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Some Frank #HIMSS14 Advice

Posted on February 20, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

HIMSS 14 Keynote Area
*The above picture is a preview of the HIMSS 14 stage from @eqrunner. It’s coming together nicely.

As I mentioned previously, I’ll be at HIMSS 2014 in Orlando all next week. It’s a great event for me to get a really good feel for what’s happening in the healthcare IT industry. I’ve gone through hundreds of PR pitches from companies and have my agenda full of meetings where I’m looking to extract the latest trends and happening in the healthcare IT and EHR industry.

However, if you’ve never been to HIMSS before, it can be an overwhelming experience. While this is only my 5th HIMSS, I think I have some insights and suggestions that will help you have a better experience. Plus, for fun you can look back at the HIMSS suggestions I made back in 2011 and see how they differ today.

Keep Meetings Short … or Long
We covered keeping meetings short in my 2011 post as well. Although, I’m considering a more nuanced approach to the idea of short meetings. This year I was really close to shunning short meetings and engaging in all long meetings with both sides of the conversation well prepared for the meeting. I didn’t quite get there, but I think there’s a case to be made for some long and some short meetings. However, you don’t want something in the middle where you avoid really digging in because of time. I’ve personally chosen to schedule mostly 30 minutes meetings with 30 minutes between meetings. That means that if the conversation is really interesting, I can extend to 45+ minutes before I have to run (sometimes literally) off to my next meeting.

Cut Through the Puffery and Buzzwords
There are going to be a lot of people spewing all sorts of puffery and buzzwords. Don’t be afraid to call people out on it. You don’t have to be mean and disrespectful, but be frank and honest with the people you meet. The best way to get to a deeper conversation is to not be afraid to challenge what someone’s saying. Just do it in a way that’s interested as opposed to bombastic. Ask thoughtful questions and listen more than you talk. Don’t be afraid to dig in a little and connect with someone or some company on a deeper level. Sometimes that requires you sharing a little of your insecurities as well. If everyone you talk to says everything is rosey and perfect, than you’ve missed out on really connecting with someone.

Plan Travel Time
Related to the last point, plan on plenty of travel time between meetings. The convention center and exhibit hall are large. It can take you 10-15 minutes of fast walking to just get from one end to the other. It’s always better to be 15 minutes early and have a little time to browse the surrounding booths or grab a drink before the next meeting than it is to be 5-10 minutes late. Late meetings happen at HIMSS, but I try to really avoid it. It’s respectful of the person I’m meeting.

Don’t Follow the #HIMSS14 Hashtag During HIMSS
I use to love the #HIMSSXX hashtag, but now it’s too much during the show. You can’t keep up, there’s too much repetition, and other poor quality tweets. I do suggest you browse #HIMSS14 leading up to HIMSS. Identify 20-40 key people you should follow and add them to a Twitter list. Then, just watch the Twitter list. Start by adding @HIMSS14 to the list and then I’m a little bias to @ehrandhit, @techguy, and @healthcareITJob. I also look forward to tweets from independent thinkers like @fredtrotter, @MandiBPro, @john_chilmark, and @laurencstill to name but a few (Apologies in advance to the hundreds of others that I could have listed).

Skip Most of the Keynotes
I usually get excited for the HIMSS Keynotes. This year they are pretty disappointing to me. I would like to hear Erik Weihenmayer, but will sadly be on a plane. Also, I’ll probably hear what Hillary has to say, but it seems a bit much to have two Clintons in a row. Considering her pending presidency run I don’t expect any fireworks from her. The other keynotes have the government muzzle and if you’ve been to mHealth Summit and/or Health 2.0, then you’ve heard the Aetna pitch before. Needless to say, I’m not going to HIMSS for the keynotes. Plus, anything really interesting that’s said will be tweeted out thousands of times. That’s enough for me.

Carefully Select Sessions
As an extension of the keynote comments above, be really careful which sessions you choose to attend. Avoid ones that look like a sales pitch for a specific company. I know that my colleague Neil Versel loves the HIMSS sessions. I usually lean away from them towards more time on the show floor.

One session I’m torn on is the CCHIT Summit with four of the past ONC heads. I have little doubt it will be standing room only (not fun), but I’m not sure it will be anything special. They have a reporter from the Wall Street Journal who’s been covering Obamacare (Note: not the HITECH Act) that won’t likely be able to dive into the real issues and challenges with meaningful use and healthcare IT. I do love to hear Dr. Brailer talk, but Farzad is probably a couple years from being really interesting. His heart is still very much with his colleagues at ONC and so it should be. I wish HIMSS would focus their sessions on practical sessions only. Leave all the big picture thinking and pontificating for the interactions at the event.

It’s About People
I’ve found my HIMSS experience is always directly related to the quality of people I spend time with at the event. If you can find and surround yourself with really smart people, you’re going to come away from HIMSS with a lot of value. The good part is that with 37k+ people at HIMSS, there are a lot of amazing minds in attendance. The only challenge is finding them. To use a baseball analogy, if you can bat .200 when it comes to meeting with smart, insightful people at HIMSS, you’ll go away happy. Up that to .300 and you’ll never stop going. I’ve found Twitter a great tool for learning about someone before meeting them and then engaging them for a meeting at HIMSS.

