HIMSS Announces Additional Remedies to HIMSS20 Cancellation

Update Published April 8, 2020:

Over the past few weeks, we have had honest and valuable conversations with our global healthcare community. Thank you. Your feedback is top of mind as we continue to navigate the unavoidable circumstances regarding HIMSS20.

Since our inception, HIMSS’s goal has been to support the health ecosystem and create a unique and robust community – one that allows all of us to foster collaboration, build strong networks, provide educational opportunities and advocate to officials globally on the positive influence of information and technology. We deeply appreciate the understanding, by so many of you, that we made every effort to hold HIMSS20 as scheduled, but as the pandemic progressed, it was an unacceptable risk to bring thousands of people together. In 58 years, the event has never been cancelled. We all find ourselves in uncharted territory.

Support for HIMSS20 Exhibitors

HIMSS staff has been working tirelessly to be able to offer meaningful financial remedies to all of our valued partners and exhibitors.

We are very happy to share that Exhibitors will be able to use 25% of their total spend from HIMSS20 for HIMSS21 and HIMSS22! 15% to be applied to HIMSS21 and 10% to HIMSS22.* For Startup** and University Row Exhibitors, 100% of your total spend on HIMSS20 can be used for HIMSS21 (50%) and HIMSS22 (50%)!

In addition:

  • HIMSS21 Exhibitors will be able to use their HIMSS20 paid exhibitor booth staff badges.
  • HIMSS20 paid client badges will be transferred to HIMSS21 in the name of the registrant.
  • MapYourShow (MYS) is available via HIMSS20 Digital to all exhibitors to help with lead generation.

Regarding hotel reservations, we have learned that while some hotels have already refunded attendees we understand other hotels have not. For those who have not received a refund, we are sorry the hotel appears to be giving you the run-around. We are puzzled why the hotel would send you back to HIMSS when it holds your deposit and we have informed them, on more than one occasion, that the decision as to whether to issue a refund is theirs, and their decision alone, as it is based upon the hotel’s cancellation policy, not HIMSS. We wish there was more we could do. We will update our website FAQs if updated information becomes available.

For details and immediate questions, you can contact our team at salesinfo@himss.org.

*To be eligible for the HIMSS22 financial remedy, the Exhibitor must exhibit at HIMSS21. Please speak to your HIMSS sales representative for further information.

**Applies to Startup Exhibitors that were approved through the formal application process with HIMSS.

HIMSS Resources and Content

While we are unable to convene the community in-person this year, HIMSS will continue providing resources and tools to the healthcare community, our members and attendees:

  • Answered the call for #VirtualHIMSS20. On Monday, April 6, the launch of the new HIMSS20 Digital platform was completed to ensure the presentations, key learnings and insights from the conference reach our members and the healthcare community (Phase I launched March 23). New sessions will be added each week through the end of June 2020. The virtual on-demand format means you can access the content anytime, anywhere.
  • HIMSS and our partners have been advocating for greater funding to support public health for more than a year. Working together, HIMSS Government Relations team, along with the APHL, CSTE, NAPHSIS, NACCHO, and ASTHO have focused on advancing the public health infrastructure, surveillance system and workforce to meet 21st century needs.
  • On Friday, March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed. It is the third aid package to fight the COVID-19 national emergency. The CARES Act includes $500 million that solidifies congressional and Trump Administration support for Data: Elemental to Health, a multi-year campaign to modernize the public health infrastructure in the United States. The funds included in the CARES Act will provide an essential and immediate injection of resources to build a public health surveillance system that provides automatic, enterprise, interoperable data exchange in real time, enabling a coordinated and timely response across the health system.
  • We are providing daily resources, curated best-in-class featured content and thought leadership focused on the COVID-19 pandemic including webinars, best practices, news and more, including the new COVID-19 Digital Think Tank, which launched March 30. The think tank, is a special new collaboration and resource-sharing platform designed for healthcare workers on the front lines.

HIMSS Operations

We believe it is critical to keep our staff employed and are happy to report that we are globally work-from-home (WFH). While we have made internal adjustments to both our financial expenditures and our staff remuneration, the demand, like our spirit, remains high. We hope and pray that any health impact in your organizations has been minimal.

Nearly every individual and business around the world has been impacted by this crisis – these are unprecedented, complicated times. Now, more than ever, we appreciate your continued support of HIMSS as we work together to fulfill our mission to reform the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology.

Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Be well.

