Educating the industry on interoperability and alternatives for information exchange is a priority at HIMSS12

By Brad Dodge on February 9th, 2012

In the latest installment of our HIMSS12 blog series, David Peterson, vice president of product marketing, for Emdeon is interviewed. David is also the creative director and heads Emdeon’s market research function. To view earlier installments click here. Dodge: What do you think will be the theme of conversations at HIMSS this year?Peterson: I expect it will center on the exchange of information. It’s been a building theme for the last couple of years, ever since the healthcare reform, in particular the HITECH act. Certainly EHRs will remain a theme, but the whole notion around the meaningful use component and the need to exchange that information has really been driving the industry towards how you move information, how it is interoperable and how to operationalize it to drive positive outcomes.Dodge: How is Emdeon approaching its overall strategy at HIMSS this year?Peterson: We historically are thought of as the leading administrative and financial clearinghouse in the US, and we are, but today we couple that with our clinical solutions to form the single largest clinical, financial and administrative health information network in the nation. In 2011, we processed more than 6 billion health information exchanges. Our approach at HIMSS is to demonstrate the vast benefits of our network and how it can help deliver higher quality care and reduce costs, but more importantly to help educate the industry about how interoperability is already available – that it’s not necessary to “recreate the wheel”. Our goal at HIMSS is to provide an educational forum that helps attendees gain a better understanding of how to leverage existing interoperability that can unite healthcare communities to help improve business and clinical outcomes.Dodge: What are you looking forward to most this year at HIMSS and what are you hoping to gain from attending?

Peterson: We’re definitely looking forward to seeing where the industry is with information exchange. There is a lot that still needs to happen, but a lot already exists. It’s a very exciting time in healthcare, in that we are finally beginning to see the technological modernization of the business side of healthcare. Liquidity of data that enables very advanced analytics is taking shape and that will help new payment models to support improved care.We’ve had a strong focus on providing leading clinical information exchange solutions and look forward to learning how other industry stakeholders are collaborating to advance the business of healthcare through intelligent data and information exchange.  And in return we hope attendees gain a greater understanding of how our focus on exchanging clinical information complements our traditional revenue cycle solutions.Dodge: What do you think the most important issues your clients need to explore in an environment like HIMSS are?Peterson: Our clients have a great opportunity to explore what alternatives exist when looking at information exchange. There are routes that are historically or traditionally software centric and can be very expensive. In the current climate, where margins can be razor thin for many hospitals and physicians, there are alternatives that are less expensive. In many cases, there is less of a need for direct competition and more of a possibility for companies to provide complimentary and supplementary solutions. I think clients in our space should be on the lookout at HIMSS12 for just these type partnerships that can deliver a real added value to their business needs.Dodge: Anything else you think will be interesting this year?Peterson: Definitely the Interoperability Showcase. Emdeon is excited to be a participant because it is a clear statement of how HIMSS really understands the importance of this, and is an advocate. Interoperable standards-based systems that enable healthcare stakeholders to use different systems to share information while maintaining the consistency and integrity of the data is what our industry needs. I would encourage every HIMSS attendee to stop by the showcase and watch the live demonstration given by hospitals, health information service providers and other healthcare providers that have deployed these solutions using industry standards. It’s what we as an industry need to be for the next generation – the connected generation of healthcare.For our part, we will be demonstrating the capabilities of Emdeon ePayment which replaces paper-based claims payments with electronic payments that are directly deposited into the provider's bank account.Dodge: Where can we find Emdeon at HIMSS?Peterson: We’ll have five in-booth educational sessions on a variety of topics that include gaps in care, CPOE implementation and data and analytics all taking place at booth 3616. In addition, as I mentioned above, we’ll be participating in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase at booth 11000 and we are also sponsoring the Public Policy Networking breakfast on Wednesday morning.