By Jordan Bires, National Healthcare Practice Director
If you’re in healthcare information technology, you probably aren’t a stranger to the HIMSS annual conference. Once a year, the largest HIT show hosts nearly 50,000 attendees from clinicians to health system executives and, of course, thousands of HIM and HIT professionals from over 100 countries. In addition to the 350+ educational sessions offered, HIMSS provides all those that attend with fresh perspectives from industry experts that are focused on global health informatics.
There’s no doubt your calendar will fill up quickly as you navigate the exhibit floor, attend the educational sessions, and hopefully check out some of the keynote presentations. This year’s keynote lineup features incredible speakers including Terry AcAuliffe, the President & CEO of Mayo Clinic, Chris Christie, the former Governor of New Jersey, and even MLB superstar, Alex Rodriguez.
With a jam-packed schedule and over 1,300 vendors on the expo floor, how are you supposed to wade through the sea of new solutions and focus on the top industry movements in such a short period of time? It’s okay, I’ve done the work for you and identified four of the top trends that you can expect to see at HIMSS 2020.
Predictive Patient Care Through AI & Machine Learning
With the dawn of more hospitals and health systems leveraging machine learning to better their patient care, predictive care is expected to be a main thread in HIMSS 2020. As the industry shifts towards more value-based care, AI and machine learning in conjunction with better data interoperability will greatly improve healthcare outcomes, workflows, and efficiencies all while simultaneously lowering costs. As a result, companies like AWS are expected to have an enormous presence at this year’s show, solidifying that the industry’s efforts to predict patient health events while promoting interoperability is only growing.
Digital Health Records Analytics to Increase Care Efficiencies
As healthcare is moving beyond the paper-based process reform of the past decade into more streamlined and digital EMR workflows, hospitals and health systems are starting to focus more of their efforts into leveraging this data through new and powerful analytics tools to make the most of their EMR investments. With companies such as GE Healthcare offering new analytics software platforms, hospitals and health systems are presented with a simpler way to gather trends around patient and operational activities. This insight enables healthcare organizations to better understand the continuum of patient care and outcomes promoting executives to better identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
Managing Data from Wearable Devices
Wearables is a huge buzz-word but we aren’t referring to your Fitbits and Apple Watches that have submerged the commercial market, but rather healthcare-specific devices that offer valuable patient data to physicians. Karl Poterack, M.D., the Medical Director of Applied Clinical Informatics at Mayo Clinic explains, “When tracking health data with wearables begins to integrate with healthcare organizations, it will be a tsunami of data.” With this influx of new information on the horizon, healthcare organizations are now faced with problems on how this data is going to be collected, where is it going to be stored, who is going to own it, and most importantly, will it have a different set of collection rules under HIPAA?
Improved Interoperability in Healthcare
As the data housed within a hospital’s EMR doesn’t include data gathered from beyond the facility’s four walls, the result is that only a portion of the healthcare data available to clinicians at the point-of-care is incomplete and only shows a disjointed view of the patient’s health and history. While the industry is taking steps towards reducing those interoperability barriers, the largest hurdle that still needs to be overcome is the fact that a majority of health and patient data is stored in unstructured formats. By reducing obstacles and providing greater visibility into a patient’s history, breaking down these silos will increase interoperability and deliver not only an improved patient experience, but enable those patients to take further control of their own health.