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What’s Not in the HIMSS Infographic?

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New infographic touts the increase of social media at annual HIT conference

HIMSS gets the USA Today treatment today by releasing its first infographic on the increase of social media at its annual conference. As it points out, not only did it have a record-breaking attendance this year, with an attendance increase of 16 percent to 36,531 attendees at HIMSS12 vs. 31,500 attendees at HIMSS11, it broke new records in volume of tweets for healthcare conferences. (I wonder what RSNA has to say about that?)

The newly released HIMSS infographic, albeit fun and flashy, leaves me with a few questions and surprises. First, I was surprised when I saw the breakdown of HIMSS12 attendees:

  • Senior Executives (26.5 percent)
  • IT Professionals (20.9 percent)

Granted healthcare and IT professionals are busy folks these days with meaningful use and the avalanche of responsibilities they have, but I would have expected those percentages to be a little higher.  Does these numbers surprise anyone else? Honestly, HIMSS could have deleted the hotel information to the right of the attendance breakdown and given more specifics on who was the other 52 percent of attendees? I’m sure the majority of the remainder of those conferencegoers are vendors, but it would have been more helpful to know than how many hotel room nights were booked(!).

I was impressed by the sheer domination of Apple when it came down to breakdown of mobile use at HIMSS:

  • Apple-70 percent
  • Android-14 percent
  • Blackberry-2 percent

I guess it shouldn’t have been that surprising when clinicians have been clearly preferring the usability of the iPhone to the Blackberry or Android for years.  And according to a recent Business Insider article, in the past few months, Nielsen reports that Apple has grabbed a 43 percent share of the smartphones sold in the U.S., versus a high-20s percentage a year ago. Android gains have stalled at a 48 percent share of the market.

It would have been interesting if the infographic would have shared more about the content of the tweets at HIMSS12. The graphic cites topics like cloud computing, EHR, and meaningful use as trending topics, but it would have been nice to know some of the information that was said. What were the biggest concerns, the biggest surprises at HIMSS12 (what about the announcement of the Stage 2 meaningful use NPRM)? I can understand these questions are a little harder to distill in images, but it's definitely something HIMSS should think about with next year’s infographic.

UPDATED 3:49 p.m. 4/26: After reaching out to HIMSS, I have received clarification on the breakdown of HIMSS12 attendees, if you look below the two call-outs (senior executive and IT professional), there are several categories like clinicians (8.2 percent), project management (5.3 percent), and consultants (9 percent) that add up to the total number of attendees. Vendors weren't factored in at all!