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Technology Crossroads Conference: What CIs Should Know
Kate Berry, CEO of the National eHealth Collaborative, previews the Technology Crossroads Conference, which explores the intersection between A/V and health IT.

Article


Kate Berry National eHealth Collaborative
Kate Berry, CEO, National eHealth Collaborative
November 27, 2012 By CI Staff

The inaugural Technology Crossroads Conference is underway in Washington, D.C. A collaborative event between InfoComm International and the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC), the conference explores the intersection between audiovisual (A/V) and health information technologies (IT) to spotlight the many ways in which cutting-edge A/V technologies and health IT breakthroughs are working together to accelerate healthcare transformation.

Kate Berry, CEO of NeHC, discussed with Commercial Integrator how the partnership developed and some obstacles integrators face in the health care vertical.

Why are you partnering with InfoComm on the Technology Crossroads Conference? What is the advantage for each side in working together?
InfoComm came to NeHC to request assistance in coordinating a conference to bring together the audio visual technology and the health information technology industry to capitalize on business opportunities and the potential to transform healthcare.

NeHC is excited to work with InfoComm to host the Technology Crossroads Conference because the intersection of audio visual technology and healthcare will have dramatic implications for our members and stakeholders. NeHC brings depth and expertise in health IT and Infocomm brings depth and expertise in the AV Industry. Together we can help our members and stakeholders identify new opportunities for improving patient outcomes by leveraging multiple technologies.

What should integrators know about the unique role IT plays in the health care vertical market?
With the passage of the Accountable Care Act and the increasing focus on quality improvement and reform in healthcare, IT has become a critical backbone of healthcare transformation. From electronic medical records security to telemedicine, the services provided by the AV industry are critical to the functioning of these technologies. For example, high definition monitors enable a more effective remote patient visit and new medical schools are relying on AV technology to power real-world simulations.

Who is typically the point of contact on health care installations? Is it someone in IT?
This is not the NeHC area of expertise, but typically in a hospital setting, often the chief information officer (CIO) or the chief medical information officer (CMIO) will be the lead executive directing an IT-related project.  Many larger health systems may also have a chief technology officer (CTO) or chief nursing information officer (CNIO) involved in technology installations.  And in physician practices, you will usually find that Practice Managers are the key point of contact.

What are some of the challenges or obstacles integrators may face when trying to break into the health care vertical market? What can they do to overcome those?
From NeHC’s perspective, there are some issues that should be taken into consideration. Technologies in use in the healthcare environment will require 24/7/365 service availability - there are no “office hours” in patient care.  With the patient privacy requirements put in place by the HIPAA law, network security is of the utmost importance. And for technologies installed in critical care settings, cleanliness is going to be a top priority.  The best thing any company looking to break into healthcare can do is to get educated; connecting with those who have existing healthcare knowledge will make navigating this unique industry far easier.

What are some of the health care technology trends attendees can expect to see at the show in Washington?
The Technology Crossroads Conference will feature over 60 expert speakers from all areas of the healthcare, IT and AV industries. At the top of the agenda is an orientation to healthcare. During the conference attendees will hear about cutting-edge health IT technologies, such as mobile apps and secure email, that are helping doctors and other healthcare providers better treat and communicate with their patients; watch as physicians and hospital executives team up with AV leaders to demonstrate products that can make their offices and hospitals better, smarter and more successful; learn how to navigate the post-election healthcare environment and get an up-close look at potential business opportunities for AV and IT in healthcare.

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