A record number (36,500) of health information technology wizards, CIOs, and other interested parties are flooding Las Vegas this week for an immersive experience at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annual conference, HIMSS12.
The event is a backdrop to an innovation avalanche that many believe will both improve access to and quality of healthcare, and reduce its cost.
The miles of exhibits and vendor booths, each touting some form of uniqueness, resemble the endless rows of flashy one-armed bandits we weave through each day. Which ones, if any, will ultimately pay off?
Veterans of this event tell me that the excitement pervading the halls this year is unprecedented. There are electronic health record systems, mobile apps, billing and appointment systems, patient engagement portals, diagnostic decision and care pathway support tools, and scads of other offerings from nearly 1,200 vendors all here to help doctors, hospitals, patients, and payers speak to each other in a language they can all understand.
Yes, that sentence leaves you breathless, just like I am after a few days of all this. There is a lot happening here.