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HIMSS18 in Three Quick “Bites”

colleagues at several small tables, having a bite to eat in the café of their office

It’s hard to believe that HIMSS18 was more than a month ago. It is one of the most anticipated weeks of the year for the healthcare IT industry, preceded by months of planning and prep. And all that preparation is worthwhile, as the annual conference never fails to deliver three things: insights into groundbreaking innovation, captivating discussions, and complete and utter exhaustion. In fact, it usually takes some time to digest everything seen and heard at the five-day conference. So, to keep it simple, I’ve summarized the three biggest takeaways (or bites) from HIMSS18, as told by some of our top industry experts here at InterSystems.


“It’s not surprising that FHIR was a central focus of HIMSS18,” said Russell Leftwich, M.D., co-chair of the IHE USA Implementation Committee, co-chair of the HL7 Learning Health Systems working group, and senior clinical adviser for interoperability at InterSystems. “The industry is finally on the path to true interoperability, and with all of the innovation and discussion around the FHIR standard that I heard across the show floor, I have no doubt that we’ll soon get there. A major trend at this year’s show in particular was around FHIR sandboxes (such as ours), which allow developers to both test and develop SMART on FHIR applications in a virtual environment. These technologies are finally delivering on the potential to connect HL7 FHIR applications to a unified health record, and will continue to be a major focus at many HIMSS to come.”

“There is a dire need for greater information access in healthcare, so it makes sense that at a show like HIMSS, everyone wants to see what can be (and is being) done to create a more complete health record,” said Don Woodlock, vice president of HealthShare for InterSystems. At this year’s show, we saw that technology can in fact bring together the different and disparate pieces of patient and population data to create a single record that can be updated in real-time and shared with nearly everyone in the care community. In terms of what’s to come, I’d love to see payer organizations also become a more integral part of the unified health record, which hopefully will be the case at HIMSS19.”

“We all know that technology is not the be-all, end-all when it comes to ensuring patient safety, but it is definitely an important part of the solution. That was evident at HIMSS18,” said Turner Billingsley, M.D., chief medical officer, InterSystems. “This year’s show was keenly focused on how important the ability to achieve technological and information-driven interoperability is, so that care providers can share crucial pieces of health information that can make a real difference in patient care. The interoperability platforms showcased at HIMSS18 will help create safer, more systems-based approaches to care delivery, while improving things like care transitions as patients move across the care continuum. It’s a very exciting time to be working in healthcare technology.”

Want more insight on everything HIMSS18? Be sure to check out the full recap of our major themes from the show here. We’re proud to continue to bring together the information that matters.

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