At this year’s event, HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition continues its dedication to improving the patient experience through an even more specific focus on patient engagement and technology. While last year featured involvement from major CRM vendors such as SalesForce, this year’s conference features a focus on the Connected Patient, with an emphasis on digital experiences and multidisciplinary teamwork.

Disrupting the Way Patients Experience Healthcare

One of the most consistent messages we’ve seen around the patient experience in recent years is the importance of listening to and learning from other industries. This approach is largely founded on the understanding that, while healthcare professionals are highly knowledgeable about the challenges they face, patients are being conditioned to expect a certain level of service and a specific type of experience as consumers. That conditioning is coming from industries including banking, retail and hospitality.

HIMSS17 heavily reflects an approach that pulls from extra-industry wisdom and experience, featuring presenters and partnerships that come from both inside and outside of healthcare, such as Philips, Hilton and even entrepreneurs from the television show “Shark Tank.”

HIMSS 2017 Highlights Around the Patient Experience

The conference features a range of organizations taking innovative approaches to patient experiences and education, covering many areas in which patients interact with their health and healthcare organizations.

In Hospital

Hospitals and physicians’ offices have traditionally received the majority of attention when it comes to the patient experience. Time in clinical environments represents not only potential for improved interactions, but also opportunities to build better-educated and empowered patients.

On display at this year’s conference will be tech advancements around both the waiting room experience (in the form of TVs and tablets in waiting rooms) and digital signage solutions, which not only facilitate patient education, but also improve wayfinding in hospitals, decreasing frustration and stress for both patients and visitors.

The back end of a positive experience always features an efficient and connected care team. Solutions like TigerText‘s comprehensive clinical communications platform will be featured as a solution for enabling care teams to use mobile devices to enhance collaboration, improve productivity and ultimately attain higher levels of patient satisfaction.

ReadyDock‘s Double Disinfect, which will also be on display, presents another clinician-focused solution. Their Knox-based tablet docking solution ensures that patient data is completely cleared from mobile devices after each use. It also features UV disinfection, reducing the time drain on nurses and IT staff when turning over devices in clinical settings.

HIMSS will also feature an intermediate educational session on customer experiences in healthcare, covering lessons learned from the hospitality industry through Hilton Hotels.

Enhancing the Patient Experience

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In Home

The way patients experience care is, of course, much more than what goes on in a hospital or doctor’s office. Much of what shapes a patient’s impression of their engagement with their health relies on what happens when transitioning between different phases of care.

For example, being discharged from the hospital can be a murky and confusing process. Addressing that challenge is Philips’ eTrAC (Transition to Ambulatory Care) system. The solution gives patients access to remote monitoring tools to help smooth the discharge process. The technology not only reduces costs and risk of complications, it also helps patients return to their homes with a greater sense of peace and empowerment around their role in post-discharge care.

Philips will be a highlight of the featured exhibition, where the connected health environment will be addressed. This includes a look at new devices, mobile apps and wearable sensors, along with a focus on patient-generated health data and how it connects to EMRs to improve clinical outcomes, patient education and individual connection to providers.

In Health

In addition to Philips’ eTrAC solution, HIMSS features an exclusive look at the forward-thinking technology built for today’s patients.

A star of this year’s exhibit, virtual reality will be incorporated into solutions that address patient pain management (like that from AppliedVR) by allowing patients to escape uncomfortable and stressful experiences in hospitals, surgery centers and exam rooms. VR is also being implemented in gaming and physician training solutions from Medical Realities, not only to shift the way we look at doctor education, but to build easier and immersive access to medical training through live streaming (as exhibited in a solution from Mativision).

Tablets are getting a piece of the spotlight too, with Accendowave‘s use of its tablet-based active discomfort management platform, which allows patients to report their pain experience using electroencephalography (EEG) technology.

Ultimately, this year’s show signifies a shift in the next generation of healthcare — for both doctor and patient.

HIMSS17 is at the forefront of current healthcare technology advances, such as the Connected Patient and digital in-hospital experiences.

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Megan Williams

Megan Williams is a consultant and writer who specializes in healthcare technology. She has over a decade’s experience in hospital revenue cycle consulting and holds an MBA with a focus on international business, as well as a degree in hospital administration. She works with growing and established healthcare B2B companies in creating work that is in touch with the latest developments in healthcare, and maintains her work at

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