The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is holding its industry-leading health information and technology conference Feb. 11-15 in Orlando, Florida. More than 45,000 healthcare professionals and thought leaders are expected at this year’s event— it assuredly will not disappoint.

Health care is changing rapidly and with it the methods and practices used in the industry are as well. Speaking with Senior Director of Strategic Communications for HIMSS Karen Groppe, MarketScale got an inside look into what to watch for, who to see, and just how advanced healthcare is entering 2019.

Will Consumer-Directed Exchange Disrupt the Healthcare Marketplace: A Keynote Speech

President and CEO of HIMSS Hal Wolf III will be moderate the opening keynote session of the event, a discussion among a world-renowned panel of both industry experts and government officials.

The group includes the likes of former Utah Governor and former HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, former US Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, former National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo and more.

The topics at hand will primarily revolve around the rise of consumer-directed exchanges and patient-friendly advancements in technology while addressing the policy changes and market-disruption that go along with this new frontier of high-tech patient-care.

Cybersecurity Panels

In an era of data breaches and cyberattacks across industries worldwide, even the healthcare sector is not immune.

According to Groppe, the “Defeat Nation-State Actors Stalking the Healthcare Sector” session will feature “Retired Brigadier General Greg Touhill, the first Chief Information Security Officer of the United States government and current president of the Cyxtera Federal Group, discussing the current cyber threat environment; the tactics, techniques, and procedures used by nation state actors and cyber-criminal groups to threaten organizations; why the health care environment is at high risk; and what the health care sector should do to better manage their risk.”

Opioid Crisis and Population Health

The opioid epidemic in the US reached startling levels over the last year and the health care industry is taking serious steps to mitigate the damage and utilize technology to prevent a crisis like this from ever reaching these proportions again.

For those interested in this topic, attendees should be sure to visit “A Quality and Analytics-Based Approach to the Opioid Epidemic” according to Groppe.

This session is set to “explore how can we use technology to support providers in promoting better, safer patient care, empower them to be compliant with regulatory requirements and ease the administrative burden they feel when trying to provide care for these complex patients.”

Senior Care

“The Silver Tsunami”, as Groppe put it, is a facetious but accurate take on the issue of a growing population of elderly patients that will require care.

An estimated 11,000 people per day in the U.S. are reaching 65 years of age, with increasingly complex and chronic care needs. Health care expenditures are continuing to considerably outpace GDP growth. Organizations are coping with these rising costs by consolidating to gain economies of scale, but this impacts competition and choice.”

The “Healthy Aging and Technology Symposium: Building a Digital Bridge to Transform the Aging Experience” session will address issues like “continuity of care for chronic conditions, social isolation, loneliness and medication management through information and technology can transform health and wellness in aging while also meeting caregiver needs.”

The health care industry is undergoing a complete transformation with the continued advancement and integration of new technologies in the workplace. Whether it is patient-care or cybersecurity, this year’s HIMSS conference will leave attendees with something new, and undoubted optimism for the future of healthcare in the United States.

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