What an exciting year we had in health IT. It was my first complete one at Healthcare Informatics and I think I picked a good one. There was big-time policy news, a record-breaking HIMSS conference, and a plethora of interesting health IT leaders and cutting-edge projects, all helping push this industry into a new direction where quality is the standard.
Looking back at the year that was, I think five moments stand out for me personally. Here’s a look back:
1) HIMSS12: This past year’s annual conference for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference (HIMSS) in Las Vegas was a spectacle, to say the least. A whopping 37,000-plus attendees came to Sin City, with 1,123 exhibitors. Both were a HIMSS record. Walking into the main showroom that first day was an overwhelming experience, as you truly understand why people say you can’t cover it all at HIMSS. I saw a lot and did a lot, from going to our Innovators Award presentation, to talking ICD-10, analytics, imaging, and of course, Stage 2 of meaningful use. Looking forward to HIMSS13 in New Orleans.
2) Stage 2 Final Rule: Speaking of Stage 2 of Meaningful Use under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (ARRA-HITECH), there was a lot of news about it this year. From the announcement of the proposed rule in February, right smack dab in the middle of the HIMSS conference, to the final rule in late August. I recall that day vividly, as I was traveling to my native Boston, and was trying to get some reactions from industry leaders. John Halamka, M.D., CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital (Boston), had my favorite quote on Stage 2 final rule when he said: “When I look at the reactions, and some say it didn’t go far enough, some say it went too far – I think, oh good, everyone is equally upset. They must have gotten it right.”
3) Supreme Court Rules Upholds Accountable Care Act: Speaking of big policy-driven moments, none were bigger this year than the Supreme Court deciding to uphold the Accountable Care ACT (ACA) in June. One of the highlights of my year was following the up-to-the-second updates through the distinguished http://www.scotusblog.com. As my Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland said at the time, covering the event reminded me of one of the many reasons why I love being a journalist. Getting everyone’s reactions afterwards was a thrill as well.
4) November Elections: Sticking with the theme of the ACA and a big event, regardless of a person’s politics, the November elections were likely something everyone in this industry covered closely. It seemed to be the last possible chance for opponents of the ACA to get some kind of full-scale repeal. With President Barack Obama winning, and the Democrats maintaining the Senate, as The Advisory Board’s Rob Lazerow told me at the time: “I don’t think there will be much conversation about repeal and replace any more.”
5) HCI 100 is Released: Without coming off as bragging, I think the Healthcare Informatics 100, our compilation of the top health IT companies based on HIT revenues from the most recent fiscal year, is one of the reasons this publication is unique in the industry. Seeing as this was my first year here at HCI, I’d be remiss in not mentioning are unveiling of this year’s list in May as one of the more exciting moments of the year. All the hard we put towards that moment was made worth it. Excited to get started on the 2013 version!
I hope all of our readers have a great holiday. Thanks very much for taking the time to read us online and in print. See you next year!
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