Health Data Management is going to be running HdmTV during the show that will feature interviews with speakers and other newsmakers at HIMSS11. Our editors also will be providing news bytes on what we’re hearing at educational sessions and from attendees. You’ll have a chance to watch them via links in our Road to HIMSS newsletters as well as our HIMSS11 site. We’ll have the entire editorial staff at HIMSS11, plus we’re bringing the kitchen sink, and we’ll have plenty of news to share with you while you’re in Orlando. One way to get a quick snapshot of what's going on is following us on Twitter.

And I’m always wondering how far I actually walk at a HIMSS Conference, and this year I’m going to know definitively thanks to a neat thing I’m doing with Amendola Communications. I’m being outfitted with a mile tracker during the show, and my grueling march will be monitored via the PR agency''s Facebook page and Twitter handle.

You can guess how far I'll go, and if you’re right, or more right than anyone else, you can win daily prizes as well as a grand prize at the end of the show. I’ll also be doing a few video updates so you can see how I’m holding up.

If you get a minute stop by our booth (4263) and try to catch an editor. We’ll always be able to find a few minutes to chat with I.T. leaders and learn about what’s going on at their facilities. And while you’re there you can sign up for our Vespa contest … HDM will be giving out four LX150ie Vespas, and if you take a look at them I guarantee you’ll want to win one. Very sleek, very zippy.

My HIMSS11 observations going into the show …

1. There’s a lot of buzz around health information exchanges, and I get the sense that an awful lot of CIOs want to network with colleagues about setting up the right governance model and looking for potential partners. There are so many initiatives going on, including the federal government’s financing of statewide HIEs, that it’s nigh impossible for hospitals and practices to sort out the opportunities they have. But EVERYONE is looking to get hooked into an exchange of some sort.

2. Accountable care organizations are another point of interest, and HIMSS11 has a track of educational sessions devoted to ACOs, which are trying to incentivize providers to be accountable for managing patients across the continuum of care, while also increasing patients' engagement in their care. There are  numerous pilots out there thanks to health reform, but most CIOs I’ve spoken with are confused about what kind of payment mechanisms are being set up to incentivize providers, and how providers will financially benefit from any cost savings generated by ACOs. ACOs might be a huge financial opportunity for providers, or they might be a lot of work for little payoff. At this point no one seems to know.

3. This obscure little government program called “meaningful use” will get some ink.

4.  I would recommend you keep an eye on what shakes out from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s recommendations for a “universal exchange language” for health I.T. Many tech wonks in this market have advocated using metadata XML tags to exchange data, but it would be a pretty significant departure from the current evolution of health data exchange. The recommendations are being taken seriously on a federal level, and if the Office for the National Coordinator goes down this path—and it if does, it will probably be fast-tracked to incorporate it into Stage 2 and Stage 3 meaningful use criteria—then it’s likely going to cause an I.T. upheaval where you’re working. HIMSS has already voiced objections to the council's ideas.


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