HIMSS Virtual Conference and Expo Day 1 Wrap-Up

Yesterday, I attended the first day of the HIMSS Virtual Conference & Expo. HIMSS is the Healthcare Information Management & Systems Society and they describe themselves this way:

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the healthcare industry’s membership organization exclusively focused on providing leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare.

I’ve been a member of HIMSS for the past couple of years, attended the HIMSS conference in 2006, and received my CPHIMS (Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems) certification in May of 2007. Suffice it to say, I believe in this organization and the role they play in healthcare IT.

My background includes spending time in many industries; always in an IT capacity. However, my current position is my first experience in healthcare and HIMSS has played a key role in my education and understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the healthcare industry. As we all know, finding the time for professional development and the budget for travel is becoming an increasing challenge. So, how does a professional find the time and the money to attend training? We attend virtually.

HIMSS offers a virtual conference to their members. The interface is slick and prompted my 17-year-old to say, “Cool” when he first saw it.

Of course, once you get past the glitz of the interface, it all boils down to the presentations which are delivered via WebEx. Let’s face it; a conference is only as good as the presenters and their materials. Fortunately, there were many quality presentations on Day 1, but the highlight was: “Smart Citizens, Smarter Patients: A Primer on Social Media and the Wisdom of Patients” by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn (www.healthpopuli.com). This presentation provided a wealth of information and gave me renewed hope that Web 2.0 and patient-focused care will ultimately improve both the care of patients and promote healthy living.

Now, I’m off to attend Day 2 and perhaps drop-by the vendor area. I’ll post a more complete update later today. If you attend the conference, let me know what sessions you found most useful and I’ll be sure to checkout any good presentations I missed.

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