HIMSS: Big Data meets the Big Easy; PACS as an info silo; ready for an MU audit?

NEW ORLEANS - It was an awkward moment. Arrivals to healthcare's most high-tech conference this week here in New Orleans were greeted with warnings not to drink the water, due to problems at a treatment plant that prompted city officials to advise residents and visitors to boil water before drinking.

Panic reportedly ensued at several Starbuck's locations in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center as attendees at the annual conclave of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) were unable to get their daily fix of java. But calm was soon restored (as well as the water supply), and the good times are rolling again at HIMSS 2013.

In our coverage of the meeting, check out this story by associate editor Cynthia E. Keen on how the days are numbered for PACS as a data silo independent of larger healthcare enterprise data archives.

Also, find out what keeps healthcare IT specialists up at night in this article on the results of the annual HIMSS Leadership Survey. As with last year's survey, staffing is still a big issue, but you might be surprised on some of the changing attitudes regarding other topics.

And finally, while everyone has had their eye on the prize in terms of achieving meaningful use (MU) to qualify for federal stimulus funds, are you sure you crossed all your t's and dotted all your i's when you turned in your paperwork? If not, be prepared for a federal security and privacy audit, according to this story.

We'll be featuring more coverage of HIMSS 2013 this week, so be sure to check the site for daily updates. Better yet, subscribe to our Twitter feed by clicking here.

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