HIMSS highlights for the armchair attendee

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Candace Stuart - Portrait - 179.76 Kb
Candace Stuart, editor
If you missed the 2012 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference held near the end of February in Las Vegas, or you could attend only some sessions, not to fret. We have you covered.

Stage 2 meaningful use was a presence if not an invited guest speaker at the event. Farzad Mostashari, MD, national coordinator for health IT, in his keynote address emphasized that the proposed rule was designed to achieve improvement in healthcare through key pathways, particularly patient engagement, information exchange and clinical decision support.

“We want to make sure the steps we take are achievable and incremental,” he assured the audience.

In a separate presentation, Steven Posnack, MHS, director of the federal policy division in the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT, discussed the role of EHRs. The proposed rule offers a more flexible definition that allows for three methods to meet certified EHR technology requirements: complete EHR, EHR modules and a combination, he said.

“There is not a specific, finite construct,” Posnack said, adding that they had approached the opportunity with an eye on minimizing regulatory burden.

That may be welcome news for the 302 healthcare IT professionals who responded to a survey on hiring trends in the industry. According to the results, IT leaders who in the past worried about finances now are see a shortage of talent as a top challenge.

Survey results unveiled at the conference showed that 61 percent of respondents projected that their institutions would add staff, with the most in-demand specialties being clinical application support, network and architecture support, clinical informatics, system integration, IT security, clinical transformation, database administration, PC and server support, process and workflow and system design/implementation.

The HIMSS articles in this newsletter provide a sampling of the conference talks, but they only touch the surface of our coverage. To get a full picture of the breadth of the conference news, please visit our website.

Candace Stuart
Cardiovascular Business, editor