By Brian Richmond, Chief Technology Officer

The Quality Forum has had a consistent presence at the annual HIMSS conference for several years, and as an organization with a broad scope of programs and initiatives, from EHR adoption and patient-centered care transformation to analytics and the statewide HIE, each member of our team tends to have a different focus when they go to HIMSS. Our HIE Operations Director, Allen Abshire, is focused on interoperability; our Marketing & Communications Manager, Jamie Martin, is committed to the conference’s patient engagement track; and our Health IT Program Director, Nadine Robin, says her focus is primarily connected care and the use of data and analytics.

As the Chief Technology Officer for Louisiana’s statewide HIE, my focus for this year’s HIMSS conference is innovation. Ensuring that our HIE and the technology that supports it is adaptable and innovative in an ever-changing health care environment is my top priority, and the annual HIMSS conference is a fantastic source for innovative technology, strategies and ideas. With that in mind, these are my top picks on this year’s conference schedule:

  1. Innovation Symposium: Spurring Innovation in a Highly Regulated Environment: Set for the first day of the conference, this symposium promises to provide a “deep dive” into successful examples of clinical innovations that have yielded improved care, reduced costs and greater access. I am particularly forward to discussions and case studies of future innovations because as health IT professionals and advocates, it is critical that we not only know what’s happening now, but also what’s coming down the pipes.
  2. The Interoperability Showcase: If you are looking for outstanding insight into innovations in interoperability, look no further than this showcase. With topics ranging from patient matching and consumer-directed data exchange to population health and smart device integration, the Interoperability Showcase is the place to be.
  3. The Exhibit Hall: With more than 1,300 exhibitors and specialty areas spread out across one of the largest meeting centers in the world, the cutting-edge technologies on display in the HIMSS Exhibit Hall never disappoint.

My schedule is also littered with networking opportunities and meet-ups, and if your schedule isn’t the same, you’re missing one of the best benefits of the HIMSS conference: being shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the greatest health IT professionals in the country, which puts you in a great position for some fantastic idea sharing.

Whether you’re new to the HIMSS scene or a veteran attendee, regardless of what your focus is, be prepared to go home inspired. I certainly will.