This week I've been in Kelowna attending my third Western Canadian Healthcare Summit, and while I have been blogging summaries of some of the more interesting sessions, this entry is intended to be an over-all review of the conference, venue, and most importantly, the value of the time spent in Kelowna.
Let me start by saying that I rarely if ever am disappointed to have to be in Kelowna. So Reboot Communications Ltd. couldn't pick a better city for this in my opinion. While the weather was crappy (like everywhere in BC) so far this week, and I still can't swing a golf club, my colleagues at UBCO, the UBC Southern Medical Program, and Interior Health make it worthwhile for me to be here, outside of the conference itself.
So what unholy deal exists between Carla Tadla and Keith Baldry? While I certainly don't have anything against Keith personally, it would be a nice change to have a fresh face for the event emcee/moderator. Not that he takes much speaking time, but it's just getting a little long in the tooth. Something that isn't long (enough) is the hashtag for the event - #HCYLW. I get what it means, because I'm here and I've thought about it a bit, but is it really a tag people would search on? I would suggest something a bit more descriptive like #WstrnHCSummit or some shorter variant that is slightly more self-explanatory.
And on the topic of technology, at the start of day two we have no conference wifi, and ergo, my blogging & tweeting will be restricted. Perhaps by design? :-) Those are some extreme measures to keep rogue bloggers like me under control. I'm thinking it's by design (or GE Healthcare only paid for one day?) as the passcode changed on the second day, but this wasn't announced until enough people complained around 10:00. I'd encourage the organisers to address that more quickly in the future, or at least let attendees know that it was a technical issue if that was the case. Otherwise, it just appears to be disorganisation, which my experience with Reboot would make me think that unlikely.
The theme for Tuesday seems to be big data, so I'm enjoying this, although I must admit I was surprised to see Jeffrey Betts from IBM presenting for the second year on IBM Watson. That said, it was interesting in so much that he was able to provide us with a case study of use in an oncological patient discussion to provide deep and wide evidence based patient care.
The big data panel discussion was excellent and was a highlight for me of the second day. Excellent panel, and great job by the conference planners.
However, since it's only 1.5 days of session content, I think the organisers should be more consistent with the level of speakers and topics. The audience seems to mostly be clinical administration, so I get that there needs to be logistics/supply chain discussions and I can tolerate that, but I get the feeling that some of the panels were really stuck for speakers as not all were of an equal calibre, or regarded by the audience as being the appropriate subject matter experts for their topic area.
If the organisers could get more content like we had on Monday morning and all day Tuesday, I'd encourage adding a half day to the conference. All in all, my biggest take away each year is the networking, and I have to thanks HP Canada in large part for their facilitation of that!
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