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.

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