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Q&A with Willa Fields, HIMSS board chair

by Diana Bradley, Staff Writer | February 06, 2013
From the January/February 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

DMBN: Last year, H. Stephen Lieber, HIMSS CEO and president, noted that the move from ICD-9 to ICD-10 was one of the IT sector’s key challenges. Does this still ring true, or do you think there are different challenges the sector is contending with this year?
WF: Meeting the ICD-10 compliance deadline in 2014 remains a challenge for health care, and HIMSS maintains its position to start now to complete this transition. At HIMSS13, attendees can attend the ICD-10 Symposium, All Hands on Deck: Implementation, Optimization and Weathering the Perfect Storm, a pre-conference session on Sunday, March 3. We also have the ICD-10 PlayBook, an online resource updated on a regular basis with contributions from more than 30 organizations that are working to help health care providers transition to this new coding system.

DMBN: How is HIMSS reacting to Meaningful Use updates?
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WF: AT HIMSS13, we have a new exhibit area called the Meaningful Use Experience. It has multiple components. Also note, there is no exhibit fee to be part of this area, but participating exhibitors must meet certain criteria to be part of the Meaningful Use Experience [go to www.himssconference.org for more information]. Through this exhibit, providers can “experience” products in a comparative setting, thus comparing products side-by-side; hear from other providers who will be part of the vendors’ exhibit and explain their implementation process using the respective solutions presented by the vendor; and learn from other providers who have already installed and are using a specific health IT solution.

DMBN: The “cloud” was a prominent feature at least year’s conference. Is there any new technology you foresee dominating the health IT sector in that way?
WF: Mobile health isn’t a new technology, but I see mobile as a dominant force in health care now, based on how patients now use their own mobile devices to access their patient health information. mHIMSS, the mobile initiative for HIMSS, will have a strong presence at the conference.
HIMSS13 also includes HIT X.0: Beyond the Edge, a special program on March 5th and 6th within the conference that looks at innovation and emerging technologies in health care with topics, such as incorporating health and wellness applications in cars.
The Innovation Symposium: The Science and Practice of Innovation is another pre-conference symposium focused on innovation that covers science and practice of innovation and how to apply those practices to a health care organization.

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