HIMSS Throws Its Hat into Cleveland's Medical Mart Ring

February 20, 2013

Nashville’s loss has become Cleveland’s gain, with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society signing on as an anchor tenant at the soon-to-open , newly-renamed Global Health Innovation Center there just a few months after plans for its prior potential home – the Nashville Medical Trade Center – were scrapped.

HIMSS will lease on the fourth level 12,500 square feet for its Innovation Center, a testing, demonstration, exhibition and educational facility, with another 12,500 square feet of exhibition space.

"We look forward to the opening in October of the HIMSS Innovation Center in the Global Center for Health Innovation,” said H. Stephen Lieber, HIMSS president and CEO.

He added, “As we continue to build on our more than 14 years of leadership in and support of achieving seamless, secure exchange of electronic health information, our focus at HIMSS continues on interoperability, standards and harmonization initiatives, here in Cleveland and across the globe.”

HIMSS, which has 50,000 members that work in health care information technology and related fields, was the first tenant that had signed onto the Nashville Medical Trade Center before that project was put on hold in October because there weren’t enough other signed leases to move forward.

Now, the organization has committed to the $465 million venue in Downtown Cleveland, which is run by Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. and previously known as the Cleveland Medical Mart & Convention Center that is slated to open in October.

HIMSS' new center will be home to the Interoperability Showcase, a highlight of the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition. In Cleveland, the Interoperability Showcase will be demonstrating and testing multiple vendor products on a daily basis.

"We’re going to be doing it all the time, not just a few days during the conference," Lieber said. "That introduces new things you can do."

 It will enable HIMSS to provide much better ongoing information about how products work with one another, he added.

The interoperability showcase will take up about two-thirds of the exhibit space, Lieber said. The second area of the floor will be dedicated to exhibits that are self-guided and interactive, and a smaller third area will be reserved for executive suites.

The Global Center for Health Innovation not only includes a 100,000 square foot medical mart, but will also have an adjoining 230,000 square foot convention center.

The project is billed as “the only facility in the world that displays the future of health and healthcare”, with a majority of the participating partners have global reach and reputation that will draw in international visitors from around the world, according to HIMSS officials.

There are several other big-name healthcare leaders and charter tenants, among them Cleveland Clinic, GE Healthcare, Johnson Controls, University Hospitals and Philips Healthcare. HIMSS also has plans to double the size of the exhibition space by 2016.

Lieber said HIMSS had considered three cities – Nashville, Cleveland and New York – as a home for its Innovation Center.

"Cleveland has a bigger challenge establishing itself as a destination for a convention center and trade show," Lieber said. "It’s not in rotation yet like other cities."

However, the presence of the Cleveland Clinic and the completely refurbished state-of the art convention center will go a long way in attracting business, he added.

"Then, throw in the Global Center for Health Innovation, now you’ve got a real differentiator, Lieber said. “The combination really creates a strong draw."

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