The Best HCIT Interview Bonanza—EVER!

Originally posted on Healthcare Informatics

It’s finally here. After nearly a year of waiting – I can almost smell the orange groves in Orlando and feel that sunny 70 degree weather that we all hope for. Yes HIMSS is right around the corner and this year, like other years, every major HCIT player across the globe will flock to Florida for 3-4 days of healthcare IT bliss. I can’t wait!

This is the (very) best time to meet as many people possible under a single roof that can help you find a job or help you find talent for your organization. The best use of travel dollars in our industry! I suggest you use of your annual pilgrimage to HIMSS wisely and make this year count! I suggest you consider the following ACTION ITEMS if you are looking for a new career or want to interview new hires for your own team:

Go the HIMSS website and search for companies or people that you want to connect with or meet in Orlando
Join the HIMSS LinkedIn Group so you can send direct messages to people you want to meet with
Attend multiple HIMSS vendor parties (it is easy to get an invitation) and use that as a networking opportunity
Send an e-mail to people you want to meet or connect with and let them know why you want to connect
Let people know what day(s) are better for you to have a private meeting
Fill up your dance card (coffee, breakfast, lunch and dinner) to see as many people as possible.
Make sure you follow up with people you meet in O Town!

Whatever you do – make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to meet as many people in the same city at the same time that can help you in your career or help you find talent. It only happens once a year. Make it count in 2011. Start building your HIMSS 2011 plan NOW!
See you in sunny Florida!

HIMSS – Why This Year Will Be Different!

HIMSS… The healthcare IT conference of the year! What a venue! Many don’t understand the history of HIMSS and how it has become THE healthcare IT conference to attend. It’s massive in every way! I have been attending for over 20 years and my – oh my how things have changed.

I remember when I attended my very first HIMSS conference (many years ago) as a sales rep for a healthcare SW vendor. But…I digress. Can I? Decked out in bright logo attire with product brochures and new business cards in hand…I was on top of the world! Going to HIMSS was an awesome experience. So many prospects and never enough time… Attending a trade show like HIMSS was huge for me! Of course it was not complete without (full blown) booth (etiquette) training to ensure I had the necessary skills to “hook” attendees walking the aisles into a full blown demonstration (in less than 2 minutes) to showcase the latest ambulatory care SW in the market. Yes…the screens were a beautiful green color back then. Transporting the HW required serious lifting and the logistics and details were (let’s just say) much more complicated than they are today.

Most vendors that attended that first conference would transport (are you kidding?) large mini-computers (you name the brand) and huge (non-ergonomic) monitors (also very heavy) to demonstrate their newest applications. Today, many of those same vendors simply bring laptops or handheld devices to demonstrate their functionally rich applications for their “in booth” demos. It’s amazing to see the new healthcare IT applications each year at the conference. Many applications today are fully integrated with the web and hosted in an ASP environment. Healthcare technology today is…well, just plain cool. My how times have changed…And for the better I might add.

But for me the changes are much more profound. Years ago, I attempted to explain to others what kind of work I did. They would smile – yet all had the same “deer in the headlights” expression as they politely said “oh yeah…I get it. That sounds interesting”. Not any longer. With the intense focus and media attention on healthcare IT today – I no longer have to do much explaining. That’s pretty cool. And to all of you attending HIMSS this year (or even if you are unable to attend) you should be proud to tell people what you do for a living. HCIT always mattered – but now I believe it matters even more. As I get ready to depart for HIMSS tomorrow I do so with more excitement and a greater appreciation of the market segment we all serve. Somehow I feel that HIMSS ’09 will be one of the best HIMSS events ever!

So enjoy Chicago, meet old friends, establish new relationships and seek out new business partners that can help you deliver more value to your organization. Talk to people that can help you advance your career, and attend as many workshops that you can to broaden your skill-set. HIMSS is always rich with new content for the attendees – so take advantage of it.

This is the time. Chicago’s McCormick Place is the location. Go make it happen!

Have fun at HIMSS and I hope to see you there!