HIMSS16: Four key takeaways

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HIMSS16 was expected to be the larges­t national healthcare IT show, uniting healthcare leaders from across the world to transform the way patient care is delivered through information technology. The show brought over 40,000 industry leaders together and with no surprise, did not fall short of expectations.

For those of you who missed the show or were unable to roam the busy show floor halls, here are a few highlights that we at the Merge booth found noteworthy.

Surprise. Interoperability is Still the Buzzword.
To nobody’s astonishment, the hottest topic at HIMSS16 was interoperability. From staying competitive in a value-based healthcare market, to closing the loop on patient care with streamlined referral management strategies, to empowering providers to adopt technology that improves the exchange of health information, organizations need to put more time, resources, and funding into interoperability in order to thrive. Jon DeVries, Director, Watson Health Imaging, presented a lecture during the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™ focused on image management for all data types beyond traditional DICOM. Jon shed light on the notion that as the industry becomes even more focused on health information exchange, the capacity to store and transfer all types of data is going to play a vital role in each organization’s success. Three interoperability takeaways from HIMSS? The importance of patient access, adopting interoperability standards, and prevention of information-blocking... all with the shared goal of providing a complete view of the patient record.

Data Analytics
Another trend at HIMSS16 was predictive analytics. As the transition to value-based payment models and collection of data from EHRs and patient portals continues to evolve, finding ways to leverage all of that information is key. Healthcare organizations need usable data to achieve better patient outcomes at the point of care. Leveraging data and making smarter decisions about what to do with that data is going to become even more vital as health systems determine how they allocate their resources, assess quality, benchmark patient data, and ultimately deliver care. As a recent indicator of this trend, IBM Watson Health announced its plan to acquire Truven Health Analytics just days before HIMSS began.

Data Security: Top Spending Priority for Health IT Executives
The sheer volume of data, and the insights derived from them are fascinating and essential to healthcare delivery. Data helps physicians make better care decisions and enables efficient workflow for health systems. But none of that matters if that data isn’t protected. As the rise in health data breaches challenges the ways in which organizations typically handle their patient data, healthcare IT leaders are responding with greater investments in their security frameworks. When asked what category would have the largest influence on their organizations in 2016, 60% responded with security as a top budget priority, a 6% increase from 2015. Specifically, implementing secure portals for data management and transfer is a key initiative for CIOs.

How Cognitive Computing can Improve Healthcare Decision Making
Increasing regulatory oversight and the financial risks associated with data security puts immense pressure on CIOs who need to be laser focused on the core IT functions of the business. Steve Tolle, Chief Strategy Office for Watson Health Imaging led an engaging focus group for CIOs across the nation during HIMSS. His discussion stressed the benefits of integrating a cognitive computing platform into an organization, allowing IT executives to focus on their primary responsibilities. Furthermore, Tolle discussed how a consolidated, patient-centric view of health information will help maintain data integrity and how real-time analysis of medical images can improve diagnostic accuracy and evaluate care pathway effectiveness.

What’s next?
We’re paving the way toward innovation in enterprise image management and now is the time to be part of this movement. Merge is excited to see what 2016 brings and we look forward to what’s in store for HIMSS17.

To discover a few more exciting highlights from HIMSS16, read about the HIMSSzies.

Originally posted on: 3/18/2016 12:25:27 PM

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Kayley Weinbaum
Kayley Weinbaum is Integrated Marketing Manager for Watson Health Imaging.

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