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Customer Experience and Design

The HIMSS Conference Past and Present: What I’ve Learned So Far

It is once again time for the annual HIMSS conference. I’ve been going to the HIMSS conference for over 15 years. For many years I went in a healthcare IT management role and more recently I’ve been going as a consultant. This is my first year attending as part of the Perficient team and I’m really excited about the upcoming conference.

In the past I’ve found HIMSS to be an extremely valuable conference. One of the greatest benefits to me is the ability to access practically all healthcare vendors and service providers in one place. One year I took advantage of the vendor availability at HIMSS to evaluate clinical solutions over a couple of days that otherwise would have taken weeks, if not months. This led to quickly narrowing the field of potential vendors who would receive an RFP for our multi-hospital implementation and cut both time and also cost related to the project. Other times I’ve used existing vendor relationships to get access to resources I otherwise wouldn’t interact with to achieve results such as escalating existing concerns, building relationships with key executives, picking the brain of senior technicians or receiving more information on the product roadmap.

In addition to the vendor access, HIMSS is always a great source of information, lessons learned and best practices related to many topics related to the health IT community. The education sessions, round tables and specialized workshops provide an unmatched opportunity to learn more about practically any subject you need to address challenges your organization may be facing. In addition to the scheduled sessions, I probably learned as much through informal discussions with other health IT managers. The opportunity to catch up with people and share information is extremely valuable and is, in many cases, the only chance all year to have this level of interaction.

Finally, there is the social interaction. Over the course of my career I’ve developed relationships with many people in all areas of health IT as I’m sure most of you have done. HIMSS is a change to renew friendships, catch up on developments over the past year and maybe even learn something from a friend’s experiences.

In summary, the HIMSS conference is a unique opportunity to interact with others in the greater health IT community. It is something I look forward to each year and can’t wait until this year’s conference in New Orleans.

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Alan Cranford, Director, Client Services

Alan Cranford is a client services director within Perficient's national healthcare practice. Alan has more than 30 years of technology and healthcare industry experience, including former stints as CIO at two different hospital management companies. He has a broad background in software development, consulting and senior healthcare IT management.

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