Leadership Takeaways From HIMSS23

Posted in Feature Articles

As the applause for the closing keynote of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Global Health Conference quieted Friday afternoon, attendees were left to reflect on an exciting week of thought-provoking dialogue about the relationship between health and technology. 

This year’s theme, “Health that Connects + Tech that Cares” speaks to opportunity for technology to advance healthcare and improve patient outcomes. The halls of Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center were buzzing with healthcare leaders, technology professionals, providers, innovators, and educators from around the world discussing the opportunity for responsible AI, digital health, and other innovations to impact the future of healthcare.

Several members Health Catalyst’s Leadership Team attended HIMSS23. We caught up with four of them to learn which ideas, presentations, and moments of the conference stood out to them.

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Melissa Welch, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer

This was my first HIMSS, and it was as large and compelling as I had heard.  The theme – ‘health that connects; tech that cares,’ inspired me to want to see more advances in technology to drive better health outcomes.  I particularly enjoyed the keynote on ‘Disruption and Alternatives’ on Wednesday morning and hearing how Best Buy is leveraging its geek squad to support in-home care – great use of an already great customer service engagement strategy!  I also loved the presentation by Yuchen Zhang, MS – the senior data scientist at ChristianaCare, who is doing amazing work refining efforts to collect data to assess health equity outcomes through a sophisticated analytics platform that incorporates the Gini index as a predictive measure of disparities across SDOH factors.

It was exciting to meet new companies and see colleagues, and I was honored to participate as a speaker for Health Catalyst at the Patient Engagement special symposium – thanks to all who attended our Health Catalyst session. I look forward to Orlando!

Holly Rimmasch
Holly Rimmasch

Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer

Overall, HIMSS was buzzing with over 40,000 attendees.  There was a mix of representation from healthcare systems (providers, IT, executives), government, and over 1,000 different healthcare technologies represented.  

HIMSS provided an opportunity to network.  I so much appreciated the chance to reconnect with acquaintances and meet new people.  I learned much and had meaningful conversations with both providers and potential innovative partners.  It was also great to spend time with our own incredible team members in person!  

HIMSS gave me the opportunity to learn about new advancements in healthcare technology.  This year there was a lot of buzz about how AI and data can help reduce the burden of providers to help reduce burnout.  There was also a focus on the importance of patient engagement and how it contributes to better outcomes.

It’s even more clear that our mission of being a catalyst for massive, measurable, data-informed healthcare improvement is critical.  We have incredible opportunities and the imperative to bring together our data platform, applications, and services together to make a difference!  

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Dan LeSueur

Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Professional Services Unit

I attended a meaningful presentation given by Dr. Patrick McGill from Community Health Network (CHNw), where he and his co-presenter talked about optimizing BPAs (best practice alerts) in the EHR to mitigate clinician burnout.  It was a great presentation, and I would say burnout was a common theme among tech providers. There is SO much technology and automation that physicians are exhausted and want to just get back to treating patients.

One definite obsession this HIMSS was with ChatGPT.  It seemed that everyone asked about it, and many vendors made claims about integrating its functionality into their solutions.  While some of it was smoke and mirrors with the objective of giving the impression of being on the bleeding edge— and there definitely a need for pragmatism here – it’s good to see the industry is continuing to think about new ways to advance care.

Tarah Neujahr Bryan
Tarah Neujahr Bryan

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

A lot of conversations at HIMSS23 were about AI and health equity. Use cases around improving care quality while addressing rising costs and staffing shortages seemed especially salient. People are excited and engaged in this work, and it felt like a lot of the fatigue from past years has largely worn off. 

The week of events left leaders thinking about developments in technology, compassionate care, advancing health equity, alleviating burnout, and the promise of AI. We look forward to seeing the innovative work, best practices, and improved health outcomes resulting from the connections made at HIMSS23.

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