Searching for the Perfect AHIMA Experience

Posted on September 28, 2011 I Written By

As Social Marketing Director at Billian, Jennifer Dennard is responsible for the continuing development and implementation of the company’s social media strategies for Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research. She is a regular contributor to a number of healthcare blogs and currently manages social marketing channels for the Health IT Leadership Summit and Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society. You can find her on Twitter @JennDennard.

The American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA’s) annual show is right around the corner. HIM professionals will gather in Salt Lake City next week for a few days of educational sessions, exhibits, networking opportunities and even off-site visits to local healthcare facilities such as Intermountain Medical Center and the University of Utah and Cancer Registry.

It will be my first time at an AHIMA show, and truth be told, I couldn’t be more pleased that I’ll get to see Salt Lake City in the Fall. I’ll of course be on the lookout for the latest and greatest healthcare IT, particularly those technologies related to electronic medical records (EMRs). I’m also hoping to chat with AHIMA’s new CEO, Lynne Thomas Gordon, about how AHIMA will be helping its members transition through healthcare reform in the near future. (Look for a wrap up in next week’s post.)

Most of my time will be spent on the show floor, learning about these new technologies and finding out what health information management challenges and solutions providers are dealing with. James Watanabe, Director of Healthcare Business Development at Perfect Search Corp. – a first-time exhibitor this year, recently shared with me his thoughts on what’s he’s expecting and hoping to get out of the event.

What health information management challenges are your customers currently facing?
JW: “At Perfect Search, our clients are typically utilizing our unique indexing and search technology to deal with the challenges associated with extreme data growth and complexity. One of the challenges in the industry is that in addition to the explosion of digital data, there seems to be no clear direction in terms of standardization and policy. Given this uncertainty, vendors must not only help facilitate compliance now, but be nimble enough to support changes in the future. We see Perfect Search as a core technology that can be utilized to help organizations deal with these challenges as they come, and believe that the implications for such a technology are truly deep and profound.”

How does your team plan on addressing these challenges at the AHIMA show?
“We will be demoing our deep data-mining tools and highlighting some of our key strategic partnerships that showcase how the technology is being utilized today. We are able to provide at least a 10x improvement in indexing and search speed, be much more comprehensive in terms of the data we search (structured EMR, unstructured clinical notes, lab data, DICOM radiology images, etc.), and operate on up to 90% less hardware. Using our solution, clients gain real time insight into their data to improve quality scores, help mitigate fraud, improve billing processes, better facilitate clinical trials, and any other deep data mining they might require.”

What does Perfect Search hope to get out of the show as a whole?
“Despite some key partnerships such as Dell, Fujitsu, CA and Nuance, Perfect Search is relatively unknown in the healthcare space. We intend to use AHIMA as a way to raise awareness of our unique technology, it’s many applications in healthcare, move business deals forward, and seek out new partnerships in the space.”

How does Perfect Search’s Medical Record Search technology integrate with providers’ interoperability efforts?
“Perfect Search is the only indexing and search technology that is able to deal with both structured EMR content and unstructured clinical notes data equally well, to produce true semantic search. There is currently a disconnect between what most EMR vendors are pushing and what physicians and other users are wanting. EMR vendors push structured data, and clinicians are interested in utilizing their existing business practices, which for many means producing and utilizing unstructured clinical notes data. We believe that the ability to connect to all critical data needs to be a component of any good EMR or health information exchange (HIE) solution and is something that we can provide today.”

Can this technology search or be integrated into EMRs or HIEs?
“Absolutely.”

It would also seem that this technology might be useful from a business intelligence perspective – a much-needed solution in terms of providers determining what healthcare IT systems might be right for their facility.
“Definitely. 80% of business intelligence reporting and analytics is connecting to data. In large pharma and research, the deep data-mining tool we have created enables users to create and run complex ad hoc queries in real time and without IT. This tool is the difference between getting data now versus 12 hours from now, tomorrow, next week, or even next month, which is standard for most companies of significant size.”

How do you see Perfect Search technology evolving to meet the needs of healthcare providers?
“The Perfect Search team continues to work with industry experts to build new applications around the technology and strengthen existing products. Ours is a unique technology that enables users to connect to critical data at least 10 times faster, be much more comprehensive in terms of the content we search, and operate on up to 90% less hardware. “

I’m looking forward to speaking with the Perfect Search folks from the show floor. Know of any other exhibitors I should check out? Salt Lake sites I should see? People I should bump into? Let me know in the comments below.

John’s Comment: Along with Jennifer, I’ll be at AHIMA as well. I’m definitely happy to meet with people at AHIMA also and enjoy attending the event for the first time.