February 1, 2016 by Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN Vice President Informatics, HIMSS North America
Winter weather can be unpredictable. But typically the Midwest is snowy and cold in January. This year, however, the East Coast took the hit, landing several feet of snow in less than 24 hours. As I boarded my flight to Cleveland for the IHE North American (NA) Connectathon Week 2016, the list of departures showed many cancellations from East Coast destinations including Philadelphia, New York and Washington D.C.
My first thought, after breathing a sigh of relief that my own flight was on time, was whether the storm might prevent the Connectathon test participants from attending the event. Little did I know that even a record-breaking storm like Jonas wouldn’t be a barrier for the 530 registered system engineers. As I welcomed the first arrivals, I heard story after story about cancelled and rebooked flights, and deeply buried neighborhoods. And, I also heard about individuals who used extraordinary means to get to Cleveland in spite of all odds. Some booked earlier flights so they could beat the storm, spending the weekend with friends in the area. Others rerouted their flights to avoid an affected layover destination. Many simply dug out of their neighborhoods, arranged carpools with nearby colleagues, and rented cars to drive when their flights were rescheduled multiple times.