Get Power When You Can
While I think that mini battery chargers are a great thing to have, I’ve always found that it’s best to get power when you can get it. It’s always annoying at the end of the day when your cell phone is flashing red as you try to get one more text or tweet out before it dies. This has been less of an issue for me with my latest Samsung S3 and Chromebook(10-12 hours of batter life), but with the long days at HIMSS I still just get power when I can.

Enjoy a Night Out
While many people look at these evening parties as a time for some craziness at HIMSS, I look at them as a way to connect with someone on a more personal level. There’s something that connects people in a new way when you’ve shared an evening with someone with some good food, drinks (I take Sprite), music, and maybe some singing or dancing. It’s all about relationship building and enjoying time together with people you enjoy. In fact, I’ve enjoyed planning out our evening plans on Twitter with many people. Unfortunately, my event on Tuesday evening is at capacity, but here are some of the other events close to the convention center that I’ll likely stop by: Perceptive Software, Kronos, and Qlik (The ICEBAR is a pretty cool venue).

Looks like Orlando is ready for HIMSS 2014. They have the signs up in front of the convention center:
HIMSS14 Orlando Sign

Heard in the HIMSS Hallway – Accessing Epic Data

Posted on February 20, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In case you’re not following my HIMSS coverage, go over to EMR and HIPAA and check out my HIMSS day 1 coverage.

Although, I heard an amazing thing in the proverbial “hallyway” of HIMSS. As most people know, one of the biggest arguments against Epic was/is that it’s a pain to get the data out of it. I remember hearing someone say (maybe Glen Tullman from Allscripts) that the only EMR vendor not participating in EMR interoperability was Epic.

Yet, I heard someone say today at HIMSS that Epic has 750 people working on interoperability now. My mouth dropped at that number. They hadn’t heard it from Epic, so maybe it’s not the right number. However, the idea that Epic’s putting significant resources into freeing the data in their systems is a great thing. I hope it turns out to be true.

HIMSS Orlando New Media Meetup – Sponsored by MEDecision and Ozmosis

Posted on February 2, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

A few weeks ago I announced the New Media Meetup (tweetup) at HIMSS in Orlando. The RSVP’s have been coming in really well and it looks like we’re probably going to have to cap the attendance at the event. I guess there’s too many people using social media in healthcare. That’s a great thing.

We do have a few more slots left for people to sign up to attend. I’m personally in awe at the people who have signed up to attend already. The people that have signed up are going to make it a really great event.

If you’re interested in attending, please register for the event. Here are the details:

Who: Bloggers, Tweeters, Social Media people and Others Interested in Social Media
When: Tuesday 2/22 4:30-6:00 PM
Where: Booth 2563 (MEDecision booth) on the HIMSS exhibitor floor
What:
-Socialize with Amazing People
-An array of hot and cold hors d’ouvres (Vegetable Quesadillas, coconut crusted shrimp, assorted pinwheel sandwiches just to name a few along with delicious gourmet cupcakes) (Sponsored by MEDecision)
-Free Beer/wine/sodas/water (Sponsored by MEDecision)
-Amazing Giveaways (iPad sponsored by Ozmosis, Flip video cameras sponsored by MEDecision)

REGISTER NOW!!

About Sponsors
MEDecision offers collaborative healthcare management solutions that provide a simple and smart way for payers and providers to harness the power of knowledge to enable the best clinical decisions and improve health outcomes. Designed around a patient-aware health management philosophy, MEDecision’s solutions include Alineo, Nexalign, and InFrame. You can find them at HIMSS in Booth 2563.

Ozmosis provides a social powered knowledge management solution to healthcare enterprises. It’s flagship platform, OzmosisESP, enables clinicians, administrators, staff and researchers at hospitals and health systems to collaboratively develop, manage, and share knowledge within a fully integrated and indexed repository of clinical content and user expertise.

I look forward to seeing you at the event. Also, check out the HIMSS New Media Meetup Twitter feed. It’s a great list of all the Twitter accounts of those attending the event.

HIMSS 11 Keynote Speakers in Orlando

Posted on September 9, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m not one to go to a lot of conferences. Although, I’ve been going to one all day today and tomorrow and it’s been quite interesting. Although, the best part has definitely been the in depth discussions about EHR that I’ve had with numerous attendees at the conference. More on that subject coming soon.

I’m also hoping to go to HIMSS 11 in Orlando. I had a great time at HIMSS 10 and I’d be remiss to not go to HIMSS 11. Let’s hope that I can find some sponsors for my coverage of HIMSS 11 to help offset the cost of the trip (any takers?). Here’s some links to find my coverage of HIMSS 11 on EMR and HIPAA and HIMSS 11 on EMR and EHR.

HIMSS just announced a couple of the keynote speakers for HIMSS 11. These are the 2 keynote speakers don’t necessarily specifically tie to healthcare in the traditional way:

Michael J. Fox – Popular actor and author Michael J. Fox shares his experiences as a patient and patient advocate.

Richard Boyd – Richard Boyd, expert in simulations for computer gaming, defense and film industries, will share his experiences with technologies used in the film “Avatar’ and their importance for the healthcare industry.

I must admit that I think Michael J. Fox will be a fascinating speaker. I’ll definitely be staying for that one. I don’t know Richard Boyd at all so we’ll see what happens with that one.

I’m definitely planning on approaching HIMSS in a very different way than I did last year. I had FAR too much scheduled time last year and tried to do too much. I’ll be freeing up my schedule this year to just discover new things and to have more quality time with great people than less time with more people. At least that’s the plan.

I know it’s early, but who’s planning on HIMSS 11?