I recently attended both the New Jersey and New York HIMSS annual conferences. Here are the discussions I found most notable.
At the NJ event, titled “Facing the Wave of Uncertainty that Lies Ahead,” I was pleased to see attorney Jordan Cohen recommend that organizations place a strong focus on data, analytics, and other information technologies to support MACRA. Later, Dr. Andy Cohen of Virtua Health Systems provided an overview of MIPS, stressing that 2019 payment adjustments will be based on 2017 performance and that many ambulatory providers are unaware of that fact.
Joe Carr, a long-time friend and colleague and CIO of the New Jersey Hospital Association, delivered some important lessons from a recent cyber security simulation. He cautioned organizations to include emergency preparedness personnel in all exercises, not to be quick to blame staff, to keep medical devices off the main network, to develop manual backup plans, and to test all strategies as often as possible.
The following week at Yankee Stadium, the HIMSS NYS Chapter event – titled “Leading Organizations through an Era of Change” – kicked off with a discussion about the future of multi-cloud environments. Reluctant during my 19 years as a CIO to cloud host the EMR for the hospital, I found advantages to doing so for my organization’s ambulatory practices. The speakers echoed many of the benefits I experienced, including improved uptime and security, predictable expenses, and most importantly allowing staff to focus more on healthcare than hardware.
Valerie Grey, President of the New York eHealth Collaborative, discussed the state of the SHIN-NY, the network connecting HIEs across the state including J2 clients Healthix, Hixny, HealtheConnections, and the Bronx RHIO. She shared some impressive statistics showing how the use of the SHIN-NY has decreased unnecessary utilization and improved both care quality and patient health.
Perhaps my favorite presentation of the day centered on cognitive powered care management with Judy Murphy, RN, CNO at IBM Global Healthcare. She explained how a cognitive system develops over five layers:
- The information layer, which encompasses basic data management and governance
- The descriptive layer, including current and retrospective data
- The predictive layer, responsible for data forecasts and simulations of the future
- The prescriptive layer, where data gives users guidance to help them choose a course of action
- The cognitive layer, where data suggests the best course of action personalized for a particular patient’s circumstances
All in all, these were two very worthwhile conferences. I always enjoy the open exchange of ideas that these meetings foster.