Bradley Merrill Thompson, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office, wrote a blog post titled "At HIMSS, Interoperability Calls Shotgun."

Following is an excerpt:

I'm a device guy, but in recent years I've started going to the annual meeting of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), this year in New Orleans. For those not familiar with it, HIMSS is a huge society of IT folks who have targeted healthcare, and in particular applications like the electronic health record. Imagine 37,000 folks all talking bits, bytes and healthcare in the Big Easy.

As most people in healthcare know, the Holy Grail for software developers is to connect with as many electronic medical devices as possible to download the data seamlessly into the electronic health record. And that raises the issue of interoperability. So HIMSS has taken on that issue directly by organizing a special room at the annual meeting for an Interoperability Showcase. The showcase prominently displayed many of the medical device manufacturers, and created displays to demonstrate how they could all work together. Many of the displays were specific to a given care unit, for example in the picture, a neonatal ICU. The goal was to let attendees understand what is already possible, but also to create a forum for talking about future possibilities.


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