Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My first day at the HIMSS 2010

So, the HIMSS 2010 is still going on, but I definitely needed to take this opportunity to collect all my thoughts and review my notes to see what I have learned so far.

My first day went as follows:

It started out with a great presentation done by the Governor of Vermont Jim Douglas. He discussed several of the advantages of having electronic health data and also how it will help the states improve healthcare and reduce the costs. He recognized that most governor are dealing with difficulties balancing their budgets while trying to avoid making any major cuts to critical services. He also covered that a big chunk of his state’s budgets is taken by Medicaid (26% to be excact) and that with the help of healthcare information exchange he is encouraged to see that there will be some potential cost reductions.

One very interesting subject that was brought up and cough my attention is what credentialing and jurisdiction will need to be applied when Telehealth becomes widely adopted. As we all know, TelHealth is when providers from out of state are providing care to local patients or providers instate are caring remotely for patients in other areas. This poses the questions on who gets taxed, what credentialling entities will be used and so forth.
While he did not discuss in details his thoughts on what is going on in capitol hill in regards to the “healthcare/insurance reform”, he did point out that it is a far more challenging task for each of the state governors ahead in reguards to dealing with balancing their books and continue to cope with the ever increasing healthcare costs.

Some of the additional sessions I attended included the review of "Meaningful Use" presented by Sanjay Shah and how the ARRA affected their hospital. He discussed how they have started planning on going paperless several years prior to the enactment of the ARRA. He was able to provide some very good insight to what hospitals need to plan for, and how the three stages of Meaningful Use will impact everyone.

In the presentation he did outline how there are still some areas where his hospital is facing some potential Meaningful Use Gaps. This included e-prescription needs, CPOE implementation outside of the ED, and potential upgrade requirements once the certification is announced.

Next came a presentation by Gregory T. Fairnak the Chief Architect of CONNECT Gateway project. And as he started talking about Opensource and some of the technical aspects of the solution, I was in cloud nine. This was one of the highlights of my day. As a junior software architect and a developper, getting to interact with Greg was a delight, and a great opportunity to pick his brain on some of the details of the CONNECT. I also had the opportunity to meet another icon “in the Opensource arena”. As many in the interfacing world already know, Mirth Project has been in the front lines of the EDI and Interfacing . I have personally assisted many of our clients overcome some of the high costs of interfacing by utilizing this powerful FREE solution. I had the chance to have a short conversation with Gary Teichrow one of the creators of Mirth. It was such a delight to hear how the product came about. I expressed by appriciation to his product creating and thanked him for such a great contribution to health informatics.
It is critical to also note that some of the Mirth components are being utilized by the NHIN (National Health Information Network) which as everyone already knows is the backbone of the federal healthcare information exchange for CMS, SSA, DoD and other federal entities.

This concludes one part of my day at the HIMSS!

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