I’ve gone through all of my notes, reviewed all of the presentations and am feeling really good about my experience at HIMSS.


  1. We need to get ADT enabled for the local hospitals
  2. We need to have a governance system set up for a variety of things, including data, reporting, and IT based projects

Below are the educational sessions (in no particular order) I attended and my impressions. Mostly a collection of interesting facts (I’ve left the Calls to Action for my to do list).

Choosing the Right IT Projects to Deliver Strategic Value presented by Tom Selva and Seth Katz they really hit home the idea that there is a relationship between culture and governance. The culture of the organization has to be ready to accept the accountability that will come with governance. They also indicated that process is the most important part of governance. Without process you CANNOT have governance.

In addition to great advice, they had great implementation strategies including the idea of requiring all IT projects to have an elevator pitch and a more formal 10 minute presentation on why the project should be done and in what way it aligned with the strategy of the organization.

Semantic data analysis for interoperability presented by Richard E. Biehl, Ph.D. showed me that there was an aspect of data that I hadn’t ever had to think about. What to do when multiple systems are brought together and define the same word or concept in different ways. Specifically,, “Semantic challenge is the idea of a shared meaning or the data that is shared”. The example on relating the concept of a migraine from ICD to SNOMED and how they can result in mutually exclusive definitions of the same ‘idea’ was something I hadn’t ever really considered before.

Next Generation IT Governance: Fully-Integrated and Operationally-Led presented by Ryan Bosch, MD, MBAEHS and Fran Turisco, MBA hit home the idea of Begin with the End in mind. If you know where you’re going it’s much easier to know how to get there. This is something I’ve always instinctively felt, however, distilling it to this short, easy to remember statement was really powerful for me.

Link to HIMSS Presentation

Developing a “Need-Based” Population Management System presented by
Rick Lang and Tim Hediger hammered home the idea that “Collaboration and Partnering are KEY to success”. Again, something that I know but it’s always nice to hear it out loud.

Link to HIMSS Presentation

Machine Intelligence for Reducing Clinical Variation presented by Todd Stewart, MD and F.X. Campion, MD, FACP was one of the more technical sessions I attended. They spoke about how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning don’t replace normal analysis, but instead allow us to focus on what hypothesis we should test in the first place. They also introduced the idea (to me anyway) that data has shape and that shape can be analyzed to lead to insight. They also spoke about ‘Topological Data Analysis’ which is something I want to learn more about.

Link to HIMSS Presentation

Driving Patient Engagement through mobile care management presented by Susan Beaton spoke about using Health Coaches to help patients learn to implement parts of the care plan. They also spoke about how “Mobile engagement can lead to increased feeling of control for members” These are aspects that I’d like to see my organization look to implement in the coming months / years

Link to HIMSS Presentation

Expanding Real time notifications for care transitions presented by
Elaine Fontaine spoke about using demographic data to determine the best discharge plan for the patient. In one of the presentations I saw (Connecticut Hospitals Drive Policy with Geospatial Analysis presented by Pat Charmel) the presenter had indicated that as much as 60% of healthcare costs are determined by demographics. If we can keep this in mind we can help control healthcare costs much more effectively, but it lead me to ask:

  • how much do we know
  • how much can we know
  • what aspects of privacy do we need to think about before embarking on such a path?

Link to HIMSS Presentation

Your Turn: Data Quality and Integrity which was more of an interactive session when asked the question “What would a National Patient Identifier be useful for?” most attendees in audience felt that it would help with information sharing

Predictive Analytics: A Foundation for Care Management presented by Jessica Taylor, RN and Amber Sloat, RN I saw that while California has been thinking about and preparing for value based care for some time, the rest of the country is just coming around to the idea. The hospital that these Nurses work for are doing some very innovative things, but they’re things that we’ve been doing for years. The one thing they did seem to have that we don’t is an active HIE that helps to keep track of patients in near real time. I would love to have! One of the benefits of a smaller state perhaps (they were from Maine)?

Link to HIMSS Presentation

A model of data maturity to support predictive analytics presented by Daniel O’Malley, MS was full of lots of charts and diagrams on what the University of Virginia was doing, but it was short on how they got there. I would have liked to have seen more information on roadblocks that they encountered during each of the stages of the maturity. That being said, because the presentation has the charts and diagrams, I feel like I’ll be able to get something out of the talk that will help back at work.

Link to HIMSS Presentation

Emerging Impacts on Artificial Intelligence on Healthcare IT presented by James Golden, Ph.D. and Christopher Ross, MBA. They had a statistic that 30% of all data in the world is healthcare data! That was simply amazing to me. They also had data showing that medical knowledge doubles every THREE years. This means that between the time you started medical school and the time you were a full fledged doctor the amount of medical knowledge could have increased 4 to 8 fold! How can anyone keep up with that kind of knowledge growth? The simple answer is that they can’t and that’s why AI and ML are so important for medicine. But equally important is how the AI/ML are trained.

