The life of a journalist at HIMSS

Ever wonder what the life of a journalist is like during the annual HIMSS conference?

For one thing, it’s filled with e-mail. For weeks, I’ve been receiving requests from vendors to meet with them at HIMSS. I only accepted a few, and for good reason: I’m human. There are more than 900 vendors out there on that madhouse of a show floor, and I can’t possibly meet with more than a few of them in the four days of HIMSS. (Actually, it’s a three-day event for vendors because they clear out on Wednesday while those of us here for the conference—not just the “show”—stick around until Thursday.)

The e-mail flood started up again last night, as companies put out news releases for HIMSS, talking about their mere presence here (yawn), new product information (half-yawn) and information about successful implementations of their products (often quite interesting.) Wait, did I say “products”? I meant to say “solutions,” because that’s what all the vendors call their offerings.

A major pet peeve of mine is the incessant use of the word “solution” as a synonym for “product”
or “service. That word was popular when I started covering healthcare circa 2000. It’s tired. Time to come up with something better, or just call what you sell a product or service. What’s wrong with those terms anyway?

Pardon my digression there. Back to the e-mail.

Following are the hedlines of press releases I’ve received since yesterday morning:

  • Clinovations has invited you to HIMSS Networking Happy Hour 2011
  • HIMSS: Interested in meeting with KP?
  • ONC Announces New Project to Harmonize Standards that Support Meaningful Use of EHR Systems
  • CDIA Press Briefing Tomorrow, News Release Today
  • eHealth Initiative CEO Available for Interviews at HIMSS 2011
  • 4medica Hits Milestone: 27,000 Providers Now Have Access to 30 Million Electronic Patient Records
  • HP Healthcare News: Telehealth Solutions with LifeBot, Canvys, MedWeb and Parental Health
  • Health Level Seven Announces Upcoming Release of the greenCDA™ Implementation Guide
  • DICOM Grid Advances Interoperable Medical Image Management & Collaboration with 2 Million Imaging Studies on Grid
  • Medicity Demonstrates Certified Meaningful Use Modules on the iNexx Platform at HIMSS11
  • Saint Luke Health System’s Debe Gash named a Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader
  • Dramatic AppCloud Growth Propels Covisint, a Compuware Company, to Become the Nation’s Largest Healthcare Identity Management Service Provider
  • MedeAnalytics HIMSS11 Press Releases
  • News: Iron Mountain Delivers Cloud-Based, Vendor Neutral Storage for Patient Data (booth #2712)
  • Philips showcases commitment to standards-based interoperability at HIMSS11
  • Health Language Launches LEAP I-10, a User Friendly, Cloud-based ICD-10 Conversion Solution at HIMSS11
  • GE, Cisco to offer hospitals new mobility tech for patient flow, asset mgmt.
  • GE Healthcare Announces Collaboration with CDC, EMR Certification & Strategic Alliance with Cisco
  • Sage news release: Sage Healthcare Division to Integrate HealthUnity’s Health Information Exchange with Electronic Health Record
  • HIMSS Releases Policy Priorities for 2011/2012
  • SK&A to Measure EHR Adoption for U.S. Government
  • Oracle Healthcare:  New Solutions Unveiled at HIMSS11 Support Meaningful Use, EHR Requirements

I’d file most of these—not all—into the yawn category. And yet, I have to process them. Any wonder why HIMSS is such an endurance test?