In just a few days time, the annual HIMSS conference will kick off in Orlando. This conference has grown in popularity, impact and diversity over the last few years as the healthcare industry has begun adopting digital tools to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs and increase patient engagement. This event is a great way to gauge where the health IT industry at large is focusing and understand the most pressing issues healthcare business leaders face in digital healthcare. So – what does this year’s conference tell us about the most important issues affecting healthcare organizations? You can find this answer on the HIMSS17 conference homepage: interoperability and cybersecurity. While there are many other growing trends and technologies in the health IT space, none escapes the impact that these two issues have.
Interoperability: Still an Unfulfilled Promise
As more patient data is being collected, the need for secure patient data exchange and increased interoperability in healthcare application development has become acute. EHR systems helped healthcare organizations in transitioning into the digital, world but have done little to address the need for data exchange among multiple stakeholders across different systems. Innovators looking to tackle this problem for the industry will have a chance to engage with healthcare leaders at the Interoperability Showcase. The time when automated integration and full interoperability are achieved are still several years – if not more – away, but significant progress has been made in filling knowledge gaps and offloading complex integration and data-normalization work to companies offering Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions.
More Data Sources Make Cybersecurity A Key Topic
The growing number of ransomware and other cyber attacks on large health groups and the increasing complexity of the healthcare application ecosystem (ie: mHealth, wearables, connected devices etc) have brought security to the forefront beyond the basic question of HIPAA compliant hosting. Leaders will be able to engage in discussions about patient data protection, threat prevention and more at the Cybersecurity Command Center. This section of the conference is something that all stakeholders in this industry should be sure to visit. Whether you are a health IT vendor or an integrated delivery network, understanding the changing security landscape and how to properly protect patient data is critical.