Held March 3-7 at New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, HIMSS13 broke all previous attendance records, with 34,696 total attendees, 13,985 professional attendees and 1,158 exhibiting companies.

At almost a million square feet, the sheer size of the convention center was daunting to the mind and blister inducing to the feet.

Reps from Health Management Technology, including yours truly, met with several dozen companies over the four-day event, traversing many miles in the process.

HIMSS13 featured an impressive array of keynote speakers, education sessions, state-of-the-art technology demonstrations, vendors touting their wares on the massive exhibition floor and much more.

Throughout the show, HIMSS13 educational content featured top leaders, who shared their insights and lessons learned on today’s most critical topics. With more than 300 education sessions to choose from, healthcare professionals at all levels were able to customize their own agenda to meet their individual needs.

This year, President Bill Clinton, founder of The William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States of America, headlined an impressive keynote speaker lineup.

New for HIMSS13 were the Meaningful Use Experience, a special demonstration area on the exhibit floor that put you in the middle of proven, certified EHR solutions; Clinical & Business Intelligence Symposium: A Practical Guide, in which attendees received 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 featuring 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.

Here are a few other things that captured our attention:

President Bill Clinton’s keynote speech

Suffice it to say Clinton knocked it out of the park. In his usual relaxed style and conversational tone, the former president successfully reduced several complex subjects to their most basic parts, underscoring the importance of healthcare IT to the future of healthcare reform in this country.

For more on Clinton’s speech, read my editorial in this issue.

The Intelligent Hospital Pavilion

According to HIMSS President and CEO H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, the Intelligent Hospital Pavilion was “one of the most exciting things on the exhibit floor. Educational and interactive by design, the pavilion showcased integrated technologies that are delivering real-time patient data to the point of care, enabling clinicians to realize higher levels of patient safety and workflow efficiencies.”

New to the pavilion this year was a dynamic, intelligent virtual hospital that simulated unique-use cases within the operating room, intensive-care unit, emergency department, ambulance and pharmacy.

HIMSS Media Brunch

The most surprising revelation to come out of the always informative HIMSS Media Brunch was from the HIMSS Leadership Survey, which revealed that ICD-10 has risen to the top of the pack for funding. No surprise there; but what appears counter-intuitive to us is that, because of the increased spending on ICD-10, investment in analytics is suffering.

After the breakfast, we were treated to a tour of the always-interesting Interoperability Showcase spotlighting middleware that helps disparate systems communicate with one another. The showcase is always a HIMSS favorite. HMT

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