Key takeaways from HIMSS 2014

Emily Borlik

Emily Borlik, National Healthcare Practice Area Director

Over 30 of us from across 5 of Slalom’s markets recently attended the annual Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference in Orlando, FL. HIMSS is the premier professional society for health IT, and its annual conference is host to nearly 40,000 industry experts. HIMSS has grown in size and relevance over the past decade as the healthcare industry has focused its attention on EHR implementation, data collection, and predictive analytics, in large part due to legislation and the Affordable Care Act.

Our own Sarah Korf Dill (@TheRealSKD), CSP and Healthcare Community Lead for Chicago, co-presented at the conference alongside Rance Clouser, VP of Field Services from Advocate Health Care—one of the top 10 health systems in the country. With an audience of over 800 in-person or online attendees, they shared key learnings from Slalom’s work with Advocate building out a robust Unified Communication platform that has driven improved patient safety and increased employee efficiency. You can read more about our presentation over at Clinical Innovation & Technology, Health IT Outcomes, and The Physicians Practice.

HIMSS 14 Slalom's Sarah Korf Dill and Advocate Health Care's Rance Clouser

Slalom’s Sarah Korf Dill and Advocate Health Care’s Rance Clouser presenting at HIMSS 2014.

Several key themes were top of mind at this year’s conference. We’re looking forward to helping our clients navigate these issues in the year ahead.

  • Successfully operating an Accountable Care Organization: To better manage the health of a community and contain healthcare costs, providers and payers have been working to build Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). The objective of ACOs is to work collaboratively to more intensively manage a patient population to improve quality and decrease utilization (and thus, cost) of healthcare services. There was great interest at HIMSS in sharing key lessons from the early adopters of this new and innovative model.
  • Big Data, interoperability, and predictive analytics: From Meaningful Use to ACOs, most major initiatives being undertaken to improve care and drive down costs in healthcare necessitate comprehensive and reliable data and analytic processes. HIMSS was buzzing with examples of how to improve the capture and analysis of data, with a significant emphasis on how various systems are working to ease the historically difficult transfer—or interoperability—of health information.
  • Patient engagement: The massive exhibition hall at HIMSS was full of new and innovative solutions that allow patients to better access their providers and health information, as well as assistance in monitoring symptoms or vital signs.
  • Preparation for the ICD-10 implementation: On October 1, 2014, the healthcare industry will be experiencing its own personal Y2K. ICD codes, a core component of the medical coding system, will be increasing from 13,000 ICD-9 to 68,000 ICD-10 codes. Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), announced at her keynote address at HIMSS that despite industry rumors, the transition to ICD-10 will not be further delayed. The race is on to October 1st.

What were your big takeaways from HIMSS 14? Tell us in the comments.

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