The Stella team is happy to be back from a busy, informative and exciting HIMSS15! It was another record-setting HIMSS Annual Conference with over 42,000 attendees.
This year’s conference was another great opportunity for us to meet and connect with our customers, and partners, and see and learn about new innovations, new and emerging technology and upcoming industry trends – exciting times ahead in the healthcare industry.
Key highlights of HIMSS15 include:
- Introduction of “ConCert by HIMSS™”, an industry-leading testing and certification program for HIE and EHR vendors offered through a strategic alliance between by HIMSS, IHE USA and the Interoperability Workgroup (IWG). Stella designed and built the Interoperability Testing Tool (ITT), the comprehensive testing platform which allows HIE and EHR vendors to certify their compliance with ConCert’s interoperability standards.
- In multiple sessions, both ONC and CMS highlighted the need for easier integration capabilities and better connectivity infrastructure.
- Both ONC’s Interoperability Roadmap and recently released Meaningful Use 3 NPRM garnered much discussion.
- There is an unprecedented level of interest and enthusiasm around the new HL7 FHIR standard, especially from EMR vendors, which have traditionally resisted seamless data sharing. Within the next two months, HL7 will release a specification and an implementation guide for the FHIR API and the corresponding security profile.
- Interoperability trend is shifting towards data content quality and validation, now that the messaging and transport standards are maturing.
- The opportunity to modernize the healthcare infrastructure from aging technology is gaining traction.
Other hot industry trends and topics during HIMSS15 included:
- Hospitals readmissions prevention
- Care coordination and transitions of care
- Patient and consumer engagement (research and advisory firm Chilmark Research anticipates a flurry of activity in the engagement space over the next 18 months or so, particularly now with the release of proposed Meaningful Use 3 rules)
- Big data and analytics (IBM announced the acquisition of Explorys and Phytel, two well known companies in the healthcare analytics space)
- Integration of inpatient, outpatient and home-based patient monitoring devices as well as wearables with EHR or care management systems
We also had the opportunity to attend our client Hahnemann University Hospital‘s session entitled “Improved Patient Engagement, Lower Readmissions with mHealth”. The session sparked a lot of interest and questions around Hahnemann University Hospital‘s readmission prevention pilot program, a joint initiative with Digital Collaboration Solutions (DCS), to improve Hahnemann’s readmission rates by 20%. The program also improved care coordination between the hospital and its affiliated physicians by ensuring heart failure patients receive post-discharge follow-up through enhanced electronic notification to family and friends.
We heard many organizations talk about the need to have full, integrated access to all of their data, while others expressed legitimate concerns around how to “meaningfully use” (no pun intended…) all that data once they have it. Given the ever interconnected ecosystem and technology convergence we are driving towards, those two issues are only going to get worse if you do not have a well-defined strategy on how to address them. We at Stella do not have all the answers either, but we have certainly been privileged to serve many organizations in tackling their integration challenges.
Healthcare interoperability is here, and it is now. Perhaps we are biased, but we are not the only ones saying it (“The buzzword for HIMSS seemed to be interoperability”). Anything we can do to help you make sense of it, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIMSS 2016 – Save the Date!
February 29 – March 4, 2016
Sands Expo and Convention Center | Las Vegas, Nevada