Innovation in Government from HIMSS24


Presented by Carahsoft

IIG_HIMSS_Website (300 x 150 px)Innovation in Government at HIMSS 2024 is a program that shines a spotlight on the transformative intersection of healthcare, technology, and government. As we navigate through this era of unprecedented digital evolution, our program delves into the critical themes shaping the future of healthcare: cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and the drive towards seamless interoperability across healthcare systems. Featuring insights from industry leaders and government officials, we explore how advancements in technology are not just redefining patient care and data management but are also addressing the pressing challenges of cybersecurity and clinician burnout. Join us as we uncover the pivotal innovations and collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing healthcare delivery and making our health systems more resilient, efficient, and patient-centered.


  • Tim Boltz, Healthcare Strategist at Carahsoft
  • Mark Knee, Director of the Interoperability Division at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT
  • Naomi Escoffery, Deputy to the Deputy Assistant Director of Acquisition and Sustainment at the Defense Health Agency
  • Aaron Shaha, CISO of CyberMaxx
  • Cherilyn Pascoe, Director of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at NIST
  • Patrick Conte, VP & GM Americas at Fortanix
  • Dr. Helga Rippen, Chief Interoperability and Veteran Access Officer at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Mark Mitchell, Federal Security Architect at Netskope
  • Liz Turi, Care Coordination & Collaboration Branch Chief at ONC
  • Peter Hancock, VP of Global Sales at Asimily

Cybersecurity and AI: Carving the Future of Healthcare Innovation

IMG_2276 2Tim Boltz, a healthcare strategist at Carahsoft, discusses the paramount importance of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI) in transforming healthcare. In the wake of recent cyber attacks, cybersecurity has surged to the forefront of healthcare leaders' concerns, emphasizing the need for robust defenses to protect sensitive patient data and healthcare infrastructures. Parallelly, AI and machine learning (ML) are recognized for their potential to revolutionize patient care and operational efficiency. Bolts underscores the critical role of AI in enhancing care delivery, reducing clinician burnout, and enabling healthcare providers to focus on patient interaction. The integration of AI into healthcare not only promises to streamline data management but also opens new avenues for personalized treatment and tackling rare diseases.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cybersecurity Emerges as a Top Concern: Recent cyber attacks have pushed cybersecurity to the top of the healthcare sector's agenda, highlighting the necessity of safeguarding healthcare data and systems against digital threats.
  • AI and ML Drive Efficiency and Care Quality: Artificial intelligence and machine learning are lauded for their ability to optimize healthcare operations and improve patient care, from automating administrative tasks to enabling advanced diagnostic and treatment options.
  • Focus on Addressing Clinician Burnout: Leveraging AI to alleviate the workload on healthcare professionals is identified as a key strategy in combating clinician burnout, thus improving job satisfaction and patient care quality.

Creating a Unified Healthcare Information Network: The ONC's Vision for Nationwide Interoperability

IMG_2203Mark Knee, Division Director of the Interoperability Division at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, highlights the transformative journey towards a seamless health information exchange across the United States. Through the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), ONC aims to bridge disparate health networks, akin to the seamless connectivity of cell phone networks. This initiative, driven by the need for nationwide scalability and seamless patient care, marks a pivotal step towards democratizing health information access and improving healthcare outcomes.

Key Takeaways:

  • TEFCA is likened to the connectivity of cell phone networks, aiming for seamless health information exchange.
  • Seven qualified health information networks (QHINs) are onboard, demonstrating the initiative's growing traction.
  • The evolution towards a more interconnected health information landscape emphasizes the need for universal access to patient data, enhancing care quality and efficiency.

Digital Transformation in Military Health: Addressing Challenges and Enhancing Care

IMG_2233Naomi Escoffery, Deputy to the Deputy Assistant Director of Acquisition and Sustainment at the Defense Health Agency, discusses the digital transformation efforts to address clinician burnout and improve patient care within the military health system. By leveraging technology, DHA aims to alleviate operational challenges and enhance access to care. The initiative reflects a broader shift towards adopting innovative solutions to ensure the wellbeing of frontline healthcare providers and patients alike.

Key Takeaways:

  • Digital transformation focuses on alleviating clinician burnout and improving access to care.
  • Technology is seen as a key enabler in addressing healthcare challenges within the military health system.
  • The initiative represents a commitment to enhancing the operational efficiency and quality of care for military personnel and their families.

Navigating the Cyber Threat Landscape in Healthcare: Insights from CyberMaxx's CISO

IMG_2251Aaron Shaha, CISO of CyberMaxx, delves into the escalating cyber threat landscape targeting the healthcare sector. Highlighting the criticality of cybersecurity amidst increasing attacks, Shaha discusses the challenges healthcare organizations face, including ransomware and data breaches. The conversation underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity measures to protect patient data and ensure the continuity of healthcare services in the face of growing cyber threats.

Key Takeaways:

  • The velocity and impact of cyber attacks in healthcare are increasing, highlighting the need for robust defenses.
  • Cybersecurity is a critical concern for healthcare organizations, with ransomware posing significant threats.
  • The conversation calls for enhanced cybersecurity practices to safeguard patient data and healthcare services.

