HIMSS14 Preview: Care Coordination and Mobility Should be Hot Topics

Mae-ellen Gavin
Feb 20, 2014

 

Bring on HIMSS14! With 37,000+ projected attendees, 300+ educational sessions and 1,200+ projected exhibitors, there is a lot to see at the 2014 Annual HIMSS Conference in a very short amount of time. I’ve been to many HIMSS over the years and try every year to create a “plan of attack”—how can I maximize my time, see everything I want to see, make connections and get up to date on all the latest technologies? I’m sure I’m not alone with that sentiment.

This year, I hope to hear how the industry is moving beyond simply checking the Meaningful Use box and starting to solve problems that impact patient satisfaction, safety and outcomes. In particular, I expect care coordination across the healthcare continuum will be a big focus at HIMSS this year.

With payment reform, there are now financial drivers to care for the patient for life and move away from episodic treatments. But, providers cannot do this alone. Patients (the consumers of healthcare) need to step up. The healthy, chronically ill or patients just trying to move beyond an acute illness or injury all have different needs. They  require education and close monitoring from their care providers in order to maintain a high quality of life.

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The other trend I expect to hear more about is mobile. The provider adoption of mobile is certainly providing a platform for innovation. Last year at HIMSS we saw wearables and home monitoring—everything from an iPhone case that performs an EKG to a wearable ICU-quality patient monitoring system. Since HIMSS last year we have seen the introduction of a smartphone connected device that measures temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, oximetry, ECG and heart rate variability. These are only a few examples of many devices that seem to becoming smaller, more mobile, and cheaper.

So what to expect this year? I look forward to seeing how these tools are being put to use to help providers educate patients and allow patients to become more engaged in their care. I also hope to hear stories of how providers are moving to value-based care, what the barriers and challenges they have to getting there and what solutions they are looking at to help them get there.

 

I’m looking forward to HIMSS this year; it’s an exciting time to be in healthcare IT…never mind the added bonus that it gets me out of snowy New England for a few days!