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HIMSS19 to Move the Conversation on Telehealth, RPM, Digital Health

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference and exhibition, taking place Feb. 11-15 in Orlando, includes several sessions focusing on telehealth, digital health and remote patient monitoring.

Source: ThinkStock

By Eric Wicklund

- Telehealth and mHealth will play a part in many of the education sessions at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s 2019 Annual Conference and Exhibition, which takes place Feb. 11-15 in Orlando.

Aside from presentations on the show floor, HIMSS19 includes several education tracks that will focus on connected care technology, including Telehealth; Consumer, Patient Engagement & Digital Connected Health; Culture of Care & Care Coordination; Consumerization of Health; Disruptive Care Models; and Healthcare Applications & technologies Enabling Care Delivery.

Three sessions in particular stand out in the Telehealth track:

In Exploring Critical Success Factors for Telehealth Implementation, representatives from the national network of Telehealth Resource Centers will discuss how to design and launch an effective and sustainable program. Led by Doris Barta, Director of the National Telehealth Technology Assessment Resource Center, Jonathan Neufeld, Program Director at the Great Plains TRC, and Kathy Chroba, Executive Director of the California TRC, the conversation will focus on the four sectors of a telehealth program – operations, technology, clinical services and business/sustainability.

In Adapting an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) for Effective Telehealth Service Management, executives from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), one of two nationally recognized telehealth centers of excellence, will talk about the complexities and challenges of keeping a wide-ranging telehealth and telemedicine platform successful and sustainable. Led by Shawn Valenta, MUSC’s Telehealth Administrator, and Jillian Harvey, an Assistant Professor of Healthcare Leadership and Management, the conversation will identify the elements that encourage telehealth sustainability and explain how an ITIL figures into that success.

In The Real Challenges of Telehealth Adoption, two telehealth experts will take a closer look at who telehealth programs aren’t being embraced as well as they should be. David McSwain, MUSC’s Associate Chief Medical Information Officer, and Julie Hall-Barrow, Vice President of Virtual Health and Innovation at Dallas Children’s Medical Center, will talk about differentiating between barriers to technology adoption and barriers to practice change, and they’ll draw from their own experiences to lay out a plan that promotes buy-in from patients and providers.

Connected health features in dozens of educations sessions across the five days of HIMSS19. A few other sessions of note:

Andrew Watson, MD, MLitt, FACS, UPMC’s Vice President of Clinical Information Technology Transformation and president of the American Telemedicine Association, and Laurie Poole, Vice President of Clinical Innovation for the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), will tackle one of the most-talked about mHealth platforms in their presentation. In Remote Monitoring Shows Significant Pop Health Benefits, they’ll talk about how remote patient monitoring programs are being used to improve engagement in patients with chronic and costly morbidities such as congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), along with specialized but typically very costly populations such as those with post-partum hypertension.

Digital health tools, such as smartphones, smartwatches, fitness bands and other connected mHealth devices, also play a key role in defining today’s standards of care. In Elevating the Patient’s Digital Experience, Aditya Bhasin, MS, Stanford Health Care’s Vice President of Software Design & Development and Digital Solutions, will explain how digital tools and pathways are now being used to give consumers an integrated healthcare experience.

That concept is explored further in Design a Model for the Delivery of Digital Health Guidance. In this session, Kaley Johnson, MS, a Senior Business Analyst at the Mayo Clinic, and Olivia Peavler, MPH, a Health Systems Engineer at Mayo, will discuss how to lay out a digital health plan that integrates mHealth apps and other tools to engage patients.

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