Impact Insights

Overheard at HIMSS

Each year, everyone at Impact Advisors looks forward to the annual Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) conference. As the largest conference of its kind, it’s attended by more than 43,000 health executives, policymakers and academics.

The conference gives us a chance to share information and learn more about trends and government mandates on the horizon. But what we most look forward to are the conversations we have (and overhear) with healthcare leaders. What keeps them up at night? What opportunities and challenges are on the horizon? What trends are they most excited about? How are they reacting to recent industry announcements or regulations?

We talk with healthcare executives every day, but with so many leaders in one place, the conference offers a rare opportunity to gain a big-picture view of the industry. Here’s our list of the top takeaways on the minds of healthcare leaders at HIMSS:

  • The number of health systems using the cloud continues to grow. As healthcare data grows, it is likely that the use of the cloud will also increase.  By 2020, the volume of health data is expected to double every 73 days. That’s a lot of data!
  • Healthcare delivery organizations, other than market leaders in progressive regions, are feeling behind in leadership team literacy, strategy development, talent acquisition and organizational sponsorship required to move ahead with digital in a substantive way.
  • Healthcare delivery organizations have fragmented data, and cloud-based platforms that lack a coherent strategy or vision. Digital requires new data, interoperability and cloud-based platforms. Hybrid environments invite cost, complexity and execution challenges.
  • Digital solutions are at an early pilot stage, or siloed use, often acquired by the business separate from the CIO. A growing recognition that digital demands engagement and sponsorship by the leadership team to lead the transformation and scale digital solutions in a meaningful way.
  • New SMART FHIR API standards are gaining traction and represent a “light at the end of the tunnel” for healthcare interoperability. Vendors and clients creating FHIR servers, end points and pushing forward use cases. The challenge is in the applied use by clients and integrating data and services within the clinical and operational workflow. We can expect a varied use of API standards and exchange methods for the next several years as new standards take hold.
  • Interoperability definitions and scope have grown well beyond EHR to EHR-use cases. A need to reassess the industry for emerging client-use cases and discover the broad-based use of data as the ecosystem of health exchange has expanded (i.e. payor, population health, consumer, long-term care, etc.) since KLAS began its interoperability measurement process in 2015.
  • Disruption attempts in healthcare have largely steered clear of full-fledged alternatives to enterprise EHRs.  HIT innovation is largely occurring outside the scope of traditional enterprise EHR solutions including predictive analytics and AI tools; wearables and biosensors; telehealth and virtual care solutions and patient-facing mobile health apps.

The annual HIMSS conference, once again, provided our team with amazing opportunities to network with clients, peers and policymakers. These conversations, along with the buzz we overhear, help us shape our future strategies. We look forward to using this information to help our clients tackle the challenges that they want to overcome and opportunities that excite them the most.