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HIMSS16: Goodbye Elvis and Hello Data

By , Vice President of Marketing and Business Development
HIMSS16, Patient Engagement, Population Health & Wellness
HIMSS16: Goodbye Elvis and Hello Data

HIMSS16: Goodbye Elvis and Hello Data

By Kristin Russel, Vice President of Marketing and Product Strategy, Transcend Insights

As many of us pack up our bags following another successful Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference – we find ourselves thinking of the key takeaways. There are the obvious signs that HIMSS has come and gone – new business acquaintances, a suitcase full of chotzkes, sore feet, business cards galore, HIMSS fueled conversations, but what else will we take away from HIMSS16? There was much to learn this year as THE premier tradeshow for healthcare IT continues to grow and expand our own individual horizons. I personally have three big takeaways from the event:

1. Ah-hem… Check! Patient Engagement Really is All the Rage!

In my blog, prior to HIMSS16, I wrote about patient engagement.  Stressing the critical importance of this component in our healthcare journey and questioning how big the story of patient and consumer engagement would be at the mac-daddy of all Healthcare IT affairs.  Well, the good news is that we, the global community of healthcare technology leaders, are slowly coming together and realizing the critical importance and impact an individual has on technology.

The 2016 HIMSS Connected Health Survey further corroborated the need for patient engagement solutions citing that 48% of hospitals have applications for patient education and engagement and 47% expect to expand the array of connected health technologies they use.  The push toward patient engagement tools and applications requires solutions that do more than just bring Electronic Health Record (EHR) data into the equation, but look to marry the information with a very rich data set that is collected with a myriad of Wi-Fi enabled devices. At HIMSS16, conversations and sessions on patient engagement in care coordination and population health management were fueled by participants looking for innovation beyond what large EHR providers can deliver.

2. Goodbye Elvis and Hello Data!

Data is king!  Connected data, secure data, streamlined data, shared data…  As an industry we have transformed who we are from just 12 months ago.  How we build solutions that can take data silos and leverage the information to make more informed decisions about patient health and wellness is critical. At the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Chief Information Officer forum on Monday February 29th, Aetna’s Gary Loveman shared with us how healthcare can take a page from the gaming industry’s playbook and use data analytics to garner a deeper understanding of patient habits and motivations. As we transition from episodic to proactive care for long term wellness, data and the software solutions will become increasingly critical to effectively leverage information for better health outcomes.

3. Strategy Matters When it Comes to Population Health and Population Wellness

As a business major I’m pretty much a fan of strategy on all fronts…  Heck, I even have a strategy for my grocery shopping.  When it comes to interoperability, analytics and population wellness, health systems can sometimes shy away from strategy in favor of a simple technology solution. This year at HIMSS16, I was pleased to hear more and more talk about the health system’s strategy towards managing quality and utilization metrics and marrying those capabilities for richer insights in a more coherent fashion.  As healthcare organizations visited our booth, the tenets of their strategy held some consistent themes: 1) build out solutions to connect to the individual 2) manage and collect data across silos 3) deliver actionable data at the point of care 4) embrace systems that support innovation and connectivity 5) technology and transformation are needed for a successful population wellness strategy.

As we move on from our days in Vegas, I hope we’ll continue to push ourselves and our collective thinking to build strategies that connect data to provide richer solutions that support engaged consumers and patients in their healthcare journey.

What were your key takeaways from HIMSS16?