How to Follow the HIMSS19 Health IT Conference Online

Richard Hostler
Richard Hostler

The first HIMSS conference took place on April, 1, 1962 in Baltimore, with 54 attendees. Fast forward 57 years, and the 2019 conference in Orlando will bring together more than 45,000 health information and technology professionals. While there’s no denying this is a huge number, there are many more Champions of Health (this year’s empowering theme) who won’t be at the conference but will play an active role in shaping the future of technology in healthcare.

If you’re one of these people, get ready. The 2019 HIMSS conference is coming to you!

Unite with Fellow Champions of Health

This year’s social media experience is going to be better than ever, with top-tier coverage coming from the HIMSS team and hundreds of social media pros, like me, who will be bringing you the action directly from the show floor. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of HIMSS if you’re not in Orlando.

1. Follow the Hashtags

Each year, HIMSS does a great job of developing relevant conversations around a host of hashtags. If you’re only going to follow one, #HIMSS19 will get you the most bang for your buck when it comes to overall coverage. If this feels too much like drinking from a firehose, you can pinpoint the coverage and conversations that matter most to you by following one of these topic-driven hashtags.

Hashtag Topic
#Aim2Innovate Health IT Innovation
#BrandHIT Health IT Branding & Marketing
#DrHIT Physicians’ Use of IT
#EmpowerHIT Interoperability + Health Information Exchange
#Engage4Health Patient Engagement
#GenY4HIT Millennials in Health IT
#GovHIT Health IT Policy
#HealthyMargins Healthcare Finance Strategy
#HITcloud Cloud Computing
#HITsecurity Health IT Security
#HITventure Health IT Startups & New Ventures
#HITworks Health IT Value
#HX360 HX360
#IHeartHIT Inspiring Health IT Stories
#Nurses4HIT Nurses’ Use of IT
#PopHealthIT Population Health
#PrecisionHIT Precision Medicine
#PutData2Work Big Data & Healthcare Analytics
#RethinkRCM Revenue Cycle Management
#WomenInHIT Women in Health IT
#smartHIT Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning


2. Connect with HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors

If you’d prefer more of a guided tour than a see-everything approach, this year’s line-up of official HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors is the way to go. Here’s what Michael Gaspar of HIMSS has to say:

“The HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors are a community of health innovators who embrace social media as a driver of change in the health IT industry. They work in exam rooms, courtrooms, boardrooms, studios and offices and have a wealth of experience as leaders across the healthcare ecosystem. As members of the HIMSS Social Media Ambassador program, they share this experience and expertise in carefully coordinated social media campaigns and thoughtful blog posts with a common, singular purpose—to inform and inspire change with great content and savvy social media.”

Meet this year’s ambassadors. To make things easier, I’ve added them all to this Twitter list you can follow with just one click.

Andy De @HITstrategy
Brian Eastwood @Brian_Eastwood
Brian Mack @BFMack
Chuck Webster, MD, MSIE, MSIS @wareFLO
Colin Hung @Colin_Hung
Danielle Siarri @innonurse
David Harlow @healthblawg
Evan Kirstel @evankirstel
Geeta Nayyar @gnayyar
Janae Sharp @coherencemed
Jane Sarasohn-Kahn @healthythinker
Linda Stotsky @EMRAnswers
Lygeia Ricciardi @Lygeia
Martin Jones @Martinjonesaz
Matt Fisher @matt_r_fisher
Max Stroud @mmaxwellstroud
Nick van Terheyden, MD @drnic1
Rasu Shrestha, MD, MBA @RasuShrestha
Sean Erreger @StuckonSW
Tamara StClaire @drstclaire


3. Engage

The previous tips helped connect you with people and conversations that matter to you, but that’s only half of the equation. To get the most out of HIMSS19, it’s important to engage with the content that’s coming your way. This can be as simple as liking or commenting on the posts you see. Comments can lead to discussion, help you meet new people, and are the perfect opportunity to share your thoughts and insights.

If you’d like to take a more active approach, create your own posts and include relevant event hashtags. Just because you’re not at the conference doesn’t mean you can’t be a key part of the conversations taking place at the event.

If structure and guided conversation are more your speed, join a Twitter chat. These live events are open to everyone and typically last an hour or less. If you’re following the official event hashtags, you’ll see HIMSS participants promoting twitter chats on a variety of topics. Twitter chats are based around a chat-specific hashtag, and most consist of a host driving the conversation by asking questions or supplying discussion topics. You can follow along and add as much or as little as you’d like to the conversation.

Get Started Today

Another great thing about the wealth of social media coverage surrounding HIMSS19 is that you don’t have to wait until the conference starts on February 11th to join the conversation. It’s already started. So follow the event hashtags, follow the HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors, and consider following Connection as well. We’ll be sharing live coverage from the show floor, along with helpful insights from our own healthcare technology experts. You’ll find us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

We hope you join us for the best HIMSS conference yet!

Richard Hostler

Richard Hostler leads the social media team at Connection. He is also a multi-time Ironman triathlete and marathoner living in southern New Hampshire.