HIMSS 2015 – Surrounded by the need for Digital Connectivity

HIMSS 2015 – Surrounded by the need for Digital Connectivity

As mentioned in our previous blog entry where we interviewed a customer for a large Healthcare provider, this year Jitterbit was honored to take part in the HIMSS Conference in Chicago; the world’s largest conference of its kind where IT and Healthcare professionals come together to network and learn the latest trends, innovations and discoveries in the Healthcare industry. Today we’re looking back at the fantastic week that was, with insights from our staff, sponsors and attendees.

Scott Kateian, Jitterbit’s General Manager of Healthcare: One of the biggest takeaways for me was the broader theme of interoperability at the show. The challenge of achieving and delivering interoperability is paramount in the drive to providing a more holistic, preventive approach to better patient care management, treatment and outcomes while lowering overall care spend to all constituents.  Based on our conversations and interactions with Healthcare Providers, Systems, Plans and System Vendors, Jitterbit is well positioned to provide unique solutions and value in the effort to overcome this barrier.  We are committed to the effort and honored to now be part of that solution discussion.

Not surprisingly, this year’s conference theme was: transforming health – through the power of information – through innovation, engagement, leadership, connectivity. The last word, connectivity, was precisely why Jitterbit participated, as we believe digital connectivity is a necessity for any organization to succeed in today’s Digital Economy. Nowhere was that more evidenced than at this year’s conference.

jan oldenburg

Jan Oldenburg, the lead editor for the HIMSS publication ‘Engage! Transforming Healthcare Through Digital Patient Engagement,’ and a Senior Manager in the Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young, LLP, presented several sessions on mHealth’s impact on consumers, saying “My biggest HIMSS revelation was the fact that the patient engagement conversation is no longer back at the fringes. It felt this year as if it was pervasive, and a part of many conversations I had. That is a huge change. Patients are being incorporated into mainstream products and approaches.” An example of Jan’s assessment would be the ability for doctors to consolidate patient data from billing/insurance applications, clinical trials, or systems from a specialist provider outside that doctor’s network—essentially any source that would give the doctor a single, 360-degree view of their patient from a single system of record, such as their EMR/EHR of choice.

Further underscoring the need for digital connectivity, Jan continued, “The technologies that impressed me most will connect the dots for people by increasing convenience and crossing previously siloed solutions. Convenience is the reason so many other technologies have been latched onto. Less siloed approaches are bridging the spectrums of mHealth, connected health, and the EHR. Walgreens’ keynote speech described their approach to build this through partnerships that make it convenient for people to make better purchasing choices, connect with exercise, and earn points. It’s moving people from only getting care in doctors’ offices to many areas in the rest of their lives.”

JB booth crowd

Jitterbit Harmony with its low TCO and simplified approach to connectivity resonated with the Hospitals and Healthcare providers we spoke to throughout the conference. While the same old ETL and ESB vendors were in attendance this year, the outlook for those organizations given their recent leveraged buyouts was an elephant in the room. Attendees were not only open but eager to hear about more agile and simplified alternatives for connecting their applications and medical devices, especially since it could be accomplished by non-technical users. This allows for off-loading the burden of maintaining the older, more complex ETL/ESB technologies from their IT departments.

Attendees saw how an end to the “armies of consultants” and lengthy implementation times equates to a rapid ROI and savings for their organization: options they simply did not have or know about years back when HIMSS first began.

Viktoria Nevska, Jitterbit Sales Development Rep: It was my first year at HIMSS but the desire for connecting all the apps used in Healthcare was palpable. I had hundreds of conversations during the week but the one I had with an IT Director at a regional hospital stuck with me. She told me, “I spend $10k a month connecting EACH system I have; are you telling me I can connect multiple EHR systems , quickly and easily, AND save money? I didn’t know something like this existed.”  Needless to say, we’re connecting post-show to discuss her connectivity options!

jb booth

Compliance to HIPAA and HL7 Standards and overall security in the face of newly enacted Affordable Care Act were also topics which came up frequently. Jitterbit was privileged to have our EDI partner, Complete EDI Solutions, on hand to discuss our support for HL7 Compliant document types. Using Jitterbit’s transformation engine complements the need many Healthcare providers have to maintain HL7 documents, such as CCD, CDA or CRS and have the information synchronized across systems as well as the ability to deliver the X12 Health Care transactions, such as 835, 837 etc.

Cynthia Drake of Complete EDI Solutions: Many people I talked with, such as Hospital staff, doctors and even government employees and non-profit organizations found it somewhat of a shock that we could provide them with an integrated solution that connects their business-critical systems as well the healthcare standards they require.

While connectivity was one of the key themes of the show, in speaking with attendees it appeared another common thread was a lack of understanding about how to get connected. We expect that to change quickly as healthcare providers look to go fully digital – a result of vision, business efficiency, and perhaps a less than gentle nudge from the White House. Last week the Obama administration slammed vendors for making it difficult to access patient health information.

Congress requested the report the drove this reaction from the White House last December amid rising concerns that the government’s massive investment in digitizing health records has “left patient records largely stuck in silos.”

Time to tear down those silos.

For further information on Jitterbit’s commitment to Digital Connectivity in Healthcare, Compliance to HIPAA initiatives, HL7 or to download a free trial of our Jitterbit Harmony product, please contact us!