Nearly 50,000 healthcare IT professionals are in Florida this week attending the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) event. As one of the biggest shows in the healthcare industry every year, filled with keynote speakers, educational sessions, and thousands of exhibitors, we wanted to hear from long-time attendees about what to expect at HIMSS 2019.
Future Healthcare Today, recently spoke with Lisa Hines, former Director of Information Technology at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and currently Business Pursuit Manager for NetApp Healthcare, to learn more about HIMSS and what attendees should prepare for and expect. We’ve provided excerpts for our readers. Here’s what she had to share:
What are you most looking forward to about this year’s HIMSS conference?
Lisa Hines: I’m very interested in tracks and presentations that are focused on data and specifically the way we derive actionable insights to drive disruptive models of care. My attention will be on how technology transforms data into information for evaluation of the social, psychosocial, and behavioral determinants of health. Also, I am always excited to look at the innovation in entrepreneurship and will be looking for the innovative startups in the exhibit hall.
What advice do you have for attendees?
Hines: Start with the end in mind; think ahead about what you personally want to gain from this conference, study the vendors who will be at HIMSS, and determine which ones are of interest to you. Then make the effort to talk to them. Also, it is very important to know that there is no harm in asking questions. A lot of people go through the conference with the “Let me cruise by and listen to the two-minute elevator pitch and move on.” That shouldn’t be your intent. Take a moment to dig a little deeper than the elevator pitch, and you will be surprised at what you will learn.
What networking opportunities are available at HIMSS?
Hines: I cannot possibly mention them all, because there are so many events and opportunities for networking. The HIMSS website has a wealth of information, including the event schedule and networking activities, so ensure you study that as you plan ahead.
Having said that, there are two often overlooked opportunities for networking. One is looking for state and local chapters of HIMSS that are hosting an event. These are fantastic networking opportunities and offer smaller, more intimate opportunities to network with peers from the same geographic area with whom you may be able to continue to engage when you return home.
Another opportunity is the informal interactions you may have standing in long lines, getting lunch, or on an elevator ride. Go ahead and strike up a conversation. HIMSS is almost a 24/7 networking opportunity. You do need your sleep, but it starts up early, typically around 7 a.m., and winds down around midnight. The networking is essentially nonstop.
Don’t forget to join NetApp for the Public Sector Healthcare Showcase at booth# 2779 on Wednesday, February 13th. View the full schedule here and if you’d like to book a meeting with NetApp at HIMSS, click here.