We came, we saw, we HIMSS-ed. After five days, thousands of steps and a LOT of coffee, we’re back from HIMSS, the world’s largest healthcare IT conference. This year’s show in Orlando attracted more than 43,000 attendees!
HIMSS is a truly electric environment. We were honored to showcase our groundbreaking patient engagement technology on the action-packed show floor, and we were energized to learn from some of the best minds in healthcare through myriad education sessions offered.
Whether you couldn’t make it to HIMSS19 or didn’t have enough time to check out all of the sessions (who did?!), here are our three major takeaways:
1. Better Together
The theme of HIMSS19 was “Champions of Health Unite.” Simply put, patients get better care when everyone in the broader healthcare community works together.
No one echoed this message louder than the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). On HIMSS Day 1, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced a landmark proposal to give patients access to one unified electronic medical record, regardless of provider.
This concept of providing a cohesive patient experience doesn’t have to start with a national effort, though. In fact, an improved patient experience can start literally with the first step (or ride) patients take. In one session, we heard about how patients at Jefferson Health were having difficulty accessing shuttle services on its campus in the heart of Philadelphia. To solve this problem, leaders and digital designers collaborated to launch and promote a digital shuttle tracker, resulting in a 70 percent increase in ridership!
2. Innovate for the End User
Here’s another message we heard on repeat: Innovation for the sake of innovation is not effective. Within healthcare IT, this means that technology-enabled offerings such as patient portals and digital engagement platforms must quickly demonstrate a clear benefit to the end user and make things easier—not harder.
So, what do patients and HCPs want? For patients, it’s customizable tools that can meet their unique needs along their individual health journey. And providers want new systems and platforms to quickly and easily fit within their existing workflows. Hospitals and health systems must keep these end user needs at the forefront when designing and implementing any sort of technology-enabled solution.
A well-designed patient portal is a great example of friction-free health IT. One session we attended focused on the power of the portal from a mom’s perspective, showcasing how the portal helped her learn more about her son’s Crohn’s Disease, communicate with his providers more efficiently and manage his coordination of care.
3. Look at the Big Picture
The notion of patients as consumers dominated conversations at HIMSS. Patients expect just as much from healthcare as they do from other verticals.
So many of the experts we met at HIMSS focused on how healthcare is simply missing the big picture when it comes to the patient journey. Their main message: Look at healthcare as a continuum, versus a series of transactions.
One system that’s taking some bold steps to engage with patients before, during and after their visit is UChicago Medicine. Through its The hhArt of Medicine® program, UChicago Medicine has launched human-centered initiatives like digital rounding, a discharge care call center and patient surveys that have resulted in higher engagement and patient satisfaction scores.
HIMSS is such an important event for the healthcare IT industry, and we were honored to be a part of it. It’s these very insights that help ground us and our efforts to offer the most comprehensive patient engagement platform for the point of care and beyond.