Live from HIMSS18: Getting back to basics


One hears the word “innovation” at HIMSS18 and immediately thinks of technology. Admittedly, there is a lot of cutting-edge tech at this show – and rightly so – but when you boil it all down, the problems that we’re here to solve are decidedly human. After all, you can deploy all the technology in the world and it will not replace the need to form connections. Nor will technology replace the need for us to meet one another halfway.

Nowhere was this more evident than at Tuesday’s Payer Forum. Every single presentation focused on relationship building. From the story of how an unlikely pair – in this case, a payer and a provider – formed, stormed and normed its way to perform in the best interest of patients to the luncheon keynote by current AHIP President and CEO, Marilyn Tavenner, one theme reigned supreme:

We’re all healthcare consumers and at the end of the day, we’re all in this together.

Even the session dedicated to Health Information Exchange data was less about interoperability – i.e., being able to get information out of the EMR and into a HIE – and more about the reasons it’s important to provide actual human beings with more accurate and more complete data. Judging from the Q&A at the end, the near-capacity crowd for this one was as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Innovation isn’t limited to technology

With the need to move from paper to digital medical records and the not-so-subtle push to get there, past shows were rather tech-focused. But like the Revenue Cycle Solutions Summit on Monday, Tuesday’s Payer Forum was a call to get back to basics, to build relationships, to meet each other where we are so we can start moving forward together. To be innovative in our human interactions.

Now, at this point, I feel it’s important to clarify that I don’t mean to imply that we should all stop focusing on how to better leverage technology to solve a good number of healthcare’s challenges. Of course we must continue our commitment to digitizing medical records to put an end to the paper chase and automating the low-value, mundane tasks that bog down our knowledge workers. I work for a software and services vendor after all.

However, coming away from today’s forum, one thing is clear: There are many opportunities to collaborate, but until we figure out how to work together toward our common goal of providing the best possible care to patients at the lowest possible costs, our efforts will remain fragmented and all the technology in the world won’t help.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!

Julie Fogel

Julie Fogel

Julie Fogel joined Hyland in 2011. A member of the content marketing team, this SCUBA-diving, rock-n-rolling, baseball-loving storyteller currently covers healthcare. She also frequently appears in or provides voice talent... read more about: Julie Fogel