Contributed by Lynn Aguilera, RN, MSNEd, Director of Transition Planning, HTS, inc., LAguilera@consulthts.com
HIMSS 2014 was an incredible event, and as a first time attendee, I was amazed and impressed by all the new technology, equipment, and systems available to provide safe and efficient care for patients and their families. Thousands of people from all over the world attended this important event that not only featured the latest and greatest technology, but offered education sessions related to Electronic Health Record implementation, maintenance, and optimization; Real Time Location System (RTLS) technology for pharmacy, supply chain, equipment, patients, and staff; Decision Support Systems (DSS); IT security; and hundreds of other topics. The HIMSS conference theme, “ONWARD” definitely resonated throughout the week with keynote speakers ranging from Hilary Clinton to 67th Secretary of State and Former U.S. Senator to the Closing Keynote: Erik Weihenmayer, World-Class Blind Adventurer, who inspired everyone in the room to push hard to achieve more.
As a nurse, I found the technology featured in the Intelligent Hospital suite completely incredible. Technology was focused on creating the best patient and family experience and highlighted technology such as the Smart bed that took a patients vital signs (temperature, heart rate, and respirations) without having to hook the patient up to any electrodes or equipment. As a transition planner, I was fascinated with new robot technology, supply-chain and pharmacy Smart carts and cabinets that count items via RTLS technology, and the various systems that improved the healthcare experience of all involved. Attending HIMSS 2014 inspired me to learn more about how technology can enhance healthcare throughout the continuum of care.