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Technology, mandates, and quality of care are the top three agenda items at 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition (HIMSS13), the largest health IT event of the year.

This year’s conference, held this week (March 3-7) in New Orleans, is expected to draw as many as 35,000 attendees and about 1,200 exhibitors.

Among the keynote speakers is former President Bill Clinton, who will give his insights on healthcare, the past elections, and what’s ahead for our nation. Another keynoter is the pivotal figure Farzad Mostashari, who is at the forefront of the administration’s health IT efforts as head of the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“We are at the pivotal moment in healthcare we’ve all been waiting for,” said Carla Smith, HIMSS Executive Vice President, in a press briefing. “Technology mandates and quality healthcare have finally come together in a way that we’ve never seen before, and in response, we’ve created specific content around the coming trends in 2013, with a particular focus on meaningful use, mobile health and consumer engagement.”

With new ‘Meaningful Use’ requirements, a special interactive area on the exhibit floor will allow providers to view demonstrations of certified electronic health record solutions (EHR) including modules for ambulatory and acute settings. This will allow viewing of various vendor solutions side-by-side, allowing for easier evaluation of each system.

Additional educational offerings that will be part of the HIMSS are expanded workshops, including hands-on sessions on health IT adoption, mobile app development, and clinical workflow development. A forum on the patient experience with HIT will discuss innovative technologies to engage patients in their healthcare. And with global health a strategic priority for the U.S. government, the World Bank and USAID as well as the HHS, will provide an overview of projects underway by public-private partnerships.

With more than 300-plus general education sessions and networking events, attendees will also have opportunities to earn continuing education credit at HIMSS13. This year, the Certified Associate in Health Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS) has been added to the certification list.

And if scheduling makes it difficult to attend the conference in person, HIMSS13 offers a new virtual offering: HIMSS13 Online. “Due to budget and staffing realities, we understand that many health IT professionals cannot join us in New Orleans,” said JoAnn Klinedinst, vice president, professional development, HIMSS, in a release. “For them, HIMSS13 Online offers conference access – anywhere, anytime – allowing registered attendees to participate virtually in on-demand learning, interact with exhibitors in the virtual setting, and attend selected live simulcast sessions.”

HIMSS13 online also includes on-demand sessions, 12 e-sessions, and live broadcast interviews with other top speakers such as Warner L. Thomas, Eric J. Topol, M.D., Karl Rove and James Carville.

The catch phrase of HIMMSS13 is “Health IT. Right place. Right time. It’s on,” and this year’s convention promises a right-on health IT experience.

Last modified on Monday, 10 June 2013
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