With HIMSS17 having just wrapped up in Orlando, Fla., there is no shortage of discussions around all that is going on in the world of health IT, and the Medical Capital Innovation Competition is no exception. The inaugural competition, taking place at the HIMSS Innovation Center in Cleveland, OH on April 25-26, 2017 will bring together the best and brightest minds to showcase some of the most innovative, up-and-coming ideas as it relates to health IT. This year, the competition will focus on all things data in healthcare – a topic that hits home to many as news continues to swirl about health data and how it is driving better patient outcomes. We recently had a chance to sit down with Carla Smith, Executive Vice President of HIMSS to get her insights into the competition and the innovations being brought to Cleveland in April. Continue reading to find out more.
Shayda Windle (SW): Can you tell us about the inaugural Medical Capital Innovation Competition and what you hope to accomplish from it?
Carla Smith (CS): At HIMSS, we truly believe patients reap the benefits of better healthcare through the best use of health IT, and there’s no better reflection of that than events like our inaugural Medical Capital Innovation Competition, which will be co-hosted by Cuyahoga County, the Global Center for Health Innovation, and BioEnterprise. The competition will bring together the best and brightest in health IT to present their business plans to a panel of judges who will award winners based on criteria including (but not limited to) commercial and technical viability, financial model, and the strength of the team. Participants will be given the opportunity to win cash prizes totaling $100,000 and the chance to be paired up with mentors who can help turn their plans into a reality. In order to accomplish better health through the best use of health IT, we must have hi-tech, innovative solutions that can support hospitals, physicians, clinicians, and most importantly, patients. We believe that this competition is just one way of kick-starting the innovation needed to drive better patient outcomes.
SW: Can you tell us who the competition is geared towards and what types of innovations we should expect to see?
CS: The competition is open to both professionals as well as collegiate teams who have big ideas on collection, management, and analysis of healthcare data and are looking to turn their ideas into a reality. The business plans should largely be focused on big data but this is an inaugural competition and considerations will be made for other innovations within cybersecurity or other areas of health IT. One of our biggest program goals is to match those who are serious about changing health IT for good with mentors and guidance to take their ideas to the next level.
SW: From your perspective, what does it mean to “unlock the potential of data” to improve patient outcomes? How can healthcare organizations position themselves to do so?
CS: Right now we are just at the cusp of understanding what it means to truly unlock the potential of data. More and more organizations have the building blocks they need as they move from paper processes to electronic health records (EHRs). The next step is taking the data and using it to create a more accurate picture of the patient that drives better healthcare decisions. Gaining executive buy-in is essential in order for healthcare organizations to truly unlock the power of data. From the top down, leadership should embrace the belief that IT is a pivotal component to the organization’s strategic plan. Putting patients first is also critical. And I think with executive buy-in and having champions behind your ideas, you can achieve success.
SW: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers about the competition?
CS: The deadline for the competition is March 31, so don’t miss it! You can submit your application here.