AMIA 2011 Symposium News Vol. 2, Issue 4

Friday, September 16, 2011
AMIA Symposium News
   Closing Keynoter Will Tip His Hand at AMIA Symposium
   Late-Breaking Session Topics Announced
   Watson to Attend AMIA 2011!
   Pre-Symposium Usability Meeting Open to All
   Raise Your Social Quotient
   Network & Relax at Hospitality Suites
   Track Your Interests
   More Ground to Cover on the Exhibition Floor

Closing Keynoter Will Tip His Hand at AMIA Symposium

Farzad Mostashari, MD, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, and closing keynoter at AMIA 2011, chatted with Symposium News about how he sees the current landscape of informatics and HIT.

SN: Given the current fiscal situation of the U.S. government, can ONC continue to innovate?

We are very fortunate that implementation of HITECH and the health IT agenda in general enjoy bipartisan support. There have been no discussions whatsoever that have targeted the most important part of the program, which is the Meaningful Use and Medicaid Health IT incentive payments. Nor has anything affected the grant programs that we have in the field working every day, from the extension centers and community colleges to the health information exchanges. There are providers and hospitals across the country investing in health IT and there’s a broad, bipartisan understanding that the incentive payments are important to support them in making this transformation.

Click here to view more Q&As. Hear Dr. Mostashari deliver the closing keynote at AMIA 2011 on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 12:15 p.m.


Late-Breaking Session Topics Announced

Four topics have been identified for late-breaking sessions. For final scheduling and identification of panelists of late-breaking sessions, please refer to the onsite program:

  • Code of Ethics for AMIA Members –Chair Kenneth Goodman and the AMIA Ethics Committee have significantly updated the AMIA Code of Ethics, which was previously published in JAMIA. This session will summarize the key elements in the revised code, emphasizing the updates that have been developed in response to the changing landscape in HIT and informatics practice.
  • Usability of Clinical Systems –This session will feature presentations by: Jiajie Zhang, speaking on behalf of the ONC-funded SHARP-C group from UT Health, Houston; Madhu Reddy, speaking on behalf of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI) and reporting on the jointly sponsored WISH workshop being held at AMIA 2011; Blackford Middleton, speaking on behalf of the AMIA Usability Task Force; Matt Quinn, speaking on behalf of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their usability guideline-development efforts; and Kathy Kenyon, speaking on behalf of the HHS/Office of the National Coordinator on HIT (ONC) and their efforts to encourage and assure usability of EHR systems.
  • Sorrell v. IMS Health—Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Sorrell v. IMS Health, in which Vermont law restricts pharmacies from selling doctor-patient prescription information to data-miners and pharmaceutical companies, but allows the dissemination of this information for healthcare research and other exceptions. The case and the Court’s decision will provide a jumping off point to explore significant implications related to Health Information Exchange (HIE) and healthcare database activities important to the informatics community.
  • Unintended Consequences of HIT—panel and description to be announced.

Watson to Attend AMIA 2011!

Tuesday morning’s semi-plenary session features a popular TV game show hero: Watson! The star of Jeopardy!, Watson gave America its first strong impression of how artificial intelligence can go head to head with we humans!

Introducing Watson into Clinical Practice: How Elementary Will It Be? S46, 8:30-10:00 a.m.

With panelists: Herbert Chase, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons; David C. Gondek, IBM, Watson Strategy Team; Eliot L. Siegel, University of Maryland School of Medicine; and moderated by Edward H. Shortliffe, AMIA.

IBM’s wunderkind, Watson, who decisively bested the two greatest champions in Jeopardy! history earlier this year, is now being reconfigured to be used in health care. Think of the possibilities: answering providers’ medical questions in a split second, diagnosing diseases from the EHR that are unrecognized by providers, or identifying treatments that are guideline-based and modified for the individual patient.

Panelists will focus on three aspects of Watson’s potential to reduce the information gap between provider and what is “actually known.” Herbert Chase will provide an overview of current information needs and how Watson might be used to satisfy them; David Gondek will describe the science behind Watson and how Watson decides what the best information is; and Eliot Siegel will discuss the process of taking Watson through “medical school” and potential gaps and challenges associated with realization of its full potential in healthcare.

A complementary session later on Tuesday features discussion of, “Advances in Clinical Question Answering: Watson Meets Healthcare”, S49, 10:30 a.m.-noon. This panel will examine natural language processing and highlight Watson as an exemplary demonstration of achievement.

See more detailed descriptions of both sessions in the most recent pdf of the Advance Program, found online at

Pre-Symposium Usability Meeting Open to All
Join a lively, informative discussion about usability in advance of the Symposium. SHARP-C, the ONC-funded Strategic Health IT Advance Research Project on Patient-Centered Cognitive Support, will sponsor an all-day meeting, on Friday, Oct. 21, titled The EHR Usability Symposium 2011: Usability Present and Future, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Washington Hilton.

