10 things to know before HIMSS 2017

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society holds its annual conference in Orlando, Fla., from Feb. 19 through Feb. 23.

Here are 10 things to know about the conference.

1. More than 40,000 health IT professionals, vendors and executives will gather at HIMSS this year. The conference includes more than 300 educational programs, thought leader presentations, roundtables, workshops and keynotes.

2. The exhibit hall at HIMSS will feature more than 1,200 health IT vendors. It is open Feb. 20 through Feb. 23.

3. A number of big-name health IT vendors will have significantly larger booths in the exhibit hall. The following vendors will have the biggest booths:

  • Cerner (Booth 2161): 11,700 square feet
  • Epic (Booth 1143): 11,000 square feet
  • GE Healthcare (Booth 2943): 7,700 square feet
  • Allscripts (Booth 6045): 7,200 square feet
  • McKesson (Booth 2943): 7,200 square feet
  • Optum (Booth 3703): 5,400 square feet

4. The exhibit hall also includes multiple specialty areas, including an alternative payment models knowledge center, a cybersecurity command center, a federal health IT solutions pavilion, an innovation zone and a population care management knowledge center.

5. Keynote speeches will take place Feb. 20 and Feb. 23. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty will deliver the opening keynote Feb. 20. Other keynote speakers include former Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner (R); former Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell (D); cybersecurity expert, entrepreneur and author Robert Herjavec; and innovation investor Kevin O'Leary.

6. The HIMSS Awards Gala will occur Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. ET. Individuals and organizations receive a variety of awards, including the Most Influential Women in Health IT Awards, the Davies Awards of Excellence and the CHIME-HIMSS CIO of the Year Award. Tickets are required for attendees, and the dress code is black tie optional.

7. Social media will play a key role at this year's HIMSS conference. The new and improved HIMSS17 mobile app is now available for download via Apple's App Store or Google Play. Attendees will be tweeting throughout the conference using the #HIMSS17 hashtag. HIMSS also has named 20 social media ambassadors, who will be tweeting about applicable trends and topics throughout the conference.

8. HIMSS isn't only about health IT products — it's also about networking. The conference provides ample opportunities for attendees to connect. This year, HIMSS reserved The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort the evening of Feb. 22. Attendees can also participate in HIMSS Special Interest Groups.

9. This year's conference also highlights personal health and well-being. The new the HIMSS17 Wellness Pavilion features an elliptical and treadmill bank, as well as biometric screenings for the first 75 attendees to stop by. Throughout the conference, attendees are encouraged to use their own activity trackers to participate in wellness challenges on Feb. 20, 21 and 22. Winners will receive an Apple Watch.

10. HIMSS was founded in 1961 and held its first national convention in 1962 in Baltimore. The next year, HIMSS hosted its second convention in Chicago. The society moved its headquarters there in 1964.

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