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HIMSS'21 Digital Experience - Day 2&3

By Arun Pandey
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As promised here I am with updates from Day 2 & 3 of HIMSS’21. But before I start with my curated panel commentary for you, some grapevine and titbits …. 

My networking experience

One reason why folks love (or hate) HIMSS is the opportunity to cement your existing relationship and build new ones. And in a relaxed semi-casual environment. Trust me the pseudo-festive mood is a big catalyst for business conversations.

For me it was a good experience. It was great to schedule meetings  with clients and fellow attendees on the sidelines of HIMSS.  That in itself is money’s worth. But this experience is not the same thing as a physical conference. The warmth of a HIMSS floor meeting can never be replicated on zoom calls. Never !

Almost everybody new I talked with is embarking on some kind of digital initiative. To be fair,  this was happening before pandemic too. In fact since ARRA days healthcare has been going through one digital push or other. But the pandemic did bring in a sense of urgency from hospitals to wholeheartedly embrace digital innovation.  In the subsequent sections, I’ll talk about an example of commitment from one of health systems.  

How did Vegas HIMSS do ?

Well,  as per the feedback from those who attended HIMSS, attendance on Day 2 was much lesser and Day 3 even more so. I guess, it is due to a mix of multiple issues – Covid anxiety, dropout by bluechips, junior folks at booths, easier time exploring due to less crowds  and so on 

How did HIMSS digital behave ?

It was mostly good. But there were times when the video would need to buffer. Even the session replays. C’mon guys this is 2021 and you have a global audience.  Get a good CDN! A few times the player died after pausing. But overall I would still rate it a good experience.

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Digital Sessions

Now with all the small talk over. Lets dive in to some sessions. PFB a curated list of session feedback. I have tried to add my feedback as well

Visionary Keynote: Composing a Digital Health Symphony for 2030

I really liked this keynote. Angela Yochem  from Novant Health, talked about how her health systems is embracing digital transformation. Here is why like it. 

Have you heard about pilot hell  in healthcare ? Basically a startup comes up with an innovation and a hospital agrees to give it a shot. The hospital often is not prepared. It could be in terms of IT infra or personnel bandwidth or change management process or many other things. Meanwhile, the startup keeps investing with chances of success progressively dimming. Startups without deep pockets, which often most are, get burned out.  And the hospital (and the industry)  lose out on a cool innovation.

I think what Angela and her team are doing at Novant is the path forward to avoid pilot hell.

What impressed me is their structured and rigorous approach to engage with digital innovators. She has essentially shown the industry path forward to avoid pilot hell. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Rigorous preparation and foundational capabilities is key to dealing with unexpected
  • Innovation is the result of continuous work
  • Strategy to embrace innovation: scout, experiment and flex
  • Scout : setup tech scout capability to continually evaluate technology solutions not just from vendors but from teams within
  • Experiment : eliminate red tape for experiments. Reduce overhead and roadblocks for innovators to try. Cut the notorious healthcare sales cycle. focus only on things that matter.
  • Flex : once you experiment. Change course and scale. Have the right process and change management framework. 

Session: Reducing Costs with Data-Driven Care Management

This was a good session with panel including a chief nursing officer (Betty Jo Rocchio), a professor (Tej Anand) and a cloud technologist (Wilson To). Particularly with lot of witty quotes from Tej Anand. And there was an interesting conversation of nudge theory in healthcare. Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • Healthcare in U.S is complex, inefficient & wasteful but what somebody calls waste is someone else’s  revenue
  •  50% of increase comes from price and service intensity (per a JAMA study). Basically more services which have become more expensive
  • We are not incentivizing people to stay healthy. Often they end up at care delivery centers when  they are the sickest
  • Often data which can be leveraged to prevent unnecessary services is unstructured or not easily available
  • Unfortunately, data available is often not longitudinal, limiting its utility
  • Data can be leveraged for personalized health intervention and early disease detection
  • We need to understand the difference between consumer and patient. It is about knowledge asymmetry, rights and informed decisions
  • We should aim to transform patients to consumers. But healthcare cannot copy consumer models from other industries
  • Recommendations and nudges could be tricky. A framework is needed so that ethical issues are sorted out
  • There are datasets (including non-healthcare) which can matched together and leveraged for preventable car intervention, change patient behavior

Gitanjali Rao- Scientist and Inventor, Time Magazine’s 2020 'Kid of the Year'

She is 15 years old. And she is already an inventor. And not just one, but a bunch of innovations. The coolest is smartphone connected tool to detect lead in water. But found session interesting because it gave an insight in to an innovators mindset.

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For more insights on HIMSS'21 and a free consulting session, connect with Arun Pandey at - https://discover.cybage.com/event/himss-21

Tags: Healthcare, Telehealth, Digital Health, HIMSS21