For those of you unfamiliar with it, HIMSS is the acronym for Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, a "not-for-profit organization focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of information technology and management systems for the betterment of healthcare." The group's 2012 annual conference wrapped up last week in Las Vegas, well over 37,000 attendees strong (a new attendance record, in fact). And while the target audience is clearly somewhat outside of the healthcare A/E community, I wonder if there is enough overlap there to justify attendance — or at least a healthy interest — in many members of the HEALTHCARE DESIGN audience, as well.

The actual issues of the healthcare IT community may not have a direct bearing on how and why the healthcare design community goes about its business other than the obvious application of planning for IT infrastructure and the like in new facilities, but surely there is much of interest regardless. To mention just two of the major issues at HIMSS12 — speculation about a delay in the implementation of ICD-10 and the announcement of meaningful use stage 2 requirements — it is clear that these issues may not affect the day-to-day operations at the average architecture or interior design firm, but it certainly affects the day-to-day operations of the average healthcare facility owner or manager, and that should be of interest to anyone in A/E who, in turn, has an interest in being gainfully employed by such owners.

But more importantly, isn't a general knowledge of all the areas of the hospital — including the IT systems and infrastructure — of interest to the people designing those spaces? Well, of course it is, and so I wonder: how many of you, HEALTHCARE DESIGN readers, have attended HIMSS, either this year or in the past? I'm curious as to how far that connection goes, and if it has increased given the healthcare reform-related events in recent years.

Please leave some comments below about your personal HIMSS experience to let the rest of us know if we should plan to attend in the future. I look forward to your input and to hearing about your takes on the healthcare IT landscape!