HIMSS22: Reactions and Takeaways

The Annual HIMSS Conference in Orlando was March 14-18

With the reporting of 26,000 attendees, HIMSS seems to be getting back on track and moving in the right direction.

So what were the reactions? What were the takeaways? Will the exhibitors and attendees return next year? Here is what they told us.

Mike Brandofino, President and COO, Caregility
Twitter: @caregility

HIMSS22 felt like a much-needed return to normalcy. It was great to reconnect with customers, colleagues, and partners in person. Staffing challenges and patient experience were top of mind for many providers and virtual care solutions, including our own new Inpatient Virtual Engagement offering, were well represented as a means to help address both areas. Providers are increasingly looking for tools that will allow them to consolidate telehealth resources onto a centralized platform. Hybrid care models are gaining traction as care teams look to improve patient satisfaction and drive efficiency for care teams.

Michael Dulin, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gray Matter Analytics
Twitter: @GrayMatterData

Technology has the potential to be the great equalizer in healthcare. This transformation requires the use of Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) data to predict health outcomes and advance health equity by proactively delivering evidence-based medical and social services to the right patients at the right time. At HIMSS 2022, we encountered many organizations actively seeking ways to understand and address adverse SDoH for the patients they serve using technology innovations including AI and ML. This work is essential for developing and deploying interventions that will advance health equity while allowing providers to be more efficient and effective.

Calum Yacoubian, MD, Associate Director, Healthcare Strategy, Linguamatics, an IQVIA company
Twitter: @Linguamatics

It was wonderful to once again connect face to face with people from across the healthcare IT industry. Many attendees were meeting customers, prospects, and even colleagues for the first time at HIMSS22, which gave the conference extra significance. Beyond this social dimension, two key themes emerged at HIMSS22 —interoperability and artificial intelligence. Interoperability was on most providers’ agendas and there were an increasing number of vendors providing solutions in this area. In particular, health providers were looking for ways to include unstructured data in their interoperability efforts. While the definition of artificial intelligence varied from booth to booth, the need for technology to reduce the burden of handling large volumes of data was universally accepted.

David Lareau, CEO, Medicomp Systems
Twitter: @MedicompSys

Aside from reconnecting with colleagues, partners, and associates from across the industry, HIMSS22 provided the opportunity to engage with a growing number of people who want to make clinical data more accessible and usable for providers. The coming data tsunami has given health providers a greater sense of urgency when it comes to managing swelling volumes of health data and transforming it for use at the point of care to improve patient outcomes. Between now and HIMSS23, I believe advancing the usability of clinical data will gain even more momentum.

Juli Stover, Chief Strategy Officer, eVisit
Twitter: @eVisit

As early as the summer of 2020, our clients began to realize how the pandemic would forever change the way patients prefer to interact with providers. They began to think of ‘virtual care’ as simply ‘care.’ Now that the pandemic is winding down — or so we hope — the case for a flexible and sustainable care delivery platform is stronger than ever. At HIMSS22, it was encouraging to see that health systems are shifting their focus from telehealth adoption to sustainability.

Tom Kaminski, CEO, Clinetic

The HIMSS conference was back in full force with heavy foot traffic through the sessions and exhibit halls. The topic of data interoperability was heavily featured, not only in the context of the 21st Century Cures Act requirements, but also as a mechanism to accelerate the evolving innovation ecosystem. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, many health systems continue to invest in virtual and digital care programs to meet patients where they want to be met, and with all of the money that has flowed into digital health companies over the last two years, there are an increasing number of vendors to choose from. The strain on the human element of the health system is real; during the Wednesday keynote panel, it was quoted that nearly 20% of healthcare workers quit during the pandemic and that two-thirds of nurses are considering quitting. Winning technology solutions will be the ones that simultaneously enhance the experience for patients and providers, drive efficiency, and improve outcomes.

Sujay Jadhav, CEO, Verana Health
Twitter: @veranahealth

It’s clear that electronic health records (EHRs) have enhanced patient care delivery. Now, there is incredible potential to leverage this data to go beyond advancing the care of individual patients. When analyzed in aggregate, EHR data can help make a large-scale impact to increase our understanding of different diseases, inform research with more robust views of the patient journey, and improve the drug development lifecycle to get more effective treatments to patients faster. To do this, however, scattered and unstandardized EHR data – including the 80% that is unstructured – needs to be transformed into a structured, high-quality real-world asset at the disease level. As we look to the future of real-world evidence, data quality – not quantity – holds the key to getting critical insights from EHR data.

Susan Bellile, Principal, Health Plan Risk and Quality, Availity
Twitter: @Availity

The Interoperability Showcase demonstrated progress toward adopting data exchange and technology standards that will facilitate coordination of care, reduce administrative burden, and provide consumers with easier access to their health information.

Tim Coulter, president and COO, Dina
Twitter: @dinacare_inc

We’ve seen many advances in digital health in response to the pandemic, with an emphasis on extending technology into the home. As a result, interest remains strong in new tools to help manage virtual care and care-at-home models. Interoperability continues to be a priority, with a focus on moving data from one care setting to another. We heard throughout HIMSS22 that data is the future currency of healthcare. Generating specific data to understand patients’ health equity and social determinant needs, and inform decision making, is a desired capability for a growing number of providers.

Michael Meucci, COO, Arcadia
Twitter: @ArcadiaHealthIT

After two pandemic-laden years, it was refreshing that COVID didn’t dominate every discussion at HIMSS22. Healthcare leaders are moving beyond the pandemic, trying to figure out how to harness data and information to help their exhausted teams tackle an oncoming wave of new challenges. These leaders are also becoming more sophisticated in their strategies for acquiring and consuming data and analytics. Numerous vendors on the show floor claimed to offer a “platform,” but savvy healthcare buyers understand their use cases and can evaluate these solutions with a critical eye to identify the ones that truly meet their needs.

Colin Banas, MD, MHA, Chief Medical Officer, DrFirst
Twitter: @DrFirst

HIMSS22 represented a return to normalcy after the pandemic forced the last-minute cancellation of the conference back in 2020. You could feel the excitement from attendees and exhibitors alike, as if we were all emerging from a storm and back into the Florida sunshine. It was energizing to finally be able to meet in person with colleagues and contacts to collaborate and network. There were several robust discussions between vendors looking to work together as the industry continues to adopt a more open approach to compatibility between solutions. No one vendor can do it all, so there are exciting opportunities to combine expertise and capabilities to mutually benefit patients and providers. In particular, there was interest in how combinations of artificial intelligence and automation can support value-based care initiatives by improving patient engagement and workflow efficiencies.

Gregg Church, President, 4medica
Twitter: @4medica

While attending HiMSS22 in Orlando, Fla., it was apparent the roles of healthcare IT professionals have become more critical in 2022 as provider and payer organizations rely on them to implement technologies such as telehealth, automation, artificial intelligence, analytics, and greater interoperability to enhance value-based care (VBC) initiatives. Healthcare IT pros also will be responsible for ensuring health data is of high quality, and free of errors and duplications of patient records, which can result in billing problems as well as pre-authorization and payment delays. And as providers and payers increasingly seek to leverage social determinants of health (SDoH) data, healthcare IT will be under pressure to enable data sharing with community-based organizations, many of which lack technology capabilities and budgets.