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Road to @HIMSS15 with Kyle Murphy of Xtelligent Media: Making plans at the show and in Chicago

Continuing our Road to HIMSS15 series, MSLGROUP sat down with Kyle Murphy, PhD, Editorial Director of Xtelligent Media, to talk about what he anticipates will be hot topics at this year’s show and his thoughts on Chicago. His articles appear primarily on

Kyle Murphy

 MSLGROUP: HIMSS 2015 is a month out. What stories will you be tracking closely?

Murphy: Last year, we saw many population health initiatives, so I want to see if that will continue this year or if the focus will shift to an entirely new idea. In the EHR space, interoperability has been a major focal point. For the last couple of years, HIMSS had the Interoperability Showcase, so I wonder if this will be a more prominent feature as we head into this year.

Recent breaches have put health data security in the spotlight. HIMSS15 will have the Cybersecurity Command Center this year.

Security is something we keep an eye on. The interesting thing about these breaches is that they don’t appear to be a flaw in EHR technology. They seem to be hardware-related, where people are losing hardware or not securing it physically. I think the focus on technology is more of a precursor. From the CIOs I have spoken to, this has always been a concern. It is not a question of will an organization get breached but when.

Meaningful Use Stage 3 isn’t out yet, but it likely will be soon. How will its release affect the mindshare of HIMSS attendees and exhibitors?

I do not think many people in healthcare are thinking about this just yet. The latest news indicates that Stage 3 won’t occur until 2017. If CMS continues to make meaningful use more attainable, more realistic, or in line with what the market and providers say, then Stage 3 should learn from the successes and failures of previous stages and hopefully not have as much pushback as the others.

Is that what you are thinking, too?

In speaking with members of CHIME, I have found they are relieved that some of the reporting burdens will be reduced because Meaningful Use is just one of many projects, and depending upon the size of the hospital, it is an important thing. It’s a lot of money to potentially lose and the way things were progressing, it appeared that last year CMS didn’t really want to budge, but it did. I wonder if CMS has a proper read on the situation. Or perhaps the amount of turnover has caused inconsistencies.

Outside of McCormick Place, where will you be spending your downtime in Chicago?

I have been to Chicago once before and found it to be a fun city. Chicago is a beautiful place — relaxed and friendly. I know the Cubs are in town so I am hoping to catch a game. I will be at the show over the weekend to attend the CHIME event. It serves as kind of a warmup for me before HIMSS, and I will be at the conference until Wednesday.

What advice do you give PR reps for cutting through the noise and getting a callback?

The healthcare community wants to hear relevant content from its peers, and that’s what I am there to report. Of all the shows I attend, HIMSS has the biggest exhibition floor. It is interesting to see all the various technologies, but it can be overwhelming for the average attendee. By the same token, I want to respond to people who contact me and let them know my thoughts and interest, but it can be overwhelming. As a publishing group, we want to speak with healthcare professionals who can share best practices and pain points. If someone offers me a customer, it is more likely I’ll take that meeting than if I read, “We have a booth, stop by…”

How do you divide your time between meetings and sessions?

One of the biggest challenges is to make the most of one’s time. This is my third HIMSS, and each time I hope I improve over the prior year in making commitments and building flexibility into my schedule. If some big news pops up concerning a company or government agency, I want to available. This is when having a great staff and people with whom I can collaborate becomes important.

HIMSS does a great job with its calendar, and I try to keep a balance that way. Any time CMS or ONC is speaking, I try to attend. I like to keep the last day open to attend sessions, but there is only so much battery – both human and technology-wise – that I can keep fully charged. One thing is true – if you work in the healthcare IT space, attending HIMSS is a must.

MSLGROUP looks forward to attending HIMSS15. 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, please 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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