If you’re interested in finding about everything that happened at the HIMSS 2009 Conference and Expo, don’t read on, because I’m just going to focus on four or five companies that captured my imagination there. There were hundreds and hundreds of vendors attempting to do business in the massive McCormick Convention Center in Chicago, and most of the participants were clearly interested in attracting some bailout money. My host for the week-end was Apptis, and a special thanks must go out to them for allowing me to grace their exhibit as an observer.
The companies that grabbed my attention were rather unique; neither the largest, nor the most aggressive. Not the end all and be all of IT, but niche players that had their acts together. Dawn Ainger, the President and COO of Genova Technologies was the first to garner my complete attention. She and her people had come up with a software platform that is uniquely positioned to change the entire concept of Continuing Medical Education. Just log onto their product for somewhere around $100 a month, and voila, everytime you research a patient’s ailment online you get CME credits backed by a major university. Next, she plans to expand to nursing education as well. My oh my, will that change plenty of lives? Our typical employed physician used to get an automatic $4,000 a year stipend for CME in our little rural hospital and never got credit for the work they were already doing. Nice job, Dawn.
Not that all of the products that captured my attention were produced by companies run by women, but a-claim was, and their President and CEO Mary Dees Griffith had come up with a similarly low cost solution to a major, ongoing problem. Get your a-claim software, and prequalify your patients on line, have them sign the authorization prior to being seen, and then ask them for their check or credit card for the co-pay that you now know will be approved. Nice job, Mary. Every physician’s office in the world should spend $100 or so a month for that one, because it could virtually eliminate their accounts receivables.
As I was walking by Lifelinks, I noticed a butterfly logo and was curious as to what they did. Once again, their basic, get-you-in-the-door fee was about $100 a month, and that will get you access to live human beings on your lap top who can perform sign language interactively with your patients, or, if need be, Lifelinks will get you live and online someone who speaks whatever language your patient needs. Okay, so that’s probably not a big problem in a small town in Western Pennsylvania, but I’m sure it’s perfect for those offices in highly diverse regions of our country. More importantly, their literature pointed out a case in New Jersey where a physician had been sued and the patient won $400,000 because the doc told her he couldn’t afford a translator. Good job, guys. Wesley Waite, the COO, actually hit the keyboard, and a woman came up on the screen to interact with me personally in sign language. Amazing.
Gemalto, a Dutch based company really grabbed my attention in the world of cyber security on a small, simple scale. Well, okay, not so small I guess. They have over 100 million of their devices already in use in the EU, but not too many in the US yet. The Gemalto team took us happily through the safety and security they can build into their smart cards to keep you from being hit with a major civil and/or criminal penalty for compromised information.
The wildest display tucked in the back corner of one of the exhibit halls was a lime green and pink booth with the word, voalté across the top of their exhibit. A really nice guy named Oscar in pink scrubs and a black voalté teeshirt was my tour guide through I-phone heaven for nurses, techs, and other hospital professionals. What they have created with this system can only be described as remarkable. It shimmies, it shakes, it crawls on its belly like a reptile. Seriously, paging, messaging, dosing, you name it can all be communicated to your staff via the Apple iphone. No more overhead pages, no more, “I didn’t get that message,” no more I’m busy because if you are, that page keeps being passed along until someone isn’t busy. This Sarasota company is fresh, fun, exciting, and competent.
So that’s my little trip down HIMSS lane. Oh yeah and I got to have lunch with the brilliant Tony Chen of both HospitalImpact.org and SavvyDaddy.com fame. I encouraged Tony to follow his dreams, and he told me today in an E-mail that he is going to do just that. You go, Tony. And Neil Versel, the very talented free lance writer, journalist, and U2 fan nearly knocked me over at the entrance. I met Neil a few years back at a Web 2.0 conference in Chicago, and there were at least two or three other people there I had worked with over my 22 years in Healthcare Management. The biggest outcome?
My feet are still killing me.