The Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS of Chicago) treks to San Diego this month for the 2003 edition of its annual conference and exhibition.

HIMSS 2003 is set for Feb. 9 through Feb. 13 at the San Diego Convention Center. Organizers anticipate some 20,000 healthcare professionals will attend more than 200 educational sessions, interactive workshops and electronic poster sessions.

This year’s keynote address is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 10 at 8 a.m., as General Electric Co. (GE of Fairfield, Conn.) Chairman and CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt offers his vision for the future and the role corporations play in providing solutions for today’s healthcare challenges. Immelt, who now heads the sixth-largest company in the United States, served as president and CEO of the $8.5 billion GE Medical Systems (GEMS of Waukesha, Wis.) from January 1997 to December 2000, when he was selected as former Chairman and CEO Jack Welch’s successor.

On Thursday, Feb. 13, at 10 a.m., former New York Mayor Rudolph (Rudy) Giuliani takes to the podium to discuss leadership in troubled times. Giuliani is most well-known for leading New York City through the terrorist attacks and aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.

Thursday afternoon features Patch Adams, the well-known physician and director of the Gesundheit! Institute, which was instrumental in the construction of a 40-bed hospital and healing center in rural West Virginia.

HIMSS 2003 also marks the fourth year of the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) initiative with the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA of Oak Brook, Ill.). At this point, the collaboration to develop cohesive interfaces between different information technology systems within the healthcare industry is expanding beyond radiology, demonstrating the progress being made by IHE towards integration.

HIMSS notes that clinicians, informatics specialists, and IHE experts are working on solutions to workflow problems of IT infrastructure, cardiology, laboratory, and pharmacy and medication management. IHE demonstrations in France, Germany, Italy, and Japan also are helping to broaden the project’s scope.

Please refer to the February 2003 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis