HIMSS17: ‘Xtelligent’ Insights from HealthITAnalytics’ Jennifer Bresnick

Feb 06, 2017 admin

February is here, which means we are only a few weeks away from this year’s HIMSS conference.

In preparation of the main event, InkHouse kicked off our annual HIMSS blog series to give attendees all the insider information they need to know. From how to secure a media briefing with a top-tier healthcare reporter to how to make the most of the show, we got it all.

For this post, I had the opportunity to chat with Xtelligent Media’s Director of Editorial Jennifer Bresnick - who typically writes for the publisher’s HealthITAnalytics site - to learn what she’s looking forward to most at the show and the tips she has for PR professionals working with reporters at HIMSS.

Q: What are you most excited about seeing at HIMSS17?

In addition to the warm Orlando sunshine, I’m really interested to see how health IT vendors have started to make good on all the interoperability promises that came out of last year’s conference. I’m also looking forward to hearing the opening keynote from IBM CEO Ginni Rometty. I think she’ll have some fascinating things to say about the future of big data in healthcare.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest healthcare IT news/trend coming out of HIMSS17?

Population health management will probably still be a strong contender for a top buzzword, but the real game-changer in 2017 is going to be machine learning.

Organizations have spent the past two or three years getting to grips with what big data is and what the use cases are. 2017 is going to be the year that they start applying that data to decision-making, and machine learning will underpin that process.

Q: The HIMSS show floor is notoriously packed with healthcare IT vendors. What draws you to a vendor’s booth?

To be honest, I don’t spend much time at vendor booths as I like browsing the show floor. If I’m in the vendor hall, it’s probably because I’m heading to a scheduled meeting (and if I’m not in a meeting I’m probably holed up somewhere writing an article), so I don’t do a lot of sightseeing.

That being said, booths with signs or posters that have interesting statistics about patients and providers will always catch my eye. For interviewing purposes, a quiet, separate space to chat is ideal. Bonus points if you’ve got a miniature conference room in a second-story treehouse.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to HIMSS first time attendees looking to make the most of the show, what would it be?

Bring a jacket or a sweater, because the meeting rooms are always ice cold! Try to attend a mix of events, but don’t overschedule yourself. Most importantly, talk to everyone you meet.

If you’re attending the same session, you already have a common interest, and every one of your neighbors will have a fresh perspective that you haven’t heard before. It’s a great opportunity to connect with peers from around the country and soak up a lot of knowledge.

Last bit of advice? WiFi access can be hit-or-miss in these big convention halls, so plan accordingly if you can’t snag a seat in the internet lounge.

Q: If you could tell the PR world one tip about working with reporters around HIMSS, what would it be?

For starters, ask the reporter what he or she wants to achieve at the show.

In terms of interviews, be sure to inform your client about the objectives of the meeting, and make sure the interviewee is knowledgeable and engaged enough to have a meaningful, detailed conversation (that doesn’t get hijacked by the marketing team). On a personal level, I don’t want to have to scrap an interview that turns out to be a dud. That isn’t a good use of anyone’s time. Instead, I’d rather trade a million emails with you before the show to make sure we’re all on the same page and that the meeting will be mutually beneficial.

Also, be aware that as soon as our names hit the media registration list, we are absolutely inundated with requests. If you don’t get into my inbox early with a well-crafted pitch that falls in line with the topics I’m covering, you’re not going to get on my schedule. There simply isn’t enough time for everyone, unfortunately - and at this point, I am already overbooked!

Thanks to Jennifer for taking the time to share her insight and feedback with our team, despite the craziness that is HIMSS!  

For more insider information about HIMSS17, check out InkHouse VP Lauren Arnold’s blog on her conversation with HIMSS executives and InkHouse SAE Brittany Boyer’s blog based on insights from Healthcare Informatics’ Editor Rajiv Leventhal.
Topics: Healthcare, Media Relations, PR

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