HIMSS18 – What’s the Buzz in HIT?

Orchard Software’s barn and “biggest tree” were big hits at the 2018 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference & Exhibition, sharing an exhibit hall with about 1,300 other health information technology (HIT) vendors. At Orchard, we stay up to date on healthcare industry topics to best support our customers and prepare for the future. HIMSS provides a perfect opportunity to stay abreast of changes in our evolving healthcare market. At HIMSS18, 43,979 attendees, including HIT professionals, vendors, and executives, converged in Las Vegas to collaborate and learn about the major HIT trends shaping the path of healthcare. Below we detail just a few.

Cybersecurity & Cloud Services

Concerns about technology outpacing cybersecurity measures were voiced, including the increase in ransomware and other security threats, and the overall need to improve the security and interoperability of the Internet of Things (IoT)—connected devices that send and receive data. Related to security, there was also concern that the healthcare industry has been slow to leverage the established benefits of cloud computing and storage systems, with views on both sides of the equation. Typically, cloud systems offer scalability and increased security (e.g., automated patching to decrease system vulnerabilities).

Interoperability, APIs, & FHIR

As always, interoperability was a frequently discussed topic alongside the need for open application programming interfaces (APIs) capable of opening EHR data to patient designated applications. Another much-discussed topic was Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR), a newly proposed HL7 interoperability standard that simplifies data exchange via modern web services.

Vendor Collaboration & AI

As expected, the EHR vendors have a big presence at HIMSS, and there was discussion of these healthcare market players beginning to form collaborative partnerships with others in the industry. For example, Cerner’s HealtheIntent big data and population health management (PHM) platform integrates with Salesforce Health Cloud to enable communication with patients after office visits.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (e.g., using AI tools to identify cancer in radiology images) were also among the hot topics and collaborative initiatives. For example, Epic and Nuance are in the process of developing an AI assistant.

Patient-centered Care & Population Health Management

The shift toward patient-centered care, patient engagement, precision medicine, and PHM make up another related set of current healthcare industry trends. Healthcare organizations are using analytics and risk stratification to develop PHM strategies that deliver appropriate proactive clinical interventions. 

Telehealth & POCT

Directly related to patient engagement and patient-centered care, there was discussion of remote patient monitoring and other telehealth and mHealth tools and how they should be integrated. In line with prompting patient satisfaction and increasing interconnected patient results, Orchard Software showcased its point-of-care (POCT) management and integration solution, Orchard® Trellis™, which addresses the complexities POC coordinators face in remote oversight of POCT. Laboratories looking to integrate and provide comprehensive POCT oversight can benefit from an integration and management tool such as Trellis.

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Our Commitment

Orchard is committed to keeping you informed and being a trusted resource that you can turn to for industry-related education. As always, we welcome your feedback. Follow us on Twitter at @orchardsoftware, and feel free to respond to this post by emailing us at news@orchardsoft.

Kim Futrell, MT(ASCP)
April 19, 2018