John Halamka to hand out health IT report card at HIMSS16

By Diana Manos
08:03 AM

By John Halamka's standards, healthcare IT is pretty average. In fact, he'd only give the sector a B-minus.

"At home you live in 2016 with $2.00 apps installed instantly on your mobile devices using federated security credentials from Facebook or Google," he said. "At the office, you turn on your 1990's architecture computer running a 1990's operating system to use your 1990's era EHR."

Over the last decade many changes have occurred politically, clinically and economically that have impacted healthcare information technology. So as the healthcare industry looks to "reset" again, Halamka plans to take a hard look at where the industry stands at HIMSS16 later this month.

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"We've come a long way, but still have much to do" said Halamka, who currently serves CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network, co-chair of the national HIT Standards Committee, a member of the Massachusetts State HIT Council, and a practicing emergency physician.

Halamka's presentation will look at the healthcare landscape pre-and post-meaningful use regulations and probe innovation's role in transforming the sector.

"It's an exciting time," he said. "Meaningful use as we know it today is changing. Innovation will be returned to providers, patients, and developers."

So, what will it take to bring the grade up to an A?

"When the EHR looks more like Facebook than VisiCalc," Halamka said, "we will have arrived at a level of usability and productivity which serves health IT professionals."

Halamka's keynote, titled "Are we there yet? Health Information technology's report card," is slated for Feb. 29 from 8:15 - 9:15 a.m. in the Sands Expo Convention Center Delfino 4004.