A Look Back at the HIMSS18 Healthcare Technology Conference

Travis Cook

For the 40,000+ attendees who were at the HIMSS18 conference in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, the show provided countless opportunities to gather information, participate in training, make new contacts, and connect with customers, colleagues and partners. It’s often said that if you aren’t at HIMSS, then you aren’t in the healthcare market. For Connection, a National Solutions Provider, the most valuable aspect of this conference is the chance to connect with current and potential customers in planned meetings, spontaneous interactions in the booth, customer-appreciation events, and through our participation in focus groups.

Focus groups are one of my favorite HIMSS events because they offer a path to meaningful discussion with healthcare IT leaders and an opportunity to gain insights around particular technologies, solutions, and industry challenges. These aren’t sales presentations—the room setup is either a horseshoe or roundtable and the vendor-presentation part of the session is brief. The idea is to get to an interactive discussion going as quickly as possible to maximize the value for all participants. Attendees of these sessions often tell us they enjoy the peer interaction and knowledge sharing as much as we do.

This year, Connection conducted three focus groups over the course of the conference in partnership with CHIME and HIMSS:

  • Migrating to Windows 10: Navigating the end-of-support for Windows 7 (CHIME)
  • Smartphones in Healthcare: Risks and Rewards (CHIME)
  • Clinical Workflow Assessment (HIMSS)

The attendees in all of these focus groups were very engaged and had great insights to share. Even the discussion around known issues can be instructive, because it helps to reinforce that the challenges exist and can often raise new ideas. Here are just a few of the recurring themes I observed during these sessions:

  • Healthcare organizations crave solutions that offer simplicity. We need to do more to reduce the complexity of IT.
  • Healthcare IT leaders want to be able to think less about managing things like endpoint devices and OS upgrades so they can focus on more pressing strategic objectives.
  • There’s often a lack of technical skills, resources, time and/or budget necessary to perform technology upgrades.
  • There’s a strong desire to work with solution providers who understand healthcare IT and can offer tangible value.

Healthcare providers are charged with improving patient outcomes, reducing costs, meeting compliance requirements, and numerous other aims. The information we gather from sessions like these furthers our understanding of this complex market, and helps to inform our customer conversations, ensuring that our services and solutions are in alignment with the objectives of the healthcare organizations we serve.

At Connection, we always appreciate the opportunity for 2-way dialogue that increases our insight into the healthcare industry and allows us to educate others about solutions that solve healthcare business challenges. Please respond below with questions or comments—we’d love to hear your perspective.

For more from the HIMSS18 conference, check out our Twitter coverage of the year’s biggest healthcare event.

Travis Cook is Director of Industry Solutions Group at Connection, with over 20 years of technology industry experience, including positions in sales, sales management, and operations. Travis is passionate about the application of IT within the retail, manufacturing and finance vertical markets, and he has particular interest and experience in the healthcare industry.