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Reporting in from HIMSS 2014: IT and healthcare take center stage


By Darren Armstrong, Storage Sales Specialist, Enterprise Group, HP Canada


Show_Floor.jpgI recently had the opportunity to attend the premier annual event for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society: HIMSS, held this year in Orlando, Florida on February  23-27. Here are some day-by-day highlights of the event. (I’m keeping this more business focused but our team had some fun activities in the evening too – at Epcot, Universal Studios and more). To give you an idea of the scope of this event, consider these facts:

  • 38,900 registered, including mainly CxOs,16,000 healthcare professionals and 800 doctors
  • In the top 30 largest conventions in the world with a 1-million-square-foot exhibit hall, equal to about 20 football fields of space
  • The equivalent of 333 male elephants weight of “stuff” shipped here for the event

Day 1: Hello sunny Florida!

The event started casually with an orientation followed by a welcome reception. Things begin in earnest tomorrow with a keynote address from Mark Bertolini, Aetna CEO.


Day 2: Keynote address

It was a productive day here. The keynote address by Bertolini focused on the conflict between consumers, payers and cost. He displayed an interesting slide on U.S. data stating that the healthcare system here wastes more than $500 billion every year. Much of this waste comes from services and administrative overhead—about $200 billion apiece. Up to $80 billion is lost to fraud!


Day 3: Checking in to the Intelligent Hospital

Today I spent time on the exhibition floor, learning about the various solutions our healthcare partners offer. I started with a tour of the HP booth. It’s organized into different areas of a hospital, with a few solutions showcased in each. The data storage area was my favourite, for obvious reasons.


I learned of a new partnership we have developed with a company called Oneview. Not to be confused with the HP Software used to manage infrastructure in products like HP ConvergedSystem, this Oneview provides information to both patient and physician at the bedside point of care. It integrates data from multiple systems and provides interactive control for patients, including entertainment and communications.


I also checked out the Intelligent Hospital which was equipped with technology to assist patient care. For IntelligenT Hospital.jpg
example, Real Time Location Services were used to determine if a healthcare worker washed their hands before entering the room and seeing the patient. An
HP ElitePad was given to every visitor for self-guided tours.


Day 4: Hillary Clinton talks about healthcare and IT

I first headed back to the Intelligent Hospital. I  visited to the OR area and the pharmacy area, where a demonstration featured a robot that could roam about the hospital and dispense medication.


Next, I attended a presentation by the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital. The presenters talked about their deployment of Real Time Location Services (RTLS) and the challenges they faced getting it implemented nationwide. They track more than 2800 different equipment types, and serve more than 8 million veterans. A great deal of their infrastructure runs on HP technology.


In the afternoon, I made sure to secure a spot for the event of the week: an address by Hillary Rodham Clinton, who shared her thoughts on the current state of healthcare and the role IT plays in it. She also talked about challenges facing the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. and what could be done to improve it.


Day 5: Wrap it up—and keep climbing

I attended a few sessions before catching the closing keynote. The first session discussed the future of wearable devices and sensors. The next session focused on how to increase a nurse’s valuable time with their patients. Approximately 35% of a nurse’s time is spent performing administrative tasks.


EW.jpgErik Weihenmayer delivered the closing keynote. This incredible man has climbed the seven highest peaks in all seven continents. What’s even more incredible is that he is completely blind. In the last several decades he has assembled a group of other people with varying disabilities and motivated them to push beyond their perceived boundaries. He described these people as alchemists. He acknowledged the importance of technology and how it allows people like him to accomplish physical feats that were exceptionally difficult just years ago. However, he reserved the highest praise for teamwork.


It was an inspirational presentation and an excellent way to finish the conference. In Erik’s words: “Keep climbing!”

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Hello Darren;


I wanted to let you know i am very impressed with the article you wrote.  After reading the article I really have a good sense of what the conference you attended was about and involved.  It was very intriging.   Thank you.


Thank you Della. I was pleased to learn how many aspects of the Healthcare industry HP is involved in.

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