By Josh Byrd, Director of Marketing
#HIMSSanity, the twitter hashtag describing the enormous spectacle that was the HIMSS 2014 Conference this week proved to be a very accurate descriptor. Conversations of Patient Engagement, Meaningful Use, Interoperability, and Big Data flowed seamlessly through the crowd of 37,000+ attendees and vendors working through the massive exhibit hall by day and filling every available Orlando watering hole until the wee hours of the morning. Using our Fitbits to track our activity, we each logged about 60,000 steps, or approximately 30 miles [editor’s note: Wow!].
Though exhausting, it was an amazing week. The truly amazing part was that everyone had the same overarching agenda: making healthcare better. The trouble is everyone has a different take on how to do it and what’s most important. Many of the attendees I talked to felt that there were lots of great ideas and solutions but no magic pill to solve the ills that plague the industry. That’s ok as far as I’m concerned. The best of breed approach allows for the best solutions to be used to create the best outcomes for patients. After all, isn’t that what this is all about? We all just have to work together to get it done. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No.
We’re very excited to be doing just that with some of our current and future partners. I also met so many like minded new friends (thanks to Jennifer Dennard, or @smyrnagirl as you might know her) and I’m really excited to work with some of them on cool joint projects in the future.
I was a little disappointed that with all the Patient Engagement talk, because there was little talk of the financial aspect of it. We were certainly talking about it but I think it’s a crucial piece of the conversation that got left out a lot of times. With better and healthier patient outcomes will come more costs and providers have to figure out how to get paid. As providers encourage and assist patients with new ways of understanding and managing their health, they should assist patients in understanding and managing their bills as well.
We were exhibiting as a part of a large booth put together by the Georgia Department of Economic Development which featured us and several of our fellow GA HIT companies. I just have to say that all the people from the Georgia booth were incredible to work with and had a big part in our success at the show. If you’re reading this, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Personal highlights from the week include meeting Lorre from HIStalk and getting some sweet swag including some (temporary) ink, hanging out with everyone who came by our booth for the reception on Tuesday, connecting with other bloggers and social media folks at the New Media Meetup at Tommy Bahama, and Greenway’s party at Hard Rock featuring the Spasmatics. If you ever get a chance to see them play, you should, they’re so fun.
Sore feet and tired mind aside, HIMSS 2014 was an unforgettable experience. We got to share Patientco with so many, and I look forward to all the good things that I know will result from our time there.