1. To be openly put to scorn by a withering Mr. HIStalk rant.
2. To be recognized with an annual industry award by Mr. HIStalk.
Last night I was privileged to be invited to the hottest Health Care IT party at HIMSS: the first annual HISTalk Shin Dig. Mr HISTalk, while ruminating with pipe in mouth, determined that since invites to the hot parties were occasionally difficult to come by for an anonymous blogger in his underwear, that he would throw his own party. Turns out a few people were interested – like more than 400 (Healthia scored by sponsoring this!).
It was cool, crowded, loud, and relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. Was able to catch up with some good friends within the community like Jane Sarahson-Kahn (she rocks!), Matthew Holt, Jay Parkinson, Neil Versel, Nancy Brown of Athena, and Jon Teichrow of Webreach. It was fun to make some introductions and to be introduced to several new people of interest within the community. The food was good, the soda drinks expensive ($4 bucks for a sprite – I couldn’t convince the bartender that the $8 beers should subsidize my sprite).
The focal event of course was the annual HISsies. The most concentrated form of satire that you will find at HIMSS or within Health Care IT for that matter. This is where Mr. HISTalk is truly in his element. This year he went to the next level by having the folks at HitchTV produce the awards show in video form. It was really funny. So, with rented booth babes wearing, “Kiss Me, I’m Inga” to cover their barely there attire, the awards I could remember shook out like this:
- Best Vendor: AthenaHealth
- Best Vendor Move: Athena Health IPO
- CEO to have beers with: Jonathon Bush, AthenaHealth
- HISTalk Person of the Year: Jonathon Bush, AthenaHealth
- Annual Throw a Pie Award: Neil Patterson (9 year winner)
Clearly, the Athenista’s had voted en block for their man man. Jen and her marketing girls rallied for the event along with PR Maestro John Hallock expertly working the room, blocking and tackling for the main event as Jonathon took the stage. I was sitting by Jonathon before his speech and corroborated a few things that he wanted to say in his “acceptance” speech. It was scribbled on the back of an envelop, but was delivered in his unique style. Once you peeled back his unique delivery style, he had some solid things to say:
1. Success – Congratulations to Mr/Mrs HISTalk for his work in documenting the current state of Healthcare IT. The blog is read by millions of people.
2. Insight – Congratulations on being THE source of information and for influencing a generation of health care IT people. This insight should be translated into foresight to allow us to collective put our guns down and hammer them into collaborative plowshears to advance the cause of patient care. I continually think about all the siloed waste and really appreciate the slow, difficult, but enabling work of all the standards body whose work will unleash the collective creative force required to create next generation health care.
3. “Digital Cajones” – Jonathon hailed Mr. HISTAlk for his courage to call out the crazy things we do in the industry. HISTalk success is based on this candor and challenging dialogue. Jonathon even challenged the premise of HIMSS as a big boat show – perhaps the reason why Cerner might not be here next year (I thought Cerner won’t show because of how bad Neil got worked at the event).
But, the greatest part of the night was to actually be able to speak with Tim and Inga. They were both quite humbled by the event, the turnout, and the just the MoJo that has developed around the blog and as demonstrated by the event. I am one of three people who actually has seen Tim and he is a really standup guy. Also, I was able to pay homage to Inga in person as well. Let me tell you – those rented babes just don’t compare to the lovely, graceful, and eloquent sidekick. She’s got vim, verve, and quite a vernacular (to die for accent!).
As the theme of the HIMSS show indicates (“Its our time”), Cerner or later, its always about timing. And a great time it was at the HISsies.