Just as "Plastics" was the catchword from The Graduate, this year's HIMSS Conference theme was a combination "Cloud-based EHRs" and "HIE".
Cloud-based EHRs which follow the model pioneered by AthenaHeath for minimal hardware and minimal configuration in the office now include a number of new entrants including CareCloud and iPatientCare. It will be interesting to see how these companies address the issue of integration with hardware in the office, the desire for customization, and the need for unique interfacing/integration with third party products.
HIE companies are appearing on the landscape faster than ever before. Companies such as Orion, Intersystems, RelayHealth, United/OptumInsight, Aenta/Medicity, DBmotion, Axway, and Certify are increasingly visible in the industry.
With the Stage 2 NPRMs and increased HIMSS emphasis on interoperability, the industry is fast moving toward the Learning Healthcare System we've all envisioned. That's cool!
Sorry we didn't see you this year!
I would add "interoperability" to that list, too, Dr. Halamka. I spent a lot of time asking folks at HIMSS what interoperability meant to them in their daily work, because as a overarching concept ONC espouses, it seems so "meta" that it means anything at all sometimes when I think about it.
I found that personal definitions of that term depended on who you talked to, mainly. To some people, interoperability is figuring out how to pass patient data outside their EHR (almost word for word like Stage 2 NPRM) to other parties; for others, it meant the challenge of piping patient data from proprietary, silo'ed systems into the electronic patient record; for still others, it meant getting medical devices to move off their islands and start talking to the EHR.
BTW: In the case of those last two applications of the term "interoperability," I heard another buzzword tossed around HIMSS I hadn't heard much in previous years: "Middleware." That's how interoperability's getting done.
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