As I prepared for what would have been my departure for Las Vegas, my inbox was filling with notes from vendors that they were cancelling their in-person presence at HIMSS21. Although this represents a financial loss for those vendors, it also makes a statement that they’ve considered that public health implications might be more important than exhibiting, so I salute them.
Other meetings scheduled for later in the year are beginning to cancel outright. The American Academy of Family Physicians announced Thursday that it’s postponing its annual Congress of Delegates meeting that was scheduled for Kansas City in September, citing “local spread of the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2” along with the fact that “AAFP cannot control the vaccination status of other guests and staff at the planned meeting site.” Travel restrictions from employers and academic institutions were also cited.
Also Thursday the Urgent Care Association canceled its 2021 Annual Convention slated for New Orleans in October. They noted that “In the past two weeks… COVID volumes in urgent care centers have doubled, tripled, and quadrupled.” They also mention that projections from the Louisiana Department of Health aren’t looking good for any improvement by October. I was supposed to attend conferences in September, October, and November, but none of them are looking promising at this point.
Also in my inbox was a confirmation from a hotel reservation that I canceled back in February, when I upgraded to a different hotel. I tried to cancel it online but it told me I would have a cancellation penalty to the credit card on file, so I called the hotel. They only showed the reservation that was previously cancelled and couldn’t find the “ghost” reservation even by searching my name as well as the confirmation code. We’ll have to see if any charges ensue. I called The Palazzo to cancel my actual reservation and after a 45-minute hold was able to do so. The agent kept telling me I’d see a refund on my card despite the published cancellation policy that would forfeit my first night’s already-charged guarantee, so I’m not holding my breath for a credit.
I had been looking forward to seeing the FDB CDS Analytics solution from First Databank, who has elected not to exhibit. They still plan to launch the product as scheduled. It aims to help organizations monitor and customize clinical decision support (CDS). Understanding how users are handling (or ignoring) alerts is key to patient safety, as is finding the right balance of alerts that won’t overwhelm but will prevent the most serious harms. Most organizations don’t know if their CDS is effective, and the solution is designed to track CDS impact over time. It’s available in the Epic App Orchard and I’ll definitely be reaching out to FDB for a demo.
I finally spent some quality time looking at the HIMSS Digital schedule and making my plan for the week, which was pretty easy since most of my time was open. There is a mix of real-time and on-demand sessions, and even the real-time ones will be available on demand a couple of hours after their conclusion. That’s good for me, because I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss the Patrick Dempsey portion of the opening keynote due to a last-minute meeting request. As in all things consulting, the billable takes precedence over the entertaining. I also identified which sessions are available for continuing ed so I can log the appropriate hours, so I felt pretty prepared for the week.
Shoe pictures have started arriving from my most dedicated readers, including these adorable snow globe slides from Kate Spade. They’re still available in my size, if anyone is curious. I’d like them even better if there was a resin model of a coronavirus particle in the heel, so I could fantasize about crushing it every time I take a step.
What are the best shoes you’ve seen at HIMSS21? How was the registration and badge pick-up process? Since I have to live vicariously this time around, leave a comment or email me.
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