HiMSS 2017. Putting the Focus on Healthcare IT.


When 45,000 attendees and 1,200 companies gather in one place for one week at one of the country’s largest convention centers to discuss the future of healthcare IT, figuring out what to see and who to talk to (not to mention what shoes to wear!), can be a daunting task. We’re packing our bags for the 2017 HiMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference in Orlando February 19th through Wednesday, February 22nd and thought we’d offer up our opinion on a few “can’t miss” presentations.

In reviewing the speaker and session lineups, it’s clear that IoT (the Internet of Things) and Hybrid Cloud will be taking center stage. It’s all about adopting new technologies while minimizing security risk, topics we’ve been intensely focused on for the last few months.  Security breaches cost the healthcare industry over $6B dollars a year so you can be sure that the exhibit hall will be filled with product offerings that put cybersecurity front and center.

As for presentations, put our top ten on your itinerary, then maybe add just one more.  VertitechIT CEO Mike Feld will be in the Hewlett Packard Enterprise booth (#1979) at 10:00AM EST on Tuesday, February 21st, discussing an exciting proof of concept project being conducted at Baystate Health in Springfield, Massachusetts. VertitechIT is teaming with HPE and Microsoft, in what we believe to be the first-ever test of Skype for Business as a possible replacement for a healthcare PBX system.

It promises to be an information-packed week featuring a variety of thought leaders and experts across the healthcare and technology sectors. Our team will be on-site to review all the new products on display in the exhibition hall so be sure to follow us on Twitter (@VertitechIT) and stay tuned for our roundup of the best new products revealed at this year’s HiMSS conference, coming in early March.

1. Keynote Speaker: Ginni M. Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, IBM
When: February 20, 2017 — 08:30AM EST – 10:00AM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Valencia Ballroom

You can’t attend HiMSS 2017 without hearing the powerful keynote presentation from Ginni M. Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO of IBM. Rometty first started her career at IBM in Detroit, Michigan in 1981, and she’ll bring her decades of experience in the industry to deliver a thought-provoking talk to kick off the week’s activities.

2. Removing Barriers from Migrating to the Hybrid Cloud
When: February 20, 2017 — 01:30PM EST – 02:30PM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Room W204A

In this not-to-miss session, speakers Jan Bates, Systems Operations Director at UK HealthCare, Mark Seale, AVP – IT Operations at FirstCare Health Plans, and Katherine McCarthy, Senior Analyst for Forrester Research, offer insights on how providers can take advantage of the cloud’s capabilities without sacrificing security or patient care. The panelists will share their experiences and advice for providers on evaluating cloud technologies, models, and network options and detail which among them offer better inherent security and patient information protection.

3. Mitigating Cybersecurity Risk with Hyper-Segmentation
When: February 20, 2017 — 01:30PM EST – 02:30PM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Tangerine Ballroom, F4

In light of the explosion of the IoT, security concerns are abundant, particularly in highly regulated industries like healthcare. In this informative session, speakers Eric Miller, MBA, CPHIMS, CISSP, Senior Director of IT for Ascension Information Services, and Paul Unbehagen, Chief Architect for Avaya, will share the importance of a standardized approach to risk management and how applying it to an IoT strategy can effectively reduce risks. Miller and Unbehagen will reveal how the primary foundation for an effective risk reduction strategy, hyper-segmentation, offers robust risk reduction and is easy to implement and manage.

4. The Next Frontier in Medical Device Security
When: February 21, 2017 — 08:30AM EST – 09:30AM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Tangerine Ballroom, F4

Medical device technology has certainly improved the delivery of patient care, but it comes with a slew of new security risks. Speakers Denise Anderson, MBA, President of the NH-ISAC,  and Dale Nordenberg, MD, Co-Founder and Executive Director, MDISS, discuss the importance of vigilance for healthcare organizations, and how collaboration and trust are an important piece of this puzzle. Leading by example, Anderson and Nordenberg share a collaboration between their respective organizations and how other organizations are following suit.

5. How Cloud Drives Innovation and Digital Transformation
When: February 22, 2017 — 10:00AM EST – 11:00AM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Room W307A

Randy Gaboriault, Chief Information Officer and SVP, Innovation and Strategic Development at Christiana Health Care System, shares how IT leaders need to adopt a competitive mindset and readily adapt to the needs of the business while simultaneously providing their organizations with the technology needed to keep pace with both market and patient demands. An important conversation about the changing role of IT leaders, this is a session we highly recommend sitting in on.

6. Benchmarking, IT Cost Controls, and Efficiencies
When: February 22, 2017 — 01:00PM EST – 02:00PM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Room W307A

IT costs. It’s a major pain point for practically every healthcare organization as technology needs continue to grow. Christian J. Pass, Chief Financial Officer at John Muir Health, and Greg McGovern, Associate Principal at The Chartis Group, talk about how John Muir Health (JMH) pursued an aggressive strategy to improve care delivery and expand physician services and market growth. The key to the success of this endeavor? Understanding the key drivers of IT costs and implementing robust controls to effectively manage them. You’ll want to see this session to learn from this example of effective IT cost management.

7. Choosing the Right IT Projects to Deliver Strategic Value
When: February 22, 2017 — 04:00PM EST – 05:00PM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Room W307A

The latest technology trends aren’t always a good fit for every organization, even in the healthcare space. That’s something we often share with clients at VertitechIT: if it doesn’t make good business sense, don’t do it. In this session, Thomas Selva, Chief Medical Information Officer at the University of Missouri, and Seth Katz, MPH, RHIA, Associate Administrator, Information Management at Truman Medical Centers, share a similar view and discuss avoiding a scattershot approach to IT, offering real-world examples of how their respective organizations have overcome common governance challenges.

8. Building Hybrid Clouds for Secure Healthcare Organizations
When: February 23, 2017 — 10:30AM EST – 11:30AM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Room W311A

Healthcare organizations are adopting hybrid cloud models more readily today than in the past to take advantage of cost and efficiency benefits. However, adopting a hybrid cloud approach requires a careful consideration of several factors and trade-offs to ensure adequate patient privacy as well as continuity of the organization’s data and operations. Speaker Adam Saenger, Vice President, Global Product Development & Management at Level 3 Communications, shares insights that will leave attendees with the knowledge needed to analyze the end-to-end needs of their users and applications, determine the right cloud strategy for your organization, evaluate your cloud network migration strategy, and more.

9. How IT Infrastructure Can Support Value-Based Care
When: February 21, 2017 — 03:30PM EST – 03:50PM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Booth 7281|ConnectHealth

In the era of technology, it’s more important than ever for clinicians to be able to communicate seamlessly. Terry Edwards, President & CEO of PerfectServe, Inc., and Scott Raymond, BSN, MHA, RN, Executive Director, Strategic Innovation and Information Services at MemorialCare Health System, discuss how the appropriate technology infrastructure is necessary to support clinicians’ need to quickly and easily share and access time-sensitive and complex information as healthcare moves toward a value-based reimbursement model.

10. How to Make IT the Underpinning of the Enterprise Strategy
When: February 22, 2017 — 08:30AM EST – 09:30AM EST
Where: Orange County Convention Center, Room W307A

Aligning IT with broader business strategy has been a best practice for some time now, but too often these strategies are planned separately and end up lacking the necessary alignment to ensure that IT supports business needs. John R. Ward, Chief Information Officer and Vice President, IT/IS at TriHealth, and Robert Schwyn, Partner at The Chartis Group, make the case for better IT-business alignment in this must-see session.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@VertitechIT) for lived reports from the show floor.  See you in Orlando!