Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dispatch from HIMSS

I've just finished my day in Atlanta and am beginning a commute to Tokyo.

Every year, I describe my top 10 impressions from HIMSS. Here's my summary of the event for 2010

1. Meaningful Use is everywhere. Vendors are promising EHRs, modules, appliances, and services to help clinicians achieve it. I had dinner on Monday night in a small Indian vegetarian restaurant. Sitting next to me were 3 engineers from Bangalore who were arguing about the details of Meaningful Use in between bites of vegetable curry. I could not escape Meaningful Use anywhere!

2. Certification is everywhere. It's particularly ironic that many vendors claimed their systems were certified, even though the certification NPRM was just released today, making compliance with the new certification process in time for HIMSS impossible.

3. Cloud computing, Software as a Service and ASP models are popular tactics to accelerate EHR rollouts. There are still lingering concerns about how to ensure privacy in a cloud environment.

4. Several firms such as Intersystems, Axolotol, and Medicity are offering HIE platforms that include many of the standards noted in the IFR. The marketplace for HIE products is just emerging and it's hard to predict who will become the market leader.

5. The Continuity of Care Document is gaining traction. I found many vendors supporting CCD exports from their EHRs. A company called M*Modal , has developed natural language processing technology that captures dictated content in its original context (ontology-driven
rules) as a CDA document.

6. Consultants abound. It's clear that Regional Extension Centers and Health Information Exchanges will require expertise and staffing from professional firms. They all had large booths at HIMSS.

7. 30,000 people attended, including 10,000 I did not recognize (just kidding). It's clear to me that many IT professionals, even those with limited healthcare domain expertise, attended HIMSS to better understand how they could participate in the euphoria of HITECH stimulus dollars.

8. Self service kiosks for patient identification and self-registration are now mainstream. Just as we print our airline boarding passes, we can now use credit cards or biometrics to check into ambulatory care appointments and automatically settle all co-pay balances.

9. Image exchange in the cloud is being offered by several vendors. As I mentioned in Monday's blog, Symantec announced an appliance for small clinician offices that cloud enables all imaging modalities using a facebook-like social networking invitation to share/view images.

10. PHRs and patient engagement are becoming more mainstream. Google and Microsoft continue to innovate in the non-tethered PHR marketplace.

I left HIMSS with a feeling of hope. Our industry is vibrant, clinicians are engaged, our goals are clear, and resources are becoming available.

I'll be commuting over the next 24 hours, but when I land, I'll publish my analysis of the Certification NPRM.


Michelle W said...

Thanks for the wrap-up of HIMSS, sounds a lot like other impressions out there. I think point number two is the telling one, and there will be many more self-proclaimed "certified" outfits before it's all over. Hopefully the new NPRM will clear up a lot of the confusion and allow the HITECH ball to really start rolling.

Unknown said...

I just missed you at HIMSS10. I was one of the 10,000 you did not recognize. Have a safe journey. I do agree with your conclusions especially with the Cloud computing space and the patient kiosks. One thing you did not mention was the aspect of social media and the convergence of technology with wireless medical computing. Maybe I will see you in Florida next year.

Ravi Kumar said...

Thanks for summing up HIMSS. Spot on.

No-nonsence, straight to the point, Halamka style. You make very important points here, particularly regarding the certification, and concepts such as cloud/SaaS/ASP and CCD.

Keen to hear thoughts on who gets to be in that first list of 'meaningful use' achievers and what must one do to be successful at that.

Anonymous said...

When do you think integration of clinical, care and claims data will become mainstream? what are the barriers?

Suki Tsui said...

I left HIMSS with a mixed feeling: While I felt hopeful that all these different HIT initiatives will be gaining momentum (with a little more push from the fed), I worried that we will be facing lot of challenges (mostly resistance) ahead of us...