Countdown to HIMSS17 – Part 2: Vendors

The countdown to HISS17 continues. As I wrote last week, the best way to think about it is in three ways – education, vendors, and networking. This post is the second in a three-part series – focusing on vendors.canstockphoto10546354

If you already registered, you have been inundated with vendor emails and snail mail since then. The ginormous exhibit hall beckons when you get to Orlando. So how do you make the vendor aspect of HIMSS17 as productive as you can?

Here are some tips to consider based on many years of navigating the exhibit floor:

Meeting with your current vendors – I’ve talked with colleagues in the past who always start here. They schedule meetings in advance or stop by just to say hello at all their primary vendors’ booths. I never fully understood this. Maybe I was a CIO in an organization with mostly internally developed systems for too long. You can connect with your primary vendors throughout the year so do you really have to spend a lot of time with them at HIMSS? It’s up to you and your specific needs and issues. If you want to see the Continue reading

What upgrade?

This past weekend we did another major upgrade – this time the ambulatory EMR. It went extremely well and was met with smiles and kudos from our senior executives. While we’ve done several major upgrades canstockphoto13469755recently including revenue cycle and acute EMR, this one had a lot of eyes on it. Those same senior executives have been rightly concerned about the performance of our ambulatory EMR while we worked through some significant issues during the past several months, including software, hardware and infrastructure. So, kudos to the team that turned the corner on those issues and pulled off a very successful upgrade with minimal issues and disruption to our physician providers and operational practice teams.

We called our 200+ physician practices before the upgrade to make sure they felt prepared.  A few actually said “what upgrade?”. Apparently they had not read the any of the advance communications. So we worked with each of them to make sure they were ready.

The command center was open all week and will close early today as we have fewer and fewer calls.  Over 62% of the reported issues had been resolved as of late yesterday. Our users gained a lot of new functions and features which has made everyone happy.

In addition to a strong and collaborative relationship with your vendor, here are some critical success factors for any major software upgrade: Continue reading

Make the most of HIMSS15

The health IT event of the year is almost here. Yes, just a few more days until HIMSS15 and time for education, networking and vendor exploration. Whenever HIMSS is in Chicago, some people worry about the weather. But it looks like well have high temps in the 60s so you southern and west coast folks can leave behind your boots and gloves!  I am sure the Boston attendees will not bring snow.

March to HIMSS Post Icon-Sue Schade BlogIve attended HIMSS many times and have learned how to make the most of my time there. So, whether its your first HIMSS or you are a veteran, here are some useful tips:

Education sessions – The best ones will be standing room only.  If you really want to hear a particular presentation, get there early. Room locations may be very far apart so map out your next session. Pay attention to the session designation in the listing – basic, advanced, or intermediate.  The last thing you want to do is walk half a mile to get to a session that is targeted at a different level audience.

Networking – Networking is one of the greatest values of this annual event. HIMSS provides many ways to find people with similar interests as yours. Plan ahead: Continue reading

Keys to successful vendor management

What makes a great vendor-client relationship? If you are in IT management you have probably experienced ones you thought were model relationships and ones you wish you had never gotten into. After 30 years in health IT management I have seen the full range.

HandshakeI’ve been on both sides of the table over the years, I’ve been a buyer of products and services as CIO. I have been a seller of products and services with a software vendor and a consulting firm.

I always tell prospective vendors that I understand their business models. I don’t want to waste their time or mine.

If we don’t need their services or products at this point, I will tell them so. No need for further conversation. But it’s always good to keep the door open for the future: needs may change and their solutions will evolve. Continue reading