Interoperability, cybercrime and George W. Bush, the first presidential patron of health information technology, will be the three biggest draws at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society convention, running April 12-16 in Chicago.
One of the most popular exhibits, the Interoperability Showcase, in its 12th iteration this year, will attract the healthcare industry's interoperability elite, who will demonstrate their ability to exchange healthcare information in a host of hypothetical “use cases.”
“We use clinical scenarios and you actually participate in a health journey with a (fictitious) patient and a family, and we show how using standards and interoperability help those patients get better care,” said Sandra Vance, senior director of interoperability initiatives at HIMSS. Attendance may be boosted by the recent release of a 10-year national health IT interoperability road map from HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which has set a target of achieving nationwide interoperability of a core data set by the end of 2017.
“I do think it's going to push organizations to realize their goals in interoperability,” Vance said of the plan. “The burden is going to fall on the industry to make it happen, and a two-year timeline is aggressive. But the tools are available.”
Also expected to be a big draw is the new Cybersecurity Command Center, where attendees can hear from the FBI and private-sector security experts speaking in sessions such as, “You WILL Be Breached” and “Frankie and Jamie: A Tale of Medical Data Fraud.”
Lurid come-ons might have been ridiculed at earlier HIMSS conferences. But this year they may pack conference rooms after the healthcare industry suffered two massive data breaches in the past seven months: at Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., affecting 4.5 million individuals' records; and at Anthem in Indianapolis, affecting 80 million individuals' records. Both were attributed to hackers from China.
Former President Bush, who in April 2004 set a national goal that every American must have a personal electronic health record by 2014 and who created the ONC by executive order the next day, will be a keynote speaker April 15. Dr. Karen DeSalvo, acting assistant secretary for health at HHS and head of the ONC, will keynote on April 16.