Hola from San Antonio, where it was a warm 80-something degrees yesterday when I strolled from my hotel to the convention center just before noon. I’ve been to San Antonio before and find it a beautiful spot, though flooded with tourists. I spent most of the afternoon in the exhibit hall since few educational sessions were on the agenda.
I did attend the MGMA Town Hall, which was led by MGMA-ACMPE President and CEO Susan Turney, MD. Much of the discussion centered on the hot topics that are keeping administrators awake at night, including the ICD-10 transition and possible SGR cuts. Turney stressed the important role of technology in the care process and for keeping practices financially healthy.
I was near the front of the pack to enter the exhibit hall when the doors opened at noon.
Aprima had a primo booth location, which was just inside the main exhibit hall entrance. Signage was all about offering a “lifeline to Allscripts customers.” I asked one of the Aprima guys whether they have been busy in light of the recent MyWay announcement. He was surprisingly guarded in his remarks and didn’t say much more beyond noting a bit of an uptick in interest from MyWay customers and resellers.
If this is how all Texas men look, I am moving South. Quite a few folks were wearing Western attire. I don’t know if that’s their regular look or just an enthusiastic promotion of the locale.
Thanks, McKesson, for the free water bottles that were placed right next to water coolers throughout the convention center.
I need to verify the exact number of exhibits, but I am guessing it is over 500. Significantly smaller than HIMSS, but still enough that I didn’t have a chance to see everything in the couple of hours I spent cruising the aisles. Vitera and Allscripts seemed to have the largest booths, though not necessarily the busiest. athenahealth, NextGen, and Greenway also had a big presence. I was surprised by the relatively small McKesson and Cerner booths.
Thanks to all the sponsors who were displaying signs in support of HIStalk. A few I noted include Vitalize, Iatric, Emdeon, Vitera, DrFirst, Capario, Sandlot, White Plume, Culbert, IMO, and M*Modal.
The supplemental exhibitor roster included a list of vendors that had cancelled, which I found a little curious. I don’t think MGMA was attempting to criticize them for canceling, but merely informing attendees not to look for these vendors.
Speaking of criticism, I spent a few minutes chatting with a company that offered a code search program. The woman showed me the software on her tablet and it looked user-friendly enough. When I asked her why I would search for codes using her program instead of through my EMR, she asked me what EMR stood for. Really? Her booth partner rescued her, but her response left me quite unimpressed with her company.
I have seen this knight before at other shows though I don’t recall what company he belongs to. He (she?) stands like a statue until someone gets close and then makes a sudden move to scare them. I wouldn’t get any closer than about six feet because I find the whole thing quite creepy.
No, these folks were not lined up try to win an iPad, nor to watch a magician perform his tricks. Instead, the crowd was hovering in front of a big TV watching Sunday afternoon football.
I’m always impressed with vendors can give a short and effective elevator pitch on their companies and products. A few standouts were Diagnosis One (clinical decision support tools), Q-Genda (scheduling), Iatric (privacy audits and more), IMO (clinical coding), and MedAssets (group purchasing.)
Seriously, how can anyone not love mariachis? This little band entertained the crowd at the opening reception. The reception was immediately following the opening keynote session by Erik Wahl, who spoke on ways to make organizations more productive and profitable – I missed it. The reception appeared pretty well attended, maybe because the drinks were free.
The food stations at the reception predictably featured quite a bit of Mexican food. I heard it was good but I didn’t try any.
That’s an ice sculpture, in case you couldn’t tell.
I saw lots of hot shoes throughout the day, of course. Even a few guys were sporting some great looks.
I was not the only one wearing my cowboy boots. Love the boot/skirt pairing.
I don’t have spurs for my boots, but must get some.
I am off to attend the Monday morning keynote session, which is a panel discussion on the state of the healthcare industry. Then I’ll spend an hour or so in the exhibit hall , followed by a few sessions this afternoon. I am thrilled that my BFF Dr. Jayne scored a last- minute invite to attend, so we’ll be hooking up for some party hopping tonight.
If you have any session or exhibit suggestions, comments, or pictures, send them my way!