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#HIMSS16 Education, Exhibition and Networking Guide – Part 1

#HIMSS16 Education, Exhibition and Networking Guide – Part 1

Attending the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition can be daunting. The arrival of a small city within the “entertainment capital of the world” takes a lot of heavy lifting and advance marketing; the Twitter hashtag #HIMSS16 has been buzzing with excitement for months. MSLGROUP caught up with meeting services VP Karen Malone and Professional Development VP JoAnn Klinedinst to learn about what’s new and why HIMSS remains the top health IT show in the country. This is the first of two parts.

MSLGROUP: I always love to hear what’s new at the show from last year or things you’re excited about.

Malone and Klinedinst: One thing we’ve done differently is shift the schedule: we’re doing a Monday through Friday pattern instead of Sunday through Thursday. This way people don’t have to compete with the weekend events in Las Vegas. With that schedule shift, we made some changes in the timing of some of our key activities. For example, we’re starting our opening keynote sessions on Monday at 5 p.m., which will consist of two presentations: Sylvia Mathews Burwell, secretary of the department of health and human services, and Michael Dell, CEO of Dell.

We’ll run the exhibit floor on all day Tuesday, Wednesday and almost all day on Thursday. We also just added a special session on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. with the ONC and CMS. Of course, Friday afternoon with Peyton Manning is highly anticipated. We have 3D printing [a new exhibit area] this year, and two new knowledge centers, one about population health and another on revenue cycle.

What are the hottest health IT topics this year?

We are excited about the diversity of our programming with more than 16 different topic categories. The topics that are top of mind for our attendees are: precision medicine, cybersecurity, revenue cycle, care coordination and population health. And not to mention, areas such as leadership and process improvement and clinical informatics. We’re also adding Vendor Solutions Settings to give vendors an opportunity to sponsor a session around case studies and best practices on various topics.

Since cyber security remains a critical element for healthcare, we’re partnering with SANS to deliver a cybersecurity workshop so that attendees will get a certificate of completion at the end of the workshop.

HIMSS will also offer for the first time the American Board of Preventative Medicines clinical informatics continuing education for the maintenance of board certification.

How does the exhibition venue contribute to the look and feel of HIMSS?

The Sands is unlike anywhere else, and the attendees really like it a lot because of the way it’s structured – it’s a vertical building – so the meeting space is stacked. Instead of going horizontally from one end of the building to another, people will be going up and down an escalator, which will be easier on the feet.

Always so much going on. How do you keep things new and fresh?

We mine the data from the prior year’s evaluations to know what topics to keep running and get ideas for the next year. Our annual conference education committee is a group of volunteers that works tirelessly in June to begin the evaluation after the call for proposals has closed. They review and discuss the findings and identify potential sessions or topics for next year.

We also realized that there are some folks who don’t like all the structure and we have our “Your Turn” sessions in the program as well. After a solicitation for topics through a call for proposal, sessions are selected based on a variety of criteria. Those are sessions which topics attendees vote on. For example, if we identify seven sessions that we think are worthy for five slots, attendees will be able to vote and we’re really excited about this because this gives attendees a true voice in the educational programming.

Part 2 will explore the ONC’s presence, meaningful use and more.

MSLGROUP looks forward to attending HIMSS 2016. If you will be attending and would like to talk with us about conference planning and PR activities, or would like to meet during the show, feel free to contact Doug Russell at 781-684-0770 or

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Davida Dinerman

Davida Dinerman

Account Director at MSLGROUP

A member of MSLGROUP since 1996, Davida has been entrenched in the agency’s healthcare IT and tech practice groups. She earned her MBA from Babson College and her BA degree from Dartmouth College.

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