The Future of Health IT from HIMSS 2015

About the author: Rand Ragusa is co-founder and SVP of Business Development  of Better Day™ Health, which is transforming clinical documentation for providers. He recently attended the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in Chicago.

A view from HIMSS 2013 in New Orleans. Photo courtesy of HIMSS.

A view from HIMSS 2013 in New Orleans. Photo courtesy of HIMSS.

After spending a few days at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (#HIMSS15) annual conference in Chicago April 12-16, the Better Day™ Health team has been busy digesting all of the digital health news about the future of health IT and its impact on America’s health care system – from company news announcements, reports from the keynote stage, and social media channels.

Former President George W. Bush told attendees during his keynote on Wednesday that the role of technology is the reason he’s optimistic about the future of healthcare in the United States. Bush admitted that challenges remain. One of the issues is “interoperability” – which the former president jokingly said he didn’t mention in his 2004 State of the Union address when he introduced electronic health record (EHR) adoption because he was afraid of mispronouncing it. But Bush, who founded the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, said America’s passion for innovation would help the healthcare industry find a “logical solution” to the problems it faces.

In her keynote Thursday, former New Orleans Health Commissioner who is now National Coordinator for Health IT Technology, Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, said it’s now time to “focus beyond adoption” to a post-EHR era where health IT vendors offer truly interoperable systems that allows organizations to share patient health data. The week before HIMSS, the Obama administration issued a report slamming EHR vendors for making it costly and cumbersome to share patient information and frustrating a $30 billion push to use digital records to give patients online access to their personal health data, improve the quality of patient care, and cut costs.

Other Louisiana companies attending HIMSS15 included Dynamic Health IT, a New Orleans-based company that provides healthcare interoperability and EHR certification solutions. The DHIT Team shared a booth with MaxMD, where the companies jointly showcased their web-based Meaningful Use offering that allow users to securely download and share patient data with any EHR using email.

Next year HIMSS16 will be held in Las Vegas, February 29th – March 4th. With thousands of companies exhibiting and 40,000+ attendees annually, HIMSS is the best place for emerging digital health companies to connect with partners and potential partners.