Meaningful use, HIPAA 5010, ICD-10, David Blumenthal leaving ONCHIT … all these factors have created “uncertainty” in health I.T. going into biggest shindig of the year, observes H. Stephen Lieber, president and CEO of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.  But they’ve also sparked unprecedented interest in the HIMSS conference, being held Feb. 20-24 in Orlando. During a Feb. 16 interview at HIMSS headquarters in Chicago, Lieber says there had been 1,900 new registrations in the previous 24 hours, pushing attendance above 30,000 for the first time—what’s more, “I think we’ll be well in excess of 30,000,” he predicts.

Every HIMSS seems to have a dominant theme. “Last year it was more about understanding meaningful use. This year, it’s more about the march toward meaningful use,” Lieber says. On Feb. 21, HIMSS will release data showing that about 25 percent of hospital CIOs believes they’ve achieved Stage 1 meaningful use, and another 20 percent say they are “easily within reach” of the goal. “The expectations of meaningful use and the stages and the certification process for products, that’s pretty well understood, and I would call that stable right now,” he says.

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