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From HIMSS 4/16/15

April 16, 2015 News 8 Comments

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.

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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. I hadn’t attended HIMSS, since San Diego in roughly 1998, and was wowed by the shear size of the event. Outside of the transportation challenges Monday evening, I felt that the overall conference went well. I’m not biased or anything but was please with my employer’s booth.

  2. I love how Atlanta can bolster most of the tech talent, a high bling of HIt firms, and dragon con (substantially larger) … But the best the HIMSS board can do is say we can’t handle attendance?

    Id be willing to bet it has more to do with the new hotel motel taxes, room occupancy fees, and less to do with venue.

  3. HIMSS2015 was the year of population health-itis. Almost every vendor is a population health vendor now.

    So predictable.

  4. Everyone says they can do what I need, (expand analytics, exchange info for transitions in care, bundled payment), but who has the secret sauce for getting their hands on the data from the “lesser” breeds of EHR’s is my challenge. I am a Post Acute Organization ( small fish), and I spoke with several great solutions providers that could scale to our needs, so I’ve just got to distill it down to who can live up to what they claim in a cost effective way. Let me add a THANK YOU to Marc Grossman and Dr. Zafar Chaudry. for their mentoring advice to me this past week. For me, a small fish, but a passionate advocate for good Health IT, HIMSS gives me the opportunity to have practical discussions around “doing” versus “buying”.

  5. also had an awkward encounter at the epic booth. I work for a patient engagement/education company that partners with epic and we have regular contact with them. Stopped by to chat and see bedside (for which we provided demo content in the past) and healthy planet. Was asked by the woman running the healthy planet demo to leave the booth “because I work for a software company and can’t see the demo.” My company’s not really a software comalny and definitely not a competitive threat for epic.

    Other attendees were there so didn’t want to press her, but that stance and message seem poorly thought out and counterproductive. I’ll just get a client to show me healthy planet in more detail – which means epic loses a chance to shape the message.

  6. I like Mr.HIStalk’s idea that HIMSS would be a lot more interesting and manageable as 2 conferences — one being the exhibits and, perhaps, the other, the educational sessions. Unlike most readers, I find 90% of the sessions I pick to be informative and educational.

  7. The show is getting so massive, it is hard to navigate the event. With over 1,600 Exhibitors and 40k+ attendees, they are going to need to do something about logistics like Deborah said.

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