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10 Observations at HIMSS15

By Heather Hogstrom

1. Number of times I heard a speaker say they’d been working in HIM/HIT “since before Al Gore invented the Internet”: Three.

2. Forty-six percent of Americans will have a mental health disorder over the course of their lifetime, reported Lucia Savage, JD, chief privacy officer for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, demonstrating the necessity of data segmentation for privacy. She added that an estimated 18 states have rules regarding mental health data that are more privacy protective than HIPAA.

3. EHR implementation is like a wedding and EHR adoption is the marriage, according to Heather Haugen, PhD, managing director of The Breakaway Group, who pointed out that EHRs require long-term commitment and the focus must be on more than just the go-live event, including continually providing training after upgrades or for new employees that missed the “wedding” but need a similar experience.

4. One turkey sandwich purchased at the conference center cost more than a meal at a local pizza shop comprising a slice of pepperoni pan pizza, onion rings, and soda.

5. EHRs are a rapidly growing area for registered dietitians, with 75% of the members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics already using an EHR; however, their choices are limited since large EHRs don’t currently have nutrition plug-ins.

6. Trying to find specific sessions or exhibitors in Chicago’s McCormick Place was so challenging that I haven’t experienced a journey as long and convoluted since Frodo took the One Ring to Mount Doom.

7. Intended use affects whether a mobile health app needs to be regulated, according to Sharon R. Klein, a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP, who gave the example of a cell phone flashlight that could be used for medical purposes.

8. Among the cutting-edge tech of the future, the exhibit hall featured some wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff, including both the Doctor’s TARDIS and Doc Brown’s DeLorean.

9. Targets of an Office of Inspector General security audit investigation of EHR incentive program participants include the investigation recipient (eg, meaningful use participants, eligible professionals and hospitals), business associates (eg, EHR vendors), and subcontractors (eg, cloud services), according to attorneys David G. Schoolcraft and Elana R. Zana.

10. The meaningful use documentation you need from a previous employer when onboarding physicians—such as a summary of payments received by the organization and contact information in the event of an audit—is the same information a next employer will need from you in the departing process.

— Heather Hogstrom is an editorial assistant at For The Record.