I’m in the middle of the arduous two-fer of HIMSS and then SXSW. I guess I should call this the year of the enormous conferences since I started the year at CES. The amazing thing is that healthcare is starting to have a larger and larger presence at CES and SXSW (of course it is HIMSS). I personally came to SXSW with a number of goals in mind. Although, I must admit that finding something interesting for hospitals was not really on that list.
Fast forward to yesterday when I was taking a brief moment in the blogger’s lounge to get off my feet, power up, and browse what was happening online. Across my Twitter stream came a tweet from one of my hospital colleagues that included the hashtag #sxsw. You can imagine my surprise. In fact, I thought for sure that she must have just been watching the SXSW proceedings from back at her Ohio home. I dropped her a message that I’d love to see her at SXSW if in fact she was at the show.
Well, I was wrong and she was indeed at the show. In fact, when I met with her I learned that not only was she at SXSW, but it was her second time attending. We joked about how amazing it was that she was able to get the travel/training approved for SXSW a second year. Of course, she tole me that she found a couple great ideas last year that they implemented, so it made the case for coming this year event better.
I actually talked with her about a new Physia product which we haven’t announced. Plus, I suggested she check out docBeat’s secure messaging for healthcare solution while she was at SXSW since she mentioned wanting a secure text message solution for their residents. So, even if she finds nothing else, I think she now has something interesting to take back to her hospital that she wouldn’t have seen if she wasn’t at SXSW.
I guess the leaders of SXSW were right when they said that you never know who you’re going to meet at SXSW. They call it serendipitous interactions. Obviously it was quite a surprise for me to meet this hospital connection in Austin when I live in Las Vegas and she lives in Ohio. I have a half dozen other interesting interactions that I would have never expected at SXSW. On the one hand the event is so large that you don’t know where to turn and what to do next. On the other hand it’s been a tremendous experience meeting and learning from people across the spectrum of life.
I’m not necessarily suggesting that every hospital needs to come to SXSW, but I’ve been surprised how even a healthcare IT nut like me could find much value at SXSW.