Fall Healthcare Conferences: So Many Options, So Little Time

Posted on October 10, 2013 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.

Fall conference season is in full swing, and while I didn’t have the opportunity to attend StrataRx or Health 2.0, I was able to follow along via very active tweet streams. I have had the opportunity to attend several regional events, and have several more lined up in the coming weeks. Here is a brief list of those, along with reflections and expectations.

mHealth: Engaging the Masses and Making It Work for Your Bottom Line
This evening event, put on by the Technology Association of Georgia’s Health Society, featured panelists from Kaiser, Cigna, Intel and Accelarad. The back and forth between the four different stakeholders illuminated a number of challenges healthcare as an industry is facing when it comes to broad adoption and regular utilization of mobile health tools. They all want to fit those tools into a business model that not only helps to improve outcomes, but also generates revenue at the same time. (On a side note, I found it very interesting to learn from the Cigna panelist that Aetna is the payer with the best mobile health tools.)

Georgia HIMSS Trade Faire
This daylong event offered a variety of sessions, keynote speakers and an exhibit hall, all situated in Building C of the sprawling Georgia World Congress Center. My favorite session by far was “Georgia Leads the Way: Patient Engagement in Cancer Care.” Stakeholders from Georgia Tech, Cancer Navigators, and the Georgia Department of Community Health were on hand to explain how the ONC-funded program is helping providers engage their patients as full partners, and to show how those patients can actively participate in managing their cancer through the use of mobile technology. It was encouraging to me to know that programs like this are available to people that live north of metro Atlanta.

My day was topped off by a lovely reception hosted by the Health Forward Alliance at the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s scenic rooftop. The alliance is looking to bring innovative thought leaders to the healthcare community to inspire new ways of thinking. It’s a great idea, as I think sometimes healthcare folks get stuck in their healthcare bubble, rarely exposing themselves to fresh perspectives from different industries.

AHIMA
October 27 – 30 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta
I’m excited that AHIMA is in Atlanta this year. No flight delays or strange smelling hotel rooms for me this year. Being that I do technically live in North Georgia, I’ll unfortunately have quite a commute. In my mind, that is all the more reason to soak up as much of the conference as possible. I haven’t combed through the educational session descriptions yet, but I do know I’m looking forward to hearing on Tuesday about connected health from Travis Good, MD, who writes a terrific blog on the topic; and to the Henry Winkler/Marlee Matlin téte a téte Wednesday morning. I had no idea they had such an inspiring story to tell.

Health IT Leadership Summit
November 12, the Fox Theatre, Atlanta
Full disclosure: I’m part of the marketing committee for this event. Nevertheless, I am excited about hearing from WebMD founder and current Sharecare CEO Jeff Arnold. Sharecare is doing some interesting things in the consumer engagement space, effectively trying to bring it to the masses. I hope Arnold will touch on why he thought the time was right to get such an endeavor started, and how he keeps visitors coming back again and again. That seems to be a main sticking point with most engagement tools I read about these days.

I’d love to know of any events coming up I should make a point to attend, as well as your thoughts on any that I mentioned above.