Strong participation, stimulating presentations and significant conversations were all hallmarks of the 2013 CHIME/HIMSS CIO Forum, held in conjunction with the HIMSS13 Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.
The cornerstone of the event for CHIME was its day-long Forum, held Sunday, March 3 in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. The event drew an estimated 550 participants, who heard presentations from several distinguished speakers.
In addition to the Forum, several CHIME events took place in New Orleans, providing a variety of activities for CHIME members. CHIME’s newly announced CEO, Russell Branzell, had a heavy schedule of meetings during the week, in making his first public appearances after his selection to the position was announced in late February. Branzell officially assumes the CEO role on April 5.
Pre-Forum activities included a two-day workshop for members of the CHCIO committee, focusing on the refinement and classification of questions used on the CHCIO examination. On Saturday evening, March 2, CHIME members informally began proceedings at a welcome reception in the Hilton.
Sunday’s Forum began with opening remarks from CHIME President and CEO Rich Correll and Board Chairman George “Buddy” Hickman, who highlighted the many efforts of present and past Board members and spoke about the future direction of the organization.
“This year, through our collective leadership, we acknowledge that for us to be strong and assure our legacy we need to continue growing and diversifying our membership, further our position as an industry voice, put our best and most competent member leaders at the industry podiums, and explore new opportunities to expand our business portfolio,” said Hickman. “In short, we will lead, speak, change.”
CHIME also recognized Jim Turnbull as the 2012 John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Year, whose distinguished career in the healthcare industry spans more than 37 years. Turnbull was officially honored later in the week, during the HIMSS Award Banquet.
Keynote presenter Stephen M.R. Covey then took the stage to deliver the opening address. Covey highlighted the importance of trust in business and healthcare organizations. “Trust is an economic driver, not merely a social virtue,” he said. “It’s hard to collaborate with people who you don’t trust.”
Following Covey, Judy Murphy, Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, provided an update on the progress of the Meaningful Use program and ONC’s efforts to increase patient engagement through improved access to information in their EHRs. ONC also is encouraging greater sharing of information through health information exchange (HIE), she said. “Interoperability is the biggest pressure point as the second stage of meaningful use approaches, because more partners are involved in sharing information.”
In an afternoon session, Fred Lee, a bestselling author, compared patients’ experiences in healthcare organizations with those of Disney theme parks. In healthcare, “Staff members’ response to pain and suffering is what has the most impact on patients,” Lee said. “Compassion is the ‘healing blind spot’ in everything that we try to measure to determine the quality of the care we provide.”
In the three days following the Forum, the CHIME Foundation conducted Focus Groups for foundation member organizations. A total of 72 were conducted, a record number for focus groups held in conjunction with any CHIME event, according to CHIME Foundation Associate Executive Director Kevin Cleary.
CHIME’s Public Policy efforts were also on full display, as more than 50 CHIME members met with officials from the Office of the National Coordinator and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Over the course of three listening sessions, CHIME members and Public Policy staff discussed pressure points related to Meaningful Use, ways to facilitate health information exchange, challenges in patient data-matching and the needed health IT infrastructure for accountable care.
Of particular concern to CIOs were audits related to Meaningful Use and continued challenges over clinical quality measurement. Some CHIME members have been subject to inconsistent and over burdensome audits to prove that they met Meaningful Use. ONC officials asked attendees to say something say something if they experienced unusual requests or demands from auditors, and CMS said updates have been made to an audit documentation guide. And both groups of officials said they understood the challenges related to CQMs, assuring CIOs that harmonization of measures and reporting programs were shared goals inside HHS.