HIMSS 2015 Sign

Last week, from April 12-15, I had the opportunity to attend and showcase Klio’s product at HIMSS, the healthcare IT industry’s largest annual conference. With over 43,000 attendees, hundreds of exhibitors, and four days of programming, the event provided countless avenues for making connections, obtaining feedback, and hearing the key concerns and interests of the moment. So what did I hear?

Between sessions and through the questions my colleague and I fielded at the Klio Health booth, my key takeaway was that healthcare organizations are beginning to truly embrace the Triple Aim, which includes these key objectives:

1. Improve the patient experience of care
2. Improve the health of populations
3. Reduce the per capita cost of care

In fact, during the conference, HIMSS published the results of a leadership survey in which they found that respondents indicated that implementation of health IT systems had improved patient experience (68%), population health (53%), or the cost of care (51%).

My conversations with providers, systems integrations consultants and journalists seemed to also reflect this trend. Fundamentally, it seems to be understood that health IT can help extend the reach of the clinical staff, and drive workflow efficiencies which will reduce the costs of care. But I also heard that providers truly do feel that by improving the patient experience through tools that engage and involve the patient more fully in managing health, they will also in turn improve the health of their patient populations at large. Then, if data analytics tools can help providers stratify patient populations such that they can focus limited resources on those patients needing the most intensive care, they will further be able to reduce the costs of care.

Sounds simple right? I was surprised to repeatedly hear this refrain.The virtuous cycle outlined here sounds a bit romantic, but in an industry which has been plagued by much doom and gloom, I was encouraged to see that even those scarred by the slings and arrows of tragic IT implementations past are optimistically embracing the promise of new solutions.