Electronic Health Records

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Major Healthcare IT Topics to Watch Out for at HIMSS15

By Vera Gruessner

With the 2015 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition starting on Sunday, April 12, healthcare IT professionals are likely to hear about specific developments in the industry. Every year, certain topics take center-stage at the HIMSS conference. The subjects most likely to be covered are outlined below.

Stage 3 Meaningful Use Proposed Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Stage 3 Meaningful Use proposed rule toward the end of March and recently allowed for the comment period to commence. Leaders from the healthcare industry have already been decidedly vocal about some objections as well as endorsements of the Stage 3 Meaningful Use proposed rule.

From Beacon Partners’ concern with the short timeline and the doubts of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) regarding physician practices meeting patient engagement objectives to the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) overall support of the proposed ruling, Stage 3 Meaningful Use requirements are sure to be on everyone’s minds at the 2015 HIMSS conference.

ICD-1o Transition

With October 1 – also known as the ICD-10 compliance deadline – coming up in only a few short months, many healthcare stakeholders are discussing the potential impact of the ICD-10 transition. Some fear that small physician practices aren’t ready for the ICD-10 transition while others are suspicious that another delay will be compounded with the SGR Bill.

Healthcare IT experts and leaders in the medical sector have been studying and developing tools for the ICD-10 integration such as the mapping tool and technologies vital for tracking bi-directional communication. While the American Hospital Association supports sticking to the current ICD-10 compliance deadline, the American Medical Association asks for contingency plans put in place in case of ICD-10 problems.

Health Information Exchange

Both EHR interoperability and the development of health information exchange (HIE) entities are likely to be further analyzed at the 2015 HIMSS annual conference.  The mere fact that HIE development is a key objective of the Stage 3 Meaningful Use proposed rule shows the importance of this endeavor within the healthcare IT sector.

Top foundations and federal agencies are proposing new strategies for ways to advance nationwide data exchange. Other stakeholders are proposing that more action needs to be taken instead of mere discussions surrounding HIE growth.

Patient Engagement

The healthcare IT industry is likely to focus on patient engagement efforts at the 2015 HIMSS annual conference partially due to the emphasis on this subject within the Stage 3 Meaningful Use proposed ruling.

Healthcare IT professionals have been focused on developing effective patient portals and focusing on some of the missing factors from patient engagement such as self-service tools. Some are also focused on targeting privacy and security in patient engagement developments. All of this progress within patient engagement is sure to be a key topic among healthcare leaders at the 2015 HIMSS annual conference.

 

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