The biggest HIT event of the year is over – more than 43,000 attendees, over 300 education sessions, and over 1,200 exhibitors. Say what you want about the long taxi lines at the end of the day, all in all the service provided by HIMSS, hotel and convention staff was great. Say what you want about the slow performance of the HIMSS15 mobile app, there were many other ways to find out what was happening and where you needed to be. I will say though that our UMHS users would be all over me if our systems had such slow performance – I guess for an app that has the life cycle of a 4 day conference, you can get away with it. But let’s hope for improvements next year!
I’ll leave the deep analysis on market trends, vendors, and big announcements to the professionals who write for a living. I have a day job to get back to. But I will share a few highlights and thoughts after my time in Chicago:
CIO Forum – The theme was Health IT Leadership 3.0: Our Journey Toward the Year 2020. Sorry I had to miss the two morning keynotes from Dr. Daniel Kraft and Michael Earl. My CIO colleagues said they were excellent. Knew I’d arrive mid-morning Sunday following a family wedding on Saturday night. But thanks to American Airlines where you pay $25 baggage fee for the privilege of having your luggage arrive on a different flight, I waited an extra two hours for my luggage to arrive at the airport. So I didn’t make it until the end of lunch. I did get to hear three of my CIO colleagues talk on security, employee engagement, and work-life balance. They shared important lessons from their experiences. And the closing keynote speaker, Tommy Spaulding, who spoke on Effective Management Skills in Dynamic Times. He talked about what he calls “return on relationship” or ROR. He challenged us each to go back home and do a relationship audit – identify the 15 most important relationships you have and assess their effectiveness. I am grateful that CHIME leadership gave me the podium for two minutes as the John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Year. It was my opportunity to thank CHIME, HIMSS and my CIO colleagues who I have learned so much from, to comment on the importance of both being mentored and being a mentor, and to challenge them on what they are doing to help develop the next generation of HIT leaders.
#HITsmCIO Networking Event – Rob Cronin, W2O’s Technology Practice Leader (@robcroninNY), moderated a panel discussion titled: Healthcare CIOs and Social Media: How HIT leaders are Using Social to Improve Healthcare. The panel included some of the biggest social media influencers in health care. It was fun to be on the panel with David Chou, CIO at University of Mississippi Medical Center (@dchou1107), Dr. Rasu Shrestha, Chief Innovation Officer at UPMC (@RasuShrestha), and Will Weider, CIO at Ministry Healthcare (@CandidCIO). I encourage you to follow them all on Twitter.
#HITChicks meetup – My first Twitter based meetup ever! I was on my way to another session but stopped by long enough to introduce myself and encourage them to continue their efforts advocating for our patients and for women in HIT. Check out their meetup recap.
Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) meeting –Dr. Karen DeSalvo, ONC Director, and members of her staff met with our CHIME Policy Steering Committee. All part of our ongoing, open conversations with ONC to discuss current concerns and confirm common goals as we move forward on the HIT journey. Yes, legislation and government mandates can be shaped and influenced by our collective voices.
Vendor meetings – My focus this year was on security, telehealth, mobile, patient engagement, and analytics. Along with my executive directors in attendance, we had several focused discussions with current and prospective vendors. We first had to review what is possible and coming soon from Epic, our primary integrated EHR vendor. In the other vendor meetings we went deep to understand product potential, integration issues, and how they compete in the market.
Awards gala – Truly the highlight for me. Though I’ve been involved in CHIME and HIMSS for many years, I’d never attended this event. Congratulations to all the award winners! I’m only the fourth woman to receive the CIO of the Year award in the 26 years since it began. I got a huge round of applause in my 60 second “acceptance speech” when I said we need to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology.
The next step before getting totally back into my day-to-day work is to debrief with my team that attended and agree on our key action items post conference based on what we saw, heard and learned.