A HiMSS16 Primer

by Rasu Shresthra, MD, MBA 

 

rasu_headshot_cmiochatThe annual HIMSS conference is seen as the “Superbowl” of the Health IT industry. The conference brings together over 40,000 health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from around the world, hungry to learn from one another, with an appetite to connect, collaborate and learn. The conference is seen as an annual pilgrimage for many – a “must attend” event due primarily to the high value that can be attained in a condensed period of time. Whether this is your first HIMSS conference or whether you are a regular, the one hallmark of a successful conference is planning.

 

So let’s chat about what you may expect from #HIMSS16. And let’s together plan to make this a particularly meaningful one.

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HIMSS promises to offer a showcase of cutting-edge health IT products and services, remarkable networking opportunities and world class educational content with an inspiring line up of sessions, talks, keynotes and workshops.

 

And then, there are the announcements and press releases, each trying to one up the other. The news of the demise of Meaningful Use may have been premature. This was sparked by a comment last month at the JP Morgan Conference made by a top CMS official (Andy Slavitt) when he said that “the meaningful use program as it has existed will now effectively be replaced by something better.” Will HIMSS16 attendees be able to get more clarity around what this “something better” really means for them? Or will we come back with an alphabet soup of questions on how MU will be integrated with PQRS (Physician Quality Reporting System) and MACRA (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act), which in turn will be based on the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs)?

 

Will we see large strides in vendors and providers scaling the interoperability mountain? What about patient engagement? Is cloud, analytics or information security going to be top of mind for most? Will there be interesting innovations around wearables, sensors, big data and the IoT?

 

Keynotes are always a big draw at HIMSS. The secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell, are both set to deliver keynote speeches at the HIMSS 2016 conference. Super Bowl Winning Quarterback & Five-Time NFL MVP Payton Manning will be coming in fresh off of a real SuperBowl 50 win and will be providing the closing keynote. I wonder if this will be a touchdown of a keynote!

 

Also featured, amongst many other things will be the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase, and the HX360 Innovation Pavilion. The Intelligent Health Pavilion is also always a big draw.

 

With all this and more, HIMSS16 promises to be busy. So let’s fire up your favorite Twitter application (TweetDeck, Tweetchat, Tweetchat.io) and let’s get chatting! Here are the topics:

 

T1:  Why are you attending #HIMSS16? What are your priorities for the conference?

T2:  What ONE thing are you most excited about for #HIMSS16?

T3:  Do you fear that we will be blinded by buzzwords? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

T4:  Population Health means many things to many people. What does this mean to you?

T5:  What tips do you have for fellow HIMSS attendees?

 

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Rasu Shrestha MD MBAChief Innovation Officer

UPMC & EVP UPMC Enterprises

#HiMSS16: The CMIO Then and Now

by Gregg A. Masters, MPH

I love this quote:

Leadership has always been a complex calculus and is specific to the domain/environment/population being led. – William F. Bria, MD, FCCP ‘The CMIO Survival Guide

So are we willing to be led? And by whom?

As we all know perhaps all too well, ‘healthcare is local‘, in fact hyper-local as the case often is, and not immune from indigenous geo-political and market structural considerations. Whether from a market dominance or top of mind share perspective, healthcare infrastructure carries a considerable amount of political currency – if not outright ideology driving the organization, governance and equity (business model) considerations of local operators. For instance, the State of Texas and it’s commitment to the preservation of independent physician practice is a stark contrast to the practice of Medicine (risk tolerance) in the State of Florida (no Corporate practice of medicine doctrine) or even California for that matter.

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Yet in the still emerging space of ‘applied medical informatics‘ whether informed purely by market or even organic forces, before factoring in the material incentives presented legislatively via ARRA/HITECH and it’s aftermath, the space has been in a constant state of dis-equilibrium if not sector chaos as we look for and settle on some market or industry homeostasis if you will.

This narrative has been developing for some time. In 2006 JAMA published: The CMIO—A New Leader for Health Systems wherein it posited physician:

leadership is a critical success factor for health information technology initiatives, but best practices for structuring the role and skills required for such leadership remain undefined

IT and teh Executive Team (CMIO)
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While a tad dated, this perspective was further informed last year when HiMSS released its Annual Leadership Survey (see: ‘About‘ post for results). What this author found of interest then and perhaps still so today with the degree to which the CMIO role penetrated the C-suite culture particularly given the importance of the role as acknowledged by both references above. In 2015 the CMIO was considered part of the ‘executive team’ in only 39% of the sample.

While this is a static picture and therefore not instructive on the relative growth rate of this participation (and standing) in the health system enterprise, it none-the-less follows on the heels of the rise of the CIO as a full fledged member of the C-suite team. Here the evolution from DP Manager or Director (often seen as staff position with an overhead label) to the CIO of a materially staffed operation tasked (or co-tasked) with revenue, market share and business intelligence objectives may offer some insight.

In 2016 the CIO role is well established. Yet, can the same be said of the CMIO? For an excellent post by one of our founding colleagues Nick van Terheyden, MD (@DrNic1), see: ‘Process matters as much as technology, especially when treading new ground‘.

And ‘treading new ground’ is arguably a constant for our colleagues and the vendors who hope to engineer their enterprise success!

Follow the action from HiMSS 2016 via the hashtag #HiMSS16. The digital dashboard is here.