Gulf Coast Health IT Execs Attend HIMSS GC3 Conference in New Orleans

About the author: Rand Ragusa is co-founder and SVP of Business Development  of Better Day™ Health, which is transforming clinical documentation for providers. 

The Health IT industry organization Healthcare Information & Management System Society (HIMSS) recently held the 5th Annual GC3 Conference in New Orleans for its Gulf Coast members from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, covering the latest trends in managing IT systems for clinics and hospitals.

Among the topics discussed were trends in patient engagement, population health and data security, and dynamic presentations about the future of healthcare delivery like the one by Dr. Lincoln Godfrey, Chief Medical & Informatics Officer at Truitt Health, who told his personal story of managing the challenges associated with delivering high quality care with ever-changing regulations and technology over the past two decades.

Every year the conference seems to get bigger and better because of the tremendous amount of innovation happening in Health IT. What’s remarkable about walking the aisles of the vendor room is the multitude of approaches taken by so many companies and organizations – including large electronic health record implementation consulting firms like Leidos and Optimum Healthcare IT who sponsored the event.

Louisiana was well represented again this year, led by speakers Dr. Esteban Gershanik, Chief Information Officer at Louisiana Department of Health, Dr. Todd Burstain, Chief Medical Information Officer and Jessica Riccardo, Associate Director of the Clinical Transformation Portfolio at the Louisiana Public Health Institute.

The overarching theme of the conference was that not everything is perfect with America’s Health IT industry and there is plenty of room for improvement. For example, the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country, yet the nation continues to lag other developed nations in IT innovations like connecting patients to their personal health information on their mobile device and sharing patient data between clinics and hospitals.  

At the same time, physicians are getting burned out with computer data entry (paperwork) because of outdated software and they still use the old fashioned fax machine as the primary way to exchange patient information in 2017 – which is a scary thought for environmentalist who count the millions of trees consumed by healthcare industry faxing each year.

From a business networking perspective the HIMSS GC3 Conference serves as a great venue to have many meaningful meetings with important decision makers who work at leading healthcare organizations along the Gulf Coast.

The dedicated HIMSS Louisiana Chapter leadership team, including Nadine Robin, Southeast Director at Aledade, Alan Thriffiley, Project Manager at LSU Health and current President Errol Labat, Director of Enterprise Risk Management at BlueCross/BlueShield of Louisiana, made sure visiting attendees had a great New Orleans experience.