Dave Fornell, Editor DAIC
U.S. healthcare reform is largely being driven through adoption of new information technology (IT), so it is no wonder that the key healthcare IT meeting has vastly and rapidly grown in recent years to become one of the largest medical shows in the world. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual meeting grew to more than 43,000 attendees this year and included more than 1,300 vendors on the expo floor.
HIMSS offered a unique opportunity to see a lot of the technology that will change the face of healthcare in the coming years. I created a video briefly showing a number of these technologies shown on the expo floor and how they might impact care in the coming years.
There were several key trends at HIMSS 2015 that related to the future of how healthcare information systems will operate and how the delivery of care will change in the coming years. One of the biggest topics included discussions on the proposed Stage 3 meaningful use requirements related for operational requirements of electronic medical records (EMR) software that will be linked to reimbursement, changing the healthcare system from a fee-for-service to fee-for-value model.
Enterprise imaging was another key topic, where traditional PACS and department-specific imaging and reporting systems are tied in to a central vendor neutral archive (VNA) so access to all data and images can be made through the EMR. It enables the interoperability and connectivity to patient data that has long been discussed, but has been elusive for more healthcare providers, which work in systems using disparate, departmental data silos.
Another key trend discussed at HIMSS was the explosion of consumer health monitoring wearable devices and smartphone apps, and how these might play a role in patient engagement (part of the meaningful use requirements), improved patient health monitoring and as new tools for both preventative health and to aid patients with chronic conditions.
HIMSS surveyed its members regarding their use of mobile technology and found that nearly 90 percent of respondents are utilizing mobile devices within their organizations to engage patients in their healthcare. The report also showed that respondents believe that mobile health (mHealth) technologies are beginning to drive cost savings and improve the quality of care delivered. Read the article on the survey results.