Our Top Takeaways from HIMSS16

March 17, 2016 Jana Langhorne

HIMSS16 Floor

CynergisTek participated in HIMSS16 this year as both an exhibitor and as a speaker for two educational sessions. Thank you to everyone that came to our booth and sorry to those that we missed. It turned out to be the most productive, busiest and exciting HIMSS that the CynergisTek team has ever experienced. This year there was a higher energy level and an increased focus on our area of expertise – cybersecurity. Attendees that came to our booth were able to test their phishing knowledge and awareness by playing our game, “Squish a Phish”. It was great to watch our customers be phish savvy when playing the game, specifically knowing to hover over the sender’s email address and website links.

CynergisTek CEO’s Presentations

This year the two sessions we presented at were led by our CEO Mac McMillan and both focused on cybersecurity challenges.  Both presentations were well received by attendees and the media. The first presentation, “Compliance Does Not Equal Security” was with our long-time customer, Jay Adams of Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. In this session, they discussed that creating a culture of compliance can no longer be the mantra for healthcare. Breaches and disruptions of service affecting healthcare are a testament that compliance does not equal security. Today’s healthcare enterprise demands a structured and informed approach to ensuring the integrity of medical records and innovative ways to access patient information safely and securely to support business initiatives. “These attacks cost millions and affect patient care. Many hospitals that have been in the news recently were compliant and had one certification or another to prove it, but were still breached,” McMillan said to the audience.

In the second presentation  “Best Practices for Mitigating Cyber Attacks,” McMillan, alongside Chuck Kesler of Duke Medicine, addressed the staggering number of threat factors affecting today’s enterprise environment. Many organizations are using outdated security approaches, technology and practices to meet regulatory requirements, and missing the forest for the trees. The presentation provided the latest information based on first-hand experience to help attendees better inform their organization and workforce members so ultimately they can keep patient data protected. McMillan closed the session with a call to action, “If you think you only have one or two people on your security team, you’ve already lost. Everyone in your organization is a part of the security team.”

CynergisTek Team Takeaways

We asked the CynergisTek team that was in attendance at HIMSS what they found to be the most exciting thing at HIMSS from their unique perspective.

Mac McMillan, CEO: As a veteran speaker at the HIMSS national conference, I have to say the overwhelming response that both of my presentations had this year. It was exciting to see that attendees and the audience had such an interest because it demonstrates the awareness and importance security plays in our environments. I’ve always said the first step to combatting threats is awareness, and I am hopeful this is the start of a cultural shift in the healthcare industry.

Adam Hawkins, VP of Sales & Marketing: I was impressed that cybersecurity was such a big topic and was everywhere you looked at this year’s HIMSS conference. In walking the show floor we found that it didn’t matter what a company was selling; security was still a major talking point. It is a relief to see that healthcare IT is much more actively focusing on the importance of securing patient information. I had some very exciting conversations with customers, booth traffic, KLAS and CHIME on this topic and am happy to see the industry’s response.

Matthew DiMatteo, Director of Client Services: I was so happy to see how many of our customers at HIMSS this year who made a point to come see us even though we were far back in the exhibit hall. During my time with CynergisTek I have seen the company tremendously grow and increase our customer base, and HIMSS was a great reiteration of that growth. It’s always satisfying to hear your customers praise the work we’ve done together.

Derek Miller, Director of Client Services: As a first-time attendee I have to say everything about HIMSS was exciting. I have never been to a conference that large and full of so much energy. It was great to meet so many decision makers in the healthcare cybersecurity and privacy sector. There was a buzz during the whole conference about security and privacy in general which indicated that it was at the forefront of many healthcare professionals minds. It was a great feeling as people are realizing that security is no longer a nice to have but it’s a must for business continuity. It was exciting to walk the exhibit hall floor and was surreal to see what some of the exhibitors do for the show. Overall HIMSS was an invaluable life experience for me personally and what I was able to gain professionally will go a long way to help me impact the bottom line for CynergisTek.

Rose Gregov, Director of Client Services: It was exciting to be at HIMSS with CynergisTek. In my previous HIMSS I have never experienced having my CEO so involved at the show. It was exciting to see both of his presentations, especially when presenting at the Rock Of Ages Theater. It was a first for me to see the media’s interest in speaking with Mac and the company recognition by attendees that stopped by the booth.

Eric Nelson, Sr. Compliance Consultant: I was excited to attend the educational sessions at HIMSS this year. I spent a lot of time on Monday at the Cybersecurity Symposium, “Cybersecurity Time to Improve Your Posture”. It was great to hear that HIMSS had a focus on the security challenges that medical devices pose to patients, as well as the legal and privacy aspects of cybersecurity. The session was very educational and provided great awareness for attendees that are trying to mitigate cybersecurity risks and improve their security programs.

Jana Langhorne, Director of Marketing & Sales Support: Being the fourth HIMSS that I have led the team, as an exhibitor I have to say it is exciting to see my team’s hard work and efforts come to life and have our most successful show yet. Like Adam and Mac said, cybersecurity was such a hot topic this year and I definitely had way more people stop by the booth to discuss their challenges with us. I am most excited to see the focus on cybersecurity across the industry and being part of a company that is trying to help address cybersecurity risks.

Kathryn Drake, Marketing Coordinator: From a marketing standpoint, I was excited to see all of the innovative booth designs and strategies from companies on the exhibit floor. The social integrations and modern designs I saw throughout the show were proof to me that healthcare marketing doesn’t have to be dull and boring.

Chanel Benoit, Sr. Account Executive of Aria Marketing: The message of cybersecurity rang true in all of my meetings with Mac and the attending press. Almost every journalist asked Mac about the state of security in healthcare right now, and what can be done about the increasing cyber threat facing provider organizations. Highly publicized ransomware and cyberattacks were fresh in everyone’s mind, creating a ripe opportunity for Mac to explain how to mitigate risk. The looming HIPAA audits were also a hot topic, and the media really appreciated Mac’s insights on the protocol and what organizations should be doing now to prepare.

Didn’t get to meet with us at HIMSS? Click here to request an introduction to CynergisTek and learn about who we are.

Photo via Healthcare IT News

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