10 things to know before HIMSS 2016

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society will host its annual conference, the largest health IT event in the industry, in Las Vegas from Feb. 29 through March 4.

Here are 10 things to know about the event before it kicks off.

1. HIMSS16 is expected to bring together more than 40,000 health IT professionals, executives, clinicians and vendors. It will feature more than 300 educational programs, keynotes, thought leaders, roundtable discussions, e-sessions and workshops. 

2. More than 1,300 health IT vendors and organizations will exhibit at HIMSS16. The exhibit hall is open from Tuesday through Thursday. 

3. Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Inc., will provide the opening keynote Monday, Feb. 29. Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Denver Broncos and five-time NFL MVP, will deliver the closing keynote Friday, March 4. 

4. Approximately 4,410 people at HIMSS work for hospitals, multi-hospital systems or integrated delivery systems. Approximately 3,090 attendees work for vendors and another 2,390 work for healthcare consulting firms. 

5. Business attire is the preferred dress among conference attendees, but business casual is more popular on Wednesday and Thursday.

6. Some of the big-name health IT vendors have larger booths and exhibit space than their peers. The following will have the largest footprint at HIMSS16: 

  • Cerner (Booth 2032) — 14,000 square feet 
  • Epic (Booth 4432) — 10,700 square feet 
  • GE Healthcare / API Healthcare (Booth 3055) — 8,000 square feet 
  • McKesson (Booth 4002) — 7,200 square feet 
  • Optum (Booth 5543) — 7,200 square feet 
  • Allscripts (Booth 2612) — 6,400 square feet 

7. The HIMSS exhibit floor also features specialty exhibit areas, where booths related to similar topics or services are clustered. Specialty exhibit areas include the cybersecurity command center, career services area, disaster preparedness knowledge center, the federal health IT solutions pavilion, population health knowledge center, revenue cycle knowledge center and university row, which showcases educational institutions with degrees related to health informatics.

8. On Thursday, March 3 is the Awards Gala, during which HIMSS will honor individuals, groups and organizations that have made significant contributions to health IT. Some of the awards HIMSS delivers throughout the year include the Davies Awards of Excellence, Distinguished Fellows Service Awards, Chapter of the Year Award, Physician IT Leadership Award and the CHIME-HIMSS John E. Gall Jr./CIO of the Year Award. Tickets are required to attend the Awards Gala, and dress code is black tie optional. 

9. In addition to the normal programming, HIMSS partnered with AVIA, an innovation accelerator for healthcare providers, on the HX360 Innovation Leaders Program. This is billed as offering "managers, directors and program implementers — including provider-side innovation teams, clinicians and technologists; investors and entrepreneurs — a deeper understanding of how providers are addressing contemporary challenges in healthcare." Ten speakers will share their expertise in healthcare innovation, including Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association; Pravene Nath, MD, CIO of Stanford (Calif.) Health Care; Frans van Houten, CEO and chairman of Royal Philips; and Allison Matthews, service designer with Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation.

The program lasts from Monday through Wednesday, and participation costs $295, either for the program alone or as an add-on to event registration. 

10. HIMSS has held its annual conventions since 1962, a year after the society was formally organized. The first meeting took place in Baltimore and the second meeting was held in Chicago, where the society was later headquartered.

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