Microsoft turned its full attention to healthcare this year as CEO Steve Ballmer addressed a packed house of IT executives at HIMSS07. He brought the message that healthcare — an industry he described as the most fragmented around — is ready to embrace the efficiencies technology can offer. But Ballmer also talked about much more with HCI after his keynote speech, getting into the company's strategy and how it could turn from partner to competitor in a hurry. Read this candid Q&A in our cover story, "Microsoft Hits HIMSS," page 20.
As consumerism takes hold in healthcare, the business of attracting patients is heating up. To that end, patient services are on the rise. These amenities can range from the clinical, such as a personal health record, to the more complementary, such as educational videos on maintaining good health. Others — far ahead of the competition curve — are already providing pricing transparency over the Web so "customers" can shop for a good bargain. Read "At Your Service," page 26.
HIMSS07 hit New Orleans with 25,000 of the healthcare IT industry's best and brightest. From educational tracks on finance to RHIOs to EHRs, there was no shortage of information to absorb. And that's not even mentioning the exhibit floor. HCI brings HIMSS to you if you couldn't get to HIMSS. Read "HIMSS Came Marching In," page 34.
The National Health Information Network has been moving forward. Recently, the four consortia — IBM, CSC, Accenture and Northrop Grumman — revealed their prototypes. What's the latest with these projects and where do things go from here? HCI takes a closer look in "A Network of Networks," page 18.