After a canceled HIMSS20 and much hand-wringing and last-minute changes of plans in the past couple of weeks, HIMSS21 officially kicked off yesterday. You’ll find 18 of our employees at the conference, including Stephan Rubin, our roving reporter, and senior product manager. Here’s his take on day one of HIMSS21.
The view from the floor
The vaccination and mask requirements at HIMSS21 have not stopped attendees, speakers, and exhibitors from bringing their typical enthusiasm and excitement. While there are certainly holes where so many familiar faces used to be, many exhibitors have adapted and innovated, turning their floor space into virtual lounges and living rooms, and inviting attendees to connect with them virtually on-demand through QR codes.
One thing we learned: ONC and CDC double down on their support for public health, proclaim 5 areas of focus, and discuss FHIR roadmap and public health information architecture
In a session titled Answering the Call: The Importance of Interoperability Across the Spectrum in the Age of COVID-19 and Beyond, Micky Tripathi, National Coordinator for Health IT (and Great Friend of Rhapsody), laid out what he sees as the five most important things for the ONC to focus on under his watch:
Supporting the letter and spirit of the 21st Century Cures Act
EHR Interoperability and Information Blocking
Public health reporting
Tripathi talked about the importance of making public health a “tier 1 customer” of data, both through existing networks such as CareQuality and CommonWell, as well as forthcoming networks like TEFCA.
Daniel Jernigan, acting CDC deputy director for public health science and surveillance, talked about the need for and importance of breaking down data silos across public health departments.
At Rhapsody, we’ve observed this silo-ing firsthand through our experience with state HIEs, which, much like public health agencies, are a patchwork and potpourri of use cases, standards, and levels of maturity.
We are proud to help swing that wrecking ball through our efforts to harmonize governance and participation across many of the HIEs we support, such as California and Nebraska, and we applaud the efforts of ONC to bring some rigor to the landscape through TEFCA.
Happenings at the booth
We were thrilled to speak to a large, rural health system that acquired another healthcare organization and has plans for more acquisitions and growth. The organization leaders we spoke with realized they needed integration expertise that could match the flexibility and scalability of their ambitions. The gentleman we spoke with has been unable to leave his home without his laptop for close to two years, lest he be paged to fix a problem in production.
These leaders are seeking out new ways to connect to their rural patients and care for them in their homes and communities, without having to transport those patients to their central hub. As such, they are all-in on a cloud-first approach, having spoken to both AWS and Azure about their growth.
We love being able to support these industry-leading customers on their journey to the cloud because they represent the future we aspire to help build. We believe we can bring new products and offerings to market using our world-class tools and technology to help more healthcare customers have more of an impact in more places through interoperability and the cloud.