HIMSS12 Top Ten Observation List

My new and awesome employer, Impact Advisors, asked everyone from our team who attended HIMSS this year to write up a Top Ten Observations list to share with others in the firm. I had such a good time writing it up, that I thought I would post here for HealthcareITToday.com readers as well.

10) Viva (or die) Las Vegas – Las Vegas truly is the best and the worst place to have a conference. There are some obviously cool places to have a vendor party like Sprint’s shindig at Madame Tussauds, “Oh my God Bette Midler is here . . . oh wait . . . she’s wax.” However, it’s mostly terrible. Sifting your way through thousands of drunken tourists and every other convention in town is a nightmare. I counted a wedding photography show, Paul Mitchell hair show, veterinary supply convention and another IT conference all there at the time i.e. “The line for a cab is 55 minutes.”

9) Meaningful Use Stage II BOOM! – Meaningful Use Stage II Rule Release was executed by ONC during the conference which I thought was interesting (planned?) timing. HISTalk published a write up found here. Certainly it turned some heads and lacked initial detail as I overheard several folks complain.

8) ICD-10 . . . Just Kidding – There were a lot of vendors and presentations about, or were going to be about, ICD-10 which I found humorous given the deadline for ICD-10 is no longer looming in 2013. I felt bad for all those folks who prepared materials for ICD-10 as well as the hospitals that have actually made efforts to implement, but it doesn’t sound like that is very many given the amount of “ICD-10 Assessments, Planning and Implementation” posters I saw. Essentially, express orders on signage are really expensive so nobody really bothered to change them.

7) Vendor Babes – I saw some great vendor babes – high heels, blue hair and some dressed up like pixies; seriously, pixies. I really do not think I would buy a product just because the vendor has a nice looking lady standing in their booth; however I’ve never been a vendor or purchaser so I’d better leave this one alone. I did sit next to a promo model on my flight to Las Vegas and I know this because she was holding a piece of paper entitled “Elevator Pitch for Promo Models”. She was a very nice looking young woman who fell asleep instead of learning the product.

6) LEAN Trends – I attended a couple presentations given by Banner Health and Loyola Medicine about using LEAN techniques to increase patient throughput and revamp an ED respectively. I noticed other presentations on the sessions list regarding this topic as well and I see it’s a relevant market trend out there. After spending much time last year in a chemotherapy infusion clinic, I would say, “it’s about time,” and, “look at that – less waiting directly correlates with a rise in patient satisfaction scores.” What a concept.

5) Puffy Feet – Perhaps it’s the desert climate in Las Vegas and the walking, but I saw a lot of aching feet out there. Lots of ladies were ditching the pumps for flip flops after so much walking between granddaddy hotels and about a bagillion square foot vendor hall. It makes me ponder though – perhaps I need to walk a little more in my daily life because my feet were killing me! I work in the healthcare industry, but spend my day sitting at a desk . . . hhmmmm . . . better walk around the block a few times over lunch instead.

4) Everything Mobile – Unplug everyone and get a mobile app. It’s the reality of today. Every vendor I saw in the exhibition hall as well as several education session presenters were pushing mobile development, a continuing theme from years past. Some well-known for us are Canto and Haiku for the ipad and mobile phone (Apple and Android) from Epic. Here’s a link to Canto. I cannot pass judgment on either given I am not a provider user, nor am I a patient user of MyChart or Lucy on a mobile platform. However, in Epic and beyond, mobile is here to stay.

3) The Patient as the Consumer – Another trend in the education sessions I attended, especially a talk (my favorite talk) given by Mark Bertolini, is a focused shift to view the patient as a consumer. Many presenters demonstrated that the healthcare industry should takes lessons from the private sector and service industries. One presenter asked attendees to notice The Venetian, or their respective hotels, and how the staff treats guest with concierge-like and convenient service. The presenter asked why staffs in the healthcare industry not do this. Mr. Bertolini posed the question, “Is convenience the new word for quality?” and gave an example of using Google Shopper to find a sweater at the cheapest price nearest to his current location. Why this couldn’t be done for flu shots he asked. Check out iTriage to see this in action. Ultimately, patients are now shoppers and the healthcare industry will need a mentality shift to accommodate for these new, information-rich patients.

2) Attendance – I couldn’t decide if HIMSS seemed bigger this year solely because one had to wade through an immense amount of gamblers and tourists to get anywhere or if the show really was larger. Turns out, 2012 saw record breaking attendance of over 37,000.

1) Meeting Colleagues! – For me, the best part of HIMSS this year was getting to meet Impact Advisors’ Associates and learning more about who we are as a team and culture. It was great to meet more of my colleagues and get to know them, key for any recruiter.

Hope everyone is fully recovered by now and see you next year!

About the author


Cassie Sturdevant

Cassie Sturdevant is a Senior Recruiter for Impact Advisors, a healthcare IT strategic and implementation services consulting firm just named 2013 Best in KLAS for Overall Services. She specializes in humor and follow up.


  • A comment from my Facebook profile.

    Diana wrote:
    I shared your post with my boss who was also at HIMSS. He enjoyed it and said, “I love this! Very true, and she’s an excellent writer! Great eye for detail.”

    Well thank you!

  • Cassie,

    I really appreciate your insight and reflections (the good and not-so-good) of this year’s HIMSS. I have not attended to-date between your information and Gwen’s – I really think I’m going to attend next year!


  • Shirley,

    Thank you for reading. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that HIMSS is also like Las Vegas – you have to go at least once in your lifetime! 😀

    Let’s get the entire HealthcareITToday.com blogging team together at next year’s conference. I think it would be wonderful for everyone to meet in person!


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