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From HIMSS 3/3/16

March 3, 2016 News 3 Comments


From Idiosyncratic Reaction: “Re: change. Thought you would like this.” It’s perfect.


From Civil Discourse: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. I realize that some people like loud music, but I would rather see a provider-only get-together that facilitates making contacts and having more in-depth conversations with peers.” The tug-of-war between “it’s a party” and “it’s a networking event” started in the event’s second year in 2009, but since then, HIStalkapalooza has evolved more into a party and attendees are self-selecting knowing that’s the case. Maybe there should be a two-hour, provider-only networking event before the regular HIStalkapalooza starts, or even a separate event entirely. The downside is that just putting on HIStalkapalooza consumes lots of time for weeks beforehand and I’ve assumed that the conference provides ample networking opportunities already. I’m open to ideas.

From Mutually Assured Destruction: “Re: HIMSS16 observations. See if these resonate.” Here’s what MAD submitted:

  • Best new addition to HIMSS Annual Conference. HIMSS Living Room. We attend the annual conference for the networking and it’s such a pleasure to be able to connect in a comfortable space with food for sale and a nice mix of comfortable seating, mini conference tables, etc. I had more ad hoc face-to-face meetings in two days than in months of scheduled meetings, and the hallways weren’t lined with floor-sitters trying to rest their weary feet.  Well done, HIMSS!
  • Most interesting tone change. I’ve noticed throughout my HIMSS lifetime that each year, a different villain was blamed for problems with health IT. One year it’s physicians who wouldn’t accept change. Next year it was health system administrators who wouldn’t budget more than 3 percent of spending on HIT. Then the government for issuing unworkable mandates. Then health IT vendors whose EHRs weren’t user friendly enough. It was very refreshing to hear Karen DeSalvo say, (paraphrasing) “Let’s stop the blame and shame and look for solutions.”
  • Biggest irony. That a conference focused on developing solutions for improving the nation’s health is hosted in a location where daily exposure to second-hand smoke is unavoidable. Anyone with even the mildest asthma condition spent the week wheezing and coughing. I know there are only so many venues that can handle the HIMSS annual conference, but if we never return to the Vegas Strip it will be soon enough for me.
  • Biggest stressor/biggest regret. Being a no-show at HIStalkapalooza because of a last-minute work command performance conflict, knowing I’ll be blacklisted next year.


From High Pitch: “Re: HIMSS session on cognitive computing. It was a pure Watson vendor pitch. Don’t they have a customer who is willing to speak on behalf of the success they’ve had?”

Four hospitals in Israel were infected with ransomware in the past month alone.

Dignity Health will expand its use of Cerner.

Some of the DrFirst roving reporter interview videos from HIMSS16:

Lots of folks were wheeling suitcases through the casino this morning and packing up their exhibits this afternoon, foretelling the usual poor attendance at Friday’s sessions. It will be cold where a lot of people are going, with these highs Friday: New York 39, Boston 36, DC 43, Atlanta 59, and Chicago 38. Las Vegas will be sunny and 80 degrees.

Overheard: “I’m a hospital business analyst. I stopped by the booth of Borda RFID to get product information. The rep didn’t want to let me in the booth. I tried to get some collateral and she told me I couldn’t have anything because it was for CIOs who were coming by later. She made me put it down. I pointed out my CIO across the aisle and said, ‘Notice that his bag is empty while mine is full. Guess who initiates product investigation at my hospital?”

I spent the morning wandering downstairs Hall G, walking slowly and offering eye contact at each booth to see which vendors were paying attention:

  • I had great coffee and a brownie at BridgeHead.
  • CaptureProof explained their secure patient-provider photo, video, and comments exchange.
  • Doc IT Solutions is a first-time exhibitor. They offer document management and said they’ve done great this week.
  • Oblong Mezzanine is a telepresence-like visual collaboration conference room setup that is realistic and allows impressive image manipulation via a wand, almost like in “Minority Report.” It’s being used by Mercy Virtual. Their full-scale mock conference room was nicely done. They say it’s being used by tumor boards and other groups that need a lifelike virtual meeting setup. This was the coolest thing I saw today.
  • Stibo Systems is a master data management vendor that serves 34 of the top 50 retailers in the world. They said MDM is not yet widely known in healthcare, but interest is growing.
  • IMAT Solutions offers tools to normalize and aggregate data in real time for reporting.
  • DataMotion Health equips providers with the ability to let their patients download their data.


I ran across this booth in the Hall G maze. Pretty cool.

I checked out FormFast, which had an iPad-powered self demo. They offer electronic forms, barcoding, and data collection, including online consents.


The folks at Netskope were giving away this book, which is actually very good. Netskope’s tools allow companies to find situations where PHI or other sensitive information is being sent to unauthorized cloud services, which its studies have shown happens in 21 percent of healthcare organizations. The average healthcare organization uses 1,017 cloud apps. The company’s technology allows creating policies for each risky activity. They offer a free cloud risk assessment.

That’s all I have for the moment. I left mid-afternoon today because I’m super tired (probably like everyone else). I’ll wrap up anything I have left to say about HIMSS16 this weekend. Safe travels home, everybody.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. I’ll concur with the comment from Civil Discourse: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. I realize that some people like loud music, but I would rather see a provider-only get-together that facilitates making contacts and having more in-depth conversations with peers.”

    While HIStalkpalooza makes for a great party, there are no shortage of parties being thrown at HIMSS – receptions by vendors, nightclubs and every other form of entertainment, legal and otherwise. IMHO, the benefit of HISTalkapalooza is to be able to meet and interact with in-the-know industry people, not really to dance and listen to the band. We must all be somewhat like-minded, because we all subscribe and enjoy Mr. H’s literary style.

    The downside to loud music in a hot and crowded room is that you end up talking to (or really, shouting at) people you know because it’s difficult to meet new people and have a meaningful conversation when shouting is necessary. (I may be showing my age – I’m sure my 21 y.o. son has no such qualms)

    My 2 cents, for what it’s worth, is that I would pay a few bucks ($25-$50) to come to HISTalkapalooza Jr – beer and wine, light hors d’oeuvres, jazz band at moderate volume, with name tags for all the attendees to facilitate introductions and conversation. Rubbing elbows with fellow HISTalk devotees is valuable enough to me that I’d invest a few dollars to attend. Might be interesting to run a poll to see what other readers think. Though I know nothing about event planning, I’d certainly be willing to help organize something like that next year in Orlando.

    BTW – these are not ungrateful comments – I’ve attend several, enjoyed them, and will continue to attend. I appreciate the effort put forth – which I know is sizeable and commend you and the team for a job well done.

  2. Can we vote for some future year HIMSS being held at a yoga retreat? To me the most valuable part of the event is the networking and getting thousands of my closest friends in the same town, but the ridiculousness of Vegas and the wasteland that is Orlando don’t lend themselves to meaningful conversation. On the upside, my voice always gets about two whole notes lower by the second day of HIMSS, making me sound much more authoritative and credible…

  3. Attended HIStalkapalooza for the first time this year, after several years of avid reading. It was really nice to let the hair down and enjoy without the need to constantly schmooze and be schmoozed (although I did have a friendly chat with some fellow readers, but it was not limited to business, nor even focused on business). People were genuine, the mood was relaxed and life was good. Thank you.

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