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With HIMSS 2012 over, it’s time to start thinking about HIMSS 2013

David A Collins bio picture.jpgAlthough HIMSS 2012 has “left the building” and attendees have bid farewell to the excitement of Las Vegas, it’s not too early to think about next year’s show, which will take place March 3 – 7 in another fantastic city, New Orleans.  In fact, HIMSS was last hosted in “The Big Easy” back in 2007, when the city was still recuperating from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. 

Davida Dinerman, director in Schwartz MSL’s healthcare IT practice group, spoke with
David Collins, MHA, CPHQ, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, senior director of professional development at HIMSS, to reflect on this year’s event and get a sense for what we might expect next year at “HIMSS Changes Healthcare and the Big Easy.”

Congratulations! HIMSS had record attendance this year. Reporters are still writing wrap-up articles about the show. What were some of the big successes and events that went particularly well?

This year we launched Virtual HIMSS12. We were very pleased with the 12 simulcast sessions for the people who wanted to attend the conference but weren’t able to get there. We had 775 participants and virtual interaction between on-site attendees and those who were remote. There was quite a variety of topics and subjects across the 12 simulcasts and those who were remote were able to hear the keynotes live as well. We will repeat this formula next year at some level. We will keep it at the same number of offerings.  

Another new offering at HIMSS12 was the Knowledge Centers, providing simultaneous presentations and sit down meet the expert discussions, across six hot topic areas: 
1.    ACOs
2.    Mobile Health
3.    Medical Devices
4.    Clinical & Business Analytics/Intelligence
5.    Cloud Computing
6.    ICD-10

Knowledge Centers will continue for HIMSS13, but, again, will be re-strategized, with more information to come. The HIMSS Interoperability Showcase was larger than ever, providing real-world demonstrations of health information exchange solutions. The Intelligent Hospital was another popular attraction, again, offering real-world solutions to providing improved information at the point of care.

The HIMSS Career Services Center provided myriad resources, such as the HIT Employment and Career Guide for those seeking health IT employment or looking for opportunities to expand their career.

You lucked out with significant issues coming to the forefront just prior to the show, such as Meaningful Use 2 guidelines and ICD-10. Do you think that helped create buzz?

Absolutely. We did the best we could do with the timing on the release of these guidelines. We had to be as flexible as we could to accommodate CMS and the ONC. By law, they were unable to share information until a certain time. We had to flex with them as they revealed what was coming. Long story short, it turned out well. It provided on-site attendees a great sneak peek. Once the rules dropped, we were able to post the session recordings and get that information out to the larger audience and the industry itself.

We have a Virtual Forum coming up on March 14 on the proposed rules of Meaningful Use. It will discuss what the rules mean and what organizations and practitioners will need to know.

Which events or subject areas were popular this year and what do you anticipate for next year?

We had more pre-conference offerings than before. We had 20 total – 10 workshops and 10 symposia – which were all well attended. The clinical business intelligence workshop was packed. For FY’13, which begins in July for us, clinical business intelligence happens to be one of board’s priority areas. And the industry backed that up. People are implementing technology in that area and are looking to find out more about what they can do with it and how they and their constituents can benefit.

As part of the call for proposals, we also asked people to submit their ideas for workshops. Once we made our selections, they facilitated the development of those workshops. It worked well because people owned the topic; they were engaged and brought great expertise and passion to the table. It was a slam dunk, and we will repeat the call for workshops for HIMSS ’13.

Innovation in general will be a much larger focus for the FY ’13 and HIMSS ’13. Right now, our prime spots for innovation are healthcare x.0 and leading for the future. Those programs did reasonably well. In about a month, I can tell you more about what we’re going to do.

We look forward to that. But you gave me a good segue. The call for speakers and workshops opens on April 4 and closes on May 23. Do you have advice on what people should be offering as topics?

Good question. We are in the process of revising the topic categories, through both the Annual Conference Education Committee (ACEC) and the HIMSS Professional Development team. We plan to reduce the of 23 topic categories through consolidation. I can tell you now that there will be an emphasis on clinical business intelligence, e-connecting with consumers and Meaningful Use, to name a few. The HIMSS13 topic categories will be posted along with the Call for Participation information in early April. Also, if you are interested in exhibiting, don’t wait. People have already bought space and are still buying. To get prime spots for exhibiting and for sponsorships and collaboration, tune in now.

David, would you like to add anything else before we sign off?

HIMSS has been around for 51 years. I have been with HIMSS for seven years, although this was my first year in this role of professional development. I am seeing that HIMSS is becoming more recognized for its expertise and its ability to provide information that the industry looks for. It has taken a lot of work to shed the image that we are a vendor association only. Based on our internal score card of the number of times HIMSS is referenced by federal entities or others in the industry, we have seen the numbers trend up, which also shows that we are a resource and authority for organizations in both the public and private sector.

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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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