Link to HIMSS Presentation


HIMSS review

I had meant to do a write up of each day of my HIMSS experience, but time got away from me, as did the time zone change, and here I am at the end of HIMSS experience with only my day 0 notes down on paper.

Day 1 started with a rousing Keynote by Ginni Rometty, the CEO of IBM. The things that struck me most about her keynote were here sense of optimism about the future sprinkled with some caution about AI, Machine Learning and Big Data. She reminded us that the computers that we are using for our analyst is are tools to help, not replace, people and that it is incumbent upon us, the leaders of HIT, to keep in the front of our minds how these BIG Data AI/ML algorithms were trained. As the old saying goes, “Garbage In, Garbage Out”

I also was able to record a bit of her keynote speech just in case I need to find and listen to it later.

I tweeted a couple of times during the keynote (and even got some likes and retweets … not something I’m used to getting)

Transparency in the Era of Cognition with the help of @ibmwatson #himss17

Artificial intelligence is out of its winter ... I sure hope so, but time will tell #himss17

Integration in workflow is the key to adoption #himss17

Don't let others define you. Great words from @GinniRometty #himss17

Growth and comfort never coexist. Another great gem from @GinniRometty #himss17

I spent almost all of my time on day 1 in educational sessions. One things that I noticed from my first class was just how FULL it was 15 minutes before the session even started!

The Emerging Impacts of AI on HIT was full 15 minutes before the session started! Something tells me lots of ppl interested in AI #HIMSS17

Sometimes the session title were a bit misleading, but eventually most of them would come around. A class with a title of Connecticut Hospitals Drive Policy with Geospatial Analysis was more about the Connecticut Hospitals and less about the Geospatial Analysis, but in the end I was what I was hoping to see which was people using Geospatial Analysis to help identify, and perhaps risk stratify patients to give the best care possible.

My tweet when the class was over:

Great talk on #geospatial analysis. So many ideas floating through my head now on potential actions and analysis #HIMSS17

I ended my HIMSS 2017 experience on a high note with a great session titled Choosing the Right IT Projects To Deliver Strategic Value. I’m still processing everything that came out of that session, but it left me feeling very positive about the future. It was nice to have the same, or at least very similar, feeling of optimism at the end of HIMSS as I had at the beginning after Mrs. Rometty’s Keynote.

I’ll be writing up my notes and linking to the presentations later this week (maybe whilst I’m flying back home to California tomorrow).

This is a conference I am overwhelmed by but am glad I am coming to.

While it’s fresh in my mind, strategies for next year:

  • Pick 1 – 3 strategic challenges you want to solve. Then identify 10 – 20 vendors that can help solve that problem. Talk to them, schedule appointments with them. Get more information than you know what to do with
  • Work on being a presenter. It will help check off that ‘Speak in front of large groups of people’ item on your Bucket List
Conference Healthcare HIMSS Travel

HIMSS 2017 – Day 0

I'm in Orlando for HIMSS17 and and pretty pumped for my day one session tomorrow which is titled: Business Intelligence Best Practices: A Strong Foundation for Organizational Success.

Conferences are always a bit overwhelming, but this one is more overwhelming than most. More than 40,000 people all gathered in one convention center to discuss Healthcare Tech. Kind of awesome and scary!

I'm looking forward to visiting some booths in the exhibition hall, and wandering around and stumbling onto some great new things / ideas.

I'm going to write up my impressions of the days events, hopefully including notes, and links to tweets because the tweets will be raw and most uncensored impressions of what I'm seeing / hearing.

Here's the HIMSS 2017!


Making Better Meetings … maybe

To say that I attend a lot of meetings is a bit of an understatement. However, as a manager that is part of my job and I accept that it is something I need to do.

What I have been trying to do at my office is lead more effective meetings, but also to encourage my colleagues to have more effective meetings as well.

It's been challenging as the organization I work for is large and all I can do is lead by example with the meetings that I am in.

Until now … maybe

I read an article on LinkedIn titled Tired of wasting time in meetings? Try this and there were several suggestions for better meetings some of which I already knew:

  1. Define the purpose of the meeting
  2. Define the outcome of the meeting
  3. Have a timed agenda and someone in charge

And others that I didn't:

  1. Facts – not opinions!
  2. Keep people on-point. (Only talk about matters relating to their job)

I think that number 4 is a key idea for any meeting (that isn't a brainstorming meeting) but number 5 is a bit too much. Keeping people on point is an important aspect to any meeeting, but only allowing people to talk about matters related to their job … what is the dividing line between 'my job' and 'not my job'?

This seems like it wouldn't actually have the intended outcome. I think people who are already quite will be encouraged to stay quite as the topic isn't related to their job (even if it might be) and those that talk too much already will assume that everything is related to their job so they will still contribute inappropriately.

I think that point 5 is much better when restated as:

  1. Keep people on-point, only talk about the current agenda item

The article did include a nice diagram that you can download (need to provide an email address first).