February 6, 2012
HIMSS12, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference, kicks off in Las Vegas on Feb. 21 and runs through Feb. 24. The event provides an opportunity for health IT and clinical leaders to mingle with more than 1,100 exhibitors of medical tech products and services.
HIMSS, a non-profit membership organization focused on providing leadership in the optimal use of health IT, has been around for 50 years and has about 38,000 individual members. The importance of the organization has grown as a result of recent federal government initiatives, including the executive order by President Bush in 2004 creating of the office of National Coordinator for Health IT and the $27 billion HITECH Act stimulus program for the "Meaningful Use" of health IT signed into law in 2009. Hundreds of thousands of doctor practices and hospitals are rolling out and tweaking e-health record systems, e-prescribing, and other health IT systems to qualify for the government's Meaningful Use bonuses. At the same time, these organizations are faced with a myriad of other regulations and challenges that are also dependent on IT, ranging from ICD-10 conversion for medical bill coding to participating in health information exchanges and accountable care organizations. Clearly then, healthcare IT and medical professionals are juggling more balls than they ever have in the past. Among some of the innovations expected to be showcased at HIMSS12 are new mobile and other applications for nurses, doctors and patients; middleware and other products to improve communication and optimize patient care delivery; tools for activities ranging from telehealth to tracking medical assets and patients; and software to boost data analytics and healthcare process automation and efficiency. InformationWeek Healthcare's will be at the conference and expo to cover the latest in health IT. This slideshow offers a sneak peek of more than a dozen new products and services that will be pitched by vendors appearing at the gathering. The theme this year is "linking people, potential and progress," and many of these offerings are aimed at making it easier for healthcare organizations to make the transition from paper records to digitized records, and then to use that patient data to improve processes and care.
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