Matthew Holt

It’s, err, gulp, HIMSS time

Yes, the annual cavalcade of boat-show sized booths and late night partying—interspersed with frequently mind-numbing presentations that most people skip— is on. In Chicago in a snowstorm! I touched down on Sunday midday and managed to compound the craziness in HIMSS by starting in London (thanks to American Airlines for the free upgrade this time!), but I did make it to bed before midnight. And yes, there was 3 inches of snow/slush in Chicago and I did throw snowballs.
Before I got in there appears to have been a rather odd session on Health 2.0 (at least judging by this report, it seems it was all about hospital marketing and excessive use of FaceBook which I don't think is the whole point).

Later today Jane Sarasohn Kahn, Julie Murchinson and me (If I can find the room) are part of a SIG—which I think means that there’s been a car crash—group on Health 2.0 in room W12ab. Sadly it’s opposite Doug Goldstein’s talk on Health 2020 which frankly I think will be lots more fun… (Doug’s talk is in Room S 100 a).
I missed Dennis Quaid’s keynote, but Michael Millenson’s view will be up on THCB shortly. Hint—Michael doesn’t think Dennis is mad enough.
My modus operandi this HIMSS is to wonder around meeting people armed with my flip cam (thanks to Missy Krasner for getting it to me!). So you’ll see a collection of vendors and other shakers on these very pages shortly. And the twitter hashtag is #himss09

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  1. Interestingly, a number of the boat-show sized booths and mind-numbing presentations this year touch on the role of IT in improving cost transparency for consumers. This is good news. Such technology can go a long way in helping medical practices meet “meaningful use” requirements for receiving stimulus dollars, as well as the requirements by states for healthcare cost transparency.
    That said, there’s great variance in such technology on display in the HIMSS exhibition hall and beyond McCormick Place. First, there is software that payer organizations can make available to medical practices today — at no cost — that provides both doctor and patient with a real-time breakdown of what an office visit or treatment costs and the dollar amount for which the health plan and patient are each financially liable. Such software’s already available from many health plans; no investment of stimulus dollars is necessary on the part of providers. Two, we need to distinguish between software that provides cost estimates only and software that provides precise cost information. Only the latter delivers on the cost-transparency promise.
    It’s easy to be wowed by all the technology in the HIMSS exhibition hall, and the free food and giveaways certainly help to endear us. But as in shopping for a car or anything else, it helps to keep WHAT WE WANT AND WHAT WE NEED top of mind.

  2. I went to HIMMs last year. It appears to be dominated by some big entities likes of GE, Siemesn, McKesson, etc. Their product and service may be questionable but their name carries them ahead. Second group is mostly of small business which can be further be broken into two. One was with some small application focussing on stream lining the healthcare process and the second is about gadgets related to asset tracking.
    I was impressed by these individuals pushing their product and service. What was also surprising is that if the healthcare industry starts doing benchmaring, it may find that it will have most of its need that can be met of already existing product.
    this one I am not sure..I am going on hearsay. One of my friend told me that Oracle has far better product still McKesson has more marketshare…It could be due to the sales strategy..but it could also be due to hospitals being so close minded or uneducated about articulating their needs or evaluating the products propertly.
    Whatever may be the case…more openness and risk taking will reduce the risk. Sounds ironical! It is the TRUTH though.