Predicting The 5 Hottest Topics Of HIMSS15

Across the Healthcare IT industry this week, all eyes are on the HIMSS (that’s Health Information Management Systems Society) 2015 annual conference, also known as the Super Bowl of health tech.
Whether you’re reading this en route to Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, or you’re watching from the sidelines on social media, here are the five big talking points you’re likely to hear about over and over again in the next several days.

1) Interoperability

If there were a single buzzword, to sum up, the agenda of this year’s HIMSS conference, it’s interoperability. Every executive across the industry is hot on the trails of any new technology that facilitates communication and exchanges of data between IT systems.
On the exhibition floor, this year’s 40,000 square foot Interoperability Showcase will offer visitors the opportunity to watch over 140 interoperable health IT systems at work as they follow a patient’s journey throughout the care continuum.

Looking for even more continuing ed credits? Choose from 44 different education sessions throughout the week focusing on interoperability.

So, if you find yourself dozing mid-conversation during a late-night cocktail party, just respond with “mumble, mumble, interoperability!” We promise, no one will be the wiser.

2) Mobile Innovation and Healthcare IoT

From smartphone apps to digestible sensors, head honchos from the country’s largest payers and providers will be on the lookout for the newest, hottest technologies going to market this year.

The Mobile Health Knowledge Center will offer sessions throughout the week on a variety of mobile innovation topics, including innovative models of care delivery, technical requirements for deploying mobile devices, privacy and security concerns, and more.

And attendees won’t want to miss the HX360 Innovation Pavilion for a firsthand look at the newest tech solutions in provider efficiency, patient experience, and care coordination.

3) Population Health Management

With so much patient information floating between these emerging mobile technologies and interoperable systems, it stands to reason that big data analytics is ultimately the name of the game. From a public health perspective, determining how to aggregate data from multiple networks and providers into a single, actionable record is the ultimate endgame.

Prominent Keynote speakers, including Former President George W. Bush and current National Care Coordinator Dr. Karen DeSalvo, are expected to address the necessity of patient-focused and cost-effective care, as well as the large-scale impact of developing comprehensive population health management systems.

4) Stage 3 Meaningful Use

Since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their long-awaited proposal for the Stage 3 meaningful use criteria in mid-March, analysts across the country have been combing through all 400 pages, trying to surmise what the proposal will mean for EHR incentives, patient engagement, data analytics, and more.

Expect a full house at Monday’s session with CMS stage 3 experts Elizabeth Meyers and Robert Anthony, who will offer an explanation of the new requirements taking effect in 2017.

5) Patient Privacy and Data Security

With two major data security breaches in the health sector announced since the start of the year, expect privacy and security to reign as hot topics across the conference. Nobody wants to be the next Anthem or Premera Blue Cross, surrounded by lawsuits and huge liabilities at stake regarding patient privacy.
HIMSS is introducing a new Cybersecurity Command Center this year, where industry and government experts will offer education sessions, product demos, and even a daily “Capture the Flag” game centered around the theme of cybersecurity.

Recent advances in healthcare IT solutions may be more exciting this year than ever before—but if companies can’t reign in the security of patients’ private information, all of that new technology becomes a liability instead of an asset.

No matter the specialty, you can bet that every speaker across this year’s conference will be addressing the foundational importance of data security in every aspect of healthcare technology.

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