Pow! Cool first day at HIMSS14!

By Diana Manos
10:40 PM
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The Orlando Conference Center hummed today with anticipation as the HIMSS14 pre-conference die-hards enjoyed the halls to themselves. Tomorrow, the hallways will be like walking on a sidewalk in New York City.

I glanced into the expo center. It was kind of a mess. A-buzz with hammering and shouts, huge flats of booth materials being rolled around. Tomorrow the expo floor will open at noon, and then the show will really begin! I can't wait to see all the new inventions, designs and exciting developments that have come about since last year. 

I attended some great sessions today and you can read the stories here online tomorrow. It was very interesting sitting in on the pre-conference sessions. I was engrossed.

The session on patient safety reminded me of how far we've come from paper records, but there are still limitations; so very many limitations to keeping EHR use error-free.

Physician speakers said more than once, "When I write things down, that's exactly what I mean to say." The difficulty comes with EHRs when drop-downs and various options don't allow a doctor to select "just what he/she means to say." 

The patient engagement session was fascinating. Patients really are going to be a major determinant in how ACOs will either rise or fall. Health systems and physicians will be paid to keep their patients well. And staying well, afterall, is a patient's job.

I'm always inclined to think of ways I can try to become more of a partner with my doctor in managing my health and some chronic conditions. It's kind of a funny, awkward dance. All my life, I've always thought of my doctors as "up high" on a pedestal; the old adage, “Doctor knows best.” (Or am I thinking of Father knows best?) (Either way...)

It's strange to try and be a team player with my doctor, but it's pretty clear my health is very dependent on my own behavior and attention. I have high blood pressure. My doctor can only do so much. But there is a long list of things I can do every day to make my condition better.

Even though the speakers were fabulous and interesting and the sessions offered, frankly, more than I could even take in, the most interesting things I heard today were from listening to the nearby conversations of attendees.  

Tomorrow the show floor opens! More news to come! Thanks to all those who have been following my tweets and re-tweeting. Likewise, I’ve enjoyed reading your tweets!