David Muntz of Starbridge Advisors Shares a HIMSS Survival Guide

HIMSS19 with David Muntz
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45,000+ people will be descending on Orange County Florida for HIMSS 2019.  It is an Opportunity Rich Environment for those who are prepared.  Find out what industry veteran David Muntz recommends to get the most out of the event.

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Bill Russell:                   00:07                Welcome to this week in health it where we discuss the news information and emerging thought with leaders from across the healthcare industry. This is episode number 56 today, the incomparable David Muntz and I I will discuss incomparable no comparison. In fact, I got an invite today to an event that said, come here, David Muntz like the draw of the event that I was invited.

David Muntz:                00:30                Oh my gosh. Are you sure it wasn’t inoperable instead of incomparable ?

Bill Russell:                   00:36                No. I’ll have to go look it up. I’m definitely going to go to it just to get a couple of people and be in the background. We’ll do whatever we do. So, uh, this podcast is brought to you by health lyrics, helping to build agile, efficient, and effective health it. Let’s talk visit health lyrics .com to schedule your free consultation. My name is Bill Russell, recovering healthcare cio, writer and advisor with the previously mentioned health Lyrics. I’ve been told now I’m actually off. This is a part of my three week break and I got about two weeks into it and I couldn’t help myself. I read your article this morning and I thought you know what our listeners need to have the, the, um, the benefit of, of that article and preparing for himss, it’s because it’s just around the corner. It’s a couple of weeks. So I thought I would come out of my break. I’m casual today, your casual today. Um, and I’m, I’m actually off again next week and then the following week we kick off, uh, the podcast for the new year and we’ve got a lot of new things and exciting things that we’re going to be doing a little different got a bunch of new guests. I’ve sent out a bunch of invitations and so I’m really looking forward to it, but today we’re going to focus on one thing and that’s preparing for himss. Do you remember your first himss and what your impression was of that first himss?

David Muntz:                02:02                Well, sadly I do. When I went to himss, I went to a meeting that was associated with the Aha at the time and it was a very small group and there may have been five or 600 people, concrete floors with a few people who were smart enough to bring carpet and it was just remarkable and to see it grow like it has just been overwhelming no body could have predicted that

Bill Russell:                   02:29                how, how many years ago was that? Are you, are you able to say or

David Muntz:                02:33                it wasn’t yours. It was decades ago. And so it was truly remarkable and so I’ve been excited, you know, they’re doing great things for the industry and the hit professionals are advantaged significantly by it.

Bill Russell:                   02:50                Yeah, so you opened 500 did this, this time around. They’re anticipating what about 40,000 ish.

David Muntz:                02:56                40 five plus. They put the plus on there. So

Bill Russell:                   02:59                just, just in case people walk in on that thing. I remember my first Himss and I was not prepared for it. I walked in the door as a newly minted cio. Somebody said, well, you know, it’s in Vegas. Why don’t you just head over there? It’s no big deal and it is a big deal. I, um, I, I was completely overwhelmed. I was um, uh, you know, I, I, I, I think I did everything wrong. I didn’t really have a good game plan. People saw me and they grabbed me and pulled me all over the place and you just sort of ended up, ended up being washed around. I think, um, I, I don’t have this calculated, but I do remember one time at New Orleans, I did 35,000 steps in a day and I’m pretty sure that five of my top 10 step days in my life have been at himss events. So, uh, so one of the things you’ve talked about early on, I have a list of things that you highlighted that I think will really help people. And uh, you know, it is an opportunity rich environment, but here’s some of the things that you said I’d love for you to elaborate on. So someone you say make appointments now with your key vendors. What’s the benefit of that?

David Muntz:                04:12                Yeah, there’s rarely a time where you’re going to have the people whom you’re doing business with or those with whom you want to do business altogether in one place and they’re going to bring all of their high level execs and so it’s an opportunity to really get to the kind of resources that you want. They often bring their technical support staffs, their sales support people, they’re talking about current as well as thinking about and showing the future and it’s a real opportunity and so I used to think of himss as an opportunity to do all the meetings that I wanted to have, not just what the vendors wanted to have at a locale that was common to all of us and to make sure they brought all the people that they needed to answer the questions in real time and so you can get to answers more quickly and then if you’re shopping for something, you can do a comparison very quickly between vendors and all that’s off. Instead of having that ice cube effect. That happens when you meet somebody this week and then for two weeks before the vendor competitor shows up.

