The Coronavirus and Health IT

Most people in the world of health IT are keeping an eye on the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation from a number of unique perspectives. The first and most important is how can an IT organization support their hospital, practices, etc with coronavirus. More on that in a second. In addition to this, the annual HIMSS conference is scheduled to happen next week in Orlando.

Speaking of the later, the last update from HIMSS is the conference is still going on as planned next week. A number of people have called for HIMSS to cancel the conference which normally brings together 40,000-50,000 people. They suggest that bringing together all of these people from around the country and world is unsafe. HIMSS has put together an external panel of medical professionals to advise their “evidence-based decision making to ensure the safety of the healthcare community” that plans to attend the event.

Given the fact that HIMSS just announced President Trump as a keynote speaker for the event on Monday, March 9, 2020 at 4 PM right before the opening reception, it seems they’re not planning to cancel the conference. They also said they wouldn’t be releasing the names of those companies that have cancelled. So far the cancellations seem to be most of the large IT companies that are following a much larger travel ban from their company. No doubt, we’ll be watching this all week.

Interestingly, President Trump is scheduled to speak on healthcare interoperability. Not surprisingly, many in the health IT community don’t expect much from President Trump speaking on this topic since he’s far from an expert on it. However, my guess is that his speech will be part of HHS releasing the information blocking and interoperability final rule. I predict that President Trump won’t be able to resist making it a political speech as well as covering some coronavirus as well.

We’ll keep an eye on this evolving situation. Are you planning to still attend HIMSS? Have you chosen to cancel your attendance? Let us know in the comments or on our contact us page.

Health IT and Coronavirus
Back to the more important topic, what should health IT professionals at healthcare organizations be doing to prepare for the coronavirus. This tweet from Will Weider, CIO at PeaceHealth, illustrated how seriously many CIOs are taking this:

As I thought about it this morning, I realized that social media could be a great way for CIOs and other health IT professionals to share what they’re doing in their organization. So, I asked the following question:

What are hospitals, health systems, and practices doing in their ehr and other it systems to prepare for the coronavirus?

If you want to help in the cause, click on the question above and like and retweet it so we can get more information. Plus, reply to it so we can create a great real time resource of what health IT professionals can do to address the coronavirus. Here are some of the responses we’ve received already:

You can keep an eye out for future suggestions and resources on this Coronavirus health IT Twitter thread.

Also, I’m sure you’re all watching the coronavirus for you and your family. I hope you all stay safe and find high quality sources of information about the virus and its spread.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

   

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