Ready, Set, Go...Educational Sessions Abound

Before the official start of HIMSS on Monday, Feb. 13th, there are numerous educational offerings for conference attendees. On Sunday, Feb. 12th, you can participate in one of several symposiums: physicians, nursing informatics, pharmacy informatics, pay-for-performance, clinical engineering and IT leadership, and RHIOs. For those interested in the nursing informatics symposium, new this year is a pre-symposium introduction to the field for nurses who are new to informatics. That will be held on Sat., Feb. 11 from 2-5 pm.

Other pre-conference workshops cover in-depth one topic in each of the main session categories, such as IT management, leadership communication, and emerging technologies. Consider the "Information Security Workshop" or "Healthcare IT: What You Need to Know for a Successful Future." Some are half day sessions while others go all day. They begin at 8am. To get more information or search by keyword, visit

Monday, Feb. 13th

HIMSS kicks off with a Keynote Address from Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services Michael Leavitt at 8am. As head of the largest civilian department in the federal government, Leavitt will discuss current health IT initiatives.

At 10am, you have your choice of 16 different sessions, such as "The Power of One: One Patient, One Record, Worldwide," and "Connecting for Health's Common Framework Model and IHE's PIX/PDQ." If you're interested in EHR implementation, consider "The Electronic Health Record: Documenting ROI," during which Alberto Kywi, CEO of Cottage Health System will discuss steps for integrating CPOE, EHR, and PACS across healthcare facilities.

At 11:15am, check out the panel discussion in which four CIOs share tips for "Creating Long-Term, Successful Technology Partnerships." Another session at 11:15 covers technology for your most mobile physicians. Neil A. Martin, professor and chief of neurosurgery at the UCLA Medical Center, will present "At Your Fingertips 24/7: Advanced Mobile Solutions for Critical Care."

At 12:30, Steven Berger, president of Healthcare Insights, LLC, will help you improve your IT investment strategy during "Better Budgeting + Better Reporting + Better Monitoring = Increased ROI."

Tuesday, Feb. 14th

At 8:30am, one of the "Views from the Top" sessions presents a panel about "Katrina/Rita - The IT Solution," during which industry leaders affected by the hurricanes will share their experiences and lessons learned. You also can attend the CCHIT Town Hall Meeting at 9:45am to learn how the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology selected certification criteria for electronic health records products.

You might be interested in "Building Bridges for IT Success in a Community Hospital" or "U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services: ONCHIT Request for Proposal Winners" at 1pm. Gary Wendt, MD, MBA, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will discuss "PACS - More Than Just One Use!" at 2pm.

Wednesday, Feb. 15th

A panel looking at "CT and the Growth in Imaging Volume: Emerging Solutions" convenes at 8:30am. Also at 8:30am, two leaders from the Military Health System will discuss how they converted a global legacy system into a real-time data warehouse during "Drowning in a Sea of Data, Thirsting for Knowledge." Learn about the issues surrounding retention of top healthcare IT talent during "Tomorrow's Crisis: The IT Talent Search" at 9:45am.

Former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Tom Ridge will present a Keynote Address at 1pm about current internal and external threats facing the United States.

Thursday, Feb. 16th

Thursday kicks off at 8am with a Keynote Address from Craig R. Barrett, chairman of the board of technology giant Intel Corp. Get tips on how to achieve workflow improvement from Paul W. Durance, director of IT for Huron Systems Inc. in his session titled, "Everybody's Interfacing: Use What You Are Hearing for Workflow Improvement."

Comedian Dana Carvey closes out this year's convention. Best known for the numerous characters he created during his years on "Saturday Night Live," Carvey also has gone through botched double cardiac bypass surgery.

Onsite e-Sessions

There's so much to see and do during the convention that another way to gather valuable information at HIMSS is through these 20-minute, computer-based learning programs. View PowerPoint presentations with synchronized audio in the e-Session viewing areas at your convenience during normal exhibit hours. The 20 different sessions cover a range of topics, from "Text Mining Infrastructure Requirements" to "Aligning Your Resources to Achieve Strategic Objectives" to "Clinical Workflow Design: A Prerequisite for Effective Health IT."