 

 

 

 

Hal Wolf, III

President and CEO of HIMSS

 

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Previous Update Published March 23, 2020:

I’d like to thank the global healthcare community for your patience and understanding regarding the heartbreaking, unavoidable cancellation of the HIMSS 2020 Global Health Conference & Exhibition (HIMSS20).

As you know, during the week of March 2, there was a clear necessity to cancel HIMSS20 following updated reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the global spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus disease. The situation was rapidly evolving, as each day brought new information, each of higher concern. At that time, the volume of confirmed cases of coronavirus throughout the U.S. was increasing at an unpredictable rate and multiple states had taken emergency measures, including Florida’s Department of Health, which had issued a Declaration of Public Health Emergency.

We made every effort to hold the conference as scheduled, while at the same time engaged an external advisory panel of medical professionals to support evidence-based decision making around the possible individual and population health risk of attendees. The fast-evolving circumstances, which were outside of anyone’s control, made it clear that it would be an unacceptable risk to bring so many thousands of people together. This year is the first time in 58 years the event has ever been cancelled, and it is heartbreaking.

We have received an outpouring of support from the healthcare ecosystem with recognition that this action was unavoidable and in the best interest of the health and safety of the global HIMSS community, staff and local residents, as well as for the healthcare providers tasked with keeping our U.S. and global communities healthy.

While we are unable to convene in-person, we are excited to see HIMSS20 Digital get underway. We have been working tirelessly to bring you key HIMSS20 sessions and panels in a virtual format. For those attendees who were registered for HIMSS20, you will have access to HIMSS20 Digital and, as is our policy, you will be automatically registered for HIMSS21 in Las Vegas. Up-to-date information can be found at himssconference.org.

Throughout these recent events, we have made it a point to be as transparent and timely as possible with available information, and over the next few days and weeks we will be communicating next steps and having valued conversations across the HIMSS community.

As we move forward, we’ve taken stock of the past few decades and what HIMSS, a global non-profit, and its 80,000 members have accomplished, and what needs to be achieved next.

HIMSS represents the single largest community of individuals and organizations that focus on digital health and its ability to improve wellness, care access and clinical outcomes; and there is now, more than ever, an opportunity to deliver to our mission: reform the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology. Since our inception, our aspiration has been to support the health ecosystem, to create a unique and robust community – one that allows all of us to foster collaboration, build strong networks, provide educational opportunities and advocate to officials globally on the positive influence of information and technology. The strength of our numbers has supported cornerstone legislation like the HITECH Act, supported businesses in introducing essential capabilities and solutions to the ecosystem and has provided a critical forum to transform health across the global ecosystem. Today, there are over 800 million people within the geographic footprint of hospitals and clinics that have measured themselves with the HIMSS maturity models, all developed in concert with our members’ input.

Every year we have brought the HIMSS community together for a week of side-by-side collaboration and growth; however, we strive to support and further you 365 days of the year. This year, in this new landscape, is no different. We have the opportunity to advance the future of the community you helped us create and to ensure that our shared mission will continue in the next decade. Together we will share, learn and adapt to create a brighter and healthier future. Together we will be the change.

Thank you again for your understanding and support.

Stay safe, be well.

 

 

 

 


Hal Wolf, President and CEO of HIMSS

 

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Previous Update Published March 11, 2020:

Thank you to everyone who has shown us such strong support. We truly appreciate your understanding, as well as your excitement to reform the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology. While we’re unable to convene in person this week, our dedicated HIMSS staff is working hard to provide each of you with education and thought leadership opportunities. We’re excited to announce that HIMSS20 Digital is kicking off soon, and we can’t wait to deliver a great digital experience in the days and weeks to come.

Please note that you may receive emails or announcements for presentations and sessions that are not directly affiliated with HIMSS. For updates on the official HIMSS20 Digital, please continue to visit our website for more information.

 

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Previous Update Published March 9, 2020:

It’s official! We are planning a special digital edition of the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition. Our goal is to make all of the sessions and panels from HIMSS20 available online.

For those already registered for HIMSS20, you will have access to HIMSS20 Digital and, as is our policy, you will be automatically registered for HIMSS21 in Las Vegas! Speakers, exhibitors and sponsors will be contacted with further information about HIMSS20 Digital.

What sessions are you, our Changemakers, most interested in from this year’s agenda? Review this year’s schedule and share your feedback as we work on curating an impactful digital experience.

Share your feedback with us.