Strengthening Healthcare Cybersecurity: NIST's Strategic Approach to Safer Patient Care

Cherilyn Pascoe, Director of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence at NIST, emphasizes the integral role of cybersecurity in ensuring patient safety within the healthcare sector. By developing standards, tools, and frameworks, NIST aims to empower healthcare organizations to mitigate cyber risks effectively. Pascoe's insights highlight the critical connection between cybersecurity and patient safety, advocating for a more secure and resilient healthcare ecosystem.

Key Takeaways:

    • Cybersecurity is pivotal to patient safety, necessitating robust standards and practices in healthcare.
    • NIST's frameworks and tools are designed to help healthcare organizations address and mitigate cybersecurity risks.
    • The conversation underscores the need for a unified approach to cybersecurity, aligning technology advancements with patient care priorities.

Fortanix Spearheads Zero Trust in Healthcare with Confidential Computing

IMG_2345Patrick Conte, VP GM Americas at Fortanix, introduces confidential computing as a game-changer in healthcare cybersecurity, aligning with the principles of Zero Trust architecture. Conte emphasizes the importance of protecting data in use, a critical aspect often overlooked in traditional security models. By securing data across its lifecycle — at rest, in transit, and in use — Fortanix aims to safeguard healthcare data against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, ensuring the privacy and security of patient information.

Key Takeaways:

  • Confidential computing emerges as a key component of Zero Trust security, protecting data in use and addressing a gap in traditional cybersecurity defenses.
  • Fortanix's approach to healthcare cybersecurity underscores the critical need to safeguard patient data across all stages of its lifecycle.
  • The adoption of confidential computing technologies is essential for healthcare organizations striving to enhance their cybersecurity posture in the face of evolving threats. 

Revolutionizing Veteran Care through Interoperability: VA's Strategic Vision Unveiled

IMG_2300Dr. Helga Rippen, Chief Interoperability and Veteran Access Officer at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, shares insights into the VA's efforts to enhance veteran care through improved interoperability. By aligning business, data, and systems, the VA is fostering a more integrated and responsive healthcare ecosystem. This strategic approach not only aims to improve the veteran experience but also sets a new standard for interoperability in healthcare.

Key Takeaways:

  • The VA's focus on interoperability emphasizes the importance of aligning business processes, data, and technology.
  • Efforts are underway to assess and enhance interoperability across various VA programs to improve care delivery.
  • The initiative reflects a broader commitment to leveraging technology to ensure veterans receive timely and effective healthcare services.

Securing Federal Healthcare Data in the Cloud: Netskope's Innovative Approach

IMG_2184Mark Mitchell, Federal Security Architect at Netskope, explores the challenges and solutions in securing federal healthcare data within cloud environments. Emphasizing the importance of data protection, phishing defense, and user behavior analytics, Mitchell outlines how Netskope's security platform is equipped to tackle these issues. His insights underscore the critical need for robust cloud security measures to protect sensitive healthcare information against evolving cyber threats.

Key Takeaways:

  • Effective cloud security in healthcare requires advanced data protection strategies, phishing defenses, and insights into user behavior.
  • Netskope is addressing these challenges with innovative security solutions tailored to the needs of federal healthcare organizations.
  • The adoption of cloud-based security platforms is essential for safeguarding healthcare data and ensuring the privacy and trust of patients.

Advancing Health IT Interoperability: ONC's Liz Turi Discusses US CDI Plus Initiative

IMG_2188 Liz Turi, Care Coordination & Collaboration Branch Chief at ONC, delves into the US Core Data for Interoperability Plus (US CDI+) initiative, aimed at enhancing healthcare interoperability for specialized use cases. This initiative represents a significant step towards achieving seamless data exchange and improving healthcare delivery across the spectrum. Turi's discussion highlights the importance of collaboration among federal partners and the healthcare community to realize the full potential of health IT.

Key Takeaways:

  • US CDI+ initiative focuses on expanding interoperability standards to address specific healthcare use cases.
  • Collaboration with federal partners and stakeholders is key to harmonizing data requirements and improving data exchange.
  • The initiative underscores the ongoing efforts to leverage health IT for more efficient and effective healthcare delivery.

Addressing the Growing Cybersecurity Threats in Healthcare: A Perspective from Asimily's Peter Hancock

IMG_2264Peter Hancock, VP of Global Sales at Asimily, highlights the increasing vulnerability of healthcare organizations to cyber threats due to the expansion of network-connected medical devices and systems. Hancock's insights into the challenges and solutions for securing healthcare networks offer a stark reminder of the importance of cybersecurity in ensuring patient safety and operational continuity. Asimily's focus on detecting and mitigating threats underscores the critical need for healthcare providers to adopt comprehensive cybersecurity strategies.

Key Takeaways:

  • The proliferation of connected medical devices increases healthcare organizations' vulnerability to cyber threats.
  • Comprehensive cybersecurity measures are essential to protect patient data and healthcare infrastructure.
  • Asimily's efforts to enhance healthcare cybersecurity reflect the industry's urgent need to address and mitigate evolving cyber risks.

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