Bill Russell:                   05:20                Yeah, I agree. I think that’s one of the biggest benefits is having all the vendors. There was a couple of meetings where I brought multiple vendors together and it’s, you know, it’s, it’s a lot easier to do that at himss because they’re all there to get one of their, one of their very expensive booths where you, uh, get a room and go back there and have those conversations. So that’s, that’s phenomenal. And if you don’t set up those meetings ahead of time, you do wander a lot. There’s so many parallel events going on and it’s just, um, and so second thing you have here is a meet meet with starbridge advisors. That’s just a little advertising but, but you wrote this article from a vendor perspective or from a more of a buyer perspective or it can really work for both.

David Muntz:                06:09                Actually, I was thinking about it from a cio perspective because that still my mindset. Um, and so it was as a cio or as somebody who’s working for the cio, this is what you should do. And I was not thinking about it from a vendor except from the selfish perspective of wanting to get to meet people who are not familiar with. Star bridge and what we do

Bill Russell:                   06:33                and you know. One of the things with meeting with starbridge or even meeting with Health Lyrics is it, this is a phenomenal networking event. Um, and it’s also a phenomenal training event. I don’t know if you’ve, I’m sure you’ve done this because we were both pretty passionate about training the next generation. So I would take some of my, uh, some of the people I was mentoring or some of the people that were part of my organization and I would walk them around and I would introduce them to people. And uh, it was an opportunity for me to say, Hey, this is a former cio of the year and you know, this is, you know, this is my vp of fill in the blank and this person wants to be a cio someday. And we’d have drinks and talk and those kinds of things. So it is a great opportunity to do that as well.

David Muntz:                07:15                Yeah, I think that is the greatest part. I think of it as both the business transaction activities associated with the vendors and also learning and the other thing that you get from wandering around, even if you don’t have a plan and I strongly recommend that you create one, is that you can see things on the displays themselves that give you some insight into what the vendors are thinking about and that helps you with your strategy and tactics that you’re going forward. Helps you figure out what’s real, what’s a or what’s nascent and how much effort you should put at doing things yourself. And you know, it spurs innovation. So

Bill Russell:                   07:56                yeah,and practicing what we preach and here’s the himss APP, and I’ve marked all, all my agendas on. My favorites. The exhibitors I want to track down. It is a really, it’s a really good app for, for building that out and to find the people that you want to want to find. So, uh, next thing you say is, you know, get to the himss spectacular. Must see opening session. Uh, last year was the. Oh, Eric Schmidt talked about cloud computing in a, talked about cloud computing in healthcare. And I remember him saying, you know, if you haven’t, if you’re not in the cloud, now, run to sprint to it. And he laid some things out and it was really spectacular in this year’s. Um, don’t look at this. This year is a phenomenal panel discussion.

David Muntz:                08:47                Oh Gosh, yes.

Bill Russell:                   08:48                Uh, well consumer directed exchange disrupt the healthcare marketplace and you have a nice Aneesh who’s, who’s been the show and phenomenal Karen Desalvo, Mike Leavitt and Seema Verma. I mean, any one of those people could be the keynote in and of themselves, but having all four of them on the stage, I can. I’m really looking forward to that.

David Muntz:                09:13                Yeah, it’s a great idea to go. Plus it gets you so excited and jazzed up and you’re going to need to be energetic of the week.

Bill Russell:                   09:22                Yeah. Because if you do three 30,000 step days in a row, you’re going to, you’re going to need some help. Uh, visit the events linked to see how you can take advantage of networking events. And I’m going to click on the link if you want to get to the articles on the, uh, a view from the bridge, starboard, starboard advisors dot Dotcom site. And uh, he has the links on the site as well. So there’s the awards gala, there’s receptions, a chapter events. I know that the, uh, Socal Himss, north northern California Himms. I’ve been invited to both of those so that the chapter events or they’re wow, there’s a career fair. Um, have you ever been a part of that? Have you ever seen that? Is that? I’ve never stopped in on that. So

David Muntz:                10:06                yeah. And actually I’m participating this year, doing an hour talk on what’s happening in the market, what should people do to prepare for the future? And it’s a real opportunity and I appreciate that. Uh, I was asked to do that, so I’m looking at having that talk.

Bill Russell:                   10:22                So that’ll be worthwhile just to hear you talk about the state of where things are at.

David Muntz:                10:27                Oh, well the thing that’s exciting though is, I mean you and I love, I think is that you see the enthusiasm of the people in the next generation, the generation after that, and as they’re progressing in their careers, it’s really remarkable. So this is a chance to give back because, you know, I went to sit at the table and listen to what they had to say and helped me figure out how to navigate my career path.

Bill Russell:                   10:53                Yeah, it is a great industry that way and that we, uh, we help each other along the way. Wow. You also highlight the tracks. So there are, I can’t count them here, but clinical informatics, track a supply chain, digital connected health, consumerization of health culture and care, cybersecurity, data science, a disruptive care models, a grand societal challenges that I’ll have to check into what that is. Health informatics education. There’s, there’s a whole bunch of tracks. And you also talked about earning ce credits to keep your certification up to date. I’m talking about those trucks. I mean there’s, there’s so many things. This is where the APP really comes in handy to track down those things that are, um, that are going to be a value to you and storing them to make sure you don’t miss them.