We know it is important to give you as much information as possible about HIMSS20 and next steps as we transition to a digital experience. Please continue to visit this page for more updates. We thank you for your feedback and support of HIMSS during such a dynamic time!

Visit the HIMSS20 FAQ page for more information.

 

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Previous Update Published March 5, 2020:

Today, following recent reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIMSS announced it is clearly necessary to cancel the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition.

“We recognize all the hard work that so many have put into preparing for their presentations and panels that accompany every HIMSS conference,” said Hal Wolf, president and CEO of HIMSS. “Based on evaluation of evolving circumstances and coordination with an external advisory panel of medical professionals to support evidence-based decision making, it is clear that it would be an unacceptable risk to bring so many thousands of people together next week.”

The advisory panel recognized that industry understanding of the potential reach of the virus has changed significantly in the last 24 hours, which has made it impossible to accurately assess risk. Additionally, there are concerns about disproportionate risk to the healthcare system given the unique medical profile of Global Conference attendees and the consequences of potentially displacing healthcare workers during a critical time, as well as stressing the local health systems were there to be an adverse event.

This will be the first time in 58 years the event has been cancelled, but it is now clear that cancellation is unavoidable in order to meet HIMSS’ obligation to protect the health and safety of the global HIMSS community, employees and local residents, as well as for the healthcare providers tasked with keeping our U.S. and global communities healthy.

HIMSS20 exhibitors and attendees will be contacted with further information regarding booth contracts and registrations. Please contact exhibitors@himss.org for immediate booth concerns. Any further updates regarding HIMSS20 will be published on himssconference.org.

Please see the HIMSS20 Cancellation FAQ page for more information.

 

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Previous Update Published March 3, 2020:

Over the last week, COVID-19 Coronavirus has become a global topic of concern. Gov. Ron DeSantis directed State Health Officer and Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees to declare a public health emergency in Florida on March 1, 2020.

What does this mean?

Under Florida law, public health emergencies can be declared when there are threats that could result in substantial harm to public health. Such threats can include infectious diseases and even natural disasters. The declarations help free up government resources to focus on responding to the health situation. At this time, Florida remains open for business with careful monitoring of the situation. As of March 2, Orlando resorts and parks remain open and operational.

Our top priority remains the health and safety of all participants at HIMSS20, including attendees, exhibitors, market suppliers, staff, industry partners, and others involved in the HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition.

Given the dynamic nature of this situation, HIMSS has assembled an external panel of medical professionals to further advise our evidence-based decision-making and review our procedures. While the risk remains low at this time, we cannot ensure a virus-free environment and have instituted the measures outlined below.

A Summary of our Current Crisis Preparedness Plan
 

Traveling to Florida

  • At this time, HIMSS is accommodating cancellations from attendees traveling from countries designated as a Level 3 or 4 alert by the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Updates and impacted countries can be found on the CDC's Travel Health Notices page.
  • Attendees should not travel to HIMSS20 if they are feeling unwell. Attendees should monitor the CDC travel guidelines prior to their departure.
  • Orlando Airport (MCO) is complying with the travel restrictions signed by the U.S. Government on January 31, 2020, which bars entry to the U.S. of most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the 14 days immediately prior to arrival in the United States.
  • HIMSS is providing guidelines and updates to conference attendee hotels on healthy procedures and tips. All guests checking in will receive printed copies of safety measures.
     

On-site Preparedness Plan

  • While the risk remains low at this time, we cannot ensure a virus-free environment. HIMSS20 will be a handshake-free meeting. We recommend the HIMSS elbow tap.
  • We are working with Orlando Health and Dr. Phillips Hospital (closest to convention center) to provide extra medical support as needed on site.
    • Screening protocols for EMTs and Nurses on site
    • Telehealth access to ER physicians to host virtual visits as necessary
  • There will be three medical offices on site at the Orange County Convention Center. One of the medical offices will be dedicated to addressing both flu and coronavirus symptoms and will be staffed by a trained medical professional with direct access to the Florida Department of Health and an Epidemiologist.
  • HIMSS and the Orange County Convention Center will consult health teams at Orlando Health when necessary.
    • Should screening reveal an elevated risk for an attendee, the person will be isolated immediately to prevent exposure to conference participants.
    • Further, the Emergency Department teams at Orlando Health Centers will be consulted to ensure the risk to conference attendees is proactively managed to ensure the safety of all conference participants.
       

