HIMSS14 trends recap: A look back

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Those of you who joined us at the HIMSS14 annual conference in Orlando, you’re probably still talking about it, especially if you’re building an enterprise-wide imaging strategy to address a growing list of regulatory and patient care demands.

While this conference ordinarily might not be the first stop for many medical imaging professionals, HIMSS14 offered a multitude of valuable educational sessions and showcased some of the latest technological solutions to help imaging leaders and clinicians not only expand their interoperability and analytics capabilities but also assist with meeting quick approaching Meaningful Use and ICD-10 requirements.   
Interoperability & Collaborative Care
As more initiatives are established across the healthcare continuum to meet the industry’s increasing shift towards value-based care, it’s no surprise that healthcare organizations are focusing on the importance of interoperability and collaborative care. Just as was apparent at last year’s RSNA Annual Meeting in Chicago, sessions and solutions devoted to both of these topics made a strong showing at HIMSS14.
Radiologists are an increasingly critical part of the coordinated care picture. Not only can imaging help reduce healthcare costs, but the specialty can also provide important patient information that leads to a fuller patient profile. At HIMSS14, attendees learned strategies for image sharing in the HIMSS “Interoperability Showcase” as well as at the “Interoperability Explosion” workshop. In the exhibit hall, we noticed that vendor-neutral archives (VNAs), zero-footprint viewers and other cloud-based solutions aimed at streamlining image storage and sharing were also in abundance.
Merge showcased our latest advanced interoperability and image sharing solutions with iConnect® Network and iConnect Access, which together enable users to achieve interoperability with secure and electronic access and exchange of images and other patient information. Such capabilities already are important and will continue to grow in significance as provider success relies increasingly on the ability for the imaging specialty to partner with other providers to minimize redundant imaging and provide patients with swift, state-of-the-art care.
HIMSS14 also boasted numerous sessions and software solutions devoted to business analytics. As executives rely more and more on business intelligence tools to help them better understand the health of their healthcare organizations, they’re looking for more advanced ways to meaningfully use the data. Together with the International Institute for Analytics, the conference hosted a number of sessions under its “Clinical & Business Intelligence Community” banner to help healthcare organizations develop their capabilities to acquire, measure and act on various types of data, including those related to and impacting medical imaging procedures. Also, we saw an emerging focus on population health management and the need for organizations to make proactive use of leveraging data to improve outcomes.
Meaningful Use, ICD-10
It’s no secret that many specialists continue to wrestle with the quirks of the approaching federal measures, including Meaningful Use Stage 2 and ICD-10 procedure codes. The conference offered a range of sessions to help them adapt their workflows accordingly. In addition to sessions on Meaningful Use, HIMSS organizers hosted an ICD-10 Pre-Conference Symposium—a much-appreciated complement to the organization’s continuing ICD-10 webinars, ICD-10 Forum events and “ICD-10 Playbook.”
Our key takeaway with regards to regulatory changes remains the same as it’s been for the past several months: Start the transition now. It may be easy to put things off, but the more providers and executives can do to prepare now,  the less worried they’ll have to be as the deadline draws near.
These are just a few of the highlights. What were some of your thoughts about this year’s conference?
We look forward to seeing you next year at HIMSS15 in our hometown: Chicago!

Originally posted on: 3/11/2014 10:54:41 AM

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Watson Health Imaging
Watson Health Imaging, a segment of IBM Watson Health, is a leading provider of innovative AI, enterprise imaging and interoperability solutions that seek to advance healthcare.

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