Last week, some 45,000 healthcare workers spanning every major organization, domain, and role, congregated for #HIMSS19 at Disney World, err, well, the Convention Center, in Orlando, FL. Conversations centered around all of the hot topics you’d expect: Interoperability, AI, Clinical Informatics, Consumerism & Patient Experience, Provider Burnout, & EHR/technology integration. Over the next couple of days we’ll provide a few thoughts on these and what we took away from the conference at large. So, let’s dive right in!
Arguably the largest and most pressing topic of conversation at #HIMSS19 - interoperability is something everyone has a stake in. Progress to date has, let’s just say, been slow. And unfortunately, despite all the buzz, that’s likely to be the case for some time. While there were plenty of entities (both public and private) highlighting their solutions and success stories, there is still not much standardization pushing everyone forward and creating convergence. One reason is a general lack of incentives. In the opening keynote speech, Seema Verma, of CMS administration, stated that in terms of policy and framework, the government essentially leapfrogged the private health sector and presumed entities would naturally and organically align to interoperable frameworks as they developed. But that really hasn’t been the case. With all the technology available today in 2019, if the best we can say is that we are able to pull up our medical record from two different computers in two different locations, we’ve still got a long way to go (read this article for a good summary of the interoperability progression we're all striving for). Hopefully further incentives and standards will begin to push everyone into the future at a quicker pace. Just think what will be possible when we arrive at the truly interoperable future of health, when all data is instantly shareable and available anywhere, along with the contextual insights that we truly need. Imagine how much closer we might be to eliminating diseases such as cancer once we reach that truly shared pinnacle of information?!
It was clear at #HIMSS19 that the AI revolution in healthcare is here, and here to stay. With the mainstream attention APIs have gotten over the last year, especially with EHR integration, the AI floodgates will soon be open. But there are scores of other new technologies on the horizon as well, and even some already being employed (AI + Surgery). There is certainly a lot of excitement building on the AI front. Don Woodlock, VP of InterSystems HealthShare, stated it rather accurately. “If you look at the technologies of today: cloud, artificial intelligence, wearables, imaging/text analytics, APIs…not one of those technologies has reached its full potential yet.” The overwhelming consensus in conversation over the course of the week was that we are just beginning to see how technology and AI can and will transform medicine. By providing information in a comprehensive and digestible manner to caregivers, we will begin providing personalized care and realize the possibilities that precision medicine makes possible. Tools that will augment or enhance the EHR, helping to provide the right information at the right time will begin to deliver the best possible outcomes for patients no matter the circumstances. Healthcare in the US will finally become faster, easier, cheaper, better.
The Wilshire Perspective
Obviously, here at The Wilshire Group, we aren’t invested directly in the technologies fueling the pursuit of either Interoperability or AI. But as a firm that provides elite resources and services for Epic EHR optimization and Revenue Integrity improvement, we are keenly aware of what new technologies and techniques are able to accomplish. If developments are made and tools created that take what we do a step even further, providing additional efficiency to staff and EHR alike, and to the corresponding patient/clinical/financial outcomes, you can bet we will be familiar, whether simply to understand the potential value, or to recommend and incorporate into client strategies, helping with the push toward desired outcomes and experiences.
As always, to chat with us about any of the major industry topics discussed at #HIMSS19, or the services that The Wilshire Group provides, shoot us a message or connect with us on our social channels below.