HIMSS11 to Help Physicians 'Walk the Path' of Health IT

February 15, 2011
Keith L. Martin

Navigating the world of health IT can be confusing, to say the least. Just keeping up with all the acronyms is tough enough, much less the exploding offerings of tech products to aid you, your staff, and your patients. Sometimes you need a little help on where to start.

Navigating the world of health IT can be confusing, to say the least. Just keeping up with all the acronyms is tough enough, much less the exploding offerings of tech products to aid you, your staff, and your patients. Sometimes you need a little help on where to start. 

Organizers of this year's HIMSS11 conference, Feb. 20 through Feb. 24 in Orlando, Fla., hope you turn to their array of educational sessions and expert discussions to help you steer through the health IT jungle.

"We want physicians to understand that there really is functional IT that can assist them in providing the best possible care to their patients while simultaneously giving them the opportunity to increase their revenues and cut down on some of the headaches around running a practice," says Carla Smith, executive vice president for HIMSS. "There are many physicians that are going to be at the annual conference presenting to their peers to demonstrate how they walk the path."

Smith says attendees can hear firsthand physician experiences on topics including how to make smart purchasing decisions, how to implement technology and train staff, how to optimize the use of their new tech tool, and how to manage expectations.

She also hopes that physicians utilize HIMSS' own experience in this realm, as the nonprofit organization has a series of tools and resources it also offers to aid physicians in utilizing health IT.

"We have it available and we want physicians to know you are not alone – you've got help here," Smith says.

She adds that this year's conference in Orlando has a lot to offer physician attendees, including a pre-conference symposium designed for and by physicians on the best use of health IT. In addition to several educational sessions, HIMSS11 also offers a physician executive forum to tackle a variety of health IT issues, including "meaningful use" of EHRs to secure federal incentive payments.

Smith also hopes physicians take advantage of networking luncheons and the use of social media to connect while in Orlando.

This year's HIMSS11 conference has six main themes: the stimulus act and meaningful use; business intelligence; healthcare reform; human-computer interface; workforce development; and interactive health communications. Smith says the themes were carefully selected by HIMSS membership to focus on today's key issues.

In addition to educational sessions and workshops on these themes, HIMSS11 also features several prominent keynote speakers. Among those scheduled to attend this year's event are Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology for HHS, who together will deliver the keynote presentation on the morning of Wed., Feb. 23. Donald Berwick, administrator for CMS, will provide a session called "The Payer Perspective: An Update from CMS" on Thurs., Feb. 24 as well.

Also appearing are U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin, who will offer "Views from the Top" on Wed., Feb. 23; former U.S. Secretary of Labor and economist Robert Reich, offering a keynote address on Mon., Feb. 21; actor and patient advocate Michael J. Fox will speak on Thurs., Feb. 24, as will Richard Boyd, chief architect for Lockheed Martin Virtual World Labs.

For more information on this year's HIMSS 11 conference, visit the event's website and track daily occurrences at PhysiciansPractice.com.

 

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