Speakers and panelists include representatives from academia, federal agencies, EHR vendors, clinicians and patients. All perspectives and ideas are welcome.

The AMIA fee for registration is $100 to defray room and beverage costs. For more information, click here. 

For more about Sharp C, click here. If you have already registered for the AMIA Annual Meeting, you may add registration for this event:
• Click the “Register” button on the meeting site landing page:
• Log into your account
• Select “My Transactions” (on the left menu).
• Under Events, click on the button to “Add Tracks/Sessions”
• Add the Pre-Symposium: PRE02.

Raise Your Social Quotient
Beyond meetings, tutorials and keynote addresses, AMIA’s Symposium provides attendees with the chance to relax and network in a series of inviting social events.

• Kick off the week: registrants are encouraged to join their peers in the Exhibition Hall on Sunday, Oct. 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. for the Welcome Reception. Attendees may visit the exhibits while sampling hors d’oeuvres. There will be a cash bar.

• Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.: AMIA Board Chair Nancy M. Lorenzi changes up the Chair’s Reception by turning it into a festive event for all current AMIA members and international attendees! Join the chair for this special membership event at which AMIA volunteers will be honored. Come along to raise a toast to JAMIA reviewers, Scientific Program Committee members and reviewers, Committee Chairs and members, the AMIA Board of Directors, JAMIA editorial board members, and Working Group Chairs and members. Cash bar.

• After most of the Scientific Sessions have concluded, opt for an ‘after’ party: AMIA’s annual Dance Party revs up Tuesday at 9 p.m., with a nightclub club vibe, a popular DC dee-jay and a cash bar.

• New this year! Just want to chill? Let AMIA show you to your recliner! Visit the AMIA Lounge from 9 to 11 p.m., Tuesday. Free wi-fi, comfortable furnishings, cash bar.

Not yet registered? Click here. Have you reserved at the Hilton? Do it before the AMIA room block is sold out. Click here.

Network & Relax at Hospitality Suites
Three suites are reserved during the Symposium especially for members, so you can meet up and network with your colleagues in a relaxed, casual setting. The suites open on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 23 and remain open through Tuesday evening, Oct. 25. The suites are sponsored by the AMIA Working Groups and the AMIA Membership Committee. Each Working Group will be assigned a time slot, so if you’d like to meet people active in a particular WG, mark your schedule to visit during the appropriate time. A full schedule and calendar, with suite numbers, and WG time slots will be published in the onsite program. Use the suites to hold discussions with your mentor or mentee, new members, prospective employees, potential AMIA members, or simply to discuss activities for 2012. For more information, contact Rob Rader, Director of Member Services,

Track Your Interests
Has the Symposium’s horn of plenty gotten you overwhelmed? No worries—AMIA has generated focused schedules of activity for professionals in two distinct areas:

• CMIOs and CNIOs—a schedule of all offerings that are pertinent to the chief medical and chief nursing information officers, and will appeal to other clinical executives in leadership roles who are involved in HIT evaluation and selection. For more information, click here.

• HIT Focus—a schedule of all offerings that are pertinent to frontline physicians, nurses, administrators and healthcare information technology (HIT) experts who are leading hospitals and practices into a new era of expanded HIT implementation and use! For more information, click here.

More Ground to Cover on the Exhibition Floor
During the week, don’t forget to visit AMIA, JAMIA and NI 2012 on the Exhibition floor. Among the exciting activities you’ll find there, add these to your Symposium schedule:

• AMIA, Booth # 220—Preview AMIA’s new online networking site for members only! And, come to a booth briefing on the Joint Summits on Translational Science, Monday, Oct. 24, from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Meet TBI Program Chair Nigam Shah and CRI Program Chair Michael Kahn. Learn about this cutting-edge educational event and win an exclusive Joint Summits t-shirt!

• JAMIA, Booth # 223—Meet the editor and the publisher. Pick up a recent issue of the print edition of JAMIA. Learn about future Journal Club meetings.

• NI 2012, Booth # 221—Meet leaders behind the 11th International Nursing Informatics Congress (NI 2012)—an upcoming global informatics meeting, June 23-27, 2012, in Montreal, just prior to the International Jazz Festival of Montreal. Enter a daily booth drawing to win a fabulous collection of jazz greats on CDs from past festivals!

Editor’s Note: This is the final issue of Symposium News for 2011. Look for further Symposium updates online at, including information about a browser-based mobile application for the onsite program that you will be able to download to your smartphone!.

AMIA Informatics Professionals. Leading the Way.
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 500 • Bethesda, MD 20814
Tel: 301-657-1291 • Fax: 301-657-1296
Connect with AMIA!
AMIA Twitter  AMIA Linkedin AMIA
                                    Youtune AMIA Scribd AMIA Flickr