It’s been a few years since I attended my last HIMSS Conference and boy, what a difference a few years makes. You might be wondering, “Just how different could it be?” Well, here’s a few numbers that prove my point:
Let’s take a closer look at what each of these numbers represents…
- 43,129: This year, there were over 43k HIT executives, health information management professionals and vendors attending HIMSS. That’s over 5,000 more attendees than in Orlando last year and nearly double the number of attendees in Dallas just 10 short years ago. HIMSS was expecting a huge crowd and predicted that attendance at HIMSS15 would be the equivalent to the capacity at Wrigley Field during a Cubs game — they were spot on.
- 45,220: With wearable technology revolutionizing the healthcare industry, it’s no surprise that HIMSS encouraged attendees to lace up their ‘tennies’ and take as many steps as possible in their Wellness Challenge. And, while I was nowhere near the leader board, I did manage to log in a respectable 45k steps while at the conference.
- 1,155: The vendor community was also out in full force. This year, there were over 1,100 vendors throughout the 3M square feet of exhibit hall space at McCormick Place. Forget giving away pens or popcorn – next year I’m suggesting to our events team that we give away free pedicab rides!
- 1: According to my (unofficial) count, George W. Bush correctly pronounced ‘Interoperability’ only once during his keynote speech, but he did share very humorous stories of his years in the Oval Office and his vision for bringing computerized health records to Americans. He also recounted some of his toughest hours as President just after 9/11, and provided a heartwarming glimpse into his relationship with his father and family.
Like other years, there was no shortage of recurring themes throughout the conference. With hundreds of educational sessions on hot topics in healthcare ranging from Meaningful Use Stage 3, to Population Health, Patient Identity Management, Information & Data Governance, HIPAA, Patient Engagement, mHealth, health information management and HIEs, HIMSS15 offered something for just about everyone. Next year, HIMSS16 heads off to Las Vegas – let’s just hope what happens in Vegas, doesn’t stay there!