The CHIME get together on Saturday night was a two-fold opportunity for me: to catch up with many of the CIOs I’ve interviewed in the past, and perhaps more importantly, to take the high level pulse of the conference before all the hoopla began.
The event was very well attended, and in addition to the all the usual suspects (hi, John Glaser) I got a chance to talk to some CIOs I had never met. Ed Marx, CIO of Texas Health Resources, a 14-hospital system in the Dallas –Ft. Worth area was one of them. Like most people I spoke to last night, he had a lot of other things to talk about besides meaningful use. Like how he’s using social media like Twitter to keep his ED patients up to date on wait times. And how he’s linking the community docs in the highly competitive DFW area. (That’s a story in itself: Give them a choice of four EMRS, period. And how interesting that though he’s an Epic shop, very few of the docs choose Epic for ambulatory because according to Ed, they’re scared of Big Brother knowing everything.)
I also had a long talk with Jeff Cash of Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, who is working with community employers and insurers on a medical home and PHR. And he was pretty enthusiastic about his project.
The point is, while it seems that all we hear about is meaningful use these days and most especially at HIMSS10, the CIOs on Saturday night at CHIME were all very engaged in real, live projects. The general consensus seemed to be, "Meaningful use? Let’s “move on dot org” already, we’ve got things we’re working on now, and meaningful use isn’t the only thing on our minds."