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#HIMSS14 Day 3 – Lack of Innovation

Posted on February 26, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

On the bus ride home from the HIMSS14 party at Universal Studios, I sat next to a hospital CIO. She summed up the conference perfectly, “I’m tired, but also energized to go forward and do great things.” There you have the HIMSS conference in a beautiful nutshell.

It’s always a really great experience to come to HIMSS and interact with amazing people. As long as intelligent, smart, fun, wonderful people keep coming to HIMSS, it will be worth it for me to attend.

While I love attending, this HIMSS I was pretty disappointed with the real lack of major innovation that I found at the event. As is usually the case, I had a few people ask me what I found that was really interesting and innovative at the event. This year I didn’t really have an answer. Much of the progress we’re seeing with healthcare IT has been around building to government regulations along with incremental progress.

Of course, I will offer the disclaimer that I was only able to meet and talk with ~40-50 companies (of the ~1300 vendors) and talk to a few hundred people over the main 3 days. So, maybe there was a lot of innovation out there and I just missed it. Maybe it was in one of those hundreds of HIMSS press releases I got and I somehow missed it. However, I heard a similar sentiment from other attendees.

It’s also worth commenting that I’m in touch with many of these companies now on a regular basis. Maybe when I come to HIMSS I’m just seeing the next generation of something I’ve often seen and heard was already coming and so it doesn’t feel like much of an innovation to me. However, with a broader view it is an incredible innovation that I’m taking for granted.

Innovation or not, I can assure you that there is a cloud of regulation that’s hanging over every piece of healthcare IT. It’s overwhelming to vendors, providers, hospital organizations, and quite frankly everyone in the industry. Healthcare has always been a highly regulated world, but I think this is much more regulation than health IT has ever experienced before.

While I was sad to not see major innovations, I do think we’re making incremental progress towards a better healthcare IT future. Exchanging healthcare data is feeling closer than its ever been before. The changing payment model is likely going to drive this to reality. We’re starting down a really exciting path to turning healthcare data into information (to steal from an old IBM line). It’s still going to take a number of years for both of these items to become a standard, but it’s starting to march down that path.

I still have major concerns for the physician #EHRbacklash. Many EHR vendors are still naive to this coming backlash and many aren’t doing what they need to do to avoid it. I also think ICD-10 is going to be a major train wreck for a large portion of healthcare.

As is usually the case in life, there are good and bad things. Life is about learning to deal with both in the best way possible. I’m still as optimistic as ever about the potential of EHR and Health IT. We’re not where we should be when it comes to really getting the value out of the technology, but I am confident we will get there. One of my favorite quotes from the movie Remember the Titans sums up my views well:

EMR as Medical Devices, Facebook Organ Donor Initiative, and Innovation at Big Companies

Posted on May 6, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

There was some interesting news this week in healthcare IT and EMR. Plus, there are some ongoing conversations that are still happening.

The following 3 tweets highlight this. It’s one of the things I love about Twitter is that you can discuss lots of interesting happenings and news along with discussing lots of important topics. Here are just a few of them that were talked about this week.


I disagree. I think there are very few absolutes in this world, but I don’t EMR should be considered a medical device. There is more than enough government regulation going on with the EMR industry as is. I can’t imagine what benefit would be achieved with more government regulation.


This was big news and was a great illustration of the good that can be done by large companies like Facebook when it comes to healthcare. The real problem is that developers and entrepreneurs aren’t using the Facebook platform as much because they’ve killed it for the entrepreneur. Facebook is unlikely to do much on their own in the healthcare space other than these one off initiatives like this.


The question in the #HITsm chat was which healthcare IT companies were innovating. My first answer was are there any big companies that are innovating? This was my follow up tweet about how “innovation centers.” Jennifer Dennard followed up with a question about whether hospital innovation centers counted. I can see an exception in some cases. Particularly when the hospital is squarely focused on research. Then, research can produce some innovative results and many things in healthcare cost so much money that it takes a large company to pay for the research.