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HIMSS Trends and Takeaways

Annie Sullivan
March 29, 2022
Min Read

Another successful HIMSS conference (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) is in the books, but if you weren’t able to attend—or if you need a refresher—we've pulled together the top trends and findings from this year’s gathering from Formstack employees and partners who attended.  

Did you know? You can find out what conferences and events Formstack is attending by checking out our events page. You might get some fresh swag if you say hi to us at an upcoming event! 

Patient Experience 

Patient experience is still at the forefront of everyone’s minds as more and more patients expect offices and organizations to ramp up their digital presence and offerings. Online forms and data collection were a hot topic, as it shows your patients you value their time when they don’t have to fill out multiple forms in the waiting room. 

Audrey Sadkowski, SDR Manager at Formstack and HIMSS, agreed, “We had lots of conversations surrounding automation of hard coded applications and manual processes. Organizations were looking for new ways to collect data and integrate with EMRs/EHRs seamlessly for data collection.”

But patient experience is also about the follow up. Are you sending personalized reminders to patients? Do you have ways for them to request appointments, labs, referrals, and more online? If not, start planning to implement these follow up tacticsin the coming years. If you lag behind, you risk losing patients to other more forward-thinking organizations.   

Discover how to go paperless when onboarding new patients with our guide

Data, Data, Data

It’s not just about collecting patient data in a more manageable way–this HIMSS focused on what you can do with data. Alana Galardo, Director of Demand Generation at Formstack, noticed just that. “Using data, securing data, and managing data seem to be a hot topic in healthcare, and attendees were waiting in line to talk data. Simplifying data management was also on the forefront. It’s no longer about single-solution technology. The healthcare industry wants to maintain that digital maturity with simple tools that can handle multiple processes.”

With that in mind, there’s no better time than now to start looking at how you collect, manage, and utilize your data. 

Learn more about document data encryption here.

Tech Trends 

From Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare to cybersecurity forums, HIMSS delivered the newest trends in what you should be thinking about when it comes to technology.

First up, AI is becoming more popular than ever. Building a modern data strategy with AI and machine learning in mind should be on your radar. Our partner Jose Lara at TechByPro agreed, saying, “Takeaways were how widespread AI has become now that it is permeating down to the small community hospital level.” The more you can build out these sorts of offerings and workflows now, the more your business and organization will thrive. 

Going far beyond HIPAA compliance, cybersecurity is another major area of concern. As hackers get smarter, faster, and more cunning, so too must your organization and employees if they want to keep patient data safe. It’s no longer enough to be prepared; you must continue to evolve and stay on top of trends in order to ensure data security. 

Tech Debt

While adding technology can be exciting, sometimes it can add to the disturbing trend of ‘tech debt.’ Abigail Sterns, Sales Development Specialist at Formstack, observed, “Many people I spoke with talked about how over the years, they were piecing together many different tools to get their processes working for the ‘digital world.’ Turns out, this caused a lot of ‘tech debt’ for healthcare organizations and providers that makes them anxious to begin the work of going through a full audit and being honest with what they need and what they don't. Finding a solution that can help replace some of these ‘band-aided’ together processes is ideal for them, but putting in the work seems daunting.”

With that in mind, many companies were looking for all-in-one solutions that can fix their patched-together tech stacks. These included companies with tools that can track and manage data, create online forms and documents, and that include an eSignature component. 


Tech is no good if it doesn’t help you produce better, faster, results based on clean data. That’s why there was a big emphasis on change management and workflow improvements—because implementing new processes can result in changes that impact everyone from employees to patients.  

Audrey saw “lots of usage of multiple tools versus streamlining processes with a single tool.” It created a lot of red tape for employees who had to deal with so many systems. 

Get your digital healthcare transformation checklist here


While leadership, mentoring, and soft skills have always been important, a new digital age calls for a new ways of thinking about things—and new ways to move those ideas forward. Strategic planning will continue to be important, but so will your ability to manage and lead during the continuing digital health transformation. 

Leaders will need to be able to tell what technologies are around to stay—and which ones doctors, staff, employees, and patients are expecting the most. It will become a game of balancing patient demands with cost-effective solutions that can be initiated across the board. And as always, if you don’t adapt fast enough, you’ll fall behind competitors.  

Pandemic Response 

With COVID-19's shadow still lingering, not only will you be expected to be prepared for any future pandemics, but you’ll need to be able to continue to handle the fallout from this one. This might mean implementing online forms to track vaccination status of employees or patients. It could include ramping up telehealth services for when patients cannot be seen in person. Just know that COVID-19's presence has necessitated many changes to the healthcare landscape that appear to be here to stay.  

Staff Shortages

With staffing shortages hitting almost every industry hard, healthcare has been no exception. HIMSS attendees reported hearing a lot of talk around hiring processes and ways to improve those. Audrey noted, “Along with seeing technology needs for improving data use, internal use cases, like hiring new employees, was a hot topic of conversation.” 

Having a good onboarding process—and analyzing the market to ensure you’re competitive—was a key way to stand out from other employers. 

To discover more healthcare trends, check out our healthcare articles.


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Annie Sullivan
Annie Sullivan is the Growth Marketing Copywriter at Formstack. She lives in Indianapolis and loves writing, reading, and traveling.
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