Thursday, August 16, 2007

Day 2: Yet Another Day at MMIS Conference

The Day 2 started on a slow note after lots of eCAMS drink the previous night. Yes, there was eCAMS drink at the CNSI party. It was some kind of cocktail, blue in color and served on tap. I think an innovative brand recognition strategy.

Anyway, the biggest spotlights on Day 2 were two critical sessions. One was the session on new MMIS certification and the other on MITA Proof of Concept: Making MITA Reality. I guess the certification session was a disappointment. Reason: Two years after announcing the new certification kit: We are still awaiting it!!! It would not be ironic if some one joke that the CMS certification project slippage is much like the rest of the MMIS implementations in various states. I guess the previous certification checklist though old and archaic continues be the best bet for states currently in various phases of implementation. To continue the ding on the archaic infrastructure, it is amusing at best, that as states move to the next generation MMIS systems, the mode of communication and data exchange with CMS continues to be legacy mainframe tape cartridges.

The other session was on the MMIS Proof of Concept. The intention behind the whole exercise was fundamentally sound. However it left much to be desired since visually it did not relate with the audience and it was difficult to share the intricacies behind the implementation. I guess for some, the reaction was that this was done 5 years ago in the private sector. I believe that this is true. In the MMIS space we are not technology early adopters. However at the same time the amount of progress that we have made in MITA is very slow. There is a definitely a risk that without substance ( enforcement muscle) and initiatives ( vendors or CMS investing in building central repository) it could die a slow natural death and just end up as a good reference document. I participate in the PSTG and I think there is culpability on our side as well but the dynamics of the situation and the politics of vendor interplay make it highly cumbersome to make significant progress.
The evening culminated with the Zoo Visit. I choose not to go so can’t share the highlights but the attendees flocked the tour buses.

Last but not the least; I had two other interesting observations at the booths. One was the Golf Ball Patience Game and the Accenture Booth approach to maintain 24 hours presence. The Accenture booth had representation by the hotel bar tenders ready to serve you smoothies and explain you the business value services that the organization provided. I took a snap shot of the loyal hotel employees doing booth duty for Accenture.
The Golf ball game was an interesting choice by this new company in the MMIS space called Socrates. I think an ideal choice of game since you needed to be patient with it. It sometime took people 10 minutes and yet not be successful. I say an ideal game since once again it reflects the state of MMIS projects where every one needs patience to get things done.
Stay tuned for Day 3 Coverage.
PS There were certain personal incidents that I needed to share. These can be found at my personal blog site
And here is the rest of it.

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