David Muntz:                11:44                Yeah. And you know, people have a tendency to pick a track and stay in it. My recommendation is to pick several tracks or multiples and go see things that you aren’t necessarily familiar with, strata, figuring out how to align what it is that you’re doing with what’s happening in the parallel tracks that are occurring and so one of the things that we did when we went as a group and you referenced the fact that you sometimes took a team is we would look across the tracks, try to figure out who is going to go represent us in each one of the different tracks. Then we would come back after the meeting, after the conference was done and do a post event training session where we talk about how we’ve been challenged to provoke into new kinds of thinking. And that’s invaluable. So the idea is go to see somebody who may not agree with you or go to see a topic that you’re not familiar with and it’s eyeopening in every case is if you are provoked you are going to either reaffirm your position, are you going to modify it and either outcome as positive, uh, so you can’t lose by going to somebody who doesn’t want to see something that you may not agree with.

Bill Russell:                   12:57                Yeah. One of the things I like to do in these tracks is look for best practices. There’s a lot of health systems are going to be there and you’re going to say, I’ve heard people say, well, you know, cloud computing is nowhere. Well, and then you go to one of these tracks, you sit there and go, wait a minute, this health system, and this health system have gotten this far and hopefully that just, you know, an ai, it’s the same way. Blockchain is another. I mean there’s a whole bunch of different technologies and also workflow and integration and clinical decision support the the tracks are endless now. But one of the things I like to do is find those systems that are doing amazing things and uh, you know, one of the things I did after one of the sessions was I went up and talked to the person that I said, would you be willing to have my team of clinical informaticist talk to your team and, you know, we exchanged cards and a couple weeks later we had our two teams from a two fairly large health systems having a conversation. So then we, we took that, I took that track and what I saw and expanded that to, um, to really benefit the entire team because you can’t take everybody from your health system to Himss it’d be crazy.

David Muntz:                14:06                Professional development is a great motivator. And the thing about himss is it’s a refereed activity. So everybody has gotten there and to your point. It is the best practices who’ve made it through the sieve, uh, in order to be able to present. And so, you know, by definition, almost everybody is presenting either a good, better or best practice.

Bill Russell:                   14:32                So one of your things is you have reserved some personal time. I get that. Appreciate that you have steady yourself and walk around the vendor floor. Okay. So this was probably the most overwhelming thing for me. I felt like I was walking around and you know, there’s that old ing commercial where you walk around with the number over your head, like is my number I need for retirement. I felt like people would look at me and go, they see I was a potential buyer from a health system. They do the math and then I as, as Judy said at some of these events she goes to, she feels like a piece of meat and if you don’t have a plan on that floor, it can feel pretty overwhelming. What, what, what do you, what advice you give for potentially new cio or existing cios or just anyone within it of how to work the floor? Effectively,

David Muntz:                15:22                what I’d do is I’d take the floor map just like you’ve taken the schedule and I circled vendors that I want to see and then I’d draw the shortest distance between all of the vendors, uh, to make sure I see it. But I also make sure I look around because it’s the things I’m not aware of that sometimes have the greater impact and the things I am thinking about. So you know, again, this is going to challenge your status quo and get you to think differently. But that would be the one thing that I’m telling you and I would also suggest that you remember that everybody working those booths are under a lot of stress and you know, everybody said, you know, they are always looking for this red cio badge trying to grab you. It’s like, well that’s understandable, but you should also be respectful of the fact they’re there to provide you education information and do your bidding, if you will, to make sure that you get the most out of the show. And I try to thank everybody who’s worked in a booth because at one point in my career I was on the other side of the booth

Bill Russell:                   16:31                I’ve worked the booth before. That is a, that is a really hard thing to do, to stand all day and be there and you know, and be ready when somebody does walk up. It’s a, that is, that is a lot of work. Um, let’s see. So yeah, I mean, you know, you talk about, you talk about the vendors, you talk about a policy makers, there will be, and we’ve mentioned some of them, there’s going to be some policy makers there. I think one of the things people also may miss if you don’t look closely enough is there’s, I mean there’s the tracks, but there’s also a ton of presentations on the floor itself. You know, the security vendors are, are pretty, I mean. You’ll see 15, 20, a hundred different presentations on the floor, but security is one of those. There’s probably gonna be literally probably 100 security presentations on the floor itself.

