HIMSS 360: Health IT ready to shine in Chicago
Integration and interoperability are the watchwords of the 2009 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference, being held this year in Chicago’s McCormick Place. Health IT developers have stepped up their efforts to deliver systems that allow the sharing of information across platforms, departments and the enterprise.

For those professionals looking to add to the capabilities of their organization’s health IT infrastructure, this year’s conference may be the most inclusive gathering of developers and vendors exhibiting their offerings. Below, you’ll find some significant highlights of the products, services, systems and tools scheduled for display and demonstration at next week’s conference.

Of particular note for 2009 HIMSS attendees was the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) in February, which provides for an investment by the U.S. government of $19 billion for health IT--with $17 billion for investments and incentives through Medicare and Medicaid and $2 billion for a discretionary fund for grants and loans.

H. Stephen Lieber, HIMSS president and CEO, said that the organization has developed a comprehensive agenda on all aspects of health IT for attendees this year.

“We are offering more than 300 education sessions, including 11 special sessions on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), plus the opportunity to see healthcare IT products from nearly 850 companies on the exhibition floor,” he noted. “This is an extremely valuable opportunity for healthcare providers to prepare their organizations for the opportunities resulting from the new federal legislation.”