The economic boom of HIMSS 2010

The economic boom of HIMSS 2010

Summary: While U.S. unemployment remains near 10%, vendors at HIMSS this year were complaining of a labor shortage. There was a carnival atmosphere on the show floor, and at the after-show parties it was 1999, not 2010.


Even without having spent or committed most of the HITECH Stimulus money available to it, the Department of Health and Human Services has created an economic boom at HIMSS.

This year's show in Atlanta was enormous -- Comdex-sized. Organizers estimated 26,800 registered, but walking across the crowded show floors yesterday that total seemed low.

(UPDATE: The final totals, offered Thursday morning, were more than 27,500 attendees, and more than 900 exhibitors in 359,000 sq ft of occupied exhibit space.)

While the 2008 show in Orlando would have filled the oldest and smallest hall of Atlanta's World Congress Center, this one packed both of the two large halls, which together have well over 1 million square feet of space. (This includes meeting rooms, ballrooms, and catering pantries apparently.)

Some of that space was given over to concessions, some to meeting rooms, some to the Interoperability Showcase, but over 900 vendor booths were large and filled with people.

While U.S. unemployment remains near 10%, vendors at HIMSS this year were complaining of a labor shortage. Some of the stimulus money will go toward educating health IT professionals for hospitals, clinics and vendors, but the fact is if you have these skills now finding work is easy.

There was a carnival atmosphere on the HIMSS show floor, and at the after-show parties it was 1999, not 2010.

The Hyland Software booth above, designed to look like Camden Yards but with a sports bar interior (complete with tapes of baseball highlights), was not typical, but it caught the flavor of the moment.

The software company's URL is, which explained the theme, and customers were promised free beer as the show closed for the day.

Hyland actually made some news during the week, buying eWebhealth, which does hosted medical record workflow. But the point of the booth was celebration, an OnBase manager told me. "You don't do business at these shows." You show your customers some love.

Most booths had a distinct sameness -- how many pictures of people with stethoscopes or patients looking at heroic health givers can you stand -- and the vast majority offered variations on the same Electronic Medical Record (EMR) theme.

But given the weather -- a mix of rain and snow most of Tuesday -- and the economic storms outside, HIMSS10 was a happy place. If you're in health IT, happy days are here again.

Topics: Health, CXO, Legal, IT Employment

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Spread the wealth around...

    Yes, the present guy in power is spreading the
    wealth around not worried about the USA going
    down the tubes.
    • some people are so full of rhetoric...

      ...that they will bring it to any blog no matter how far removed their cry-baby whining may be from the subject matter.
      • Folks have a right to their opinions

        Whatever you think of the President you are free to express that opinion.

        Fact is, there is big growth in this health IT market, people are worrying about a labor shortage, and I reported on it.

        I doubt Republicans will ever like Obama. Democrats still hate Nixon, and he was our most liberal President evah!
        • Unfortunately..

          Since they're almost always wrong.

          And Americans in general, in my opinion anyway, are the most unpatriotic people around. They never ever stop going on about how much they don't like the people they voted in..

          But on topic, I.T. is one of the few industries which didn't have a recession. In areas like Security, Health I.T., data management, etc it was, and still is, quite the opposite. They are old areas, but some are only now been seen as important or at least more useful than previously thought.

          Thanks to labor shortages, paychecks are nice and high, and even starting a degree in I.T. and specialising in one of those fields will still get you a decent chance at a job.
  • RE: The economic boom of HIMSS 2010

    I got to be part of one of the Social Media Meet the
    Bloggers panels. Had great fun, I think imparted some
    helpful information and met some great folks. The Medical
    Banking Project was acquired by HIMSS in the fall so there
    was much medical banking coverage compared to previous
    HIMSS's. @ed_dodds @mbproject @HIMSS @tedeytan
    @johnsharp @TheEHRGuy @Justin_Wilcox
    • sorry I missed that

      I would have liked to be a star like you. I was
      treated extremely well at the Practice Fusion
      party, though, at the new Peasant. Had a very fine
      glass of red, met a newcomer to our fair city of
      Atlanta, and learned a whole bunch.

      More on what I learned still to come.
  • RE: The economic boom of HIMSS 2010

    Its all healthcare and medical technology boom!
    by 2015 anything in medtech will be gold!the wave has started!
  • Your forgetting another important thing.....

    Hyland Software has recently launched a new website!

    I've been trying to learn more about health care management systems and came across their websites. It seems like they are a good vendor of a content management system in the health care arena. Found some good information on the website and and I like the look and feel. But anyhow, I'm curious what the future holds for anything and everything health care....