CHICAGO (April 13, 2009) - As an indication that healthcare organizations and physician practices are responding positively to President Obama's call for computerized health records for all Americans by 2014, I am proud to report that the 2009 Annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference & Exhibition had an estimated 27,500 attendees.
We attribute this year's strong attendance to a combination of employment growth in the healthcare sector, the $19.2 billion designated for health IT in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Chicago's central location and the unparalleled educational programming and networking opportunities we offer. While overall attendance at this year's Conference shows a slight decrease from last year's 29,100 attendees, we believe it is a result of general economic conditions and fewer personnel staffing exhibitor booths.
Year after year, the HIMSS Conference & Exhibition allows hospitals and physician practices to explore and interact with electronic medical record applications and other IT solutions and equips them with the knowledge to use these products in meaningful ways. Now more than ever, providers are realizing the value of an electronic healthcare system and are moving towards implementing these technologies.
Among the highlights of this year's Conference were:
- More than 900 exhibiting companies - from Fortune 500 to start-ups - showcasing their latest healthcare innovations.
- More than 300 education sessions, including 11 that addressed the health IT provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Attendees also learned about "The Art of Deception" from Kevin Mitnick, the world's most famous former hacker, and explored how popular and emerging technology - from Wii Fit to nurse avatars - could impact health and medical care.
- A recognized lineup of keynote speakers - including Dennis Quaid, award-winning actor and director and president of the Quaid Foundation for Patient Safety, and Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve - addressing industry issues of patient safety, healthcare costs, and privacy and security.
The next HIMSS Conference & Exhibition will be March 1 - 4, 2010, in Atlanta.
# # #