Hot Topics for HIMSS18: Embracing Change to Transform Health IT

Embracing change to transform health IT

In today’s rapidly expanding technology landscape, health systems must constantly evolve to meet challenges and opportunities for improving clinical and business outcomes. When it comes to IT transformation, health IT teams must be able to leverage disruptive innovation and a metrics-driven mindset in order to optimize IT spend and resource allocation – while competing for patients. The pressure is mounting as healthcare remains the most targeted and vulnerable industry when it comes to data breaches, with 328 recorded leaks (nearly 60% of all leaks in 2017) according to research from Citrix ShareFile.

From implementing medical device cybersecurity programs, to developing omnichannel contact center strategies and end-user technology adoption initiatives, Burwood Group helps health systems bridge the gap between technologists and clinicians. As we prepare for the 2018 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, our healthcare team is looking forward to delving into these themes with our partners and peers. Take a look:

Tim Needham, MBA, Executive Director, Healthcare Solutions

Based on our client engagements, we are seeing healthcare IT priorities and funding fall into two buckets: Mandatory, which is made up of EMR optimization, security, data management and M&A integration, and Discretionary, which is made up of hundreds of other options for innovation. My expectation of HIMSS is that we’ll see vendors clamoring to claim “streamlined operations” and “improved outcomes” with their software, all of which need more staff to implement and maintain, and whose outcomes are highly dependent on other systems – and therefore, highly suspect. I do expect to see increased content and vendor activity in the patient engagement segment, with a heavy focus on specific, targeted use cases. When approaching these vendors, it will be a challenge for health system IT executives to determine those that are scalable across the enterprise versus those looking for a quick exit.

Corey M. Gaarde, FHIMSS, Director, Healthcare Design and Transformation  

The Consumer-Driven healthcare model is approaching faster than the Falcon Heavy. With recent announcements from the likes of Amazon/Berkshire Hathaway/JP Morgan Chase, CVS, and Aetna – and now potentially Walgreens and AmerisourceBergen – traditional provider-based care will evolve and technology will be at the forefront. All facets of the IoT Healthcare model will be leveraged and a much stronger “care anywhere” model will be the norm. The question is, how will technology enable and support the demand? 

Melissa Serna, MSN, RN-BC, Director, Clinical Informatics

I anticipate that meeting the needs of today’s digital consumer will be a strong focus among HIMSS’ themes this year –from patient engagement and patient experience, to telehealth strategies and predictive modeling for better insight to trending patient conditions. Emerging solutions are aiming to address chronic care and population health, as well as data management and analysis strategies that include patient-generated data will also likely be hot topics. It’s very exciting to see how technology can support health systems as they look to foster a positive patient experience!

Mike Wisz, Director, Data and Analytics

Convenience and patient access to care are hot topics today. Market forces are conspiring to force health systems to figure out how to compete against new players, including retailer and insurer combinations. At HIMSS, we'll see a number of vendors offering visions around becoming the patient relationship management platform of choice. For many healthcare organizations, the challenge is how to realize the lofty visions of consumer-centric experience by building out from current investment areas of focus, such as patient portals, contact centers, and consumer mobile applications.

I expect robust discussion on the use of analytics to make clinicians more proactive. Inflection points in technology such as rapid ingestion of massive data sets, real-time processing power, and machine learning offer the promise of helping clinicians at the bedside or in the virtual care center gain quicker insight into changes in the patient's condition. This year, we'll see the evolution of predictive analytics approaches from data science experiments to packaged combinations of clinical, business, and data science perspectives. It will be more apparent that significant cultural and organizational changes are required to adopt these predictive insights into practice.

Julie Ores, Manager – Healthcare

Incorporating the patient and care team user perspective in healthcare technology decisions is as crucial as ever. Thoughtful patient contact technology design, alignment with a consumer approach, and integrations that historically aren’t included in a patient’s story will continue to emerge and expand. 

A proactive and preventative approach will take on new levels using artificial intelligence and machine learning models, e.g. a healthcare organization in a competitive environment predicts whether a patient will choose their facility using behavioral and economic factors; a tool used to prevent patient deterioration within the acute setting helps lower costs and improve outcomes. We may see continued collaboration among closely aligned healthcare organizations as well as more technology decisions based on overlapping platforms, data trends, and evaluation of tools to complement the care team and patients with optimal user experience.

Burwood's Healthcare Practice is thrilled to participate in the important dialogue surrounding health IT at HIMSS18 and we look forward to seeing you there. Join us in our reserved meeting space #MP64 and ask about our exclusive cocktail reception Tuesday, March 6 at Canonita in the Venetian Canal. Please reach out to me at with meeting requests or other inquiries.


February 26, 2018