Sanitation Measures

  • Orange County Convention Center has a disinfectant procedure in place for nightly and day cleanings during move-in and throughout conference, which adhere to the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance.
  • There will be an increased number of hand sanitation sites available in the Orange County Convention Center and surrounding HIMSS20 venues, providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer for all attendees and staff.
  • Disposable, disinfectant wipes will be provided so commonly used surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, keyboards, presentation materials, desk surfaces, etc.) can be routinely sanitized.
     

Situation Monitoring

  • HIMSS staff is meeting on a regular basis with key conference stakeholders, including Orange County, the Orange County Convention Center and the Florida Department of Health agencies to evaluate any risk in the host city.
  • HIMSS is also actively monitoring CDC and WHO updates for further information.

 

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Previous Update Published March 2, 2020:

Over the last week, COVID-19 Coronavirus has become a global topic of concern.

Our top priority remains the health and safety of all participants at HIMSS20, including attendees, exhibitors, market suppliers, staff, industry partners, and others involved in the HIMSS Global Health Conference and Exhibition. Given the dynamic nature of this situation, HIMSS has assembled an external panel of medical professionals to further advise our evidence-based decision-making and to ensure the safety of the healthcare community currently planning to assemble in Florida for HIMSS20.

We remain committed to communicate regularly regarding our attendance and status.

 

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Previous Update Published Feb. 27, 2020:

HIMSS is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and continues to provide regular updates.

As of February 27, 2020, HIMSS20 is proceeding as scheduled March 9-13, 2020 in Orlando, Fla. Currently, registration is experiencing an upswing of 7 percent over HIMSS19 participation. Cancellations are around 0.6 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has publicly deemed the health risk of coronavirus for the general American public to be low at this time.

The health, safety and well-being of the community is our highest priority.
 

Traveling to Florida

  • At this time, HIMSS is accommodating cancellations from attendees travelling from countries designated as a Level 3 alert by the CDC. Updates can be found on the CDC website.
  • Attendees should not travel to HIMSS20 if they are feeling unwell. Attendees should monitor the CDC travel guidelines prior to their departure.
  • Orlando Airport (MCO) is complying with the travel restrictions signed by the U.S. Government on January 31, 2020, which bars entry to the U.S. of most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the 14 days immediately prior to arrival in the United States.
  • HIMSS is providing guidelines and updates to conference attendee hotels on healthy procedures and tips. All guests checking in will receive printed copies of safety measures.
     

On-site Preparedness Plan

  • While the risk remains low at this time, HIMSS20 will be a handshake-free meeting. We recommend the HIMSS elbow tap.
  • We are working with Orlando Health and Dr. Phillips Hospital (closest to convention center) to provide extra medical support as needed on site
    • EMTs and Nurses on site for screening protocols
    • Telehealth access to ER physicians to host virtual visits as necessary
  • There will be three medical offices on site at the Orange County Convention Center. One of the medical offices will be dedicated to addressing both flu and coronavirus symptoms and will be staffed by a trained medical professional with direct access to the Florida Department of Health and an Epidemiologist.
  • Screening procedures established by the CDC will be conducted on site throughout the conference; HIMSS and the Orange County Convention Center will consult health teams at Orlando Health when necessary.
    • Should screening reveal an elevated risk for an attendee, the person will be isolated immediately to prevent exposure to conference participants.
    • Further, the Emergency Department teams at Orlando Health Centers will be consulted to ensure the risk to conference attendees is proactively managed to ensure the safety of all conference participants.
       

Sanitation Measures

  • Orange County Convention Center has a disinfectant procedure in place for nightly and day cleanings during move-in and throughout conference, which adhere to the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance.
  • There will be an increased number of hand sanitation sites available in the Orange County Convention Center and surrounding HIMSS20 venues, providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer for all attendees and staff.
  • Disposable, disinfectant wipes will be provided so commonly used surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, keyboards, presentation materials, desk surfaces, etc.) can be routinely sanitized.
  • Interested attendees can access medical-grade face masks at any HIMSS20 information booth.
     

Situation Monitoring

  • HIMSS staff is meeting on a regular basis with key conference stakeholders, including Orange County, the Orange County Convention Center and the Florida Department of Health agencies to evaluate any risk in the host city.
  • HIMSS is also actively monitoring CDC and WHO updates for further information.

 

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Additional Previous Updates: 
HIMSS Update on the Coronavirus, Feb. 24
HIMSS Update on the Coronavirus, Feb. 20
HIMSS Update on the Coronavirus, Feb. 13 

2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition Statement on Coronavirus

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This webpage was originally published Feb. 27, 2020