Not Singing the Same Old Hymns at HIMSS 2017

Insights posted on 2-28-2017 by Melinda Gales

Not Singing the Same Old Hymns at HIMSS ‘17Did attending the HIMSS 2017 Conference give you some new insights and strategies to apply to your business model, direction, and next steps? There are likely dozens if not hundreds of “HIMSS Recap” blogs flooding your inbox from this “must-attend” gathering of healthcare’s technology experts. They don’t mean a thing if the content doesn’t help you improve your business.

Here’s a glimpse at how we approached it:

 1.  Not Your Mother’s Conference: It used to be that you could show up at a conference, get some face time with attendees at your booth or in a session, and leave with some strong contacts, leads, or even closed deals. Entire sales and marketing teams attended hoping for sales activity. But this year, with over 45,000 registered (and likely another 5k not registered but in town), you needed a more laser-like approach. Otherwise you might miss the true innovation and new applications and products that are rapidly changing the healthcare it landscape.

 

 2.  Highlight Customers: Many shared customers’ success stories and case studies showing the true impact of new technology in the marketplace. Virsys12 was fortunate to have John Supra, VP and Executive Director of the Care Coordination Institute in Greenville, SC, speak at the Salesforce booth. John talked about the success of CCI’s MyHealth First Network (operating on our V12 Network technology) and their $17 million in shared savings in 2016.

 

 3.  Prioritize Follow-Up: How many times have you attended an event and been energized in the moment only to lose momentum once the tyranny of the urgent takes over when you return? Weeks later I’ve found collections of business cards that never saw light after the conference because “there was so much to be done.” Using a CRM system such as “our favorite” Salesforce allows you to continue the relationships with your newly made colleagues well after the conference. With the Salesforce1 mobile app we had a head start on the conversation before we made it back home. Connecting on Linkedin or Twitter and DMing during the conference is also effective.

 

 4.  The Joy of Third-Party Endorsements: As a Salesforce Gold Consulting Partner specializing in healthcare, we are on the front line of the transformation that is happening with providers, payers, device companies, pharma and patients using the strength of Salesforce. We could continue at length on why we built Virsys12 as an exclusive Salesforce Partner, but this testimony by the HISTalk.com writer said it best:

I’ll declare the most interesting product I saw at HIMSS was Salesforce. Here’s why I think so:

Existing EHRs and other healthcare software products are way behind the times in meeting new requirements for health systems to treat patients and doctors as customers and to build relationships with them, including patient engagement. It lets health systems that are willing to change their relationships with patients and doctors to do so effectively, with strong analytics and communications. It’s cloud-based and is purchased on a relatively inexpensive per-user, per-month price with no capital outlay. It’s built on the standard Salesforce CRM that has been battle-tested for years, with just those customizations needed to make it work for healthcare.

 It integrates with the EHR and other patient and provider data sources. The Salesforce open ecosystem allows using third-party apps when needed. It Includes tools that allow users to build their own rules and apps. Salesforce is a juggernaut that can force EHR vendors to open up their systems to obtain the data it needs.

Salesforce isn’t Oracle or Microsoft – they didn’t create a healthcare-specific product from scratch or acquire a questionable one, so they have no incentive to rebalance their product portfolio and walk away from healthcare and leave users hanging as big healthcare toe-dippers tend to do.

We couldn’t have said it better, HISTalk!

So to sum up, we prepared for HIMSS with a laser-like focus, celebrated our customers’ successes, remained flexible, began follow-up even as the week rolled out and stood shoulder to shoulder with the best partner to have as healthcare transforms. It added up to a successful strategy we plan to repeat.

Yes, HIMSS offered great content…if you could squeeze time in, including themes of note on the accelerating shift to Cloud Computing as data security gains traction (reported in HeatlhITNews) and confirmation of CIO’s priority on operating efficiencies (Modern Healthcare DataPoints) and examples of the technology required to make it happen.