Walking into the 2017 Fall MidWest Technology Conference, put on by HIMSS Indiana, there was no doubt that this was going to be a high energy event. Those that made it for the opening dinner and reception were treated to members of the board taking the stage and singing an ode to healthIT with a parody of “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Not only were they brave souls, but they had the enviable position of appearing before ZDoggMD. ZDogg provided the rest of the entertainment for the evening and kept the audience in stiches with songs like “It’s a Hard Doc’s Life” and “In Da Lab.” ZDogg is the stage name of Zubin Damania, MD who kicked off the morning session keynote with an engaging talk about his life experiences and how they shaped his desire to change healthcare. Probably one of the most unique aspects of Zubin’s talk is the way that he can present a idea about the future that holds gently a both/and approach to the value of human relationships and technology in healthcare.
Every speaker that followed over the course of the next two days began their talks with apologies for not having music videos in their presentations, but while music was lacking the passion and drive to push ourselves and each other to make healthcare better was ever present. This was highlighted in Mandi Bishop’s presentation telling the story of Jess Jacobs, who used her professional experience as a six sigma green belt to evaluate the waste and waiting in her life as a rare disease patient. Mandi highlighted claims and billing as a place where healthcare systems can work to reduce waste and have a positive tangible effect in the lives of patients.
The break out sessions topics represented the array of interests that are found in the HIMSS membership: everything from telemedicine and population health to Beacon technologies and Makerspaces. There was more information available than one could hope to digest in two days, and it seems that the HIMSS Indiana board has set the bar pretty high. The Midwest Fall Technology conference rotates hosting responsibility through several chapters, and next year Iowa will have its chance to put on the show. I am looking forward to see what they might have in the works.
Thanks to all of the volunteers that helped to put this event together, it was just what I needed to hold me over until HIMSS18 inLas Vegas.