago is a fun town, just bring your classy boots and forget the fancy shoes!

  3. Dear HIStalk,
    What in the world would make you write “I don’t like having vendors as keynoters?” Is it fatigue, dizziness, swollen fingers and feet? Makes no sense.

  4. The tone of this blog has always been sharp but your writing has become increasingly negative. The value I’ve found here has been derived from the great mix of useful news and humor. Please don’t lose that winning formula.

  5. On Hillary – what do you expect? Politicians running for office will never say anything substantive this early as no matter what they say it will either be lost or come back in a soundbite that warps the original message. Politicians like the rest of us do what they are rewarded for.
    On board membership – whatever happened to competence? – i vote for 100% competent board members and if they happen to all be women – who cares???
    On HIMSS – where is the real value???

  6. Samantha Brown Says:
    February 27th, 2014 at 5:07 pm
    Re: Women on Board. Catalyst does the research each year. It’s about 17 percent of women on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. That’s dismal. The right number? How about we start at 1/2.

    Samantha- How about the most qualified person gets the role. Are you looking for another handout from Big O? Sounds like you’re a proponent of Affirmative Action 2.0, which is already taking over our judicial system. No longer does the most qualified person get the job because we’re too concerned about employing a certain percentage of minorities.

    We have more opportunity in this country than any other and you’re still crying about equality?

  7. If Mr H’s tone is too negative- start another blog, we probably need more than one thorough and intelligent HIT blog actually

    Let’s keep the politics out- except for those bills and regulations that directly affect us (ie MU, FDA regs etc), there are probably a thousand others blogs where one may debate entitlements, affirmative action, and Francis underwood’s ethics

  8. Re:Hillary’s mention of too few women on boards and the comment that she didn’t quantify it, note that the new initiative she referred to, the No Ceilings project, part of the Clinton Foundation, has as its objective to collect global data and track progress on the status of women’s participation in the workforce and other parts of society. So, if you’re looking for quantitative evidence, No Ceilings should be a good place to look.

    Frankly, I preferred her short and to the point speech to long rambling speeches filled with lots of data taken out-of-context. She got to the heart of the matter–the need to improve the evidence base in healthcare with the help of technology. As a health data geek who views much of the current meaningful use and population health analytics as a stepping stone to a future with richer medical research models and more targeted/personalized therapies and care plans, I thought her speech was well suited for an audience well-versed in health IT and the big issues in healthcare.

    We all know she is a politician, so anyone who expected out-of-character behavior has only themselves to blame. BTW, I sat in the overflow room. I didn’t want to wait over an hour in the crowded main room.

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