Beyond the Buzzwords: Emerging Health IT Trends for HIMSS16


In today’s rapidly evolving technology landscape, healthcare organizations are learning to constantly evolve to new challenges and opportunities for improving clinical and business outcomes. This is especially true given the rate of innovation in the medical technology sector.

This high rate of innovation, combined with a highly-connected patient population and ever-present regulatory requirements, is leading HIT executives to face high expectations. As we gear up for this year’s HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, our healthcare team is looking forward to delving into many of these themes with our partners and peers.

An important developing need is an evolution of HIT teams with renewed focus on delivering financial and clinical outcomes, and acceptance that historical success criteria (project completion on-time, on-budget) are no longer adequate on their own. This means exploring new ways to bring value to patients and end-users that go beyond traditional IT priorities and expectations.

Here are four topics we are expecting to see emerge at HIMSS16:

Data-driven insights. Engaging the right patients at the right time

2016 will be the year that “patient engagement” goes from being an aspirational industry buzzword to a measurable objective. Operational analytics around patient engagement will enable healthcare leaders to better understand what is and is not working in this space. The use of traditional EMR data, activity indicators, and data trending for a patient cohort will help prioritize the care team’s efforts both inside and outside the four walls of the hospital.

Prioritizing all of the “stuff” we ignored in favor of Meaningful Use

Many of our clients report that they are heavily engaged in evaluating their IT strategy as the EMR push is winding down. Some consistent themes include:

  • Addressing legacy communication systems to address PHI security and overall clinical efficiency
  • Redefining the role of Clinical Informatics to support performance improvement, EMR optimization (vs design), and engagement of the clinical team in IT operations strategy
  • Responding to the convergence of IT and Clinical Engineering by aligning strategies or organizational structures
  • Re-envisioning data storage to prepare for data collection outside of the EMR

The evolution of mobile

Another trend we expect to gain steam through HIMSS16 is the evolution of the mobile ecosystem, which will enable healthcare organizations to intake and process data more effectively. We’ll see organizations find completely novel ways to use mobile technology, with a shift towards the management of mobile devices and data as a healthcare enterprise rather than managing multiple applications disparately. For instance, mobile device strategies will include implementation of BYOD best practices that allow for scalable and secure application delivery.

Improved security posture

The issue of cybersecurity is sure to be top of mind for many IT leaders attending the conference. Rightly so, as cyberattacks and data breaches are becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect. Balancing the push for data access with the need to protect PHI will be a major topic of discussion at HIMSS for 2016 and subsequent years. HIT leaders must be aware of the privacy and security threats putting medical data at risk and be prepared to respond and limit the impact to the organization. Many of our clients have adopted a mentality of “it’s not a matter of if, but when” to ensure their IT organizations have breach response protocols in place. HIMSS’ Cybersecurity Command Center was assembled to help attendees strategize around this hot topic. In addition, Citrix, a thought leader in the secure delivery of apps and data in healthcare, offers important resources that support security and will also have a strong presence at this year’s show.

Burwood’s Healthcare Team is thrilled to participate in the important dialogue surrounding healthcare and IT at HIMSS this year and we look forward to seeing you there. Join us in our reserved meeting space or ask about our exclusive cocktail reception Wednesday, March 2nd.  Please reach out to me at with HIMSS meeting requests or other inquiries.



February 24, 2016