By Greg Alexander

Original blog entry found on:

It’s late and I have a huge headache (no, I don’t drink, so it’s not a HIStalkapalooza leftover,) so I hope my observations come through better than they feel through the throbbing behind my eyeballs. ”OK, that’s how my post for Monday night would have started if I had not somehow hit “Minimize” instead of “Send.” I awoke Tuesday morning wondering why my post was absent and found that the headache cloud had somehow short-circuited me more than I knew. So now it’s about 1:00 AM on Wednesday morning and I have just gotten back to snow-covered Ohio (I have a practice to run) and out of my HIMSS suit. I see Mr. H, Inga, and Doc Jayne have already posted for the night while I was traveling, so I’ve again missed out. (Sigh.) So, this’ll be a mishmash of Monday/Tuesday and since I’m not, as I’ve said, a real reporter, I hope you’ll forgive my mark-missing tardiness.

HIStalkapalooza was a ball! Mr. H and Medicomp built upon the great groundwork laid last year by Ivo Nelson and Encore with the friendly venue, excellent food, free drinks, and a rockin’ venue. The red carpet entry, the HIStalk limo rolling up and down, and the Batman-sign-esque HIStalk light on the wall across from BB King’s set a superb tone for J. Bush, Dave Lareau, John Glaser, and the Insomniacs to rock the house all the way out. (Seriously, the red carpet entry and the gorgeous and funny red carpet interviewer ladies would have made even Billy Bush proud.)

The HIMSS opening session left me sort of … well, I actually left it, so I suppose that tells you how much I felt I was gaining. The typical HIMSS HIT rock show multimedia wasn’t enough to make the retread of “look how much we’re doing for the world of healthcare” seem worth enduring … again. The 1,000-plus exhibitors made it appear that the economic downturn is over, at least in the HIMSS-associated halls. Exhibits stretched for what seems like a mile and from floor to ceiling.

In fact, with so many vendors flying banners, signs, and rotating “come-see-mes” from the exhibit hall rafters, they all sort of drown each other out and it makes it seem like less of a good idea. I mean, if it doesn’t help people see where you are from across the vast exhibit hall stretches, is it still a helpful way finder device? I got to enjoy many great conversations with tons of vendors and noticed one really impressive thing throughout: not once, not one single time did any one of them mention Meaningful Use during any of the conversations. It is possible my ears have started to become numb to it, but I’m pretty sure none brought it up. Not exactly sure what that implies, but I did enjoy the respite.

Loved the MED3000 demo of their incorporation of Medicomp’s Quippe tool. Providers – if you haven’t seen it, you should absolutely make the effort to check it out at either MED3000, Pulse, or especially the Medicomp booth where you might actually have a chance to walk away with a free version of it on a free iPad. I think it is perhaps the first, honest-to-goodness game changer (I see where Inga used this same term in her Tuesday night post) in the world of HIT to come down the pike since Larry Weed. Indeed, Dr. Jay Andres at MED3000 told me every single provider he’d shown it to had all made the exact same queries after seeing it: 1) How soon can I get it? and 2) Is it really as easy as it looks here?

RemitDATA has become a big HIMSS sponsor and has a pretty cool offering (at a GREAT price point) to help docs evaluate the financial side of their practices. Sort of athenaCollector-ish, but from multiple data capture sources.

Thomson Reuters is working on some great stuff for health education (and more) and also has some of the nicest people!

Soapware’s Randall Oates has a great new approach to the medical scribe concept: the Medical Coordinator. The MC sits in another room and listens in to a patient-provider visit, capturing the data and coordinating associated care management issues. No in-the-room intrusion and the provider can focus 100% of the patient. Now, that’s attractive … I am going to look deeper into this. one.athenahealth always has such a fun crew at their booth. Jonathan Bush was holding court (I got an short audience) in the central couch pit. It was just too much fun watching the procession of folks flowing in and out and the antics of the inimitable JB. I’ve more, but my head has gone from throb to cannon fire…more HIMSS views tomorrow.

Dr. Gregg Alexander, a grunt in the trenches pediatrician at Madison Pediatrics, is Chief Medical Officer for Health Nuts Media, directs the Pediatric Office of the Future exhibit for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and sits on the board of directors of the Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP).