The New Year is typically a time to embrace change; to acknowledge the year that was and look forward to the one to come. In the world of healthcare IT, however, January and February also mean it’s time to start gearing up for the HIMSS annual conference.

The brand new tag line for HIMSS13 accurately reflects the current state of affairs in healthcare IT, and the attitude of those who work in the industry: “Heath IT: Right time. Right place. It’s on.”

Founded in 1961, HIMSS is a not-for-profit organization on a mission to lead healthcare transformation through the effective use of health information technology (IT). Over the past half-century, the HIMSS event has evolved to become one of the largest conferences, encompassing education and vendor exhibitions, in the healthcare IT industry.

This time around, New Orleans will host HIMSS13, which will be held March 3-7 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Based upon the turnout at recent shows, about 1,000 vendors and 30,000 attendees will converge upon The Crescent City.

This year, President Bill Clinton, founder of The William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States of America, headlines an impressive keynote speaker lineup. Also slated: Warner Thomas, president and chief executive officer, Ochsner Health System; Eric J. Topol, M.D., West Endowed Chair of Innovative Medicine, Scripps Health and professor of genomics, The Scripps Research Institute, cardiologist; Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; James Carville, political consultant; and Karl Rove, Fox News contributor, Wall Street Journal columnist, former deputy chief of staff and senior advisor to President Bush.

New for HIMSS13 are the Meaningful Use Experience, a special demonstration area on the exhibit floor that puts you in the middle of proven, certified EHR solutions; Clinical & Business Intelligence Symposium: A Practical Guide, in which attendees will receive practical knowledge on the planning, data review, analysis and reporting required to launch and manage a clinical and business analytics initiative; Global Health Forum, a discussion on what has become a strategic priority for the U.S. government; Views from the Top, popular, high-level education sessions feature nationally recognized, highly experienced leaders discussing key healthcare and IT topics; and The Patient Experience through HIT Forum, a one-day forum featuring three sessions dedicated to the value of enhancing the patient experience.

I'd like to invite you all to stop by our HMT booth (#1352) and participate in TechTrek for a chance to win an iPad mini. Go to our website and sign up for our weekly e-newsletter for continuing HIMSS coverage.

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