Friday, February 26, 2010

Ready... Set... HIMSS!


I will spend some time this weekend getting ready for HIMSS. The theme for this year's event is "Change Is Everywhere...Opportunity Is Here." Unlike many of my colleagues, I have few parties planned and am trying to keep my schedule fairly flexible. I do have half a dozen important meetings, plenty of chats planned, and lots of people I can't wait to meet in real life. There are a couple parties I've accepted invitations to, and will probably find my way to a few more. But for the me, one overall purpose of attending this event is to participate in the "Meet the Bloggers Event" at the Social Media Center, and also to hear some of the great keynote addresses, while making important connections and hopefully seeing some very interesting product launches. I've been offered a couple behind the scenes looks at some new products, so expect some interesting information to come from the event.

I expect some of the scheduled highlights (besides the social media events) to be Wednesday March 3, when both Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, will give keynote addresses. There are also going to be quite a few ONC staffers on hand and even some folks from CMS. This year is likely the biggest year for health IT in history, and there is certainly quite a bit of interest in meaningful use of EHRs, HIE, RECs, SHARP, Beacon Communities and on and on. I expect this HIMSS will have a distinct government focus mingled in with the usual private sector thrust.

And of course there are the exhibits - practically every conceivable vendor even remotely related to health IT will be on hand to hawk their wares and promote their products. I will take a couple days and announce my unbiased impression of the best I find. Since I make no money doing this and do not get paid by any vendor or HIMSS you can be confident that I will be my usual honest and slightly snarky self. This should be an interesting week and I'll try to keep the information flowing...