Summer 2018 Newsletter - Recapping the (dis)Connected Patient

By Jenni Bendfeldt, Secretary, HIMSS NorCal

On May 3, the HIMSS NorCal Chapter hosted its annual ePatient Summit conference at the UCSF Mission Bay campus in San Francisco. Approximately 165 healthcare professionals gathered to share ideas and discuss the operational, technical, and regulatory challenges that plague healthcare and create the (dis)connected patient.

At the event, attendees learned how Shannon Wright, Executive Director of the ESRD Network of the South Atlantic, overcame interoperability and resource challenges to maintain patient care during Hurricanes Maria and Irma, how Dr. Sara Murray and Dr. Russ Cucina, VP, Chief Health Information Officer at UCSF Health System, improved the accuracy and efficiency of ordering medications through the UCSF EHR, and the latest regulatory and technical developments around FHIR from Chris Fierer, Director of Innovation at MedFusion.

Closing Panel Discussion. From left to right: Lucia Savage, Michael Blum, Santosh Mohan, Christina Caraballo

In the spirit of engagement, the event also featured two panel discussions. First, Justin Graham, MD, Chief Innovation Officer at Hearst Health, led a dialogue of patients who shared their personal struggles and perspectives on what industry leaders need to focus on to support patients across the continuum of care.  The day then concluded with a very spirited panel discussion led by Christina Caraballo, Director of Health Transformation at Get Real Health, and featured insight from Santosh Mohan, Head of the More Disruption Please Labs at Athenahealth, Dr. Michael Blum, Chief Digital Transformation Officer at UCSF, Dr. Justin Graham, and Lucia Savage, JD, Chief Privacy and Regulatory Officer at Omada Health and former CPO at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. Both discussions elicited targeted insights, yet allowed the audience to steer the conversation toward their most pressing questions.

The event was organized by a dedicated team of volunteers led by Jason Johnson, HIMSS NorCal Programs Chair. Feedback from attendees indicated that this group went above and beyond to ensure the event was a success, including filling attendee tables with toys and tools to keep the mind juices flowing throughout the day.

Jason Johnson, ePatient Summit Chair

The event also took advantage of the chapter’s live-polling capabilities and solicited real-time input from the audience on topics throughout the day. When asked, “What can you do to help us get a more connected healthcare world?”, the audience responded with ideas such as: “Force innovation into healthcare”, “Ask my patient what they want”, “Transparency”, “Reduce red tape”, and “Inform”.

Key Takeaways from the Audience

The event concluded with asking attendees to live text their key takeaways from the day, which automatically populate a word cloud. With the constant disruption and evolution that healthcare faces today, the annual ePatient Summit serves as a nice reminder of why many of us chose to enter the healthcare industry.