Bill Clinton showed up this afternoon in New Orleans. The topic was health care at the HIMSS 13, a convention sponsored by the nation's premier healthcare IT association. HIMSS is a non-profit dedicated to promoting a better understanding and management of health care IT.
At a post speech question and answer session, Clinton spoke about a broken system in Washington. Telling health care leaders that it was time to get away from the "horse and buggy" Clinton stressed that so many solutions in health care are now possible due to technology advances.
The former president lamented the divisions in Washington that were present in his administration and which are still present today. Claiming that the 1994 health care act was killed after Bob Dole decided to pull the plug on negotiations after learning from consultants that if he worked with Clinton he would lose the 1996 presidential race, Clinton stressed what a remarkable achievement health care reform really is for teh country. History shows that in 1996 Dole lost the presidential race anyways.
At the same time as bemoaning the state of Washington Clinton was generally upbeat on America The former president emphasized that while he viewed "bigotry" as less of a problem in America, he said that "people just don't seem to want to be around anyone they don't agree with." The audience seemed to agree with the paradox.
The former president also avoided discussing Hillary's future by claiming that he had no knowledge of the 2016 presidential situation, saying that nothing had been decided on the home front.
The last time that HIMSS was in New Orleans was 2007, the year after Katrina hit the city. Both the city and the nature of health care IT have undergone huge transitions during this time period. The nation has new health care laws which have challenged providers to move to electronic recording keeping while implementing compliance and security methods to protect patient information. HIMSS works closely with another non-profit IHE, which is defining interoperability and information standards for health care IT products.
The Morial Convention center is packed with software and hardware companies, with integrators and innovators, and hospital administrators. The center has seventeen football fields worth of displays buzzing this week, filled with tech titans and start-ups. A brief tour of the event today revealed some interesting happenings, the top four are below.