By now you’ve probably settled back into your daily routine after a week of endless walking and networking with the industry’s leaders in Health IT. This is the time to absorb all of the information and ideas you explored days earlier, unsubscribe from all the marketing emails, and process what’s next on your agenda and how your new learnings can play a part.
HIMSS19: THE NUMBERS ARE IN!
As in years past, the HIMSS19 turnout was excellent. There were over 42,000 of the industry’s best and brightest in attendance. Of those registered, 39% were providers, 19% were consultants, and as expected, there was a sizable amount of IT Professionals (27%). However, surprisingly, this year also included a large percentage of C-Suite executives. Almost one-third of the participants, in addition to 13% in senior management roles, were from the tip-top of organizations. One has to wonder, why is it that senior executives came out in such high numbers this year as opposed to other years? These individuals certainly had a big part in adding to the quality of the event this year, bringing innovative ideas to discuss throughout the week, and challenging industry norms, forcing us to look ahead past 2019 and into 2020 and beyond.
With a crowd this large, sessions going on simultaneously, and just the traditional hubbub of it all, it’s easy to miss a lot of the key event outcomes. At Vyne Medical®, we were working the floor, sitting in on key sessions, and keeping our ear to the ground. Based on our week, here’s some key takeaways we uncovered:
Last week, Vyne Medical took on the challenge facing basically all healthcare organizations with a big announcement. We’ve decided to step up to the plate that many in the industry have passed off as a “never going to change”. Vyne Medical is committed to eliminating faxing in healthcare.
“Healthcare desperately needs to replace outdated communication methods with tools that ensure the secure and efficient exchange of patient information,” said Lindy Benton, CEO and President of Vyne. “At Vyne, we are focusing our technology and expertise around digital solutions that give health systems the ability to eliminate fax without disrupting the individual workflow of referring physician practices.”
To learn more about Vyne Medical’s plan to eliminate fax machines, click here.
Vyne Medical’s announcement was a big topic of conversation throughout the event along with patient experience and call recording. Many booth visitors were enthusiastic about advancing their technology to improve workflow efficiency and evaluate the quality of staff interactions with patients.
In addition to the valuable networking, the content of presentations was exceptional. Some of the popular topics included interoperability, integration, and patient experience. A majority of presentations revealed technology as a driving force supporting top initiatives. One of the best elements of HIMSS is sharing experiences and knowledge to help others solve issues in their health system.
For example, Moffitt Cancer Center saw an opportunity to increase revenue and improve patient experience through its contact centers. Lynne Hildreth, Director of Patient Access, shared insights on how Moffitt Cancer Center turned its consumer contact center into an essential driver of hospital revenue. In her session, “Evolution of the Healthcare Consumer Contact Center”, Lynne described how investing in communication tools provided a significant ROI ,improved branding and increased revenue by helping Moffitt enforce standards in their revenue cycle contact centers.
In another session, Michelle Fox, Director of Revenue Operations Patient Access at Health First, discussed Integrating Financial Data for a Better Consumer Experience. Michelle shared Health First’s journey to put patients first where they discovered a gap in their efforts to standardize patient financial communications. To close the gap, Health First created a plan to hardwire patient financial conversations, teaching staff how to talk to patients about cost, while implementing technology which gave them access to patient benefit information and allowed them to provide upfront estimates to every patient. This resulted in improved patient experience and increased upfront collections.
Patient experience is sometimes assumed to be limited to clinical departments within the hospital. Often it is overlooked that the patient’s journey begins before they see a nurse or doctor and ends after receiving care. From the moment a patient schedules an appointment through the payment process after services have been performed, it is critical that the tone of their first and final engagements be additionally exceptional for overall satisfaction from the patient. Leah Dixon of CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances emphasized this during her session at HIMSS19, stressing the importance of collaboration between departments, specifically revenue cycle and clinical teams. Tools such as call recording and face-to-face have held these teams accountable for delivering quality care throughout the entire patient journey.
Often, these sessions and networking opportunities reveal errors in the healthcare system where providers can improve. Leading up to HIMSS, certain organizations conduct surveys to reveal at the event as a strategy for influencing change or the need for solutions. An article released by Healthcare Finance News shared a national study performed by VisitPay that was released at HIMSS19 showing that providers aren’t talking to patients about costs and it’s affecting patient satisfaction. The survey highlights the importance of transparency between hospital and patients which interestingly is exactly what Michelle Fox emphasized in her presentation. Call recording is an excellent approach to ensuring staff are communicating costs with each patient to set the tone and expectations of their experience.
One of the greatest features of HIMSS19 was HIMSSTV which is a digital experience of the event. Even those not in attendance can virtually participate in the event and follow along with some of the brightest ideas and initiatives for this upcoming year. A popular theme this year was interoperability and working together (even with competitors) to advance the healthcare industry in favor of a better patient experience.
Cynthia Green-Edwards, Chief Compliance Officer at State of Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, hits the nail on the head during her interview with the HIMSS team saying, “We have been able to change the culture from ‘fear of sharing for sake of competition’ to ‘you can’t be competitive unless you are sharing and working together.” This kind of mindset is exactly what the industry needs to evolve towards better health care.
Lindy Benton, Vyne President and CEO, echoed this in her statement, “Vyne Medical is committed to answering the call, and we’re confident that others will join us,” stated Benton. “‘Champions of health unite’ is the theme at HIMSS this week; let’s make it a reality.”