Supply Chain Lives (at least a little) at HIMSS | GHX

Karen Conway

Executive Director, Industry Relations
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Supply Chain Lives (at least a little) at HIMSS

On the plane to Orlando for the 2011 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition, I spent some time reviewing the conference program in detail and finalizing my schedule for the week. That can be a daunting task for most, with so many booths to visit, sessions to attend and colleagues to meet – even over the course of four days. Unfortunately, it’s much easier for those of us focused primarily on the supply chain, which HIMSS has paid very little attention to in the past decade, despite the fact that it continues to be the second largest and the fastest growing expense for most hospitals. This year, HIMSS even cancelled the supply chain pre-conference symposium that AHRMM and the HIMSS Supply Chain Special Interest Group (SIG) helped organize the past four years, selling out twice. But if you are interested in the supply chain – and in particular the role it can play in advancing the objectives of healthcare reform – take heart. There are several sessions on the agenda worthy of note.

The first is a panel discussion focused on the linkage between meaningful use and the supply chain, something even our nation’s first healthcare IT czar, David Brailer, MD, missed, noting at a prior HIMSS conference that he did not foresee federal funding for supply chain IT because, as he put it, the dollars would be for technology that impacts patient safety. Thankfully, opinions have changed – if not in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT - then at least within many healthcare organizations that recognize the potential of the supply chain to not only lower healthcare costs, but also to provide visibility to key data on the impact of supplies on patient outcomes and revenue.

Join the HIMSS Supply Chain Special Interest Group on Tuesday, February 22 from 1 – 2:30 pm ET in Room 332 at the Orange County Convention Center, for a discussion featuring:

These three industry experts will explore the role of the supply chain and technology in establishing meaningful use and helping healthcare organizations succeed in an environment that requires greater coordination of care and data sharing in order to deliver better quality outcomes at a lower cost. By attending you will learn:

  • The likely impact of current and future regulatory initiatives on your organization
  • How next generation integration technologies can overcome the challenges posed by multiple communications standards and disparate systems
  • What changes you need to make in how you manage, store and share your data
  • How a holistic approach to meaningful use can help lower costs while improving quality across the continuum of care
  • The role of standards in achieving meaningful use

There are two other supply chain-related programs of note during HIMSS:

Tuesday, February 22: Premier Vice President Randy Thomas will address the Reforming Role of HIT and Value-Based Purchasing

Wednesday, February 23: Chuck Nemer, an instructor/consultant in Lean Supply Chain with the Association for Operations Management, will address the impact of supply chain management on reducing healthcare costs.

I plan to attend all three sessions, and I look forward to seeing you there.