There could be as many different wrap-ups on HIMSS17 as there were people there: over 42,000. No one sees the same vendor exhibits, hears the same presenters, or talks to the same people. There are conferences within conferences. So here’s just one wrap-up: mine.
The first speaker I heard did a great job of scaring all the CIOs. Kevin Mitnick, the world’s most famous hacker and security consultant, and author of several books — including his most recent one, The Art of Invisibility — was the opening keynote speaker at the CHIME-HIMSS CIO Forum on Sunday, Feb. 19. His talk, “The Art of Deception: How Hackers and Con Artists Manipulate You and What You Can Do About It,” included real-time demonstrations. He drove home the point about how vulnerable we are as individuals and organizations. I highly recommend checking out his website to learn more, or get scared yourself.
Dr. B.J. Miller was the final speaker at the CIO forum. His talk, “What Really Matters at the End of Life,” was a very sobering view of palliative and hospice care, and yet was strangely inspiring at the same time. As he said, “Spending time thinking about your time on the planet while you have time is important — don’t wait.” I highly recommend listening to his Ted Talk with this same title.
I have been asked to serve on the CHIME Education Foundation Board again, so Monday morning meant a board meeting. It’s gratifying to know that after serving as the initial chair of the foundation board 10 years ago, approximately $170,000 in scholarships is now being awarded annually. An important part of our collective commitment to developing the next generation of health IT leaders.
Another part of that commitment is reflected in CHIME’s new initiative focused on women’s leadership development. At an early Monday morning breakfast meeting, current CHIME board chair, Liz Johnson, shared the results of the CHIME women’s survey, after which the women in attendance discussed leadership development opportunities for the coming year.
The HIMSS conference opened Monday morning with a keynote from IBM CEO, Ginni Rometty. She challenged us all as she talked about IBM’s Watson, the new “moonshot,” and her own personal journey as a technology leader. With an increased focus on women in technology and STEM, no question that she is an inspiring and strong role model for women.
Views from the Top sessions on population health and connected health rounded out the first two days for me on the education front. On Tuesday night I was honored to be part of a panel on value based care and population health at a private IBM dinner hosted by IBM Watson Health General Manager, Deborah DiSanzo. It was great to hear hand what Joe Kimura, MD, Chief Medical Officer from Atrius Health, and Joe Reilly, CIO from Central New York Care Collaborative, are doing in this space, and to share my perspective.
With the help of social media I kept up on the hot topics — this year, the AI sessions were overflowing and the tweets highlighting the Blockchain forum on Wednesday gave me a good sense of its potential for healthcare. In just the first two days, there were 52,020 #HIMSS17 tweets. Check out the #HIMSS17 Influencers for the full conference here. There’s even a cool interactive visual map from MDigitalLife.com you can mouse over to see the interconnections between influencers here.
With my newly launched health IT advisory firm, StarBridge Advisors, it was a different kind of HIMSS for me. We talked with potential clients and had several meetings with other firms who we may partner with on engagements.
While I skipped the HIMSS awards gala, I was able to congratulate in person several of the award winners that I know well — Pam Arora (HIMSS/CHIME John E. Gall, Jr. CIO of the Year), Marion Ball (one of the Most Influential Women in Health IT Award recipients), and Dana Alexander (HIMSS-ANI Nursing Informatics Leadership Award). Kudos to these incredible women and all the 2017 award winners!
While HIMSS is tiring and our feet ache at the end of each day, we all head home with renewed energy and passion for what we do – advancing healthcare and making a positive difference through technology!