Search all of the Society for Participatory Medicine website:Search
The Journal for Participatory Medicine's website has moved. Please check out the new website for the latest articles.
Home » Media Watch » Conferences » HIMSS 2012 Highlights: What’s Hot


Keywords: HIMSS, health IT, meaningful use, ICD-10, ACO, health information exchange, social media, medical home, shared decision making, patient engagement.
Citation: Finn NB. HIMSS 2012 highlights: what’s hot. J Participat Med. 2012 Mar 28; 4:e7.
Published: March 28, 2012.
Competing Interests: The author has declared that no competing interests exist.

HIMSS12, held in Las Vegas from February 20 through 24, was attended by a record number of individuals, more than 37,000. Hosted by the Healthcare Information and Management System Society, the conference attracted vendors, health IT teams, patients, providers, health care institutions, and many others who participate in and influence the health care industry. Several members of the Society for Participatory Medicine were among the attendees. The conference offered more than 300 education sessions and over 1,123 exhibiting companies.

Central themes at conference sessions, reinforced by what the attendees saw on the exhibit floor, included Stage 1 and Stage 2 of meaningful use; ICD-10; mobile health; mHIMSS; business and clinical analytics; and patient-centered medical homes. HIMSS12 also included HIT X.0 and Leading from the Future, two conferences within the main event which were introduced last year. In addition, Virtual HIMSS12 provided access to the keynote and other educational sessions for health IT professionals who were unable to travel to the conference.

There was a lot of buzz at HIMSS12 around:

Stage 2 Meaningful Use, which was announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) during HIMSS. Stage 2 meaningful use, the second of three sets of guidelines that the health care community must follow in rolling out electronic medical records (EMRs), requires health care providers to meet core objectives and chose from a menu of other objectives, around how health care facilities can exchange key clinical information about patients and provide patients with online access to their health data. For example, one menu option includes making up to 40% of all radiological scans available for viewing on an EMR. Another discusses the use of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems for medications. Stage 2 raises the percentage by which CPOE must be used for medications from 30% to 60%. The proposed Stage 2 rules are now subject to a six-month comment period before they are finalized.

Proposed changes to the ICD-10 coding, effective date October 1, 2013. The ICD-10 coding replaces ICD-9 diagnosis and procedures codes which apply to the codes used for claims generated by hospital inpatient procedures as they relate to the HIPAA covered entities.

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), a payment and delivery reform model that seeks to tie provider reimbursements to quality metrics and reductions in the total cost of care for an assigned population of patients. The ACO is accountable to patients and the third-party payers for the quality, appropriateness, and efficiency of the health care provided.

Data mining and analysis, and clinical decision support.

Health information exchange with a focus on coordinated care.

The automation of chronic disease management.

Patient engagement and the growing role of patients in financial and clinical decision making, and care coordination across communities.

Mobile apps and the ability to provide providers with technical tools to better serve patients and drive costs out of the system.

Social media, using sites like twitter and YouTube for communication between patients and providers.

Patient-centered medical homes based on the building of a robust HIT infrastructure.

A shift in the traditional health insurance model from fee-for-service to a model based on outcomes, which will move the system from underwriting risk to managing populations. The model encourages patients to comparison shop, and requires that providers take more of the risk but have the opportunity to receive a significantly higher net reimbursement.


These notes were based on comments from Society of Participatory Medicine members who attended the HIMSS Conference including Ileana Balcu, Dave deBronkart and Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, a review of several blogs and other media commentators regarding their views of HIMSS and data from

Copyright: © 2012 Nancy B. Finn. Published here under license by The Journal of Participatory Medicine. Copyright for this article is retained by the author, with first publication rights granted to the Journal of Participatory Medicine. All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. By virtue of their appearance in this open-access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.