Eight Ways to Maximize Your User Group Meeting Experience

Attending an EHR user group meeting for the first time is an exciting opportunity. Realistically though, many overburdened health IT professionals can't find the time to plan out conference strategy, while others are tasked with maintaining department operations remotely while juggling session attendance. Your time is limited, so check out this quick list of tips to maximize user group meeting attendance.

  1. Know industry priorities going into the conference. In 2019, 42 percent of health IT leaders rated updating technology to improve the patient experience as their top objective, followed by measuring improvement in care (33 percent). How will EHR vendors directly address these priorities in their new version upgrade announcements and 2020 plans? Check out the Health IT Industry Outlook Report for a full breakdown of leadership insight.

  2. Attend a pre-conference Sunday orientation from vendor staff to get the lay of the land as a first-time attendee. There are two orientation offerings on Sunday at 4:45 and 6:30 p.m.

  3. Utilize the event mobile ap to have a working schedule of sessions, speakers and locations.

  4. Take advantage of tours of the entire sprawling campus to understand the vision behind the vendor and its dedicated staff. Make sure to take in the new buildings as well. If you can't attend one of the guided tours, there is still self-guided tour material to help out.

  5. From travelling cross-country, to walking all over campus, to hopping around evening networking events, you'll be on-the-go constantly, so wear comfortable shoes and drink water often. Utilize the free shuttle service throughout the week.

  6. Check out the peer-to-peer sessions and unsessions based on specific provider pain points. This is the chance to voice your firsthand insight on how you improved end-user adoption or workflow with the vendor system, or gain valuable direct tips from HIT leaders in similar situations as you. Many attendees find this program portion the most beneficial.

  7. Stake out a spot for the executive address on Tuesday morning. This is a vital session to attend to get an overview of changes ahead for the vendor, from software upgrades to new technology, and the evolving HIT landscape. The biggest vendor announcements occur here, and industry media will be vying to break big vendor news with their own interpretation of speaker comments.

  8. Finally, don't forget to have fun. The campus is huge with so many unique hidden treasures, like the Instagram-worthy slide. It's designed to maximize balance of work and play, so make sure to enjoy. Stop by the campus store to pick up those vendor branded gems for your staff and office.

See you soon in Wisconsin!