Rethinking the Traditional: #HIMSS19

The following is a guest blog post by Stephen Dart, Senior Director of Product Management at AdvancedMD.
Midmonth, when 45,000 global health information and technology professionals, clinicians, executives and market suppliers descend upon Orlando, the industry will unite as “champions of health,” embodying this year’s HIMSS Annual Conference theme.

That got me thinking about what it takes to be a real champion. (It does go beyond eating a bowl of Wheaties for breakfast.) To radiate excellence and stand out from the crowd, you have to be willing to disrupt current standard practices, influencing, transforming, and exemplifying the ideals on which your specialty is built.

In this business, champions are innovators, and much of the HIMSS lineup reflects that. What worked for the healthcare system decades ago—or even one decade ago—is no longer sufficient. Both patients and physicians demand a digital connectedness across the spectrum of care, and it’s critical that every stakeholder is invested in the deep engagement that only digital technologies can enable.

Patient champion
On the consumer-side, the delivery of patient-centric care has become the primary hallmark of championing the cause. As HIMSS sessions examine tools, technologies, programs and strategies designed to help patients and their families better manage their health, we consider how to optimally give them the data access to do so.

Certainly for physician practices, this requires an attainment of interoperability along with a redistribution of control over some key practice management functions. Patients must have seamless access to their personal health information and the ability to schedule or change appointments, get rest results, and follow up with treating physicians—all without making a phone call. Mobile technology and computer access to all vital healthcare functions will soon be ubiquitous, especially as wearables enable patients to track metrics for proactive betterment of wellness. Even small- and medium-sized independent practices can now offer these types of seamless digital experiences to retain satisfied patients and optimize practice workflow.

Physician champion
Speaking of, physicians themselves also must consider how modern innovations can take their practice to that top level of excellence. Adoption of disruptive technologies is integral for championing today’s value-based-care approach, freeing providers up to spend more time on care and less time on administrative tasks. HIMSS presenters will explore how optimizing information, technologies and methodologies can enable them to provide more efficient and effective care delivery.

Take telemedicine: the AHA reported that 70 percent of patients are comfortable communicating with their healthcare providers via text, email, or video, in lieu of seeing them in person. Offering continuous and seamless access to patients’ care providers is good for business and promotes positive outcomes.

The key to setting yourself apart as a champion of burgeoning technologies is true practice integration, which will surely be highlighted in Orlando. As solutions are securely automated and interconnected, a unified workflow solves throughput challenges and frees up “man hours” to generate the most value possible through efficiencies—with both payers and patients. By rethinking the intake and note-taking processes, key pieces of data can seamlessly integrate into the patient file. As flow improves, so will communication through portals and in-person, reminding physicians just why they got into this business to begin with.

While health technology will, of course, be at the forefront of HIMSS19, the real champions keep coming back to the one primary goal: helping patients. For more on how independent physicians can meet this goal, follow us on Twitter @advancedMD.

About Stephen Dart
Stephen Dart is senior director of product management at AdvancedMD. A former Microsoft Alumni as an engineer, he also holds an MBA from Washington State University and has been a key figure in electronic medical records development since 1993. He developed one of the first windows based EHR products in 1997 and was awarded a patent on using a template architecture to automatically calculate E&M codes based on clinical documentation. He was the architect of the move from the windows platform to the web for the AdvancedMD EHR product suite and is actively involved in the design, architecture and research in all things Physician and Patient within the Clinical COE at AdvancedMD.