Daily Archives: 02/21/2012

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Most after hours events at HIMSS are stale, awkward, when-can-I-get-the-heck-outta-here affairs. And then there’s HIStalkapalooza, which is quite the opposite.

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How? Well, first, because Mr. H curates healthcare news on a hype-free, non-pay for play blog that doesn’t just jump on trendy industry bandwagons, and runs his parties in the same spirit. Anyone is welcome if they sign up, and people aren’t there to brag about whose booth is bigger or to sell to each other, though a few deals may have been made over a few Ingatinis or one of the other customized drinks, which were all free, thanks to event sponsor ESD. Frankly, HIStalkapalooza is the only lock on our social calendar for the show.

Athenahealth founder and CEO Jonathan Bush presented the HISsies Awards in his typical irreverent style, starting off by ripping crappy healthcare IT marketing slogans (as well he might). Mobile health was deemed the most significant HCIT area, while HIStalk readers consider social media the most overused industry phrase.  Apparently the majority of voters are drinking the Epic Kool-Aid, as Judy Faulkner won two awards and somehow her company beat Access for vendor/consulting firm of the year. We cry foul! However, thanks to all the people who voted to get us on the four-company shortlist.

In addition to Bush announcing the winners while quaffing Arrogant Bastard ale (“just like some of my coworkers,” he quipped), Dr. Ross Martin, founder of the American College of Medical Informatimusicology and the man behind the Meaningful Yoose Rap, also graced us with his presence.

As well as the awards for best shoes and HIStalkapalooza King and Queen, there was the inevitable Best Elvis Lookalike presentation, though the renditions of the music legend’s hits were not the high point of the evening.

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All in all, another fine event. One of the best things was talking with other vendors and hospital IT staff who share the straightforward, pretension-free view of healthcare technology as us: that it exists to improve the care and safety of patients and to make the jobs of those who serve them easier and more effective.

Mr. H, Inga, Travis and the rest of the HIStalk(the #1 healthcare IT blog) gang were kind enough to invite us to their sponsors lunch, which, just like last year, was at the fantastic Maggiano’s.

Mr. H gave a brief State or the HIStalk Union address, during which he revealed that his blog has more than 24,000 regular readers. He urged we vendors to keep improving our products to help providers increase patient care quality. Hey, that’s why we’re in this game. To protect his anonymity, Mr. H again wore scrubs and a surgical mask. Not as scary as it sounds.
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We sat with the fine people from Bottomline Technologies, Beacon Partners and Trustwave Healthcare Solutions, and ate more ravioli than should be legal. Can we recover in time for more indulgence at HIStalkapalooza tonight? You bet.

Got to give a standing ovation to Mark, our booth designer, for another stellar effort. I’ve focused the pics below on several new signs he constructed (forgive the crummy image quality. Camera on my tablet. Whaddya gonna do?) Our goals with these signs? The simple who (we are), what (we do/our products do), and why (you should talk to us – if you’re struggling with paper forms, for example, or need to get clinical output into EMRs). Ok, enough self-congratulation. Read the next post to find out more about some less than stellar messaging in certain other booths…Going to wander to find better Wi-Fi: the data speed is pre-dial up with all the iPads and “smart” phones sucking out the juice like a vampire in an over the top Vegas show…

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We hope this picture at the Las Vegas airport isn’t a sign of things to come…

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That aside, the hotel breakfast options are palatable, with the exception of the oatmeal. Why mix it with water? The recession isn’t THAT bad, surely. At least the made to order omelettes were delicious and the coffee hot.

There were some interesting discussions at the tables about ICD-10 and other new compliance mandates. Also heard this gem from a former nurse practitioner who’s now on the IT side: “When you’ve got patients who are bleeding it’s not good to be told by you (insert name of EMR system) that you just have view only privileges…”

There’s a lesson here: if technology isn’t usable by nurses it’s worthless.

In contrast, if you’d like to see how easy it is for nurses to generate electronic forms on demand, stop by the Access booth (#860) today.