Christmas in February: HIMSS19 and “The Cloud”

By: Jennifer Crandall, RN, BSN, Head of Product, MultiScale

Each year as I walk the show floor at HIMSS, I look to see the most popular buzzwords or tag lines. In recent years, I have noticed “Innovate” or a long time favorite “Interoperability”.  As I walked the show floor at HIMSS 2019, I could not overlook the enormous bump in references to “the cloud” – and it seemed even more people were talking about it than last year. This made me smile to myself. The cloud is nothing new to us at MultiScale – we have been in the cloud for years already after recognizing that the limitations of HL7, FHIR and API’s would never allow comprehensive access to true real-time data.  

Why is it critical to unlock comprehensive access to data? I may be stating the obvious here, but healthcare happens in real-time and clinicians act in the immediate. And as a clinician, the data I often needed to make decisions was just not there when I needed it. Data was either deep within my EHR or siloed from the other applications I was using. While the data was being captured, it was not easily or readily available for me to use when and how I needed it. Having access to streaming real-time data equips me with the right data in the moment, when it is needed most.  

How will access to streaming real-time data bring value to health systems? Surveillance, clinical decision support and even throughput and efficient resource allocation come to mind. At MultiScale, we have helped our customers successfully decrease ED throughput times with reductions in length of stay (LOS). Our customers have reduced both left without being seen (LWBS) and diversion hours, allowing them to do more without additional resources. We have seen streaming data used to empower a health system’s in-house business intelligence and analytic application teams. Beyond the hospital, there is now an opportunity to partner with other Healthcare IT vendors who have unfulfilled use cases due to data limitations and gaps. Streaming data will allow them to access key data that they were unable to reach before.

As a clinician in healthcare for 30 years with 13 of those in IT, I can attest that the ability to access data in real-time is revolutionary - especially considering I have been used to hearing “NO” to real-time access  over and over in my career. So as I walked around HIMSS this year seeing “the cloud” everywhere, I couldn’t help but smile and think that it feels a bit like Christmas.