Annual HIMSS Conference Attracts Louisiana Health IT Industry

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 Las Vegas.

The annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference recently held in Las Vegas may be best known for bringing together tens of thousands of health IT experts with big data and ambitious new innovations on their minds, but the real heart of the largest gathering of healthcare professions in the country is actually very small and very personal.

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

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

With 41,000 attendees and 1300+ vendors, how to improve physician job satisfaction and electronic health record (EHR) usability might not have been the hottest topics – but they were certainly top of mind for many.

Once again former New Orleans Health Commissioner Karen Desalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, now serving as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, was calling for better health IT workflow solutions for physicians during a provocative prime-time panel with Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt.

Dr. DeSalvo said the intent for improving EHRs is “to create a world for physicians that is more Internet-like,” more akin to the technological advancements that Americans are accustomed to in banking, retail and so many other industries. To make his point, Andy Slavitt read a series of actual quotes from frustrated clinicians. One doctor complained that in his EHR, “to order aspirin takes eight clicks; to order full-strength aspirin takes 16.”

Future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning gave the closing keynote. The New Orleans high school football legend shared a few nuggets of advice from his playing career. In his keynote, Peyton, spoke about leadership, teamwork and battling through adversity. “I’ve been on the receiving end of your efforts,” the sometimes-injured quarterback told the crowd of healthcare professionals. “I can’t even come close to doing what you do.”

Louisiana’s emerging health IT industry was well represented at HIMSS this year – including Dynamic Health IT, TRUE-See, MedCentris, SPH Analytics and Better Day™ Health.

Dynamic Health IT, a company that provides healthcare interoperability and EHR certification solutions, shared a booth with MaxMD, where the companies jointly showcased their web-based offering that allow users to securely download and share patient data with any EHR using email.

Better Day™ Health, an EHR documentation company based in the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, gave four presentations at the Nuance Healthcare booth with their customer Center for Orthopaedics physician John Noble, Jr, MD.

Next year HIMSS17 will be held in Orlando February 19-23. With thousands of companies exhibiting annually, HIMSS is the best place for digital health companies in Louisiana to connect with partners and expand their network.

This coverage is brought to you by Callais Capital Management and Susco.