Bill Russell:                   17:24                You’ll have people with microphones and the screen places for people to sit down. I’ve found those to be really valuable. I think people should, uh, keep an eye on that. Um, I texted you this morning and asked you to do this and I really appreciate it. Um, so I’m going to try to stay on schedule here. So in the last couple of minutes, um, so there was a sort of an approved social media Hashtag list that Himss has put out and I love the fact that you, Russ and sue came up with a handful that you guys are following. Let’s highlight some of those. So what are the ones that you, you’re, you’re going to keep an eye on?

David Muntz:                18:00                Actually I don’t have my list here I’d appreciate it if you could

Bill Russell:                   18:04                Oh, sure. Well, I mean there’s some great ones, right? So #womeninhit Sue’s going to be following that one. Um, and that’s, that’s a great way. There’s going to be a lot of events specifically for a women at this, uh, at this event and you’ll get to interact with the, with great leaders like sue, a #hitventure is also interesting. You all the startups and the new ventures. And that’s another fascinating thing. There’s areas now where you can walk around and, and I think the booths are a little less expensive and a little little more modest, but you can, you can hit hit up these people who are brilliant people. I mean, they’re brilliant and brave and courageous. I mean, they’re, they’ve, they have a passion, they’re smart. And they’re building new things that are going to change the way we practice medicine in a couple of years. So #hitventure, #engageforhealth is patient engagement. Here’s your picks, #hitsecurity always top of mind a #governmenthit and #powerhit a is about interoperability and I think that’s just going to continue to be a huge topic. Um, I’ll be curious to see how far fire has come over the, you know, every year it was pretty nascent and about two years ago and then last year it felt like it really got some momentum. It’ll be interesting to see how much more it’s progressed this year. I, I, I like watching that.

David Muntz:                19:29                It’s Huge by the way It’s gotten to the stage now where you have to have a formal process to make changes. So it’s become mature, which is really important and it offers an alternative all of us need to be very familiar with. So we need to learn to speak fire.

Bill Russell:                   19:46                Yep. And that’s going to be going to be transformative, uh, aimed to innovate, hit works healthy, a healthy margin, healthcare finance strategy. I, you know, these are just some of the things, um, you know, on social media you can follow this thing. There’s himss TV, they’re going to be broadcasting a handful of things. So even if you don’t go to the event, there’s a way to benefit from the event. And uh, you know, one of the things I used to do was get as many of the presentations as possible and uh, my admin hated when I came back from himss because I would hand her a thousand things and say, you know, you need to sort these by clinical informatics and by analytics and make sure that the leaders get these presentations. And um, and we, you know, there’s just, there’s a ton of great things out there. Any final words on, on himss prep for the person who’s going,

David Muntz:                20:35                I would look and see what the common themes are on the 2019 prediction and such things as augmented intelligence, cybersecurity, the things that are always at the top of the list and try to look for the people who are leading. Also a watch out for all the venture capitalists will be wandering the floor and see what they’re investing in and it never hurts to attract somebody who’s a, who has enough money, they want to spend it on the, on the possibilities of the future. So I think, uh, trying to follow those things would be important as well. By the way is the one thing I can’t tell you enough is to repeat and you said it takes some contemplative time, you’re gonna sensors are going to be overwhelmed and it helps to take a little breather at the end of the day or in the middle of the day and say, am I making progress against my goals for the meeting? And then to think about what it is that you’ve seen, figuring out how to put that into the next few minutes you’re gonna spend and uh, see how that’s going to make sure that you meeting your objectives.

Bill Russell:                   21:46                Taking that time before you even leave your hotel room and writing down, these are the things I must do. Another way of doing that, I, somebody gave me a trick which is to say if I get to the end of this day and I haven’t done these things, I’m going to regret. It tends to. That tends to highlight, I need to make sure I make that networking event. I need to make sure I see that person’s presentation. Big rocks, small rocks thing. Make sure you do the ones that you have absolutely will regret not doing if you don’t do them. So well, I’m going to be there. I’m going to be doing a show. I’m going to be doing multiple shows. I’m going to be recording as many CIOs as I can get a. If you see me, I’m ready to record. I record on my iphone. I have my, uh, my lovely mics with me and I’m going to be grabbing as many cios and influencers as I possibly can. Uh, I might grab some people right off the stage and see how it goes. And, uh, you know, just capture as many of those conversations as I can and we’ll get started into next years a season. So David, thanks. Thanks very much for coming on the show. Uh, apologize for your team for being two minutes late for your next meeting and, uh, thanks for, uh, thanks for doing this.

David Muntz:                22:59                And to the listeners make sure that they follow you. That’s critically importnat .

Bill Russell:                   23:03                Yes. Follow the show. Follow us. Uh, we are, uh, we’re, we’re excited to be able to do this for, uh, for the industry and it’s awesome. Thank you.


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