Slideshow For Your Consideration: Intriguing Educational Sessions at HIMSS12

  • February 08 2012, 10:06am EST
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For Your Consideration: Intriguing Educational Sessions at HIMSS12

Health Data Management has profiled a number of HIMSS12 educational sessions on its microsite at Following is a quick look at some of the most interesting sessions.

Selling I.T. Initiatives Internally

Several years ago, Chuck Christian, CIO at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Ind., co-wrote a book on marketing internal health information technology initiatives with Steven Bennett and Judy Kirby of Kirby Partners, a health information technology recruiting firm.

At HIMSS12 in Las Vegas, Christian and Bennett will present an educational session on the importance of I.T. departments communicating to those they serve about what’s happening and how it will affect them, and sell them on the project, whether it’s a new implementation or an upgrade.

Hospitals have done the relatively “easy” I.T. projects by now, such as patient accounting and registration, Christian notes. Now come the far more complex clinical, health information exchange and business intelligence systems.

“Marketing the Healthcare IT Project,” targeting senior executives, is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 11 a.m.

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Connecting EHRs to HIEs

Feeding information from EHRs to health information exchanges ought to be easy, but so far it's been plagued by the same kinds of costs and technological obstacles as any other effort to interface one piece of HIT to another.

"There are lots of HIE standards out there, but they're not being consistently implemented," says Anuj Desai, director of business development for the New York eHealth Collaborative, which oversees HIT for New York State.

"Some vendors are trying to charge physicians $150,000 to get their EHRs connected to a health information exchange."
To remedy that situation and make the connections straightforward, New York and seven other states are collaborating with HIE and EHR software vendors to define "plug and play" interoperability between the two types of systems, and significantly reduce the barriers to HIE adoption.

“Connecting EHRs to HIEs” is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 12:15 p.m.

Get Updated on HIPAA Privacy & Security

For several years, attorneys Gerry Hinkley and Deven McGraw have jointly presented an educational session at the annual HIMSS Conference.

They’re back for HIMSS12 in Las Vegas, hoping to be able to explain provisions of the long-delayed HIPAA privacy/security/breach notification/enforcement final rule. Absent that, they’ll give a refresher on current regulations and how they may change in the final rule.

Hinkley, a partner in the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman; and McGraw, director of the health privacy project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, and a member of the HIT Policy Committee that advises federal officials, also will draw on the practical experiences they’ve had with privacy breaches.

“Trends and Recent Developments in Patient Privacy,” is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 12:15 p.m.

Managing the ‘Continuum of Intrusion’

The clinical decision support that goes with CPOE changes clinician workflow beyond what the basic technology already does, with such potential intrusions as forced documentation templates, alerts and pop-ups.

Donald Levick, M.D., medical director of clinical informatics at Lehigh Valley, calls the slow phase-in “the continuum of intrusion,” but it made acceptance easier than forcing so much change so quickly. It wasn’t a smooth, quiet process, but at no time during the initiative did the delivery system have to back up and withdraw a function because of too much resistance, he notes. “We learned things without revolt, that’s for sure.”

“The Unintended Consequences of Improving Care Through CDS,” is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 2:15 p.m.

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Using the Lessons of HIPAA 5010 to Ease ICD-10 Work

A session at HIMSS12 in Las Vegas will examine how some organizations have made a successful 5010 transition, and how lessons from 5010 can translate to ICD-10 implementation work.

HIPAA 5010 compliance is a patchwork right now, says Eric Mueller, president of WPC Services, the consulting subsidiary of Washington Publishing Co., which publishes HIPAA implementation guides. Many commercial payers, for instance, are ready for 5010 but most state Medicaid agencies are fall behind. Some clearinghouses have done a good job for large clients but not so good for smaller ones.

A core lesson from 5010 is that when things fail, it’s because of inadequate testing, Mueller says. And that will be magnified a thousand times with ICD-10 implementation, he says.

“5010 Aftermath: What Worked, What’s Left and ICD-10 Preparation Tips,” is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23, at 9:45 a.m.

What Practices Eyeing ACOs Need to Know

Fundamental issues for ACOs and related patient-centered medical homes include care coordination and continuity of care, says Steven Waldren, M.D., director of the Center for Health-IT at the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Many practices, for instance, need to re-think long-held attitudes about care coordination, he notes. “A lot still see the physician as the source of care and not the practice.”

“Laying the Foundation for Accountable Care,” is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m.

Getting Personal with Mobile Devices

As more patient information becomes electronic and physicians buy mobile computing devices such as tablets and smartphones, they want to use these personal devices when in the hospital to conduct business.

“They are putting work and patient information on the devices,” says Tom Walsh, president of Tom Walsh Consulting LLC, a health information security firm. “How in the world are we going to enforce security?” That question is the focus of a roundtable session that Walsh will moderate with Dennis Seymour, senior security architect at ELLUMEN, a health information technology services vendor, at HIMSS12 in Las Vegas.

“Security Risks Associated with Mobile and Medical Devices & Applications,” is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m.

For more information about this year''s HIMSS conference, Feb. 20-24 in Las Vegas, go to