2018 HIMSS Recap

Conference recap: HIMSS 2018 – The forefront of innovation

While March Madness is upon us and we filled our brackets in hopes of getting close to the sweet 16—let alone the final four—Sentry began the month at the HIMSS 2018 Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sentry had an engaging conference experience and we were able to meet with many key industry leaders. We attended key sessions on the changes in healthcare technology, and big data was the talk of the town. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have risen from the days of computer installation and wireless connectivity to transforming healthcare solutions such as HIS/EHR systems, driving data analytics to produce value.

Solving our biggest challenges

On day one, I was able to attend the Health IT Now coalition to discuss the opioid crisis and possible technology solutions with IBM and Oracle. At the same time, the Ways and Means committee posted a request for information on how to solve our nation’s opioid crisis. Sentry provided a written response highlighting the role of longitudinal data as a tool to help providers. We look forward to being part of the solution. Our Chief Medical Officer, William Kirsh, DO, MPH, provided context: “It’s time that health IT and Big Data join with providers and the government in the fight against opioid addiction and many other critical issues contributing to both the financial and clinical crisis of the health delivery system. Knowledge is power—and the knowledge lies in the data.”

Additionally, during the conference CMS announced a new initiative committed to putting patients first. “We must move to a system in which patients have control of their healthcare information in order to empower patients to make informed decisions about their health and care. By ensuring patients have access to their full healthcare records and can take it with them from doctor to doctor, provider to provider, we will increase competition and reduce costs.” The MyHealthEData press release announced, “Last year, President Trump issued an Executive Order to Promote Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States. The President made clear that he wants his administration working to foster competition in healthcare markets, so patients, and the American people, may receive better value for our investments.”


The HIMSS 2018 conference gave Sentry a chance to network and engage with our own technology vendors. We had the opportunity to meet with several of the vendors that support us—from Oracle to NTT Data. We were fortunate to participate in a charity event with NTT Data for the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition and built bikes for a local elementary school.

Rounding out the week was our experience walking the 300,000 square feet of exhibit space. It is impressive to see the vast amount of technology solutions available, and to be a part of it all with Sentry’s analytics solutions, DataNext (pharmacy and supply chain) and Agilum (cost accounting). I was able to meet with both the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to discuss their technology initiatives. My last stop was a meeting with publication Modern Healthcare to offer insights around recent 340B news.

The future

One of the changes we predict you will soon see in the technology space is typical business-to-consumer (B2C), non-healthcare sectors coming into the healthcare space feverishly and evolving into business-to-business (B2B) models. We’ve already seen companies such as Uber, Lyft, Verizon, and many other familiar names announcing a healthcare vertical. During the weeks leading up to HIMSS, Amazon announced a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan, and began offering Amazon Prime membership to Medicare recipients; the future is evolving before our eyes. The HIMSS 2018 keynote speaker, Google’s Eric Schmidt, focused on machine learning and cloud computing, encouraging transformation beyond what we have the capabilities to do today. It was inspiring to walk the exhibitor showcase and see innovation coming to life, from artificial intelligence to medical devices providing real-time feedback in the home.

Sentry was also in attendance at the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) 2018 Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Chicago (March 26-29) to discuss the leading best practices in healthcare administration and how leaders are paving the way for value-based care models, diversity, and healthcare analytics. Sentry will continue leading the healthcare industry in turning real-time data into real-world evidence through Comparative Rapid Cycle Analytics™ to reduce total cost of care, improve quality, and provide better results for all.