Discover insights from the annual conference that can impact your organization.
HIMSS 23 is right around the corner, running April 17-21 in Chicago, drawing attendees under the banner of healthcare information and technology. Although it is seen primarily as an event for hospitals and health systems, consultants, and healthcare IT providers, there are reasons to pay attention even if you don’t feel like the conference lies squarely in your wheelhouse. For hospital outpatient diagnostic services, it can feel like the enormity of HIMSS leaves your department a little lost or buried beneath the larger umbrella of interoperability, population health, and acute-centric IT-enabled patient storytelling. And for organizations not directly affiliated with a hospital health system – from independent laboratories and imaging centers to large retail pharmacies – it can feel even more like you’re left out in the cold. HIMSS promises to unveil a wealth of insights and trends that will impact your department and business – and the nature of how you serve your patients and communities. Here are a few things to keep an eye on.
HIMSS has long hung its hat on the breadth and quality of the educational opportunities it provides. Even if you’re not attending HIMSS, taking a moment to scan the range of educational topics is illuminating. HIMSS chooses these topics because they are important to the healthcare leaders it wants at the conference. And if those topics are sufficiently important to justify precious time on the calendar and dollars spent to attend, they can tell you what’s on the minds of hospital and healthcare leaders. That presents opportunities for alignment – and mutual growth – whether those leaders attendees represent partner organizations or your own hospital’s executives.
Among this year’s topics are those you’d likely expect – focus areas on data and information, technology, process and operations, healthcare policy, and business practices and strategy. What stands out, however, is a track devoted exclusively to employee engagement and retention. It’s no secret that everyone is feeling the staffing shortage, especially hospital clinical departments. It’s HIMSS’ angle, as a technology-focused event, that’s interesting. Sure, subtopics cover broader subjects, such as employee retention, burnout, and well-being. But there’s also coverage of user experience, usability, and user-centered design – suggesting that technology and its manner of implementation play a role in staff retention. Also, given that staff attraction and retention is top-of-mind, providing any level of relief offers a direct pathway to engagement with organizational leadership.
Moreover, of the eight educational tracks at HIMSS, one is entirely devoted to personalized care. For providers of diagnostic services, few things are more personalized than the lab results or radiology and pathology interpretations your department or organizations delivers. And the care and treatment of complex cases allows pharmacies – and pharmacists – to deliver consultative value to patients and their communities. Continuous advancements in personalized care elevate the importance of the care your department or organizations provides. Among the subtopics on personalized medicine at HIMSS 2023 are:
- Aging Population and Long-Term Care
- Alternative Care Delivery Models
- Behavioral Health
- Patient Experience
- Personalized Medicine Using Genomics
- Population Health
- Precision Health and Medicine
For each of those issues, your department or organization plays a critically important part – from the identification and diagnosis of disease to the effective, personalized care and therapeutic management of that disease.
Current and Potential Technology Partners
If you work for a hospital, it can seem a no-brainer that your technology partners would exhibit at HIMSS. But take a little deeper look. What are they saying to HIMSS attendees? To whom are they actually talking? Where do they fit in the technology ecosystem? And where are they going? The story they’re telling – take a moment to see if you see yourself and your department in it. Does your experience align with the story? Does it ring true? Are you getting those most from your relationship with that partner? And are there new opportunities to leverage that partnership to elevate your department’s quality of care and financial performance?
For non-hospital organizations, the insight is a bit subtler, but it’s there. Hospitals inherently represent a point of technological coalescence because they are a point of clinical coalescence. For a clinical encounter, multiple departments and venues contribute to the outcome. Technology helps facilitate that outcome – and interoperability crucial. Stepping outside hospital walls, non-acute events and care still present that same level of complexity and opportunity for interoperability. The need for clinical and financial information is still there at the points of care and service. The technology used to facilitate that flow within the hospital points to an analogous need outside it. And the solutions to empower it are out there. So, look at the needs vendors promise to fulfill. Odds are you’ll find some overlap in your own organization’s needs. And you’ll have a starting point when looking for a solution, especially one of those exhibitors happens to already be one of your partners.
New and Disruptive Technologies and Services
Speaking of technology, HIMSS is a place where the unexpected can happen. Take, for example, Best Buy, which attended as an exhibitor last year and will be there again. As someone who grew up with Best Buy as a company known for home entertainment technology and media, I wouldn’t have foreseen their presence at a healthcare technology conference. Yet here they are. And that’s just one example of something that, at first blush, seemed to come out of the blue.
But it makes sense. Technology is constantly changing and evolving. And healthcare is complex – from the population level right down to the patient. The potential for innovation is there. And it’s attractive.
So, which exhibitors surprise you? Who’s new? Who’s playing an unexpected role in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase? Check out some blogs and industry publications. Even better – ask colleagues and partners who attended HIMSS what surprised them. Now think about what that presence tells you – along with the potential opportunities and threats their presence indicates.
And if you happen to be attending HIMSS 2023, we invite you to visit us at booth 3631 and discover XiFin’s Power to Do Good. We’d love to talk to you.