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HIMSS 2011: 4 Long Days; 5 Short Stories

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, March 1, 2011

One last guarantee from Kaufman: "2016 is when all the fun starts."

2.There's one in every crowd

One of my favorite moments in the show came when Kaufman was asking his audience of a few hundred people true or false questions.

"True or false?" he asked. "By 2016 most records will still be paper-based."

There was a brief silence and then one lone voice shouted out.
 
"True!" she said.

The rest of the room chuckled. It was mostly a nervous chuckle. Because that's one more guarantee: Everyone knows that one doctor who insists that things will never change.

3.Someone better pull over and ask for directions

The industry has come a long way in the past few years—getting closer to achieving meaningful use, hammering out interoperability issues, kicking around ideas about the privacy and security and other perennial bugbears. But there's still a long way to go and healthcare technology leaders have a lot of different ideas about just how to get there.

One CIO I talked to said she has absolutely no problem sharing her data with other organizations—even competitors. Come one, come all and let's get going for the patient's sake, she said. When I repeated this comment to others throughout the course of the show, reactions were mixed. Some CIOs agreed. Others blanched at the idea. A few said it's a lovely but impossible dream.

The reaction from vendors? Mostly they wondered if I would give them her email address.

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