Five big talking points from HIMSS 2016

Posted: Mar 07, 2016
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HIMSS15 logoThe HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition has long been a hotly-anticipated date in the health IT calendar, and this year’s event was no exception. As the dust settles after HIMSS16, we’ve compiled five of the biggest topics of conversation from our five days in the Mojave Desert.

  1. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity was a major talking point of HIMSS16, and this was evident throughout all areas of the the exhibition. From the messaging used in exhibitors’ marketing collateral, to security-led sessions by keynote speakers, the topic was high on everyone’s agenda, and with good reason.

Cybersecurity should not be seen as an add-on or optional extra, but rather part and parcel of any solution that handles healthcare data. The healthcare industry clearly recognizes the challenges that cybercrime presents, but if data breach related news headlines from the past 12 months have taught us anything, it’s that there’s still a long way to go when it comes to turning that recognition into practical application.


  1. Communication outside of EHR

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) offer many advantages over traditional alternatives, not least the ability to exchange health information in a more efficient, comprehensive, and secure manner. But while the goals of EHRs are commendable, the practicalities are proving to be overwhelming and time consuming for many physicians, not to mention expensive.

This general trend of EHR dissatisfaction was highlighted in a survey undertaken in 2015. Of the 1,000 healthcare professionals surveyed, 40% said their EHR was insufficient for its intended purpose. The survey also revealed that as the complexity of health information increased, use of EHRs decreased, and that fewer than one in ten use EHR as their primary method of communication when communicating outside of their organization.

Developments in mobile EHR systems, the adoption of cloud, and better security standards across health care as a whole, look set to make 2016 a big year for innovation in EHR technologies.


  1. Data analysis

The volume of clinical data collected by healthcare organizations is growing at an exceptional rate, and with this, so are opportunities to help improve patient outcomes, quality of care, and operational efficiencies.

By harnessing the power of the data they hold, healthcare organizations have an opportunity to identify patterns – both health and operation led – more quickly and accurately, which will lead to better outcomes for them and their patients.

A session on day one of HIMSS, ‘Actionable Analytics: From Predictive Modeling to Workflows’, which was led by Dr. Ari Robicsek and Chad Konchak from NorthShore University HealthSystem, was a must-see for anyone with an interest in this area. The session handout can be downloaded from the HIMSS website.

  1. Value based care

The notion of value based care is all about delivering better healthcare, more affordably. Whereas the the traditional fee-for-service approach pays doctors and hospitals based on the services they deliver, a value-based payment strives to reward better results in terms of cost, quality, and outcome measures.

But in an industry that that has grown up in a fee-for-service environment, and has the tools to match, the switch to a value based care system would demand significant technological transformations to keep up with the required operational changes.

Value based care was a common theme at HIMSS16 – you can view a list of sessions and download the session handouts here.

  1. Telehealth

Telehealth is leading the charge in patient engagement, and with so many well documented benefits it’s easy to see why health organizations are keep to adopt a telehealth strategy of their own. Consequently, there was no shortage of telehealth system providers exhibiting at this year’s event, and plenty of discussions around the subject too.

With telehealth evolving at a rapid rate, so too are the expectations of healthcare providers, who seek easier integration and more adaptability from their telehealth platforms. All things considered, 2016 is due to be a big year for the telehealth market.


Did you miss us at HIMSS16?
For Scrypt, Inc., HIMSS16 was an opportunity to showcase the latest addition to our healthcare portfolio, Sfax; a powerful cloud-based document transmission and productivity tool that fosters easy collaboration. We also took the opportunity to demo Sfax’s brand new interface and HIPAA secure messaging application. 2016 looks set to another exciting year for Sfax and we look forward to sharing our journey with you on this blog.