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The Exhibition Hall is Where the Action Is

by Fred Fortin

At this year’s World Health Care Congress the exhibition hall is where the action is at. This the real health care frontier, where policy wonks, academics, researchers, health executives engage THE PRIVATE SECTOR. You know what I mean. It’s the crossroads where universes collide in that markety sort of way. Where simple eye contact, far from being regarded with suspicion, is universally recognized as an invitation to a conversation, first about nothing, and then about the pitch. It’s a demilitarized zone where the Left can mingle with the Right, where socialist single payer dudes can mix it up — in a friendly way of course — with health care’s fat cat marketeers. An essential seeding arena where ideas find capital; and capital finds ideas. Certainly the alcohol helps.

The wealth of sponsors and exhibitors at this conference is impressive. Want to talk with people who are in the business of — don’t hold your breath — EMRs, PHRs, RFIDs, HINs, HIS, UM, DM, PM, ETCs, DMEs, PCHC, HSAs, P4Ps, HMOs, PPOs, IROs, PROs not to mention URAC, NCQA, HIPAA and generally anything IT — well you’ve come to the right place (that is, if you can understand the acronymic esperanto that dominates the health care discourse nowadays!)

Anyway, my point is, don’t ignore or miss the tango going on with the kids in the hall. The future of health care may depend on how well we learn to dance with each other.